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Comment Re:To be expected (Score 1) 173

They are using their installed base of Windows computers as an advertising base now. Free always means the ad-filled version, and the version that tracks you and sells information about your surfing habits and preferences.

The version that sends keyboard logs and microphone captures to Microsoft, you mean? That's ALL Windows 10 versions - none is unaffected.

Comment No, the Democrats shut it down. (Score 1) 128

Backing a republican is understandable...but risky in this day and age. This is a political party that has shut down the US Government twice.

No, the Democrats are the ones that "shut it down" - to the extent that a "government shutdown" actually shuts anything down - and the Replublicans caved both times and gave them what they wanted.

The "power of the purse" is SUPPOSED to be the House of Representatives' check on a runaway executive branch. When the executive does something Congress doesn't want it to do, Congress is supposed to cut off the money for that, to make the executive branch stop. (This is why military appropriations, in particular, have a constitutional limit of two years: If the President, as Commander in Chief decides to go to war without a declaration, congress can stop the war within a couple years by stopping the money for the military.) This is also supposed to work when the majority of either house of congress is opposed to something.

But in these recent "government shutdowns" the Democratic majority in the Senate, along with the President, held all the services of the government hostage when the Republicans tried to defund the no-longer-popular Obamacare. The Republican-controlled house split the funding for various sections of the government into several bills, and passed essentially all of them, with the idea that Obamacare would be in its own bill which could then be voted on separately - both likely failing to pass it in the House and giving a recorded vote showing which senators and reps supported it, to use in the next election's campaigns.

The Senate leadership and Democratic majority then refused to pass ANY of the fund-a-part-of-the-government bills, holding the popular parts of the government's operations hostage: Give up the House's prerogative to originate all funding bills, pass an omnibus bill including Obamacare, or the government will be shut down - and our pet media will blame YOU for it!

The Republicans tried several iterations, from an everything-but-Obamacare bill, through several sets that added up to funding everything but Obamacare, to a bunch of little fund-somethng-really-important bills, and the Democrats bounced pretty much all of them.

Eventually the old budget timed out. Then the President ordered his people, not to go on vacation for lack of money to pay them, but to do things like actively blockade federal parks and roads. And for days the Democrats and the media said that it was the Republicans who had "shut down the goverment" (when they'd passed bills to fund pretty much all of it).

Eventually the Republican leadership threw in the towel and let an Everything Including Obamacare bill through. But people like you are STILL fooled into thinking it was the Rs, not the Ds, that made it uncomfortable for them by "shutting it down".

(I'd be a lot more impressed, by the way, if cutting off the money actually DID shut down the government, rather than just 17% or so of it, leaving the remaing 83% running full-bore. It would be interesting to try actual anarchy for a change, just to see what would happen. ;-) )

Comment Re:Actually, the common saying... (Score 0) 329

Actually it is what drove me to linux. Due to a sound bug I never managed to properly shut down Win95, it would bluescreen on exit when playing the default exit sound. I only found that out in hindsight long after I had given up on it and moved on to better things.
Start me up ... it makes a grown man cry.
There was a long list of other things that rendered it a disappointment compared with OS/2, Macs, linux and even Ataris and Amigas FFS. I powered up an old laptop at work with Win95 on it last year and that reminded me of what a pile of shit it was - and ugly too.

Comment Seabirds and landfills (Score 0, Troll) 136

The birds that figure out NOT to eat plastic (or how to get their body to deal with plastic after it's consumed) will survive to breed ...

Indeed.

There are clouds of seagulls constantly hanging out at the landfills in the San Francisco Bay Area, picking food out of the trash as it's dumped. Lots of plastic in the same load (even now that the plastic grocery bags are banned.) Why haven't THEY gone extinct yet?

Do the "environmentalists" think these gulls are better at distinguishing, or surviving ingestion of, plastic than the ones at sea? Or do we have to put roofs over our landfills to protect these endangered avian pests?

Somehow I'm not convinced this is a real problem.

Comment Re:Idiots. (Score 2) 273

Hulu will never be a contender because they are a content owner. Netflix is a service organization. The viewer is the customer. For Hulu, the content owners are the customers, the revenue stream is unrelated to their primary customers. Hulu will never be able to think in a way that will make them relevant.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 198

I'm with Trump on this one.

When the government, or any other gang of crooks, steals your resources, and you get the opportunity to take some of them back, letting them keep it (and potentially use it to harm others), rather than taking the "tainted money", isn't "principled", it's "stupid".

I'm following the law as written. If you want to help me change the laws so:
  - I don't get the Social Security and
  - I don't get Medicare, but
  - I also don't have to pay income tax when I earn money in the free market or liquidate my 401(k)s (money earned honestly that hasn't been taxed yet) and
  - can buy medical care and insurance, for myself and my family, on an open market, from providers that aren't forced to give free care to all comers and gouge people like me to cover it.
I'd be ECSTATIC to work with you.

But if you just want to eliminate the first pair without enabling the second, you're just trying to loot me further and can take a hike.

Comment Re:The reason for these laws (Score 1) 711

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... A quick glance of the Wikipedia page on it disagrees with you, not that Afghanistan is related to Germany. But nice distraction? Are or are not the applicable clauses in Germany changeable? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

But the Wiki entry on that doesn't say what you assert either. Try reality. I know it'd be a long trip for you, but the rest of us operate. there.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 198

I see your problem. The benefits don't trickle down from the ruling class. They don't "trickle down" from anywhere. They are shared. If anything, in US late-stage capitalism, the benefits trickle UP to the financial elite.

We're in agreement there - except for the characterization: It's late stage mercantalism, where government supports a handful of the established rich and vice-versa.

Like "True Communism", Capitalism hasn't really been tried, at least within the last century in the US. What aspects had been tried have been subverted by tie-ins among the financial and governmental elites. (And, yes, I agree that actually trying it, in the presence of the perverse incentive systems of governmental/political power, is very difficult.)

A group of people pulling together will always be stronger than one person pulling.

And a group of people pulling together voluntarily, because they each decided for themselves that pulling together helps meet their own goals, will always be stronger than a similarly-sized group being forced to pull by their masters.

Ayn Rand was ...

Ah HA! You are far enough away from the subject that you have Objectivism confused with libertarianism and Libertariansim. Oh, my...

Libertarianism (small or large L) is a very big tent. It can include every idea system that contains some variant of "don't hit first" and has at least some recognition of ownership of property.

Objectivism is important - because it is an internally-consistent philosophy, accessible to high-function Psychopaths that teaches them that playing nice with others has big benefits for them. This leaves a high-function compensated psychopath - who thinks he knows the one true way to be free (much like a religious fanatic thinks he knows the one true faith). He gets along with the giant crowd of other sorts, (perhaps seething much of the time at, or pitying them for, how they're "getting it wrong"), because Objectivism includes that same principle. So he has to let them run their own lives as long as they don't try to run the lives of others.

Teaching Objectivism is the one "treatment" that the Canadian prison system's research showed actually DID reduce recidivism - drastically. But Objectivists are just one club in the vast, chaotic, circus that is the union of the (Ll)ibertarians and the "freedom movement".

Comment Re:Internet of Hackable Things (Score 1) 145

As for something like parking meters.....presumably they are all wired to a central server on their own private wires? But physical access is root, so they're probably attackable, too.

Yes, it's like a new SCADA. In fact, most of the IoT objects I've actually worked with were explicitly SCADA compatible. Most of the same issues, including security.

Comment Re:Internet of Hackable Things (Score 1) 145

How do you hack them? Every IoT I've actually seen deployed is on a private network with no direct access to the Internet at all. The only ones actually selling and using I've seen are selling "private cloud" services and calling them "public cloud" They don't even touch the issue of security. They let the IT of the buying company figure out how to get in on the Internet.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."

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