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Comment: Re:Probably a bad idea, but... (Score 1) 47

by Zocalo (#47937181) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:
I'm in favour of it on behalf of Scottish self-governance, and as a Brit from the NW of England I can only imagine that the feeling that the government in London doesn't give a damn about the provinces is far worse than it is where I grew up. However, overall I think it would be a disaster for both countries. Scotland is much more Pro-EU and Anti-Conservative than the rest of Great Britain, so one likely outcome would be a Conservative victory in the next General Election, resulting in Cameron's promised referedum on EU membership going ahead with a likely victory for the anti-EU crowd in the referendum. Given the likely reaction from the rest of the EU to this, I don't imagine this would work out very well for the rest of the UK.

I'm also deeply concerned by the fact that Salmond's default response to any argument as to a potential problem is accuse people of being "wrong", "bullying", or whatever, but has in almost every instance failed to provide a plan for what the SDP will actually *do* to address the point should they be successful in getting a "Yes" vote. I'm really starting to think they have no idea what they are going to do in the event of gaining independance, other than to thrash out a plan in the aftermath of the vote - as if a half-baked plan is going to work for anyone. Finally, even if Scotland gains independance and manages a successful transition to higher GDP and wealth, does anyone *seriously* think that those benefits are going to be distributed where they are needed, and not simply end up in the back pockets of the politicians and business leaders that get to determine how the new nation is going to work?

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 870

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 870

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.


The Future According To Stanislaw Lem 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the drugs-and-nanotech dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Paris Review has an article about SF author Stanislaw Lem, explaining Lem's outlook on the future and his expectations for technological advancement. Lem tended toward a view that technology would infect and eventually supplant biological evolution. But he also suggested an interesting explanation for why we haven't detected alien civilizations: "Perhaps ... they are so taken up with perfecting their own organisms that they've abandoned space exploration entirely. According to a similar hypothesis, such beings are invisible because technological ease has resulted in a 'Second Stone Age' of 'universal illiteracy and idleness.' When everyone's needs are perfectly met, it 'would be hard, indeed, to find one individual who would choose as his life's work the signaling, on a cosmic scale, of how he was getting along.' Rather than constructing Dyson Spheres, Lem suggests, advanced civilizations are more likely to spend their time getting high.""

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by danheskett (#47892325) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

There are 3 criteria that will eliminate a huge subset of apps that devalue all app stores:

1. An app that simply wraps a mobile website is not an app, it's a short-cut. If the app has no function offline, it's really not an app.

2. Games that are free but have in-game purchases. All garbage.

3. Apps with similar names to highly rated apps, walk-through, and otherwise knockoff apps.

Another way to go about it is to require new apps to have a beta period, to open it up to users who opt-in to beta, and to only release to the public after a 30 or 60 day beta period or when enough users in the beta approve it for general release.

Anything, actually, is better than the screening which happens now, which is essentially none.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by danheskett (#47892251) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

So what if it's labor intensive? Make a person at Microsoft beta-test every app for a week. Once word gets out that the last flappy bird knock off isn't going to fly, developers will stop wasting thier time. Or make the first submission of an app by a developer happen by mail. Or whatever.

Not only would I happily use an app-store with no in-app crap purchases, no adverts, and no security problems with knock off apps, I would be happy to deploy that to the whole company.

If it means you only have 500 apps, that's fine. If it means you only have 250 apps, that's fine. As long as they are good.

Comment: Re:correction: 1 OS to FAIL them all (Score 1) 352

by danheskett (#47886835) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

I also don't get it. It's fine to unify Windows (please unify Windows desktop SKUs please, Microsoft. We don't need 5 versions of Windows for the desktop. If you want a cut-price one, offer Windows and Windows Pro. Thanks), but that doesn't mean you have to take away what people like. Offer Metro as an alternate to classic windows, and be done with it.

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 5, Insightful) 352

by danheskett (#47886817) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Disagree. Microsoft just needs to focus on high-quality apps, or better yet, just paying top app makers to port to Windows phone. There is a strong market for a trusted, high-quality only, app store. You know, apps that don't have in app purchase, no ads, etc.

Microsoft users are used to paying for things. That's the selling point. Just build really good apps, get rid of the BS, the crap, and only accept solid, really solid, working apps.

The problem MS has with it's Windows app store is that it's the worst of all worlds - low-quality, knock-off apps with security problems, ads, phoning home, etc AND missing too many good high-quality apps that users come to expect.

Microsoft, if you are listening, don't work on getting Android to run, focus on having an app-store with only 100% quality apps. Even if it means only have 500 apps in your strore, just have only good stuff.

Comment: Re:It is Well Past Time (Score 2) 223

by danheskett (#47886665) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

No, Yahoo did not really try. They did more than anyone else, but it's an existential threat. These companies won't exist if people keep feeling their data is insecure. It's already happening internationally, US-based companies are getting pummeled.

Yahoo is a public company, and did not want to have a $91 million loss in addition to their already failed everything else.
Yeah, if they' re going to end up out of business anyways, what's a little bit sooner. And, amazingly, standing up for your customers will probably lead to more customers, not fewer. But even if it really pissed of the customers they did have, so what. The Yahoo precedent was set, and everyone else fell into line. That's why they should have picked up the phone, paid the fine for disclosing the legal battle, and enlisted other parties to help.

And no one uses Yahoo, at least intentionally. How the shit do they fight back with a barely captive audience?
This is a stretch. I've heard of people who use Yahoo. Back a few years it seemed more common.

So Yahoo takes the burden, what happens to the rest of the companies? The competition? They learn not to oppose the government. Yahoo, from the article, was the first to comply. If they did not, and died as a company, would anything be different other than fewer email addresses?
Yes, absolutely. We would have known contemporaneously that this was happening. Years later, what can be done? Very little. And, instead of being a joke, Yahoo would be a company with principles. It may have even worked out better for shareholders.

The worst that could happen is that the board opposes the CEO, and fires and replaces management. Which happened anyways.

Comment: Re:Whenever I read stuff like this (Score 4, Insightful) 223

by danheskett (#47886303) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

I may not agree with you on everything, but I do agree with you that the same idiots who funded the earlier version of the 9/11 terrorists want to fund Syrian rebels, and Iraqi's, and all manner of rebels today. ISIS, our now mortal enemy in Iraq, are fighting with equipment that we just left behind, in part.

It's a never ending parade of idiocy.

Comment: Re:Too Bad They Didn't Pull a Lavabit (Score 1) 223

by danheskett (#47886287) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

My thoughts exactly. You think the phone traffic from the slowday was big? Shut down Google for a day, replace with page for everyone to call a Senator's office or the WH, and see what happens. Ever seen a phone system try to handle 100 million phone calls at once?

It's either get things 100% end-to-end encypted, and done up so that even the service provider can't get to the clear text, or they need to get the right legal framework in place to avoid large-scale data releases to the government. Otherwise all of these companies end up overseas sooner or later.

Comment: It is Well Past Time (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by danheskett (#47886271) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

For one of these large companies to actually fight back. Tell the Government to stick it. Really, honestly, it's time. Well past time.

Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Google - just put the government in it's place. If they feel strongly about it, Yahoo, shut down Yahoo. Redirect every page to an explanation that they are currently in the process of shredding the all data, and if the users want Yahoo back, to call a Congress person or the directory of the FBI.

Fighting back has to be asymetric. $250k a day in fines is only $91 million a year. Fight. Back. There was no one at Yahoo with the pockets to with stand that type of fine? No one they could have picked up the phone and asked for?

It's not okay to lay down with the government. Just from a business perspective, American companies are loosing 10x that amount daily in lost business from international clients - business that will probably never come back - thanks to the overreaching operations and activities of the US government.

If Lars at Lavabit can do it - a one man operation - Yahoo can do it.

Comment: Head for the hills, or the coast, or... (Score 1) 151

by Zocalo (#47883279) Attached to: To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...
CMEs usually lead to an enhanced chance of aurora, so if I'm in a suitable location it's more a case of getting the camera gear out and heading off to somewhere scenic and away from any major source of light pollution. Keep watching the skies, we could be in for something spectacular if it hits us head on.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982