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Comment Bad security (Score 1) 216

This is actually bad security. It is similar to the Vista UAC debacle. Vista taught a generation of users that they don't need to read security pop ups. By having them pop up way too often and without consequences if you don't read them for most of the time. Even if the user had read them, they wouldn't understand.

The user is the most important part of security, period. Thus teaching the user is more important than anything else, when you want to mitigate risk.

Google is making the web a lot unsafer with this.

Comment Re:Racism (Score 1) 547

> If you say that all European culture is American, then you know nothing. Culture is not what you see on the TV or on your phone!

What is culture?

And what do you spend your time doing.

I bet most of the culture you are engaging is American. I would bet a beer it is above 70%. At least.

Comment Re:Racism (Score 1) 547

Islamophobia and racism come from fear. Unfounded fear. A huge percentage of babies also comes from uneducated families, because educated women either have children later in life or none at all. What does that mean? Also most Europeans have very little kids. Racism and Islamophobia are a big problem for integration. Thus the fear creates the problem itself. Racism doesn't help. It hurts all sides.

Comment Re:Racism (Score 1) 547

There is no such thing as race anyways. Going by your definition that racism has to be about race, racism doesn't exist.

So you are denying the whole thing. No racism exists. That is really what you are saying?

Apart from the points in this article, think about the most basic truth of racism: Racism is first and foremost about the racist, not about the target. If a racist has power over someone they are racist against at some point in time, the target may suffer. But that is a different aspect of racism. The racist has racist thoughts, a racist agenda, etc. etc. Not the Muslim or the black guys. They only experience racism when in contact with a racist. But the origin of racism is the person that is racist. Thus racism itself (not the effects) is not about the race, but about the racist.

Comment Racism (Score 0) 547

We keep having the topic of sexism and misogyny, where strong denial of any existence in the tech community usually meets strong expressions of the above.

And now we have clear racist attitudes towards supposed "Muslims invaders" with higher birthrates somehow "extinguishing" local culture.

Let me get to some facts: 3.8% of the EU population is currently Muslim. Yet as of 2012, Hispanics and Latinos make up about 17% of the total U.S. population. At the current rate, using these arguments, US "superior" culture will be replaced by Hispanic culture long, long before anything changes in Europe. You guys are going to speak Spanish soon. Or not?

Who cares anyways? There is no EU culture anymore anyways. It has been replaced by US culture through massive cultural imperialism. Europe watches US produced TV and US produced movies, listens to US produced music, consumes media and communicates via Android or iOS (or maybe Microsoft), socializes on Facebook and does everything else on Google. Have I missed anything? All relevant culture in Europe is American. Muslims aren't any different. They love their US stuff as well.

But talking about this stuff is boring. Racist alarmism is much more fun.

Comment Re:I passed up a job over this (Score 2) 332

$500k isn't very much over 3 years, is it? That should be about 2 mid level IT guys salary in the US. Don't you need more personnel to keep ancient stuff running?

Couldn't you just make VMs and run most of that stuff from a single server, because of the sheer perfomance increase over time? Even if you needed to keep some of the old operating systems around for legacy software. VirtualBox, of all systems, supports surprisingly old operating systems. I think they have official support for Windows 2000 and you can run Win 9x on it.

Comment Re:Basic economics (Score 1) 124

> That dollar that the government spent was removed from the economy before the government spent it.

How is that? If the government buys a tank, they give a dollar to the tank company. Thus introducing a dollar into the economy. The multiplier theory is about the idea that government spending leads to more spending, because the tank company will spend the dollar itself, adding to the economy. Though they also have to pay taxes. Therefore the discussion is about how much is added 'on top'. What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. Though it explains a lot about libertarians.

> Comcast doesn't have a monopoly on Internet access in most places.

The market they operate in is a natural monopoly. And you are saying that "most places" have more than the Comcast option, when it comes to broadband?

> But obviously, people like you do think it's OK to use violence or the threat of violence against individuals in order to achieve economic objectives.

That is exactly why I wrote crazy libertarians.

Comment General problem (Score 4, Insightful) 786

I disagree. I don't think the open source community, or rather nerds in general have a special problem with sexism or racism or homophobia for that matter.

Society has a problem. There is a vocal minority of assholes everywhere. Including in technology.

Also there is generally a healthy dose of racism and sexism in all of us. Is it natural? I dunno. But I do believe it can really hurt people and it does cloud our judgement. We deal with it in different ways. Some recognize it, try to be educated about it and try to avoid expressing it and keep it from clouding their judgement. Some others don't even see it. Some even celebrate it.

But no matter if you see something or not. Or if you ignore it. It doesn't go away. And it doesn't help victims, if you tell them that it doesn't exist. Every time there is a story on sexism on Slashdot, most comments are either outright sexist or they deny the existence of sexism. That is the problem, IMHO.

Case in point:

Comment Re:Basic economics (Score 1) 124

There is network effect in software as well. Larger market share means that more people know how to use the software and there is more training and other business build around it. That is why software piracy is a mixed bag for the producer. If the pirate wouldn't have bought the software, the pirated copy provides market share and thus value.

Comment Re:Basic economics (Score 1) 124

> For example, empirical evidence is pretty strong that the Keynesian multiplier (how many dollars the economy gains from each dollars spent by the government) is less than one.

Yes. But it is bigger than zero. So if the government spends it on anything useful and the multiplier is bigger than zero, it is an added benefit.

> There is little evidence that natural monopolies exist in any economically meaningful sense. [...]

This is exactly the crazy libertarian I was hinting at. This is just meaningless theory which has horrible consequences in practice.

> those monopolies aren't stable, and they collapse the faster the more economically important that monopoly is

They don't. Comcast still exists and will for a long time, even though internet access is very, very important. This is just one example. Maybe their natural monopoly will fail. Are you willing to wait another 20-30-40 years for that just to prove a point? And what if it doesn't? The Wikipedia article on natural monopolies is, unfortunately, a little sparse on the details of natural monopolies and how they work. Perhaps because crazy libertarians have even influenced Wikipedia itself (something I see frequently on the discussion page). And seeing the score you got for this comment reinforces this.

When I wrote about economics being suspicious, I meant, for example, the supply-demand curve. Which is one of the basic theories in microeconomics. And it makes perfect sense in theory, yet carries little to no relevance in practice. I am not going to drive across town, because there is a bakery there which has cheaper bread. Even if I knew about that bakery. Many economic theories, including the supply-demand-curve assume zero transaction costs, making them irrelevant in practice. Even the research to find out and know about a cheap bakery is transaction cost. This all assumes that humans make rational decisions. Something most economic theories assume without even stating it. Which is false. Almost all decisions we take are not rational. Otherwise no one would spend a dime on marketing (Google relies solely on marketing for their revenue) and everyone would be running Android phones instead of Apple. But what would a rational person really need a smartphone for? Is the purchase of a smartphone actually a rational decision? Maybe, maybe not. Who defines rationality anyways. But this argument takes us too far. I acknowledge that. The beautiful shopkeeper that makes you drink you coffee at that place is just the rational decision of the owner. But what is the economic implication of that? Where is the economic benefit of expensive coffee? Humans are influenced by so many factors in their decision. How much rationality there is can be argued. What can not be argued is that there is at least a big proportion that is not rational.

Those are some of the many reasons why the supply-demand-curve is irrelevant in practice and beautiful in theory. Just like libertarianism. And, surprise, surprise, the supply-demand-curve is one of the most important corner stones for libertarianism. To believe in libertarianism means believing in the supply-demand curve, denying the existence of advertising and believing in the imminent demise of Comcast. Crazy, isn't it?

Comment Basic economics (Score 4, Insightful) 124

I know that economics has a bad reputation. Rightly so. Keynes doesn't make sense, but seems to work and the crazy libertarians make a lot of sense in theory, but got us 2008.

Yet some models and explanations are solid and work. One of them is the concept of the natural monopoly. I would argue that Facebook, Microsoft (Windows and Office) operate in markets with natural monopolies.

Markets with a natural monopoly don't work well in a market economy. They either need to be heavily regulated or simply taken over by the state and out of the private industry. Both models aren't ideal.

But Microsoft isn't regulated. Facebook neither. This happens because of globalization. Nation states would need to regulate them, but since those companies operate on a global scale, there is little interest by national regulators to step in. Since there is no international regulator, there is no regulation. Hence these companies are free to exploit their natural monopoly.

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