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Comment: Re:Ban guns (Score 1) 2166

by steltho (#34809216) Attached to: Congresswoman and Staff Gunned Down

In the USA, our cities which have the strictest gun control laws, are the cities which have the highest homicide rates. Furthermore, our homicides which involve firearms, seldom involve firearms which are legally possessed.

Do strict gun control laws lead to high homicide rates, or are strict gun control laws passed in reaction to high homicide rates?

Comment: Re:What about the presumption of innocence? (Score 1) 1590

by steltho (#32010244) Attached to: Arizona "Papers, Please" Law May Hit Tech Workers

Arizona is just enforcing fed law:

(d) Every alien in the United States who has been registered and fingerprinted under the provisions of the Alien Registration Act, 1940, or under the provisions of this Act shall be issued a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card in such form and manner and at such time as shall be prescribed under regulations issued by the Attorney General.

(e) Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d).

If we are not going to enforce the laws, take them off the books.

Yes, they are enforcing the law, but the problem is they are taking it one step further. Now in Arizona, everyone needs to carry proof of citizenship with them, even U.S. citizens. I am a citizen, but what if an officer has a reasonable suspicion that I'm not. If I'm not carrying any ID, oops, I guess I'm going to jail until I can prove I'm a citizen. That is not right.

Comment: Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 4, Informative) 2424

by steltho (#31572190) Attached to: House Passes Massive Medical Insurance Bill, 219-212

The real problem I have with this 'you must buy health insurance or else' clause, is the fact that I now have to pay money for the right to be a citizen of this country.

This has never existed before. All previous taxes/fees/mandated insurance were based on you doing/earning something first:

Income taxes: Only if you earn money

Auto insurance: Only if you drive a car

Property taxes: Only if you own property

Health Insurance: Only if you earn money

There, fixed that for you. The health insurance mandate does not apply to people with low income. You will only have to pay money if your income is high enough.


+ - Microsoft, Amazon Ink Kindle and Linux Patent Deal

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Microsoft says it has reached a wide-ranging IP agreement with Amazon in which each company has granted the other a license to its patent portfolio. Microsoft says the agreement covers technologies in products including Amazon's Kindle — including open-source and proprietary technologies used in the e-reader — in addition to the use of Linux-based servers. Microsoft issued a news release celebrating the accord, while Amazon declined to comment. 'We are pleased to have entered into this patent license agreement with,' said Microsoft's deputy general counsel.. 'Microsoft's patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the software industry, and this agreement demonstrates our mutual respect for intellectual property as well as our ability to reach pragmatic solutions to IP issues regardless of whether proprietary or open source software is involved.' A Microsoft representative declined to say which of its products are covered by the deal."

Comment: Re:On The Other Hand (Score 5, Interesting) 684

by steltho (#31113304) Attached to: How Easy Is It To Cheat In CS?

In university my friend and I worked together on the same assignment. We were in different tutor groups so we believed it wouldn't be detectable. Indeed it wasn't but he got 80/100 and I got 40/100!

Actually, it sounds to me like you were caught. Giving different grades to people who "worked together" is a way for the teacher to punish people for cheating, if he or she doesn't want to go through all the bureaucracy involved with making a formal accusation.


+ - Ubuntu switches default Firefox search to Yahoo->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Starting in Lucid, the default search engine for Firefox will be switched from Google to Yahoo. The switch has been made after Canonical "negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo!". Google will still be available as a choice. Since Yahoo search is now powered by Microsoft's Bing, does this mean Microsoft will be paying people for using Ubuntu?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Mission Option: It already isn't.... (Score 1) 804

by steltho (#29551553) Attached to: In 100 Years, Health Care Won't Be An Issue Because ...

If he had stayed with "healthcare is a basic human right no one should be without," well, you can't really argue against that without looking heartless.

Why, just because you need it to survive? You need food to survive, too. Does that make food a basic human right? I'm sorry, but just because I'm running a restaurant or grocery doesn't make me morally obligated to feed every starving moneyless waif who comes along. I guess that makes me heartless.

As a private business owner, you are not obligated to provide food to all who are hungry. However, the government is responsible for this as well as insuring that each citizen is not denied any of his or her basic human rights.

Comment: Re:Dear Pranknet (Score 1) 543

by steltho (#29011273) Attached to: The Outing of Pranknet

Health care in America is a huge problem, and since the insurance companies are profitable

I hate to break it to you but insurance companies are not the only or even the biggest problem that our health care system faces. The insurance companies aren't the ones who set up the "pay for service" model that encourages health care inflation. The insurance companies aren't the reason that we have a shortage of GPs. The insurance companies aren't the reason why malpractice insurance rates are so high. I know it's popular for the Democrats to paint this as a "big insurance vs. everybody else" battle but there's really a lot more to it than that.

You cut off my quote in mid-sentence, and I think you missed my point. It sounds like we agree that the health care system is a problem. However, since the health care companies are profitable, they have no incentive to try and fix the system. This means the government has no choice but to step in and do something.

Comment: Re:Dear Pranknet (Score 1) 543

by steltho (#29007937) Attached to: The Outing of Pranknet

It's technically also true that you need to do business with the food companies to stay alive. Maybe the Government should take over the agriculture industry as well?

Oh wait, through corporate welfare and lobbying interests (tax breaks, money into boondoggles like ethanol, a need to appease Iowa to win Presidential primaries, etc, etc) it already has. Hmm, I wonder what the result is? Surely a balanced and well managed system that's working for the greater good, right? I bet if you had left it up to the free market we could have wound up with something that runs on fast food and high fructose corn syrup and which has resulted in 30% of Americans being obese.

Farm subsidies are just a way to manage the country's resources, I do not think it would be good for America if all the farmers were going out of business and selling their farms to housing developers. Besides, the American agriculture industry is one of the best in the world, whereas the health care system in America is almost completely private and one of the least efficient in the world.

You'll forgive my skepticism that the Government is going to improve the health care system.

Health care in America is a huge problem, and since the insurance companies are profitable, they are not going to do anything to change the system. The government is obligated to protect its citizens, so it has to do something to change the system.

Comment: Re:Dear Pranknet (Score 5, Insightful) 543

by steltho (#29006911) Attached to: The Outing of Pranknet

Yes, they will. Ever heard the expression 'caveat emptor'? The difference between your friendly mega-corp and the government is that nobody is forcing you to do business with the mega-corp. The mega-corp can't come and take your money at gunpoint. You have to decide to do business with them.

Technically this is true, however, since the alternative to not doing business with health care companies is a likely early death. You are in a way forced to do business with them, if you want to stay alive.

Comment: Re:Why dont I need word? (Score 1) 843

by steltho (#28931695) Attached to: 20 Years of MS Word and Why It Should Die a Swift Death

It is not "just as good." I attempted to switch my company from MS Office to Open Office. We came across one spreadsheet it butchered to hell when it opened. It opened all the rest just fine but that one. In a business environment 99.9999% compatible isn't good enough. If a program can't open one file then there is no reason to switch.

I would say Open Office is "just as good", the only complaint I have ever heard about it is just what you said. It does not open Word files correctly 100% of the time. This fact really has nothing to do with its quality as a word processor.

It may work just fine for individual use, but in an enterprise environment when you constantly transfer documents between hundreds of other companies Open Office is completely useless.

This is only true if your business relies on storing its data in a proprietary format. If businesses stored all of their documents as ODF files, you would probably have the same complaint about Microsoft Word.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin