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26  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 10, 2015, 08:37:32 PM
Damn, if that's true, Poser is awesome!!

Just googled it. There are several motion cap apps that work with Poser apparently. Some are very inexpensive considering, Uh-oh! Grin
27  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 10, 2015, 07:55:02 PM
So... do you kick those newly vaccinated kids out of school because they're now contagious?

As in possibly contagious? Not everybody who gets vaccinated will become contagious. If they did, there would be widespread evidence that this was happening. And AFAIK, that has not been the case.

Prudence says a two day lay-up might not be unreasonable. But more for the vaccine recipient's protection rather than for the other kid's since the recipient's immune system will be busy building immunity to what they were vaccinated for, and may be mildly compromised as a result.

So how about possibly having school-aged children always get vaccinated during the summer school break (as I always was) before returning to school? That's almost three full calendar months out of the classroom. Plenty of time to get it done - and recover from it. It only takes a minute.

You could even have the public health department handle it like my town (and several churches and local businesses and pharmacies) do where I live. You don't need a full physician's exam to be vaccinated unless you're worried about something going in. The alternate vaccine distribution points in my town also have an ambulance and EMTs on standby onsite just in case something goes sideways for somebody. It's no more dangerous than being vaccinated in a doctor's office. My town (which is an admittedly well-to-do town) makes it so easy to get a flu or pneumonia shot there's almost a no excuse not to if you genuinely want one. Dirt cheap too ($20) if you can afford to pay for it. Absolutely free of charge if you can't.

So yes...there are alternatives beyond just bouncing kids out of school.

What happens here is that a child may be sent home for not having up-to-date vaccinations (if you don't have a medical justification backed by a physician's signature or a "religious" exemption) since vaccinations are mandatory for school attendance in my town's public school system. Same rule goes for our private schools, of which there are four. The Catholic parochial school system requires proof of current vaccinations as a condition of attendance. It's spelled out in their terms of service. So between public, private, and parochial schools that's roughly 99 point something percent of all school children here.

And since school attendance (or authorized home schooling) is mandatory up to age 16 where I live, parents can run afoul of state truancy laws if their kids aren't attending school due to their not being vaccinated. So there's a bit of an incentive there as well.

I guess the only kids who are able to get around it are the homeschooled kids. But they're a tiny fraction of the population so I don't think they pose a significant threat in my area where vaccination is the norm. However if they visited Disney World...

I have yet to hear of anybody launching an outbreak because they became contageous subsequent to being vaccinated. But people who have not been vaccinated certainly have. So sending somebody home purely because they have been vaccinated doesn't seem either reasonable or necessary - as opposed to sending someone home who hasn't. You are playing odds. But when you do that you have to take significance into consideration. A tossed coin doesn't really have 50-50 odds of heads or tails. It could land and stick on its thin side. But the likelyhood of that happening is so minute as to not even be worth considering. I think the same goes for spreading something because you were vaccinated. The warnings that are issued for that eventuality cover the specific groups (expectent mothers, newborns, HIV postives, et al.) that actually might be at risk for that rare scenario. So I don't see where it's disingenuous or hypocritical to say it isn't really necessary to ban a recent vaccine recipient from school for a few days on the remote chance they're contagious. Especially in a school full of already vaccinated kids and teachers.

Just my two cents anyway. smiley
28  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: License, registration, and insurance...or your cell phone on: February 10, 2015, 05:00:57 PM
I say if you willingly hand your phone to a police officer, you should assume that he will snoop through it. But as long as it's just an option, and not required, then I don't mind the choice being there.

You're assuming he might is not the same thing as giving your consent. At least not here it wasn't since "implied consent" was never seriously argued as being valid whenever police were involved. Or more correctly, not until recently.

There's also the question of just how willing anything is when involving the police. If an officer says "Give me your phone." your refusal can easily be justified as grounds for your arrest. Or in some cases, an excuse to use deadly force, as in: "Yes Your Honor...The remanding officer, upon not receiving 'cooperation' from the suspect, briefly looked away to check his radio and request backup. But upon looking back, saw the suspect holding an object in his hand in an threatening manner - which gave the officer cause to believe it was a firearm being pointed at him. Fearing for his own and several bystander's safety, the officer then unholstered and discharged his own firearm at the suspect in accordance with departmental policies governing the use of deadly force, striking the suspect three times in the chest at near point blank range. Medical assistance and additional police backup was immediately summoned subsequent to the officer discharging his firearm. EMTs arrived on the scene 15 minutes later, but were unable to revive the suspect who was pronounced "dead at the scene" 20 minutes and 17 seconds after the arrival of emergency medical assistance. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending internal investigation. After conducting a thorough investigation, the Internal Affairs investigating team cleared the officer, concluding his actions to be both justifiable and in accordance with departmental policy regarding the use of deadly force. As a result, the recommendation was made that no criminal charges be filed against this officer. The District Attorney, after reviewing this investigation, has announced the state will not be filing charges nor convene a grand jury to further investigate this incident. In light of that, we would like to request the court now grant a summary dismissal of all civil charges currently pending against this officer. And we further request these charges be dismissed with prejudice due to lack of merit.."

That scenario plays out far more often than you'd like to think it does.
29  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 10, 2015, 01:35:56 PM
^That's fine. You were just offering your opinion. Though after looking at some cell-shaded examples, I suspect you're right. smiley
30  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DARPA Hacks GM's OnStar To Remote Control A Chevrolet Impala on: February 10, 2015, 01:33:11 PM
^ I figured as much.  Thmbsup I wish what I was asking was half as tongue in cheek. Grin
31  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DARPA Hacks GM's OnStar To Remote Control A Chevrolet Impala on: February 10, 2015, 12:55:26 PM
Is it really hacking when you own it?

Good question. But an even better one would be "Do you actually own it?" Everybody seems to want to merely license rather than sell you things these days. According to Apple and B&N I don't own my devices. I only own the physical artifact itself. Any functionality it provides (and the software that makes it happen) belongs to them. I just get to use it. According to them I'm contractually prohibited from loading any software but theirs on 'their' devices or loading it in any way other than through their app stores too.

A client of mine recently purchased a multifunction network copier/fax/scanner from one of the big names. It comes with a "feature key" hardware thingy which you have to insert and register in order for the device to do anything. I guess they make one device and you get to decide what capabilities you want to to enable and pay for. From what I can see in the EULA, that key is non-transferable. So you may sell your old machine to somebody else - but - it seems they'll need to make arrangements to buy their own key in order for it to function.

I'm hearing of a lot of that sort of thinking lately - although the law is still hazy about how acceptable that concept may be since it acts to restrict the original "owner" from participating in the used equipment market. It's a real problem. Especially since some high priced yoga pants manufacturer is requiring it's buyers to contractually agree not to resell any of their products as a condition of your purchase. (All done in the name of "protecting the unsuspecting buyer," preventing counterfeit products, and "maintaining quality and brand reputation," of course. Yeah, right!. undecided)

So what does it mean to own something these days?
32  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 10, 2015, 12:32:57 PM
I think it's just cell-shaded 3D models from Poser or something like that.

Thx. Learn something new every day. smiley
33  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 10, 2015, 11:22:01 AM
Ok. I stand corrected. But that's also VARIVAX. (Chicken-pox, right?) So how many more vaccines have similiar concerns precisely? Current anti-vax arguments say all vaccines are unacceptably dangerous. I don't think that's correct.  (BTW, chicken pox is a very serious illness if contracted by an elderly person or someone with severe respiratory health problems.)

Going back to the the chance of spreading something post vaccination - if people who are exposed are already immunized either from a previous bout with the actual disease - or have been previously vaccinated as most vaccine protocols recommend - the individual infection is extremely unlikely to spread to those exposed.

Again, they're citing a boundary situation that could possibly become an issue if only a few people are vaccinated - and the majority of the population are not. If 99% of the population is already immune, the occasional person who may become contagious post-vaccination does not pose a serious risk to the general population. Just the holdouts

Exceptions can be given till the cows come home. I think it's more beneficial to focus on the norm as long as those exceptions remain exactly that - statistically insignificant.

Just my two cents anyway. The demand for perfection remains a barricade to accomplishing demonstrable good - if you allow it. smiley
34  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 10, 2015, 09:03:34 AM
There was also Boris Karloff's TV series Thriller and the Alcoa Aluminum sponsored One Step Beyond that were similarly themed and quite good - although Karloffs sardonic intros, and Hitchcock's dry wit and backhanded swipes at "The Sponsors," added an appreciated humorous touch that the others lacked.

[attach]   [attach]

They're both out on DVD! Thmbsup
35  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DARPA Hacks GM's OnStar To Remote Control A Chevrolet Impala on: February 10, 2015, 08:49:37 AM
One problem is that law enforcement is actively pushing for a "remote disable plus tracking" feature to be built into all cars sold in the USA. They're arguing that this would increase public safety by removing the possibility for engaging in a high speed chase.

So...I suppose the getaway vehicle of choice will then become a motorcycle? Then what? (Oh right...we still have police drones so we can do an eye-in-the-sky if we need to go after those, right?)

As Stoic alluded to earlier, in any tit-for-tat tech exchange, the bad inevitably comes along with the good.

It never ends...and if it ever does end, it will end badly. undecided
36  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 10, 2015, 08:35:19 AM
Information on the different types of vaccines can be found here. Approaches being considered for future vaccines can be found here.

@Ren - IIUC you can't (except in that rare situation with the old oral polio vaccine - which is no longer administered) come down with the illness that an attenuated-live vaccine is designed to provide immunization for unless the batch that was administered was defective. And my understanding is that cases of defective vaccine batches making it into actual circulation are extremely rare occurrences.

Some vaccines, however, do lower your overall immune response such that you're more susceptible to an opportunistic infection while your body is generating the immuno response to the pathogen in the vaccine. So I'm guessing your friend may be getting sick after being vaccinated for flu because his immune system doesn't respond well to vaccination, and either takes a bigger hit, or takes longer than usual to recover from one. If so, during that period he's more open to infection by any one of the thousands of other flu strains in the environment that the "annual" flu vaccine (which only covers a small number of the most anticipated strains) is engineered to help you deal with.

That's why some people who come down with a serious flu infection also wind up with a case of "shingles" or pneumonia during their illness or recovery. (Happened to me once.) Which is why they're also starting to recommend people in certain age brackets be vaccinated (or re-vaccinated) for chickenpox/shingles along with pneumonia.

However, the real benefit of vaccination is realized when most of the population is immunized because vaccines go a long way towards reducing the disease's vectors of transmission. If one person contracts in a group of immunized people, the disease doesn't spread. Possibly a few others (including those vaccinated) will become infected. But that's about as far as it will go.

If a large portion of the population is not vaccinated however, and isn't already immune from a previous brush with that infection, you have the very real potential for another Disney scenario. The deadly consequences of uncontrolled contagion are such that even in the world of military planning, germ warfare is almost automatically ruled out as an option . And it's not due to any sense of showing decency towards a real or imagined enemy. It's done mainly out of a sense of "enlightened self-interest." And the military also routinely vaccinates troops "just in case."

When professional mayhem creators such as the military acknowledge the dangers of contagion enough to rule it out as a weapon system, and vaccinate their own as a precaution based on established knowledge of how disease propagates and spreads, I find it interesting that so many people (who pride themselves on their self-'education') - and who benefited from vaccination themselves while growing up - are so convinced of the inefficacy and "danger" of vaccines. And with so little solid evidence to support their belief. Indeed, there's a huge amount of rock solid scientific evidence that clearly and directly contradicts the anti-vaccination argument. And now they're so convinced that their Googled "instant expertise" exceeds that of the genuine professionals in the field that they're even willing to put their own (and other's) kid's health (and lives) on the line to prove they're right. That just boggles my mind. Small wonder they had to drag that old brickbat "Conspiracy!" and toss some ad hominem attacks into the discussion to 'support' their position.

But it is true that vaccines are not a panacea for every individual. And they may harm a minuscule portion of the population despite all the precautions taken to assure their safety. There will always be boundary conditions and exceptions in biology. And risk will always be present with any vaccine or medication, no matter how slight.

FWIW my doctors have always advised me to avoid crowds and take it easy for a day or two after I've gotten a vaccination so my system has time to adjust. Vaccines aren't one of those simple "dose & go" or "magic bullet" solutions like antibiotics often are. They don't kill or ameliorate an infection themselves. They "encourage" your body develop its own defense against them. Which takes your body time to fully boot up.

Like most things in medicine, it seems like it's seldom "just one simple thing," but rather a combination of factors on different levels of an individual's health regime (i.e. locale, environment, genetics & gender, age, diet & nutrition, exercise, competent medical care and advice, drugs, vaccines, timing, etc.) that yields the most benefit.

I've been given to understand that vaccines (by themselves) aren't a magic cure-all. But I haven't heard immunologists or competent medical doctors claim they are either. Vaccines are, however, damn good insurance. With vaccines it's all about risk minimization and mitigation. Because at this stage of our medical knowledge and technology, that's about as good as we can make it.

37  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: February 09, 2015, 08:24:31 PM
How many of these have you heard during a recording session?  Grin Grin Grin

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
38  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: February 09, 2015, 08:14:08 PM
How to be a "jerk guitarist." Works for bass players too!  huh

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Feel free to add your own. Grin
39  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Please help superboyac build a server (2013 edition). on: February 09, 2015, 07:54:47 PM
^You are going to absolutely love having a server. I predict you'll soon wonder how you lived without one. Cool Thmbsup
40  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 09, 2015, 07:51:54 PM
@SB! I really really like the look of that animation. Almost a noir vibe don't you think? Did they rotoscope it? Or are they working off 3D models? (It looks rotoscoped.)

Great music too! Thmbsup  Thmbsup
41  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 07:47:56 PM
@superboyac - In the interests of not derailing this thread, I sent you a PM with my input.  Cool Thmbsup
42  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 04:44:46 PM
3) I suggest starting a thread (in the basement would be a good bet) to discuss, but FWIW I really dont think it's worth persuing...

In the wake of of a comment like that I hardly feel like discussing this much more either. Later! smiley Thmbsup

just in case: I didnt mean that personally against you or your views. I just think it's a topic that's with a high probability going to end up in the basement anyways.

(A bit rich of me though, to make those points you quoted, just after having written about the topic myself...)

Ok. Since you were courteous enough to reply, I feel I should return the courtesy and respond back. smiley

I'd like to suggest that in any thread alleging deliberate malfeasance, such that the validity of the scientific method along with the process of peer review are brought into question, you can't avoid a discussion of the people (on either side of the debate) behind it - or -  the motivations and agendas driving at least some of the debate.

This is not a scientific crisis. It's a people problem. So I can't really see where it's off-topic to raise questions about people's behaviors, or their unsupported assertions and arguments, as they relate to the larger issue. Nor do I see where doing so should automatically point the discussion towards the basement.

Sometimes the scientific quest for truth raises uncomfortable questions. And while some respect is due almost any position if it is well-considered and well intentioned, there's nothing that says such a discussion has to leave everyone feeling good by the end of it.

Scientific progress is often disruptive and uncomfortable. Few people enjoy having their most strongly held beliefs and understandings challenged or (even worse) proven conclusively wrong. The recent theories of the multiverse and dark matter have dumped half of established cosmology and physics into the dumpster leaving those working in the field scrambling to re-examine and re-test all their former understandings. Just as Einstein's theories did a generation earlier. And as did Fermi's, Pasteur's, Galleo's, and a very long list of other scientists stretching back to antiquity. Growth is often painful - and intellectual growth often doubly so.

And since science - and science reporting - is done by humans, you can't simply ignore the vagaries of human psychology, and it's often hidden agendas, when evaluating arguments against (and for) the process of scientific discovery and peer review.

Let's take a closer look at the so-called scandal surrounding temperature data...

Ars Technica had an interesting article recently that looks at the whole temperature data "controversy." They've come to the conclusion that not only is this NOT the "scandal" that the news media has been hyping - it's a rerun of a debunked accusation that was made a few years ago by Fox News. And at the bottom of it this time is a bona fide professional contrarian (and non-scientist) by the name of Christopher Booker.

...We knew this already; we knew it two years ago when Fox published its misguided piece. But our knowledge hasn't stopped Booker from writing two columns using hyped terms like "scandal" and claiming the public's being "tricked by flawed data on global warming.” All of this based on a few posts by a blogger who has gone around cherry picking a handful of temperature stations and claiming the adjustments have led to a warming bias.

Why would Booker latch on to this without first talking to someone with actual expertise in temperature records? A quick look at his Wikipedia entry shows that he has a lot of issues with science in general, claiming that things like asbestos and second-hand smoke are harmless, and arguing against evolution. So, this sort of immunity to well-established evidence seems to be a recurring theme in his writing...

Read the full Ars Article here.
43  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 12:50:18 PM
3) I suggest starting a thread (in the basement would be a good bet) to discuss, but FWIW I really dont think it's worth persuing...

In the wake of of a comment like that I hardly feel like discussing this much more either. Later! smiley Thmbsup
44  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Internet of Things - and why I decided to build my own home theater PC on: February 09, 2015, 12:00:25 PM
As I keep telling people, you shouldn't trust any server you don't have root access to and control yourself. Or that has closed source software running it. Or runnning on it for tha matter.Grin
45  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 11:28:43 AM
Moving away from the science of vaccination, and over to the socio-political side of the debate, I found this article excerpt to be something to think about. It's by obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Amy Tuteur M.D. And the rest can be found on her blog The Skeptical OB.

What everyone gets wrong about anti-vaccine parents

We told them this would happen.

We told them that it was only a matter of time before a childhood disease that had nearly been eliminated from the US would come roaring back if they failed to vaccinate their children. And that’s precisely what has happened. Measles has come roaring back, but not simply because a child incubating measles visited Disneyland.

Twenty years ago, if the same child had visited Disneyland, the measles would have stopped with him or her. Everyone else was protected — not because everyone was vaccinated — but because of herd immunity. When a high enough proportion of the population is vaccinated, the disease simply can’t spread because the odds of one unvaccinated person coming in contact with another are very low.

Of course, we told them that. We patiently explained herd immunity, debunked claims of an association between vaccines and autism, demolished accusations of “toxins” in vaccines, but they didn’t listen. Why? Because we thought the problem was that anti-vax parents didn’t understand science. That’s undoubtedly true, but the anti-vax movement is NOT about science and never was.

The anti-vax movement has never been about children, and it hasn’t really been about vaccines. It’s about privileged parents and how they wish to view themselves.

1. Privilege

Nothing screams “privilege” louder than ostentatiously refusing something that those less privileged wish to have.

Each and every anti-vax parent is privileged in having easy and inexpensive access to life saving vaccines. It is the sine qua non of the anti-vax movement. In a world where the underprivileged may trudge miles to the nearest clinic, desperate to save their babies from infectious scourges, nothing communicates the unbelievable wealth, ease and selfishness of modern American life like refusing the very same vaccines.

2. Unreflective defiance of authority

There are countless societal ills that stem from the fact that previous generations were raised to unreflective acceptance of authority. It’s not hard to argue that unflective acceptance of authority, whether that authority is the government or industry, is a bad thing. BUT that doesn’t make the converse true. Unreflective defiance is really no different from unreflective acceptance. Oftentimes, the government, or industry, is right about a particular set of claims.

Experts in a particular topic, such as vaccines, really are experts. They really know things that the lay public does not. Moreover, it is not common to get a tremendous consensus among experts from different fields. Experts in immunology, pediatrics, public health and just about everything else you can think of have weighed in on the side of vaccines. Experts in immunology, pediatrics and public health give vaccines to their OWN children, rendering claims that they are engaged in a conspiracy to hide the dangers of vaccines to be nothing short of ludicrous.

Unfortunately, most anti-vax parents consider defiance of authority to be a source of pride, whether that defiance is objectively beneficial or not.

3. The need to feel “empowered”

This is what is comes down to for most anti-vax parents: it’s a source of self-esteem for them. In their minds, they have “educated” themselves. How do they know they are “educated”? Because they’ve chosen to disregard experts (who appear to them as authority figures) in favor of quacks and charlatans, whom they admire for their own defiance of authority. The combination of self-education and defiance of authority is viewed by anti-vax parents as an empowering form of rugged individualism, marking out their own superiority from those pathetic “sheeple” who aren’t self-educated and who follow authority...

I didn't see anything in any of the above that contradicted my observations and impressions when attempting to have a rational conversation with those who identified themselves as part of the anti-vax crowd. Their overwhelming sense of social privilege and innate mental (and moral) superiority was almost painful to witness. In many respects, those were their most defining traits.

Dr. Tuteur has a series of well-argued posts on the whole anti-vaxxer issue, all of which are well worth reading IMO. Go look. Thmbsup
46  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 10:55:59 AM
@Ren - I don't.  tongue

And there are far more options than the false dilemma/excluded middle fallacy you're introducing.

Because there's more than enough good solid science to support the benefits of vaccination that I don't need to rely on self-serving corporate studies; or the clueless rants of some ex-Playboy Playmate; or the sturm und drang of some fundamentalist preachers; or actor and cable gabfest host Bill Maher's snarky verbal gamesmanship to reach the conclusions I have regarding it.

Many who argue otherwise however...(see 0:45-0:58 in the "If Google Were a Guy" video below):

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

For the record, this (below) is where I stand on the "controversy." I'd use my own words, but Ms. kirkland cuts to the chase better - and quoting her requires less typing on my part  Wink:

[They]have built an alternative world of internal legitimacy that mimics all the features of the mainstream research world — the journals, the conferences, the publications, the letters after the names — and some leaders have gained access to policy-making positions. Mixing an environmentally inflected critique of vaccination and Big Pharma with a libertarian individualist account of health has been a resonant formulation for some years now, with support flowing in from both the Left and the Right.

- Anna Kirkland in The Legitimacy of Vaccine Critics: What Is Left after the Autism Hypothesis? published in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law - October 2011.

It's not about taking sides, It's about getting the bottom of the matter as far as you can possibly get in the face of all the chaff whirling around most (mostly faux) scientific "controversy" these days. I also don't see the need to go through life with a siege mentality. I can be concerned about issues without reducing them to a verbal tennis match. At least most times.  (Hey! If you want a Mother Theresa - go see Mother Theresa! tongue)
47  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The Internet of Things - and why I decided to build my own home theater PC on: February 09, 2015, 10:35:07 AM
When I did my own home theater PC, a bunch of my friends (who own and love their "smart" TVs) thought I was being unduly Luddite and paranoid. My argument that you can't really know who is gathering information - or what information is being gathered - or for what purpose(s) - was most often countered by them saying: "Look...just because the capability is there doesn't mean anybody is actually doing any of that."

Well...looks like I wasn't so wrong after all...

This from TechDirt (full article here):

Samsung's Smart TVs Are Collecting And Storing Your Private Conversations
from the I-hear-the-secrets-that-you-keep/when-you-talk-by-the-TV dept

Guess who's eavesdropping on you now? It's not some nefarious government agency (although, rest assured, there has been no downturn in surveillance). Nope, it's that smart TV you paid good money for and invited into your home.

The "now" is misleading. Smart TVs have been doing this ever since manufacturers decided customers preferred to order their electronics around orally, rather than using the remote they can never find. And that's just the "eavesdropping" part. Most smart TVs are harvesting plenty of data on top of that, including viewing habits, search terms, browsing history… pretty much anything that makes a TV "smart" is collected and transmitted not just to the manufacturer, but to plenty of unknown third parties. Usually, this information is used to send "relevant ads" to TV owners, as if the several hundred dollars spent on the device wasn't enough of a revenue stream.

48  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 09, 2015, 08:50:11 AM
Being a casual sport archer, I found the following video by Anna Maltese (archery instructor, bow-maker, tournament competitor, fire archery practitioner) rebutting some of Lars ("fastest archer on the planet") Andersen's recent postulations rather interesting:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Below is the original video by Mr. Andersen that the above is rebutting:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>


49  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: #! CrunchBang Linux is no more. RIP on: February 09, 2015, 08:46:14 AM
FWIW I've got CrunchBang running on a bunch of tiny old 32-bit PIII Compaq Armada laptops. They work extremely well with CrunchBang. And I tried several other lightweight distros before selecting it for these machines. IMO CrunchBang struck the ideal balance between out-of-box usability and a low resource footprint. And the community surrounding it was great. I will definitely miss !#.
50  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / LINUX: #! CrunchBang Linux is no more. RIP on: February 09, 2015, 06:51:27 AM
#! is no more.

Woke up this morning to read this sad announcement from Corenominal, the developer - or rather ex-developer - of the popular a alternative distro named CrunchBang Linux.


I have decided to stop developing CrunchBang. This has not been an easy decision to make and I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s hard to let go of something you love.

When I first started working on CrunchBang, the Linux landscape was a very different place and whilst I honestly didn’t know if there was any value to it, I knew there was a place for CrunchBang on my own systems. As it turned out, there seemed to be quite a demand for it on other people’s systems too. I’m not entirely sure why this was the case, but if I had to guess, I would say that it was probably due to the lack of competition/alternatives of the same ilk. If I’m remembering correctly, at the time, there was no LXDE tasksel in Debian and certainly no Lubuntu around. CrunchBang filled a gap and that was nifty.

So, what’s changed?

For anyone who has been involved with Linux for the past ten years or so, I’m sure they’ll agree that things have moved on. Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It’s called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

Talking of its users, thank you, you’ve been awesome and you’ve taught me so much, much of which is beyond the scope of this post, but needless to say, I think I’m much wiser now than I was before the existence of CrunchBang and its community of users. I’ve made many friends through the project, which for me, has ultimately been the biggest benefit of the project, and something I’ll be forever grateful for.

I also want to take a few words to thank my wife, Becky, aka bobobex. She has supported me and the project from the outset. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve bored her almost to death with my geeky gobbledygook and she’s never moaned about it once, well, not to me at least. Seriously though, thank you Becky for your support, help and guidance, you’re my rock and I love you.

Regarding what will happen to the CrunchBang forums, they will remain online. Ultimately, they belong to the community and so it will be for the community to decide what happens to them. I’m happy to continue supporting them for as long as need be. I have already expressed my thanks to the forum moderators, privately, but I would like to do so publicly too. Unless you’ve been involved with a project like CrunchBang, I’m not sure you can entirely appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that goes into it. The forum moderators have effectively kept the community running and without them, I’m sure there would not have been a community at all. Over the years, they’ve had to deal with some truly bonkers and poisonous people (seriously, there are some bat-fucking-crazy nutters out there with far too much time on their hands) and they’ve done so with enormous tact, diplomacy and decorum. All the forum mods have my utmost respect, they are an incredible bunch of people.

As for me, while I’m deeply sad to let go of a project that in many ways has defined my existence for many years, but I’m also excited to see what happens next. I’ve got a few little pet projects I want to work on, and I’ve also got a day job that I want to excel at. It’s going to be interesting to see what the future brings.

See you around  smiley

Ex-developer of #! CrunchBang.

In the wake of this announcement CrunchBang's listing has been removed from Distrowatch. It's community forum will remain up indefinitely according to the developer.

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