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Comment Re:It's their money... (Score 1) 153

Gates [and other billionaires got their wealth because they] owned something that they made, and the wealth they have is due to the value of what they owned.

But DOS and Windows were not worth what we paid. We paid Microsoft because we were forced to. I have bought PC's with Windows installed, and some of my money went to MS, even though it was of no value to me whatsoever - being that I was going to install OS/2 (at the time) or Linux. Even people who did want Windows were being massively overcharged because of MS's monopoly - MS had thottled its rivals until recently.

And there is no way to prevent creating value outside of a state-controlled economy like communism.

But the PC scene until relatively recently was exactly like a state-controlled economy - with Microsoft in the position of the state, preventing rivals from entering the market.

Comment Re:It's a Criminal Organisation (Score 1) 153

Gates foundation has saved millions of lives

You should keep reminding yourself that Gates obtained vast amounts of that money crookedly - I would say the vast majority of it. He and his company found themselves in a position of being able to exploit a monolpoly, and continue with dirty tricks to the preent day.

So his wealth did not materialise from thin air (or in a differnt analogy, got dug up from hiding in the ground like oil or coal). Most of his wealth came by illicit transfer from other people. How do you know that those other people would not have made better use of their money? I have given money to charities, but they have been charities of my choosing, not Gates'. By your logic, it would be fine if someone robbed banks as long as they dropped some in the charity box on the way out the door.

Comment Re:It's a Criminal Organisation (Score 1) 153

The last I looked sunshine Bill Gates became the richest man in the world again

So? If he wasn't giving money away, he would be even richer.

I don't think any of you really grasp how staggeringly wealthy he is in any case. It really does not matter to Gates whether he gives billions to charity or not, gets tax deductions or not, invests it or not.

For example he has a salary (in 2014) from Microsoft of $32,000 per day, more than many people in developed nations earn in a year. But that is negligible compared with other incomes. From 2013-2014 his investments increased by $15 billion - about $40 million per day, more than the income of some nations. And all on top of his existing wealth.

These amounts are very difficult to imagine. Even if he received no more income for the rest of his life (say 20 years) he could for example buy a new car every 2 minutes (but have no time to drive them).

It is impossible for him to "enjoy" all his wealth directly. Tax breaks, investment income, giving it away - they all mean nothing to him and do not affect his way of life in the slightest, unless he gave away all but a tiny fraction.

Comment Re:Ministry of JUSTIVE prevents access to INTERNET (Score 1) 70

Britain's ministry of justice is second only to the US department of justice in doing ........ ensuring that people in the system have no access to reality, life, the Internet, and the ability to be part of even an online society, research their case, case law, or learn. ....

How nice. I'm sure they would only ever use the internet to learn about flower arranging and xylophone playing. It's not like they'd use it to continue managing their illegal operations and their gang from the inside, or threatening the people who helped put them in there - is it?

Comment Re:One can dream (Score 1) 48

And why should I have to pay for someone else's "free speech"? My only phone is a cell phone, with a plan that has limited minutes per month. The minutes that I paid for should not be wasted by telemarketers! Furthermore, I paid for my phone and my minutes, so ONLY I should get to decide who can call me!!!!

Your problem is the lunatic USA way of charging some of the call to the receiver (as I understand it). In the UK (and Europe/Rest-of-the-World) the caller pays the whole fee.

Comment Re:What changes? (Score 1) 48

"Rob", sitting in a call center on some subcontinent somewhere ... is making spoofed-CID calls to you claiming to be a MS representative that has been informed you're computer has a serious problem, and for a quick $20, they can fix it right up for you.

You are getting the wrong kind of scammer. My scammers offer to fix my PC for free.

None of these scammers gives a rats ass about U.S. laws and regulations. They don't apply to them.

But by asking for payment in one of these illegal-in-the-USA ways, it reveals to anyone who knows that law that they are a crook and hence places another hurdle in their path to a successful scam. No, it won't work 100% of the time, but no law does.

Personally I would not need to get that far into the phone call to realise it, and nor would you. Especially (like last week) they say my "Windows" has got a virus, when I'm running Linux. [Actally I booted XP in VirtualBox and led them on for 35 minutes]

Comment Re:Thirty Years of Windows. (Score 2) 249

Linux runs, and is developed, on almost any platform, not just "last year's Windows PC". It was originally developed on Minix, a version of Unix. So what's your point?

Microsoft definitely wouldn't exist as it does today without its boost by IBM. And if IBM had not existed we would have had standardisation based on Commodore or some other brand of hardware - and been the better for it as the PC architecture was crippled. Standardisation occurred because the world needed it, not because of Microsoft, who have historically been the enemy of standardisation.

Whatever course hardware had taken, sooner or later it was going to become powerful enough to put a version of Unix on it. Nothing to do with Microsoft.

Comment Re: This is not something to commemorate. (Score 1) 249

Except that along with MS-DOS, it put a PC in every office

No, IBM did that. Personal computers (non-IBM, non-Microsoft) had been around for a while already, but not in mainstream offices. That is because company IT buyers at the time would not buy anything without the IBM logo on it. The IBM PC made personal computers respectable to business because they were IBM, it would not have mattered what OS they ran (could have been CP/M-86, IBM could have written their own, Seattle Computer Products* could have provided DOS directly instead of via Microsoft, or whatever). Also, IBM PCs could be used as terminals to the company [IBM] mainframe so the clueless company buyers could be fooled into thinking the IBM PC was no more than that : that is how my office first got one.

and eventually a PC in every home

My home had a personal computer before the IBM PC with DOS was invented, and before I'd even heard of Microsoft. The young guys I worked with also had Commodores, Sinclairs etc. Home computing was taking off already without IBM/Microsoft's help and would have gone to the level it did with or without Microsoft

without which Linux might not have been possible.

That claim, sometimes heard, completely baffles me. Are you saying that personal computers would never have developed the power to run Linux if it had not been for Windows? WTF wouldn't they? Linux runs and is developed on almost any platform. It was originally developed on Minix, another Unix OS. IMHO Microsoft retarded the development of the PC by about 5 years while they had their love affair with Windows 9x.

* You do realise don't you that DOS was not written by Gates or Microsoft, it was bought by them? They hired the author (Tim Paterson) to port it to the IBM PC.

Comment Re:Marketing not greatness of product (Score 2) 249

I will freely admit that Bill Gates is a world class genius when it comes to marketing software.

I don't agree. Gates got on the bandwagon not because of genius, but because of the staggering incompetence of others. The incompetence of Digital Research of missing the chance to write the OS for the IBM PC. The incompetence of IBM management for not taking their own PC seriously and allowing Microsoft free reign to cash in on it instead. Gates was not the only person to see the great future for personal computers - everyone (except IBM management) saw it at the time.

In another life Gates would have been the boring POS in the corner of the office who, because of his frequent temper outbursts, never got promoted.

Since then, Microsoft's success has been due to pumping its established monopoly for all its worth, legally and illegally. That does not require genius.

Comment Re:Not most used, sorry (Score 1) 249

That's what my parents said about desktops: an expensive device just used as a toy. And they were right at that time.

I don't particularly recall people saying that. Desktops, even non-IBM ones, were that expensive (equivalent to $2-3k today) that they were not bought for children - more like for adults "writing their book", keeping home accounts, and of course in offices as superior typewriters. Games crept in later.

Anyway, you cannot sidestep ergonomics. A keyboard is and will remain the fastest and easiest way to input text information - even faster than voice when it comes to the editing which any serious text will require.

Comment Re:Automate trains (Score 1) 96

Why are we still using humans to drive the trains? We already have computer-driven cars on the roads — and driving a car is a lot harder for a computer both because of the complex terrain and human-only signalling.

I wonder, what is it? Is it a fear of protests by union-thugs? Engineers' own inertia?

As one such engineer (formerly), I can tell you that one reason is passenger unease with having no driver, and another is to have staff on hand to deal with emergency situations (like evacuation). We have yet to see public unease with driverless cars abate - perhaps then we could have driverless trains. That might seem the wrong way round (as you say, trains are one-dimensional), but the public (and the press) illogically demand a far higher safety standard (real or as they perceive) for trains than cars - a source of exasperation for us railway engineers.

Having said that, there are some driverless railways - the [low speed] London Dockland Light Railway for example [low speed and driverless, but not staff-less]

Comment Re:Excessive Speed? (Score 1) 96

more people die in a couple of days in the US of A from bullets than died in the Paris terrorist attack

Way to go! Bring the issue of USA gun ownership into the discussion!

We need the equivalent of Godwin's rule to describe doing this. I'd call it Nukenerd's rule.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.