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Comment: Re:One word: Cloud (Score 1) 215

But if you want to be scientific about it, there are lots of statistics that show that black people are more likely to be stopped by the cops

Yeah, and if you want to be scientific about that, and be honest, you'll see that cops stop a lot more people in high crime areas, and that poor urban areas tend to have lots of crime. And that some of those poor areas have a larger black population. If those areas weren't marinated in serious crime, there wouldn't be so many warrants out, stolen cars, cars full of contraband, and the rest.

In Baltimore, New York, and most other urban areas, the cops and DA are under a lot of pressure to get "results," i.e., mess up somebody's life.

What? The people whose lives are messed up are those who have to live in areas like west Baltimore where local thugs make daily life miserable for everyone else who lives there or tries to run a business there. So yes, the cops are asked to "get results," because the absence of any results would make those areas completely lost to civilization, rather than just sucking generally. Would you rather that the cops were told NOT to arrest known violent gang members, serial assault and battery specialists, and the like? What would you have them do?

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 362

by ScentCone (#49608045) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

how much do they pay you to write this shit for them?

That's a very insightful way to address the substance of the matter. Obviously you're not willing to say the actual numbers or description of the situation is incorrect ... you're just mad at someone for pointing it out? I get that. But you're not really making any sort of lucid point.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 362

by ScentCone (#49608035) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

SS and Medicare do not transfer wealth.

What? Each year, people's wages are taxed into those programs, and funds are transferred, that year, to the people who receive it. There is no "savings account." There is no "I paid into Social Security, so I'll get X when I retire." The amount that retired/disabled people get from that entitlement program is determined legislatively each year, and if you bother to read the fine print in your SS statement, you'll see that they explicitly remind you that there is no guarantee you'll get any future benefits.

Each year, funds are transferred from the people who pay to the people who collect.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 145

Heh. That shows what I get for relying on my memory rather than looking it up again.

I'm particularly embarrassed that I followed a previous poster's lead in mispelling Gary Kildall's name.

Though, as the article you linked explains, Kildall did have a chance to make this deal and blew it, leaving it to Gates to pick up. Had Kildall been a better businessman Microsoft would never have become what it did, regardless of Gates' mom's connections.

Comment: Re:Vacuum robots (Score 1) 44

On the topic of vacuum robots...

Has anyone seen any vacuum robot that integrates with central vacuum? I'd love to have the robot's base station connected with my central vac so when the robot returns to charge the central vac empties the robot and maybe even cleans its filters a little. The combination would be true launch-and-forget ongoing carpet cleaning.

Comment: Re:Chrome - the web browser that's added as bloatw (Score 2) 193

by swillden (#49606081) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

I've seen it included with CCleaner and Avast. It's a plague.

You're referring to CCleaner and Avast, I assume? The AV industry is certainly a plague on the world.

Anyway, thanks for the specifics. I found some information that says CCleaner's installer asks if you'd also like to install Chrome -- it isn't bundled; it prompts for an additional download, AFAICT. I don't see anything about Chrome related to Avast other than that Avast has a Chrome extension.

Even assuming those are true, are the any other packages bundling Chrome? Is it just AV vendors? The claim is that it's added to a "lot" of products, and that that explains its growth and its presence on millions of machines. I don't think CCleaner and Avast are enough to move the needle significantly, even if they both always installed Chrome.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 1) 145

Maybe. But IBM approached Kindall first. I strongly suspect that if he'd said "Sure! I'll license it to you for $5 per machine", IBM would have done the deal with him. There really weren't any "back room" negotiations required; it was a pretty straightforward deal.

It is perhaps possible that Mary Gates learned that IBM would be interested in a licensing deal, but I'm skeptical that John Opel would even have known that much about the project. IBM was an enormous company and the PC project was a small effort that nearly all of the company thought was irrelevant. It occurs to me that perhaps Mary Gates talked to Opel and found out that he didn't know much about it, and realized that the project didn't have much internal support, and from that deduced that the execs in charge were fighting internal opposition and might see a licensing deal as a way to get to market faster and cheaper before they could get shut down.

But all of that is purely speculation. What is clear is that (a) IBM did approach Kindall first and he ignored them, and (b) an OS licensing deal was good for the PC project. I see nothing to indicate that IBM wouldn't have accepted such an offer from Kindall.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 2) 145

You were obviously not there at the time. Bill Gates got rich because IBM signed the daftest contract in computer history from their point of view. Yes: IBM - the company known for hiring the very best in legal expertise signed away their arms and legs

Why? - I would like to know that!

I don't think it's so strange. IBM didn't expect the PC to be a success. It was a niche project pushed by a few execs over the objections of more -- who saw it as undercutting IBM's real business, to whatever degree it was successful -- and ignored by most of the company as irrelevant. Other parts of the company were actively trying to kill the project. The group developing the PC needed an operating system and needed it quickly. They couldn't take the time to build one, assuming they could find the budget, and likewise couldn't pay a lot of cash up front. Licensing an existing OS for a low per-unit cost was an obvious win.

And, of course, by the time it became clear that the PC was a success, it was too late to change OSes, and by then Gates would've been a fool to sell. Besides, the cost to IBM was low and the machines were selling well. As long as IBM was the only company selling PCs, there really was no significant downside to IBM, and IBM was confident in its legal teams' ability to shut down clones... until Compaq performed a successful clean-room reverse engineering of the PC BIOS.

It ultimately boils down to lack of foresight, that the PC would be so important, and that IBM couldn't prevent clones. Without understanding those, IBM had no reason to insist on ownership of the OS.

Comment: Re:More like to his own parents (Score 2) 145

It helped with Billy's mommy was on the IBM's Board of Directors. So he got the sweet deal of licensing his software, instead of selling it outright.

No, Mary Gates was never on IBM's Board of Directors. She was on the United Way board, along with John Opel, then CEO of IBM. This may have helped Gates. Still, I don't see any reason Kindall wouldn't also have been able to get a licensing deal. There's no evidence he tried.

Comment: Re:Another way to bypass it (Score 2) 34

by swillden (#49605257) Attached to: Researcher Bypasses Google Password Alert For Second Time

Nicely done.

I expect this may turn into something of an arms race between phishing page authors and Google. The cleverest phishers may be able to stay consistently ahead of the extension, but I expect that they'll have to work for it... or would if significant numbers of people used the extension. I just checked the Chrome Web Store and so far there have only been 67K downloads. That's something but it's a long, long way from universal coverage.

The positive aspect of that is that as long as usage remains low, it won't make sense for phishers to bother trying to defeat it, which means it will offer good protection to the few who do.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 362

by ScentCone (#49604709) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

it's a distraction by statistic

Nonsense. It's not a distraction, it's different topic than the ebb and flow of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare (which are transfer welfare taxes). Income taxes are what pay for all discretionary spending (the military, federal agencies like the EPA, the FAA, the FCC and a jillion other activities). There's a good reason we look at all of those differently than we do the entitlement programs.

And ... capital gains? You do realize that a whole lot of middle class people also earn capital gains, right? Directly or indirectly, through things like mutual funds. Warren Buffet's secretary can put a pizza's worth of cash every month into some investments when she's young, and can and should be looking forward to earning some money from that. You know, just like him: taking money on which she's already paid taxes, and putting it entirely at risk in an investment that stimulates the economy and if and when it happens to pay off, paying more taxes on that activity.

If Warren Buffet loses money in an investment? He doesn't get to write that off against his income taxes - he just loses it, plain and simple. But he's smart, and usually makes good investments. If he's making money, the money he risked is being put to very good use in an active economy. That's the entire reason why we reward that risk taking with a lower tax rate - because we want more of that risk taking to happen.

All of which has nothing to do with transfer entitlement taxes.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1, Informative) 362

by ScentCone (#49604033) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

they never actually do pay the taxes they claim

Nonsense. Well-off people pay the vast majority of the income taxes in this country. Nearly half the people in the country pay no income taxes at all (though they still get to vote on what happens to the money collected from the other people who do).

The top 5% of earners pay almost 60% of the taxes. The top 25% of earners pay over 86% of the taxes. The bottom HALF of the country pays under 3% of those taxes. So how do you come up with "never actually do pay" - ? These numbers come from the IRS. The people who cash the checks you say aren't being written.

Comment: Re:THINK (Score 1) 362

by ScentCone (#49604017) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Gore won by the most conservative count

Gore LOST in every carefully examined recount conducted in exhaustive after-the-fact tests run by a panel of journalism outlets (including some that actively opposed Bush and worked to get Gore in office). Most importantly, Gore lost in studied recounts that followed the capricious guidelines he tried to get the Florida supreme court to enforce.

The supreme court made a corrupt ruling and appointed Bush the winner.

No, the Supreme Court stopped a corrupt recount process, aided by a partisan state court, from continuing under unreasonable and unfair conditions. They didn't "appoint" Bush the winner, they called out Gore's cherry-picking, standards-shifting strategy for being the craven election-grab it was trying to be.

Comment: Re:They are burning down a city (Score 1, Funny) 184

For a REASON

So, the corruption you're worried about is something that you think will be fixed by trashing a liquor store? By looting and burning the local CVS? By burning down an almost completely senior center being built specifically to improve the local quality of life in that crappy neighborhood?

Yes, the democrats that have been running that city for decades have plenty to answer for in the way of imperfect services being rendered. But unless you think it's the city government's role to step in between two people and prevent pregnancy from occurring, or to follow thousands of kids around to make sure they actually bother to go to school, then what exactly is it you're proposing? Who is it that starts and populates violent local gangs? Who is it that kills the vast majority of those who die in that area, and scares those who aren't involved out of doing anything about it? Why is it that businesses don't see any point in risking their money to launch a venture in such a neighborhood - perhaps because they can't find employable local people to actually work there, and can't find a market for their goods and services in an area that's filled with abandoned buildings and fatherless kids running drug markets?

The problem isn't government corruption, the problem is in thinking that what amounts to a poisonous local culture is the government's area of responsibility. Those neighborhoods are crap because the people that live there can't keep their own kids under control long enough to turn them into viable members of human civilization. And those that do have the wherewithal to do so leave (along with whatever economic activity they might have represented) because the local culture is completely toxic to their kids' success.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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