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Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 5, Informative) 159

Communism is State Socialism. It should be wrong to say that it is the only socialism out there, but it is definitely socialism.

Nonsense. Read your Marx. Communism and Socialism don't even remotely resemble one another. The only reason people get them confused is that Communism, as defined by Marx, was the ideal human goal and has never actually existed.

What you describe as "State Socialism" is what most people just call Socialism... because socialism requires a strong State.

While some countries liked to CALL THEMSELVES communist, they were not. They were anything but. The best any of them ever managed to achieve were bad forms of socialism and fascism.

The reason for that is simple: socialism (the real economic theory of socialism) requires a strong central authority. Whereas communism (genuine communism, according to social and economic theory) has no "authority" at all.

The problem has been that once a relatively few people got all that authority, under a socialist or fascist regime, they then never wanted to give it up. So societies never "evolved" beyond that to true communism. Nor is it likely to ever happen. Marx was a loon.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 2) 207

by nine-times (#47503701) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

There is free internet everywhere for those of us that want it. Becoming an ISP would only be to try and capture those kids and parents where the parents find getting near a Starbucks, Lowes, Safeway, Home Depot, McDonalds, etc. to be more trouble than it's worth.

So your solution for providing poor people with the Internet is to suggest that they go to Starbucks and McDonalds?

I guess that's a solution. I guess we could also say that poor people don't need indoor plumbing because they can just use the toilet at their local gas station. It seems to me like it's a silly, inefficient solution that will be unpleasant for everyone involved, so I'd need more of a justification before I would agree.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 2) 207

by nine-times (#47503669) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Beyond that, I have to question the intelligence of buying iPads. We are not in 2010 anymore. There are plenty of perfectly capable tablets available at under $100.

There are more things to consider than simply the cost of the hardware. Do the iPads have any specific features that are required for their plans? Are there specific apps that they want to use? What platforms are those applications available for? What kind of administrative tools are available for each platform, and have they already invested in any of those tools? Is their IT staff more familiar and skilled in managing a specific platform? What kinds of price cuts and support are offered by the manufacturer?

Saving even a couple of hundred dollars per unit might be a drop in the bucket when compared with the peripheral costs. Yes, IT departments everywhere might be able to save a little money on the purchase of each computer by buying all of their parts from NewEgg and installing Linux on the computer that they cobble together from parts. Still, it ends up being cheaper, when you add up all the peripheral costs, to buy ready-made computers from Dell with Windows pre-installed.

Not everyone who buys Apple products is an idiot.

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 4, Insightful) 207

by nine-times (#47503125) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

but look at the mission creep. The district becoming its own ISP next? Can of worms.

On the other hand, it's a can of worms that probably wouldn't have needed to be opened if we had some kind of a plan to develop public internet infrastructure that was free/cheap for people without a lot of money.

I only bring this up because I would imagine some people looking at this and saying, "A public school system should not be intruding into the area of being an ISP, which has traditionally been an area for private business." I would respond by pointing out that the Internet really should be considered public telecommunications infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (Score 4, Insightful) 139

by Jane Q. Public (#47500545) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Could be. If several witnesses see an assailant bludgeon someone on the sidewalk with an obscured object, then run into a house, the police may not be able to ascertain exactly what the weapon is, but they'd certainly have enough evidence for a search, and they could keep a record of any potential weapons seen in the house in case forensics can later get them a better description of the weapon used.

I don't think the question is really whether the judge can order such a thing. I think it's more of a question of whether it is justified in this case.

GP made a very good point. Search warrants are required to be particular, and to specify the particular thing(s) being searched for. If they don't know what they're looking for, broadening the search to turn it into a "fishing expedition" is not allowable.

The general principle is that the search should be as narrowly focused on particular evidence as can practically be managed. Is that the case here? It doesn't seem to be, but I'm not the judge, I don't know the details.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 123

I don't know why you have this weird agenda of insisting that any Linux on the desktop (that isn't ChromeOS) needs to remain a niche. You yourself cited FOSS desktop applications as something that people use, and that it doesn't matter what OS they use. It seems like either you're emotionally invested in being anti-Linux or you're just being difficult for the sake of it.

You have GIMP, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Skype, Dropbox, VLC, Spotify, and an ever-increasing number of games offered through Steam. People who use those applications are not a 'niche'.

I don't know what your damage is, but you should get over yourself.

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 1) 368

by Jane Q. Public (#47498445) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

I have no objection to paying for ad-free stuff.

Free and Open Source (for just one example) shows that advertisement-free is a workable model and the people can not only profit from it, but others can benefit from it. Without advertising.

That is why I stopped when I read:

Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it

NO. Not everyone "gets" that, because it isn't true. And if your "favorite" site is using that revenue model, then maybe you're visiting the wrong sites.

I have been around long enough to have been on the internet when the most active places were "Bulletin Boards", and the BEST of the net was indeed free. And it continued to be so for a long time.

If it weren't for THAT (and not ad-driven sites) the internet would not have survived. But take away the ads, it would still not only exist, it might be a hell of a lot better.

Comment: Re:Need Or Can (Score 1) 52

by Jane Q. Public (#47498423) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem
Recent (within several years) accidental releases from "secure" biological containment facilities, specifically involving [what many scientists say was extremely dangerous and unethical] experimentation on increasing the virulence of H5N1 flu virus, illustrates the inadequacy of genetic containment. They can't even keep the most "secure" labs secure, and we have learned that they do shit there they should never be allowed to attempt.

We already have not just proof but ubiquitous reports of GMO crops escaping their intended places. And somebody wants to make it EASIER for chosen genes to propagate?

I repeat what someone else said above, facetiously: "What could possibly go wrong?"

Until our state-of-the-art is a hell of a lot better than today, I don't say "regulate", I say ban outright.

Comment: Re:Hmm... (Score 1) 153

by Jane Q. Public (#47498297) Attached to: NASA: Lunar Pits and Caves Could House Astronauts

There's just an opportunity in Siberia - just opened up this week. Current theories are giant sandworms, graboids, pingo's, ufo's or an alien missile base:

The ideal finding, of course, would be all of the above.

"Visitors: to ensure optimum relations with the locals, no anal probes will be allowed beyond this point. You may check them in at Customs and reclaim them on your return home.

"Mind the sandworms."

Comment: Re:Paper tracked barter (Score 1) 99

by Jane Q. Public (#47498267) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

Without more than a passing familiarity with economics, the point of this exercise seems to me to be to illustrate the way money works without centralization. Isn't this in fact how the international money trade works?


Money, pretty much by definition, is a standard medium of exchange. It might fluctuate in value a bit here or there, but if it isn't relatively stable, then it isn't good money in the first place. An example of that is the hundred trillion dollar note in Zimbabwe currency.

This experiment would remove any standard: a "coin" would be worth vastly more to one person than another, based on completely arbitrary definitions of "value".

So it isn't a standard -- it's kind of the opposite -- therefore it isn't "money", in any conventional sense. But then neither were Zimbabwe dollars.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 123

We've had decades of being able to install other linux distros but ultimately there is no compelling reason to do so for the general populace because even when Windows changes Linux distros are still an unfamiliar environment but they don't run all your programs...

Which is a problem that isn't at all solved by using ChromeOS or Android.

Comment: Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (Score 1) 123

sure you could have yet another Linux distribution but what would that achieve?

Just to have something pre-installed on the computer that the manufacturer has enough control over to make sure there are drivers for whatever hardware is attached. You're right that people care less and less about the OS itself, but there still needs to be an OS.

And again, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense to say, "Suggesting that people use Linux is dumb. They can just use Android or buy a Chromebook!" That's still Linux. If I want all the functionality of Chrome OS and a couple other more conventional applications (e.g. GIMP, LibreOffice), then it makes more sense to just install something more like Ubuntu. So the point is, it would be trivial for a company like HP to take Ubuntu, include drivers for their own hardware, and brand it however they want. If they buyer doesn't care about applications available exclusively for OSX/Windows, then it'll probably do everything they need.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.