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Comment Re:Moral of the story: (Score 1) 97

The idea that something that worked just a year or two ago should no longer work on today's browsers is unreasonable.

There will always be a cut-off point where support for older interfaces is dropped. The standard is not whether something worked a year or two ago, but whether it followed the recommended best practices in effect at that time. If you write a site using standards on the verge of being declared obsolete, you have no one to blame but yourself. Dependence on NPAPI plugins hasn't been best practice for a long time now, much longer than one year; Flash is the only plugin with any widespread support left, and it's been on its way out for a while. Sites which depend on such plugins already fail on mobile browsers, which are becoming more and more popular and haven't even supported Flash for several years, much less other plugins.

Much of the reason the web has been successful is that it has been standardised and future-proof. There were widely respected and mostly reasonable standards. There were multiple browser implementations that would let you view anything developed using those standards.

The part that was standardized and future-proof was HTML. That part still works everywhere, and even supports most of what people used to use plugins for thanks to JavaScript and HTML5. Plugins, on the other hand, have always been a compatibility nightmare—non-standardized, proprietary, and non-portable.

If you like standards and cross-browser compatibility, you should be backing this change. It means more standards-compliant web sites and fewer one-off, closed-source, browser- and OS-specific binary plugins that may or may not receive updates for security and/or compatibility with future software.

The idea that something that worked just a year or two ago should no longer work on today's browsers is unreasonable.

IE itself is deprecated, and its replacement, Edge, doesn't support NPAPI (or ActiveX) either. Using IE is no better than using an old version of Firefox.

Comment Re:Your laws ignore my rights (Score 1) 314

We can't have a society based on just morality, because when you arrest someone for doing something morally wrong, they're going to say, "Who says what I did was wrong? Whose authority? I don't think what I did was wrong!"; How do you argue with that without essentially stating, "I'm right because I'm right and can enforce my will through violence"?

The "framework of laws" approach doesn't address this problem either. It just means that some people (maybe a majority, maybe just a vocal minority) got together and wrote up some laws that they agreed with. In the end, the law is still based on the same subjective morals. The person you're trying to enforce the laws on did not consent to follow them simply by being born in the same arbitrary geopolitical region as those who wrote the laws.

The only rational basis for law which does not depend on subjective morality is reciprocation. Someone who commits murder cannot rationally complain about being executed; a thief has no just cause to complain about being fined. Whatever you do to others, they can do to you—without any need for debate over whether what you did was right or wrong. It suffices to classify a given action the same way regardless of who carries it out. If you agree that what you did was wrong, that implies that you accept responsibility for the consequences. If not, then a response in kind cannot be wrong either.

Comment Re:Moral of the story: (Score 1) 97

Closing them off in Firefox as well just means anyone who actually relies on them is now left on IE forever. Again.

They could just as easily use an old version of Firefox instead. It's not like the previous versions are going anywhere, and it isn't unreasonable for ancient, unmaintained web sites using obsolete plugins to require a contemporary web browser.

Comment Re:Consumers reject advertising (Score 1) 314

If you're going to say "Google is an advertising firm, not a technology firm" just because they derive their income from advertising, you may as well say "Lego isn't a toy company, they are a sales company" because they derive their income from sales.

On the contrary, Lego is a toy company because their customers (i.e. the people paying them money) are buyers of toys. They also happen to perform sales and many other tasks common to all businesses. I'm sure they have an accounting department as well, but that doesn't make them an accounting firm. Google's customers are advertisers; that makes them an advertising company. They also happen to dabble in technology, among other fields, but it's all to serve the one area which brings them an actual income: advertising.

A technology firm would be one that develops and licenses or sells technology for use by others, e.g. Intel, Freescale, Microsoft. Using technology internally, or providing it for free to the public as a way of collecting data to be sold to advertisers, does not make you a technology firm.

Comment Re: Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 209

You think the political philosophy of libertarianism does not favour a particular economic model and vice versa ?

Libertarianism aside, reality favors the capitalistic economic model. It's the only one that works for any group of significant size. And if you start from the Non-Aggression Principle, free markets and capitalism are sure to follow. That does not imply that libertarianism is based on capitalism in general or the Austrian school of economics in particular, which is what you claimed.

As an aside, you should know that personal attacks just make you look bad, and don't help your case.

Comment Re: Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 2) 209

Hell not only do they lack evidence they even use their own custom definition of inflation as "increased money supply". The proper definition is "decreased buying power".

That's because "decreased buying power" is a conflation of a huge number of possible factors, which makes any analysis of "inflation" by your definition meaningless. Regardless of whether you call it "inflation" or something else, the only factor that matters is the change in the money supply.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 209

But the "Austrian School" denies the fundamental existence of SCIENCE.

Nonsense. The Austrian school doesn't deny the existence of science (obviously), just the applicability of the typical scientific process as a means of deriving economic models which can effectively predict human behavior, particularly when those models are (ab)used in an attempt to change how people behave. People always manage to come up with innovative and unpredictable solutions to get around whatever changes you're trying to force on them.

Effective economic predictions have more to do with the mathematical/logical domain of game theory than anything empirical. Austrian economics recognizes that, where other schools do not. You can, of course, measure the empirical results of specific economic policies and circumstances, but don't expect past performance to be a reliable predictor of future results.

Comment Re: Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 209

including the Austrian model (which libertarianism is based on)

Libertarianism is a political philosophy based on the Non-Aggression Principle, not an economic model. You don't have to agree with Austrian economics, or even think that libertarian policies will be economically beneficial, to be a libertarian. It's a philosophy based on the principle of rights, not pragmatism—which is not to say that it isn't also the pragmatic choice for entirely different reasons.

Comment Re:Were you endangered? (Score 1) 228

New York is where both engines of USAir flight were hit by soft bodied geese weighing less than 20 pounds each and forced the plane to crash land in the Hudson river. The drones have hard metal parts and hard plastic. They would do far more damage to the plane.

As this is an obvious design flaw in the plane with or without drones, perhaps the FAA should consider mandating suitable filters on the engine intakes for commercial planes, instead of trying to ban anything that might cross a plane's path.

Comment Re:ISP liability (Score 1) 43

The constitution itself says that treaties with foreign governments are the highest law of the land.

The Constitution says that at the Constitution, U.S. law, and treaties are (together) the highest law of the land—in that order. It also says that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech". That doesn't change regardless of what any treaty might say; a treaty is not a Constitutional amendment. If a treaty says that we have to pass an unconstitutional law, well, we'll just have to break that treaty, because Congress cannot grant itself powers specifically forbidden them in the Constitution through a mere treaty, any more than Congress could pass a law to the same effect.

Comment Re:What makes someone a Troll? (Score 1) 153

Patents are supposed to be open, and should explain exactly how to do something to someone skilled in the art. In terms of knowledge, patents are much better than trade secrets this way.

That's the theory, but it fails on both the openness of patents and the effectiveness of trade secrets. "Best practice" for patent applicants is to do everything you can to ensure that the patent provides insufficient detail to recreate the invention, while still remaining enforceable. In exchange they provide they get a 20-year de jure monopoly, during which time whatever information they deigned to provide cannot be used by anyone else without their permission. By contrast, while the holder of a trade secret doesn't have to publish anything, the burden of keeping the trade secret is entirely on them, and in the modern world hardly anything about a product can truly remain secret for 20 years.

Having the choice of a patent or trade secret ensures that the invention will be kept out of the public domain for either 20 years or however long it can be kept as a trade secret, whichever is longer. To assume that the patent system would bring inventions into the public domain faster than trade secrets alone presumes that inventors are either irrational actors or incapable of producing reasonable estimates for how long they can maintain their trade secrets in the absence of patent protection.

TL;DR: Patents are neither necessary nor sufficient to speed up the passage of trade secrets into the public domain.

Comment Re:No federal shield law. (Score 1) 471

A freedom to do something is no protection from social enforcement of the consequences of you exercising that freedom.

Ridiculous. By that argument, everyone has the freedom to do absolutely anything they want—they might just get thrown in jail if it happens to violate a law. This makes a mockery of the very word "freedom".

If the law says that an action can lead to you being put in jail, fined, or otherwise deprived of your legal rights, you aren't free to do it. "Free" means "no strings attached". Within the legal domain, naturally; the freedom of speech has never included protection against possible social consequences. Others have every right to respond with speech of their own, or to withhold their support or association depending on how they feel about what you've said.

It's funny how everyone turns to the "fire in a crowded theater" case when discussing the limits of freedom of speech, because in addition to being logically unsound, that ruling was politically motivated with the clear intent of suppressing political speech by war protesters (Schenck v. United States). In other words, exactly the opposite of what freedom of speech is supposed to stand for, even by the strictest standards.

If the speech is false, and deliberately intended to manipulate others as tools for causing harm, not by their choice but by the choice of the speaker, and the actions these others chose to take based on the speech would not have been harmful if the speech had been true—then we can discuss whether a punishment is justified, not for the speech per se but for the harm that the speaker deliberately set out to achieve. But "(falsely) shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater" is not that case. Whatever the speaker's intent, the actions of the listeners were not reasonable or justified even by the standard of what they believed to be true, and it is those unjustifiable actions which resulted in the harm, not the false speech.

Comment Re:Get elected, change the law (Score 2) 166

... that treaty would trump any laws of a government in the USA. According to the Constitution, it would even trump the Constitution.

A common misconception. Treaties don't "trump" the U.S. Constitution, they form the highest law of the land alongside the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Treaties do take precedence over state constitutions and laws. The only thing that would trump the U.S. Constitution, however, would be an amendment or constitutional convention. The federal government cannot bypass its own constitutional limits by entering into treaties any more than it can grant itself unconstitutional powers by passing laws. Only the states can do that, by amending or replacing the Constitution.

Comment Use an escalator or have people sit in chairs (Score 1) 184

Use a wheelchair to wizz them around on a conveyance system. Then hand them a science book and tell them to GTFO. Don't forget, charge them money too. That's always a good way to thin the the crowd. Start charging a fee .. when the Saudis run out of oil it will happen. Then you could have some rock star throw concert on top of the rock. But anyway not to distract from my idea of having the crowd sit in open air train carriages or wheelchairs as they are automatically taken on their pilgrimage. Yes it means they might get fat but remember these are psychos who believe in religion -- fat is the least of their problems.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.