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Comment Re:Your morals are not my morals (Score 3, Insightful) 438

Yay, Moral Relativism! So while we're agreeing to disagree, we'll just have to agree to disagree that it is wrong for me to drop by, tie you up, skull fuck you in both eye sockets and take all of your possessions. After all, I see nothing wrong with me doing any of that to you, so it's OK and we'll just agree to disagree.

And this would be why no sane society bases itself on Moral Relativism, it sounds fun right up until someone with weapons and organizational skills realizes that he can set himself up as a dictator, and does so. And then the anarchist utopia ends and we get Somalia. Paradoxically, in order for a free society to function you have to have good laws which don't leave things open to such ridiculous interpretation. While some of the lines are pretty easy to draw, I think we can all agree that skull fucking someone is not OK, others are going to be a little tougher. Unsurprisingly, in those gray areas people tend to disagree. At this point, the best solution for deciding those gray areas, which we have come up with, is to have democratically elected representatives argue it out and make a final rule. And, in order to keep our society out of the hell of anarchy, we all go along with it and work though the system to change things we don't like. I think I'll have to agree with Mr. Churchill on this one, "Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

So which one sounds better to you?
A society based on rules which keeps everyone mostly free but brings overwhelming force to bear to maintain an acceptable standard
Anarchy and the possibility of a random guy dropping by to skull fuck you

I'm gonna stick with my laws, even if they are screwed up from time to time. At least I have the option to change them without a gunfight.

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours 154

An anonymous reader writes "Aaron Ardiri challenged himself to port his classic PalmOS version of Lemmings to the iPhone, Palm Pre, Mac, and Windows. The porting was done using his own dev environment, which creates native C versions of the game. He liveblogged the whole thing, and finished after only 36 hours with an iPhone version and a Palm Pre version awaiting submission, and free versions for Windows and Mac available on his site."

Comment Re:Border crossing and the fourth (Score 2, Informative) 246

The Constitution puts limits on the actions of the government. Not 'the actions of the government within the borders of the admitted states.'

Just to nitpick, but it really is important because of the context. The Constitution does not place limits on the actions of the government. The US Constitution grants the government powers. The problem is that a number of people were worried that the government would work to grow those powers in an unbounded way and so they insisted on the Bill of Rights as an check on that behavior. The counter argument to the Bill of Rights was that it would eventually be turned around and used as an exhaustive list of the rights of the people and the limits of government power. The fact that many people today now believe that this is the case, and will state that "The Constitution puts limits on the actions of the government" shows that the detractors of the Bill of Rights were right. Technically, it was because of these fears that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments were added; however, FDR managed to murder the Ninth and the Tenth sort of withered away during the twentieth century.

Still, based on the (probably vain) hope that we might breath some life back into the Tenth, I tend to pick at this issue:
The US Constitution does not limit the power of US Government, it grants powers to the US Government. The US Government does not have any power not specifically granted to it by the US Constitution.

Comment Question (Score 1) 4

A few quick questions:
1. What are you going to use this monitor for?
Your second monitor listed is a TV with a tuner which is adding to the cost. If you never plan to have this thing hooked up to a TV feed, it makes no sense to pay for the tuner.

2. Do you need/want speakers built into the monitor?
If you already have a nice sound system, having speakers in the monitor is an extra cost which can be avoided.

3. How comfortable are you with BenQ and RankArena as brands?
I realize that I could be accused of snobbery here; but, I tend to be very picky on brands, mostly because I've had too many problems with brands I don't know. That said, BenQ is a brand I can take or leave. I've not had any bad experiences with it, and I have heard a few good reports from people who's opinions I trust. RankArena is completely new to me.

Journal Journal: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot. 5

I got myself involved in a discussion on Fark over replicators and ended up trying to consider them from a practical point of view. I did the math on trying to make matter from energy and managed to convince myself that the idea is just insane. It was the first time I had ever done it and I thought it was interesting enough that I would come back here and share.

Ok, so to start with take the equation from Special Relativity which we all know and love:

Comment Re:Java too complex (Score 1) 558

Spend some more time with it to learn the aliases; and try hitting <Tab> every once in a while, it's kinda like having intellisense at the command line. As a system admin, I love powershell and am using it constantly. Granted, it does help that I'm on Exchange 2007 and we have a few Server 2008 boxes deployed. Also, what rabbit994 said is spot on for it's best usage, scripting. Sure, this is largely just MS copying the *nix shell, but it works well and having the .NET API exposed for scripting and command lines is very nice. Like rabbit994, I end up having to add chunks of users all at once (I'm in a University environment) each with a mailbox, a user folder, a web folder and an FTP folder; create the distribution group and security group for the new batch of students, add all of the students to said groups, add those groups to our higher level groups; oh, and while I'm at it make sure that all of the ACL's are correct for each of the student's folders. And, just for the fun of it, I like to keep each batch of students in their own OU in Active Directory, it makes applying group specific GPO's easier. It shouldn't be a big surprise that as a manual process this takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes per student. With powershell, I run a script on my laptop which consumes a CSV file of student names and a command line parameter for the group number and within seconds all of that is done for all of the students.

As for it not being on any system I sit down on, that does suck. However, what did you expect MS to do make it a critical patch for all systems? On the other hand, we'll eventually get to that point anyway. Powershell is bundled with Windows 7 and Server 2008. While some folks may hang on to XP until they die, most of us (especially businesses) will upgrade and this problem will simply disappear.

Comment Re:Not much surprising (Score 1) 361

Also on the nuke idea, why limit the choice between kinetic and nuclear weapons to either/or? Take the same type of tech we are currently using for the BLU-116 Bunker Buster bomb, add engines, an optic guidance system and replace the chemical explosive warhead with a nuclear warhead. Scale as needed. It would make the lake of an atmosphere outside the ship a plus.

Sure, I would expect counter measures on large scale warships, but we have that now and weapons like this can still get through and hit their target, why do we expect that to change?

Comment Re:Should be (Score 1) 572

That's another one of the things which I think could help our current situation in the US for a number of markets. Disallow vertical integration in communications. For example, if you are providing communications services you cannot own the network and vice versa; nor can one parent company hold one of each. This would include phone, internet and TV. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. would be broken up into different companies. One would be a network provider which just sells access to the network and the other would be the service provider who buys access to the network and resells it to the customers. The network companies would then become similar to other public utilities which are private companies given exclusive monopolies in a region in exchange for government oversight.

Comment Re:Should be (Score 4, Insightful) 572

The spectrum is auctioned off the highest bidder. For a few billion dollars the entrenched interests can just gobble it all up regardless of whether or not they need it or intend to deploy on it.

This has always been one of my biggest complaints about the FCC's wireless spectrum auctions. There really needs to be a use requirement attached to the sale. For example, anytime a company/individual purchases a chunk of spectrum, there are required to put it to use. If they don't utilize it or under-utilize* it it gets taken back from them (no refunds) and then re-auctioned.

* - Under utilization would cover buying a chunk of spectrum which can carry far more information on it than a company does regularly. In which case, that chunk should be stripped from them and a less valuable one given for their current use. This is to avoid the purchase of a valuable chunk and then using it to send control messages or the like to avoid it appearing unused.

Comment Re:I read this as (Score 1) 572

You realise other networks are likely to follow suit?

I doubt it, it only takes one carrier to realize that they can pickup a ton of customers by offering an unlimited plan. They will simply need to figure out the price point at which it works for them financially, and get ready to deal with being crushed under the rush of customers. Take a look back to '96 when AOL became one of the first ISP's to offer unlimited plans. It was a disaster for a short bit, but drove sales like mad. In short order the other ISP's followed suit. And while several have threatened to go back to a per minute charge, it has never happened and it is never going to happen. The first ISP to do it will see their customers desert them in droves. Even if all of the ISP's out there get together and decide that they will all go to a per minute charge, it just becomes one huge game of chicken with the first one to break the trust winning the top market position.

The genie is out of the bottle on unlimited data plans. AT&T was happy to help remove the stopper, they are just pissing and moaning now because they didn't expect such high user demand and it's expensive to play catch-up. While having the iPhone as an exclusive device might keep a few customers, if they follow through on this threat, it's still going to kill their wireless division.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan