Righto, unless you're renting your house from the postal service, or are using their "USPS bank" for your safety box, they are completely different entities, so I still maintain it's a bad analogy. Google owns both the post office and the safety deposit box where you put your letter.
Not an entirely accurate analogy. You own the house (and even if you didn't, the *mailbox* from which you retrieved the letter is distinct from the dwelling where you're likely to store it afterwards).
In gmail's case, google *owns* everything, and they just let you use the storage and mailbox assigned to you. So given a court order, they could remove the email without technically accessing anything that's actually yours.
Now, if the recipient makes a local copy, then your "break into my house" analogy would be more accurate, applying to the copy in the recipient's system.
Hm, if they were that smart, they'd also know that the name they chose for their society (whatever) means something like "stupid" in spanish. So not a lot of thought went into that...
I hate being a grammar nazi but, this Stross guy being a writer, I think it's warranted. Lack of mastery in his own craft makes me distrust his research a bit, even if it's a bit of an ad hominem on my part.
to damage states ability to collect tax and monitor their citizens financial transactions, as seen both in TFA and the Slashdot summary, lacks possessives and looks just plain bad.
Where I live, Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws.
TFTFY. But really, if your authorities don't do their job, that's again no reason to seek outright bans on household animals. Vote to have the authorities changed by a team who cares. Failing that, move to a different location where authorities do care.
It'll just lead to a lot of head-scratching and "can you repeat that" over weird, distorted-for-no-apparent-reason audio. At least I hope it works better than Google+'s "looks like you're typing, so I auto-muted you" feature, that one was a disaster for collaboration since the speaker couldn't go anywhere near the keyboard while talking. At least there's a way to say "don't mute me" now.
There was already a phone proposed that could have done this with no problem. There wasn't enough interest on it to make it a reality.
And before you go complaining about the cost, please have a look at flagship Android phones and how much they cost *off contract*. The Edge was a pretty good value.
I know it's a strange word but it's spelled correctly: Cryonics (from Greek kryos- meaning icy cold).
" I'm leery of spending quite so much on any phone.".
No, you're leery of not being subsidized by your phone carrier. Most high-end smartphones cost about the same as the Ubuntu Edge, if you buy them off-contract. Look at the 32-GB iPhone 5, it's $749, which is close to a 128-GB Ubuntu Edge (and of course I'm ignoring the Edge's other specs which also quite good).
Link to Original Source
I suggest you look at the concept of coworking. Basically you'd rent, short-term, a desk in an open-plan office full of people who work under the same arrangement. This includes internet access, power, and perhaps snacks and drinks. The other people in the place provide the social work atmosphere you crave, and exposure to other interesting things they may be working on. You can pay by the day, week or month (week and month payments usually cover a set amount of days but are cheaper than paying by the day).
Coworking spaces exist in many cities around the world, and since coworking enthusiasts are, well, very enthusiastic about the concept, they communicate with each other and set up collaboration networks. Before you leave on your trip, I suggest you look for local coworking spaces to scout the concept, and talk to the space owners about your plans. They can certainly give you more information and tell you about the "coworking visa" which "allows active members of one space to use other coworking spaces around the world for free for a set number of days (3 is the default)."
Read more about it here:
http://wiki.coworking.com/w/page/16583831/FrontPage (they have a worldwide directory).
"disable firing if the gun is pointed at a child or someone holding a child.". This is absurd, what if it's an evil child? or what if someone is holding an evil child to prevent it from escaping and yelling "take the shot before he runs away!!" ? What about dwarves? this wouldn't work against e.g. minime.
Simplistic heuristics will not cut it when you're talking about, literally, a life-and-death decision.
"each circumcision that is not performed costs the U.S. health-care system $313.".
At least they're telling you what's the most you should be willing to pay for this. I don't think that the medical "industry" will see a profit from this.
These neoliberal politicians seem to live in an entirely different country, and Frenk is no exception; no wonder he's now run as far away from Mexico as possible and is now teaching elsewhere, standing, no doubt, on his alleged achievements while being the secretary of public health in Mexico.
As any mexican will tell you, his boasting is far from the truth; while he may have instituted a program that supposedly provides coverage for people not otherwise under any sort of health care plan (i.e. those who are not, as workers, covered by the mexican institute of social security (IMSS), or as government workers, covered by ISSSTE), he did so without increasing health spending significantly (from 2003 to 2005 it only increased 0.2 percent and it has remained constant ever since: http://corta.me/7mz). So how can you cover 50 million more people without increasing spending? very poorly, that's how. Understaffed and underequipped hospitals, lack of medication, soul-sucking bureaucracy and hoops to jump through, I don't think that's anything to boast about; as befits his neoliberal lineage, Frenk instituted these policies for the macroeconomic "bottom line".
IMSS is supposed to provide coverage for workers and their families. However this entails people working on a stable, formally constituted company which has the obligation to cover fees for employee coverage. It's not a privilege, it's a right that companies must provide to their employees. However, since Mexico has had near zero growth in the past two decades or so (and more so since 2000, when the disastrous, conservative PAN party arrived in power), job creation has stagnated, and even receded in some cases. Millions of people have to resort to the "informal economy", since there's no company through which they can have access to IMSS, this popular insurance thing was created to give some semblance of health care coverage to the 50 million poor and underemployed in Mexico. But make no mistake; this is not the glowing achievement that Frenk would have the world believe. It's really the government hastily trying to fulfill, in a half-assed way, their constitutionally mandated obligation for health care (Mexican Constitution, 4th Article). This has been there since 1983, so actually Frenk's implementation means a 20-year lag for the government to fulfill its obligations.
I'd start by reading this (and if possible, having them read it as well):
Bottom line is, they *have* to want to change. If, as you say, they will latch onto any differences to decry the fact that Linux is not *exactly* like Windows, then, well, you're screwed and may as well not waste your time, because the fact is, Linux *is* different from Windows (the very reason why e.g. I use it).
One thing I've always found funny is that these same people have possibly gone through many changes in Windows and MS Office, always without complaint, because it was fed to them by Microsoft as "the next step". It will probably be the same once they get Windows 8 on a computer; they may think "this is hard to learn" but they will learn it without complaint. But put them in front of Linux and they'll cry foul and refuse to use it because "it's different". This mentality is very hard to beat; I stopped trying a few years ago and just let them writhe in their malware-infected sewers while I continue being able to work on Linux.