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Comment Re:Religion by any other name (Score 1) 662

We don't always have to screw one group of people over to remedy injustice to another group. Society can tolerate some inefficiency in order to protect everyone's right to separate self expression.

Certainly it should be illegal for a restaurant to refuse service to a same sex couple who walk in holding hands. But here was are forcing someone to actively participate in a ceremony that goes against their sincere beliefs. I think we can carve out a small exception for specific circumstances (ceremony that is widely considered to be religious in nature, family business, non-urgent need, wide availability of alternatives).

Comment Take the company private (Score 2) 217

There are millions of people who, for whatever reason, are happy to use Yahoo services and there is no reason why the company can not keep them running well and earning salary for employees. The problem is logically impossible expectation of infinite growth placed on public companies. Sooner or later this drives every successful company into collapse after losing their pyramid scheme and investors flock to the latest overhyped startup to try to recoup their losses with more gambling.

Comment Religion by any other name (Score 2) 662

Prosecuting outsiders to bond members of your own tribe seems to be an inescapable human need. Liberal activists who boo comics and ensure that anyone who dares to have a different personal opinion of, say, homosexuality loses their job are just bible thumpers and Saudi Arabia morality police going by another name. They have to continuously crank up the extremes of zero tolerance for anyone who deviates from their ideas about women, minorities, native americans and so on to bond with each other and maintain self image of superior human beings who have full right to bully and discriminate against savages.

For the record, I fully believe that LGBT and all other minorities including polygamists have a right to equal, productive lives, and so should a baker who doesn't want to make a cake for their wedding. It's just that activist groups who claim to support either side are actually just on a power trip to prop up their own self esteem and find a legitimate excuse to bully others.

Comment Re:Why cheat? (Score 1) 220

Please, could someone PLEASE explain the logic behind participating in multiplayer games?

The rules of these games are made up anyway and winning is not an indication of any admirable real world trait or skill. So some people get a kick out of making yet another game out of beating the game without getting caught, seeing people hide behind walls they can see through and then fragging them and taunting them in chat.

Comment Software (Score 1) 220

Majority of devices fail with perfectly functioning hardware, because software is no longer updated, with the last available release usually being horribly slow and bloated. Installing a custom ROM often does wonders for usability. We should first demand that that bootloaders are unlockable and at least the interface expected and provided by driver binaries is well documented. Fully open and user serviceable hardware would be great, but even modest steps will keep lots of stuff out of landfill.

Comment A decade too late (Score 1) 167

Why would I want to plug in a whatever box and watch a middle of whatever program it's showing at the time, interrupted by ads every 15 minutes? When technology is there to select exactly what I want to see and when. Even for live news/sports I may want to pause or rewind to see what I missed. Just give me well working apps and ability to subscribe to the ones that appeal to me.

Comment Sane people want safer, more reliable products (Score 1) 464

My car has plenty of smarts, including a drive by wire system and *gasp* an electronic key that ensures that only I can operate it. This does introduce some new failure mode, but *overall* I am safer and more likely to get where I am going because of all this technology.

If done right, a smart gun can be actually more reliable and accurate while simultaneously reducing accidents. For example, it can have a screen that shows me where a bullet will hit and how many remain in the magazine. It can have redundant ways of unlocking, including a physical key if the battery runs out.

As for government disabling guns, they can already send a SWAT team in bulletproof vests and shred you to pieces. The only difference is that you and innocent bystanders around you are more likely to survive. Plus, we are talking smart, not internet connected.

Comment Age (Score 1) 214

8 year olds can learn Scratch precisely because it's limited. In beginning classes, there is are only so many way to connect blocks. One can stumble on a solution with random twiddling and over time start to notice patterns. This is not going to happen with any free form language where you can type whatever you want, but most of the thing you type will not compile.

Past this stage, there is actually nothing wrong with BASIC. Try PLAY "abcd", tweak till results sounds like a tune, then add gosub for a refrain.

Comment Power of open source (Score 1) 129

If you don't like Linux Foundation policies, communication style of Linus himself or design of systemd, you are always free to fork the project and get full benefits of work so far as well as ability to merge any future patches that you like into your own source tree. Either your fork gathers enough following to maintain it, or the original project makes changes to address the problems that triggered it - either way you win.

The fact that this has not happened with Linux tells me that current situation is acceptable to a large majority of developers and users compared to inconvenience of manually merging patches. The rest should keep trying and perhaps one day they will create a project that exceeds original Linux, just like Linux eclipsed Minix. Personally, I would love to see an OS with versioned source/binary driver interface, where backward compatibility for existing binary drivers is maintained for many years. BUT, I am too lazy to actually contribute much development time, so I have to make do with what is out there.

Comment They both suck (Score 1) 186

Pair programming requires one to continuously socialize with someone nonstop for entire working day, something that most people, let alone most software engineers, can not do while maintaining concentration, creativity or sanity.

Code reviews encourage filibusters when someone keeps adding to the comment thread just because they personally want something done differently and others find it rude to approve the change and curtail discussion.

What works well is running lint and writing good tests. Then if someone is motivated enough to address their grievances with your code, they can clean it up on their own time.

Comment Phew! (Score 1) 251

I have been worried that using encryption will attract attention of law enforcement who will know I something to hide. What a tremendous relief that I will now look just like another law abiding citizen using escrow crypto. While at the same time, I will use this escrow crypto for 99% of my communications, including my embarrassing but legal porn collection. And then, just when I hatch my evil plots, I will encrypt a small amount of data with my own crypto, before stamping escrowed one on top.

Now the government has no reason to suspect me unless they get a warrant, sift through ALL my stuff and manage to realize that a second of noise in a 2 hour movie file contains my real secrets.

I for one welcome our new technologically illiterate overlords!

Comment Phew! (Score 1) 103

I have been worried that using encryption will attract attention of law enforcement who will know I something to hide. What a tremendous relief that I will now look just like another law abiding citizen using escrow crypto. While at the same time, I will use this escrow crypto for 99% of my communications, including my embarrassing but legal porn collection. And then, just when I hatch my evil plots, I will encrypt a small amount of data with my own crypto, before stamping escrowed one on top.

Now the government has no reason to suspect me unless they get a warrant, sift through ALL my stuff and manage to realize that a second of noise in a 2 hour movie file contains my real secrets.

I for one welcome our new technologically illiterate overlords!

Comment Re:Of course its gonna get checked (Score 1) 315

You missed the big communist scare a few decades ago. Or Japanese-American hysteria during WWII. Whenever there is a conflict, there is a tendency to demonize everyone that shares any attributes with an enemy. Once the conflict is over, it always turns out that these are just regular folks who just happen to look/talk/pray like the evildoers.

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I THINK THEY SHOULD CONTINUE the policy of not giving a Nobel Prize for paneling. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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