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  1. Ah... a browser thread! What time is it when someone starts a browser thread? Time to hijack it, of course. If you enjoy Firefox, give Opera a try. Opera is highly customizable and packed with innovative features that I've yet to see in any other browser, including Google's much touted Chrome. Examples? You can search directly from the address bar in Opera; no need for a separate search bar where you have to pick a particular engine to search each time. If you want to Google "apples", type "g apples" in the address bar. Want to use Ask? Just type "a apples", or "e apples" to search eBay. What's more, you can create your own search shortcut for any search box anywhere: just right-click on the box and create the search. For instance, I created a custom Google search that returns results sorted by date from the past month only, and I use it as "gg apples". The address bar search is the single most convenient feature that I've used in a browser. Another handy search is dictionary.com. How easy is it to disable annoying flash animations in Firefox? You'd need to go to the add-ons menu each time to disable it for one site and once more to enable it for another (you can use blocking add-ons too, more on those later). In Opera, just hit F12 and disable plug-ins to read articles in peace. Done reading and want to see videos? Hit F12, enable plug-ins and head over to YouTube. F12 gives you quick access to turn on and turn off plug-ins, cookies, Javascript and site preferences. Site preferences are a way to customize any particular site to your liking. Don't like the colors on a site? Are the fonts annoyingly small in some places? Want to use animations only for certain sites? No problem. You can configure these features on a per-site basis. You do have to know CSS formatting, though, if you want precise control over fonts and colors, but Opera comes with several styles to choose from. You can also switch page styles instantly any time using "shift + G". Your settings will now be remembered for each site independently. By the way, about fonts, you can set up Opera so that the fonts don't get any smaller than a particular size. So, no matter which site you visit, you'll never see annoyingly small fonts ever. But note that such a setup might alter the look of a site from what the designer intended. As for personalization? You can customize the interface to have only the buttons you use most, which gives you more real-estate on the screen. Don't like the mouse? Set up your keyboard shortcuts for any of hundreds of different actions at the touch of a key. Want to use only the mouse instead? Set up mouse gestures, with which you can move between tabs, navigate backwards, forwards, and close tabs or open new ones just by moving the mouse in simple pre-determined motions with clicks. Here's something else you probably didn't expect: Opera can be voice controlled. Using a microphone, you can voice your commands to the browser while your hands are busy elsewhere. You can also have Opera read websites back to you. Now, for the first time, you can sing at the Opera without leaving your home. These are only a few of the features I've used. You can read more here. Firefox, on the other hand, has plenty of third-party add-ons but the trouble I've had with those was that the add-ons I used weren't very well written; after all, anyone can write one and put it on the web for you to download. Software that's not well written can introduce problems related to stability, memory and security issues. In Opera, all of the features come built-in with no hassle. They're developed by Opera's own team, so you know they've been designed and tested the way they should be. Yes, Opera also has third-party widgets but I've never had any use for them. If all you care about is basic browsing, I suppose nearly any browser will do. I will mention here that Google's Chrome is the fastest multimedia browser I've seen. This is because it uses quite a bit of memory to keep itself responsive, more so than Opera's smaller footprint. Still, while Chrome may be snappy, it has few of the powerful, innovative features that are to be found in Opera. For the most recent comparison, I used Firefox 3.6 and Opera 10.6. John, hope that answers your search question (and more). The only advantage I can see to having a separate search bar is that it remembers your searches. I actually don't like having my search history remembered but that's me. Also, though I don't think it matters, I use Windows, not Mac.
  2. Thank you for the additional information. I made my post with satirical undertones specifically in mockery of the return of the primitive. I think that, in reality, the primitive mindset is insidious enough to know well that taking the action it advocates here and now would lead each one of the activists personally into the jungle, and I think they also know that not many of their followers would follow them that far. Sure, there are those who actually pursue their "values" and wind up as bear food in a cave or some such but the majority are smarter than that. Which is why, based on these observations, my opinion is that these groups don't do what they do for lack of intelligence. As I mentioned in my post to Arnold, I think dishonesty is the bigger issue rather than intelligence or ignorance, which could be remedied much more readily if the facts are presented without any misleading by the media. I knew before I posted that Quimby is well-off; I didn't know the details, but your post prior to mine already mentioned the fact. My rhetorical questions about her were aimed generally at the crowd whose overriding, unspoken motto is "Do as I say, not as I do". But, satire or not, I've asked people who complain about synthetic clothing or household items why they don't just stop using these products, give up all of their man-made belongings and technology, and move into some Brazilian rainforest. I ask them why they can't live like the participants in the TV show Survivor. They don't say much after that.
  3. Where the issue of the mosque is concerned, I agree with Dr. Peikoff but would go a step further and say that in the wake of the Islamist aggression, erecting any mosque in the West, not just America, would be akin to hoisting an enemy flag after an attack, considering the bombings in London, Spain and one planned for Toronto that was thwarted in time. Of course, the location near ground zero is much worse. Having spent a good 16 years in the Middle East, I was able to observe very closely the thinking that promulgates their creed and the consequent brutality of their actions. As a result, I have to say that I do not consider anyone who accepts Islam in its entirety an innocent Muslim. Then there are lots of people who call themselves Muslims but do not practice all of Islam. As mentioned by Dr. Peikoff, some of them lend their support to organizations such as Hamas.
  4. True, although I think the bigger problem with the mistaken thinking you refer to is not the inability to form the difficult concepts (mental effort) required in ethics or epistemology, for instance. Rather, I think it has to do with dishonesty that runs deep. Forming a proper conclusion requires the facts that are necessary to do so, but those facts may be obscured by dishonest reporting, or the reader who obtains accurate facts might be unfair in the conclusion; or what I think is worse, the reporting may be accurate but the science itself may be dishonest. There are enough smart people in the world that I could say a lack of intelligence is not the issue, not when it comes to understanding such things as the industrial revolution. I think the lack of an honest, unbroken chain of reasoning is the issue. That is, debunking claims made by the fool activists is not so difficult once the facts are known; getting the IPCC to publish honest science is.
  5. Does Roxanne live in a house she owns, or does she live under the open skies of a state-owned park? What about the rest of her wealth? Don't we all own it and so can we not all share in it? After all, sharing would be so democratic, and we would be helping her achieve what she wants. The first thing to be done with these advocates of the law of the jungle is to get them to apply their own principles to themselves. If someone claims the superiority of the environment over Man and man-made industry, let him give up his man-made home, his man-made clothes and his man-made shoes, and go naked and barefoot to live in the jungle. Let those who cry for animal rights go and make friends with the lions and grizzlies in the wild, explaining to them how they may now exercise their rights. Those who wish to escape from the "slavery" of the corporations and the productive economy can join the animal lovers and the viros in their quest for real freedom in the jungle, where everything is free and harmonious just as nature intended. You see, it all works out: when the viro is big and the animal is small, the viro gets free food. When the animal is big and the viro is small, the animal gets free food. Indeed, nature provides for everyone. The animal lovers cannot complain, of course, because the animals are only exercising their rights. The way I see it, these people would be getting exactly what they asked for, and I would be more than happy to help them along their chosen path.
  6. My Site

    Great looking site, Brian! Nice to see your collection so well organized. Isn't the Internet great!
  7. Teen girl finishes round-the-world sail in Sydney

    Your reply as usual is impeccable, but more than that, astonishing in being so unexpectedly detailed. Thank you. How you manage your time while doing this remains a mystery.
  8. Teen girl finishes round-the-world sail in Sydney

    I'd always taken productiveness to mean a "state of producing", i.e., the set of facts leading to the conclusion that one is being productive. Productivity is what I take to be a measure of how much is being produced. Can these definitions be considered accurate? But I understand your statement regarding the conceptual confusion you refer to as the bigger issue. Would it be correct to state that in achieving some value one is always being productive, even if there are no material things being produced (as in providing a service)? Also, does being productive necessarily mean some action has to take place in physical reality? If one sits still and arrives at a solution in her head to some problem, could she be described as being productive?
  9. My interview with Leonard Peikoff

    In this case, you could replace "interesting-people" in the URL with nearly anything you want with the same result. Even replacing "peikoff-part-2" with "pei" works. Usually, the slightest error in a URL would result in a "404: Page not found" error or similar and you'd be out of luck without knowing the real URL, so I think this idea is smart. The FORUM contains software to abbreviate URLs so they don't appear too long, but moving your mouse over a link on the FORUM should generally display the proper URL at the bottom of your browser in the status bar (unless there's javascript involved but that's another story).
  10. The replies already made have addressed your concerns, but I will address two points in your posts: 1) The definition of open immigration. 2) The question of whether immigration must follow certain rules. 2) This point appears to be the bigger misunderstanding in this thread. If allowing immigration is part of a country's policies -- and considering the number of productive people in the world I certainly think it should be -- it is most certainly necessary to have some system in place, having some restrictions (as above). If there is no system at all immigration becomes unrestricted. An unrestricted barrage of people into a country makes national security meaningless and local security a nightmare, as evidenced by the real-life examples of criminal gangs and the border towns. Have you considered why the overwhelming majority of immigrants wish to migrate in the first place, moving halfway across the world leaving behind everything they've grown up with? Their rights may have been violated all right, but not by the citizens of a country they haven't even gotten into. U.S. employers and homeowners trade with outsiders all the time. That's how goods are imported and exported.
  11. If you responded to a post while quoting the alleged "denial of reason", your statements would be clear. Which post or posts are you referring to?
  12. Betsy, your reply reminds of something I was looking for but had forgotten. A while ago, before reading Atlas Shrugged, I remember coming across a passage where Ayn Rand mentions that a person might think about decisions by asking what John Galt or Francisco would do if one of them were in that person's place. My memory of it is vague although I recall clearly that I avoided reading further because I thought it might ruin part of the novel for me. Does anyone know where I might find that passage?
  13. AVATAR

    I don't know... I like Aliens but I have a soft spot for the terminator, after he becomes "good", that is. Talk about never having done things before, yet doing them perfectly. Well, maybe there's an exception to that. Where else can you find the kind of humour where Armageddon is supposedly right around the corner, and the robot saviour of mankind, who was created to terminate with extreme prejudice, is
  14. Favorite rousing songs?

    Very nice when it picks up the pace, but unfortunately the movie does not do justice to the music, which celebrates achievement, not its destruction. You are right that the movie started out really well; so promising was it that I thought amidst all the others I'd seen this one would really stand out. Little did I expect that it would stand out in the opposite way, becoming literally anti-life towards the end.
  15. Basic Concepts in Physics

    I agree, but I don't like the wording. I asked that question specifically to get to the root of, and avoid the confusion caused by: "Force is not the cause of movement..." Any movement necessarily pre-supposes the action of a force does it not? To a student, I'd rather be consistent from the beginning. I was taught the physics of motion using Newton's laws of classical mechanics, and I think it is the proper approach for someone to whom these concepts are new. The last thing I'd want to do is cause any confusion, however small, in the mind of a student. In electronics, I had such a hard time understanding some simple concepts because of unnecessary confusion caused by imprecise language. I held on to these misunderstandings for years until I got to the workplace and found out how things really are. My physics is more than a little rusty now but I find the following to be an example of precise, unambiguous language: "Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by a force impressed on it."