If at some point in a discussion about GMO and the company Monsanto gets brought up as a point pro/con GMO, just remember this. Bringing up a company that is built around a product does not mean that the product in question inherits the attitude that the company that uses has.
Good example, if I'm talking about chicken and McDonald's and their woeful employee wage gets brought up, more than likely you have less a problem with chicken and more a problem with McDonald's.
I get that Monsanto has some serious legal ethics issues and that apparently the CEO goes to bed at night after his late night snack of kittens. However, GMOs didn't make their CEO some monopolistic asshat, he was already that before hand. GMOs are just his weapon of choice. It could have been self-microwaving hotdogs for all we know but we were destined to have this kind of caliber of a person grace the planet and this person choose GMOs.
You have a great point in that the whole problem isn't a scientific one, the problem is a political one. Much like climate change, a lot of people when the topic gets brought up start naming off political parties. Which that typically means whoever it is doing the talking has a lot more beef with the other political party (parties) than they actually do with the science behind the whole issue. It would be great to not hold people accountable if they didn't plant the seed and it came over by the wind instead. However, I will say, that a fair amount (I wouldn't say majority, but a lot more often than would like to be admitted) of farmers are on purpose planting seed knowing all about the agreements and what not. That comes from my experience with living not too far away from where a lot of growing goes on and having a few buddies that work on those farms. Again, though, we have a serious problem because the vast majority of those that aren't seriously trying to game the system are finding it difficult to mount a serious defense. However, again, that's not a problem with GMOs so much as a political problem.
So it is important and yet very difficult, because after all we are humans, for us to understand that there is a separation between the actual thing being debated and those who want to be complete dickheads with or about those things. Scotland banning GMOs is less an attack on the validity and safety of GMOs, and more along the lines of a big middle finger to companies like Monsanto. Knowing the context of why Scotland took the actions it did, helps us to cut through the "how do we make GMOs safe / how do we eradicate GMOs from the Earth" debate and get to the real heart of the matter, "How do we stop kitten eating CEO corporate greed? Or at the very least wean them off of kittens and reduce the full throttle amount of greed that engage in?" Because it is not unheard of for a business owner to actually take interest in their employees' lives and care about their impact on the local and national levels. That era may have passed us or may be only something in the domain of small businesses. However, I believe that this is truly the topic we should on a more broader sense be discussing.
We had a C++11 party. It was mostly themed, "About damn time!" Our C++14 party we held up a banner, "Here's to a 10'00'0'00 lines of code that will abuse the new number concept." Our C++17 party will be a mostly confusing and unintelligible cluster fuck of multiple party ideas rolled into one.
Also, before anyone get's angry, I'm just being funny.
Never said for Notes. Just ditched Exchange. As far as email goes, we stopped hosting it. It was a huge drain on cash and the seventh most ticketed item in help desk was always something like, "help my phone stopped getting email."
Totally underrated comment. You hit the nail on the head. I think Slashdot has a way of attracting desktop thinkers, which isn't a bad thing don't get me wrong on that point. However, I hear the same old stale arguments tossed out there about desktops every year and every year desktop sales erode just a little bit more. In my company, there are like ten to fifteen technical workers that use desktops to create online business reporting that hundreds of end users use on their iPads and Android tablets. The desktops are still there, we just need less of them because the mobile devices do 99% of the work for 90% of the employees. The crap like working with spreadsheets sent in and all of that crap, the company fired those folks because they figured out that they could automate all that crap with advanced ETL tools. What used to be Word documents that held all our company processes, has changed into someone from the engineering department passing a BPMN document into an online processor and it spitting out technical documents that people on the floor modify using their tablets. I'd say about 80% of the technical documentation is now written by a computer, the other 20% is done on a tablet. Presentations are pretty much take a bunch of photos from your phone, some charts and data taken from the BI reporting tool, and about 100 or less words dictated to the iPad, and boom you've got your quarterly meeting presentation. Again, majority of the information comes from a machine and the small amount of actual work to be done a desktop is forty billion times over qualified.
So for the guy above you who thinks all this stuff is so far off. This is something that happens today because the majority of actual work isn't done by humans anyway. The stuff doesn't have to be more capable because we fired those people who required that and automated their job. We don't need more software, sheer numbers is just a dumb figure. We don't care about usability, pretty much everything is just a computer talking to a computer, we just need to see the end result, and the people who maintain the two systems talking to each other, we need at most like three of them. Desktops are not dead and they aren't going to die off completely, but we need way fewer of them now and that trend is only going to increase.
To address each of your points.
Photoshop - Does anyone "really" run this on Windows?! I thought that was mostly a Mac thing, but whatever, I'll give that one to you.
Full Office - This is the big thing about the Build 2015, Office becoming its own platform. This "run Android / iOS" crap pales in comparison to the Office as a platform part. If Microsoft can do this whole thing "right" Office will become bigger than anything they imagined.
World of Warcraft - Really? Just no, you don't get that one.
All productivity software - That depends on your definition of that word. Many of our most productive folks work with OLAP cubes and our big data stuff in all in cloud. Most documentation done in house is in the cloud with the software to produce it in the cloud. To be fair though, we're mostly an IBM i shop and most everything runs on that i, aside from Excel, Word, and PowerPoint (we ditched Exchanged long time ago and wondered why we didn't do it sooner). So because of your vague-iness, I'm not giving you that one, and also a lot of productivity isn't done by humans anyway and the part that is done requires different tools than the tools people used for productivity ten years ago.
I'm pretty sure Windows has a place in the future, but desktop for the majority of folks is dead. I see more and more iPads with BT keyboards replacing laptops at colleges, I see more big data/cloud services in companies, I see more things becoming automated that once was some "productivity" thing humans did. Each day I see fat desktops becoming less usable. That's not to say they'll go away, far from that, but they aren't going to be the dominate device for much longer. Microsoft has had some serious issues with getting a solid mobile product to market and it is killing them. If they make good on the Office as a platform thing, they'll be in a much better position than they are now. However, we are past the point where Microsoft just has to put out a good device or a good OS. They've got to become the preferred device, the preferred OS. People are going to have some random Wintel in their house that gets dusted off for the term paper or whatever, but Microsoft really needs to get into the position where people are letting their iPhones collect dust if they really stand a chance for a brighter future than being relegated to the thing you see when you get to work.
Yes, but the point is that all of those solutions cost money to build and maintain. Now let's be clear, the energy companies are freaking assholes, but their argument is that since the solar people brought the panels, then they should be the ones who pay for those water pumping stations to be built, and share in the cost of the employees to run the place. Otherwise, the solar people need to have their own on-premise storage and stop dumping into the line.
The big diff is that the power companies are subsidised heavily, unlike the independent solar. So I would say that the energy company has an obligation to not push the cost of peak transmission onto independent producers.
At any rate, you've hit the crux of the issue, who pays for the grid to handle this stuff? The electric companies think the solar folks should pay 100%, the solar folks think the power company should pay, others think it's a mix. Even if the total cost comes out a few million to start plus a few hundred thousand for employees and upkeep a year, the power companies want solar producers to float 100% the cost and a large group of them have indicated that they'll only pay for it kicking and screaming.
Most truck drivers already know the writing is on the wall. The older ones could not care less, they'll be off the road for good before there is enough states stitched together to make any usable routes. The younger ones don't care either, they barely like their job to begin with and anything that makes their life less stressful all the better.
And all of that cycles around the fact that it'll be a long time before someone in some state's capital let's 80,000 pounds just roll down the road unsupervised. Most truck drivers are pretty convinced that their jobs will just turn into watching a machine roll down the road, and sign the paperwork when that machine runs into something.
Also, besides the obvious state law stuff that needs to get passed. Security will need to be addressed as well. There already is a problem with semis that are not automatic and they have a human watching the goods for a majority of the time. Imagine a semi just rolling down the street and someone decides to flatten the tires with a spike strip. Yeah, an alarm might go off, but the thieves will be long gone with the goods by the time anyone gets to the disabled machine.
Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"