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Comment: Re:"as a Service" = you have to buy it Every Year? (Score 1) 104 104

Honestly, how much trust do you put in what Microsoft publicly says?

It's not binding, they repeatedly change their mind, and they're a huge multinational who doesn't give crap what their consumers want.

However the license agreement will be legally binding and unless it mentions a expiration date for the license, a subscription fee, or the like, will pretty much settle the matter as of July 29th.

So you'll pardon us for having ZERO faith in the fact that Microsoft has said anything. Because it doesn't mean a damned thing.

They will do whatever maximizes profits, and what their lawyers say they can get away with.

Your blindly saying you believe them makes you either naive, or clueless.

Here's the thing: Announcing that Windows Seven and 8/8.1 may be upgraded to Windows 10 (for perpetuity) during the first year of release and then changing that policy upon launch day would create a tidal wave of bad publicity. You can count on large corporations doing all they can to avoid bad publicity -- if only because it significantly affects profits.

So forgive us for thinking that a corporation which has made this announcement and had months to consider how it was being interpreted, without correcting that interpretation as launch draws ever closer, is going to change their position so close to launch.

It's not going to happen. And in three weeks and two days, I just might hound you with a few I-told-you-so-s.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 1) 245 245

Actually the exact opposite is true.

Which is necessarily true in any kind of fashion, even if it's anti-fashion. Hipsterism is a kind of contrarianism; the attraction is having things that most other people don't even know about. But strict contrarianism is morally indistinguishable from strict conformism.

Now outside of major metropolitan centers like Manhattan when people say "hipster" they mean something else; there's not enough of a critical mass of non-conformity to cater to an actual "hipster" class. What they're really talking about is "kids taking part in trends I'm not included in." In other words its the same-old, same-old grousing about kids these days, only now by people who've spent their lives as the focus of youth culture and can't deal with their new-found cultural marginalization.

As you get older the gracious thing to do is to age out of concern, one way or the other, with fashion.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 2) 245 245

I thought hipsters all owned iPhone and Macbooks, and shopped at The Gap. I.e. they are all about conformity, fads and Buzzfeed.

No, those things are actually anti-hip. As soon as something gets big enough for Buzzfeed it's for a different audience.

"Hip" implies arcane knowledge possessed by a select few. A great band with a small local following is "hip"; when they make it big they're no longer "hip", although they may still be "cool". The iPhone is pretty much the antithesis of hip, no matter how cool it may be. If I were to guess what hipster phone model might look like, it might be something low-cost Indian android phone manufactured for the local market and not intended for export -- very rare and hard to get outside of India. Or even better, hard to get outside of Gujarat. Or even better only a few hundred were ever manufactured then the company went bankrupt and the stock was sold on the street in Ahmedabad. Provided that the phone is cool. Cool plus obscure is the formula for "hip".

It follows there is no such thing as "hip" retail chain. It's a contradiction in terms. A chain may position itself in its marketing as "hip", but it's really after what the tech adoption cycle refers to as "Early Majority" adopters.

Hipsters reject being the leading edge of anything; as soon as something becomes big, it is no longer hip. This means they're not economically valuable on a large scale, which some people see as self-centered and anti-social. Compare this to cosplayers; the media always adopts a kind of well-the-circus-is-in-town attitude when there's a con, but while they're condescending toward cosplayers the media can't afford to be hostile because those people are the important early adopters for economically valuable media franchises.

Let me give you a more authentic hipster trend than the one you named. Last year there was a fad for hipster men to buy black fedora hats from Brooklyn shops that cater to Hasidic men. While as soon as something gets big enough to draw media attention it's dead to hipsters, this fad illustrates the elements of hipster aesthetic: (1) resurrecting obscure and obsolete fashions; (2) exoticism or syncretism; and (3) authenticity.

Now from an objective standpoint there's no good reason to favor or disfavor fedoras as opposed to, say baseball caps. It's just a different fashion. Likewise there's no practical reason to value a hat from a owner-operated store in Brooklyn over an identical one purchased from Amazon. But it does add rarity value, and that's the key. Something has to be rare and unusual to be hip. As soon as hipness is productized it appeals to a different audience.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 3, Insightful) 245 245

Is this just another term for hipsters? People who seek out things that everyone else has dismissed for (usually) good reasons.

No. Because the "good reason" usually is "most people aren't doing that anymore." The article is about things that *never* become cool, not things that were cool in grandpa's day.

The real problem with being a hipster is that the ideal of non-conformity is inconsistent with the idea of fashion.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, the US debt keeps piling up, up, up (Score 3, Interesting) 1142 1142

We are just as bad as the Greeks.

Greece was borrowing money to pay back formerly borrowed money. The U.S. is still borrowing money to do things with it (hopefully productive things). I'm a fiscal conservative, but in the current extremely low interest rate environment, it actually makes sense to borrow a lot of money to get more (productive) things done than you could do without borrowing.

The only thing you have to watch out for is that you don't borrow so much that you find yourself unable to pay it back when interest rates climb. That's the situation Greece found themselves in - as they got deeper into debt, their credit rating declined and it became more expensive for them to borrow money, which resulted in them being unable to pay back what they owed.

Comment: Re:Good for greece (Score 5, Interesting) 1142 1142

Notably, austerity tends to shut down the economy, which will only lead to further financial insolvency.

The fundamental problem here is that Greek pay (in Euros) is disproportionately high compared to their productivity vs other Eurozone nations'. "Austerity" is simply reducing wages to bring that wages-to-productivity ratio back in line with the EU norm. The reforms the EU was asking for addressed the other half of this ratio - increasing average Greek productivity. The growing Greek debt is created by this imbalance - people were being paid more Euros than they were producing via their labor. Greece was covering up this imbalance by borrowing, which is totally the wrong reason to borrow money. You borrow it to purchase things which will help increase your productivity so that you will no longer be running a deficit. You don't borrow it to continue to operate in arrears.

By rejecting austerity and failing to implement reforms, you don't leave many choices. The simplest is to boot Greece off the Euro. Then they can do whatever the hell they want with their economy, pensions, and pay, and it will automatically balance itself out via the Drachma falling in value vs. the Euro. You can either take a 30% pay cut in Euros, or you can switch to the Drachma and the Drachma declines in value 30% vs. the Euro. The end result is the same - "austerity". (Ideally Greece would increase their average productivity by 30% - then wages wouldn't have to drop. But they seem hell bent on refusing to do anything the EU suggests that could improve productivity.)

Comment: Re:Drop the hammer on them. (Score 5, Insightful) 1142 1142

"Drop the hammer on them."

That's the easy part. The hard part is dealing with what happens after the hammer has been dropped.

Someone once said that the definition of a bad policy is one that leads to a place where you have nothing but bad options. I believe everyone (not just the Greeks) thought back in 2000 it woudl be good policy to bring Greece into the Eurozone. But now we've now reached the point where otherwise rational people are talking about "dropping the hammer", as if having an incipient failed state in Europe is a small price to pay for 600 euro in your pocket. The frustration is understandable, but the the satisfaction of dropping the hammer on Greece would be short-lived -- possibly on the order of weeks depending on the scale of financial disruption.

The unhappy truth is that bad policy choices fifteen years ago means all the options available today lead to long-lived, complicated, and expensive consequences.

Comment: Re:What baffles me is.... (Score 2) 97 97

If this scum has a history of making false claims then why are they still allowed to make claims at all? Better yet, why haven't they been banned from Youtube altogether?

Alice posts a video using music that Bob owns the copyright to. Carol posts a video that uses music Bob falsely claims to also hold the copyright for. Unfortunately Bob's false claim against Carol doesn't change the fact that he actually does have a legitimate legal claim against Alice's video. So kicking him off the system means he's going to issue a takedown against Alice. The whole point of bringing him into the system was to give him an incentive to leave Alice alone.

The problem here isn't Bob and Alice -- that part of the scenario is working fine. The problem is Bob and Carol. There's no incentive for Bob not to make false claims against Carol. That's the bit that has to be fixed.

Comment: Re:Religion is a choice! (Score 1) 265 265

Ultimately, any moral structure you choose to enforce is a choice. Including the one you've apparently chosen where inherent properties are given higher standing than chosen properties. Strictly from a physical (inherent) standpoint, there was nothing wrong with Hitler's belief that certain members of the human race needed to be exterminated. Evolution is after all about survival of the fittest, and if those peoples could not survive his extermination attempt, then obviously they were not fit enough for their environment. Others chose to believe differently - that those people had an inherent right to exist regardless of the circumstances they were born into. And they believed in that choice strongly enough to go to war over it even though it resulted in over 50 million deaths

So it's self-contradictory to argue that things based on a choice deserve less protection than things that are inherent. Such a moral position is in itself a choice, and by your definition cannot be defended if e.g. someone inherently physically stronger than everyone else decides to go around smashing in the heads of people who believe as you do (regardless of your race or gender).

Religious intolerance is included because historically it has been one of the main reasons people have been persecuted and discriminated against. Heck, people are being executed for it right now in Syria and Iraq. Probably a lot more than because of their race or gender. Even atheism is a choice (essentially, a religion). The scientific method cannot prove a negative, so it cannot prove that a god does not exist. So to go from agnosticism (uncertainty about whether a diety exists) to atheism (certainty that no deity exists) requires a leap of faith - a choice.

If you boil it down, I think you'll agree that the key principle worth defending is the right to self determination - the freedom to make the choices you want to make. Such choices are worth protecting up to the point where they begin to interfere with other people's freedom to make their own choices. It's all about choices.

Comment: Re:Pao Wants "Safe Spaces" for Shills and Ideologu (Score 1) 379 379

You know that content gets voted by the community and only appears on the front page if enough people care, right?

And everyone votes. And everyone takes their day-off July 3rd holiday to go to reddit. And everyone... Show me a votes to daily-visits ratio before you declare what is a minority and what is not.

Comment: Re:14 years (Score 5, Informative) 108 108

3) There is nothing wrong with hinting you are willing to sell. I'm willing to sell my home for enough money and I still live here. If someone wants to pay me 130% or market (not even an insane amount) I'm out tomorrow. The fact that I would sell for over market doesn't indicate bad faith which is the other thing that needs to be proven.

Hold your horses. Hinting that you're willing to sell is probably the worst possible thing you can do if a trademark owner is trying to take your domain away from you. From ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy, the first example of a bad faith registration is: " circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name."

Never signal that you're willing to sell, even as a joke. The domain is your baby, and you want it forever. If they offer an amount you're willing to sell for, then take it. But never admit before then that a certain amount would get you to change your mind. When Nissan (the car company) tried to take from Uzi Nissan (the computer store owner) who had registered the domain long before Datsun ever began using their Nissan trademark in the U.S., they asked him how much it would take for him to sell. He replied, "A million dollars. Why can't you understand I'm not going to sell." Basically he pulled a Dr. Evil. Back when the phrase "a million dollars" was first coined and the average person made a few dollars a week, it meant a ridiculously huge sum of money. But today it's not that much money.

Nissan's lawyers immediately took the first half of his statement, snipped out the context in the second half, and presented it to ICANN as evidence he was squatting the domain to extort money from the trademark owner. ICANN then decided to take the domain away from him and put it in escrow until the dispute was resolved (eventually in Uzi Nissan's favor years later, though he lost millions because he wasn't awarded legal fees). If he hadn't used that particular phrase, he might have been able to continue using the domain throughout the legal proceedings.

Read up on the UNDRP if this is something you're really worried about.

Comment: Re:Pao Wants "Safe Spaces" for Shills and Ideologu (Score 1) 379 379

I am hearing that several subreddits that went private were forcibly reopened by the admins, and the mods were unable to do anything about it after. I don't have sources, but if it's discovered that it true, that would be the final nail in the coffin for me.

I hear you. It sucks when someone decides to take their ball and go home only to be reminded that it's not their ball. It sucks even more when you support that someone only to be reminded that it's not your ball or your home, and that both of you are very replaceable.

The users don't care about this. You're a tiny minority that wants to see a catfight because you've decided someone is irreplaceable without any actual knowledge as to why they were let go.

Comment: Re:So this is going to fail like face unlock... (Score 2) 76 76

I can't even start to wonder why a critical, money-bound company would even think of facial recognition for secure payments...

Pass a law making banks and credit card companies financially responsible for fraud in the use of their products, rather than being able to pass the cost off entirely onto merchants like they currently do. Then you'll see money-bound companies take security seriously. (Those absurdly high credit card interest rates pay for people who default on their credit card bills, not for fraud.)

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 4, Insightful) 265 265

Well, it may interest you to know that courts judging "emotional distress" is not some new Internet fad. In the year 1348 an innkeeper brought suit against a man who had been banging on his tavern door demanding wine. When the innkeeper stuck his head out the doorway to tell the man to stop, the man buried the hatchet he was carrying into the door by the innkeeper's head. The defendant argued that since there was no physical harm inflicted no assault had taken place, but the judged ruled against him [ de S et Ux. v. W de S (1348)]. Ever since then non-physical, non-financial harm has been considered both an essential element of a number of of crimes, a potential aggravating factor in others, and an element weighed in establishing civil damages.

This does *not*, however, mean that hurt feelings in themselves constitute a crime. It's a difficult and sometimes ambiguous area of the law, but the law doesn't have the luxury of addressing easy and clear-cut cases only.

As to why a new law is need now, when the infliction of emotional distress has been something the law has been working on for 667 years, I'd say that the power of technology to uncouple interactions from space and time has to be addressed. Hundreds of years ago if someone was obnoxious to you at your favorite coffeehouse, you could go at a different time or choose a different coffeehouse. Now someone intent on spoiling your interactions with other people doesn't have to coordinate physical location and schedule with you to be a persistent, practically inescapable nuisance.

Does this mean every interaction that hurts your feelings on the Internet is a crime? No, no more than everything that happens in your physical presence you take offense at is a crime.

Comment: Re:Oh get over it. (Score 1) 185 185

And all those little taxes, from city, state, and country, all add up to between 40% and 60% of most US citizens' income. How much is enough?

Actually it's about 33% (dipped below 30% during the recession, but has moved back up). But I agree with you. People need to understand that only the sum total of all taxes matter. Even corporate taxes are eventually paid for by individuals - via higher prices for goods and services, or lower wages for employees. In that respect, taxes could be vastly simplified if they were collected from a single point in our economy. If you want a graduated tax (richer people pay more), then the logical choice is the income tax. Nearly all other taxes could be eliminated and rolled into just income taxes. (Exceptions would be excise and regulatory taxes which fund directly-related government services, and property taxes which discourage "sitting" on property waiting for it to appreciate instead of developing it immediately to maximize public utilization.)

In this particular case, the Constitutional prohibition on interstate taxation would've applied. Except the states have been busy whittling away at that and Congress seems unwilling to challenge this usurpation of a power clearly reserved to them. I don't mind if you think the Commerce Clause is wrong, but express your disagreement the way the architects of our country intended - modify the Constitution. Don't try to justify it with painfully convoluted arguments for why the clause doesn't mean what it clearly says it means, just because you can't muster enough votes to amend the Constitution.

Adding new taxes like this also increases the regulatory burden for its citizens and the city itself, which indirectly reduces the taxes effectiveness by increasing the overhead of compliance

I've done business in Chicago. The purpose isn't compliance. The purpose is graft - money paid to government officials and politicians under the table if you "need more time" to come into compliance. I expect certain ISPs and data centers will come to "arrangements" with Chicago where their customers won't have to pay this tax.

"Because he's a character who's looking for his own identity, [He-Man is] an interesting role for an actor." -- Dolph Lundgren, "actor"