And where my friend did the artist get the vocabulary, the musical scale and the tropes on which his works are based? Culture is a shared resource. You cannot create in a cultural vaccuum devoid of the works created by other people.
My suspicion is that China's island-building brinkmanship is intended simply to stoke the fires of nationalism while the Chinese economy teeters on the verge of collapse. What better way to mis-direct the discontent at home than perceived enemies abroad (us against the world or at least our nearby neighbors)? That or the Party is making the landgrab while it still.
"If this were the 80's and a hard drive vendor had more than two reports of data loss under, say VMS, there would have been engineers on a plane to DEC by morning to get it solved by the coming weekend."
Hard disks were way more expensive in the 80s, and they sold in lower numbers. So it makes economic sense to do hands-on damage control.
This is just like the way touchscreens have come to dominate the mobile computing landscape. Convenience trumps the corner cases. Since most people are slow typists anyway, the slowness of an onscreen keyboard works out just fine. Since most people are mediocre drivers anyway, if they can drive at all, a self-driving car will become the norm everywhere but offroad and on the racetrack. Maybe human car drivers will become idolized like today's Formula 1 competitors or at least have the rebel youth cool factor of a dragracer.
The FSF has made a stand against binary-only firmware. But isn't binary-only firmware files, provided they can be freely redistributed, better than firmware that is burnt into the ROM of a device?
"I wouldn't put my bank login details in to it though, because of vulnerabilities + trojans + keystroke-loggers."
So how do you input your bank login details? Vulnerabilities, trojans, and especially keystroke-loggers would affect you (if you have a compromised computer) whether or not you have a password manager or not. Beyond these common securities issues, the only flaw of many standalone password managers is using the clipboard as temporary storage. So in theory, malware that targets the clipboard could steal your password. I don't know about Windows, but I recently installed a security app that showed me how this was clearly a problem in Android since all (most?) apps have the "permission" to cut-n-paste the clipboard. A built-in browser-specific password manager won't suffer from this problem.
"It can only be fixed by a rooted device or a software update to replace the broken library."
"Rooting" (or allowing runtime access to root-level functions) is unnecessary for fixing any Android OS-level problem. However an unlocked bootloader will allow you to install an unofficial update or patch (unfortunately also allowing you to install a malware). A "rooted" device is actually even more of a security risk, especially if you have to trust a closed-sourced "superuser" binary.
Note that I distinguish between "rooted" Android systems that allow you to gain root level access on demand and those setups that allow for off-line root access via special recovery or debug modes that require a reboot and so is not available when running the system normally.
... "we have these convenient, near-magical devices called computers, and more to the point,
I get your point. However, PDF files are difficult as hell to update. Now I don't know what proprietary/open source/web-based desktop publishing and/or word processing software the state of Georgia uses, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't chew PDF files for breakfast.
If it's long you'll need screencasting software. Or are they using some DRM-like technology that'll prevent folks from even photographing the screen. Not much security by obscurity as security by inconvenience.
The goal as I see it is not to build an OPEN SOURCE community but to build a large end USER community around the project. An open-source community would want, by most implied meanings of the term, the ability to modify the product and to share the changes. Of course, strictly speaking, open source is simply allowing others to view the source code. But that's the peep show definition, useful only to software voyeurs not developers/modders.