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Comment: Re: Pontifical Academy of Sciences (Score 1) 700

by iluvcapra (#49578385) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

They weren't against free thought or free exchange in general. They were against free thought and free exchange when it dealt with theological matters. The early colleges and universities were started by them.

There's obviously going to be some conflict over "theological matters" when the Universities you found are uniformly staffed with clerics in all departments. Note many of these "scientific" or philosophical conflicts tended to arrogate with theology. All of the science faculty at the University of Paris were trained scholastics and din't for second see any conflict with science and, say, Thomist natural theology, which is in fundamental opposition to the scientific method and the interpretation of empirical knowledge.

It could also be difficult to have any political argument in these places, since the Church was not just a Church but also a state, in alliance with many of the countries of Europe against others, either due to the schism or the Reformation, and voicing a political opinion not in accord with Vatican policy on, say, the excommunication of Urban VI by Clement VII could get you kicked out of your job, or worse.

Comment: Re:have to rewrite muc federal law to not microman (Score 4, Interesting) 150

by iluvcapra (#49498625) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt

When you have a comoany that knows how to do a certain thing , aka one of those evil corporations, getting hired by the federal government, some people want to do a lot of paperwork and stuff to keep track of what's going on, and other people go crazy with it.

If we're doing something important, like killing Hitler, or trying to beat the Commies to the moon, federal procurement can be remarkably efficient. Clear goals, and the stated willingness to accept some waste as long as the job's done, can do that.

Unfortunately since about the mid-1970s (Watergate you say?!), approximately zero "waste," of any kind is tolerated on any federal project, as this is "profiteering" or "wasting the people's money," so a lot of contractor time is spent on compliance. This makes the process incredibly loss-averse, and probably too risk-averse to actually accomplish anything.

The reality is that Elon Musk is able to do a good job, because he can destroy two or three recovery barges in a row and he doesn't have to explain it to anybody but his accountant. If the SLS had only one slip-up like that there would be a bloodbath of firings, senate hearings, press conferences with the President, and maybe the entire program might be scrubbed. Back in the late 50s NASA screwed up these kinds of operations all the time, but the American people tolerated it because of the Cold War. Nowadays the budget is so tight and public accountability is so fierce that frigging welding assembly subcontractors are apparently front-page news. We probably built and destroyed five facilities on the scale of this thing during Apollo and nobody batted an eye at the expense.

Comment: Re: There's a reason for professional journalism (Score 2) 143

by iluvcapra (#49494057) Attached to: Wikileaks Publishes Hacked Sony Emails, Documents

Just speaking as someone who's PI is in the Sony dump, I have not yet been killed.

However, I'll be under fraud alert for the next three years, Nigerian princes call my cell about twice a day, and someone has already tried, and fortunately failed, to open a student loan in my name. (No, I don't get it either.)

I mean it's not awful, it's not like I slept with a video game reviewer or anything. But it's been a huge hassle.

Comment: Re: Real fight (Score 1) 179

by iluvcapra (#49490865) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

I may decide that I have (iTunes,Amazon,BeatPort) music but you have no business deciding, or worse forcing, those ditinguishing attributes for me.

Where have you been the last five years? The war was fought and consumers of your ilk have lost utterly. I mean you may want your phone or your computer to work this way but you're a vanishing minority. Only dorks prioritize app choice over content.

Comment: Re:Real fight (Score -1) 179

by iluvcapra (#49490547) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

Can I store an arbitrary file on an iOS device yet? What if I want to download an MP3 using Safari or Chrome and play it with the native iOS music player? Can arbitrary apps share data without specific developer support yet?

How would you share data between two apps if both developers didn't support that?

Generally speaking, if you're a developer, you can vend whatever files you want as long as you and the recipient agree on type identifiers, either copying or by sharing a destructible reference. You can't save an arbitrary file to an arbitrary location because the apps are sandboxed, as far as they can tell they're the only thing running on the phone. It's a little more careful than Android but it's meant to be part of a defense in depth.

Everything you mention is fine but I'm not sure there's some killer user story or use case that justifies it in light of the security issues. I don't think any 3rd party app developer should be able to see any of your file system ever, not on your phone. It's just too dangerous, the thing is always on the network, it knows where you live and you can't unplug it.

Visible global filesystem on a phone always seemed like a gee-whiz feature that wasn't really justified. Frankly I think the visible global filesystem on personal computers isn't really justified, considering how many people just dump everything into ~/Documents and most productivity apps have their own bespoke document browser/organizer.

Honestly I just spent about 30 minutes trying to find a website where I could even try to download an MP3, usually everything I'd want to listen to is in the podcasting app (or the site the content is on just has an app). I used to have GoodReader, which you'd launch from a URL in Safari and it'd just download anything and play it, but it sorta became unnecessary after a certain point. I'm not sure what the point of being able to play it in the "native music player" is. What app you play content with shouldn't be important, all the matters is that the desired content is available by a convenient and appropriate modality. iOS doesn't have a "native music player," it has iTunes for music in iTunes, Podcasts for Podcasts, and then Beats and Amazon Music and Spotify and everything else for their music.

One app to play all your music is 1990s thinking; modern apps are meant to brand content and service experiences, instead of them all launching the "native music player" they all call the same native sound API. The mechanics of how the media moves across the internet or across the filesystem is invisible to the user.

-- I wanna decide who lives and who dies - Crow T. Robot, MST3K

"Oh, I don't know" -- Joel Robinson.

Comment: Re:Fight within a platform, not between platforms (Score 0) 179

by iluvcapra (#49489003) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

The IBM PC was an open platform, not an Open platform. :)

Similarly Microsoft's platform was "open," but only relatively, when compared to IBM. Meanwhile Linux is open and Open and really only excels at niches.

The conventional wisdom is that the Wintel platform prevailed because the hardware was cheaper; Windows and Mac OS had about the same level of openness from the perspective of third-party developers.

Google runs Android as an Open OS but most of the units sold are actually running closed-source code, because the OEMs can license their way out of being Open. Which is why Cyanogen exists.

Comment: Re:Real fight (Score 1) 179

by iluvcapra (#49488909) Attached to: Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

I respectfully submit that Android is substantially more functional with its core set of applications than iOS.

A good case can be made that an OHA Android phone is a better value proposition for a vanilla end user than an iOS iPhone. If you're alright with your phone being a dumb terminal for Google services and $SOCIAL_NETWORK_X, you're better off.

If you're a third party developer like Microsoft though, it's a much worse value proposition to target the platform, because Google aggressively crowds them out of providing features, and their store/monetization model doesn't produce as much income. If you're somebody like Microsoft, Apple is kindof easier to work with, since Apple isn't trying to clone Onenote and constantly dragging the users to their clone through defaults and platform integration. Also if Microsoft wants to charge $5 for an app or an IAP, on iOS there's a good chance they'll actually get the sale. Ads just don't generate the revenue sales do.

The user value proposition starts to break down if the end user isn't vanilla, and actually kinda wants access to the kinds of high-quality 3rd party apps that tend to show up on iOS first or exclusively. Or they're privacy conscious, or would just prefer not use Google services for everything.

Android can share data freely among applications and is much less picky about data formats, so there's no need to resort to some of the weird fuckery or workarounds iOS users have to deal with to bend, fold or mutilate their needs into something that iOS can actually do.

I think you may be working with old information.

Comment: Re: What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 700

by iluvcapra (#49478199) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Buddhism generally doesn't assert the existence of the supernatural, not does Taoism. Many devotees of these are hold syncretic beliefs that incorporate supernatural elements, though.

Certain tenets of Scientology are supernatural, most saliently, the claim of the existence of "thetans."

Comment: Re:Hire this man, right now! (Score 3, Informative) 237

by iluvcapra (#49474267) Attached to: Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament

I dunno, the original claim was pretty general in nature and equally unsupported.

The actual "evidence" question is actually sorta beside the point. Arendt specifically in Origins of Totalitarianism discussed how the Nazis would systematically treat actual criminals better than political prisoners or random arrestees, because in the end the message they were trying to send was that they could destroy you whenever they wanted, and it didn't really matter if you'd done anything wrong. The only way you could be safe is by enthusiastically cooperating, and even then it was never really enough.

At this point we would make the distinction between a merely authoritarian regime and a more "bloodthirsty" thing. The first would be like, say, Morsi's Egypt or Iran, where they arrest people for opposing the state. The latter would be more like North Korea, where they arrest people at random wether they oppose the state or not, because the terror is an end itself.

Miller was writing about the Hollywood Blacklist in the end, but it's an important example of authoritarianism of the first kind. Joe McCarthy knew that Dalton Trumbo and Clifford Odets hung out, that they were fellow travelers with more committed Communists and even soviet agents, he had all the evidence he needed to prove association. But the logic of the 50s Red Scare wasn't driven by the desire to find Communist agents as much as it was to get "suspect" individuals to turn over their friends, so that even though there was no evidence of actual wrongdoing, there were simply so many people named that spectre of conspiracy took on a life all its own, and the spectacle of people evading the "justice" of HUAAC or the senate, of "hiding" their friends and associations, would cast disrepute on leftism in general. They arrest you to make you look guilty, and then they make you turn States Evidence to buy back your respectability.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project