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Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 5, Informative) 616

by guises (#46765131) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
Citizen's United was in 2010. That was the primary one declaring money as speech and establishing the Super PACs - it lifted any limits on contributions to political organizations that are technically separate from the politicians. This enabled a wealthy donor to contribute as much as they wished to the "Elect Politician X Organization" (Super PAC), though there were still limits on what the wealthy donor could contribute directly to the politician's campaign fund. There are some small differences between a Super PAC and the regular campaign fund, but the distinction is fairly trivial. In essence, Citizen's United was the decision that removed what remaining guards we had against the Oligarchy that the paper is talking about. Again, that was in 2010 and was doubtless factored into this analysis.

I suspect that what you're talking about is the recent McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission decision which lifted another limit, this one pertaining to contributions to campaign funds, not Super PACs. This one was just a couple weeks ago. So, in other words, I think you and the GP are talking about two different decisions. He's talking about Citizen's United, and you are talking about McCutcheon.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 322

by guises (#46764667) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained
I'm not sure you can lay the blame at rent control's feet. After all, you say yourself that it's housing developers declining to build that causes the problem. If you're going to look at just those two data points, the conclusion you might come to is that this public / private thing that America is obsessed with is a fool's game.

Of course, in reality housing is a lot more complicated than that.

+ - San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard a few brief accounts recently of the housing situation in San Francisco, and how it's leading to protests, gentrification, and bad blood between long-time residents and the newer tech crowd. It's a complicated issue, and none of the reports so far have really done it justice. Now, TechCrunch has posted a ludicrously long article explaining exactly what's going on, from regulations forbidding Google to move people into Mountain View instead, to the political battle to get more housing built, to the compromises that have already been made. It's a long read, but well-researched and interesting. It concludes: 'The crisis we’re seeing is the result of decades of choices, and while the tech industry is a sexy, attention-grabbing target, it cannot shoulder blame for this alone. Unless a new direction emerges, this will keep getting worse until the next economic crash, and then it will re-surface again eight years later. Or it will keep spilling over into Oakland, which is a whole other Pandora’s box of gentrification issues. The high housing costs aren't healthy for the city, nor are they healthy for the industry. Both thrive on a constant flow of ideas and people.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - What good print media is out there that hasn't already died?

Submitted by guises
guises (2423402) writes "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet though, there seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or your newsletter) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing too while I still have the chance?"

+ - Blender Foundation aims to make animation history->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Blender Foundation is running a campaign to crowd fund the first Open Source Animated Feature Film. Gooseberry will feature work from 12 studios from all over the world and help push Blender development in areas like assets management, collaboration, physics and fur simulation and massive animations.

Everything will be shared (assets, planning, storyboards, etc.). Pledging €45 gets you access to the new Blender Cloud with hours of training material and full access to the previous short films.

Only 4 days to go, but if it reaches 3000 supporters by Saturday the campaign will be extended!"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Something lost (Score 4, Interesting) 268

Ugh. Every once in a while I'm reminded of just how much we've lost (and continue to lose) with the death of print media. Byte was shut down before its time, but there used to be so many good zines like it.

I guess 2600 is still around, maybe I should get a subscription before I forget. Are there any other decent zines still in print? I should do an Ask Slashdot instead of just posting a comment...

Comment: Re:google has no choice, like many others before t (Score 3, Insightful) 111

So being for gay rights and anti-creationism is right wing?

not religiously affiliated - The religious right may get all the press, but that isn't all there is to being right-wing.

I did read your post about why you picked Gmail - what I'm saying is that your example is not only politically charged, it isn't even an example of the topic at hand. Google did not need to lobby in order to offer Gmail, Google only needed to lobby in order to read peoples' email. This was new at the time, now everyone does it and few of those have privacy policies that are even as good as Google's.

Merely referencing a bad example wouldn't upset me like this one, but you're using the invasion of privacy as a justification for lobbying. "Oh no," you're saying, "if we didn't have this corrupting influence then no one but us would be reading our personal correspondence. We can't have that, what a horrible person that Liz Figueroa was."

Comment: Re:google has no choice, like many others before t (Score 4, Informative) 111

nor is Cato right wing

What, seriously? It was founded by Charles Koch, it was originally called "The Charles Koch Foundation." The Koch brothers still own it (mostly, it's a partnership) and fund it. They've been one of the primary sources of climate change denying rhetoric, their president used to be a board member of the Ayn Rand institute... how much further right can you get? They're not religiously affiliated, but they are definitely, unquestionably, right-wing.

I can't watch the Youtube video, I'm on dial-up... ::sigh:: However, I can read the title and I know what Night Trap is, and I know that it has nothing to do with Gmail. My issue with your Gmail example is that Figueroa did not "want to ban it." She wanted to pass legislation that would prohibit Google from collecting marketing data by going through their customers' email. Cato turned that into "democratic senator attempting to prohibit innovative new business strategy" (I paraphrase) but at no point did Figueroa try to prevent Google from offering an email service, only from violating peoples' privacy.

Comment: Re:google has no choice, like many others before t (Score 0, Offtopic) 111

As the AC points out, your example is bullshit. You could have picked network neutrality, the recent Netflix / Comcast deal makes it very low-hanging fruit, but no - you have to go with a right-wing smear campaign by the Cato institute on a Democratic senator. Brilliant.

Comment: Re:Problem with releasing an underpowered console (Score 3, Insightful) 117

It's not about releasing an underpowered console, it's about focusing on performance as a selling point. The Wii U can't do what either of them can graphically, but it's the only one I actually want. No DRM bullshit, no ads, no camera in my living room, the games are actually fun, off screen play... I'm getting a little sick of people treating this like it's a two horse race.

Comment: Re:what that leaves out (Score 1) 381

by guises (#46722743) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country
You make three completely independent statements here. The first is a statement of fact: homicides are disproportionately common among young African American males. The second is an unsupported opinion: gun control isn't going to help reduce those murder rates. The third is another opinion, though I believe this one has a certain amount of support: Nor can those murder rates be explained through racism or bias in the justice system. - It's my understanding that a disproportionate level of poverty has been shown to play a significant role in the disproportionate level of violence among African American males.

Your claim about the insincerity of politicians and especially about our current president is way off base on this. Some politicians sure, there are some that have been very resistant to anything that might alleviate poverty, decrying handouts and claiming that the poor should be dependent on the largesse of the rich. The president has been extremely consistent though about resisting cuts that would impact the poorest Americans.

Comment: Re:rape is *the* lowest category of violent crime (Score 4, Insightful) 381

by guises (#46722683) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

When I was in US, I was very puzzled at the lack of empathy in public discourse towards prison rape. This was especially surprising since US leads the world in incarceration rate

These are related statistics. They both stem from the idea that criminals, all criminals regardless of crime, are somehow different from regular folks and not deserving of compassion. It's not something that you'll ever hear explicitly stated, but implicitly when people talk about the need to be "tough on crime" and the unshakable faith that ever harsher sentences are the right approach to addressing the problem.

Comment: Re:"Obamacare Enrollment"? (Score 1) 720

by guises (#46721655) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
Actually scratch that, with slightly more careful reading I can answer my own question:

Of the 40.7 million who were uninsured in 2013, 14.5 million gained coverage, but 5.2 million of the insured lost coverage, for a net gain in coverage of approximately 9.3 million. This represents a drop in the share of the population that is uninsured from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe