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Everything posted by brettbh

  1. Should you use more paper instead of less?

    Yup, all the time. I live in a small village in the back of beyond where pretty much everybody (except me!) is employed in the logging industry. When an area is logged, it's immediately replanted. Is logging good for the environment? Probably not. Is it really, really bad for the environment? Probably not. In fact, logging in this area has probably proved to be less harmful to the environment than misguided conservation attempts in other areas (Yellowstone NP, for example). There's certainly no shortage of wildlife in these here parts. Swim in a lake, and you'll find yourself eye-to-eye with a curious beaver. Pull over at the side of the road, and a bear will amble over to say hello (attached). Take a walk in the forest, and you'll meet with a herd of elk. BBQ in the yard, and the neighbours will climb up a tree so that they look over the fence to see what you're eating (attached). The forest is also home to cougars, wolves, deer, coons, bald eages and a menagerie of other critters ... all of which live here in abundance despite the logging. The sad truth is that we live in a world that's motivated by money and woodland that has an economic value is more likely to be preserved than woodland that has no economic value. Natural resources will continue to be used. People have cut down trees for thousands of years and will continue to do so. That's an absolute given. People can either focus on ensuring that resources are used in the manner that has the least impact on the environment (logging from sustainable/replenishable forests, for example) or they can focus on attempting to get other people to stop consuming using resources - and that's a losing battle.
  2. The fence is supposed to...

    I wouldn't say it was an ignorant statement; while his comments may have been incorrect, they were nonethless based on information from a credible source (UN International Atomic Energy Agency Chernobyl Forum report).
  3. The fence is supposed to...

    I found Crichton's commentary on Yellowstone to be both interesting and thought provoking ... Let it be, let it be ...
  4. Little secrets to save our Earth...

    ... and that's where a whole new set of problems come into play. When it comes to electronics, it can be next to impossible to make (environmentally) informed purchasing decisions. Choosing to buy an ENERGY STAR (or similar) approved item will ensure that you are buying an item that is (somewhat) energy efficient, but it will not ensure that you are buying from an environmentally responsible manufacturer. What's really needed is some form of audited processes/benchmarking which enables companies to clearly establish - and publicly state - their green credentials. Even when it comes to deciding whether to buy new electronics or to buy used electronics, it's not clear which is the greenest option. Is it better to buy a new energy efficient refrigerator or a used refrigerator? In buying new, I'd reduce my electicity consumption, but is that offset by the energy used in the manufacturing process? The same problem exists when attempting to decide whether to upgrade. Should I replace my old and still working refrigerator with an energy efficient model today? Or should I wait until my old one dies? Which is the greener option? The answer may partly depend on what will happen to the old item. Will it be sent to landfill or will it be wholly recycled?
  5. EU to cut out 'ugly fruit' rules

    I think it's terrible news. It means that we'll now be having to eat things that look like ...
  6. Don't forget to vote!

    Look on the bright side, whoever wins cannot possibly be worse than warmongering imbecile, Shrub. Erm, can they? :crazy:
  7. Should I get a Mac?

    Indeed, but anybody considering switching from a PC to a Mac or from a Mac to a PC does need to think about their software investment. While some companies permit people to change their license when they change platform, others do not.
  8. Should I get a Mac?

    Cornflakes was better, eh? That depends on your needs. There is nothing that I need to do that I cannot do with a Mac (and nor is there anything that I need to do that I cannot do with a PC). I really do not care whether there are more applications available for particular platform - so long as the applications I need are available, that's good enough.
  9. Amazing GREEN city

    Totally impractical. Can you imagine how complicated it would be to enforce such a scheme? Or the black market that it would create ("Pssst! Wanna buy my gas ration?"). Plus, any government which attempted to curtail vehicle use would be voted out of office faster than you can say, "Loony right-winger!" Take America, for example. The mere mention of depriving Americans of their right to pack around a Saturday night special is enough to drive them into rabid rage, so can you imagine how they'd react if their government attempted to stop them from driving their beloved gas-guzzling behemoths whenever and wherever they pleased? Oh my! The only real way forward is for governments to make it easy and profitable for people to be environmentally responsible. Steps such as improving and subsidising public transportation and providing tax breaks for fuel-efficient vehicles are, realistically, the only way that the current situation can be improved.
  10. Should I get a Mac?

    Why buy a Mercedes rather than a Hyundai? Why buy Kellogs Cornflakes rather than a grocery store's own brand? Why buy Windows when you can get a *.nix distro for free? It's simply a matter of personal preference. BTW, the reason that Macs are so entrenched in the publishing industry is that many publishings applications started out as Mac-only. For example, the Windows versions of QuarkXPress and Photoshop were not released until several years after the Mac versions had been released. Old habits die hard!
  11. Should I get a Mac?

    Sorry, but products such as QuarkXPress and Indesign - and just about every other popular and commonly used product - are available for both the Mac and PC. And you certainly do not need to convert PDFs to open them on a Mac - they can be opened with Adobe Reader (for Mac) in exactly the same manner that they would be opened on a Windows PC.
  12. Do animals deserve rights?

    There are laws pertaining to critters and other environmental matters, but they are sadly lacking. And the majority of people really don't care that much. For example, pretty much everybody knows that cars are bad for the environment, yet few people are willing to actually alter their transportation arrangements and use, say, public transport or their feet - and there is a public outcry whenever governments attempt to do anything to address the issue (congestions charges, carbon taxes, etc.). Governments rely on public support and are not going to do anything that would cause them to lose that support, and so we end up with policies that have little regard for the environment. The only way that this can be changed (short of moving to dictatorships that do not rely on public support and can do as they please) is to rethink things on a basic level and to come up with policies that ensure that the most environmentally sound outcome is also the most profitable outcome. >>Still humanity acts as if animal life is less valuable than human life.<< It is and it isn't. I don't think that many people would argue that somebody who kills an ant should be treated in the same way as somebody who kills a human. In that way, animal life is undoubtedly less valuable and not deserving of the same level of protection as human life. But looking at the bigger picture, our lives are so intertwined with and dependant upon animal life, that animal life does indeed need to be protected in order to ensure that our environment is preserved.
  13. Do animals deserve rights?

    Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!
  14. Should I get a Mac?

    Ok, but compare the 17-inch Macbook Pro at $2799 CAD to Dell's XPS M1730 also at $2799 CAD. The specifications are not that far apart. I'm not claiming that Macs represent better value than PCs (they do not); I'm simply attempting to demonstrate that a Mac isn't necessarily going to cost an arm and leg more than a PC. It really all depends on how much somebody would be spending on their PC.
  15. Green Email and IM

    Interesting ...
  16. Should I get a Mac?

    Take a gander at Scot Finnie's (now somewhat dated) comments:;taxonomyId=123 As I said, if you're looking at high spec'd machines, you'll probably find that Mac and PCs are not too dissimilarly priced.
  17. Should I get a Mac?

    Actually, the price points are not that far apart and buying a Mac will cost you only a little bit more than buying a similarly spec'd PC. That said, Apple do not go after the bargain basement end of the market, so if you were thinking of buying a cheap, bottom of the range PC, you'll not find a Mac that matches its price.
  18. Should I get a Mac?

    A better OS? No, not really. While the PC vs Mac debate has been rumbling on forever, the truth is that there really isn't that much difference between them (I use both, BTW). Neither is particularly more stable than the other - people often claim that Macs are more stable but, in my experience, that simply is not true and I have certainly never seen any empirical evidence to support such a contention. Nor is there any real difference in usability- both are equally user-friendly (or, depending on your point of view, unfriendly). Application availability is longer a problem for the Mac except, possibly, in the area of games (but I'm certainly not a gamer and really cannot comment on that aspect!). That said, BootCamp would enable you to run your old PC-only games anyway (so long as you have a copy of Windows that you can load). Some people claim that Macs are better for people who work with images, etc., etc., but that simply isn't the case. It certainly was once, but not anymore. These days, there is nothing that can be done on a Mac that cannot be done equally as well on a PC. And vice versa too. Compatability is pretty much a non-issue too - hardware that works with a PC will usually work with a Mac too and documents, images, etc. created on a PC can usually be opened on a Mac (but you may encounter some issues when a new format, such as docx, initially emerges). Something new and fresh? Yup, that's always a good reason to experiment :-) So, to sum up, if somebody were to be considering switching because they think a Mac is better than a PC or that a PC is better than a Mac, my advice would be not to do it and to stick with the familiar; OTOH, if somebody is considering switching because they want the opportunity to play with something new, then I'd say go for it :-) But a Dell?!?! Oh my, they have the worst customer service that I have ever (EVER!) encountered. EDIT: And be sure to read Charlie Booker's take. It may not be particularly relevant, but it's certainly amusing :-)
  19. Should I get a Mac?

    Why? What would be your reasons for switching to a (more expensive and less familiar) Mac? What would you hope to gain?
  20. Writers wanted!

    Well, if ever you do find yourself with a some free time that you'd like to fill, please feel free to get in touch :-) For information, no minimum commitment is needed - contributors can submit as much or as little as they choose, as frequently or as infrequently as they choose. Brett