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Comment Re:Open? People break both open. (Score 4, Insightful) 864

And if the users don't do anything beyond use the phone more or less as-is - customizing the pre-packaged frontend, installing approved apps from the approved app store - is it really open, or just another brand of the same thing iOS is?

When you need (or want) something to be open and it's not, that's bad. When you don't need something to be open, but it is anyway, that's good. I don't know why you consider these equivalent. (Whether there are times you would want it not to be open is an argument for elsewhere)

Replace "Open" by "Within range of a fire department." Some people never use the fire department, but as long as they can be reached, then if they ever need it, it's there. If they're not in range, and they need a fire truck, SOL.

Frankly, I agree that the closing off of handsets is stupid, but if assuages corporate fears, then they'll continue to make that decision. But, all it takes is one device--competently made and on the right network. If there's just one, then the option is still available to you.

Comment Re:It's the nature of the beast. (Score 4, Insightful) 228

Of course not. They don't care, and they don't have any reason to care. Until such time as they have a (personally relevant) reason to care, it will be an academic matter to them. It's like debating whether quantum uncertainty makes the universe non-deterministic in nature. It's okay to make completely bullshit comments, because almost nobody who's doing any of the commentary needs to care.

Intellectually speaking, I know that WikiLeaks is an important resource. However, as someone who's never felt like he had any control over his own life (with family and others nearby the ones who have more power, not the government or corporations), the idea of having a place to turn to when you need to expose something of world-shattering import is foreign. Because the first I've heard of it is when I had no power, I'll probably always be predisposed to say, "Yes, underdogs need protecting." If the first time I heard about it, I had power, I would probably see it as a threat to power. What it is, however, is a (non-governmental) judicial mechanism, designed to only affect people who have, in fact, done something wrong.

If the only commentary we heard on the subject was people who were actually affected by Wikileaks, it would be pretty easy to notice biases--group A was happy that plans to the Death Star leaked, group B wanted to use the existence of the leaked plans to run a smear campaign against the Empire, group C are afraid they'll lose their jobs because it got out (or worse), group D is thinking that this might be very useful for leaking many other nefarious plots which they already sense, but cannot prove, are ongoing.

But we're not hearing only those people. We're hearing a lot of myth and speculation from people who are presumed to be knowledgeable, but who are paid to be less than factual. And we're philosophizing like it doesn't matter, because to most people, it doesn't. For that reason, popular opinion shouldn't matter on the subject, but it does. I guess. For some reason.

In any case, let Wikileaks do what they're there for. If it didn't make sense, to them and the people who use them, it wouldn't be there.

Comment Re:Put them out of business! (Score 5, Insightful) 280

Isn't that technically committing perjury?

Of course it is. That's why everyone with half a brain who's heard of these three-strikes rules in the US and abroad wants to rip people like this a new one--because they enable perjurers to be successful at abusing the law without court review.

Of course, if you were to send three bogus DMCA takedown notices to the ISP CEO's home--or to their home office--they would notice the fact that it's a crime and cry foul (or simply break policy and ignore them), but they are more than willing to enable criminals as long as they don't see the blowback themselves.

Comment Re:Ever notice... (Score 4, Insightful) 322

Ever notice how governments actively seek to forbid citizens from actually -using- their rights?

In spite of the name, "rights" is a game of subtraction, not addition. A person not under the domain of any government or any other higher power has no restrictions on their actions at all. Government and law add new restrictions (do not kill, do not steal).

The Bill of Rights and all related articles are there as a desperate attempt to stop this from getting out of hand, explicitly for those times when it seems like going down that slippery slope seems appropriate. It was never adding anything, because it was never capable of adding anything. People knew it was necessary to include it because they knew times like these would happen.

It's up to us as a country to make sure we don't disappoint the wonderfully insightful gentlemen who included those provisions as part of the nation's Constitution by allowing them to fade on our watch.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 5, Insightful) 423

Hell, there are so many sensors and so strict procedures in place that alarms go off like mad if there is even a tiny leak somewhere...

...And you don't think that could be part of the problem? Whenever alarms sound for tiny little problems, people grow deaf to them.

Only if they're not required to fix every one of them.

If the system is that sensitive, they're probably supposed to be, or they may actually be, fixing something every time an alarm goes off.

You know, in order to prevent explosions.

Just sayin'.

Comment Re:"realized"? (Score 5, Insightful) 233

I'm going to play devil's advocate, keep in mind it may not work.

I find when I look at people who are given a lot of power don't tend to view "misuses" of power the same way as people do when looking at it from the outside. A lot of different kinds of corruption can be born from, "What's the harm?" and it can be very easy to run away from the consequences and by doing so, lie to themselves.

In cases like that, when you are forced and/or given an excuse to stop lying to yourself, you actually learn a lot about yourself and your behavior that you may not have known, but which you should have. It's actually rather easy to 'misfile' things in your head such that you actually do know them, but they're not properly weighted or not connected to other facts, for (a made up) example, "I hired my cousin in place of a qualified applicant, as a favor." Okay, you hired your cousin--did you check to see that he was doing a good job? Did the company suffer because you didn't look into his behavior? Did the company actually need that qualified applicant? Was the qualified applicant already working there (internal promotion) and have they gotten the shit end of the stick because of it? Was the qualified applicant, perchance, someone you actually knew and respected and who hasn't talked to you since?

Once you stop hiding from your own closet and its skeletons, you may in fact get hit by the realization that you aren't nearly as clean as you thought you were. That's all I'm saying.

Comment Re:blah (Score 4, Insightful) 615

The vast majority of people find homosexuality objectionable - and the gays are demanding that we accept them as equals.

[Citation needed] on your demographics, first of all.

Second, I assume what you mean by demand is that they leave no room for refusal, that they are overbearing in their attempts to get you to acknowledge them. If they are being overbearing, or violent, then they are bad people, just as you, or any homophobe, would be wrong in being overbearing or violent to them. Moral issues must always and explicitly go both ways. If they are violent, they are a criminal; if you are, you are. Those who are not being a bad person in any way who are also homosexual (and they are out there; I'd suspect they're the majority) should not be lumped in with the criminals any more than all black people or all businessmen or all {FOREIGN NATIONAL}s should be assumed to be criminals.

Because it's not actually all that hard to identify criminals. There are some, scammers and the like, that are probably hard to track down, but when you come across someone who likes hurting people, you're going to have an inkling. If the cops in your area are understaffed, corrupt, or stupid, or the jails become nothing more than catch-and-release, then identifying criminals doesn't help, but it's not that hard to tell someone who actually is a decent human being from someone who isn't.

And because it's not all that hard to tell who the actual bad people are, let me say clearly and distinctly that we don't need people making up rules where if you break those rules "you are a bad person." There are bad people out there. You don't have to pretend. Go out there and go looking; you will find them. It's not hard to tell the difference. If you think gays are bad, go spend a week living with rapists or arsonists or something like that. Those sort of people are not a myth. You do not need to imply that "maybe that gay person is one of those mythical rapists I hear so much about" just because you don't see that side of life. Go find people that have actually been in those terrible situations, and understand through them that there are plenty of bad guys without making more by means of moral statute.

Comment Re:Opinions are a crime now? (Score 5, Insightful) 637

Well see, here's the thing.

Whenever the state does something that would be illegal for a citizen, they have to have a reason. Many of the things that police and other agencies do are "evil"--arrest and imprisonment is effectively kidnapping, execution is murder, seizing property (including money from fines and damages) is theft, etc--and so ideally they must justify that evil by showing that it is to prevent more evil things from happening in the future; otherwise, we wouldn't put up with it.

I would imagine that a lot of police and other agents (many of whom show up as 'corrupt' on most peoples' moral radars) forget that these actions are evil and consider it just another tool or part of the process of law enforcement. However, being arrested is to the suspect as bad as or worse than kidnapping, especially if they are, in fact, innocent. You are put in a terrifying situation, and if you say the wrong thing, even though you are innocent, you might (you fear) disappear for the rest of your life; the people involved make it clear that they don't care about you, but you're supposed to trust in their ability to dispense justice and ONLY justice; they have this kind of power over you but you have to trust the law to reign in their power and prevent them from doing truly evil things; etc.

So, though IANAL as well, I agree with the GP; as soon as they're kidnapping (even in effect), they should be under the same or more restrictions as when they're performing an arrest. If they try to sneak past that restriction on a technicality--and especially when that's for their own sakes and not for the suspect's--then they are showing that they can't be entrusted with the law per se. Because the law, and agents of the law, should be working to make less evil in this world; if they're doing evil things because they can get away with it rather than after deliberation, that's creating more evil, not less.

Comment Re:Wage Gap (Score 3, Insightful) 618

It's not just whether or not it pays. I would call myself a decently intelligent (and pretty well educated) person; at 25, I can honestly say I never even though of a career in science, not because science itself wasn't interesting, but because:

* School made it seem like anything interesting was already known, and in particular, there didn't seem to be anything that both needed research and was in reach (as opposed to, say, QM or string theory, which might take multiple doctorates to understand fully)
* I don't think I ever heard of any research fields that interested me
* I have only a vague concept of what it would be like to be a researcher, but it seems unpleasant
* There were no engineering challenges, except maybe AI, that I would be interested in sinking my teeth into
* There were no companies or organizations doing anything really tasty that I'd want to be a part of

So now I'm hoping to get into game design, which actually addresses all of these concerns, even if it doesn't produce anything of note (by which I mean, in contrast to anything of scientific or engineering import).

I could totally believe, however, that people in third worlds see what we (first-world countries in particular) already know, even get the same textbooks as us, but they don't see their world as being "complete" in the same way I (and other first-worlders, I'm sure) do. They could easily be really motivated to jump on engineering challenges, and they probably have lots of companies doing lots of tasty things that give them an opportunity to do something interesting.

Comment Re:Bad, Bad Idea (Score 3, Insightful) 495

You think you're irreplaceable?

I think every time I post a new position I get 100 candidates more qualified than your dumbass.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say either this is an exaggeration by 50-100x, or you really have no way to tell who's qualified for the position. No, he isn't irreplaceable. However, HR managers who believe that good employees (as opposed to line workers) are, in fact, replaceable, are going to send their business into the gutter. Because, frankly, the existence of replacements doesn't mean that YOU will find one.

Because I get the feeling you aren't working for a company everyone wants to work at--not Google or some amazing game studio or anything else really fun. So they won't be coming to you. That means that pretty much every resume you'll get is just someone looking for "a job, any job." Those applicants are not going to be the five-star workers. Probably not even three-star. However, what you're asking for is someone who's at least 3-4 stars, like the submitter claims to be--hard working, competent, learns fast, trying to be professional, actually getting things done, has proven himself, and who has clearly become the go-to guy for these sorts of things.

You don't want a prima donna. Got it. And GP's grandstanding is pretty assholeish. However, if it was you who was in charge of his living or dying, he would be justified in his assholishness (if not in his method), because I'm pretty sure you wouldn't pay him what he was worth. And guess what? Between the two of you, you'll probably be the one who's wrong. Now, maybe the GP is really just trolling businesses and doesn't know Jack Schitt. On the other hand, what he suggested could easily come naturally--because in the big push before a launch, people can get burned out and actually need that kind of incentive to stay instead of being reamed up the ass. And all you just did was screw him out of both fair pay for his current work, and future employment. Thanks.

Comment Re:iPhad; hardware is sexy? (Score 4, Insightful) 174

Wow, a blatant troll at +3 insightful. Well, I suppose it only takes a handful of mods.

1. There is nothing sexy about a crippled CPU with no connectivity.

There is something intriguing, and perhaps sexy from the right viewpoint, about a device that responds instantly and smoothly to your input, and which has consumer-level (finished) applications that look gorgeous. A device that was nothing but "shiny" would have no, or few, practical applications, and any consumer level app is or can be considered a "practical application"--it's something you would pay money to do, use, or have. Or, well, not any, I guess, but I think the size of the market supposes pretty clearly, if only by sheer virtue of statistics, that there are in fact practical applications for it.

2. People can't handle choices. If you give them a device with only a few buttons, then it's like a microwave and they're happy.

I disagree with your oversimplification. A platform like Windows or Linux allows anyone who develops applications to say, "You need to be this geeky to install and use this application." This is by far one of the most straightforward, and yet it is somehow one of the most hotly debated, reversals of the iOS: they do not allow you to jump through hoops in order to get extra functionality, which means that the programmers either have to begrudgingly improve their GUI skills or limit functionality altogether.

The reason is simple--the people they're marketing to will go cross-eyed if you talk to them about a topic they would need to study for months or years to understand at the same level you would, and believe it or not, computers and programming are such a topic. If your life is already computer-centric, understanding computers is no big deal. If your life is centered around construction work, business deals, hair salons, clothing design, or any of the other (completely fucking legitimate) career paths out there, saying "You have to spend months learning computers before this $500 tablet and this particular $2 application become useful to you" is going to lose you customers.

If instead you tell those same customers, "We promise we won't let the programmers do anything that's going to confuse the crap out of you, for instance, try this $2 app that you can start using right away! And there are more that are just as easy!" you now have a customer, and probably more on the way

I mean, in some ways I feel you. I've been a computer user literally longer than I can remember, and the idea of having a tablet that can also have cron jobs and shell scripts running in the background is delicious. But no, dude, don't yell at the Norms for being Normal. Give it a year or two and there will be some kind of really excellent Linux tablet that does everything a geek could ever want. You don't have to try to turn this one into that miracle product. Just let it be.

Comment Re:Are you serious...?! (Score 4, Insightful) 467

Let me rephrase it then: the iPad shows with crystal clarity the difference between a traditional GUI and a designed-for-touch GUI when using a tablet.

I'm not aware of any existing full-scale OS--including Linux--where existing applications can be cleanly ported to 'designed for touch' GUI. Therefore, if you want a designed-for-touch GUI, you need a designed-for-touch OS.

Now maybe Android will be exactly what you're looking for, with the right hardware--a full OS/GUI stack designed for touch with the power of a full computer. But so far, nobody else has really done it. I mean, hell, it is a good idea. I like to think that eventually a portable OS with an intuitive interface will merge with the full power of linux scripting, development, etc, on a processor strong enough to really carry the whole setup. However, I don't think that the iPad shows that restricted OS+Touch GUI is a bad combination.

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