Apr 24, 2014 ToddO commented on E-Cigarettes Will Now Be Regulated.
@2 Those LD50 numbers are based on dubious self-experimentation from the 1800s. More recent research puts the numbers at more than 10x the old values, from 0.5-1 mg/kg to 6.5-13 mg/kg.

If you're going to try to use science, use it correctly.
Aug 26, 2013 ToddO commented on What Do You Think About E-Cigarettes?.
Err,that should've been @13, not @11.
Aug 26, 2013 ToddO commented on What Do You Think About E-Cigarettes?.
@11 I like my e-cig.

Your points might be valid if you were referring exclusively to the low-end, overpriced, crappy devices for sale at 7-11 and mall kiosks. If you take your time and do your research and find a solid device and juice manufacturer, e-cigs are awesome.

For your other point about eventually ending up back on regular cigs, I doubt that. I'm 2.5 years off of regular cigs and have no desire to go back. I bummed a regular cig from a friend about a year into vaping and it was no good. I prefer to vape.

As for addiction, what's wrong with a little harmless nicotine addiction? The problem with cigarettes (and cigars, and other burning plant matter) is not the nicotine (or THC) in them but all the 4000+ other chemicals that do things like cause cancer. Nicotine by itself, in the amounts consumed by users*, is effectively no different than the caffeine you get in coffee.

* It's important to note amount, because someone inevitably comes up with the fact that nicotine is more lethal in smaller doses than caffeine. Which is true, but it's also true that you ingest quite a bit less nicotine. For example, a cup of regular brew coffee has upwards of 200mg of caffeine while a single cigarette has about 1mg of nicotine. The LD50 of caffeine is around 100mg/kg, while the LD50 of nicotine is 1mg/kg. So yes, nicotine is objectively more lethal/dangerous, but it is relatively no worse than caffeine based on usage.
May 1, 2013 ToddO commented on DRM-Free E-books Are the Way to Go.
@3 Removing DRM is so ridiculously trivial that it may as well not even exist. And it's gotten to the point that it's a simple drag-and-drop operation, usable by anybody who can wrangle a mouse.

The digital music industry learned the advantages of going DRM-free ~6 years ago. The digital book industry is lagging behind, but between Tor and other smaller publishers going DRM-free and high profile authors like JK Rowling eschewing DRM, the writing is on the wall.

Yes, it's possible to make a perfect copy, with or without DRM. At some point you need to trust your customers/listeners/readers.
Sep 26, 2012 ToddO commented on Savage Love Episode 307.
@12 How do you define "smoking"? As an e-cig vaper (that's what we call it, "vaping", because we "vape" the vaporized juice, not "smoke"), I consider smoking to be the inhalation of burning plant matter, whether that's tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or weed, or cloves, or any other burning shit you might inhale. The vapor I inhale has none of the carcinogens of smoke, only propylene glycol (erroneously referred to as "antifreeze", which it technically is, but it's the food-safe, FDA-approved antifreeze that is in products ranging from cosmetics to asthma inhalers to ice cream, and not the toxic ethylene glycol that you put in your car and kills dogs), vegetable glycerin (also FDA-approved, food-safe, and in just about every product you could imagine), FDA-approved food-safe flavorings, and medical-grade nicotine (as in, pure). The 4000+ chemicals and carcinogens of tobacco smoke are nowhere to be found.

In this scenario, nicotine is literally no more dangerous than the caffeine you get in a cup of coffee (yes, nicotine is toxic in a smaller dosage than caffeine, but both are being used in safe amounts here). Nicotine is not carcinogenic and in fact has benefits as a mild analgesic.

If your definition of "smoking" is "ingesting nicotine in any form", well ... I'll stop vaping when you stop drinking coffee or soda, stop eating fatty or sugary foods, stop drinking alcohol, stop ingesting THC in any manner, etc. Because the health impact of nicotine on its own is roughly equivalent to any of those, and not nearly as bad as some (sugar and fatty foods, for example).
Apr 24, 2012 ToddO commented on Tor E-Books Go DRM-Free.
@6 There are plenty of DRM-free books that you can purchase today, though they're generally not from big name authors with a few exceptions (Rowling). Also, you can always borrow books from KCLS and SPL for free.

Perhaps more importantly, you don't need to buy anything at all. If you have a smartphone, you already have an ebook reader. Even if you don't, you obviously have a PC which means you have an ebook reader. It may not be as comfortable to read on as an eink device (shut it about "backlight headaches" from LCD-based readers, those are not real), but it's something you can already do today, right now, without spending even $80.

@7 I don't really understand that part, either. What does a "buy this book {somewhere else}" link have to do with auto-conversion? There are already plenty of conversion tools to swap back and forth between multiple formats, so that's not really fictional. From what I could tell, he was basically saying, "All of those existing conversion apps are borderline illegal, but now that one of the big publishers will sell DRM-free books they wouldn't be," which is ridiculous because it assumes that you can only get DRM-ful books today (which is completely untrue, with plenty of smaller publishers like Baen being DRM-free for years).

More importantly, once a majority of publishers go DRM-free, you won't need to do anything (well, unless you're still using a Kindle) because all of the non-Kindle readers use epub and all of the non-Kindle stores use epub. If you do insist on sticking with Kindle, just convert your DRM-free epub purchase to mobi using Calibre.

Ideally, digital publishing will follow the digital music model. Absolutely no DRM on purchased content, DRM on subscription content (libraries, in the case of ebooks). I expected this to take off pretty quickly once Pottermore finally shipped their DRM-free-but-watermarked books, and the Apple antitrust/price fixing investigations/lawsuits can only help push the industry to evolve faster.

@8 PDF is a shit ebook format that's not even worth mentioning.
Nov 15, 2011 ToddO commented on PIT Maneuver and Pit Bull in Bonney Lake.
Was it necessary to kill the dog? The article says it "jumped out of the car", not that it attacked them. Stupid cops.
Nov 15, 2011 ToddO commented on NYPD Trashes the People's Library.
I suspect they're trying to get the hippies to convert to ebooks.
Nov 3, 2011 ToddO commented on Driver in Mercedes Mows Down Occupy Oakland Protesters.
The protestards were jaywalking (crossing against the light). The Mercedes slowly made its way through the intersection, stopping before hitting the idiot pedestrians. The idiot pedestrians decided to strike the car, in which case the Mercedes driver was now legally allowed to run them over (yes, legally -- he was not arrested). The only thing I would've done differently is not stop after running them over. I would've kept on going for several blocks, long enough to ditch the angry mob that started chasing the car, and then called the cops and informed them of what happened ("Going through intersection X, stopped to avoid some jaywalkers, they assaulted my car and in fear for my life and safety I drove through. Send an ambulance, and I'll head over to the nearest police station for de-brief.").

And then I would call my body shop, because the protestards most likely damaged the bumper and probably portions of the undercarriage. At the very least, the car needs to be washed to get the hippy stink off it.
Nov 2, 2011 ToddO commented on Videos of Today's Arrests at Chase Bank and the Ensuing Skirmishes (with Pepper Spray!) in the Streets.
@34 What do you want to change? How have you constructively tried to change it? How does this protest do anything to move forward a conversation about what needs to change and how?

Also, you don't get to have it both ways. Occupytards are bitching about student loans, debt, joblessness, etc, and then they show up in expensive gear. Which is it? Are you poor? Or do you have surplus income to spend on luxuries (and yes, those are luxuries)? Or are you an idiot who had to have the latest iWhatever and were willing to go into debt to get it, and then want to bitch about that debt? If you're in the first category, okay. Let's hear what you have to say. Why is your situation the way it is, what have you done to try to make it better, and what's holding you back? How can we help? If you're in the second category, shut up. You're doing fine, there's no beef there. If you're worried about people worse off than you are, stop buying iShit and donate to local charities or volunteer your time. Do something constructive, not destructive. If you're in the third (idiot) category, that's your own damn fault.

Obviously these categories are not exhaustive, and there may be people with legitimate debt issues (reasonable mortgages that are within your means are "good debt"), though often that's just not the case. How the fuck do you get $100k into student loan debt? You obviously couldn't afford the school you chose, you couldn't find or didn't try to get scholarships, and you didn't search out any alternative funding like the military or "saving fucking money". Schools will pay you to attend grad school, and if no school is willing to do so then maybe you ought to think twice about what you're studying.

There are legitimate ways and means of creating change, and then there's "row row fight the powa!". Occupy is the latter.