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Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 1) 534

by CRCulver (#47548439) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

He controls the state police and the armed forces. There would have to be mutiny in the armed forces and that won't happen because they do not want to be shot by the state police.

People said Ceausescu had an iron grip on power, and look what happened in 1989: he got overthrown by some of his juniors in the state apparatus so they could rule in his place, and the army started taking orders from them instead of Ceausescu. Granted, the new Romanian leaders were able to seize power under the cover of a "popular" uprising, and such social unrest would be harder to foment in Russia, but history is just so full of examples of supposedly untouchable dictators whose downfall comes in the blink of an eye.

Comment: Re:So much unnecessary trouble (Score 5, Insightful) 534

by CRCulver (#47545231) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

With the UK and Scotland, no politician's life depends on the outcome. Whatever happens with the Scottish referendum, the people in office now expect to eventually depart from office and enter some cushy retirement position.

With Russia, Putin cannot afford to back down from a display of military might: it keeps his support among the masses high, and intimidates other post-Soviet states like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan which he hopes to bring into his Eurasian Union. If Putin were to back down and support a peaceful resolution whose outcome might not satisfy Russian nationalists, he could find himself out of power. It's not a matter of him being done in by the West like a Saddam or Milosevic; that claim of Western conspiracy against him is just played for the cameras. The fact is that he's got enough enemies within Russian elite circles, he's pissed too many people off, that if his hold on power weakens, he'll certainly end up imprisoned or dead.

Comment: Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (Score 1) 489

While it is true that Israel is blocking one part of the border, the other side is being blocked by either Qatar or Egypt. All US allies in the region.

Qatar is quite a ways away from the Levant. I think you meant "Jordan".

And for what it's worth, Israel controls the border between the West Bank and Jordan.

Comment: Re:forever payments (Score 4, Informative) 25

by CRCulver (#47540129) Attached to: Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

Considering that most of the e-books sold (at least from the companies that are or might be selling monthly subscriptions for a buffet style approach) contain DRM, you don't really own it even if you make a lump sum payment either.

Stripping DRM from an ebook is a trivial process. For mass-market ebooks like the sort you can get from Amazon, DRM removal is automated in Calibre when you import the book, as long as you've installed the relevant plugin. For scholarly works made available in PDF, cracking the antiquated Adobe Digital Editions DRM is also not especially difficult and, while I've never tried, can probably be automated as well because the inventory of pirate ebook sites grows so large by the day that I doubt it is being done by hand.

You can quibble about legalities, but with the current DRM being so half-ass, you can have a lasting collection of ebooks free of the seller's whim.

Comment: Re:People need to read comment threads (Score 1) 234

by CRCulver (#47504485) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

This statement just reeks of "noob".

I've followed ./ since 2001.

While trolling was greater, there was a larger diversity of troll posts, from "BSD is Dying" to the GNAA, from Last Measure to "Batman Touched My Junk". Now it's basically down to the two trolls I mentioned in my post above (there are also some mentally ill people who repeatedly post, but I prefer to consider them separately). I suppose that changes in Slashcode made it harder to crapflood, but I'd really like to see a return to the ingenuity of trolls of yore.

Comment: People need to read comment threads (Score 2) 234

by CRCulver (#47502217) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

It's a shame that this "Republican poster" gets so many replies when it is clear even to casual followers of Slashdot that he is a troll who posts the same thing ("Republicans hate X", "Republicans took away Y") in various thread on a daily basis.

For me, a real sign of the death of Slashdot is the predictability of the trolls. The Republican troll and the Space Nutter troll (who may be one and the same, though I've never counted), offer only this invariable single-issue shtick instead of making things wacky and unpredictable like classic trolls of yore.

Comment: Re:Time to get rid of Tor (Score 4, Insightful) 122

by CRCulver (#47495861) Attached to: Critroni Crypto Ransomware Seen Using Tor for Command and Control
It has also been an enabler for millions of people in Iran, Syria and Turkmenistan to frequent social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The considerable soft power that the West gains over the youth in these often hostile or hermetic states is worth the occasional use of the network for financial crimes.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 2) 778

by CRCulver (#47494157) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Conservatives certainly emphasize the importance of a stable family and decry the attempt to replace parents with govt programs, but I've never heard any conservative object ideologically about moving one's family to take a better job.

Come to Eastern Europe where movement of people away to Western Europe for better jobs is often decried by the right.

Comment: Sailfish could do this as well (Score 4, Interesting) 42

Nokia N900 owners can tell you of installing EasyDebian on their phones to run e.g. desktop Firefox and LibreOffice. As Sailfish inherits much of the same functionality, and it can run Android apps, I imagine that we might see EasyDebian on Jolla phones eventually. Apparently the only obstacle is that EasyDebian requires X11, but Sailfish doesn't have it, but this may be resolved with increasing uptake of Wayland within the Debian project.

Comment: Re:500,000 (Score 3, Insightful) 778

by CRCulver (#47493613) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

There are plenty of jobs out there ("We are experiencing a heavier call volume than usual, please be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes to speak to someone."

Have you not considered that phone support is a loss center, not a profit center? It may be that the company would lose more money on hiring more call center workers than they would get from people happy about the shorter waiting time. Human beings, even when paid fairly low salaries, are not cheap.

There are plenty of examples of unreasonably risk-adverse companies, but I don't think this is one.

Comment: Re:Local testing works? (Score 4, Insightful) 778

by CRCulver (#47493541) Attached to: States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Then people can go to where the laws are how they like them instead of having bad ones forced on them at a federal level.

For one, not everyone wants to move. Many of the people who call for a hands-off federal government would be quick to emphasize the value of family and stable local communities. Conservatives everywhere deplore the brain-drain and family disruption that comes with people migrating away from an area for better work elsewhere.

But even when people want to move, there's a general expectation that things work more or less the same everywhere. Sure, there are still some cultural differences between large regions, but the US isn't 13 distinct colonies any more. If the American Revolution happened today in our hyper-connected world, there definitely wouldn't be the same call for devolution and autonomy as in the days of the Founding Fathers.

Comment: Re:Ads are good for the internet. (Score 1) 394

by CRCulver (#47493155) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

You misunderstand my post. I don't mean that bloggers advertise their own site to "bring in eyeballs", I mean that bloggers can get something in return for their hard work by including advertising from other businesses within their blog.

For example, I blog on an academic field and so in virtually every post I mention books. By linking said books to Amazon with a referrer account, I get a decent amount of money each month.

Comment: Re:The end of reading as culturally relevant... (Score 1) 192

by CRCulver (#47491369) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

Finnegans Wake (note that there is no apostrophe) is entirely coherent and enjoyable as long as one has the linguistic background to understand the constant (and rather tiresome) punning in the book. In any event, this particular book is a case for the value of editors, as the Rose & Oâ(TM)Hanlon edition is vastly superior to the error-ridden text now in the public domain and widely sold.

Comment: Re:The end of reading as culturally relevant... (Score 1) 192

by CRCulver (#47491249) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

Damn, son, do you have any reading comprehension skills? Of course I mentioned hipsters. The point of my post above was that offering non-book items of interest to this lucrative demographic is one major way that bookstores are staying afloat. But how you got from that to your misquote "Indie bookstores are only for hipsters" is beyond me: bookstores continue to offer items that interest non-hipsters, but they simply aren't as powerful a profit centre.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir