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Comment: Re:Sigh... (Score 1) 332

if they do that, every single country out there will go out and develop nuclear weapons deterrents. Ukraine specifically received guarantees from Russia for its protection when it gained independence, 20--25 years ago. Russia's word is so easily broken? Sad, dangerous and sad.

Comment: Re:The Future! (Score 1) 151

by dpilot (#47812667) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

I run Gentoo, one of the less-used distributions. I chose it exactly because it was a geeky, nuts-and-bolts distribution. After all, at the time Linux was a hobby, and if you're in it for that kind of fun, go for it.

At the same time, I generally advise against using Gentoo. Unless you know why you want to use it, don't. New users should use something like Ubuntu, which I've installed for several people, or more recently Mint, which I've also done. We use RedHat at work because it's "Enterprise" and has a support contract, which bean-counters like.

But if Linux were a monoculture which kept me isolated from the nuts-and-bolts, I'd be running something else.

Comment: Re:Good... (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47811799) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Don't claim that your 'innovative new paradigm' renders those rules obselete and ignore them.

And what if the innovative new paradigm does render those rules obsolete? That is the case in this situation. Oh, not all of the rules, but most of them, because they were established in order to provide customers with confidence that cabs that look reputable are reputable. Those rules indeed are obsolete given a different mechanism for riders to determine if the cabs are trustworthy.

I suppose one answer to this dilemma is "Work with regulators to change the law", but that's going to be pretty difficult until you have some evidence that your new paradigm works. Particularly since there are entrenched interests who are going to be fighting you to protect their business model.

To me, the bottom line here is that the regulations are overreaching, even for the old paradigm. They don't need to actually prevent fly-by-night cabbies from operating, they just need to ensure that people -- even people from out of town who don't know the local rules -- can tell the difference between an "official" cab and one that may not be trustworthy. For example, don't allow any vehicle that isn't a certified cab to look like one. Given that, then old and new systems can compete fairly. The new system will have an advantage of lower costs, but the operators of old services can choose to adopt a similar model and cost structure if they like. Or maybe the vast majority of people will prefer the old way, and most cabbies will stick with it, too. Or some mixture. Let the market sort that out.

Comment: Re:Anti-competitive behavior is a big deal (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47811391) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Perhaps someone will convince all the cabbies to paint a QR code on their cab that can just be scanned in and then sites can go directly to the cab in question. That would certainly make the process more tenable but I don't know how you'd convince cabbies to bother with it.

QR code, image of license plate number, Wifi/blueooth beacon... there are lots of options. Cabbies may not want to do any of this, of course, in fact they probably won't. But that's no reason to impede progress by other people who are more open to change.

Comment: Not due to Putin's ego (Score 4) 332

Putin has a massive ego, yes. But he's also a realist.

He knows that no other superpower will do anything no matter what he does. Certainly not the U.S. No-one has or will do anything about a whole jetliner of people shot out of the sky with citizens from around the world, why would they about a war in the Ukraine?

Your notion anyone would join forces to invade Russia is the real madness...

So he does whatever he wants because he can. And people are surprised about that?

Comment: Re:Anti-competitive behavior is a big deal (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47810625) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

And that gets to the root of much of this, Uber supporters WANT it to be unfair out of some feeling that the incumbents must be keeping competition out through unfair means

I think it's more that the rules don't make sense for Uber, but did -- and do -- make sense for the incumbents, unless the incumbents also change their model. Let me explain.

The reason for all of the old rules is that they were necessary to ensure that the cab services were trustworthy. There was no way for users to find out whether or not a random cab was reputable and trustworthy, so government intervened to regulate. The regulations vary, but their ultimate goal is to erect obstacles to becoming a cab service, as well as to identify who the "legitimate" services are, and punish anyone who doesn't jump through the hoops. All of this means that if you see a cabbie with a medallion, you know that he's serious about building and maintaining a long-term business, and that he's identifiable to the government, which means he isn't going to rob you or rip you off. Whatever he could get that way is miniscule compared to his investment in his business, so it's not worth it.

But the Internet changes that. Riders now have another mechanism for determining the trustworthiness of a random car offering them a ride, if it's affiliated with a ride service, or even if it's just registered on some sort of reputation site (though in that case getting into a car which hasn't yet established a good reputation is extremely risky). So given that there is another solution to the problem that motivated the original requirements, it doesn't makes sense to impose the requirements on users of the new solution.

Fairness dictates that the incumbents also be able to take advantage of the new approach, of course. And there's nothing stopping them. But they don't want to because they like their business the way it is.

Comment: First press reports not very good. (Score 2) 393

by Animats (#47809751) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

The problem here is that the press reports are just rehashes of what the cops are putting out. Somebody should find this guy and interview him. He may be in hiding for reasons of his own.

His book is self-published on Amazon. It's been out since 2011, and you can read a sample there. This guy is not the next Steven King. A typical sentence: "As Zea approaches her partner she cannot restrain herself from hyperventilating as she peers at the black embossed letters on the translucent glass sign above the entrance to the central atrium".

Today, the Los Angeles Times quotes cops as saying "Everybody knew about the book in 2012", and that this is more about a four-page letter he recently sent to officials in Dorchester County, containing "complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime". There may be more clarity over the next few days, now that the story is getting attention.

Comment: Re:A change in diet - from what? (Score 1) 407

by erice (#47809299) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

The whole point of studies such as this is to find out exactly what is the crap that you need to avoid, really. That part certainly isn't common knowledge.

IMHO, your point is the wrong way around and likely the real cause of why people are eating so badly as well as getting fat.

The question is not: "What should I not eat?". The question is "What should I eat?" Eat for nutrition. Eat for the benefits to your body that come from eating a food. If a food does not offer anything you need, don't eat it.

It is not necessary to micro manage the ingredients in your food to ensure that it doesn't contain anything on the current "bad" list. If you pursue food that is helpful, you are not going to get so much of the "bad" stuff anyway and, for the most, what you do get isn't going to matter anyway.

Comment: Re:What about Lightworks? (Score 4, Informative) 142

by bill_mcgonigle (#47808879) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

It's free and pretty powerful.

It's only free if you're OK with 720p output, limited input, and not being able to move your source material to a different editor. The latter is actually the bigger risk because if Lightworks goes away (let's hope not) there'd be no way to buy the 'pro' version and get your data exported.

Otherwise it's $279 or you're on a subscription plan. It's probably still the best choice available, but be aware you don't just go buy a GoPro or a Nikon and plan on dazzling folks with the HD output with free Lightworks. From what I've seen, even iMovie parity on Linux costs $79/yr.

Even if you're very frugal and can use Free, it's probably smart to buy a month once in a while and export your projects.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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