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Comment: Re:But hey... (Score 1) 329

I'm even more sad that so many Americans would STILL vote for this guy today simply because they're Democrats and that's that.

Low as my opinion of Obama is, I'd certainly vote for him again if he was running against the same two clowns as last time, or the two psychopaths from the time before.

Comment: Re:Put it this way (Score 1) 329

This is why the solution, if Putin persists in this line of thinking, will involve a single bullet from a covert operative, not legions of troops or thousands of missiles.

I hardly imagine that that would matter, other than give his successor the "terrorism" excuse to do whatever he wanted.

Putin's cronies at the FSB put him into power. His successor isn't going to a have noticibly different agenda.

Comment: Re:Put it this way (Score 2) 329

And then Putin will start looking around for more real estate he likes. I hear there are a lot of ethnic Russians in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia....

Which have been NATO countries for a decade. The Soviet^w^w Russia will have a bit more trouble getting them back.

In fact, Putin may be making his play for Ukrania now, lest it also slip permanently beyond his reach.

Comment: Re:Why the fuck is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 329

But he was not only person using fighting words. At a youth forum on Friday, Vladimir Putinâ(TM)s nuclear threat was simple.

"I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words."

Itâ(TM)s the first time in more than 25 years that Moscow has raised the spectre of nuclear war. The difference this time is that its tanks are already pouring over its western borders.

"A great war arrived at our doorstep, the likes of which Europe has not seen since World War II,â Ukraineâ(TM)s Defence Minister Valeriy Geletey wrote on Facebook overnight, warning of âoetens of thousands of deaths".

Putin appears to agree.

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports Putin has told the outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso: "If I want, I take Kiev in two weeks."

Okay... short of posting the entire fracking article, the context doesn't seem to be the problem.


Okay-- now imagine Obama responding,
âoeI want to remind you that America is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words.â

And then saying to the prime minister of UK,
"If I want, I take Moscow/Havana/etc. in two weeks."


Short of Putin coming out and saying, "I'm going to bomb Ukraine with nuclear missiles during the next two weeks"... it was about as threatening as a head of state can get.

This is the problem with a closed circle jerk news system.

Comment: Re:Good... (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47811799) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Don't claim that your 'innovative new paradigm' renders those rules obselete and ignore them.

And what if the innovative new paradigm does render those rules obsolete? That is the case in this situation. Oh, not all of the rules, but most of them, because they were established in order to provide customers with confidence that cabs that look reputable are reputable. Those rules indeed are obsolete given a different mechanism for riders to determine if the cabs are trustworthy.

I suppose one answer to this dilemma is "Work with regulators to change the law", but that's going to be pretty difficult until you have some evidence that your new paradigm works. Particularly since there are entrenched interests who are going to be fighting you to protect their business model.

To me, the bottom line here is that the regulations are overreaching, even for the old paradigm. They don't need to actually prevent fly-by-night cabbies from operating, they just need to ensure that people -- even people from out of town who don't know the local rules -- can tell the difference between an "official" cab and one that may not be trustworthy. For example, don't allow any vehicle that isn't a certified cab to look like one. Given that, then old and new systems can compete fairly. The new system will have an advantage of lower costs, but the operators of old services can choose to adopt a similar model and cost structure if they like. Or maybe the vast majority of people will prefer the old way, and most cabbies will stick with it, too. Or some mixture. Let the market sort that out.

Comment: Re:Not due to Putin's ego (Score 1) 329

I may be wrong, but I suspect that actual use of nuclear weapons crosses a Rubicon, even for Putin. It suddenly becomes an existential crisis for the rest of Europe, and even the most pacifist, non-interventionist parts of Europe will see themselves as the next target.

In a sense that's purely symbolic: as you point out he's already gone far beyond the pale. But it's a kind of invisible line, like the use of chemical weapons in Syria that had even the French considering action against Assad. It was vigorous enough that Assad agreed to destruction of the chemical weapons.

It's hard to imagine what the response might be; none of the options are anything but awful. But I think that the actual use of a nuclear weapon would put options back on the table that many countries wouldn't have considered in response to more "conventional" atrocities. I don't really completely understand why mass murder with nuclear and chemical weapons is somehow worse than mass murder with bombs and guns, but it's widely perceived that way.

Comment: Re:Anti-competitive behavior is a big deal (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47811391) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Perhaps someone will convince all the cabbies to paint a QR code on their cab that can just be scanned in and then sites can go directly to the cab in question. That would certainly make the process more tenable but I don't know how you'd convince cabbies to bother with it.

QR code, image of license plate number, Wifi/blueooth beacon... there are lots of options. Cabbies may not want to do any of this, of course, in fact they probably won't. But that's no reason to impede progress by other people who are more open to change.

Comment: Re:Put it this way (Score 1) 329

Will be interesting to see if we ever draw a line somewhere and then what we do when he crosses it...

We already showed him what'll happen in that case, when we drew lines in the sand in Syria. Assad stepped across them we backed up and drew another line...lather, rinse, repeat.

So we stopped drawing lines.

Which is what'll happen with Ukraine - Putin will take as much of the country as he wants, we'll let him.

And then Putin will start looking around for more real estate he likes. I hear there are a lot of ethnic Russians in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia....

Comment: Re:Anti-competitive behavior is a big deal (Score 1) 222

by swillden (#47810625) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

And that gets to the root of much of this, Uber supporters WANT it to be unfair out of some feeling that the incumbents must be keeping competition out through unfair means

I think it's more that the rules don't make sense for Uber, but did -- and do -- make sense for the incumbents, unless the incumbents also change their model. Let me explain.

The reason for all of the old rules is that they were necessary to ensure that the cab services were trustworthy. There was no way for users to find out whether or not a random cab was reputable and trustworthy, so government intervened to regulate. The regulations vary, but their ultimate goal is to erect obstacles to becoming a cab service, as well as to identify who the "legitimate" services are, and punish anyone who doesn't jump through the hoops. All of this means that if you see a cabbie with a medallion, you know that he's serious about building and maintaining a long-term business, and that he's identifiable to the government, which means he isn't going to rob you or rip you off. Whatever he could get that way is miniscule compared to his investment in his business, so it's not worth it.

But the Internet changes that. Riders now have another mechanism for determining the trustworthiness of a random car offering them a ride, if it's affiliated with a ride service, or even if it's just registered on some sort of reputation site (though in that case getting into a car which hasn't yet established a good reputation is extremely risky). So given that there is another solution to the problem that motivated the original requirements, it doesn't makes sense to impose the requirements on users of the new solution.

Fairness dictates that the incumbents also be able to take advantage of the new approach, of course. And there's nothing stopping them. But they don't want to because they like their business the way it is.

Comment: Re:I PC game, and have zero reason to upgrade (Score 1) 91

by serviscope_minor (#47810083) Attached to: AMD Releases New Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU To $229

What neither chip maker wants to admit is that from 1993 to 2006 what we had was a BUBBLE, no different than the real estate or dotbomb bubbles.

That's because it's total horseshit.

In 1993 we had what a 486 at 60MHz or something? In 2006 we were up to the Core 2 processors which were several thousand times faster. It's not a bubble because it never burst. We still get to keep our Core 2 duo processors and they're every bit as fast. And the newer processors have been faster or cheaper or lower power and frequently two or even three out of three.

Whereas in the other bubbles, stuff got expensive then it crashed and the same stuff got cheap again. The only value was the money and people left with the stuff turned cheap had nothing.

Comment: Re:The diet is unimportant... (Score 1) 406

by nine-times (#47809895) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

English is my mother-tongue.

Somehow I'm not convinced.

I mean, is this guy [] healthy or not?

He certainly seems to have health problems, and will continue to have health problems. He may be relatively healthy, considering his condition. He may be inspirational in various ways. But ultimately, no, he's not completely healthy.

The placebo effect is caused by the will.

No, it's not. Just speaking of the science, it's really not caused by the will. This is where you seem to misunderstand what the placebo effect is. It's is not connected to what you *want* or what you *choose*, but what you *believe*. I can want to feel less pain, and a can choose to persevere in spite of pain, but neither of those are connected to the placebo effect. The placebo effect is when you believe that something will cause you to feel less pain (or some other negative symptom), and as a result of the belief and expectation, you feel less pain.

It's also important to note that as powerful as the placebo effect is, it's also very limited. The effects are generally temporary. It can't actually cure diseases, e.g. if you have cancer, the placebo effect won't help. The effects are usually limited to allowing people to feel less fear/pain/stress.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team