No, and no "thanks for playing", either. There are no clear lines in a dictatorship, it's whatever The Authorities feel like doing, and while you know that some things are definitely forbidden, like criticizing the dictator, you can never trust that anything else you do is safe.
Dictatorships have almost all the bad parts of monarchies*, with newer technology, and the leaders don't even have the excuse that some strange woman lying in a pond handed them a sword or that a Divine Being appointed them, so they have to make sure that the population stays afraid to mess with them. Ever.
By the way, if you want to read an astoundingly good article on Machiavelli, it starts here, at Ex Urbe's blog.
* Most dictatorships don't have hereditary succession, so the dictator is usually somebody who was competent and/or vicious enough to rise to the top, as opposed to being some random idiot who was lucky or unlucky enough to be the kid of the previous king. (North Korea excepted, along with many years of the Roman Empire..) On the other hand, this means that they know they're only in power as long as they suppress or coopt anybody else who's competent and vicious enough to displace them, so they never get to relax unless they can abscond with a lot of cash and move to the South of France.
My coworker, who was from Pakistan, didn't get interned, but he did get hauled in to show his papers. I think he had a green card at the time; he's a citizen now. But Muslim, so that made him suspicious, even though he's non-political.
Technically, it's a barge.
I found I could not change the language from Chinese. Some research showed I was expected to pay for an upgrade to get Windows, that I paid for, to actual be usable. Microsoft really don't promote legal use of their products with such attitudes!
I don't quite understand, you were surprised by this? You were in China and bought a netbook locally, of course it's going to be the Chinese version of Windows. I understand the interfaces used on many Linux distros come with support for a large number of languages out of the box, but Windows comes in different versions for different languages and the ability to change the entire operating system to a different language is a feature you have to buy. It's always been that way and I'm not sure if that even changed in Windows 8. I'm sure part of this is to recoup the development costs with translating and localizing the OS.
The reason is not the recoup the development costs - the reason is Price Discrimination: The ability to charge a different price in different markets. The optimal price for Windows in the US is much different than the optimal price for Windows in China - and if you can charge different prices here, Microsoft will make more money. Restricting language change is one mechanism to avoid Americans paying Chinese prices.
All the highway autonomous vehicle projects got as far as freeway driving. BMW, Cadillac, and Mercedes have all demonstrated this level of automatic driving. Then it gets hard.
This is about as far as you can go before entering the "deadly valley", where the vehicle can drive autonomously but isn't smart enough to recognize when it shoudn't. Google is further along; they can drive around on suburban streets.
Most of the technology needed to automate electronics manufacturing has been available for years, if not decades. See "The Macintosh Factory", showing Apple's factory in Fremont over 20 years ago. Robot assembly, mobile robots, very few people doing direct labor. Products were designed for cheap automated assembly. The Macintosh II family was noted for that - everything, including the power supply, was inserted into the case with a simple straight-down move. Everything snapped together. No wiring harnesses. "Design for manufacture" was big back then.
So what went wrong? Outsourcing for cheap labor. "If your orders decrease, you can lay off workers. You can't lay off robots." - Tim Li, Quanta Computer. It's not so much that people are cheaper. It's that they are disposable. So are subcontractors. Everybody in the supply chain is working on low cost margins with no guarantee of future orders, so they can't invest in automation.
This is not a technical problem.
Yeah, no kidding. Back in my younger and less persuasive days, we were on a project where we were forced by PHBs to use consumer drives in an enterprise system (storing and retreiving syslog data in a VERY busy environment). We were literally blowing them out every three months or so until the Powers That Be finally relented and let us put in proper storage (back then that also meant shelling out for a pricy SCSI HBA). I think that the gap has closed somewhat since then, and there are also some interesting options in drives that are purpose-built for things like DVRs and low-volume RAID. Also, back then (I don't know if it's still the case today) enterprise HDDs were tested individually for quality control, whereas consumer HDDs were just randomly sampled from each batch.
For many enterprise applications, though, the difference in things like seek times and sustained data transfer rate can be substantial in a busy environment.
I suspect it is about establishing precedent and combating the idea that EV owners are entitled to "free" power, not about recovering costs in this specific incident.
(arguably it was never really successful. I'll reference Bill Hicks for that)
"Now I'm no bleeding heart, okay? But, when you're walking down the streets of New York City and you're stepping over a guy on the sidewalk who, I don't know, might be dead... does it ever occur to you to think 'Wow, maybe our system doesn't work?' Does that thought ever bubble up out of you?"
The guy on the sidewalk will be there regardless of the economic system, because with few exceptions the homeless aren't homeless because of economic reasons. Nearly all of them are where they are because of various forms of mental illness, and the fix for that isn't dumping capitalism, it's reinstating the system of state hospitals to care for the mentally ill, treating them to the degree we know how, and just keeping them reasonably comfortable where we don't. Of course, we need the hospitals to be much, much better than they were; the reason they were largely shut down is because they were houses of horror and it was easier for activists in the 70s to get courts to shut them down and put the patients on the street than to actually get them cleaned up.
Not coincidentally, those hospitals also used to hold a fair number of people who are still in state care, but at much higher cost because they're in prison.
I will grant that state hospitals and similar systems are socialist, so to that extent perhaps socialism is the solution to the guy on the sidewalk. That doesn't mean socialism is the right answer for those who aren't mentally ill.
With respect to people whose jobs are automated away, IMO the right level of socialism isn't to give them a basic living stipend, but instead to help retrain. One thing that most people worried about automation removing jobs don't consider is that the cost reductions due to automation go primarily to reduce the cost of goods, and therefore to lower the cost of living and raising the standard of living, which opens up all sorts of new opportunities for work, in two ways. First, by lowering the cost of living, the disposable income of the (working) masses increases and they start buying services that were previously out of reach, thereby increasing the demand for -- and jobs in -- those services. For example, in the 18th century there were very, very few professional hairdressers. In the latter half of the 20th century it became a very common profession.
Second, the lowered cost of living opens up possibilities for living doing work whose value previously simply wasn't sufficient to support life. It's not often that we think about cost of living decreasing. It seems like it's always going up, but that's because we measure it with devaluing currency, and because our standard of what constitutes an adequate lifestyle is constantly increasing. If instead we fix a particular standard of living and then look at how much time must be put in to earn it, the cost of living has been on a long downward slide for centuries, and automation is going to accelerate that.
I'm not saying that everyone is going to be a hairdresser, and I have no idea what all of the jobs of the future will be. I think the major growth will be in the service sector, because people do like receiving service from people not machines, no matter how competent the machines become. It wouldn't surprise me if the biggest growth areas are all around non-essentials, like art and entertainment. What I am certain of, though, is that as long as people have disposable income they will find things to spend that money on, and that will involve paying other people for goods and services. Many of those goods and services will seem ridiculous fripperies to us today, but much of what we spend our money on today would seem silly to people 100 years ago.
Oh, one other thing I'm certain of: people need to feel that they're earning their own way. Life earned is better than life given, regardless of how it is earned. Welfare is a fast road to unhappy dependency. That's not to say that providing short-term support to people who are transitioning isn't a good idea, but long-term unearned subsistence is a recipe for angry, unhappy people.
I completely disagree that it was "consumers" who first broke the contract. Oh, there were always small numbers of infringements, but copyright has become so one-sided that hardly any average people even understand what the social contract is. Given that it appears to most people to be a completely one-sided grant, with no significant harm caused by infringement, why not infringe? The content owners have done it to themselves. Reduce copyright to a reasonable duration (say, 10 years for most works) so that people can see that copyright actually does end and stuff does flow into the public domain, and I argue that most people will have greatly-increased respect for it. They'll actually be in a position to think "Well, I could pirate this now, but if I wait a few years I'll be able to obtain it legally". I also think a shortened copyright term would result in an explosion of mashup-based creativity -- which big media would hate but would enrich the public tremendously.
As for extending beyond expressions, both US copyright law and the Berne Convention see elements such as plot and characters as protectible. So if Greek courts fight that, good for them. But I'm not sure they do, because Greece is a Berne signatory.
I find if I go to plug in a USB connector, it's best to change your mind at the last minute and turn it over because you're *always* wrong first time.
The clickclickdrone rule: The first attempt to connect a USB plug is always upside down, even when you take the clickclickdrone rule into account.
It is very badly broken. The goal of proper copyright law is to increase the flow of material into the public domain. The social contract underlying it is basically "We'll all agree to arbitrarily limit what we can do for a short period of time in order to encourage the creation and publication of works". But in what twisted universe does it encourage creation and publication to restrict copying long after the creator has died? Do you seriously believe that authors, for example, might think "Well, if copyright doesn't last at least until my great grandchildren are born, there's just no point in writing." Not to mention the egregious way it's been extended to control not just expressions but ideas (e.g. plot), and the way that Fair Use has been hammered almost out of existence.
I stand by my statement that copyright is very badly broken. Big content owners have pushed for extensions of the duration and scope to the point that the social contract is gone. If modern copyright law were evaluated under the rules applied in contract law, it would be ruled inequitable and therefore invalid.
The images of the ancient texts are marked "Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana".
Copyright is seriously out of control. People don't even know what it is any more.
Only the images (for the work of digitizing the manuscripts) - not the texts
That's correct. They own copyrights on the photos, but no one owns the texts.
Copyright is under control and works as it is supposed!
Hold your horses there, that doesn't necessarily follow. Just because there's nothing egregiously screwy in this case doesn't mean copyright isn't pretty badly broken. It is.