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Comment Re:Lutz also said design is the difference (Score 1) 535

If you look at car ownership from a demographic perspective, car makers are getting pretty panicked about the US market. Young Americans simply do not care about cars the way prior generations have. The aspects of "good car design" that won sales in the past are likely to be less important in the future.

Established companies/industries can be disrupted when customer needs change and the companies don't change accordingly. Lutz might be correct that Apple won't just show up after a few years' work with a better car as we know them today. But it's unlikely they're even trying to play quite the same game.

Comment Re:Bogus plot -- didn't the 2000 election teach us (Score 1) 57

That's an interesting concept.

But it does not do away with the undemocratic Electoral College, it just massages the system to force the Electoral College electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote.

As such, it's likely an improvement, but to me the fact that this strategy is being used highlights the broken nature of our political system and the fact that it is simply too difficult to amend the Constitution so such end-around moves have to be done to reform/change things.

Comment Bogus plot -- didn't the 2000 election teach us? (Score 2) 57

I don't like the winning plot at all; it ignores reality and the Constitution.

Forget about encryption or electronic voting -- didn't the 2000 election teach us anything when Al Gore got more of the votes from the American people across the country but George W. Bush took the White House? Does this plot presume we had a constitutional amendment to do away with the undemocratic Electoral College?

The US Constitution clearly says that the president is elected by the Electoral College. There are only 535 members of the electoral college. We could call them via phone calls in a couple of hours to see how they voted.

But don't let me get in the way of a good fairy tale... :-)

Comment Re:bye (Score 1) 531

I agree wholeheartedly. Sadly, the handwriting for this has been on the wall for some time. I can only hope Debian's Iceweasel port of Firefox does not adopt this "feature".

This makes me start to wonder if there is a reduced capability browser -- something leaner and meaner, focused militantly on privacy and even going so far as to deliberately not support portions of HTML5 (e.g. DRM).

Coders of the world, here's a niche you could fill...

Comment A TV show where nothing happens? (Score 1) 242

Asimov's own introduction to the books talks about how little action there is. I don't have it in front of me, but here's roughly what I remember reading: There had been a long gap between when he wrote the first book and when his publisher tried to get him to write more material. He needed a refresher, so he re-read the original stories. And as he read, he kept waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did!

Despite that, it was a compelling story and he obviously wrote a bunch more. But why would you make a TV show or movie out of it? There's almost nothing in it that's more compelling if you see it instead of reading it.

Comment A chance to work for doing it right (Score 4, Insightful) 190

You have an opportunity to help make your town a case study for doing it rightâ"which might result in a decision to avoid online voting. You can advocate on security/vote integrity issues by raising awareness of the complexities. Make a strong push for requiring vendors that don't hide their products' inner workings from their customers. Talk about the importance of being able to audit the vote.

The big questions everyone should answer before making a decision are "what do we gain?" and "what do we lose?" I think people often forget the latter.

Comment Re:In addition to rolling out... (Score 1) 129

I've had Cox, probably in the same city as you (given your reference to CenturyLink), for over a decade. Performance has always been as advertised, often better. Service interruptions have been rareâ"less than one per year. I've never heard different from anyone else.

They recently replaced my modem with one meeting a newer DOCSIS standard, presumably anticipating the upcoming service upgrades.

Comment Re:Not necessarily hate (Score 1) 1482

Based on that set of axioms, it can be completely loving to encourage someone to repent of his sins and choose to follow Jesus. Practicing homosexuality is a sign that someone isn't doing that. It would therefore be unloving or even hateful to affirm homosexual relations.

He didn't "encourage someone to repent". He contributed money to an effort to institutionalize oppression in the law. His actions affected others, so those who disagree are entitled to do the same.

Comment Re:Are people not allowed to have opinions? (Score 1) 1482

But in no way do I support the demonization or boycott of people just because they have a different opinion of something than I do.

This isn't about someone's opinion of wheat bread. This is about oppression based on a common genetic characteristic, and one that isn't anyone else's problem (as opposed to something like psychopathy). The struggle for gay rights absolutely, unquestionably, is analogous to the struggle for civil rights for african americans. You would have been against the Montgomery bus boycott?

Comment Re:Reality interferes... (Score 2) 197

The anti-missile bases and technology are quantitatively and qualitatively utterly inadequate to make a flyspeck of a difference. Russia knows this.

They likely do. But as we've wasted well over $100 billion on our so-called "Star Wars" anti-ballistic missile system over the years, and even more money on the anti-missile systems we're developing with/for Israel, I'd bet the Russians fear the day that we finally get it working.

Consider that after the breakup of the USSR, Russia has engineered and deployed substantial new nuclear weapons and delivery systems. The US has not.

I think this is misleading. Of course Russia has developed new ICBMs. First, this ignores what may or may not have been in the developmental pipeline. But more importantly, it ignores that we did unilaterally break the ABM treaty and started deploying ABM sites and mounting systems on ships. To expect the Russians not to counter our aggression is to expect them to act foolishly.

Is it the US who is really the only problem here?

Considering the US has launched multiple wars of aggression since the breakup of the USSR, the US gov't wages blatant proxy wars, the US gov't ignores all int'l law dating back to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia and claims a "right" to attack any country even if we have not been attacked first, and considering things like we have used flat-out torture as a national policy and spend almost 1/2 of the entire world's military spending, the US gov't may not be the "only" problem but most definitely our gov't is the largest and most aggressive problem country in the world.

Not surprisingly, but still sadly, it's not just me saying this; in one Win/Gallup International survey of people in 65 countries, the US is seen as the greatest threat to world peace.

"The organization has concluded that the United States is now the principle violator of human rights and freedoms worldwide." -- Amnesty International's annual report on human rights.

Comment Re:Reality interferes... (Score 1) 197

However it is also true that every nation which entered NATO practically begged for it.

I think it's important to remember some of the skulduggery that we did in Europe -- for decades. Remember, we essentially bought elections in France and Italy in the late 40s to prevent communists from being elected into power; we beamed divisive ethnic propaganda into Yugoslavia for decades. Hell, even as late as the 1980s we had our CIA work with European rightists to conduct flat-out terrorist actions against our own NATO allies in a strategy of tension designed to push western European gov'ts to the political right.

Given the fact that many of the new leaders of the former Warsaw Pact we funded and backed for years and years, and in such an atmosphere of such skulduggery, it's not surprising that they'd want to snuggle up to the west if only to increase the odds that they would not continue to remain a target.

After all, it's not like the vast majority of the common people of those countries had a lot of say in the economic shock therapy that was inflicted on their nations, nor in whether they should become a member of NATO or not.

Comment Reality interferes... (Score 5, Insightful) 197

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The reality is that the US and west never stopped waging the Cold War. We broke the understanding with Russia and pushed NATO eastward, even incorporating parts of the former USSR into NATO.

Then we tore up the ABM treaty and put anti-missile bases in Eastern Europe claiming we were doing that because of Iran. The Russians didn't find that laughable claim one bit funny and understood that the west was seeking to negate their nuclear deterrence.

NATO has been used offensively both inside and outside of Europe and shows that it has nothing to do with "defense".

We portrayed a rag-tag group of Muslim fundamentalists as some sort of existential threat to the US and west, but now the US gov't has made a "pivot" and is portraying China as militarily aggressive because they are squabbling over some worthless islets with their neighbors. It's clear that China is the focus of a new Cold War.

It's clear the US is in search of a "new enemy" because that's what keeps Americans distracted from how much we waste on our military and our continuing economic decline.

"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy." -- Ambassador to the USSR and US State Dept. strategist George F. Kennan.

Comment Re:Country spies on other country (Score 1) 158

> Performing actions that US govt sees as 'acts of war', against other, *allied*, country?

Well, the European Parliament has found that the CIA in conjunction with right-wing Europeans committed many different acts of terror -- acts killing and wounding hundreds of civilians -- on our own NATO allies during the 1980s in US gov't's pursuit of a strategy of tension.

So for the US gov't to do this would be nothing new. :-(

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_