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Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 458

by theCoder (#48945983) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

The US budget is something like 4 trillion dollars. But let's say we run a defecit or get money from other sources, and only need 2 trillion from this gas tax. There are about 250 million cars in the US. If they each average 12,000 miles/year at 30 miles/gallon, that's 400 gallons/year on average. To meet our 2 trillion dollar goal, we'd need a tax of (2 trillion)/(250 million)/(400 gallons) = $20/gallon. That doesn't sound too unreasonable until you see that it would be a 1000% tax on the price (about $2/gallon currently) and would make a 12 gallon fill up go from $24 to $264. No one, anywhere, would agree to that, even if it works out about the same, because the income tax is a hidden tax -- the money is taken before you get it (part of the brilliance of the system).

Besides, sales taxes like this are inherently regressive, and hurt the poor much more than the rich.

Comment: Re:I wish they'd fix the missing functionality (Score 1) 148

by theCoder (#48938597) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

That's funny - I ran into the opposite problem just this week when I tried to open a Calc spreadsheet in Excel. The spreadsheet used the Calc function DAYSINMONTH, which Excel apparently doesn't have an equivalent for.

I also found out that Excel cannot open two different files that happen to have the same base filename at the same time. Apparently this is a long standing issue with Excel. You have to rename one of the files. So Excel isn't the bastion of perfect usability either. Excel has some nice features, but on balance, I'll take the Free one. Though it's not like there's a version of Excel that runs on Linux.

Comment: Re:just swap the buttons (Score 1) 431

by theCoder (#48898785) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

I could be wrong, but I believe the original article described a 3 button mouse where the button physically in the middle sent the "right click" signal and the button physically on the right sent the "middle click" signal. Then the poster's xmodmap would reset those meanings to be what people would expect from a three button mouse.

Looking at the picture of the G600, though, it appears that the third button is kind of hanging off to the right side of the mouse. The button that sends the right click signal is in the place where you would normally expect a right mouse button on a standard mouse, so I can see why the designers did what they did.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 431

by theCoder (#48897989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

"middle button = "paste selected text""

Didn't work in firefox or word, so i doubt it works in all applications.


I remember when /. used to be a tech site with many Linux users. Clearly you are unaware that middle click is the standard paste opertation in X windows, the primary GUI on UNIX systems.

The other things that middle click is good for (depending on platform):
* Opening links in a new web browser tab
* Closing the clicked web browser tab
* Depending on your window manager, middle clicking on the task in the task bar may close the app
* Various window managers let you setup other neat functions for middle clicking in places (window titles, desktop, etc).

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 437

by theCoder (#48777937) Attached to: Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

Considering my Nexus 7 tablet (2012) hasn't gotten an update yet, no, Google isn't doing quick updates. If Google's own devices don't get updates, whose would?

Though reading the other comments, maybe it's a good thing. I have enough stuttering and crashing on the tablet as it is. I wish I could downgrade to older versions of things like Google Calendar and Maps that worked and looked decent.

Comment: Re:More like Chrome? (Score 1) 248

by theCoder (#48696153) Attached to: Microsoft Is Building a New Browser As Part of Its Windows 10 Push

Forced? No one's saying that. The suggestion was about saving MS money! Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars developing their own browser, they would spend some lesser amount of money to include someone else's. It's not like MS sells copies of IE. The only thing they get for it is searches directed to Bing and headaches (and black eyes) from security vulnerabilities.

Basically, from a purely business standpoint, what is the ROI of MS developing a new browser? Would they ever earn back their investment? I say the same thing about all the resources MS poured into making Windows versions after XP. Windows 7 might be "good", but is it really that much better than XP plus incremental updates? Did Microsoft ever sell enough extra copies of Windows to justify the hundreds of millions or possibly billions of dollars spent on Windows Vista, 7, and 8? It's hard to know, but considering how much corporate customers hated moving from XP to 7, I'd guess they would have kept on buying XP for a long time.

The same argument holds true for IE. Why pour resources into a product that you don't make much, if any, money on? Sure, Windows needs a browser, but if more than half your customers are already going out of their way to install a different browser, why not just work with that browser maker to make it the default? It would (presumably) save money, make most customers happy (because now you're saving them time), and thus increase profit.

It won't happen because of egos and pride involved, and the numbers might not work out anyway (i.e., if Google and Mozilla want more money than it actually costs to make a new IE), but it's a good idea from a business standpoint.

Comment: Re:I'm not complaining (Score 1) 75

by theCoder (#48593089) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

And those of use who just used SW using the API are just SOL. One day I came into work and found that my calendar integration between Thunderbird (Lightening) and Google Calendar was no longer working. And I couldn't upgrade the Google Calendar provider addon because the new version required a new version of Thunderbird, which I cannot install because it doesn't work on RHEL5 (they are slowly upgrading to RHEL6).

I was able to get it to "work" by switching to ICS, but that is read-only (apparently). So at least I can see my personal calendar along side my work calendar, but I cannot edit it. But I'm sure turning off the old interface allowed them to make the rest of the product "better". Like changing the month scroll direction and make it not continuous. Or breaking the calendar widget in Android so that it occasionally gets "stuck" showing events from previous days until you reboot. Google has definitely become the next Microsoft. They have way too many developers for their own (or anyone else's) good.

Comment: Re:HR still says (Score 2) 223

by theCoder (#48008373) Attached to: Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

Your comment got me interested in actual numbers, so I did some Google searches. I expected to find a small but nonzero number of yearly deaths. The results I found indicated that death by starvation in America is so infrequent that it's not even tracked. Occasional cases do occur, but they are often the result of something other than lack of access to food, such as child neglect or mental illness. Even Feeding America only talks about the effects of hunger and food insecurity, not actual starvations. There are lots of programs, both government and private charities that provide food and assistance to those who need it.

That's not to trivialize the very real problems of malnutrition or hunger, which can have serious consequences. But outright death to lack of access to food does seem to be practically non-existent in the U.S.

Comment: Re:"could be worse than Heartbleed" (Score 1) 318

by theCoder (#48001257) Attached to: Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Check your /bin/sh symlink. The system() function essentially does `/bin/sh -c "PASSED_ARGUMENT"'. On many (all?) Debian based systems, /bin/sh is a link to 'dash', not 'bash'. IIRC, this was done for speed reasons, but it is likely that dash does not happen to have the same bug as bash.

Comment: Re:What a strange discussion (Score 1) 869

China thinks the big CO2 producers should cut first? So, does that include China itself, as the largest CO2 producer country?

In 2010, China produced much more CO2 than any other country: 8.3 billion tons compared to the US' 5.4 billion tons. Worse, the 2012 estimates show China rising to 9.86 billion tons and the US dropping to 5.19 billion tons. So, which country is worse again?

Comment: Re:Go. Buy food. Leave. (Score 1) 794

by theCoder (#46374945) Attached to: Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

Where do I go instead of Best Buy? Amazon. NewEgg. Monoprice.

For commonplace electronics you need today: Walmart/Sam's Club or Target (use cash!) or even Staples or Office Max.

For appliances: Home Depot or Lowes.

Unfortunately for Best Buy, there's very little reason to actually go there anymore. And at least for me they have a reputation of high prices.

Comment: Re:Open borders... one way? (Score 2) 279

by theCoder (#46203147) Attached to: LLVM & GCC Compiler Developers To Begin Collaborating

Of course, any code that requires a patent license to run isn't exactly free software either. And no free software project "with a brain" should accept code that opens up users to legal liability.

If companies like Apple and Google really are rejecting GPL v3 because of patent issues, that makes me think they want to use their patents against users of the software they are purporting to be "free." Are users of the LLVM compiler going to wake up one day to a lawsuit from one of these companies alleging patent infringement? It's all fun and games until your company is the target of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit because you shipped software compiled with a patented optimization technique or something.

Of course, the sooner that happens, the better. Because then everyone pushing non-GPL licenses will remember why those patent protections are there, and switch back. Or we could just get rid of software patents and not have to worry about the whole mess.

btw, Google and Apple probably don't like GPL v3 because of the anti-Tivoization clauses in GPL v3 that would prevent those companies from locking down the hardware they sell and preventing users from replacing the OS with a different one. But that's not really a patent issue. Nor is it a very nice thing for either company to do. At least Google does make it easier to unlock the device, even if it doesn't come that way by default.

Comment: Re:Simply ready for the Supreme Court to rule. (Score 2) 583

by theCoder (#43993621) Attached to: Snowden's Big Truth: We Are All Less Free

Scalia's the only one of the nine who is almost guaranteed to strike it down. He has routinely voted against government intrusion such as using IR devices to find grow houses without a warrant or the recent case of the government collecting DNA samples from all people arrested.

Though the most likely outcome is that the Court will not rule on the issue at all, deciding that whoever brings whatever case doesn't have standing because they cannot prove they were spied upon.

"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen