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Comment Re:capitalists take note (Score 1) 398

the greatest enemy capitalism has ever known throughout the history of economics is not communism or socialism, but corporatism. a corporation is a top down autocratic organization that seeks nothing but more profit, be damned any other concerns, like fairness or egaltarianism. when they get large enough, corporations dominate their marketplace by dirty tricks like undercutting competitors prices to destroy them, and rent seeking agreements once they own the whole marketplace by colluding with other large players.

Yours is a populist post full of fear mongering that will never come to pass. You presume bigger is better which is demonstrably true by the last economic collapse. The largest tier financial institutions were decimated and many smaller institutions.

The larger an entity becomes, it is more efficient, but it is also more susceptible it is to rare, dramatic events (e.g. the housing collapse). Taleb calls these Black Swan Events. This is due to complexity growing exponentially as size increases. At some point, like the dinosaurs, an unexpected event happens, and the smaller mammals who are better able to adapt end up feasting on your corpse. Top down run organizations, like the Chinese economy, are very vulnerable to this type of risk in addition to a number of other inefficiencies it suffers from.

Comment Re:Fail (Score 1) 398

Well this is the difference between a state that has long term goals of improving it countries vs. corporations that can't see beyond the next quarterly report.

This is exactly what was said about the Japanese economy (and business culture) when it was doing well. The Chinese also have to drag around the yoke of rampant government (in addition to the standard private) corruption.

Comment Re:"Ubuntu is already starting to ship on some ARM (Score 1) 342

There is a metric ton of software available. Lots of web browsers, window managers, office suites etc. make for a nice experience. Windows will have many years worth of software ecosystem catch up to play. In the ballpark of a 500-800MHz or better processor and 192MBs RAM (256 is a lot nicer) is required for a pleasant user experience.

Comment Re:Not profitable enough (Score 1) 354

Israeli security scans passenger lists and pulls out very personal information to quiz you with. You're going where? With whom? How many Americans will think that that that is OK?

Approximately 100% since those are exactly the same kinds of questions you get when you cross the border into the US.

Regarding your objections to scale, most large airports have pretty long waits at the check-in counters, you could pretty easily check 100% of the people there. Also, you could randomly check people at kiosks, security checkpoints, and gates. You could get pretty close to 100% with minimal delays. At smaller airports, security checkpoints are usually pretty clear, so you could check most people there, at kiosks, or at the gate.

Finally, you make it sound like all the additional training is a bad thing. Scanner monkeys are completely inadequate. It's ime to try something new since what we're doing is obviously "stuck on stupid". I'd love to see the TSA have pilot programs to try out some new ideas (e.g. El Al techniques or similar), since our current approach is clearly not working.

Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment Re:Obama is not the Great Leader that many wish hi (Score 2, Informative) 763

You sure did your research. For the past 30 years every Republican president has increased the debt while every Democrat has decreased it. Damn those tax and spending Democrats and their lowering of the national debt. Here's a clue: stop repeating unfounded talking points.

The power of the purse is the domain of Congress and more specifically the House of Representatives. This turns your Democratic spend thrift thesis on it's head (excluding G.W. Bush).

Finally, the last Congress (or president if you insist) to lower the national debt was Truman coming out of WWII. Your post is provably false on all levels.
http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

Comment Re:Beware? (Score 1) 265

However, the government have a legitimate right to prevent citizens from doing things that will be fatal to themselves or that might seriously harm other people or property.

If this is your premise, then government has a "right" (I'd love to see where that right is enshrined in Common Law) to monitor your caloric intake (eating too much is harmful), ensure you don't go to McDonald's too much, make sure you eat the right kinds of foods, make certain you don't drink "too much", don't take ANY risks our "good and wise" politicians and bureaucrats deem unnecessary. Your line of reasoning would almost undoubtedly lead to an overarching government that knows no boundaries to its "rights" since it is here to protect us from ourselves.

Also, you act as though government has the ability to keep people from buying and selling drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. I would have thought that the Prohibition Era and Mexican Drug Cartels would have taught prohibitionists like yourself that government is powerless to control such things. You only drive the activity underground, empower criminal organized crime and gangs, and turn people who would otherwise be considered law abiding citizens into criminals.

By the way, how's that War On Drugs going so far? Are drugs any less available to kids today than they were in the 60's when this never ending war began? We've spend hundreds of billions of dollars on this War On Drugs over the past 40 years. I'd like to know when I can expect for us to win.

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 1) 426

I guess that makes the Bush administration and the Republicans more socialistic than the Democrats. After all "borrow and spend" imposes higher debt on the children than "tax and spend".

As much as I like to slag on Bush, Obama spends a lot more than he raises taxes which has resulted in record deficits. The red vs. blue trap you've apparently fallen into, still talking about Bush is kinda weak sauce though, don't you think?

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 1) 426

If you want to annoy a right winger, ask them why we don't privatize the military. They'll go on at length about all the horrible things government does, and how much better it would be if they didn't---except for the military. Funny how the idea of government educating people, or healing people, or employing people, or connecting people to the internet (in this case) is evil and wrong and immoral, but paying and arming a huge body of men and women for the express purposes of maiming, killing and/or oppressing people is perfectly ok by them.

The military is the collective right of self defense. You have the right to defend your person, therefore people have the collective right to defend themselves which will be required to defend themselves and their families against others who would try to take their property or liberty by force. What I find interesting about socialists is that they believe they have the right to enforce their preferences on others and even impose debts on their children who may not have the same preferences who had no say in the matter.

Also, I found it ironic that you ask why defense hasn't been privatized when the Iraq War has largely fought using mercenaries.

Comment Re:Beleie it or not $200K is middle income. (Score 1) 589

" from households making more than $200,000 " - Two earners making a combined $200k in many urban areas where the car will be used are middle class. This might be hard for a writer for Slate to understand given what they pay professional writers at the moment.

Citation needed... Care to provide 10 U.S. cities where the median income approaches $200k? You can't.

Everyone likes to think they're middle class.

My wife and I make well into six figures in a very low cost of living area in case you care to try that salary envy canard again. That was a really disgraceful dig.

Comment Re:No Surprise... (Score 2, Informative) 283

which law was broken by offering jobs to people so they wouldn't run against an incumbent? Seems like a typical political favor to me. Disappointing, but not surprising in the least from a politician.

Here ya go...

18 USC 211 - Sec. 211. Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office

"Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Whoever solicits or receives any thing of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such services rendered by an employment agency pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency of the United States."

http://vlex.com/vid/acceptance-solicitation-obtain-appointive-19190192

Comment Re:Congress is happy (Score 2, Interesting) 143

Timothy is such a luddite for turning this into a Red vs. Blue thing. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) also down played SpaceX's accomplishment. All of the politicians downplaying the achievement are just lamely trying to protect their area's piece of NASA's salted pork.

Rep. Kosmas: "The successful test launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is a significant step in the development of the commercial space industry. There is no doubt that commercial spaceflight will play an important role in the future of our efforts in space, and I believe private companies can bring new job opportunities for the Space Coast's highly skilled workforce. But we must both support the emerging commercial space industry and ensure a robust, NASA-led human spaceflight program in order to maintain our international leadership in space and keep our economy strong. I will continue fighting at every opportunity to minimize the human spaceflight gap, protect jobs, and ensure a bright future for the Space Coast."
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/04/4465072-spacex-fans-and-foes-speak-out

Comment Re:Don't pay so much attention to Joel Spolsky. (Score 2, Insightful) 289

It's not like this guy runs a company that does anything critical, like avionics software, or anything really big and tightly integrated like Facebook, or financially significant like Chase's banking system, or leading-edge robotics like Boston Dynamics, or cutting-edge manufacturing like HyperMill. No, they just do Windows and Mac desktop apps. That's trailing edge technology at this point.

Yeah, it's not like he's ever done anything significant...

Spolsky started working at Microsoft in 1991[4] as a Program Manager on the Microsoft Excel team, where he designed Excel Basic and drove Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications strategy.[5] He moved to New York City in 1995 where he worked for Viacom and Juno.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Spolsky

Comment Re:Already in progress (Score 2, Insightful) 593

I hope everyone who chanted "drill baby drill!" during the last election cycle is willing to go down to the gulf coast and help with the cleanup. What a mess!

You do realize that tanker spills are far more likely than a rig failing? When a tanker spills off the coast, it will then be your fault for advocating the more risky and expensive alternative of importing oil. Finally, I'm sure you won't mind telling the working poor while they have to pay more for gasoline while you're at it right? Oh I'm sorry, I forgot... You're just making political hay of a tragedy... Please carry on then.

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