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Comment: Re:So it has come to this (Score 5, Insightful) 531

by ajs (#44768963) Attached to: NRA Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA

Are you asking for evidence of donation or of the ACLU doing far more good than the NRA? Both seem to be odd questions.

The NRA claims that protecting gun ownership protects civil rights by empowering the individual to defend themselves against the government (we'll ignore, for a moment that nothing could be further from the truth, and everyone in this nation, armed or not is a heartbeat away from a smart bomb at their breakfast table, or that you can be financially and socially ruined without ever having the opportunity to shoot back). Let's take the NRA's claim at face value and assume that they are 100% correct.

They still only defend the status quo. Having a gun doesn't undo the erosion of rights due to the corrosive influence of the re-election cycle in Washington. The ACLU seeks to actively move the line of civil rights back to where it started, and hopefully even a bit further through the courts and activism.

Now, the ACLU and the NRA happen to disagree over the interpretation of the 2nd amendment (FWIW, I think that was the stupidest call the ACLU ever made) but even when they disagree they're still nominally working toward the same goal (the ACLU isn't trying to prop up the gun industry, but I'm talking about implied goals, here), so it's pretty easy to judge which of them objectively makes the most progress...

Comment: Re:It's the same for Blizzard. (Score 1) 386

by ajs (#42735519) Attached to: Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

Steam might play in offline mode. More often than not this is not the case

I've never had a problem, but then I have been using Steam heavily only for the last few months.

What I can say is that Steam isn't DRM anymore. Yes, that's one function that they serve, but Google isn't search anymore either. Successful businesses build on what they start with and go far beyond it. Steam is doing just that (well, Valve).

Just being able to install games on every platform that they support, not just the one that I bought is a huge win, but add to that the universal access to saved games (in games that support it, of course) and the upcoming Linux-based console... they're no more a DRM company than any other gaming platform. They're a gaming service provider.

Comment: Re:Fond Memories (Score 4, Informative) 464

by ajs (#42262539) Attached to: Linux Nukes 386 Support

I never knew anyone who regularly made the distinction between "line printer" and "dot matrix printer" when talking about "line printer ASCII art". Sure, line printers were their own thing, but when used as an adjective, it was always synonymous with DMP. Now get off my lawn, or I'll rant about how ttys are actual teletype machines, and not just a damned serial port!

Comment: Re:The answer is simple.... (Score 5, Interesting) 630

by bluestar (#41310949) Attached to: Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

"yes, but those were all hobby projects, not actual industrial experience, we can't accept that"

That's why I created a "company" and registered a domain. I credit all my "hobby" work to that company. It at least gets you past the HR idiots and then you can explain things better to an interviewer. I don't "use Linux at home", I build HA web clusters for fun.

Comment: Suggested solution (Score 1) 314

by ajs (#38130200) Attached to: Copyright Isn't Working, Says EU Technology Chief Neelie Kroes

A long time ago, I proposed a solution, but no one listens to me. My take is that there are three problems: 1) copyright term is so long that the intended benefit to the commons is rendered moot 2) different types of work (such as software and books) and even different works within a single medium have radically different periods over which they reap the rewards for their creators 3) copyright holders aren't artists and artists are largely screwed over by the copyright holders.

Any plan that solves for those three problems will bring a world of benefit.

Comment: What you don't understand (Score 1) 250

by ajs (#38125326) Attached to: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google Chase 'Got Milk?' Patents

Most lay-people don't understand that the requirements for new patents have changed. It used to be that patents had to be innovative. Not so, any longer. They now need to abuse the patent system in innovative ways. Also, you are required to cite prior art in the form of a haiku, making citing specific patent numbers quite difficult.

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 298

by ajs (#38070312) Attached to: Scientists Develop Super-Slippery Material

The marketing department needs to get on that. For right now, unstickyable object vs. sticks-to-anything tape just doesn't have the cachet that unmovable object vs. the unstoppable force does, but with the proper market penetration, we think we can capture a good chunk of mindshare within 8-10 years.

It's "slick vs. stick." It'll be what every kid wants for Christmas.

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