Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Please develop for my dying platform! (Score 1) 307

by unimacs (#48877353) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps
Perhaps Developer D created app A for iOS because iOS provides a market and a platform in which app A can succeed. You don't think there was work involved in that?

Clearly iOS came before the apps. I'm not saying that applications haven't contributed to the success of the iPhone but Apple invested a ton of money and time to get something right that other smart phone venders at the time were getting wrong. And Apple's success did not prevent Android from also succeeding even though they don't have the same API. Google embraced some of what Apple did and created their own mobile platform while Blackberry was still in denial.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48851739) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Here, simple enough even for you. Public CONTROL not ownership, CONTROL over economic decisions is the defining characteristic of socialism.

Obviously this is very important to you and if you want to get the last word in that is fine, I'm done posting after this. But I have to wonder though if you meant to post a link to something else because the first line under the heading "Socialism" in your link says this:

An economic and social theory that seeks to maximize wealth and opportunity for all people through public ownership and control of industries and social services.

Perhaps I do have a simple mind, but "public ownership" would seem to be part of that definition. While the word "control" is also used, it refers to control of industries, not just economic decisions.

Look, if you'd prefer to put countries on scale with "Capitalist" on the right side and "Socialist" on the left, I'd agree that Germany and many Scandinavian are further left than we are. However, if you are going to label them either capitalist or socialist, they are definitely more capitalist. More to my point, any mainstream US Democrat or Republican is definitely to the right of center on the scale.

Comment: Re:Better software support (Score 2) 592

by unimacs (#48844845) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?
Homebrew is a decent enough package manager for my purposes.

I am a software developer and my main OS is OS X but I have VMs that I use with various flavors of Windows and Linux. OS X comes with a lot of OSS stuff built in like perl, Postgres, PHP, Python, and Apache. The problem is that they're not always the version you want and haven't necessarily been compiled with the options you need. It was especially rough early during the transition from 32 to 64 bits.

Personally I like OS X enough to deal with some minor hassles but I can see why other people might prefer to install Windows or Linux. Having choices is good.

Comment: Re:Civility shouldn't have borders (Score 1) 361

by unimacs (#48841371) Attached to: Linus On Diversity and Niceness In Open Source
Depends on what you mean by "Nice guy". Doormats finish last. People that allow themselves to be taken advantage of finish last. Those who are nice out of fear finish last. Being respectful, kind, generous, and willing to help are qualities that can get you places in this world provided that you recognize there are times to dispense with the charm.

It also depends on what kind of results you're talking about. In my experience being a jerk in and of itself does nothing much other than create enemies. Being especially talented might mean that bad behavior will be tolerated as long as you are successful.

Since "Nice Guys Finish Last" is a phrase often used when talking about success with women, my observations with both my high school friends and my son's high school friends doesn't exactly bear that out. Sometime we equate "nice" with shy. In that case it is true. Guys who are shy around women really need to have something else significant going for them or it's going to be a lonely existence.

I prefer to think of "nice" as people who have a genuine charm and treat most everybody more or less the same way. Someone like "Steve Jobs" could be very charming, but apparently only to people he cared about charming.

Comment: Who do you bring with you? (Score 1) 273

by unimacs (#48805073) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Quest To Extend Life 'Well Beyond 120'
Your Spouse? Your Kids? Aren't THEY going to want their kids to Iive that long?

There aren't many parents around that are going to want to outlive their kids. So whatever expensive medical procedures are required to make this happen, they're going to want to fund it for them too. Of course, the kids aren't going to want to work until their 100, so you're also going to have to cover their living expenses for 55 years. Probably their spouses as well.

From the more long lived people I've known, it is sometimes a little sad. Their friends have all died or are close to it. They've lost a lot of family over the years including some of their own descendants.

What also seems to go hand in hand with extending life is extending the years of poor health. I think I'd rather have 80 or 90 years of good health and drop dead one day, then 100 years of good health and 20 years of living from one doctor appointment to the next. Maybe it was a slashdot article but somewhere I saw something about a guy who decided he wanted to be done at around 75. It's not that he'd off himself at that age, just that he'd refuse treatment for any disease that he acquired after that point.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48800547) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science
Norway and Sweden are social democracies - mixed economies. Germany is less so (but more than the US is). Germany is very much a capitalist country.

Public ownership of the means of production is a central tenet to socialism. Look it up.

Communism is a utopian evolution of socialism, - a completely classless society. There's not money, - not even a state. No truly communist country has ever existed. Stalin's version of Communism or "Marxism-Leninism" was really neither and not Communism.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48796903) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

You asked why "rich socialists" hate the rich so much, immediately after talking about Soros.

From my OP:

Why is it that the uber-rich on the Left are never mentioned? Most of the richest people in the US Congress are Democrats. Why don't we hear more about George Soros, who collapses national currencies for fun & profit, and the leftist/progressive institutions he funds like Tides Foundation and others who then in turn fund numerous other PACs and other groups? How about Bloomberg? Or if you want to get to the real money in political contributions, look at public & private sector unions.

What is it with rich socialists that they hate the rich so much? Or do they just hate the idea of anyone *else* becoming rich? They seem to view other people increasing their wealth as decreasing how much richer they are, and consider the resulting decrease in wealth disparity the same as having been robbed.

You'll notice that the two things aren't even in the same paragraph!

Methinks you simply wish to detract and criticize because you disagree politically/ideologically, but are struggling to find a valid reason to do so based on what I posted without appearing politically/ideologically biased and/or closed-minded.


When "What is it with rich socialists that they hate the rich so much?" is the first line of a paragraph, it pretty much guarantees that anything before it would be in a different paragraph. ;-)

You mentioned two people by name, Soros, and Bloomberg, - the latter of which you devoted all of three words to. Doesn't it seem natural that a reader would think you were including Soros in your group of rich socialists? If you did not intend for he or Bloomberg to be included then it's not at all clear who you were talking about.

It was your post, so you should know, but it looks to me that you were playing fast and loose with the term socialist and got called on it.

Comment: Re:Google's official support policy (Score 1) 629

by unimacs (#48796021) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw
I can buy a laptop from Lenovo and still get updates from Microsoft. And though I'm not a fan of Windows Phone, version 8 will allow owners of the phones to install updates ahead of the official carrier release. Doing so may be unsupported by the carriers and they may opt not provide tech support to customers who go that route. Still, it's nice to have that option.

So apparently Microsoft found a way past this problem. Can't Google?

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48793809) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

If you want to have a reasoned argument and be taken seriously then you shouldn't try to compare people like Soros to socialists.

I never said George Soros was a Socialist.

George Soros funds things that push socialist-style agendas. He does this as one of many things done by him and others (not necessarily in a coordinated manner, but as fellow-travelers whose causes all would benefit from social/economic chaos) with the overall goal of weakening the social stability and unity in the US, and contribute to the ultimate collapse of the US Dollar and the US national economy. This would make it something like the 5th currency he has intentionally and heavily contributed to the collapse of, and profited nicely from as well at the same time.

George Soros believes in George Soros. What he does is for his benefit. The people and causes he funds are useful idiots and ideologues blinded by their narrow views and hatred. They are tools to him, nothing more.


You asked why "rich socialists" hate the rich so much, immediately after talking about Soros. To me that implied that he was one of the rich socialists you were thinking of. Now you are using the phrase "socialist-style agendas". Is providing public education or having a state run military part of a socialist-style agenda? Socialists would certainly favor those things but yet we don't think of those as socialist notions. Again, I think people on the right like to throw around the term "socialism" simply to poison the well.

As far as Soros goes, I think he has earned significant wealth from highly unethical practices. But what you are accusing him of is a bit of a stretch. When it comes to good and evil I don't see people as either one. They are on a sliding scale. So for me it is quite possible even for an unethical person to do things strictly out of generosity. So I believe that some of the causes Soros supports he supports because he genuinely thinks they will improve peoples' lives.

The same thing applies to the Koch brothers. They've contributed significant money to public defenders in our country. I don't think that it's part of some socialist agenda or a subversive means of further lining their pockets. I think they genuinely believe our system of pubic defense is grossly inadequate and want to help.

The reason why the Koch brothers get vilified when it comes to global warming is because in this case they are so clearly acting in their own self interest. They are attempting to influence public opinion and politicians via huge sums of money. And they are doing so mainly to protect their wealth, rather than for altruistic reasons.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48793325) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

A socialist believes that the people (or government in actual practice) should own the means of production rather than private companies.

That's one extreme definition, closer to Marxism. Mainstream socialism is concerned with fairness, redistribution of wealth and publicly funded services.

The definition I gave is what socialism is, not an extreme one. The definition you gave could be equally applied to progressivism or liberalism and could lead to policies supported by many British conservatives (for example), - who are definitely not socialists.

Just like here though, politicians in Britain (even conservatives) will get labeled as "socialists" by people further to their right that don't like their views. For the record, progressives traditionally are very anti-socialist.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48790275) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science
1. He favors the "Nordic Model" when comes to economic systems. It's a combination of free market capitalism with large social programs

2. He describes himself as a "Social Democrat" of which there are many definitions. Based on his favorable view of the Nordic model, he's not a socialist in the traditional sense.

3. Most importantly, he's an independent, - not a member of the Democratic party.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 1) 786

by unimacs (#48788297) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science
Michelle Bachmann was once a Democrat. You could conclude several things from that. One is that anything is possible, another is that people can change over time, and a 3rd is that fundamentally, especially when it comes to the free enterprise system, Democrats and Republicans aren't all that different.

Are there socialists in this country that vote democrat because they see them as the lesser of two evils? Probably. Are there Socialists that run for office pretending to be Democrats? Maybe, though I doubt they get very far. Belief in free enterprise (tempered by regulation) is part of the Democratic platform. If someone like Fidel Castro were to join the Republican party, would that make him a Republican?

The current trend of labeling Democrats or their proposals as "socialist" is the same tactic as calling someone a "liberal" was 20 years ago. The difference is that the term "liberal" doesn't have same stigma "socialist" does and was losing its effectiveness. What is especially ironic is when you hear someone refer to Obamacare as "socialist". A socialist would consider Obamacare an abomination (or Obamination if you prefer). It's not that the are opposed to universal health care, just the way Obamacare attempts to achieve it. As far as that goes they share common ground with Republicans or Libertarians.

Comment: Re:Curious... (Score 4, Insightful) 786

by unimacs (#48785139) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science
If you want to have a reasoned argument and be taken seriously then you shouldn't try to compare people like Soros to socialists. I'm not going to defend everything the guy has ever done but he did play a significant role in Hungary's transition from communism to capitalism. He's done some other very good things like donating $35 million to underprivileged kids in New York. At the same time he is something of a hypocrite, -getting rich off the very things he thinks should be more closely regulated. But he is no socialist.

A socialist believes that the people (or government in actual practice) should own the means of production rather than private companies. We're not talking just about health care, we're talking about all major industries. No current US Democrat supports such a notion. Some Democrats may have been willing to work with socialists back in the 30's but they've grown farther and farther apart since that time. People like Soros want to place greater controls on the markets, but they also want the markets to continue to exist.

Comment: Re:not-a-non-profit (Score 1) 17

I didn't take "not a non-profit" as a bad thing. It was intended to show another route to philanthropy.

FWIW I believe there is a huge misconception about what constitutes a non-profit, - at least in the US. Non-profits can be large successful institutions that are funded through "fee for service" rather than donations. There is nothing that WakaWaka is doing that couldn't be done as a non-profit. One major difference is that a non-profit has no owners and no stockholders. Any revenue over and above operating costs must be invested back into the organization.

I am currently working for such a non-profit though we aren't large (~ 100 employees). It's not a route to maximize my income but the organization pays relatively well, can give bonuses and contribute to retirement plans. We employee many engineers and IT people. A significant number of staff have advanced degrees and students seek us out for internships. Hiring capable people isn't a problem because capable people often want to make a difference and they find us. We have a few people that are nationally recognized leaders in their field. But like I said, it is not a path to fabulous wealth. No one is going to buy us. There are no stock options whose value’s are going to explode.

However, not having shareholders means we can focus on the mission and long term goals. At the same time, we do have to keep the lights on so that means we can't do everything we'd like to do. Being a non-profit also opens some doors for us because people believe we're not out to scam them.

What is interesting is that we've figured out some of the same things he has. People value something more if they've had to work or pay for it. We will often be more successful at offering a subsidized service at low cost rather than for free.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"