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Comment Re:Why not overseas .... (Score 1) 112

Oh, I absolutely agree and it's something I was hesitant to post for fear that it would be difficult to articulate. Verbosity, I can do that. Articulate? Well... I'm working on it. We have our share of idiots but I think we all have them. I think America, for better or worse, gives them a platform and a microphone.

I'd never, ever, say that the US is perfect. Oh, we have our warts - we have plenty of warts. What's infuriating is that it could be so much better. I might be a little insulated but I am not an idiot. I know what (some of) the problems are. Hell, I even have potential solutions for some of those problems. I try to make each moment a little better for myself and the people with whom I come in contact. (I am not always successful at that.)

And, really... I find that most people, so long as they're not desperate, seem to be much the same. There are, of course, exceptions to that.

As for US politics... I seem to recall a French president, an Italian (premier?) guy - both of whose names I've forgotten and am too lazy to look up. They were pretty outlandish. There's Putin, there's the new guy in Australia, there was the Harper guy, and then there's the UK's royalty. You can go back and find people almost as piss-poor as any of those, or worse, for probably every country. Which kind of leads me to this...

The people are still people. In other words, there's not a whole lot of desperation yet. There's frustration but it's not a war-zone, people aren't falling dead in the streets from hunger, and I don't think some nutjob has shot up a church this week. For the most part, the people seem to be doing okay, not because of the government but despite them.

If I could snap my fingers and make changes, I would. I'd start with having them interpret the Constitution as a list of things the government allowed to do - not an, "It doesn't say we can't" approach. I'd institute a strong social safety net that enabled people to take risks. I'd ensure we had reasonable access to quality education at reasonable prices. I'd work to ensure we have quality health care available to all, I prefer single payer but I'm open to suggestions. I'd revamp the prison system to work on rehabilitation rather than retribution. I'd want drugs treated as a social and health issue and not a criminal issue. I'd ensure that a right to privacy was actually enforced - if they want information then they can get a damned warrant in open court. I know, that might let some bad people go free. I'm okay with that and I accept the risks. Equally important, I'd make the US stop trying to be the World's Police.

And I want a pony...

Alas, I can name dozens more things that I'd fix but that's where I'd start. America has the power and resources to be a great nation. Instead, we're mostly "not that bad." I'm not one to romanticize the past but there was a time when certain things were better (and the reverse is true). It's shameful that they didn't carry forward or have been diluted to the point of being trivial. But, it's not really as bad as some make it out to be. That we have the liberty to complain about small things (and large) is a good indicator. We're bitching about the quality of candidates while forgetting that we're actually entitled to vote.

There's so much more to say but I don't really want to over- (or under-) whelm and this is long enough. I'm probably not the best to articulate it. And no, I don't troll (often) so I appreciate your time, response, and vote of confidence. We could be so much worse and we could be so much better. Given the way people are with bread and circuses (football and beer) then I suspect we'll have to get a lot worse before we get better. The pendulum swings but it swings back too.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 238

Hmm... Didn't Einstein say that God doesn't play dice on the subject of quantum entanglement? Carroll, Greene, and Suskind all seem rather certain that he was mistaken. I don't recall how they demonstrated it (and it didn't actually have anything to do with cats) but I'm pretty sure they claim to have managed to prove the uncertainty principle.

I don't remember everything but I think they used a couple of boxes and a pair of gloves to demonstrate the principles and then went on to describe the testing mechanism. Alas, I watch such for entertainment and not for education so I didn't take notes or anything.

However, I'm damned near certain they authoritatively stated that he was mistaken which is why I sort of remember it. It's not often that the three state things authoritatively and usually they couch things like, "If the Standard Model is correct then..." Now, I don't know if that was in anything he published or whatnot but I do know the quote is attributed to him. If the three scientists are correct then I'm not sure how that counts against towards his track record for you.

Comment Re:Only Outlaws will Have Encryption (Score 1) 112

I wanted to bitch at you but then I thought about it and I realized that I'd be bitching at the messenger and not the cause. Sorry 'bout that. But, the gist of what I typed and deleted was this:

What are we going to do about it? No, realistically - what are we going to do? We can't just sit idle and do nothing because we're powerless. That's tantamount to cowardice. We can't leave, that's surely cowardice and they say your problems always catch up with you when you run and they're usually right about that. We can't really do much, at the moment, but what seeds can be sown to help future generations?

Comment Re:Why not overseas .... (Score 2) 112

You know, I've been pondering this a lot for quite a while now. Really, on the order of a year or so has been spent pondering this sort of thing. I've not really decided and I'm kind of the type of person who doesn't like to opine unless I've really given it some thought. That doesn't mean I'm always right, or anything. That just means I like to mull things over before shooting off my mouth.

While I'm still, mostly, undecided - it's comments like this that leave me baffled. No, the US is not #1 in all the statistics. Yes, some of them are a bit skewed but, even if they weren't, the US still wouldn't be the best.

I know it's good to strive to be the best but, really, I've read the stats, I've read the blogs, I've looked at the methodologies, I've looked at the sources, I've looked at the individual survey questions or compiled data, and all that. No, the US isn't the best in everything and I'd like it to be better but it's a strange assumption to make that not being #1 in everything means that it's not acceptable - or even good... Or even very good.

We have our faults. We have our blemishes. We have our warts. Yes, yes there are many things I'd like to change. The reality is, for the most part, it's not that bad. I've stomped across the country, I've stomped across the globe, and I don't even go to the typical tourist areas. Mostly, I've discovered only one important thing. I've said it before and I'll repeat it again. People are people, pretty much wherever you go.

No, we're not perfect and there are loads of things we could do better at but we're really not that bad. Get out, see the world, step around the touristy areas and see what lurks in the shadows. It's really not that bad and a hell of a lot better than it could be. That we're even able to have a conversation like this shows that we're reduced to looking for some of the least important things to complain about. Truth is, it could be much worse.

It's obvious that I'm from the US. I'm a citizen. However, what's not obvious is that I live here by choice. I have Canadian citizenship by grace of heritage. I can live in a whole bunch of other countries if I want to make the effort to emigrate. But, I've been everywhere. I've been to places where the State Department has made it a point to call me and warn me that I should not go there and that they'd be unable to help. I've been across Europe, into Asia, to Africa, and even to Australia (but not New Zealand). I've been from Russia to Germany, from Turkey to India, from Nepal to Japan, from Morocco to South Africa, and all over.

People are people and America's not that bad. I'm still not sure how I feel about not being the best at everything but I guess I'm okay with that. You don't have to be the best to have a good time. It could be much, much worse. There are plenty of things to improve but that list is shorter than there are things that could be worse. Maybe visit sometime, with an open mind, and decide for yourself and not worry so much about being the best and worry more about doing good things for good reasons and having a good time. Life's short, live it instead of trying to live someone else's.

Comment Re:Why is this a story? (Score 1) 80

If you search around the 'net, you can find a documentary called "Helvetica." It might not seem like it but it's actually a pretty good documentary. Because that's pretty much all I want, I was scrounging the 'net for documentaries and found that. I wasn't expecting a whole lot when I watched it but it actually turned out to be pretty good. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 287

You missed the "and." You can't edit it, recompile it, and use it. At least not as far as I know. I don't know if they have any way to prove you've done so but I think their license does not allow for such. You're free to modify it all you want - it's just kind of pointless to do so. You can change all the variables to "SendToNSA" if you want. You just can't compile it, distribute it, and I don't think you're even allowed to take screen shots of your new handiwork.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 287

Yeah, it's real. Google will help you find it - just highlight, right-click, and search. It might even be something simple like /sharedsource/ appended to the URL. I don't actually know *what* you'll do with the code but if you've got a reason to look at it then you can do so. I've done so but not because I had any meaningful reason to do so but because I wanted to make sure they weren't making shit up when the program first started.

Microsoft has had it's own "open source" (note the quotes) license for quite a while now and there are a variety of subsets to that. I'm not positive but I think I recall reading that one particular subset even made the FSF list as "open." However, I think they've kind of abandoned that and moved things to the MIT or BSD style? I'm not really sure - I can look it up for you if you're curious and unable to find it on your own.

The thing is, I've mentioned this on Slashdot at least 100 times now. I had an older account, wandered around for a while, returned, forgot my username (it had numbers), and don't have access to that old email address. I do, on the other hand, know the old email address. I mentioned this when it first happened - on this site. Don't laugh, I was still participating as a Microsoft MVP back then which is why I know about the program. I was physically there when they announced it.

I didn't even have a good reason when I read some of the code. I've read a few good sized chunks. You just tell 'em what you want, give 'em a good reason, and wait. It has never taken long and none of the requests that I've made have been denied. I've heard of, not used, "I feel like it" as being an accepted reason. I'd suggest, more so if you want larger chunks of it, using a *good* and descriptive reason. I can't say that I've used it since 2005-ish? I imagine it hasn't changed much. They don't appear overwhelmed and, considering you're the umpteenth person to indicate that they'd never heard of it, I'm inclined to think people just haven't taken the time to look. Without exaggeration, I'd suspect I mention this at least once a month as an average. It's almost a ritual for me. :/

One of my favorites?

"Fact: You can not see one single line of Window's source code!"

Well, you can... You can't really *do* anything with it specifically, but you can read it. I consider it my social duty inform people - sometimes I get moderated down for pointing it out. I'm generally just as polite as I am being now. *shrugs* I don't actually mind, I just find it curious.

Oh - after a quick preview... No, I don't accept or strive to receive the MS MVP awards any longer. I've since switched entirely to Linux, had some changes in life, and lost interest in repeating myself over and over and over again. I used to trawl the newsgroups (MS hosts their own) and lend a hand. I had a big site with a rather large forum. The perks were nice. You get the full-blown MSDN, with a special license, hardware, a "gift," access too and credit for the company store, invited to Redmond each year, invited to lots of smaller things, get some speaking engagements (if you want), and get to network with a bunch of insiders and have access to a whole lot of other things. I didn't switch to Linux out of idealism - as I've mentioned before. I switched because I was no longer learning anything and my brain was turning into mush.

Comment Re:systemd has done more harm to Linux than SCO di (Score 1) 195

Don't mistake me for an advocate - I'm more or less just someone who has it, doesn't have time or inclination to rip it out, and I'm not to be confused with a professional admin. (While I do admin quite a heap of hardware, I do not actually do so professionally - I'm just an idiot who likes to tinker and make his own stuff.)

That said, I've found the startup analytics handy - especially blame. I find journalctl (w/grep too) handy as all hell. And that's about it. I'm sure I've bumped into it a few other ways but that's really about it. I learned a few new commands. I learned a bit about what it was doing. I don't actively dislike it. Some of the complaints levied against it do make sense to me but, again, I'm not an admin or anything.

My biggest complaint is that those who do not like it are really being left without much choice. I am *not* a member of that group but I'd probably throw a fairly regular donations at a project that was working to make an Ubuntu-esque distro and had a sufficient level of dedication and support. I'm disturbed that there are few viable options and the future is bleak - and money alone won't solve that.

And no, I'd not throw a donation at them because I'm altruistic. I'd do it because I'm a firm believer that competition makes things stronger and better. There is some idealism in that as much choice as possible is good but that's not my only motivation. If there's a viable alternative them things must get better or wither away and die. I'd likely continue to do what I'm already doing, which is using systemd, instead of switching to an alternative. I'd not say I'm a systemd fan so much as I am both pragmatic and lazy. I've read some of the tutorials on how to get a variety of distros to run without it and the compromises that would have to be made (along with on-going effort and attention) and simply realized that I'm way too lazy for that.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 557

If the tool is too complicated, learn to use it. Alternatively, let someone else do it who knows how. Pandering to the intellectually lazy is no way to forward the tech. If we took your advice, we'd still be using a crank to start the car (or a starter button located on the floor or dash, whatever). If we took your advice, you'd still be unable to drive because you can't drive a stick, we'd be using a two speed, lock the hubs for four wheel drive, have a slider (if anything) for directional signals, or horns in a hidden spot in the steering wheel.

If you think we're at the peak of usability and egonomics, you're sorely mistaken. Limiting the design choices because you're incapable or unwilling to learn something is not an acceptable solution. If you can't, or won't, learn then get off the road so that the rest of us who put the effort in can drive safely. Your choice to ignore the education aspect and put other lives at risks is abhorrent. There's no elitism, it's commonsense. There's nothing special about me because I take a few damned minutes to ensure that I'm able to operate the tools properly.

This is not only not difficult, you're making it needlessly complex. Pandering to the lowest common denominator is a sure fire way to eliminate the chance of change. I'd say it's those who believe we're at the apex and needing no more changes that are elitists, not those of us who are actually willing to learn how to ensure proper safety practices are followed. I'm not smug, I'm certain.

Comment Re:Important Stuff (For the discussion) (Score 1) 471

Meh, they give me something to read but I don't think I've ever noticed that option in the settings. So, thanks! I'll leave it where it is. I'm not one of the ones who complained about it and I do think that some of the things we call politics has a potential to impact the tech sector so it's all good for me. And something new to read is usually appreciated. I think the people who don't want the politics are actually in the minority. They're just a vocal minority.

Comment Re:What do you mean... (Score 1) 168

I can't tell you... Then it wouldn't be a secret. Maybe it's a secret, maybe it's laptop-bagiline. (Do they still use that tag-line?)

It's actually a remarkable (which is why I remarked on it) story and I wrote about our meeting on Slashdot when it happened. Later, we figured we'd try that whole dating thing. You get some funky looks when you date someone that much younger than yourself. The ladies stare at you like they're gonna stab you in your sleep and the guys just look confused. It's even more amusing when their spoused notice 'em starting.

Linux, making me happy but a social pariah once more.

Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 471

Yeah, to some it's "living the dream." I gotta tell you, it's a lot more boring than people think. And it's potentially lonely. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite grateful and don't have any regrets. It just has its own unique set of problems.

At any rate, I suppose I see that now though it might have been easier to see had you made it more clear. It might also have been easier if I'd not meandered off in the midst of read the thread. So, we might as well blame me. It's okay, I'm used to it. ;-)

And nah, I don't actually need any of the government's money. (I even pay *all* my taxes.) Social Security needs to be applied for, it's not automatic or anything, so I won't bother with that when it's time. It may sound odd but it really can be kind of boring. Also, the people I'm "supposed to" be friends with are all idiots and assholes. Well, not all of them but a bunch of them. But yeah, it's definitely a hell of a lot better than it could be - it's just not nearly as entertaining as I'd thought it would be. I've never once snorted coke off a hooker's ass. In fact, wait... Hmm... Well, no, I've never even snorted coke with a hooker at all.

Though I guess I can understand those who don't really want to work. The whole work to live vs. live to work thing makes sense. Entropy being the natural state and all that. It's understandable though not particularly feasible without depending on the largess of others.

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