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Comment Re: Damn people are getting dumb (Score 1) 81

While you're on the topic of morals what's your view on the producers endlessly locking up content in copyright, forever milking the customer for every cent they can bare while passing on almost none of the profits to the people who created that work, all the while taking people to court for ludicrously over inflated payouts?

Even if I would be pirating due to financial reasons I would justify it to myself as "doing no moral harm" quite comfortably.

That is not the doing of the producers, rather it is the doing of the politicians. Now ask yourself what did the politicians give to the people when they took away works that should be in the public domain?

I'm all for rebelling against unjust laws, but the truth is that I'll support copyright infringement for an informative work, but not for an entertainment work. One could argue that the entertainment works become culture, to that I answer: when you pirate you are actively basing your culture on non-free works. So the society-benefiting conclusion remains: don't pirate. Just ignore the copyrighted works and base your culture upon ideas and stories that you are free to share.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 3, Informative) 127

1. Serial ports, because you don't need a complex microcontroller and driver stack just to throw a few bytes between two machines.

The poster seems to not understand what the words "universal" and "bus" mean in "Universal Serial Bus". He has 12 different varieties of physical connectors, but they all use (different compatible versions of) that same bus protocol, so he can simply use an adapter to interconnect between them. His PS/2 "adapter" is unreliable, does not completely support either the PS/2 or USB protocols, and will not work with many high-draw PS/2 HID devices, such as the PS/2 Model M keyboards (Lexmark, then Unicomp). Rather, there is a 'standard' mapping of PS/2 connectors to USB that most USB controllers support, but that is a USB feature.

Comment Displays (Score 1) 127


You still don't use USB for displays.
And USB->HDMI peripherals are far from being the best gadgets - many of the cheap ones are basically unusable for anything more than a second screen of desktop icons.

Merge USB and HDMI and you have the ultimate connector.

Comment Don't forget Ammonia (Score 1) 248

Melting aluminium is an *ideal* use for unreliable power: the primary cells can run at variable rates or even in reverse to stabilize the grid, or some of the molten product can be staged for running optimized Al air batteries. Germany is already doing this,

From that link, other energy-intensive processes may be suitable, "including those used to manufacture cement, paper, and chemicals. Making chlorine, used to produce paper, plastic, fabric, paint, drugs, and antiseptics, also requires electrolysis."

Don't forget Ammonia, by fixating Nitrogen from the atmosphere.

About half the "green revolution"(*) was due to availability of Ammonia due to the Haber process, which means our ammonia production supports about half the food production on the planet.

Haber is energy intensive, requiring half a million Joules of energy per mole (17g) of ammonia produced, which comes out to about 5% of all energy used worldwide.

It's largely startable/stoppable, so would make another good choice for unreliable or unneeded (ie - solar panels in uninhabited areas) power.

(*) The other half due to pesticides.

Comment Re: Damn people are getting dumb (Score 1) 81

I tried that. No one would take my money.

When regional exclusion comes into account, I for all means support copyright infringement. My comments were addressed to those who circumvent copyright when moral (not necessarily legal) means are available to them, in order to save money.

If the producers and distributors of the media do not see you as a potential customer and refuse to offer their product in your area, then you are doing no moral harm by acquiring the media by alternative distribution channels.

Comment Re:"burden" on the distribution chain (Score 2) 95

The profit on an iPhone 5s is estimated to be over 90%, I believe.

It makes that list as one of the most returned products, but only because of insane margins.

As such, the monetary value alone is not useful or even indicative in judging whether something is "cheap and throwaway" tech, or a poorly-made expensive product that contributes to all kinds of waste.

Amazon basically haven't made profit, but their impact on the distribution chain, environmental considerations because they exist etc. is phenomenal.

Comment Re:Windows: Use .URL files (Score 2) 89

Wont work on linux or mac osx though :-(

Works in KDE. This is a very basic feature, I have a hard time believing that any modern Linux desktop doesn't support opening a .URL file.

Here is a description of the format if you want to write a Python script to handle it:

Comment Re:Xmarks. (Score 1) 89

Lets me set bookmark profiles for different devices/environments, so I have my "Work" bookmarks distinct from my home use ones. Automatically synchronizes between all major browsers and devices. I mainly only keep smart bookmarks and daily-use ones, so I don't ever need dead link checking or any frills like that. Covers my needs.

I also use Xmarks and the related Lastpass. I'm so happy with them that I have no problem with paying them $12 yearly for the Premium version, just to ensure that the company stays in business.

The only thing really missing for me is the horrible Firefox bookmarks search. You cannot search for folders, and you cannot see in which folders reside the bookmarks found. Here is my Python script for searching the Firefox bookmarks, tested on a few Debian-based Linux distros:

Comment Re: Damn people are getting dumb (Score 3, Insightful) 81

This is a mistake, then. If you want to torrent and avoid copyright holders, you need to use a SEED BOX somewhere overseas where they don't keep records.

Or how about a more novel idea: Instead of paying to avoid copyright, either actually pay for the movies you watch or don't watch them. Seriously, I use a VPN and I use bittorrent for legitimate purposes, and you are ruining my ability to use my tools responsibly.

Just like the idiots that shine laser pointers at landing airplanes so now I cannot use a laser pointer to responsibly teach my daughters astronomy, you are abusing and ruining a tool for nothing of value. If you are so addicted to movies that you cannot even afford to pay for your habit, then you need counseling.

Comment Party affiliation (Score 1) 128

For those of you who think that voting Democratic is the lesser of two evils, note that the bill had strong bipartisan support in both the house and senate:

Yea 303: 179(R) 124(D)

[The USA Freedom Act] would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision-the material-support provision-would represent a significant step backwards," ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement.

Next up: the Trans Pacific Partnership. Let's all get together and vote for the party that does the least amount of damage to the American People! Yeah! That'll fix it!!!

One reasonable way to get good government to vote against all incumbents. Whether it's a red or blue congress critter, they'll fall in line once they realize that they only get 1 term if they screw over the people.

Another reasonable solution is to vote for non-insiders. Not Hillary, or Jeb or Chris or Marco.

This year the choices seem to be between "experience" and "change". Which of those would be the best for Americans?

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer