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Journal: Beyond Salvation

Journal by thoth

I've concluded that Slashdot is beyond salvation. Too many articles on politics with no tech content, e.g. http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/06/11/1635228/house-majority-leader-defeated-in-primary, and even the technology articles often get sidetracked into some political ranting, e.g. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/05/16/1321218/proton-m-rocket-carrying-russias-most-advanced-satellite-crashes.

Comment: Re:Democrats voted (Score 1) 932

by thoth (#47214981) Attached to: House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Alllowing democrats to vote in a republican primary - yeah, that's wrong.

Allowing independents, ie non-declared voters to vote in any primary - absolutely.

These two statements don't make sense together, why would anybody register an affiliation if independent lets them vote in every primary PLUS the general election?

Either restrict primaries to voters registered in that party (i.e. exclude independents from primaries) or no restrictions for anyone. This middle ground of affiliations are restricted by independents aren't is BS; might as well scrap affiliations and everybody is "independent".

Comment: Re:pishaw (Score 1) 398

by thoth (#47179251) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

No one questions that someone was banned for life and was forced to forfeit his property because of something he said in a private conversation that was recorded and published without his permission

So? Isn't this just a bigger private corporation/business interest (the NBA) enforcing their rights to include/exclude whoever they damn well please? And in this case they decided to boot him from their little club? What property did he "forfeit" by the way? He didn't lose anything - he SOLD his property on the market for $2.2 billion.

If he's got a problem with his private conversation being recorded, then he needs to sue whoever recorded and leaked it.

If there is any outrage, it should be targeted at the hypocrisy of free market/libertarians/corporate apologists with BS like the above. The only coercive party in this situation is the NBA, which is not the government, so there isn't any problem under your own world view. So take your outrage and shove it. This is EXACTLY the situation people like you should applaud: larger corporation screwing over smaller corporation/private individual, under contracts mutually agreed upon.

Comment: Re:Do we really need new books? (Score 1) 405

CR, you've turned this into a "paper vs ebook" argument, but I think you miss Strosss point: Amazon's monopolistic stranglehold on distribution forces the price down which puts publishers out of business. This results in Amazon being the dominant publisher, working directly with authors. But it also allows Amazon to dictate to authors what they will pay, just as they did with the traditional publishers. This is not "free market", it is a monopoly no less than Microsoft was, and it's not good for consumer choice.

But they "won" the free market; competed via the rules, undercut their competition, delivered more convenient products for their customers, etc.

Basically the free market tends to generate dominant winners, what's the solution? Gov't regulations? Clearly the free market itself isn't going to do it.

Comment: Re:Hell Yes! (Score 2) 251

by thoth (#47070517) Attached to: It's Time For the <em>Descent</em> Games Return

I think the only other true 6DF controller out there was some sphere something. You had to use both hands to move it around so it only had a couple of buttons.

I played Descent using that other controller - the Space Orb 360 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceOrb_360). It took a while to get use to and I was never proficient, but I got to the next level (among my friends that played) when I thought of the orb as a doorknob that directly controlled my ship, do drape my hand over the controller and pretend I was manipulating my ship: press down, move down; rotate forward, spin the ship along an axis, etc.

I bought Descent and sequels off GOG purely for nostalgia. I'd love to see a version like this article describes, procedurally generating tunnel mazes, etc.

Comment: Re:Thanks for nothing. (Score 1) 155

by thoth (#46974997) Attached to: Former NSA Director: 'We Kill People Based On Metadata'

Democrats have ruled for 14 of the past 22 years. How much time do they need?

I gather your definition of ruled is - have the White House? Are you aware that Congress actually passes the laws?

No, "ruled" is what the Republicans had for 6 years under Bush/Cheney. Control of the WH and both houses of Congress. We can see how awesome that turned out for the country.

Comment: Re:enforce existing laws? (Score 1) 490

So legally, you can't pass them if you have a solid line, which especially sucks if they're ascending a long hill at 3mph in the middle of the lane... Because it's a hill, there's a solid center line the whole way and you're stuck there...

Oh please, this isn't any different than being stuck behind someone moving their farm equipment (tractor, giant shredder, whatever) or a mail delivery truck. If you have good visibility you can still pass even if there is a solid center line. I live a mile from a street exactly like that, 2 lanes, solid the entire way, with a ton of mailboxes on it. Cars move around the mailman just fine, or heaven forbid have to wait a few minutes to go around when it is safe.

And at least a bike could pull over in a driveway or wide spot. Mail won't, well they pull over all the time and try to hug the mailbox so they sort of do that.

Comment: Re:Breaking News: Rand Paul Invents... (Score 3, Informative) 404

by thoth (#46900081) Attached to: Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

Another person that doesn't understand Libertarian ideals.

To be fair, that's because the definition of Libertarianism changes depending on who you ask. As the old joke about economists goes, ask 10 Libertarians what Libertarianism is and you'll get 20 answers.

The one I've heard most often is basically the radical capitalism version from David Friedman, in his book The Machinery of Freedom. If you somehow have superior credentials to Mr. Friedman, well I'd ask what the hell you are doing arguing on Slashdot among many other things.

Anyway, that version is all about a tiny government and replacing more services formerly provided by the government with competition, typically competing corporations. Through the magic of competition, according to him, all that other stuff just sorts out, since if you aren't happy with service X provided by contractor/corporation Y, then seek another bid/payment for services more to your liking. Fire protection, hospitals, national defense, schools, groceries, legal system, etc. all with no regulation or oversight, entirely existing on their reputations in the free market, competing with one another for your business with enlightened self-interest as the check.

Of course, this is totally unworkable in the real world and he admits as much in the closing chapters. Things like how impossible it would be to build national infrastructure without the eminent domain powers of government (e.g. somebody's property is getting "stolen" against their will), how lawsuit happy such a society would be (to people who counter that whatever contract you sign is binding... right, that's why ALL contracts in the business world are NEVER disputed, right?).

All your other variations seem like Libertarians realizing the pure form is BS and theoretical only.

Comment: Re:elections are bought (Score 5, Insightful) 465

by thoth (#46896221) Attached to: Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

You are basically advocating violent overthrown of the government, a.k.a. treason - "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them..." which is NOT going to convince a lot of people to join your side. Sure, you'll get the retards but having them in charge after the overthrow, assuming it all works out, would be even worse.

For all the flag-waving Constitution spouting anti-current-government rhetorical BS that gets thrown around here, you fundamentally can't have it both ways. You can't declare the Constitution perfect and the Founding Fathers all geniuses and things would be so much better if we'd just follow it to the letter, and ignore the fact that lobbyists and the money in politics and even political parties themselves were STUFF THEY DIDN'T FORSEE that is currently screwing things up. And the ugly truth is lobbyists have a first amendment right to advocate for their position - the fact they are better funded and more organized than a bunch of keyboard online ranting jihadists in their mom's basement isn't a fault of the system. The 1st Amendment says (paraphased) "Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people to petition the government". Not "except the ones you don't agree with" or "except the ones with more money and organization" or "but not the people who do it professionally a.k.a. get paid a.k.a. lobbyists" or "not when their point of view makes me butthurt".

Think of it this way, gun nuts: what if lobbyists defended their right to petition the government as much as gun-tards defend their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms?

That is the ongoing clusterfuck of money in politics.

So man up and organize, exactly like Lessig is trying to do. That's working WITH the system, which again so many radical-Republitardian-free-market-gun-flag-waving-freedom-liberty-self-reliance-antitax ooze out of their pores constantly. Except when they don't agree, THEN its OK to throw the whole thing out amirite? You get everything you want OR violent overthrow? Democracy ONLY serves your interests? Fuck you.

Comment: salt, sugar, fat (Score 2) 499

by thoth (#46867249) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating

There is an excellent book about this: http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Sug...

The modern processed food industry, OK the American processed food industry, works hard to make processed foods appetizing by tweaking formulations and experimenting with salt/sugar/fat ratios.

I think the book does a balanced job of presenting the info without blaming the industry (too much). They do make the point the food industry targets convenience and cost, which consumers respond to. It isn't all the food companies fault that their customer base is kinda lazy.

The food industry has tried a few times to make their stuff healthier by reducing additive amounts, trying new tech - one very interesting thing for example is trying to use a different salt crystal, one ground into a different shape that absorbs quicker. It gives the same "pop" with less, due to its different shape. That's pretty cool!

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.

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