I'm a great fan of KDE 3.x also. For what it is worth, I find that KDE4.9+ to be as stable as 3.x ever was, and as feature-full... as a DESKTOP.
I also switched away from KDE 4 to gnome in the early days of KDE4, and was rather reluctantly forced away from Gnome by the recent modifications. I tried KDE4.9 that was packaged as part of Fedora 18, and was very pleasantly surprised. KDE has recovered. It is VERY configurable, supports the usual windows paradigms that we're used to and is very very stable.
HOWEVER, the KDE apps are a different story. They are still half-complete, buggy and lose data. Even basic apps that I use regularly are fairly primitive. For example, KDE has a number of image viewers (Gwenview, Kuickshow...) but none of them can hold a candle to the power, elegance and simplicity of an 8-year old GQview or its modern cousin Geeqie. I tried the mail app on an experimental basis and was rewarded by prompt crashes and data corruptions. There is nothing even close to Gimp, Pan or other staples of Gnome.
So I find myself in the weird position of running the KDE desktop, but using mostly gnome apps.
I heard that there is a bug in the 3g subsystem that prevents the phone from connecting to the towers, so it keeps retrying and wasting the battery. So it only affects 3G operators like AT&T, won't affect folks on Verizon.
Maybe the organic matter would `seed' life on Mars a-la Prometheus.
You are absolutely right. Old people are in general desperately lonely, and they often suppress `warning messages' for the company when being conned by a smart personable young person (or a cheerful voice at the end of the phone line).
The problem is really social isolation.
The father of one of my closest friends (in his 80s) was conned into investing close to $250,000.00 into a real estate venture in Latin America. He is not someone who comes across as a doddering old man. He is still alert, reasonably physically fit (for his age) and shows no signs of dementia. He had a successful career in business and survived all the vicious corporate politics of the huge corporation that he worked for, and retired with a healthy retirement account.
But pretty much everyone he knows is either dead or lives too far away for regular contact. His children live across the country and his spouse is no more. He has almost no living friends. Pretty much everyone whom he knew before he was 30 have passed on. The elderly do not make new friends very easily with their own age group. He goes for weeks without talking to a single soul (think of the guy from the movie `Up', that scenario is quite accurate). He is isolated, lonely, disenfranchised and desperate to feel relevant to society.
He was ripe for the picking by the smart young woman who knocked on his door in a business suit, heels and with a briefcase full of glossy brochures.
This is just part of life and how nature has programmed us. For better or for worse, women are the once who define the social rules of life. And this has always been the case. The root cause of this is that women are far more valuable to `the tribe' than men are, and society is reflexively programmed to protect the feminine interest. Trying to criticize this dynamic through a logical perspective is quite counter-productive. It is almost impossible for a man to criticize a woman, or indeed any aspect of female culture without looking like a whiny crybaby or a clueless idiot. A better thing would be to accept this and either move on or find ways to use this to your advantage.
A few other asymmetries to add to the list:
1. Porn for men is heavily regulated and looked down upon. It is almost impossible for a man to be known as a consumer of porn and still maintain a decent social standing. However, you can buy women's pornography at Walmart, and female judges openly discuss reading `50 shades of grey'.
2. A woman who uses her sexuality/command of the language etc to intimidate, manipulate or verbally castrate men is generally admired in the US culture. A man who shouts at a woman attains immediate jerkhood.
3. Most woman in a committed relationship use sex (or the withholding thereof) as a powerful tool to control the men in their life. How many times have you heard the phrase `he is going to sleep on the couch tonight?' This is generally considered an admirable thing in our culture.
4. Research indicates that women `stray' as much as men outside relationships. About 20% of men who think the are the fathers of their own kids are mistaken. However, it is men that are penalized by society and the legal system for failing to keep it in their pants.
The list goes on. Noone will be able to change any of this, unless you move to Islamic-style societies.
Citation please? According to Wikipedia, the only terrorist group to employ this tactic is Hamas, even though Israeli security does screen women -- which rather invalidates the theory.
Not correct. The Tamil Tigers and various other groups have used women suicide bombers. Rajiv Gandhi, the ex-Prime Minister of India was killed by female suicide bomber.
The Indian Christian Church (at least some of them) have a history of doing stuff like this; the aggressive conversion tactics they have adopted will put most US fundamentalist churches to shame. During a trip out there a few years ago, I witnessed a priest perform a "your Hindu god is false" demonstration in public field, accompanied by (I kid you not) an orchestra, with the entire performance amplified by huge speakers placed all around. The priest was dressed in robes reminiscent of a medieval Pope, and threw a Hindu Idol and a Cross into a big glass tank of water. The Hindu Idol sank, and the cross floated, and the guy exclaimed that this showed that the Hindu god was a false god. It was obvious that the idol was made of stone and the cross of wood. There was a huge crowd standing by, many of them ooh'd and aah'd. It looked like at least some of the ooh'ers were part of the performance. I went up to the priest and challenged him, and he started yelling at me. Some of his acolytes grabbed me and basically pushed me away from the place. I think I would surely have been beaten up if I had not been a foreigner.
I learned later that this sort of stuff is quite common in India. The church has started Christian ceremonies during mainstream Indian festivals like Diwali etc, during which time theys hold huge, extravagant masses to celebrate supposedly Christian events. If you are a student of history and want to know how "Christmas" ultimately ended up in December, this would be an object lesson.
The thing that amazed me was how tolerant the crowds were. Here was a guy who was yelling insults about the mainstream religion in a public place, and a vast crown just watched and let him have his say in peace. I doubt if this would happen in the US, let alone in any predominantly Islamic place.
Banning porn/hookers is basically pandering to women. Much of Woman's social influence and power derives from the sexual hold She has on Man. Pornography and hookers directly threaten that hold.
This is not very different from the govt trying to get the ACTA through to satisfy the movie industry.
Homeschooled tea-party supporter, huh?
This is just pure whitewashing and has been debunked multiple times.
As someone with a fair amount of experience in high tech and software development, I'd argue that everything you wrote about Indian programmers could equally apply to American ones. Still, for the sake of argument, let us assume that you are right. There is still one overwhelming reasons why managers (i.e. PHBs) prefer Indian programmers (either in the USA or India). That is: ego (or the lack of it).
Let us face it: Indians in general are happy to do what they are told. They do not grumble that the work is not challenging enough, or too demeaning. They tend to stick with the company even they are not doing the most sexy, glamorous work. They don't mind following software development processes laid down by management (and in fact, from what I've seen, many of them actually find that preferable to `genius' type mind-to-keyboard) programming. They do not mind working on bugfixes. They do not mind working under the direction of other, senior people, especially if the senior people are Americans.
Compare that to the average American engineer you find, especially in Silicon Valley. Let us postulate for the sake of argument that they are all programming gods. But I'd also argue that you won't find a more ego-centric, arrogant, inconsiderate bunch of prima donnas outside an Italian opera house. They are great at early stage startups as they sling together large amounts of code quickly. But they are absolutely terrible at dealing with the `grindwork' required to transform the technology into a product. They complain. They whine. They blackmail the management ("Institute that process and I'm gone!!"). They quit at inconvenient times anyway.
I'd argue that unless you are doing something at the super-high end, you probably don't need everyone at that talent level. For the average tech company, a mix of 20% Americans and 80% Indians would probably be more than adequate. The PHBs know this. That is why outsourcing will continue unless the govt puts a stop to it by some means.
Absolutely. If this is true, this may well be a deliberate act of provocation, intended to get Iran's military to do something stupid or over-reach, which would give the US the excuse it needs to start the war which the war machine desperately wants.
This sort of thing happens all the time; Country A wants to invade Country B, but needs a `good/just/patriotic' reason to sell home and abroad. Enter the agent provocateur.
America is the largest arms exporter in the world; the only reason the dictators don't provide American arms to their rank and file is because they are in general too expensive and perceived to be unreliable compared to AKs. But there are plenty of American-made heavy weapons found all over third-world killing zones.
Usually, when some right-wing guy brings up the `get a pair' taunt during some argument about some symbol/statement/law that offends somebody, I usually use the following to make them get the point.
1) Mosque at ground zero. If the Muslims have money to set up a mosque there, why is it your concern? You should just swallow your feelings, right?
2) Mapplethorpe Exhibit. Jesus in a jar of urine. You should just man up, right?
3) Gay parade in SF. Everybody should just STFU, right?
You get the picture. There are lots of such examples you can bring up.