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Comment Re:Good for France. (Score 1) 131

The only reasonable solution is in-country subsidiaries that obey the laws of the country in which they're incorporated. So, if you goto facebook.fr you get to a site that is in compliance with French law, if you goto google.com it is in compliance with US law, twitter.cn obeys the laws of Canada, and so on.

The other options are:

1) No regulation at all and the internet is a 100% lawless free-for-all. And as much as that might appeal to the libertarian crowd, and as over-regulated as I personally believe the internet to be, especially with France and Spain's potshots at the likes of Facebook and Google; that's really not reasonable or feasible.

2) Global compliance with the strictest regulation regime on any given topic. No mention or discussion of the Tiananmen Square massacre or repression of Tibet anywhere on the internet because it would be illegal in China. No porn anywhere on the internet because it's illegal in Saudi Arabia. No advocacy for marriage equality or other GLBT issues because of Russia. Obviously, this is intolerable.

Comment Re:The deep insecurity of Islam (Score 1) 328

Oh, and not only does this dog disappear into obscurity, he actively works to *hide* his presence:

- Fake dinosaur skeletons, complete with the carbon isotopes tampered with so they appear to be 65 million years old instead of 6000.
- The whole geologic record for that matter, also with falsified carbon isotopes.
- Lots of fake light inserted into space, supposedly originating from sources hundreds, thousands, and millions of light-years away. Said light is tampered with further: red-shifted to support that wacky "Big Bang" theory.
- A star to orbit that's so dense that it takes than the 6000 years that the universe has existed for energy to travel from the core, where the fusion takes place, to the surface, where it can then be radiated toward the Earth.
- You know... radioactive decay and outer space in general are both poor things for this god to have invented, unless he *REALLY* didn't want to be found.

Comment Re:But they're not white, so it's OK (Score 1) 328

Jerry Falwell would have loved to send you to hell; perhaps not personally, but definitely by proxy. The difference is that we have a two-hundred year tradition in this country of not putting up with that sort of crap. Before that? Some of our earliest colonists were christian loons who are famous for murdering a bunch of people whom they thought might be wiccans.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 328

You know, I really wish that a bakery had not become the test case for the issue of businesses and public accommodations refusing to sell to gay people. Because to sue over something as trivial as a bakery does make the plaintiffs look a bit silly and petty. And I say that as a someone who's 100% on the side of the plaintiffs. The problem is, of course, not so much bakeries, but grocery stores, gas stations, doctors, banks, insurance companies, real estate agencies, and so on. If it had been JP Morgan Chase or Blue Cross that refused to do business with gay people on the basis of their orientation, I suspect there'd be hardly any controversy.

Comment Re:And there was much rejoicing! (Score 1) 577

Let The Joyous News Be Spread: The Wicked Old Witch At Last Is Dead!

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Belowhoo - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 577

You know, I consider myself pretty progressive and support a lot of things which I'm sure you would find appalling. But the minimum wage has always been a very conflicting thing to me.

On the one hand, when I was a kid and working minimum wage jobs, I appreciated the federal and state minimum wage hikes of the '90s. And I certainly don't want people starving.

But no one has ever adequately explained to me how, if society values a certain form of labor at $x, but we legislate to be $x*1.2, prices won't eventually inflate by x1.2; leaving the minimum wage earner with a larger bank account, but the same buying power; and society still paying equivalently the same in buying power for the labor that it had before. Certainly, I do recall from my youth, when minimum wages increased a few months later prices would also increase at places like McDonalds, Subway, and such... the places where minimum wage earners go. Granted, it's not like my degree is in economics, and I know there IS data that shows that minimum wage increases do boost the economy. But it just feels like voodoo.

Plus, when I was growing up, minimum wage jobs were for high-schoolers learning how to have a job, college kids earning beer money, and retirees who just wanted to get out of the house. No one expected to make a career out of it.

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 307

While the intellectual elite might look westward, Putin sure doesn't seem to be one of them. He is on-record as pining for the old days of the Iron Curtain and Soviet Union, having made statements... publicly, mind you... that its dissolution was: "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century". That's hardly the outlook of any kind of progressive. And his actions, especially the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, sure look like a desire to return to the cold war Soviet ways.

Comment Refreshing honesty (Score 2, Interesting) 307

Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Well at least, unlike France and Spain for example, he's being honest about his true reason for arbitrary and specious attacks and restrictions on, and extortion of, US tech companies.

Comment Re:Advertising Bubble (Score 1) 287

Amazon's margins are so small because they invest the bulk of their profits back into the business in order to grow it. If, at some point, they were to decide: "Okay, we're as big as we want to be. Let's stop growing.", they'd be much more "profitable".

And really, what IS the better alternative to using the profit to expand? You could throw it all away in the form of dividends. That would make assholes like Carl Icahn happy. But what good would it do for Amazon? Or you could sit on a cash stockpile of a couple hundred billion like Apple and... what... earn interest?

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 564

Perhaps, as you say, new automatics are better than they used to be. But the change would have to be very drastic to convince me to switch to a slush box... even the late model ones that have flappy paddles so you can pretend you're driving a GT-R.

I owned my last car... purchased new... for 14 years, 13 of which were spent living and driving in the hills of San Francisco. And I retired it on its original clutch. The only reason I can see my current car not matching that is the lure of the current-generation MX-5 Miata. It's increasingly hard to resist as it is, and if Mazda adds a hard top option, game's over.

Comment Re:What do you propose that they do? (Score 1) 667

What I consider abusive:

- Popups
- Popunders
- Opening a new tab without my permission
- Overlays
- Interstitials
- Anything made to resemble OS UI elements
- Automatically playing audio or video
- Flash
- Java
- Modal "Are you sure" dialog boxes when I leave a site or close its tab/window

I never used to block ads when they were GIFs in a banner or sidebar. I don't block Google AdWords. I whitelist well-behaved sites that I want to support and refrain from the above. And hell, I'm not even overly opposed to the occasional cookie and (well-)target ad. But if you actively work to make my browsing experience miserable; to hell with you.

Comment Re:You can't be fucking serious. (Score 1) 667

I already pay Wired... I'm not sure how much actually... to kill a tree, pulp it, press it out, coat it with ink, bind it, and ship the result to me. Now they want another $52 for the privilege of reading that same content on a screen instead of paper? Oh hell no.

Wired has been both declining in quality, and making the magazine shorter over the years. And it's just barely worth it in the first place. This is as good a reason not to renew as any.

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