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Comment: Re:Protect us against cyber-threats? (Score 1) 15


Exactly. "What you mean 'We', White Man?"

Why not disband the NSA and instead spend the hundreds of billions of dollars that fascist cess-pit drinks off of the public teat - instead spending a decent fraction on making FRIENDS, not ENEMIES? There are a lot of schools, hospitals and high-school diplomas that could be bought, all round-the-world. You wouldn't have a popular resistance to American influence in the world, were that influence actually benign.

Comment: Re:Stick with Win7 (Score 1) 208

by Lumpy (#47922917) Attached to: What To Expect With Windows 9

"However, you won't be too happy when you get a new machine that doesn't come with anything other than 9."
That will not happen for a long time. I can buy lots of brand new business class machines with windows 7 on it right now and Dell will not stop doing it as long as 90% of all the corporations are demanding it.

Windows 7 will be available on a new machine sold by competent PC makers for a few more years at least.

Comment: Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 1) 220

by sabri (#47922477) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

It's "without permission" and "the right" part (among other things) that makes taxation and theft two different things.

See, this is the interesting part. I think we'll both agree that the permission part depends on me giving permission, so we won't need to discuss that. The next part is more difficult.

I have a two year old. We're weaning her off the pacifier, but occasionally, she manages to slip into her bedroom and finds a pacifier. When we ask her who gave her the pacifier, the reply is "I gave it to myself!".

The government is doing the same thing. It's the government that grants itself permission to take away my property. Putin gave himself permission to enter Ukraine.

In my first year of law school, I learned that legal scholars define something they call a "social contract", which says that in a civilized society, everyone has a contract with each other to "do the right thing". So again, I'm not debating whether or not we should pay taxes. I'm simply saying that the way things are going today, are open for improvement (to be very British).

Comment: Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 1) 220

by sabri (#47922259) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Taxation is not theft.

Well, the dictionary disagrees with your:

to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force

The government is taking my property without my permission, and it gives itself the right to do so. The government partially does it secretly, and if I don't comply I will go to jail.

But you took my words out of context. I am talking about "general forms of tax". For example income tax, sales tax and all taxes that have no specific purpose. Buy an airline ticket? You pay security tax. Fine, fair and square. I choose to buy an airplane ticket and the government has to provide security, ATC etc. So I pay taxes for it. But why the F should I pay income taxes to the government can bail out "Too big to fail" crooks?

I am not opposed to paying taxes in general, I'm just opposed to that "we're taking your money and put it in our wallet, and we'll see later what we'll do with it. But trust us, it's in your interest" crap. You want my money, I want to see (and preferably have a voice as to) what you're doing with it.

Comment: Re:So, a design failure then. (Score 1) 130

by hey! (#47921919) Attached to: Developing the First Law of Robotics

It depends on your design goals.

In Asimov's story universe, the Three Laws are so deeply embedded in robotics technology they can't be circumvented by subsequent designers -- not without throwing out all subsequent robotics technology developments and starting over again from scratch. That's one heck of a tall order. Complaining about a corner case in which the system doesn't work as you'd like after they achieved that seems like nitpicking.

We do know that *more* sophisticated robots can designed make more subtle ethical systems -- which is another sign of a robust fundamental design. The simplistic ethics is what subsequent designers get when they get "for free" when they use an off-the-shelf positronic brain to control a welding robot or bread-slicing machine.

Think of the basic positronic brain design as a design framework. One of the hallmarks of a robust framework is that easy things are easy and hard things are possible. By simply using the positronic framework the designers of the bread slicing machine don't have to figure out all the ways the machine might slice a person's fingers off. The framework takes care of that for them.

Comment: Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (Score 1) 251

by hey! (#47921441) Attached to: Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

I don't think you've really grasped Apple's design sensibility. Job one for the designers is to deliver a product that consumers want but can't get anywhere else.

The "camera bulge" may be a huge blunder, or it may be just a tempest in a teapot. The real test will be the user's reactions when they hold the device in their hand, or see it in another user's hand. If the reaction is "I want it", the designers have done their job. If it's "Holy cow, look at that camera bulge," then it's a screw-up.

The thinness thing hasn't been about practicality for a long, long time; certainly not since smartphones got thinner than 12mm or so. They always been practical things the could have given us other than thinness, but what they want you to do is pick up the phone and say, "Look how thin the made this!" The marketing value of that is that it signals that you've got the latest and greatest device. There's a limit of course, and maybe we're at it now. Otherwise we'll be carrying devices in ten years that look like big razor blades.

At some point in your life you'll probably have seen so many latest and greatest things that having the latest and greatest isn't important to you any longer. That's when know you've aged out of the demographic designers care about.

Comment: Re:WAAAHHHH!!! (Score 1) 153

by lgw (#47920305) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

I think the plant metaphor he was looking for was: "and the Maples formed a union, and demanded equal rights; the Oaks are just too lofty, we will make them give us light". Not a story that ended well.

I'm ashamed to admit it took me 20 years to make the connection between "Maples" and "Canadian band".

Comment: Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 0, Troll) 220

by sabri (#47919961) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance
General forms of taxes are legalized theft anyway. When the government just takes money away for their "general bucket", it is nothing more than stealing.

Instead, tax-per-use: road tax, school tax, environmental tax, so the tax-payer knows what happens to their money.

If governments would be more transparent, less people would have problems paying taxes.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 578

by PopeRatzo (#47919385) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Tell that to conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who said he believes semi-automatic rifles are great for women because they don't have to worry so much about aiming.

Believe it or not, this is a common trope in the gun community. They need lots of bullets in case they miss.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 578

by PopeRatzo (#47919341) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

You will find that all of those quotes except that of George Mason are fraudulent.

The actual Thomas Jefferson quote is, “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]“

The George Washington quote isn't found anywhere but on Second Amendment activist sites. It doesn't appear anywhere in Washington's papers. The first quote, which you attribute to Alexander Hamilton, is usually attributed to Samuel Adams. The only problem is, Adams never said it either.

That's the thing about this Second Amendment "movement", which as I said, started in the 1980s. They lie. They make stuff up. Maybe they don't realize that people can check these things, or maybe they don't care. As I said above, it tells you everything you need to know about the intellectual honesty of the pro-gun movement.

Comment: Re: Government s a crappy investor (Score 2) 58

by TheRaven64 (#47918687) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry
Not really. They've increased a bit above inflation, but the amount I'm spending on electricity has remained pretty constant, increasingly slightly below inflation (increases in device efficiency offsetting increase in costs). The amount I'm paying for gas has gone up a bit more.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig