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David Naughton
Works at University of Minnesota
Lives in Saint Paul, MN, USA
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David Naughton

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To those who claim that narrowly targeted airstrikes can completely eliminate Syria's chemical weapons capability, while avoiding any civilian casualties: A study by the Rand Corporation finds that to be impossible.

'The study warns of “substantial” collateral damage if the U.S. attempts to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, arguing that locating and striking the relevant facilities would require “very precise and detailed intelligence.” It concludes that the prospects for scrapping Syria’s chemical weapons via air strikes alone “do not appear promising” and “would require ground forces” in order to have a realistic chance at success.'

-- http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/09/rand-study-syria-obama.php
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David Naughton

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Just put a new pair of Specialized Armadillo tires on the Cannondale. Went years without a flat on the old pair. They finally wore out. <3
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I threw them away. After I did so, I wondered it I did the right thing. Maybe there is a better way to dispose of tires than just throwing them in the trash...
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Mom just called to ask me for a phone number. Reminds me that we recently had this conversation:

"Mom, you should get an email account."
"I already have one."
"Really? What's the address?"
"Same as Dad's."

But that account name is essentially Dad's name, and Mom never uses it. I sometimes forget that there are people who don't use the internet.
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My parents use the same email account... Makes birthday surprises difficult. 
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David Naughton

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The things I learn running Linux. I had been trying to make back up copies of DVDs, but couldn't even get most of them to play. After reading and following the instructions on many tutorials, I finally found the solution: 

"On delivery, most DVD drives have no region code set."

-- http://linvdr.org/projects/regionset/

I was aware of region restrictions on DVD playback, but had not encountered this particular problem before. I suspect it's because I ordered my machine with no OS installed, knowing that I was going to install Linux on it. Or have people using machines with Mac or Windows pre-installed encountered this problem, too?
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I happened upon a clue by trying to rip a DVD via the HandBrake CLI, instead of the GUI. Via the CLI, I saw an error message that implied the region code of my DVD player did not match the region code of the DVD, which was region 1. I thought, "WTF? I'm in region 1!" This post shows pretty much exactly what I did when running regionset to fix the problem: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1676944&p=10405985#post10405985
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David Naughton

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A 9/11 Truther conspiracy theorist defaced Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" by writing "AE911" on it with a black marker. Fortunately, the Louvre was able to remove the vandalism so that it did no permanent damage to the painting.

http://news.yahoo.com/woman-defaces-famous-louvre-painting-black-pen-122311226.html
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David Naughton

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These revelations about Obama's antagonism toward unions, public employees, and the left in general, in a review by Thomas Frank of a couple of new books by Jonathan Alter and Dan Balz, may surprise some of his supporters, but shouldn't surprise anyone who has really, honestly been paying attention:

...Obama was happy to pocket the electoral dividends that these state-level controversies generated, he wasn’t truly upset with governors who attacked the pensions paid to members of public-employee unions. “Months before Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin,” Alter writes, “Obama told aides that pensions had become ‘ridiculous—they’re bankrupting the states.’” In fact, as Alter continues, Obama sort of wanted to pull a Scott Walker of his own; he hoped “to reform the federal pension system” with the idea of slashing retirement benefits for federal workers, and he “reviewed federal sick day rules” to see how those workplace gains might be cut as well.

-- Thomas Frank, http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/020_03/12185
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Excellent analysis of the trade-offs inherent in using automated software to fight harassment online, and on twitter in particular. Also a great example of careful, rational treatment of a controversial, potentially explosive topic.

http://skeptools.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/block-bot-twitter-report-abuse-ool0n-atheism-plus/
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After re-reading the linked post, my opinion of Farley drops a little more.

He uses the old "but they're just disagreeing" argument, which I'll admit is a giant red flag for anyone who has been on the receiving end of "just disagreeing." And he seems to think someone wants to take The Block Bot's code and turn it into an official Twitter service as-is...which is dumb. The only way I can see that would make sense to implement this as a Twitter feature is to add an option to mark someone you follow as "I trust this person to block people for me."

The app is extremely specific in the description of it's target audience but Farley seems to think it's meant for general use. If you start with that premise, of course it's a bad app. It's kind of like saying people shouldn't buy a Smart 4Two because it's terrible for the Dakar rally.

He also seems to think that being "well respected" is a get-out-of-being-called-an-asshole free card, which it really isn't. The more respected people should be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.
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More and more, I see this meta-meme: "I made a meme!" where "meme" means "photo with a caption on it". If you have been infected, meme does not mean what you think it means: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
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I remember first hearing about the "picture with a phrase on it" phenomenon being called a meme a few years ago.  More properly it should be called an "internet meme". 

Really though the only time I'd actually heard the word meme used before the picture/text combo usage was from people who read Dawkins book.  So I'm glad the concept, albeit reduced down and simplified has made it past that small little subgroup of people into a wider context.

Still, I do wish more people understood the larger picture of what a meme really is supposed to be.
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The police finally found my stolen 1997 Honda Civic, buried under a mountain of snow, at McDonough public housing on Larpenteur and Jackson in St. Paul, where it has probably been parked for weeks. The battery was missing, the plates were from another stolen car, and there was damage in the rear from a couple of minor collisions. The police are guessing that it was stolen with a shaved key, used in a burglary or some other crime, and then immediately abandoned. I sold the car to a salvage yard.

http://m.policemag.com/article/762/the-key-to-auto-theft
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Well, if you two ever do decide to / need to get a different car, one Fit is just right for two adults (and a 7' solstice tree or two bikes or several person-unloading-trips worth of moving boxes or a small sofa, etc) :) We too find that 1 vehicle is more than enough. Only limitation, and it really only comes up one or two days a year, is that ours can't move in more than 6" of snow. But, 6"+ is way more rare than I'd realized before we got it!
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It seems my car was stolen yesterday from the Como neighborhood in St. Paul, MN. 1997 Honda Civic, dark green, missing the driver's side mirror, licence 234 HHX. Contacted the police and my insurance company right away yesterday. What else should I do?
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That sucks. Sorry to hear that.
Just try to be sure it doesn't screw up your credit, I guess.
And reporting it is good. If it happens a lot in the neighborhood, maybe the cops will pay attention. (Happened several times in my last apartment complex, including to my neighbor.)

Apparently "run of the mill" cars like Toyota Camrys and Corrollas and Honda Accords or Civics are really easy to hotwire and steal.

Sorry for your loss, but glad it was a replaceable possession.

hugs
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