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Comment: Re:Study is flawed -- compares cities to countries (Score 1, Insightful) 263

by Olorion (#45588247) Attached to: New Education Performance Data Published: Asia Dominates
PISA does show how much U.S. schools suck, on average. I think that was the point of the test: to prove how rotten the inner cities are -- and how cold and heartless the average American is, that they can allow such rot to continue in the richest country in the world.

Comment: Re:not with a bang, but a little heard whimper. (Score 1) 265

by Olorion (#41773887) Attached to: Chinese Rare Earths Producer Suspends Output

China is nowhere near mining out all their rare earths.

Not every country is as short-sighted as the U.S. The Chinese government can see that they will soon exhaust their rare-earth reserves. Total depletion might be 30 years off, but to the Chinese that is every soon indeed. So their government is doing something about conserving their supplies.

Comment: Re:Free2play in games... (Score 1) 321

by Olorion (#38597776) Attached to: Why Freemium Doesn't Work

The days of becoming another Bill Gates are gone.

You can't become another Bill Gates or Larry Ellison because of Bill Gates and Larry Ellison -- not because of Open Source.

You can''t pull in huge monopoly rents like Microsoft and Oracle, because if you start looking even remotely successful, these companies will eat you. But you can make a bit of money: notice that Red Hat, an open source company, earns a billion dollars a year.

Comment: Re:Why China won't take the lead in space (Score 1) 218

by Olorion (#38539384) Attached to: China Reveals Its Space Plans Up To 2016

Continuity is more important than high tempo.

A country need only do enough to keep the engineers in practice and the aerospace infrastructure healthy. More than that is unnecessary -- it's nice to have, but not strictly needed.

Lack of continuity, however, can be fatal. Due to Congress's unreliability, NASA has no launchers left. The space shuttle is gone, and so is the Saturn V. Probably permanently gone, as a lot of knowledge has been lost. The U.S. is like a manic depressive: it's unstoppably giddy one year, suicidally gloomy the next. As I look back at all the lost decades since Apollo, I conclude that slow and steady, a continuous progression, would have been better by far.

Slow and steady is what I see from China. In the end, they may win.

Comment: Re:doubt it (Score 1) 389

by Olorion (#38322380) Attached to: Microsoft Can Remotely Kill Purchased Apps
Ten years ago, the Internet, especially the high-speed Internet you need for comfortable downloading, was not as pervasive as it is now. Software bought as retail boxes was still important. So MS could not have forced a walled garden on everybody; I have little doubt that they would have done it if they could. They can now.

Comment: Re:Definitely is graphene (Score 2) 159

by Olorion (#38288826) Attached to: Graphene Spun Into Meter-Long Fibers

No, the one being misleading was you. You wrote: "Graphene oxide and graphene are two different materials. As different as iron and rust, particularly in electrical properties."

The Nature news article says explicitly that the Zhen and Chao material is "conductive"; graphene oxide is an insulator. So the new material, however imperfectly reduced, is undeniably closer to graphene than to graphene oxide. It's definitely closer to iron than to rust, to use your analogy.

Implying otherwise, as you have done twice, is deceptive.

Comment: Re:Another Kink (Score 1) 345

by Olorion (#38015008) Attached to: Senate Set To Vote On the Repeal of Net Neutrality

Actually, I want real network neutrality. I don't trust the government to provide it, they have proven to be entirely untrustworthy in that regard.

The U.S. government is only potentially an enemy of the Internet (and I will fight any encroachment on our freedoms). Whereas Comcast et al have already declared their intention to block websites when they are given the to power to do so: that threat is how they plan to extort some revenue from independent sites. Given a potential menace and an actual, proven one, I'll take the lesser of two evils.

I don't trust the ISPs, either, but every time there has been a problem with them blocking or throttling anything, it didn't last very long once people started complaining.

The blockages didn't last because the ISPs probably broke the law. If their actions ever became legal due to the death of net neutrality, look out. Do you really think our freedoms will be protected by the Great Firewall of Comcast?

Comment: Re:Another Kink (Score 3, Interesting) 345

by Olorion (#38013330) Attached to: Senate Set To Vote On the Repeal of Net Neutrality

> Yet somehow you're willing to go ahead and provide the government with even more control over [the Internet].

False. To me, net neutrality means nobody controls the Internet, and that is as it should be.

Why are you so anxious to kill net neutrality, giving Comcast and AT&T almost dictatorial powers over what websites their customers can see? If net neutrality dies, the Great Firewall of Comcast will rival the Great Firewall of China.

Comment: Re:Another Kink (Score 1, Insightful) 345

by Olorion (#38012920) Attached to: Senate Set To Vote On the Repeal of Net Neutrality

> That's a pretty far-fetched bit of tin-foil-hattery you have there.

This is what a member of the 1% would say, of course. Perhaps you are one of them, or perhaps their propaganda has so crippled your brain that you fail to see what is in front of your eyes.

As hard as you try, you cannot ignore the evidence. Why were the mainstream media so unified in their "WMDs in Iraq" message? Anyone who looked impartially at the issue was *easily* able to say that was nonsense. But apparently none of the major media saw the truth -- despite their reputation for supposedly good investigative journalism. Could all of them have been incompetent, all at the same time? Very, very unlikely. The most probable conclusion is that they were deliberately lying to us.

These days, only a fool can still believe that our media is free.

The evidence of media dominance by the 1% is blindingly obvious. So it follows that they will want to crush as many alternative voices as possible, especially those on the Internet. The death of net neutrality will silence them.

Comment: Re:Another Kink (Score 5, Insightful) 345

by Olorion (#38011976) Attached to: Senate Set To Vote On the Repeal of Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is about far, far more than some ISP's profits.

The death of net neutrality is the death of the last independent voice in U.S. politics. You doubt this? Remember the deafening shouts of "WMDs in Iraq !!!" from practically all the mainstream media channels. Where were the dissenting voices? Basically, only on the Internet.

If net neutrality dies, then companies like Comcast and AT&T will have the power to silence web sites they dislike. Since these are giant corporations, their agendas will of course align with those of the mainstream media, and all the protest sites will die. The U.S. media will have largely one voice, the voice of the one-percenters, and dissent will be silenced.

This outcome is undoubtedly the main intent of the one-percenters, especially in these days of the Occupy movement. The powers that be desperately need to kill net neutrality for the same reason that Mubarak tried to turn off the Internet during the occupation of Tahrir Square by the riff-raff. Our rulers know that good communication is essential to any successful revolution, and they are determined to cut off all possible channels of dissent.

Now perhaps you are one of the 1%, or work for them. Perhaps you like having a media landscape that rivals China's in its depth of censorship. But I don't.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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