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Comment: Capitalism is enamored with Fascism (Score 1) 191

by nickmalthus (#47951887) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

China has arguably moved from communism to fascism and as Mussolini stated "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." One can see many of the tenants of an oligarch's paradise: a single party police/surveillance state, labor unions are outlawed, environmental regulations are practically non-existent, imminent domain is abused, and there is an income inequality that even surpasses the US. Capitalism has chosen the most profitable government model and is hedging their investments on it. China is already the largest trading nation and is expected to soon surpass the US as the largest economic power. In the 1930's many American investors flocked to the economic growth in fascist germany. and Prescott Bush(perhaps indirectly) come to mind. Given the current political climate in the US perhaps there may be another Business Plot in our generation.

I imagine many of these large investment firms have direct or indirect access to zero percent federal reserve loans (going on six years with no end in sight) and they would be foolish not to speculate on Alibaba with house money.

Comment: Re: Infurstuctsure (Score 1) 338

by nickmalthus (#47724895) Attached to: FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike
In Texas they already are. All new highways in Texas will be toll roads. TXDOT is making sweetheart public private partnerships (read fascist) with construction companies like cintra with half century long long land leases and government bailouts for guaranteed profit! People in my area are going to freak out when they receive their flex rate toll bills for all of the new roads they are building.

Comment: My setup (Score 1) 154

by nickmalthus (#47682323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

I had a similar idea and ended up with this setup:

  • A Rooms to Go leather power recliner
  • A $50 adjustable medical stand from amazon
  • A 27 inch monitor that is placed on the medical stand. I optionally mounted a second monitor by attaching a monitor arm to the medical stand.
  • A 10ft HDMI cable
  • A wireless keyboard and mouse

The recliner has a little space between the bottom of it and the floor so I can move the medical stand with the monitor on it in front of me at a fairly close distance. I can also recline the chair with the monitor in front of me and easily swing the stand out of the way with minimal effort. I place the wireless keyboard on my lap and use the mouse on the medical stand. I am a tall person with a long reach so this may not work for others. After almost two years of use I have had no ergonomic issues. I can move the monitor slightly off center so that I can double task and code while casually observing a tv show or movie with my wife. It has worked out very well for me and the complaints from my wife about me working too much have diminished significantly.

Comment: Re:The Free Market has the Technology Now (Score 5, Insightful) 218

by nickmalthus (#47589083) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval

I would presume perfect information means complete information. If that is the case then why would any business be compelled to release information that could be perceived as critical to their operations without regulation or the threat of regulation? As we have seen with the GM case keeping consumers in the dark about safety issues pads the bottom line and they would have gotten away with if it weren't for those pesky NHTSA regulators. I always find it amusing when the captains of industry get on television and berate government regulation and accountability their first line of defense for impropriety is always the mantra "it may be unethical but it is not illegal".

I do think that the goals regulation should be to enforce transparency, clarity, and legal accountability more than just simply restricting certain types of activities.

Comment: Institution of FUD (Score 1) 190

by nickmalthus (#47517475) Attached to: The Department of Homeland Security Needs Its Own Edward Snowden

Homeland Security is an institution based in FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The more they panic the populace the more Congress will capitulate and grant them ever increasing power and funding. Secrecy grants them a shield to deflect all criticism: in the event of an attack they can simply state they were underfunded or were not granted the powers they needed to protect the people regardless of whatever the truth may be and no one except initiated would be the wiser. Instead of confronting terrorism using our well accepted and established system of Justice we all get thrown into a state of complete panic when someone attacks us for political motivations. Last year 1.6 million American's died of cancer. Why don't we spend trillions of dollars combating a real threat instead of something that may kill 1 in 20 million Americans?

Ironically the point of terrorism is to effect political change based on the psychological impact of an attack. Congress seems to pay no heed to this as they accelerate the decline of America into a police state, perhaps to the desire of the terrorist boogieman. Certainly anyone who has read a history book knows what happens when a people grant their government extraordinary powers to combat a perceived threat: a dictator arises and they lose all their liberties. I speak for no one besides myself but I would rather take my chances with being killed by a malcontent than risk losing everything precious in my life to totalitarian government.

Comment: It would need to be submitted to a standards body (Score 1, Insightful) 180

by nickmalthus (#47419439) Attached to: Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)
Dart would need to be submitted to an independent standards body and be royalty and patent free in order for any other company to even contemplate embracing it. I don't see Microsoft, Apple, or IBM handing the wheel to google to be sole dictator of the future of a critical component of web technology . Dart may be a good idea but without community support like what has happened with the HTML 5 standards group it will continue to be a proprietary browser specific language like VBScript in Internet Explorer.

Comment: The father of propaganda would be proud (Score 3, Interesting) 130

by nickmalthus (#47344655) Attached to: In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions
Secret psychological tests on population in a mass? Edward Bernays would have been elated to have this capability in his time.

In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

Comment: Believe Glenn Greenwald's book got it perfect . . (Score 2) 348

by nickmalthus (#47102993) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

Well said. Cui bono - who benefits? Government officials like Michael Hayden keep conjuring up the terrorist boogieman to rationalize totalitarian surveillance but in the end "Knowledge is Power" and that is the ultimate objective. Access to all information - virtual omniscience - can cement any party's rule and wealth and some would do anything to obtain that power. I recommend watching PBS's recent Frontline documentary for an in depth look at the surveillance state. Our government is heavily influenced by corporate interests and it stands to reason mass surveillance is more about power with access to all information than it is about the safety of ordinary citizens. Terrorism is just a psychological ruse to distract from the real prize.

A point of interest - A key criteria in the FBI's definition of terrorism is to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" With that said when the revolving door government officials fear monger and institute policies contrary to Constitutional principles are they facilitating terrorism?

Comment: Re:Sounds like it could work here too.. (Score 1) 83

This is an extremely frightening abuse of power. Imaging if some foreign nation like China or Russia performed similar actions in the US. All potential dissidents documented and tracked like animals. If the US's actions in Afghanistan represent the pinnacle of Western Democracy it is no wonder they resist US presence in their country.

Comment: Ulterior motive (Score 1, Flamebait) 208

by nickmalthus (#46517131) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote
Who wants to bet that if one carefully reads the EULA for the free edition of OneNote that Microsoft has buried a clause in there that they can data mine all information stored in their Cloud service? Providing the OneNote client and Cloud storage for free would be a bargain given the data bonanza they would have access to: personal contact information, shopping lists, todos, etc.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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