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Comment: Re:And the attempt to duplicate their efforts resu (Score 1) 447

by squiggleslash (#46796069) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Not really, no. The "We're called racists if we say anything against Obama"/"Obama's a Kenyan Muslin usurper!" nonsense has been going on now for a long time. The AC's criticism is absolutely on the money. And ironically, you're attacking the AC for bringing up what you consider to be a strawman when you the "We're called racists just because we disagree with Obama" thing is a ridiculous characterization of what Democrats and liberals have actually criticized.

If you really want to do something about it, you need to counter-attack your allies when they try to pull either BS. Tell those who insist that Democrats are not highlighting actual racism when they complain about it to knock it off. And tell those who continue to push the Kenyan Muslim Usurper bullshit to leave, and stop self-identifying with Republicans. If you continue to call yourself a Republican, but also continue to allow such views to be associated with Republicans, you don't have a leg to stand on when you claim it's a "fringe".

Comment: Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 1) 91

If you honestly believe this, it makes me suspect everything else you said.

Well, tough, because it's true. Railroads were suffering from ever increasing property taxes, and the only way they could deal with them was by getting rid of as much property as possible, undermining their network effects. And like I said, it's in part one of the reasons, not the whole reason.

Interestingly most of the reasons you give are not real reasons - the Interstate system being a partial exception (though if that had been it I think the railroads would have survived), but the major ones are:

- Aforementioned tax burdens where taxes were in proportion to area and people served, not income.
- Stifling Federal bureaucracy, making it impossible to reorganize services as population shifts occurred and making cutting routes actually preferable to reorganizations.
- Aforementioned Federal bureaucracy preventing railroads from setting competitive prices. They were forced to sell many services at a loss, even when there was no reason to believe customers weren't perfectly prepared to pay proper commercial rates.
- Zoning reforms that made car ownership mandatory for anyone living in any area developed since the 1940s, plus the (deliberate, in my view) mal-administration of urban centers.

Add union intransigence to the mix, and the occasional mismanagement (Penn Central - if only they'd have let Al Perlman do his job), New Haven, etc) and it was a recipe for disaster.

Comment: Re:@AC - Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (Score 4, Informative) 173

by squiggleslash (#46783191) Attached to: Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

I think the point is neither of these are attacks on the open source community. They're arguably attacks - albeit mere criticisms of - on "GNOME/Linux", but that's not the same thing.

A company contributing bodies and work to a community is helping it, not harming it. It's up to us to decide if we want Mir and Unity. We're not harmed by their existence. And FWIW, anyone arguing that Mir is terrible because it undermines Wayland isn't thinking this through, both because there's a much greater case for saying Wayland is damaging to the future of GNU/Linux, and because Mir has changed the politics whereby Wayland was once an obscure thing nobody was taking any notice of, but Mir basically turned the entire argument from "Should we replace X11 with Wayland?" (Hell no) to "OK, should we use Mir or Wayland [abandonment of X11 is implied to be a settled issue.]"

Comment: Re:Calling people paranoid to silence them (Score 1) 104

by squiggleslash (#46781603) Attached to: RCMP Arrest Canadian Teen For Heartbleed Exploit

I thought we'd moved on past the putting words in people's mouths BS.

1. The paranoia in the original post that I was refering to was the notion that the Canadian press had concocted a headline with the intention of providing a world wide news story that would make everyone think that Heartbleed isn't a story. I don't know where the fuck you get any other interpretation from.

2. I haven't apologized for censorship anywhere, neither in the comment you quote, nor anywhere else. The fact you think that Eich was targeted for his views rather than for being an ass about them doesn't make it true, it just makes you another idiot who puts their fingers in their ears and cries "la la la" when anyone tries to explain the truth to them.

Actually refusing to listen to what someone has to say is one thing. Inventing an entire story about what you wish they said and believed isn't just arrogant, it's a sign of a serious mental problem. Get help.

Comment: Re:No, just gives us a new way to hide it (Score 1) 320

Steinbeck is a good bookmark to use, because it's at that point there was a change in perception, not because of Steinbeck per-se (but he helped), but because the Great Depression focussed attention on the fact that "failure" was possible for people of all types, and such failure could be disastrous not merely for the individual affected, but for their friends, families, and the overall health of the economy.

The result was that between FDR/Bevan and Reagan/Thatcher there was a dramatic shift in social attitudes towards government provided welfare, the introduction of safety nets, and the creation of systems at every level designed to prevent homelessness from happening and ensure those who became homeless anyway had somewhere to turn.

So your point is sort of valid, but doesn't change the fact that we were on a pro-empathy trend that reversed in the 1980s. Which, after all, is what this story is about. And like I said, it makes more sense to look at the way politics has changed over the last three decades than whether the Commodore 64 would cause someone to think "That homeless person is there because of their own bad decisions, and therefore I don't care and they should live in misery".

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 290

by squiggleslash (#46779221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

I'm not trying to be mean, but I don't think he has any case for promotion under those circumstances.

Yes, I'm aware it looks like the committee was staffed with "idiots", that is, people whose expertise was necessary for the committee to function but wasn't technical. His job was to provide the technical expertise, and to make the committee aware of the technical implications of what they were deciding upon.

He failed. Maybe it was because they really were idiots. More likely, he didn't have the political, persuasive, and perhaps even conversational skills necessary to persuade a group of non-technical people what the implications were of what they were asking for.

Either way, the committee made recommendations his job was to prevent.

Now the purpose of a promotion is to put you in a position where your political skills can be used more directly to steer the direction of an organization. If someone has poor political skills, they're going to botch that job, and their organization will be hampered, not helped, by their promotion.

As nerds we tend to be a little technocratic in our viewpoint and think that organizational structures work with the most knowledgable person at the top. They don't. What matters is that as people rise within an organization, their skills tend towards listening, delegating, and communicating difficult ideas. We're seen at least one case recently where geeks went in a rage because someone with zero skills in those areas got promoted, and then kicked out, because a particular incident that required their skills to be top notch was completely botched. The tech community refused to believe that and decided it was because the person had disagreeable opinions instead.

But that's the way the world works. And promotions need to be given to people suited for particular roles in an organization, not as rewards because you were vindicated after the fact, rather than able to convince people to stop a disaster from occuring to begin with.

Comment: Re:No, just gives us a new way to hide it (Score 1, Flamebait) 320

Moreover it's clear there's been a shift in politics that's been particularly acute since Reagan and Thatcher, where values once parodied (not even entirely common at the time) by Charles Dickens, but advocated by, say, Ayn Rand, have steadily become more mainstream. These values are actively hostile towards people who have "failed" in their lives. And those views have been pushed constantly by a certain small group of extremists who, over time, have become more and more mainstream as other views - not directly related to the "If you can't kick a man when he's down, how are you going to be able to kick him when he's standing up" ideology - they've become associated with have become more popular.

I think blaming technology for the shift is a stretch. The view may have started to rise just as the personal computer revolution began to take shape, but why on Earth would anyone think the invention of the Commodore 64 or the Atari ST would shape someone's view on homelessness?

Comment: Re:at&t wasn't welcome anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 91

You're assuming that the taxpayer getting as much money directly from a sale as possible is in some way legitimate government policy.

The government is not a business and the "taxpayer" has more interests than simply short term reduction of their taxes. In particular a lower cost of living, something we'll get if there's better competition and if we don't force businesses in general to have absurd unnecessary costs, is likely to benefit us more.

Short term "maximizing direct revenues from auctions" thinking is what got us into the stupid situation where spectrum auctions are geographic, resulting in decades of overpriced, poor quality, cellular service. It's also part of a mentality that's undermining every attempt to have the private sector provide quality infrastructure in the first place, usually at great social and economic cost to the rest of us. The same idiocy, practiced through property taxes, is in part why the entire railroad system in the US collapsed in the 1960s and 1970s.

We need to get away from that kind of thinking, and start looking at cost of living issues rather than what tax rate we can get away with.

Comment: Re:Government picking favorites (Score 1, Interesting) 91

Saying "Those with money can run amok" is also picking favorites. This is about trying to get some fair criteria in for ensuring a large group of telecommunications companies will have enough spectrum, a publicly managed and limited resource.

I'm not always a fan of the way the FCC does things. The insanity of making spectrum geographic, for example, simply because that would maximize revenues when auctioning them, cost the US a decade or more of high prices and abysmal service. But this rule seems entirely reasonable.

Comment: Re:Bad suggestion (Score 1) 1583

by squiggleslash (#46768215) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

All those, including the submitter, who argue as if Stevens is arguing that the original amendment meant "members of militias" are missing the point. Stevens is proposing a change to the constitution. He was a judge. He didn't need "clarifications" to be proposed, because the constitution meant what it meant without those clarifications, so he's never going to propose a clarification.

This is about changing the constitution. And yes, it's perfectly fine to propose changes, it's not a perfect document, never will or can be. Whether this particular proposed change is a good idea is open to question, but the notion that the only reason to propose a constitutional amendment is to have it say the same thing it did previously, using different words, is completely absurd. You should know better.

Comment: This confirms my point of view (Score 5, Funny) 44

by squiggleslash (#46766867) Attached to: Mt. Gox Ordered Into Liquidation

Many of my critics have claimed that the closure of Mt. Gox means something I'd prefer not to believe about Bitcoins. But ultimately, I think this proves they're wrong, and that surprisingly this actually confirms what I've been saying all along.

Sure, my view has its detractors. But they're not basing their viewpoint on calm, reasoned, objective criteria mixed with a bigger vision of how the world works and the economics of Bitcoins vs the economics of normal currencies. They're simply mixing some observations with their own prejudiced view of economics, and coming to the opposite conclusion.

I think, in the end, you'll find I'm right about Bitcoins and that my view is confirmed by the closure of Mt. Gox. It may not be the view you have, but it is the right one.

(C) All Bitcoin advocates/skeptics, 2014

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 3, Interesting) 303

by squiggleslash (#46757583) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

The American Civil War was not a war over slavery. It was a war over Federal vs. State control

It really was about slavery. The notion the South were just concerned about Fed being "too powerful" and being likely to "force" them to do things they didn't want to do over them kinda ignores the fact that whole Fugitive Slave thing, where the South was using the Federal government to force the North to do things they didn't want to do, and the Federal government turned out not to be powerful enough to do it.

And it was the complete failure of the Fugitive Slave acts, and the fact that the whole free trade/movement thing meant that without such a law, the South would be competely unable to deal with escaping slaves, that created the actual triggers for the creation of the Confederacy.

States Rights? There's a stronger argument that the North was fighting for those over the South. After failing to work within the system to force the North to do things they found completely abhorent, the South wanted to bypass the constitution completely by declaring independence and using its economic and military might instead. The North even limited its response to a silent "WTF" until the South fired first. The rest is history.

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