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Comment: Re:I have an idea (Score 1) 174

by Dunkirk (#48027251) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

There's a cutoff where it's useful to say that "you can do it yourself." I *am* a programmer, and have been for 35 years or so. One thing that annoyed me -- "back in the day" -- was Evolution's spotty support for Palm Pilot synchronization. I was fiddling with Gentoo's portage versions of the program and the various libraries so much that I finally downloaded the source for Evolution, and started to look at where the code that governed this problem lived. I recall asking someone a question about the source on some forum (or maybe IRC), and was told by one of the developers that what I was after was so deep that I probably be better off not fooling with it. I looked at it a little longer, and concluded he was right. It would have taken me hundreds of hours to find and fix the problem I was seeing, and then I'd have to apply the patch to a version that had been updated underneath me while I worked on it, leading to other hassles. The process would have been quite elaborate, and this is my point: Waiting for the person who knows, roughly, WHERE the problems are, and already has a good idea of HOW TO FIX IT is usually worth the time savings, even if you DO know how to code.

Palm died not too long after, and I finally got an iPhone.

Comment: Re:Local Dealerships (Score 1) 455

by Dunkirk (#47280159) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Yep, and the "local" Penske Honda dealership in Carmel, Indiana was one of the top-3 worst dealership experiences of my life. All the usual tricks, but the best one was when the salesman actually got offended when I asked about one of the cheapest cars on the lot, which was advertised on their web site. He said I was trying to buy a hamburger at a steak house, and got up to leave. So I got my keys, and left.

I wound up buying a used Civic for thousands less than book at a REAL local Honda dealership, where it turns out that I knew the manager, the sales manager, the office manager, and 2 of the salesman, and I just didn't know it. I know that's cheating, and not many people have such an option, but I'll likely try this again soon.

Comment: Re:Apple priced itself out of the market (Score 2) 786

by Dunkirk (#43641927) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

I see a lot of people talking about how much cash Apple has on hand these days. You know what? Microsoft had that much in their "war chest" about 10 years ago. Now where are they? Apple better USE that money to DO something game changing, or they're going to become a shell of their former selves, just like Microsoft has. Licensing their OS might be exactly what they need to do to take over the world. Let the market proliferate with cheap Apple knockoffs driven by 3rd-party peripherals. It's what allowed Windows to take over the world! They can keep making their own, premium hardware, and tell people up front that their the ones with the best user experience.

Comment: Self-serving project (Score 2) 250

by Dunkirk (#43067871) Attached to: $100 Million Student Database Worries Parents

The database is a joint project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states.

All it looks like to me is a $100M SQL Server project for Microsoft, secured by the former CEO for his friends back at the home office.

Comment: Re:No amount of Data can convince them (Score 0) 345

by Dunkirk (#41374263) Attached to: Judge Preserves Privacy of Climate Scientist's Emails

... the laws of physics are exactly the same for human generated carbon dioxide as for carbon dioxide measured in a laboratory...

There's the problem right there. To mangle the quote: You can't very well dust CO2 for fingerprints. If we could pinpoint how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is actually generated by humans, we wouldn't be having this debate. Unfortunately, all we can do is infer through other means of estimating, and that wiggle room is all people need to start an argument about the data.

Comment: Re:yes, please. (Score 1) 564

by Dunkirk (#33054998) Attached to: Al Franken's Warning On Net Neutrality

As said, the free market works WONDERFULLY when it exists. But in this case it doesn't. IMHO, we should have a Federally owned universal ISP option. You can't tell me in this day and age that Internet access isn't as important as the postal system, which is federally owned.

The postal service is struggling. Just ask Obama.

Why in the world is the answer to every question: more _federal_ involvement?! Why can't we just let local municipalities or companies lay a piece of fiber to your door, and then let you choose which providers you want to hook to the other end of your line for service? That's the answer I'm looking for.

I suppose it will be just like any other corporate field, though. One of the slightly larger companies will start buying a smaller, struggling one, and the rest will snowball until we get something like Ma Bell. Again.

Alright, maybe the feds should be involved in this. But then we get horrible market distortions that lead to other problems.

Well, I guess it's either Scylla or Charybdis.

Comment: Re:Reality still wins. (Score 1) 249

by Dunkirk (#33054938) Attached to: Facebook Adds Delete Account Option

So it's all just legal double-speak then. You don't really "own" your comments, except when Geeknet wants to disavow itself from them to avoid being held responsible for them in some sort of litigation.

I've just narrowly averted posting in a couple of other threads here this morning. This thread has got me thinking that I want to just go ahead and delete my Slashdot account. (I deleted my Facebook account a couple months ago.)

Comment: Re:If you've nothing to hide... (Score 1) 878

by Dunkirk (#33054564) Attached to: Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police

I hope the ACLU cleans the government's clock with the lawsuit, and establishes precedent which guarantees there won't be any more of these things.

Further, I agree that the cop drawing his gun was outrageous. However, what everyone seems to be missing is that there was another, marked squad car right behind the unmarked vehicle, making the stop along with the plain-clothed officer. The motorcyclist had no doubt that he was being stopped by a legitimate police action.

Comment: Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (Score 1) 1123

by Dunkirk (#32483612) Attached to: Police Officers Seek Right Not To Be Recorded

I'm pretty libertarian on these issues, and I think that the courts upholding the idea that you can't film ANYTHING in public view is ridiculous.

However... some people really deserve to be treated much worse than they are. It really makes my blood boil when I see these car chases on cop shows that go on and on and on, at 120+ mph on crowded freeways and city streets. The driver causes several near misses and maybe even some collateral damage, entire police stations have to be mobilized miles ahead of the guy to get helicopters going and spike strips laid, and then the guy finally plows into something or someone else that ends the chase. Then they jump out of the car and cause a long foot chase and / or search before they finally put him in cuffs. These people don't just deserve a beat down. After all that effort, they deserve to be fed into a wood chipper.

And, if we're all being perfectly honest about it, it's those kinds of people who are causing the police to act over-zealously when the slightest thing happens in an standard police encounter.

Comment: Re:Just don't use facebook and stop crying (Score 1) 363

by Dunkirk (#32147780) Attached to: A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook

I'm with you. I took a couple of hours and literally, manually deleted 99% of the stuff I've done on Facebook, and have stopped using it. (Yes, I realize that the company has this stuff forever, but I've learned my lesson.)

The problem is that "free" will always win. Always. People, in general, are willing to trade anything for "free." The few, vocal persons who are not (willing) will always be inconsequential in these matters.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.