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Comment Re:This makes me want to run out and get a Blackbe (Score 1) 137

Right: they should be allowed, yet it should be impossible for them to actually do.

It's sort of like how I'm allowed to be President of the US. But unless everybody else in the world totally screws up to comically-negligent degree (what the fuck were you thinking, voting for me?!), it can't possibly happen.

Cops are allowed to travel to Alpha Centauri. FBI employees are allowed to live to be a thousand years old. NSA crackers are allowed to have unlimited antimatter-reactor energy for free. Our laws should allow all these things. Reality, though, may have something else to say about it.

Comment Re:Nope. (Score 1) 130

You're standing by a button. If you press the button, a million puppies will be dropped into a blender. It would be very bad for you to press that button and you shouldn't do it. The consequences will be dire. For fuck's sake, you shouldn't ever press that button!

I walk up, and point a loaded gun at your face. "Push the button," I say. I say it very seriously, too.

If you don't push the button and kill a million puppies, I will kill you (whether the puppies will remain safe or not, you simply don't know). If you do push the button, a million puppies will die but you'll live.

You decide to push the button, even though for a long time you had thought "never push that button."

People learn what happened. Do they blame you or do they blame me? I think it doesn't matter if the puppies were yours to kill or the source yours to give. I had the gun so I was making the laws at that moment, and I said "do it."

Comment Vengeance (Score 1) 622

So did we let ourselves get suckered by clever marketing?

Probably not. It is hard to believe that more than (approximately) 0% of people thought it wasn't fraud. But because it was such up-front blatant fraud, everyone wanted to hold the fraudulent companies to their word, as a sort of punishment. Keep in mind that these same companies were already pretty hated and this probably isn't most peoples' first encounters with their lies, so the desire for punishment is pretty .. heart-felt. Maybe "vengeance" would be a better word. But anyway, if they aren't going to supply the unlimited bandwidth that they said they would AND nobody is going to go to jail and have their life ruined for their little lie (told to millions of people, so it adds up) then people are going to feel justice was denied and they're going to remain angry and not let it go.

Someone high up in each of the fraud orgs needs to take the fall. Let's hear about prison sentences, wives divorcing them while they're in the slammer, etc. Then we can put this whole "unlimited" thing behind us. Until then, any mention of the fraud is going to have people coming out of the woodwork, claiming they believed it. When you hear them, you think you hear them saying "I'm stupid, I'm naive and I think there's such thing as a free lunch," but that's not what they think they're saying. They think they're saying, "I'm angry, I was one of the people insultingly targeted, and I want a painful lesson dealt out."

Comment Re:How come THEY always get all the cool stuff? (Score 5, Insightful) 578

XFCE users are used to being heavily behind the times anyway.

You make it sound like constantly living the nightmare makes us numb to it, no longer suffering because we don't have feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Day in, day out, all I dream of is to some day be able to own a computer that works for other people instead of me. There the damn thing is, awaiting my command, putting me on a pedestal! Sometimes I just want to scream, "Computer, where do you want to go today?! Don't you want to send some spam, or mine some bitcoins to make someone else richer? I'll pay for the electricity. Show me some fucking ads already (I swear, I'll pay for the bandwidth!), so that when I spend time at work, I'll know that there's a purpose to passing away years of my only life at the office: to make the money to give to someone else to buy some garbage that I don't really want, so it can take up more space in my unwanted hoard."

But no, the damn thing is all about me, me, ME! I can't stand it! It's like this fucking codependent computer has no life of its own, and exists on nothing but fulfilling my desires, like some kind of TOOL that I .. I .. (ugh) that I own! It's like I have some kind of mindless robot slave!

"Used to" it." Fuck you, dude! Put yourself in my shoes, in a social situation. There's all these people laughing and having a great time, big smiles on their faces telling exciting tales about the conniving backstabbers on their desks and in their pockets. "OMG, everything is full of ads," they say with a mirthful chuckle, and they all get to nod along in solidarity and comradeship. Then I have to fucking stare cluelessly and therefore stick out like a sore thumb, obviously "one of them" and no longer cool. Or I can fake it, nod and agree, and die a little more inside.

"It got pulled from the app store," they say. I have to pretend I know what the fuck that means or else be alienated yet again.

"It wants me to enter the license and I can't find the package," they say. I'm not sure what entering a license means, but they've phrased the problem well enough that it includes the solution, right? So I wonder: Why don't they just refresh the package from the repo? I might be inclined to suggest that, carefully being neutral and noncommittal so they won't realize that I haven't yet figured out whether the package is a deb or rpm. But go ahead, just try saying that once and see the stares you get, where suddenly everybody knows that you're heavily behind the times.

It's not just social situations, either. Imagine me at an office, hearing "Oh, I can't run that one, because it requires polar lion or bigger, but I only have hill tiger." I don't know what all this technical Felix jargon means, just that some guy doesn't get to do what he wants to do, because he isn't typing apt-get dist-upgrade every two years. He gets to talk about cats all day whereas I have to do my job (to get the paychecks that I don't even know what to spend on), because I'm behind the times.

Ribbons. What the fuck were ribbons? Everyone was talking about them a few years ago, but now no one mentions them. Is this going to be another one of those "the spoon is a lie!" things where I finally get to have a ribbon in the 2022 release and when I go around telling everyone how awesome it is, they look at me like I'm some kind of drunk caveman?

Vistas? Everyone says they suck but they're not specific. That's some kind of MSSQL version of views, right? Other than being nonstandard, I don't know why they'd be so hated, but maybe some say I'll find out when they add it to postgresql.

I'm so heavily behind the times, I couldn't even keep up with the early-21st-century shorthand people were using to paraphrase everything. i.e. I'm totally out of touch with culture and language. I learned some of it, but just as I was getting up to speed, they all changed again. Let me give you some examples. It used to be that someone would have browser problems where it was totally nonstandard, and the code they used to express their problem was just "i.e. 6." But they never linked the 6 to any footnote. Sometimes they say stuff like "i.e. 8" to refer to less-nasty yet subtler problems. Then there's footnote 11 which supposedly means their browser mostly works, but none of this is explained anywhere! Then just as I think I sort of have learned it all from context, they switch to a new convention, where they're going to start using topographical terms to refer to browser problems. (Sigh. If only I could get with the times.)

Go ahead, asshole. Tell me again that I'm USED TO all this alienation and missing-out!! I dare you. [raises fist]

Comment Finally someone explains the best strategy (Score 1) 327

This is where I think so many people screw up: they aren't lucky enough. I am glad that you stepped forward and publicly endorsed luck. If only everyone would embrace that approach, there would be many fewer incidents of injury, death, and property damage.

C'mon, people: Just Be Lucky!

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 220

That is, I believe, one of the primary reasons why the LSB was created - because a robust software archive, including both free and proprietary apps, is generally a good thing.

I think what happened, is that a decade and a half ago, people thought they needed proprietary apps. But what actually happened is that we didn't get enough of them anyway (LSB or not) to keep our dependence going, so eventually we stopped missing them. LSB is from a time when your web browser might have been Netscape Navigator!

I bet you don't miss Netscape Navigator.

In 2015, proprietary software is viewed as being something like diamond-encrusted buggy whips. Sure, it might seem nice to have diamonds encrusted on your buggy whip, but we're all driving around in our fancy auto-mobiles now. It's not that whip-bling is bad (yes, it's "generally a good thing"); it's just hard to care.

Comment Was any other decision even possible? (Score 1) 110

The Obama administration has announced it will not require companies to decrypt encrypted messages for law enforcement agencies.

Suppose they had decided the other way. Just what company would have been required to crack GnuPG? The Coca Cola company? Chevrolet? The New York Times? Point guns at whatever innocent peoples' faces that you want to, and you're still not going to magically give them the ability to bruteforce AES.

Now suppose they approach someone (again, with gun in hand: "obey me or else I will murder you") and ordered them to produce a fork of GnuPG with a backdoor. Ok, that might work. But what incentive does everyone have, to use that fork? You can produce all the crippled crapware that you want, but even the people who bother to install it, just do it by mistake.

The issue isn't going to be revisited; it's a permanent victory because there's no reasonably plausible way that things can go any other way.

Comment Re:The best summation I've seen (Score 1) 100

Users: "Please do not track us."

Companies: "I'm not tracking you; I'm providing you with a richer experience and helping to make you more aware of things about which you might have great interest."

Users: "Yeah, um, whatever. Don't do that."

Companies: "You don't understand. If you understood, you wouldn't ask me to stop helping you."

Users: "Nevertheless, I am asking you to stop."

Companies: "We are obviously having a communication problem here. Your asking me to stop means that you don't understand what you're asking. If you don't understand what you're asking, that means I'm not really getting your informed consent. And obviously, I won't block you from finding out about exciting opportunities, without your consent. Someone is trying to censor the information that you receive, and I hereby join you, the users, in resisting censorship!"

Comment Re:This problem really shouldn't exist. (Score 2) 262

What do you think a "Steeler" or a "Ram" or a "49er" is?

Talking about products is all those people ever do. This is commercial entertainment, not a real sports game between the people on your street. Go outside and play some sports. And then tell me if any of the other people you were with, said "ooh, ooh, can I be the announcer?" Sports don't have announcers.

This a field of professional entertainers and professional announcers whose job is to sell. They're paid to sell you the teams, the players, and whatever else the media outlet got paid to promote. If that includes Dodge or Microsoft, then their job is to sell you Dodge and Microsoft.

Comment You should still blame Obama (Score 1) 258

Do you think voting for any other candidate would have created a better outcome?

Maybe, maybe not; possibly. But even if a whole bunch of people are willing to commit a crime, it's good to prosecute (or at least talk shit about) the one who actually goes through with the dirty deed.

Don't let Republicrats off the hook for this, even if you think a third party president would have also pushed hard for it. If you're not willing to point the finger of blame, then you're not creating any incentive for anyone to ever try to avoid it, so why would someone else create a better outcome? Lay blame onto the specific names of people who are caught red-handed working against America's interests.

Obama isn't even pretending that he hasn't made this a priority agenda item. He really should take flak for that. Every current presidential candidate should be given a reason to speak out against TPP, even if it'll be too late by the time they're elected, and even if their campaign contributors would want them to work for TPP too. The current public debate should become "Look at what THEY are doing! I fucking swear I will not be that kind of president!" Because those people are (for very stupid reasons) in the media spotlight right now, so they will be heard and that's how you pressure the current Congress into voting against TPP.

Now is the time for everyone, of pretty much any right/left political persuasion, to become an Obama-basher over this specific issue. If you're not bashing Obama over this, you're part of the problem.

Just by framing this as an Obama thing rather than a generic corruption thing, you will get automatic thoughtless support from half of the Republicrat voters and media (the Republicans). You don't even have to argue the point or get them to think about the issue. You'll get it on Fox News. Then the "other" side might pick it up, wanting to have to take an adversarial position out of habit (and maybe they will, and maybe they won't). Next thing you know, mainstream people could be talking about it, and to TPP-advocates' horror, democracy could break out.

"TPP! Thanks, Obama!"

Just talking about it as though a corrupt politician, as long as their name isn't "Obama," might not have gotten bribed into doing this, could cause the silly assertion to become true.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.