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+ - Bill Gate' Facebook post shows poor kids taking online classes using Ubuntu->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "I really don’t know if Bill Gates, the created of Windows empire, manages his Facebook page or if it’s been updated by some PR folk. Today some readers caught a Bill Gates’s post about his Foundation’s efforts to ‘revolutionize’ learning in schools. The irony of the post was that the picture attached with the post showed kids using Ubuntu Linux."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 327

forced to do their own austerity

At some point, isn't the question here whether the size of their existing debt is basically large enough? i.e. their choice is between austerity necessary to paying it off, vs austerity to dig themselves out of the hole that they'll get into by defaulting and not being able to lend more money... but which way is better for them depends on how much they owe right now, no?

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 327

Austrians and praxeology is the contrary to what OP advocates - instead of trying to make economics into a proper science (which is eminently doable, since it concerns with events manifesting themselves in a physical world, which is governed by laws of nature), they embrace this whole idiotic "observations don't matter so long as I can construct a neat model in my head" thing. Since constructing models in one's head is inevitably based on one's (subjective) premises, and since praxeology denies the normal scientific method of testing those models on real data, it's basically all just mental masturbation, and is one of the worst economic schools in terms of practical results. Really, the only good thing about them is that they're honest about the fact that they're quacks.

Comment: Re:What are the practical results of this? (Score 1) 406

by shutdown -p now (#48937643) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

You do realize that the Citizen's United case was specifically about a group of people trying to get around the "1 normal voter, 10 bucks" problem by aggregating many normal voters into many bucks, don't you?

Except that is not a way to get around that problem. In the end, you still get several million voters, with their pooled dollars, competing against a single guy with his millions of dollars.

And, ironically, even then, the single guy wins.

You're also implying that that billionaire is actually buying votes with his $100 million. In truth, his one vote counts just the same as my one vote and your one vote and everyone else's one vote.

His vote counts the same, yes. But by spending that money on, say, political advertising (including indirect one, such as most of the politicized tripe on Fox News or MSNBC), he effectively buys other people's votes by drowning out objective information in the channels that they have.

And then on top of that he goes and buys the politicians that those people elect, rendering their votes pretty much meaningless, since the person they elected doesn't actually represent them anymore.

Requiring ID is the obvious solution. The same kind of ID that every citizen of many other countries is required to carry to get government services of any kind, and even many private services.

The reason why voter ID in US is contentious is not because it's somehow offensive or sacrilegious by itself, but because all implementations of it impose additional burdens on the voters that are either straight-up unconstitutional (e.g. non-free IDs, which is effectively a poll tax), or place the burden of obtaining the ID and proving one's identity for that purpose so high that many people are effectively disenfranchised, and that number is more than an order of magnitude higher than voting violations that IDs fix.

In other countries it's generally not an issue because they have mandatory state-issued IDs for everyone, free, and the only thing that you need to do to obtain a new one is present the old one. In US, though, the same system would be immediately shot down, especially by conservatives, as government being too intrusive (ironic, given that pretty much everyone already has an SSN...).

So it could be done, but the existing proposals are deficient, and better proposals that wouldn't be are non-viable for political reasons.

Comment: Re:What are the practical results of this? (Score 1) 406

by shutdown -p now (#48937605) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

You have very eloquently demonstrated how "if you don't vote for my bastard, the other bastard wins!" logic works to maintain the two-party system.

So long as you keep voting for the lesser of two evils, you'll be stuck with evil. Worse yet, there isn't even a guarantee that it'll be the same level of evil - it may well be gradually worsening with every electoral cycle, and only be relatively better (as far as you're concerned) than the other option. So long as both slide down, the system stands.

Comment: Re:track record (Score 3, Informative) 278

by shutdown -p now (#48937507) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

The Soviet Union adopted with the AK-74 in 1974

He was speaking about AK-74M, which was adopted in early 1990s.

But anyway, even if you look at AK-74, it was already in many ways outdated back when it was introduced. Only two locking lugs, and not in a barrel extension, craptastic safety, slow iron sights, a large open gap in the receiver when bolt is closed permitting dust and dirt in, very inconvenient optics quick mount on the side rail (on AK-74M with its folding stock, if you use the rail, you can't fold the stock - WTF?) etc. Also pretty heavy in its basic configuration, and even heavier with optics because of that aforementioned side rail necessitating heavy mounts.

A good example of a modern AK-derived design is SIG SG 550. Same basic action, but it uses modern layout, modern ergonomics, and is much more accurate and flexible while being every bit as reliable.

and most Eastern European and former Soviet Republics use it today.

Most Soviet republics - true, but which of them are "allies"?

Most Eastern European states - not really true anymore, and wasn't really true even when USSR was still there. The only two I can think of that still use AK chambered in 5.45 round are Bulgaria and Romania (and for Romania it's not AK-74, but their own independently developed variant), and both are looking at options to migrate to, generally in 5.56 for NATO conformance. Poland uses the 5.56 Beryl, also not derived from AK-74, and significantly improved compared to the latter. All ex-Yugoslavian states either still use the original AK chambered in 7.62, or else have migrated to something in 5.56 (e.g. FN F2000 for Slovenia or VHS in Croatia). Czechs and Slovaks have both used their indigenous Vz.58 until recently, and are now switching to CZ-805. Hungarians use their own FEG AK variant, also in 7.62. Albanians use the original AKM. Did I forget anyone?

The only nation states I know of that still use the old AK-47 are in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia (including, I think, India). The big advantage of the AK-47 is that it is cheap enough to hand out like candy to guerrilla fighters, and it's reliable enough to still work after years of little to no maintenance (though it's effectiveness drops quite a lot when doing so).

Well, you kinda lump them together - it's not like there are a few nations in Middle East or Africa, and a great many of them use AK. But, as noted, in Europe, you're looking at least at Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania and Hungary. And if you look at who else uses AK-derived guns chambered in 7.62x39, you'll have to also add Czech Republic and Slovakia (tho not for long) and Finland.

FWIW, I don't see the point of differentiation. AK-74 is only marginally different from AKM in matters other than caliber (and muzzle brake, but that can be easily retrofitted). All ergos are the same, reliability is the same, and all deficiencies are also the same.

In any case, I don't see why anyone in a sane mind would adopt AK-74M as a new service rifle in 2015. There are far better options available for anyone not sorely short on cash and not running a guerrilla army.

I mean, sure, you could take AK-74 and modernize it - make the receiver cover non-detachable so that a rail can be put on top, replace handguards with rails or something else allowing different mounts, replace leaf sight with a peep, replace the safety with a switch that can be manipulated by a thumb, replace the stock with folding and length-adjustable one that also has a cheek riser for better weld.

Russians did just that in their own modernization program, and the result is now known as AK-12 and is undergoing trials. Though it has a bunch of other changes (like lightened bolt) that are suspect wrt reliability, especially given the results of the trials so far.

But then again, unless you're short on cash, you could just get SG 551, which was designed with all those things in mind from ground up.

+ - LibreOffice 4.4 is more than just a pretty face->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "LibreOffice (aka LO) is among the best and the most used free (of cost) and open source office suites. The just-announced, brand new version 4.4 boasts some new features and a much needed design overhaul. With the 4.4 release, it looks like the developers have cleaned up the code enough to deal with the design of the product. The new LibreOffice not only shows a sleeker toolbar, it has also added a side panel; similar to the one found of IBM Lotus Notes which also inspired Calligra Suite by the KDE community."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Amazing work.. (Score 1) 108

by hairyfeet (#48928949) Attached to: <em>Star Trek Continues</em> Kickstarter 2.0
Oh lord, she liked the third one? man just shows you women will eat the most dumb stilted "romance" dialog if its delivered by a pretty boy, because the whole "love has blinded you?" scene was so damned tone deaf and unlike actual interaction by...well anybody not doing a line reading for dinner theater it just made me cringe the entire way, fucking terrible!

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk