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Comment Re:Walls will not solve the problem (Score 1) 70

The issue with the Mexican and most Central American economies is graft and corruption at the Governmental level.

As if those things don't exist in the US....

Not even CLOSE to the same level as in Mexico, or Guatemala. Or other Central American countries. The level of corruption we have is nowhere near the same. If that's central to your point - then there's nothing else to discuss.

As for encouraging the immigrants home countries to institute change is exactly what I suggested. You have to help them build their economies which in turn will spur changes. Right now the US trade policies are anything but helpful or friendly.

OK, so how do you propose to do that? We have completely free trade, should we pay them to export their products to us? You have a nice little sound-bite, but what do suggest as action to make it "work"?

Comment Re:Immigration (Score 1) 70

The issue with the Mexican and most Central American economies is graft and corruption at the Governmental level. Short of overthrowing those Governments - there's not a lot we can do other than what we've done (open markets - NAFTA).

Maybe we should try better border enforcement and encourage the local populace to institute change at home, rather than run away...

Comment Re:not like 2001 (Score 1) 106

Remember a company called Loudeye? At one time (1999 to 2002) they were the LARGEST digital media company in the world. More music, more images than anyone else. Sure, they lost money on every stream they served, but they were HUGE, and were growing at record rates (like 2500% annual growth). At IPO (early 2000 IIRC) they were valued at $1.5 billion, making them one of the biggest "Internet companies" out there. By 2006, Nokia bought the whole thing for $60 million (about three pennies on the dollar, relative to their peak). And now? doesn't exist.

LOTS of savvy investors back then, with lots of experience. But the market was irrational and thought - just like many people now - "this time it's different". Turns out it's not. At the end of the day, what matters is PROFIT, not revenue, not user base size, not "reach" or "brand awareness" or followers on Twitter. Profit. If you don't make one (or have the ability to pivot to profit within a single quarter, like Amazon) - you're not going to survive the next downturn. You're running on borrowed money, and when that stream dries up, you cannot continue on your own. You die. Or you end up like Loudeye and are purchased for a few pennies on the dollar and fade away.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Insightful) 264

The law should NEVER, EVER, EVER, provide protection over any data available behind public sector activity.

The public sector frequently claims the release of information will be burdensome; however, the public sector actors are not always forced, by statute (as they are in Minnesota) to ensure records should be held in a way which the sector cannot claim burden in failure to comply.

This needs to change.

Comment Re:not like 2001 (Score 4, Insightful) 106

That IS like 2001 - the focus on revenue, not profit. I don't know of a single unicorn ($1 billion+ valuation, pre-IPO stage) who's making profit right now. Turn off the flow of VC funds and they close - they cannot continue operations.

Back in the dot-bomb days it was the same thing. It was all about growing big, growing fast, and even if you lost money on every customer/user, you'd "make it up in volume". At the end of that era, most of the companies who had big revenues and negative cash flow either folded or scaled back so far they were sold for literally a penny on the dollar and faded away to obscurity. We'll see the same thing with the current crop of unicorns when the market crashes again. Those who can sustain themselves on existing revenues will survive. The rest will either go away completely, or end up being gobbled up by others for a fraction of their "value".

Comment And yet, even at 24, it's not the year of Linux (Score 0, Flamebait) 150

I've been using Linux, in varying capacities in both my personal and work life, since that fateful day in fall of 1996 when I popped a Slackware CD into my Dell Latitude P-133 laptop. Yet, I still don't love it as much as I should.

Why? Because, as I found out this week when I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a VM to power a SAS installation at work, it still sucks in so many ways. Is it better than it was 19 years ago? Not really. I still had to think; still had to work to get the damn thing to run; and grub still gave me a rash and a shit to get up and running.

Yeah, the Debian install I originally made back in November of 2002 is still running, after many a dist-upgrade, and it's going strong; however, I still have my love/hate w/Linux after nearly 20 years living with it daily.

I've always been excited for the next big thing. The next moment when it would be that system I could easily use on my desktop or laptop and interoperate w/the rest of the world; yet, here I am, typing this on a machine, provided to me by my company, I never thought I'd use (a MBPr), ever.

Yeah, Linux runs the Internet and many of our phones, yet, I still hate it as much as I did when I was 17 years old, for many of the same reasons.

I'll be happily waiting for another 24 while it continues to grow and do its thing but, unlike the visions many of us saw for Linux back in the day, it has not shaped up like we thought it would. Successful? ABSOLUTELY. But as successful and brilliant as it should be 24 years later, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Comment Re:I would laugh but that's too much effort (Score 4, Insightful) 253

The fastest DSL is slower than the worst cable connection Comcast or Charter can make

DSL is also available in some areas that cable markets won't serve. My parents' house 10-12 miles outside of the area served by any cable company, but they get DSL just fine, and trust me 3Mbps may be slow by today's standards but it sure as heck beats dial-up.

My brother lives just a little further out and even the DSL isn't available. His only options are dial-up (worthless these days), satellite and cellular. The latter two have bandwidth caps that make them very undesirable - particularly to his 7 year old who is used to streaming Netflix at her mom's house.

Comment Re:almost 40 million (Score 1) 705

Two things:

1. An account isn't necessarily a unique person. One person may have 5 accounts if they change emails every now and then.

2. This is an international site, not an American site (actually even the company itself is Canadian). Those 40 million members are taken from the world's ~7 billion person population, not the United States' ~320 million.

Comment Re:Story summary ... (Score 1) 1024

Well, some of us prefer hard science fiction to the squishy stuff.

I honestly rue the day the all-inclusive crowd decided to re-designate SF as "speculative fiction." All fiction is speculative as it is all an exercise in what-if. The difference between hard science fiction and the rest, as I see it, is that based upon the objective reality currently understood at the time of authorship, the hard stuff is actually within the realm of known possibilities, because, you know, science. I find that to be a significant enough distinction to distinguish these works from those containing gods, elves, magicians, macro teleportation, ESP and so on.

That is in no way to imply that the squishy stuff cannot be fine work -- it most certainly can, and often is. But the bottom line for me is that it is different on a fundamental level, providing a different kind of experience from, say, "The Martian" or the technically flawed, but scientifically sound, "Red Mars."

Doesn't matter to me personally who, or what, gets a Hugo, or why. I'm sitting about ten feet from three of them, and the shine has worn off after decades of observing the process. All I'm saying is that if hard science fiction is of such consequence to these people that they feel awards should be proffered in that specific category, there are doors that are open, or could be opened. Assuming the story is at all accurate, which, from the other comments here... it very well may not be.

Comment Re:Story summary ... (Score 2) 1024

Summary aside, if there really is an objection to the range of science fiction stories that the Hugos are currently addressing these days, then I can see two reasonable solutions, either or both of which may already exist:

1) hugos specific to the category being awarded: e.g. "hard science fiction"

2) another award entirely -- which means publicity, fan gathering, etc. Lots of work.

It seems like a tempest in a teakettle to me.

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer