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Comment Deep Space Nine: In the Cards (Score 1) 563

The Deep Space Nine episode "In the Cards" has a wonderful bit of dialog between Jake and Nog. Jake wants to give a certain baseball to his father, and needs money from Nog to buy it. Nog says "Your society is so advanced that you don't need money." Jake: "Right." Nog: "Then you don't need mine!" (I only saw this episode that once, when first broadcast, but I think that's close enough.) The whole sequence of bartered exchanges is pretty hilarious, especially when they take advantage of Weyoun's hypochondria, but this comment on the absurdity of having no money is just perfect.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 5, Interesting) 1032

A degree in art history doesn't cost a great deal unless you choose to go to a college that decides to charge you a lot of money. You are free to choose a cheaper school, or one that offers you a scholarship. If that still isn't cheap enough, you are free to choose a different school, or a different major, or to follow a different career path.

A friend of mine ended up going to a 3rd-rank, state-supported college because it was cheap. After graduating with top honors, he got a scholarship to Cal Tech and earned a doctorate in computational chemistry, completely free of debt. He now manages a group of scientists at a national lab. Picking the college based on affordability didn't ruin his life.

Comment Re:Main problem is revenue (Score 3, Insightful) 243

Every Henry Fonda movie is over 25 years old. Copyright doesn't need to last that long in order for the artists to receive some reasonable compensation. The fact that a crazy long copyright period made a bunch of people richer than they would otherwise be is not interesting to me.

From everything I've ever observed about performers, good ones, they'd do it for free if they couldn't get paid to do it. Losing a shot at retiring on the proceeds of one big hit wouldn't stop a single artist. It might slow down the creation of media personalities and blockbuster special-effects extravaganzas, but not artists. Color me unconcerned with the future of civilization.

Comment Re:what? (Score 1) 195

Sure, it's not the best pointing device out there. Either a mouse or a trackball is going to be necessary for any serious clicking around. But for those times that you just need to move the mouse a bit and go back to typing, the keyboard clit is awesome. That actually describes most of my mousing so I'd love to have one of these. By any measurement it's far, far better than those crappy touchpads everyone is using these days. Those are simply unusable for any purpose.

After getting my clicky Das Keyboard a couple years ago, I thought I was done buying keyboards. But I'm lusting after that Unicomp. I wonder if you can get it with black keys.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 239

Kagan argued in the government’s brief that speech was entitled to no First Amendment protection if its harms outweigh its benefits: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.

I'm no expert on law, but can you give a better explanation as to why libel/slander, for example, are not protected under the First Amendment?

Comment Bonus receiver's viewpoint (Score 2, Interesting) 172

It might be off topic but as most of you have not read the article, here we go anyway:

I do work for a huge international bank and I do receive typically boni in the range of 4-6 monthly salaries.
As a lot of you seem to have strange prejudices about people receiving a bonus at a bank, let me rectify your picture. I am not an investment banker. I hardly ever wear tie nor suit. As a senior IT architect, my job is to look into the long term maintainability of large scale software systems. As a consequence, short term profitability is not part of my job description.

Funny enough, I do not feel motivated by receiving a bonus. Believe it or not but in the last years, I never cut corners to achieve my objectives. I kind of reach my goals anyway. At the bank I work, you do not receive a bonus for being extraordinarily good. You are entitled for a bonus if you did your job. And if I would fail reaching my targets, I could live without receiving a bonus. It feels more like extra money
However, the idea that as an employee of a company I also participate in the profit of the company I think very good. Personally, I think must people criticizing such a system are just envious. Yet, I do agree that banks handing out boni in years where they do not make profit strike me as strange.
Yeah, I took the money in 2009 anyway. Tell me that you would not have taken it...

Comment Re:Can't be affecting all users (Score 5, Informative) 449

I have 14 restore points dating back to 3/29/2010 which is about when I installed Windows 7 on this machine.

A quick Bing search brought me to another thread where the guy's problem turned out to be a disk defrag utility that was deleting restore points on reboot. He disabled the utility, and the restores stopped disappearing.

For what it's worth, does a forum post from January with a total of five people reporting a problem really deserve to be on Slashdot? Oh wait, it's anti-MS. Nevermind.

Comment Re:Iridium? (Score 1) 244

However, an Air Force Institute of Technology study [dtic.mil] seems to indicate that simulated Iridium end-to-end latency works out, on average, to 178 ms...

You misread the report. That's modeled with 36 failed satellites.

485 miles is a lot closer than 22,236 miles.

Comment Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (Score 2, Informative) 278

I think this is the most relevant link there.

35% of underaged teenagers who walk up to a movie theater and try to buy a ticket for a R-rated movie got one. 56% who tried to buy a PAL-rated CD got one. 47% who tried to buy an R-rated DVD got it. 50% who tried to buy an unrated DVD got it.

Only 20% who tried to buy an M-rated video game got one.

Anyone who thinks there's any sort of problem in the game retail industry is an idiot. The game industry is, by a vast majority, currently the most responsible entertainment industry when it comes to not selling products to children that have been marked as 'not for children'.

It is more than twice as easy for a 15 year old to buy Apocalypse Now than Fallout 3.

And note how fast the game industry has improved, and note the last poll was in 2008. It's probably even better now. Also note the more generic the retailer got, the more likely it was to fail the test...Game Stop was best at 6%, then Best Buy at 18%, and then other stores that aren't used to selling games near 30%. (Which the exception Circuit City, which was operated by morons, being higher, and Walmart, operated by prudes, being lower.)

I.e., the 'game industry' is fine, but electronic stores sometimes overlook checking, and giant chain stores that sell everything overlook even more. But even they overlook it a hell of a lot less than movie theaters do restricting movies! (And movie theater clerks, obviously, should actually know the rating of the ten movies they're currently selling, whereas some clerk in a Target can be forgiven for missing an M-rated video game they've never heard of in a store with a bajillion items in it.)

Comment Re:Yeah, we're one of the ones stuck with it (Score 1) 479

I don't think in all fairness that anyone could have predicted that Microsoft would not only break compatibility with other browsers, but also break compatibility with their own.

Dude, seriously.

Clearly, you never did any web dev when there was IE 4.x, 5.0, 5.5, 5.0.1 for Mac, and 6.0 all out there, and all working fucking differently.

They _always_ broke compatibility with their own browser, every fucking release.

The whole point of IE was to try and stop a world where it didn't matter what OS or browser you used, web apps would "Just Work". So breaking compatibility was the actual goal, that way you could just convince your corporate drone customers to write some idiotic ActiveX crap and fuck the world wide web.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]