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Comment: Re:Which means... (Score 1) 237

by Dogtanian (#47761239) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

There are a lot of hints that Microsoft is backing away from this mistake and realizing that the desktop is still important to their bottom line.

I'm not sure that MS actually thought that the desktop was entirely unimportant, per se. Rather, it's my understanding that because they had a near-monopoly on the desktop market, they thought could get away with dicking about desktop users- most of whom had to use Windows anyway- by force-familiarising them with the Metro interface (whether or not it was appropriate for that purpose) so that when it came to tablets, they'd go for the one with the interface they were already familiar with... i.e. Windows-based ones.

Of course, MS were right to be worried about tablets. They've had a near-monopoly on the x86 desktop (and laptop) market for well over 20 years, and it was- and is- very unlikely that they could easily have been unseated from that position in the forseeable future. The biggest threat to MS's dominance is that the computing market itself undergoes a paradigm shift away from the traditional desktop model, not destroying their monopoly, but rendering what it covers less important. Which is exactly what's happening with tablets, and- to some extent- online apps.

Of course, whether forcing Metro on people was actually successful is open to question, but the motivation behind it sounds plausible. I don't think MS would throw away or ignore the desktop market simply for a chance of the tablet one, but I can certainly believe that they'd leverage their existing monopoly to stand a chance of competing in a tablet market that they're already miles behind the compeition in.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the parasites! (Score 1) 315

by Dogtanian (#47741449) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit
Whatever his motivations, it doesn't change the fact that your original assertion (and the specific point that was replied to), i.e. "I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it." was wrong, and demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of even the basic principle of free speech, let alone the specific details of the US constitution's version of it.

It always surprises me (*) how so many of the Americans who bleat on about "free speech" et al don't even understand the basics of either the principle or the US implementation of it, thinking- as you do- that one is free to express one's own opinion, yet somehow protected from others' right to respond to it (i.e. *their* free speech). Or- the other common misconception- that the constitutional right to protection from *government* interference in free speech is actually the right to free speech in any private place or forum.

(*) It doesn't, really- but it ought to.

Comment: Re:Actually, it does ! (Score 1) 375

by Dogtanian (#47741263) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?
A word of advice- posting your comment as a single wall of text like that makes it very tiring to read and digest, and thus a lot less likely to get read. Try using paragraphs, and it might come across more credibly, rather than appearing as a train-of-thought comment.

I don't claim to understand the Scottish-UK relationship

You evidently felt that you "understood" it enough to judge Scotland "proving itself stupid" for wanting independence.

You come across as someone who lacks experience, someone who is thinking out the abstract principles, but applies them to a real-world situation that you don't understand the important details of at all.

Regarding WW2; yes, that is generally considered one of the better times of the British state. If Scotland had been independent then, I would hope that it would fight together with England (and the rest of the UK), and there are aspects of defence where I feel that the proposed independent Scotland may be relying too much on the efforts of others.

Still, the comments I made regarding the reasons for wanting Scottish independence were just a small proportion of the total I could have posted- in other words, there were many more reasons, but I did not have more time to add to a post that was already very long at that point.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the parasites! (Score 1) 315

by Dogtanian (#47739273) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit
To play devil's advocate in "I'm New Around Here"'s defefence, it was the user "Third Position" who posted the racist link in his sig, and the comment from "I'm New" himself wasn't (necessarily) condoning the views expressed.

What he *was* clearly doing was defending Third Position's "right" to express his opinion without being attacked for it. Which is, of course, stupid and ignorant, because no-one has such a "right" under the freedom of speech in the US constitution (which I assume is what "I'm New" has misunderstood when he referred to what was "allowed" in "this country"), despite many thinking it does. Freedom of speech obviously cuts both ways, otherwise it's not true freedom of speech. (Anyone making such a deal about it should have realised this already.)

But that misunderstanding doesn't *necessarily* mean he's a racist... just stupid and ignorant.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the parasites! (Score 1) 315

by Dogtanian (#47739089) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences of your speech, sweet cheeks. He's free to associate with a disgusting ideology that holds certain people inferior because of how they're born, I'm free to mock him for it. For that matter, I'm free to mock your ignorance.

Go on, attack and mock those who you don't agree with. Attack me all you want.

The implication in your reply being that he mocked and attacked you because he disagreed with you?

Either that's a strawman or you really weren't paying attention.

The paragraph you replied to was mocking you not because he disagreed with you on a matter of opinion, but because your belief that "people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it" was *factually wrong* (and by implication showed that you really don't understand what "freedom of speech" does and doesn't get you.). End of story.

Comment: Re:Actually, it does ! (Score 1) 375

by Dogtanian (#47733779) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

I mean, what does the Italian-Chinese community have to do with it?!

holy hell batman, you just triple-downed on his racism. impressive :)

Well... not really. It just came across- or so it seemed originally- as a bad hybrid of stock cliche Italian and Chinese accents (which may well be considered racist now, but it's not like *I* was the one doing them! Mind you, we can't blame Jeremiah Cornelius for that either, at least not in intent- his only crime was being very bad at Scottish accents :-) ).

On reflection, though, it's *not* actually that much like Chinese at all- not even the most offensively stereotyped version- and it only looked cod-Italian because of the vowel at the end of "need(a)"- not sure how that's even incorrectly reminiscent of a Scottish accent!

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure *what* the fsck it *does* resemble, to be honest.... oh yeah, a very bad Scots accent. :-)

Comment: Re:Actually, it does ! (Score 4, Informative) 375

by Dogtanian (#47730201) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

I disagree. I think every country has the right to self defense, and possess these. However I'd be a big fan of a global nuclear weapon's ban that everybody signs. PS. What are the Scots thinking of trying to be independent? If I were them I'd be happy to be ganged up with England, as long as England is not exploiting me economically because I'm Scot, nor does it restrict my liberties such as freedom of expression, or practicing my own Gaelic mother tongue. tradition. But hey. they are the Scots, and you have to let them decide for themselves. I just think they are proving themselves stupid. Instead of separation, they should be trying to liberties and while united, and only if that's impossible while being united, when push comes to shove, do you have to lower your expectations and strive for independence. But they might be misjudging England, and its willingness to allow for broad reaching internal freedoms, within the UK, such as practicing your own language, etc. United is usually better than divided. The proverb says together we stand, alone we fall. But there are of course many exceptions.

Thank you for your half-baked opinion on why Scotland is "proving itself stupid".

In fact, the freedom to speak Gaelic (which is the "mother tongue" of very few Scots, and still only spoken by a small proportion) has little to do with the push for independence.

Your er.... *eloquent* speech on remaining together did nothing to address the contradiction that traditional Tory voters in their south-east England heartlands are moving against EU membership. The Tories-- afraid of losing votes to UKIP (the UK Independence party) who are pushing this policy- are pandering to *their* potential voters by promising a referendum on EU membership in 2017, which- if they win- would result in the UK leaving the EU.

Scotland is (in general) much more in favour of the EU, and UKIP support here is *much* lower than it is in the south-east of England. But, of course, if the English vote is sufficiently against EU membership... tough for poor Scotland who (hypothetically) remained attached to Little England. Should Scotland "stand together" with the people who didn't "stand together" with the EU?

Devolution has improved things somewhat, but control of the UK overall- including the economy and many devolved matters- remains with Westminster, which is run by an increasingly right-wing Tory government which the Scots did *not* elect, and whose political trajectory has been veering away from Scottish values for a generation. (Some readers may be surprised to note that the Tories once had a significant share of the Scottish vote. In the 1955 general election, they gained a majority of votes and a majority of the seats here. Such a prospect would be unthinkable now- there is only one Scottish Tory MP).

This has been happening since Thatcher came to power in the late-1970s, promising "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony"- either hugely ironic or intentionally hypocritical since she was a divide-and-rule politician with a "them and us" mentality that abandoned any notion of "one nation conservatism", decimated Scottish industry, squandered revenues from North Sea Oil- most of which would have belonged to Scotland if independent- on funding the unemployment her policies caused. In short, she pandered to the Tory heartland of the South East (England), and foisted her values on Scots who profoundly disagreed with them.

In the post-Thatcher era, we got the once left-wing Labour party selling out to stand any chance of being elected by the South East, to the point they were arguably more right wing and more pro free market than the pre-Thatcher Conservatives. Following Blair's nauseating arse-licking of George W Bush (which bought him nothing- as any idiot could see at the time- and was a result of his egotism, hubris and messiah complex) we got the Tories again, even more right wing despite initial promises, and the Liberal Democrats selling out to become their meaningless lapdogs, and Labour giving laughably diluted wishy-washy concessions to their socialist past. All three promising nothing I- and many other Scots- find of value.

And that's partly what it comes down to. Some people clearly did vote for all this- but not the Scots. If the "Yes" campaign loses, it'll be because the "No"s cast sufficient doubt on Scotland's ability to go it alone, not because they had anything inspiring or positive to say about the Union.

I could go on about this all day, but I have other things to get on with. But once again, thank you for your patronising opinion on our stupidity. Cheers!

Comment: Re:Actually, it does ! (Score 2) 375

by Dogtanian (#47728387) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Wae Don' needa nae Nukies! Wae gots... HAGGIS!

It's actually quite impressive that you didn't even say anything out loud, yet still managed to convincingly give the impression of the least-convincing Scots accent *ever*. :-)

I mean, what does the Italian-Chinese community have to do with it?!

Comment: Re:nuke it in orbit... (Score 1) 116

by Dogtanian (#47716317) Attached to: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Unless this is Star Trek, where the entire biodiversity of the galaxy can be accounted for by face paint and is sexually interoperable with starfleet captains

You're making quite a big assumption there- we didn't actually *see* any of this. (*) It's far more likely that Kirk- being Kirk- is engaging in what we can euphemistically call "inter-species sex" (cough) and just doesn't give that much of a ****. (**) I'm sure that if there wasn't a... compatible hole, he'd find one that fits closely enough.

That looks a lot worse now that it's been typed out. :-/

(*) Though I'm sure that one or more geeks have attempted an unofficial porno version focusing on this anyway.

(*) And no, post-hoc rationalisation 30 years down the line doesn't count. Pretty sure that as far as the original authors were concerned, Kirk was banging green-skinned alien, er, chicks, and that was it.

Comment: Re:Database? (Score 1) 371

by Dogtanian (#47691639) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

An intelligent person would recognise this

You conflate "intelligence" with being coldly logical and rational in purely monetary terms.

In my experience, human psychology is not purely logical. For example, people will often respect someone- or something- more if they are paying more for them; and, conversely, less if they are getting something on the cheap or free.

An employer that is paying top dollar for his workforce can afford to treat his sophisticated tools with as much contempt as the law allows.

An employer that does that is probably paying through the nose for the minor privilege of being able to treat some people with such "contempt".

It would smack of someone who was more interested in indulging his bullying than running a business competently and thus raise two sets of alarms for any potential employee(!)

But even assuming the company's long-term survival was assured... Some people *will* undoubtedly accept this if they're being paid enough, but in *some* cases (which will vary depending upon the psychology of the persons involved and their motivation), it's unlikely that you'll ever get their best work, regardless of how much you pay, if you treat them with contempt.

Which, of course, makes them worth less.

A person less intelligent would complain that in his role as a sophisticated screw driver he is not getting respect he believes he deserves.

Again, you are imposing your own pseudo-logical values on the concept of "intelligence". I say "pseudo-logical" because since human beings *don't* always behave as the purely rational, logical, self-interest-maximising idealised entities you assume, anything that relies on this being the case is ultimately flawed. Which, ironically, makes it illogical.

If you are treated with more than simple master/tool interaction, you are exchanging top dollar for 'warmer' treatment

Once again, this assumes that all human behaviour is purely logical and can be traded off and gamed in such terms.

I worked as a permanent employee, as a contractor

I would guess that you are probably more suited to the "in and out", supposedly demonstrable-value contractor style of doing things, as it's probably closer to the situation you describe above. If that's what suits you, then fair enough, but your chosen way of working isn't how everything works.

and I run my company now, I know all of this very intimately

Remind me never, *ever* to work for you.

Comment: Re:Database? (Score 1) 371

by Dogtanian (#47690935) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

I don't know what exactly the point of this story is, however many people think they are not getting respect or their worth of whatever, not just engineers, and many people are of-course wrong.

An employee is part of a company, a company is a machine that makes the investor/owner money, and the way it makes investor/owner money is by implementing idea/solving a problem that the investor/owner is solving. [..] The employees are part of the system that is set up by the investor/owner to be productive. To talk about respect in this sense is meaningless [..] they are part of the machine that the owner/investor has created to make himself more productive in the market, to offer his solution to the market.

Ironically, by (possibly unintentionally) personalising the role of "investor/owner" you undermine the case I thought you were making (i.e. that of a corporation being an abstract, purely profit-maximising entity with no feelings and behaviour that would be considered "sociopathic" if they were human).

If the "investor/owner" was a single individual (or small group) that had personally planned out and set up every aspect of the functioning of the company- as the tone of your argument suggests- one could argue that he/she is a human being, and unless they are a sociopath, it'd be quite reasonable to expect him or her to view fellow human beings as more than just cogs in a machine, a means to an end. (*)

Of course, as mentioned above, in reality even the set up- let alone the running- of a larger company will require many people, to the point that people *are* cogs in a money-making machine, leading to the abstract, soulless "company" becoming something distinct from any of its employees.

That's the case I thought you were making at first, but even that well-worn argument would miss the point here.

Companies are still made up of individual people with a generally-shared group culture and values, and it's *those* values that one is ultimately talking about when we speak about companies "understanding" (or not understanding) and "respecting" engineers.

A "group" is- after all- just a set of individuals, but we talk about what certain groups of people think, their behaviours, their value judgements, etc. etc. because human beings *are* social creatures.

And even when such people are constrained by the fact they're working for a company whose ultimate aim is to make money, their interactions with each other still reflect the values and culture associated with that company. Those values may have been explicitly encouraged by those that run the company, they may have arisen indirectly due to the mentality of those at the top (e.g. lack of respect for engineers) percolating down, they might reflect behaviour that the structure of the company has encouraged.... whatever the reason, groups of humans share values even when that group is made up of millions of individuals (e.g. nations).

(*) Of course, many people running companies small and large *are* sociopaths anyway. But that'd be a reflection on them personally, and not the same thing as the purely profit-maximising "sociopathic" behaviour often ascribed to the abstract concept of a corporation.

Despite all appearances, your boss is a thinking, feeling, human being.