* Posts by perlcat

541 posts • joined 13 Mar 2010


Spillover from 400lb man squeezed fellow flier into galley


It's never been a problem for me.

I always carry a few takeout pepper packets on long flights. If I get someone leaning their seat all the way back into my privates, I drink a glass of water, open a packet, snort some pepper, and sneeze onto their head six or seven times. It takes longer with kids -- their parents have to see their kids head actually getting wet before the old lightbulb comes on, and they make Junior sit back up.


socially acceptable discrimination

It is also OK to treat people who smoke like nonhumans, too. Not that I smoke -- just that I object to treating people like garbage. Quitting smoking isn't easy, and there's no call to be cruel, when lung cancer will dish out enough of that on its own.

Conflict mineral laws haven't helped Congolese

Black Helicopters

re: responsibility:

"Do you honestly think that the full responsibility is to be laid at the door of Global Witness and others, that industry and the various governments have no part to play at all, really ?"

Actually, the blame can be spread all 'round. However, the path to success could have been a lot simpler.

Step 1: Global Witness work with the buyers, help define what is a valid source, and what isn't.

Step 2: The ethical companies disclose their valid sources in their advertising, people buy from the ethical companies, the unethical ones look like the jerks they are, and lose market share.

Step 3: This disclosure becomes an industry standard.

You'll notice there need be no government involvement, and the miners as well as the buyers, which is ultimately all of us, are not in a bad situation.

However, it does jack for PR for the NGO's, and they don't get to play-act at being self-righteous. That's why it will never happen. How can you fund-raise for a problem if you've solved it?

Black Helicopters

I don't think so.

The problem is, somebody has to take all the legislative waffle and turn it into administrative law. If, for example, the business decided that 'adequate disclosure' mean that they could bury this in a web page, then somebody's going to court. If 'adequate disclosure' means full page ads in major newspapers, Super Bowl Ads, then they need to specify that, too.

It was written vaguely intentionally. Lawyers love vague, and government lawyers even more so. They can do as much as, or as little as the mood strikes them. Mostly their mood runs towards crony capitalism.

Stuff like "The due diligence standards adopted by the OECD and the UN Security Council consist of a five point framework that includes on the ground risk assessments and audits." sounds good on the webpage, but doesn't mean anything more than a manager saying that they want to "Engage market synergies to leverage corporate dynamics in a results-based paradigm." They punted this one down the road, and without a concrete "you fill out this form here, send it there, and your due diligence for proof consists of X, Y, and Z", it all looks like a bunny hug to me.

I feel for the NGO's, don't get me wrong. Reminds me a lot of the time a guy suggested that the company save water in the company gym showers by installing restrictive shower heads. The company installed .2 gallon per minute shower heads, and proudly announced that it was thanks to his suggestion. They called him "Mister mister".



"this is all about a bunch of super-rich do-gooders pissing into your cornflakes because they can"

That is about the best explanation I have read for this legislation. Were they aware of the complexity of this legislation? I would think so, having pushed for similar legislation before, with similar devastating results.

If you have seen that every time you push a button, people suffer, then you have a responsibility to fix it so that the next time you push the button, people *don't* suffer. Otherwise, *you're* as much of the problem as the militias, the miners, and the manufacturers. Maybe even more so, since you claim superior knowledge.

It'd be great to just make the world's problems go away by passing a law. Doesn't seem to be working here, and now I've got you all worked up.


Sounds good to me.

Hope they can make that work.

Black Helicopters

I don't think that any business

has a problem with avoiding products that cause death/whatever negative outcome. It is a lot easier to sleep at night having done the right thing -- but even the most cynical finds the positive PR to be helpful.

All the businesses I know have a problem with being set up as the bad guy. A well-written piece of legislation could have worked wonders. This one doesn't -- it just leaves the people buying and selling the minerals holding the bag while the people that instituted the legislation dither around, trying to decide what they want.

Given that most times these NGO's are more interested in grandstanding and bargaining in poor faith, the onus to make the legislation effective by defining a satisfactory outcome is on them. Positing businesses as inherently evil is the essence of poor faith bargaining. There's no way to negotiate reasonably with someone whose sole quasi-religious desire is to ensure your economic demise.

Calling them "the fucking problem" speaks volumes about how well any good faith attempt at complying without a definition of what is satisfactory will work with people such as yourself. You have deigned to call them "the problem" -- why not also call the miners "the problem"? They also are caught in the middle. "The problem" is the thugocracies. Deal with _them_ in a way that doesn't hurt the buyer and seller, and you'll have a solution.

Businesses are just economic engines that reflect our priorities as a society as a whole. They're neither 'good' nor 'bad'. Ban pot, and criminals will sell it. Make it legal, and then farmers will grow it. Regulate it highly like tobacco, and the government makes a fortune in the selling of concessions. Take your pick.

Take the legislation for eliminating white phosphorous in matches as another example. Many very ethical people (Quakers) were involved in making matches, but were economically forced to use white instead of red phosphorous. You can be as ethical as you want, but if your customers won't buy your ethical product, you're going to need to find a less satisfactory way to produce or go bankrupt. Once legislation on the use of white phosphorous appeared, the playing field was leveled, and the world was better for it.

Black Helicopters

Or, to sum it up this way:

There is no bad situation created by bad governance as a poorly-thought-out reaction to other bad governance that more bad governance cannot be ginned up to make considerably worse.

Black Helicopters

It's real simple.

They should have said what they wanted, regulation-wise and proof-wise at the onset. Ditching this responsibility just shows that it wasn't about the miners -- but about the free publicity in pushing the buyers of tantalum into the box of being the 'bad guys'. It was one of those "heads, I win, tails, you lose" situations, and they didn't feel like taking the beating on this one.



Since the regulations weren't defined, any good faith attempt to satisfy this regulation, no matter how sincere, will immediately run headlong into step 2 in the US: A lawsuit.

Not just any lawsuit, either -- a lawsuit with a highly litigious group that really didn't give a rat's arse about the miners themselves*, has an overly sympathetic ear with the public, and free lawyers. It's a free PR disaster. Why do that, when you can wait for the nitwits that came up with this law to define what the hell it is that they actually want?

It was a poorly thought out law, but what "free-trade" law isn't. Most destroy more than they help -- but at least they enrich someone's cronies, and help with the "smug buzz".

* Else they'd have *said* what they wanted, regulation-wise.

Google will ignore your Wi-Fi router ... if you rename it


They don't have a right to this information.

You gave it away.

Learn the difference.

You can take it back if you want.



I named mine p0rnnet256, and now the church next door stays off it.

Facebook boss-lady is up the pole on the glass ceiling



The problem is that children are human beings, whose upbringing takes more of a committment than the casual one she is making. We spend our time and money where our priorities are. If she can throw her child under the bus in order to rise to the top, then she shouldn't be at all surprised to find in twenty years that she has a damaged product on her hand -- the result of neglect, and child-rearing by strangers.

When someone brags to me about how they set their family second to career, I have to wonder -- why bother? There's plenty of people that have great careers without having to drag kids into it, and I salute them for having the good character to honor that committment. I consider people like Sandberg to be raising kids by proxy -- and given that most of them pay minimum wage to the proxies they've hired, it really is no surprise that the quality is poor.

World's only twin jet-engine bike drives onto eBay



I don't think that I'd put chrome over welds like that on the head of the combustion chamber. Maybe they're proud of neutering their riders with jets of flame, though. Takes all kinds, I guess.

BOFH: Licence to grill ... stupid users


I prefer Office 97.

It did everything I needed, right up until the incompatibility patches were applied. Now it is incompatible with everything, including itself.

Now I run open office. I guess that makes me a hippy or a mental patient. Can't figure out which.


Oh come on...

Phuzz up there at the top wants to beat you with a stick and call it decent. (...and it will be. For Phuzz.)

Threesome ends in arrest as wife struck by pair of TVs

Paris Hilton

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I have enough class *not* to brag about fish I couldn't catch.


Yeah, that.

Maybe he should have rented the movie "The Green Man" first to see what can happen.


No, this one should have concluded:

"...concluded all three were under the influence of horny & stupid."

Republicans lose key vote to block FCC net neut rules


I look at this as

Darth Vader battling Darth Vader over my innertubez.

I'd like them all to get their filthy hands off of my cloud.

EDF security bosses guilty of hacking Greenpeace


...and you propose to fix this how?

By giving an even more corrupt government more power? (Whether that be democratic, dictatorship, communist or whatever, they're ALL forms of kleptocracies in one way or another...)

Most of what our governments do, equivalent businessmen would spend their lives in prison for (if caught). Shady accounting practices, lies, thefts, murders, illegal wars, insider trading are just a few features of governmental oversight. Just look at how corrupt the UN is, for case in point.

If you tell me that hawks get the occasional chicken, I will award you the "No shit, Sherlock" medal. If you propose that you use this fact to install a "fix" by installing foxes *inside* the chickenhouse, I'm going to have to marvel at your cognitive processes.

Let me help you out. The more control over a country a government/bureaucracy has, the more corruption there is. There has been no exceptions in recorded history. There will be no exceptions in the future. This is because governments are made of people. If you want to believe the people in government who tell you that they can "fix" things, remember that the term "fix" has more than one meaning. They will "fix" the economy in the mob style, and "fix" the voters in the veterinarian style, and "fix" themselves into power in the permanent, big-brother-is-watching-you style.

Chicken fillets: The affordable alternative to Bulgarian Airbags



You live absolutely, totally alone, don't you.

So very sorry.

Now Russians can't even contact their busted Mars probe


Rock solid on terra firma, you mean.

Don't forget -- the environment is quite hostile to modern IC's -- what with much smaller paths. A stray electron here or there may not have done for your 486, but modern CPU's are much more sensitive, take a *LOT* more shielding, and that weight is not a good tradeoff.

They should have had something better than a system with a few days of battery power, and a backup way of communicating consisting of 2x a day, unworkable if it is pointed the wrong way.

I call it a matter of letting it pass out of control FAR too soon. Possibly having/using satellites already deployed to communicate while still in orbit would have saved this one, or a better antenna. They forgot one key rule in sending up expensive stuff. Murphyski was an optomist.

Мерфи был оптимистом.

Still, they deserve kudos for doing it -- us yanks have nothing realistic that could do the equivalent -- to our everlasting shame.



Kudos to you!

for asking how magnets work.

Japan develops powered armour suit for nuke workers



It is Saturnalia!

New pics of giant black sphere hurtling toward Earth


Spelling? I think not.

The words are all spelled correctly. It is their usage that offends.

Zimbabwean claims prostitute turned into donkey


Sunday dinner would have to be a hoot with you.

"Please pass the butter."

"If you believe that *foo religious concept* is logical, then you're stupid."

I'd say that you're tiresome, but it _is_ fun to mock you.


I dunno

Sounds to me like another gamer playing another game of "Donkey Schlong".

Pete Townshend condemns Apple as 'digital vampire'

Black Helicopters

The way it works for small artists

You join ASCAP or BMI. The radio stations may or may not ever play your songs -- but the way the ratings are calculated, if they did, you'll never know.

At the end of the year, you'll get a letter to the effect of: "We worked very hard for you to ensure that you got your fair share. Your share of performance royalties is $30. Your membership dues are $100. You now owe us $70. Please remit."

[sarc]However, they *do* have to pay for some very nice offices, so I suppose the gouging is entirely necessary. [/sarc]

In the meantime, if some restaurant will be nice to you and play your music in hopes of selling your CD's, ASCAP or BMI lawyers will extort $700/month in royalties out of them. Of which you'll see the aforementioned -$70, even though EVERY SINGLE SONG PLAYED is yours.

I agree with Mr. Townshend. Some balls need to be cut off -- however, he and I differ on the choice between a dead man and some overpriced lawyers who've stumbled on a scheme to make extortion legal. Until then, Non-ASCAP/BMI and damned proud of it. If they try to hassle my friends, we prosecute for theft.

Airline strikes, unions outraged

Black Helicopters

Lovely logic

I will remember that, next time I talk to the matchgirl living next door. Oh, wait. They all died of whatever in the intervening years.

Just because unions did some good over 100 years ago does not justify what they are doing these days. What they are doing these days is pretty damned thuggish and ugly, and calling it OK because their long-dead co-workers did something decent once-upon-a-time is ludicrous. Going by that logic, since at one time the American Democrtatic Party openly supported Jim Crow and idiots in sheets, all current Democrats belong in jail.

Also, blaming corporate greed is also a tad bizarre, given that the economic troubles we're in is caused by a mix of governmental incompetence, crony capitalism and power schemes executed by the people that are supposed to serve us in government. As the old saying goes, "They went to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well."

Put the blame where it belongs. There's no shortage of greed in corporations, but without a witches' brew of sweetheart deals, special legislation and political handouts/favors, it would all have been held in check. "Too big to fail" just means "We've found that the best solution is to use someone else's money", where the checque may have been written to corporate cretins, but it was drawn on the taxpayers account, and the signature was from the people with a trust to not do stuff like that.

Earth escapes obliteration by comet


...actually, not such a bad idea.

I have a whole list of untalented loudmouthed and ignorant celebrities that should be drafted for a one-way mission to save the earth.

They kill the comet and don't come back, we win.

They don't kill the comet and don't come back, we win.

They miss the comet entirely and don't come back, WE STILL WIN!

There seems to be a pattern here...

OccupySF BOFH runs protest network on pedal power


Why on Saturday?

Pick one:

a) Mom was home from work and told them to get out of the basement.

b) Studies have shown that Tier 5 Product placement for iCr@p a la BOFH are more effective on Saturday.

I personally am trying to get past the line "media blackout" of this anyway -- seems like they've been part of a NYT love-in since day one -- but maybe nobody reads the NYT anymore?

Brit boffins' bendy bamboo bike breakthrough


I believe that...

they cannibalized one of the bamboo bikes to make a generator at one point.

US rocketeer thunders to 121,000ft


@Pete 2

Already happened:

(Sound: Church bells, lots of them, ringing.)

Man: I wish those bloody bells would stop.

Wife: Oh, it's quite nice dear, it's Sunday, it's the church.

M: What about us atheists? Why should we 'ave to listen to that sectarian turmoil?

W: You're a lapsed atheist, dear.

M: The principle's the same. The Mohmedans don't come 'round here wavin' bells at us! We don't get Buddhists playing bagpipes in our bathroom! Or Hindus harmonizing in the hall! The Shintus don't come here shattering sheet glass in the shithouse, shouting slogans-

W: All right, don't practice your alliteration on me.

M: Anyway, when I membership card and blazer badge back from the League of Agnostics, I shall urge the executive to lodge a protest against that religious racket! Pass the butter knife!






(Sound: Window closing, bells get faint, but are still there)

M: If only we had some kind of missile, we could take the steam out of those bells.

W: Well, you could always use the number 14-St. Joseph-the-somewhat- divine-on-the-hill ballistic missile. It's in the attic.

M: What ballistic missile would this be, then?

(Sound: Bells begin to get increasingly louder)

W: I made it for you, it's your birthday present!

M: Just what I wanted, 'ow nice of you to remember, my pet. 'ERE!


















(Sound: Missle launch, explosion, bells diminish)

M: Did I 'it it?

W: Yes, right up the aisle.

M: Well I've always said, There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not.

Pierre Cardin reckons it can out-bling the iPad



'Herman, how could you? We've all thought about counterfeiting jeans at one time or another, but what about the victims? Hard-working designers like Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, or Antoine Bugle Boy. _These_ are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said, "Me too!"'


Mozilla forces Firefox 7 on memory diet


@ "tech common sense"

More common sense: Applications written by pigs will run like pigs.

I am dealing with an application written by a software design pig such as yourself, which floods my server with unreclaimed zombies as if they were the only person on the server, and not even init ought to be able to fork a process. It just wouldn't *do* to know what you need and hold your crapware to that, would it?

If I ever find out where you live, in very short order, your doorbell will be ringing and there will be a flaming sack of dog crap on your doorstep for you to stomp out. Schmuck.

Neil Armstrong: US space program 'embarrassing'


Gampa's old peacemaker is getting upgraded?

I suppose he'll go with a Beretta then.

However, to address what you *meant* -- NASA is a lousy agency, so full of bureacracy and internal politics that they could not make a ham sandwich for less than a million dollars. Knock it in the head and bring in talent, not bureaucrats. Throwing more money at NASA just rewards the same level of crap we have become accustomed to. We on the right actually salute Obama for cutting it off. If NASA ever thought they were in a fight for survival, they might actually resort to doing what they were created for.

The problem with sacred cows is that some bureaucrat will figure out how to milk it.

Black Helicopters

It isn't money at all.

It is a total and absolute lack of leadership, but leaders need ideas to rally people around, so it isn't totally their fault. Leadership's been in short supply since 1963. Nobody said "and then what" to achieving the goal of putting a man on the moon -- and even then, nobody came up with a valid reason *why* we would *keep* people on the moon.

I look at the entire NASA moon program as a massive monument to JFK with little net effect -- nice that we could do it, but without valid reasons to keep doing it, 'because we can' will only get you so far. Look -- we're still sending satellites up -- we found a lot of uses for them. When we can find uses for a base upon the moon, we'll go there. The current reason IMO that there are no uses for a moon base is simply the cost of leaving the gravity well. Make that cheap, and then we will be taking vacations on Luna, and then Rule 39 will take over...

I, for one, am looking forward to movies of the Lunar tunnels, even if I will be too old to travel there.

When lunar travel becomes cheap, interplanetary travel will follow. I think that robotic exploration is also a waste. Their use is an admission that the costs are prohibitive and the safety for humans is marginal. That, right there, is where NASA failed us. Maybe robots will play a role, but few want to look at movies of space travel. The ones that do are already doing it. Robots may help find mineral/chemical wealth -- but without the means to get it down planet, NASA's still pissing in the wind, ought to be shut down, and a new agency organized.

Missing moon rock found among Clinton's knickknacks


Oh, good grief.

If you can't come up with a valid critique of the Tea Party, just imply that they would be upset about it, run with that. No need for facts here at all, is there?

No TPM that I've talked to is surprised at all, or even incensed about it. The problem they have isn't with liberals or the Clintons -- it is crony capitalism and politics in general. While finding this in Clinton's papers is snarkworthy, it clearly isn't Sandy Berger style kleptomania -- just an oversight. In all probability, some staffer had absolutely no idea that it had any significance, and just threw it in the box on the way out. If Slick Willy had kept this for himself, you wouldn't have found it where they found it. (They never *did* find the 'W' keys, and I thought it was funny, even though I am sort of on the right end of the spectrum -- I can just hear Clinton saying 'U mad, bro?') He's way too smart to hang onto something as identifiable as that.

MS denies secure boot will exclude Linux

Black Helicopters

Dream on, junior.

M$ has sabotaged every boot manager I have ever had -- from OS/2 on -- this will be no different.

They'll just use the old "you have nothing to hide, do you' defense, blame it on the manufacturers, and there you go. Every PC will be in any OS you want as long as M$ gets their cut.

On a lighter note, now that world+dog sees this for what it is, they'll back off and look for another port to slip the ol' wazoo into, as people will be looking for the antitrust angle on this now.

Too bad they can't just compete on the merits of their product, rather than resort to dirty tricks -- oh, wait. There *are* no merits. I guess they *do* have to resort to underhanded tactics to move their shite.

Brits registering .uk domains mostly get first choice


The only reason...

people get irritated with domain squatters is that they are not actually *using* the domain for anything resembling its intended purpose. The Harrod's example falls down in that respect. Everybody can *see* that it is in use. This is frustration, but it is misguided.

I think that a squatter is a form of economic troll, and can get around them with a thesaurus and decent advertising -- the bread and butter of any business. Most of the squatted domains are too generic to be useful to any business -- the reason only 4% are bought is that no business owner in his right mind would buy (as an example) www.facialtissue.com when they could get www.kleenex.com and leverage the brand name they'd spent all their time and money adding value to. If a squatter had taken that, it'd take about fifteen minutes and a C&D order to take care of it. If I truly had to have that kind of generic domain, and had the cash to pay for it, I still wouldn't. How can I differentiate my product from the flood of knockoff's that are legally entitled to use that name in meatspace?

I wouldn't give a dime for the legal troubles that squatters bring on their own heads. They took advantage of too-cheap domains, and deserve all the headaches they have, if not more.

Going back to my example of www.facialtissue.com -- that would only refer to an entire industry -- while you might fantasize about cornering that entire market via the domain -- in reality you're a day late and a dollar short on owning something that won't stand up in court anyway. Eventually, the powers that be will pull their heads out of their asses, stop talking about 'tubes' and realize that corporate names and generic names should share the same namespace on the web as IRL. At that point, you'd lose your generic domain and the bundles of domains they've registered are worthless. It wouldn't happen to nicer people. If you want to know who the true suckers are, it is the squatters, and I, for one, will be having a nice glass of chianti while I savor the schadenfreude.

Any business name that I register would begin with a DNS name search, and after that, an inquiry to the naming authorities (Secretary of State of the particular state where I reside, as an example) to make sure I can own *both*. If I do, then it's worth investing in -- not before.

Yes, I do own several domains -- all related to various projects I am working on. I'm not ashamed to admit that if someone makes me an offer of the right amount, I'd sell -- it just has to be for more than the value of that particular project. All of them are also registered with the secretary of state as business entities.

Look at Facebook -- do you really think that name was their first effort? It's kind of fun to speculate on the domains that they may have thought of that didn't work. Who knew that "castyourprivacytothewinds.com" and 'waytoomuchpersonalinformation.com', and 'suckasslamegames.com' were taken? I feel sorry for those squatters, as well as the people whose muse fails them when it comes time to name their domain.

Scientists discover Tatooine-style world 200 lightyears off


re: Fermi

I believe he also came up with the plan for measuring the Emperor of China's nose:



re: Binary orbit

Either it orbits, or it doesn't.

IGMC. When I get my scarf, I'll have 10 wraps.

Oz authors join book scanning lawsuit


@David 12

Whaddya mean 'for no obvious reason'?

It is simple crony capitalism rearing its ugly head. Happens every time that the Mouse is about to fall out of copyright. Insert money *here*, get laws twisted out of recognition *there*.

British warming to NUKES after Fukushima meltdown

Black Helicopters

on public stupidity

You can call it an awakening, or you can just call it a smelling of rats.

You can only get so much conflicting information from a source like the lamestream media before you start to discount everything. I feel the education of modern journos has missed a

vital text -- "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".

It isn't that people have suddenly become intelligent -- just that they are no longer believing everything one particular source tells them. People as a whole remain as stupid and gullible as ever, and have moved on to other sources.

As to the 'Man Vs. Woman" angle? Women have (statistically) been more able to deal with "soft facts", and aren't as quickly disillusioned by a source feeding them obvious bullshit. After all, they have to put up with a lot of stories from us men about where we were last night until 2 in the AM...

Black heli so I can get out before the flames.

Paris Hilton


"That men like big bangs, especially when they are happening to other people."

No, men aren't afraid of banging certain things like a screen door in a hurricane.

PH. Obvious reasons.

US judge tells Levi's to take its Euro problems to Europe

Black Helicopters


Of course they profit from inefficiency. Bureaucracy like anything else. The more people in jails for minor offenses, the busier they look, the bigger next years' budget is.

Same goes for traffic enforcement -- there are better ways to get people to wear seat belts, drive the speed limit & park in the right places, but as long as they can keep themselves employed, they will do things the way they always have.

600 tonne asteroid in low pass above Falkland Islands - TONIGHT


You're falling behind.

The answer is to drink more beer.

Gov 'skunkworks' to develop e-petitions system


You guys work too hard.

Just route to /dev/null from the start.

Remember the gov't motto -- "When people appear to need help, appear to help them."

WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'


insert gratuitous joke about



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