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Comment: Re:Atheists are believers (Score 1) 85

It's not that atheists are childishly attacking other points of view (as most on the receiving side like to characterize it)

They're attacking backwards and terribly counterproductive systems of thought. While a lot of people can be remarkably pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the world while carrying the baggage of religious faith (by following evidence-based reasoning most places and walling off their faith off to the side, even if they think it's their guiding light), it's not a good thing... as they still have big ass blind spots that screw stuff up. Worse, way too many people wrap their entire view of the world around faith, and don't ask for explanations because that's not how faith works.

Lots of people that don't think they're "smart enough" for math or science are just being poorly educated. If you place the things you see in the world into a big contextual web of whys and hows... then it'll be much more obvious why stuff works. A great deal of what makes a person appear "smart" is an ability to correctly put things in context and extrapolate uses and purposes from that. It's not magic, it's having a functional base of knowledge to draw from.

Faith puts "bad data" in the contextual web and prevents good contextual analysis of what you see day to day. It's very counterproductive.

The world needs to solve problems by looking at evidence and choosing what best fits the presented facts through reason. Faith massively interferes with that process. (massive inequity, climate change, the middle east, gay rights, anti-vaxxers, etc)

If your atheist and yet somehow don't understand the immense benefits to evidence-based reasoning and just go off some kind of faith of your own... then yeah your an idiot. That's almost never what's going on with your run-of-the-mill atheist... but I understand why someone who chooses faith would think so.

I'm not even "hardcore athiest", as many would define it as I'll accept anything beyond what is reasonably well known is just that... unknown. However, I don't know a single religion that doesn't have major conflicts with where our knowledge is at in the present, so they're broken. I also don't make up stories to explain the unknowable, or give the unknown any kind of magical aura. It's just not known yet, get over it.

Faith-based reasoning is the problem that's being attacked. Not "just some other point of view".

Comment: Re:PCA, Patient Controlled Analgesics (Score 2) 83

It's even easier. You just shut it off and pull the drug while they're sleeping.

My dad had that happen at least once during a weeks long hospital stay. They took forever figuring out how to get him more morphine... as he'd already been prescribed and there are at least reasonable safeguards on the overprescription side.

They even had an idea who it was, as missing drugs was a problem in that ward. They didn't do anything, just said "watch out for that guy". I'm sure they eventually caught him... it's extremely likely someone like that is going to make a mistake... but he sure was hurting a lot of people along the way. The hospital sure could have tried harder to catch him.

Comment: Re:Marketing genius! (Score 1) 128

by darronb (#49551605) Attached to: Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

I honestly cannot understand the positive comments I read on this idea.

At $5000/person or so, the number of people in harms way, and the relative likelihood of needing it... it's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

It doesn't make sense even in rich countries.

You'd think someone intelligent enough to design and build these would realize that (although sometimes not)... they are probably just spending sucker investor money.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score 1) 104

by darronb (#49551567) Attached to: Vizio, Destroyer of Patent Trolls

Let me just add that if victory meant getting expenses paid, it'd be absolutely in Competitor's interests to not tell you a thing about how they worked around your patent and force you to sue. Patent lawyers make a lot more money.

As it stands, Competitor would just say "No, we don't infringe because X"... and a non-troll would evaluate that, realize they can't win, and they'd then not give patent lawyers gobs of money to contest the point.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score 1) 104

by darronb (#49551549) Attached to: Vizio, Destroyer of Patent Trolls

Well, the fuzziness of patents has something to do with that. It's easy to justifiably think your patent is infringed and be wrong.

Patent trolls, on the other hand... yeah, they should pay. Not only pay, but pay triple as punishment. Patent trolls are generally the exception... they just make the news a lot more often.

If you're a small company that comes up with something nice, patents it, shows it at a conference... then see Competitor's product (who was at the conference too) suddenly have the core of your invention in their product next year... you're going to rightfully sue for infringement.

Maybe Competitor looked at your patent, realized there was a way to work around it, and went ahead. This happens ALL THE TIME. From the outside, very possibly without knowing what they did to get around your patent, it looks like your patent was infringed.

Competitor, knowing they'll almost certainly win and be paid back... could rack up huge legal bills in the process of crushing you.

Comment: Re:Remember M$'s role on SCO? (Score 3, Informative) 192

by darronb (#49491437) Attached to: Microsoft's Role As Accuser In the Antitrust Suit Against Google

He's talking about targeted advertising, not traditional advertising.

He's saying that if you have so much information about a person that you know they're diabetic, and actually use that as a factor in deciding to show them stuff that statistically they'll go for even though you know it's proven to be harming them... that should be an actionable offense.

I think there's a better example that's less politicized: It's also like working out someone goes to a gambling support group and intentionally serving them a bunch of ads for casinos in Vegas.

That's way different than just showing ads to the public. It's even quite different from having the information somewhere else in the company and not using it in the advertising algorithms.

I actually agree with his point of view to an extent... although it should be easy to avoid doing that sort of thing. Targeted advertising algorithms that include automatic inferences might go there however and eventually need some kind of 'moral guidance' instructions of some kind.

I do not agree that having so much information that you "should" know that Vegas ad was wrong to show to the gambler but didn't use it in the decision process is wrong (the OP might). Right now we're in a glut of data but the analysis and understanding of that data is not mature. I don't think the state of the art makes that negligence. I do think we might get to the point where the algorithms are so advanced that it WOULD be wrong... much like it would be wrong for a human advertiser to go through that thought process and decide to show the ad.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 886

by darronb (#49339889) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Religious freedom doesn't trump any law not in the constitution.

What if, say, a weird religion popped up claiming:

1) their religion believes that beer is sacred and their members should be allowed to drive cars with any BAC level they want. Cars aren't in the constitution... obviously they should be allowed... right? ... right?
2) Sidewalks and lawns are just as good as roads
3) street signs and lights are for wimps and the opposite of the indended action should be taken when possible for the driver
3) hitting trees at speed and walking away unharmed should be a sport
4) cars should be blaring readings from their religious doctrine at 110dba at all times (even parked)

Go ahead, toss your hands up and say that's just the way it is.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 1) 188

by darronb (#49190519) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

Yes, I'm quite curious about the lack of specifics.

It starts off with a very reasonable BusyBox violation that need to be corrected, and then veers off into claiming there's a much bigger problem without specifically stating it. It SOUNDS like they're saying VMWare's hypervisor is loaded by something that loads from the kernel and therefore it all must be GPL.

I'd like to be corrected if this is wrong.

Linus' own comment about a driver ported to Linux not falling under the GPL because the driver effort doesn't generally require Linux is simple from a general level, but not a technical one. Obviously the specific Linux driver requires Linux... you're not loading the same Linux driver on Windows. How much of the Linux-specific version of the driver can be custom just for Linux?

I'm sure the hypervisor was not from-scratch written for Linux, but existed before that. Anything that has a history before Linux should similarly be excluded.

If it's just the VMI layer that the discussion seems to indicate VMWare was close to open sourcing anyway at one point... it's hard to see what the big deal is.

Often lawyers have this awful tendency to want to 'score' as much as possible for their client to show their value... even if it's stuff that reasonably shouldn't be fought over.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 265

Oh. My. God.

If that cycle happens just a couple times... the mosquitos could be larger than the planet and their gravity would crush us all!

Stop the apocalypse! These arrogant sciencey people must be stopped at all costs!

Where'd I put my magic polished rock? I'm feeling nervous so the energy in the groundwater under my feet must not be in balance. I need to spend a few hours rubbing my magic energy tuning rock to put things right. We all have to be agents to change to make the world better, you know. *condescending look*

(Sadly, that last part isn't an exaggeration. I knew people who really thought like that)

Comment: Douchebag company anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 450

They 'expire' the online features of their Quicken, etc software every few years, to force an upgrade. They have no need to do anything on their end with the online connectivity... it's all connecting directly to banks. It's crippling their software to force upgrades that add very little value (and usually add more bugs than improvements).

They also at least at one point had 'problems' connecting to network printers that they had to go out of their way to detect, just to force upgrades to higher level software.... because, you know... people with network printers must be businesses.

F--- them. There are very few people I actually despise, and the executives there certainly made the list.

Comment: Re:Which is it? (Score 1) 330

by darronb (#47915065) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Given the number of YOUNG kids who are playing this game for a substantial fraction of their lives... it'll totally be (1).

My son at 7 has played for at least two years so far. While he keeps trying out clones of various sorts and other games... they never go anywhere. He's playing Minecraft or watching Minecraft videos on Youtube to the tune of about 25% of his free time. (and THAT is just because that's all we'll let him do)

He's now moved to online servers and doesn't seem to want to bother to play on Dad's server any more. (*sigh*) By the way... any Minecraft players out there keep the language clean on public servers please! :)

Maybe it won't be quite as huge as Lego... or maybe it will be bigger. What it will be is pretty damn big.

Comment: Go away NADA (Score 1) 455

by darronb (#47268215) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Car dealerships have got to be about the worst consumer facing industry there is.

Most of the 'local' revenue is from fleecing other locals with borderline (and some not so borderline) scams. I'm amazed there's not some big undercover expose showing all the crap they do on a regular basis. (Maybe there is and I just haven't seen one... ?)

Die already.

If they somehow magically pulled a 180 on the entrenched shitbaggery that permeates that whole industry and turned into normal retail sales outlets maybe I'd start to listen to whatever the hell they're saying here.

(I guess I should disclose I've got some Tesla stock, but that has zero bearing on my opinion of car dealers)

Comment: Re:Where does 'free' end? (Score 1) 480

by darronb (#46350507) Attached to: Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

Yes, they are... just indirectly. That's kind of like saying I'm free to charge whatever I want at our cookie stand.... only my super secret grandma recipe has to be shared with all the other cookie stands. Now, you've forced grandma to give up her family secret and now we as a family have lost value. We can't charge $5 a cookie for the best-cookie-ever, only $0.50 because Timmy next door is selling our recipe too. Society gains, maybe... at our expense.

So far, nobody's coming after Grandma's recipes... but why not? You're coming after mine (software)

The effort I put into a work has value, and it is not unethical to charge you a fee if you want to benefit from my work by using it. Sure, maybe someday you want to use my printer with some new OS you're playing with and you can't and that pisses you off... but I don't see why that's much different than saying that by buying a printer you should have the rights to the entire design and be legally able to build your own and sell them. Sorry... that wouldn't work, would it?

By saying non-free software is unethical... he's saying the novel, unique parts of what make my work valuable should be freely given away to everyone to copy and use as they want... just like Grandma's cookie recipe.

"Love may fail, but courtesy will previal." -- A Kurt Vonnegut fan