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Comment: Re:All Good Laws Have Costs (Score 1) 75

by Immerman (#48474607) Attached to: Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

So what? Every individual in that corporation is free to do as they please, *as an individual*. As a corporation, with the corporate veil protecting every individual from personal responsibility for their actions, they should not be allowed the same rights as an individual who can be held accountable for their actions.

Remember, corporations are *specifically* designed to allow individuals to accumulate profit while being shielded from virtually all risks beyond losing their investment. Such a protection is anti-ethical to responsible citizenship.

As a compromise, if we extend more rights of person-hood to a corporation they should come with corresponding responsibilities. For starters how about we make the CEO legally responsible, personally, for the actions of the corporation? Someone dies due to corporate negligence, the CEO ends up in prison on manslaughter charges. Suppress evidence that your product causes cancer, the whole board of directors is locked up on charges of conspiracy to commit mass-murder. A modern-day corollary to the notion that the captain should go down with the ship - the person who exercises ultimate authority must also accept ultimate responsibility.

Comment: Re:What goes wrong without Net Neutrality (Score 1) 75

by Immerman (#48474429) Attached to: Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

Have you considered how incredibly valuable something like Facebook is for large and poorly-organized impoverished communities? It's a communication medium unlike anything that came before it in terms of convenience and power to spontaneously coordinate people, and can be harnessed for substantial economic and organizational good - something *particularly* valuable for the most impoverished portions of humanity. Google as well - it's the closest thing to a real oracle that the world has ever seen - knowledge about anything you want to know, instantly at your fingertips. Heck, even when I know I want something from Wikipedia, I go to Google, because I know it will find what I'm looking for faster and more conveniently than trying to search Wikipedia directly.

Yes, the motivations of the companies are "evil", trying to lock-in emerging markets in their infancy, but the fact is that they provide services that can be especially valuable to the world's poor. Services which would go largely untapped if everyone had to pay by the megabyte to become familiar enough with the service to begin to harness it.

Comment: Re:Not a good move (Score 1) 75

by Immerman (#48474327) Attached to: Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

Part of me agrees with you, but then I think about how much real-world useful information is available on wikipedia - stuff that can make a significant difference to the life of an intelligent person for whom even a $30 monthly internet bill would represent a large slice of their income. Or how valuable, in a business sense, social networking services such as Facebook can be for impoverished community trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And I think that maybe the humanitarian benefits in such a situation outweigh the damage done by anti-competitive business practices. In certain situations. For now.

Comment: Re:Are they the same? (Score 2) 75

by PopeRatzo (#48473849) Attached to: Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

Or, imagine that the websites espousing certain political views do not count against your cap, but those with opposing political views do.

Which messages are more likely to be heard?

Net Neutrality is about whether or not we are going to trust corporate gatekeepers with no requirement of fairness to set the narrative about our society.

And how will this affect how companies that provide hosting services work, if some of them get caps and others don't? What will happen to the cost of hosting (which is basically the cost of speech on the internet)?

Comment: Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (Score 1) 108

by meerling (#48472373) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County
I have full confidence in the functionality and use of an electronic voting machine.
However, I have no faith what-so-ever in the competence of the government contractors making, or the people administrating, the current generation of machines in use. The obvious issues are numerous, and that's before anyone even tries to employ them in a real world situation.

I suspect that if anyone were to design a fully featured and as reasonably incorruptible and idiot proof system as possible/feasible, nobody would be willing to use them.

Comment: Re:Paper Vote Count on Site... (Score 1) 108

by Immerman (#48471665) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

>My thinking is that it could be programmed to reject valid votes

That's easy enough to avoid, and I believe most paper&canner polling places do so: Have the voter feed their ballot into the scanner, which then immediately confirms or rejects it. That way the ballot is rejected right in front of the voter, and they can fill out a fresh ballot if there are any problems.

Comment: Re:I always insist on paper for vote (Score 1) 108

by Immerman (#48471637) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

You can even get the best of both worlds by having a computer prepare the ballot for you, to get the many accessibility, correctness, etc. benefits of a computerized system. Just, for the love of liberty, make sure there's a paper ballot that can be verified by the voter and audited in case of discrepancies.

Comment: Re:It's a (Score 4, Insightful) 19

by hey! (#48470135) Attached to: Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

piece of crap with propellor

That's the interesting part.

This is what engineering is about: meeting a need cost effectively. The point of a toy RC airplane is to have fun. Traditionally it was expensive fun that didn't last very very long before you crashed. Having fun for longer with less $$ outlay == better engineering.

Comment: "Steam" is only half the salary equation (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by hey! (#48469173) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

Specifically: the demand curve half of the equation. The other half is the supply curve. A platform can have *no steam whatsoever*, but so few programmers that the salaries are reasonably high.

Consider Delphi programming. I see Delphi positions come up once in a blue moon -- it's not used much any longer. But those salaries run from $80K to $110K plus. Sometimes you see a Delphi position come up in the mid 40s, but I suspect they're government positions.

I've seen listings for COBOL or PoweBuilder programmers both in the $60K to $110K plus range. You can bet when a company offers $110K for a PowerBuilder programmer it's because it's having a hard time finding one.

Comment: I blame it on the Moon landing. (Score 3, Insightful) 489

by hey! (#48467757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

July 20, 1969 was, possibly justifiably, the biggest national ego-validation event in human history. The problem was after that when it came to national achievement, our eyes were firmly pointed back in time. We no longer do things "because they are hard". We're more focused on cashing in on the achievements of past generations.

When you tell Americans we have a backward mobile telephone system, a technologically primitive electric grid and distribution system, and Internet connectivity that lags behind the rest of the developed world, the reaction is usually disbelief. How can that be? We put a man on the Moon -- although by now it should be "grandpa put a man on the Moon."

The ideal voice for radio may be defined as showing no substance, no sex, no owner, and a message of importance for every housewife. -- Harry V. Wade