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Comment: Re:Article conclusion is quite a stretch (Score 1) 43 43

then draw a wild conclusion that people are using it to get Windows 10?!

I recently helped a local nonprofit upgrade to Win7 for exactly that reason.

Yes, I can think of plenty of other reasons for people to pick up a Win7 license (as the most obvious, "I just got a new laptop with Win8, help!"), but the average retail customer will realistically just use whatever the computer comes with, and keep it for the life of the machine.

If, therefore, we see an uptick in sales of an OS you can't even easily get on a new machine anymore (yes, we geeks can still get it, but Granny, not so much) - That means something.

Comment: Re:The founding documents present a path... (Score 1) 119 119

Soo, you want to replace a democratically elected government because you disagree with the electorate?

Did you even read TFS? The electorate fully agrees with him. Congress mostly agrees with him. The 2nd circuit agrees with him.

...And yet, we still have these asshats in FISA blatantly saying "to hell with all of the above, fuck 'em even harder, NSA!".

Yeah, we have a problem here. And the "democratically elected government" ain't it.

Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 194 194

Freedom of speech is a government thing.

Court orders to reveal someone's identity are also a government thing.


anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion

And the real courts have fuck-all to do with that. Using them as a tool to out your enemies goes against everything we supposedly believe in.


In this particular case, the business owner believes that the reviews are malicious, fake, the act of a single person, etc. etc.

I "believe" Google should pay me for beta-testing their various products that almost never leave beta. When can I expect the courts to make them send me a check?

Comment: Re:Ehhhh... (Score 3, Insightful) 132 132

So overall the fast results are what we want out of a search engine- the answer.

This. Giving me the correct answer doesn't count as "anti-competitive", it means doing their job well.

I don't go to Google to save me typing in "www.m-w.com" and then searching for a word - I go to Google because it gives me more useful answers than searching directly on almost any specific site. Merriam-Webster considers itself too digified to define "blumpkin" for me; UrbanDictionary has no such qualms. UD doesn't do so well in explaining "Pepe" to me - KnowYourMeme has the whole history of it even giving credit to the original author. None of the above has a good definition for "Mary Sue", but TV Tropes nails it.

But, instead of searching on MW... Then UD... Then KYM... Then TT, and then who knows what else - I can just type it into Google, and bam! It gives me exactly what I wanted to know, and often does so faster than most ad-riddled pages can even load.

Companies need to quit whining about free exposure, and instead focus on doing their own jobs well. If anyone really want to vanish from the Googleable internet, they always have the option of setting noindex/nofollow on their pages. Huh, I don't see many of these righteously indignant sites doing that, I wonder why not?

Comment: Re: How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1069 1069

Sure. Perhaps you've heard of bigamy? Alice can't marry Carol because Bob already has a vested marital interest with Alice. For example, if Alice marries Carol and dies, Carol is entitled to 100% of her assets as spouse. But so is Bob.

That's not the policy rationale for the prohibition on bigamy, and while it is perhaps a little better of a reason than administrative convenience, it boils down to the same thing, since the question of marital property is one of the issues that legislatures will have to address when the ban is overturned as it inevitably will be.

On the contrary, tradition is absolutely relevant as to whether something is a fundamental right. Marriage is a fundamental right because it's enshrined in our traditions and collective conscience. ...
Polygamy does not have such a place in our traditions or collective conscience, and therefore is not a fundamental right.

Yep, that's the bullshit argument that people were rolling out against same sex marriage all right. That because it wasn't traditional, it wasn't fundamental.

The core mistake with that argument, whether in the context of same sex marriage or marriage among persons already married, or in larger numbers than two, is that what's fundamental is not opposite sex marriage, or same sex marriage, or polygamous marriage, but simply marriage, without qualification of any kind.

Issues like gender, race, consanguinity, marital status, and number of spouses are all restrictions on that singular fundamental right. Whether they stand hinges on whether they can be justified. Two of them, it transpires, cannot be. Ultimately I think the only restriction that will hold up will be consent, and perhaps consanguinity will have to be reframed in terms of consent if it's to be salvaged.

Comment: Re:No More Bennett (Score 2) 186 186

Brute forcing your own account isn't banned. But it's not rewarded, either. That's what the "If you believe you have found a method to conduct a brute-force or code injection attack, please report it to us without testing it." bit of the rules means.

In other words, no, Bennett, you did not outsmart those meanies in charge of making the rules of this bug bounty system. Your hack wasn't particularly clever, so doesn't get rewarded as if it were. However, the bug report itself is probably valid, and United obviously has some fixing to do. (No failed-PIN limiter? The 1970s called; they'd like their input validation methodology back.)

Comment: Re: How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1069 1069

because, as noted earlier, 3>2. Equal protection is an issue where two groups that are equally situated are treated differently. For marriage, there is no difference between a gay couple and a heterosexual couple. There is a difference between a couple and a larger group, however.

The litigant needn't be the entire group. Marriage is a fundamental right, subject to various restrictions, such as consent and consanguinity. Yesterday, one of the restrictions, at least in some places, was that the genders of two of the spouses couldn't be the same. Today, it's fine nationwide if they're the same.

The restriction to look at now is whether the marital status of each spouse in the marriage at hand is single. Today it has to be. But there's not a good reason for it. (As already mentioned, administrative convenience is not a good reason). So why can't Alice, who is married to Bob, now also marry Carol? Bob isn't marrying Carol; the A-C marriage would be between two people only. You're treating Alice differently merely because she is already married.

It's also not a fundamental right, as polygamy is not part of the traditions and collective conscience of society, except for Mormons.

Marriage is a fundamental right and is extremely broad. Restrictions on marriage, such as requiring the spouses to be of opposite genders, or of the same race, or of the same religion, or of compatible castes, etc. are not inherently part of marriage and are certainly not part of the fundamental right of marriage.

Also, today's events make it clear that tradition is irrelevant; polygamy is practiced today among many groups, and has a long history back into antiquity. Same sex marriage was known in the past but was far more rare.

Comment: Re: How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1069 1069

It will certainly be a massive pain in the ass. But administrative inconvenience is not an adequate justification for denying people their fundamental rights or equal protection of the law. It'll take a while, but just as this took a while, but in time polyamororous marriages will be legally recognized.

Comment: Re:Arrest (Score 1) 333 333

Does anyone have a plan for this?

Your phrasing implies that we need to have some sort of centrally managed plan to handle the fallout of disruptive technologies. We don't, and realistically, can't.


It's fine to say; "Well, just learn something new" when it's not you with a family and a tight budget having to jump into the marketplace and retrain while competing with people who've done that task their entire life

I run the risk of someone creating a "real" AI today that can out-code any human on the planet. That would instantly put my entire profession on the unemployment line. I have hedged against that threat by choosing positions that allow me to diversify my skillset (both in terms of experience and education), making me qualified to work in any of a dozen broad categories of "professional" positions.

I would recommend cabbies (and Uber drivers, as you point out) start doing the same today - They can already see the writing on the wall, and still have time to act accordingly.

The world changes around us. We need to adapt, or die - Simple as that, really.

Comment: Re:Mars is stupid (Score 1) 136 136

All very good points, but let's consider that colonization may involve a bit of compromise. Maybe in the best case we continue to need respirators and good shelters. Is that unacceptable? Doesn't mean it's not useful to increase the surface temperature, release certain gases, start some form of food production.

The stability and accessibility of Mars remains very important at our present stage of technology. We aren't going to wait for terraforming to complete before we start colonizing. It's a major advantage if the process is easy to monitor and interact with, if resources are easy to extract (mining), and equipment failure is less of a concern (no caustic substances at 500C).

In the end, it's probably better to get more practical experience at terraforming something else before we start on our #1 target anyway.

Comment: Drug tests? Seriously? (Score 1) 178 178

Wait... Some companies actually give programmers a drug test?

And they actually manage to find any? Wow, impressive! Or rather, can I get a list of these companies so I can short their stock, since they apparently resort to people that desperate for a job?

Our (illegal) drugs-of-choice vary, but I can count the number of programmers I know who don't use anything on one finger (and even she has "tried" weed, "back in college").

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra

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