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Comment Re:Open source has changed the world (Score 1) 210

You checked every single one? On December 31st? Or do you just make shit up to sound like an ass?

They didn't have internet. They didn't have email. They had phone lines and fax systems, and that's how they did their business. The internet was slow, cumbersome, expensive, unreliable, and offered no added value in their eyes.

Also, I'm not quite sure how you went from me making a general statement about the state of the business landscape in 1997, a statement which I stand by BTW, to somehow implying that is some kind of logical statement that can be falsified if even a single customer had a single static webpage online at 23:59 on december 31st, but I'm just going to guess it is because you are an autistic asshat.

Comment GCC (Score 2) 210

Yes, Open Source has changed the world. And I'm going to argue that the most important thing that ever came out of the Open Source community was not Linux, nor GNU (the whole of it), but specifically GCC.

GCC is what enables you to sit down and write software without having to pay a massive sum to a compiler vendor. GCC is what lets young people interested in programming experiment, learn, and ultimately become professionals. GCC is why we have the rest of GNU and the Linux kernel. GCC is the reason we have free versions of Visual Studio. And GCC is the reason C++ is the most important programming language today. In many ways, GCC changed the direction the software world has taken, allowing software to be written that would otherwise never have existed, and planting the seeds of the value of Open Source software in people's minds.

Comment Re:Open source has changed the world (Score 1) 210

In 1997 I worked for a company that had a specific, dedicated machine where we could access "the internet". We had nothing at our desks - not internet, nor email. We were connected to the backbone using an ISDN line, and we didn't have a website. There was some talk at that time of making software to let our customers sell stuff across the internet. I left soon after, so I don't know if anything ever came of it.

Every company on the internet? Certainly not at that time. Neither us, nor our ~1500 customers had a webpage.

Comment Re:Question (Score 2) 69

Since he was described as an executive of "Mobile Messenger" I'm guessing he ran those scammy text-you-shit services and then signed people up without their knowledge. Pretty much everybody I knew with a phone line (cell or land) got at least one of those damn services stuck on it at one time or another. It was the #1 reason you had to check your phone bill each month. The most irritating thing is that you would then have to call the phone company that would always give you the runaround about how you must have signed up for the thing because they're always legitimate and I'm a bad guy for trying to rip off this poor legitimate business. I mean they have the record of my signup right there showing how I personally clicked the "I want to sign up" box from my home in Moscow in the middle of the night.

Comment Good reply. Other issues. (Score 2) 413

You mentioned several important issues: 1) Police are sometimes "trigger happy troops". 2) Police are "under immense pressure". Yes! Difficult job. 3) "Kansas police ... training of ... SWAT teams ... is far too militaristic." 4) "... the bulk of the burden ... falls squarely upon the guy who made the false report..."

There are other issues. Putting someone in prison for years: 1) Damages that person mentally and increases the mental disturbance they have when they enter prison. 2) Costs taxpayers HUGE amounts of money. The government should be required to post on a web site the cost to taxpayers of keeping each prisoner in prison. 3) When the prisoner is released, he or she is usually less likely to be able to lead a healthy life.

Norway is rehabilitative, not destructive, to those who commit crimes. Michael Moore's film, Where to Invade Next explored the system in Norway, and prompted articles like this one: Why Norway's prison system is so successful. Quote from that article: "... when criminals in Norway leave prison, they stay out. It has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world at 20%. The US has one of the highest: 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years."

Being destructive to those who commit crimes is another crime, a crime committed by the government.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime lists other issues.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 1) 524

>Taxes, some of which will hopefully be paid by these people, reduced benefits from other programs, and reduced administration in running the program.

This tired argument again?

1. These people are getting barely enough money to live on in the first place. They will not be paying taxes. Also, "hopefully" is not a good way to govern.
2. Just _reduced_ benefits? What happened to eliminating those altogether? Reducing won't eliminate overhead.
3. Reduced administration will not pay for the difference. Shall we do some math?

Apparently minimum cost of living is something like $15000/year in the US, so let's set UB to that level. There are 308 million people living in the US. Simple multiplication tells us we need $4.6 trillion/year to pay for UBI.

The total US federal income for 2016 was $3.3 trillion. If the US were to implement a $4.6 trillion UBI program, it would be short $1.3 trillion per year - and that's assuming it is willing to give up completely on healthcare, education, infrastructure, defense, research, fire departments, a police force, etc.

Of course you can just raise taxes... Let's say we just keep defense and interest payments, and get rid of all other US government programs (that means no more social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment compensation, pensions, the supplementary nutrition assistance program, education, veterans benefits, housing assistance, etc.). That means we still have to somehow come up with $0.9 trillion for defense and interest payments, plus of course $4.6 trillion for UBI. Income taxes would have to be raised from its current level of $1.5 trillon to $5.5 trillion, so each American taxpayer will have to pay 3.7 times as much income tax. If you think that's feasible, great, let's have UBI!

Shall we do it for Finland? The cost of living is at least something like E10800/year (that's for a _student_, living in _student housing_, not for normal families, but hey, let's roll with it). There are 5.5 million people in Finland. UBI for the whole country would cost E59 billion per year. Total government revenue for Finland is E55 billion.

Actually this UBI program is only paying E6720/year. This is below cost of living, so either these people have some other source of income, or they are living in cardboard boxes. Even so, rolling it out to the whole nation would cost E37 billion, leaving precious little for other government expenditures.

Submission + - 'This Is Not a Drill.' Hawaii Mistakenly Sent Out Incoming Missile Alert (

schwit1 writes: It must have been awfully disconcerting to have this pop up on people's phones, and it took nearly 40 minutes to send out the message that it was a mistake.

Sounds like the planned FCC reboot of the wireless alert system can't come too soon.

Minor conspiracy theory: It was a hack but will be played off as an error by emergency warning services

Major conspiracy theory: There was a missile, we shot it down, and now it’s all being played off as a false alarm

Comment Re:Work around the problem (Score 1) 144

Also, Interstate Commerce Clause.

There are plenty of laws that states pass that interfere with interstate commerce far more than local enforcement of net neutrality would. Many, if not most, businesses or individuals require state and local licenses in addition to any Federal Licenses they may need. Then they need to pay state and local taxes and comply with state and local regulations. In some instances you can't even sell stuff directly into a state unless you go through a local distributor. Thinking alcohol and cars, but probably other things.

The US considers itself a "single market" under US Federal regulations, but in many more ways it is not.

The cumulative effect of all those state and local regulations are barriers to interstate trade and commerce that amount to state and local protectionism.

Submission + - Your personal computer vs Meltdown, Spectre and patches

rastos1 writes: Considering the stream of news about Meltdown, Spectre, IME, buggy fixes, press releases by Intel, CPU, Microsoft etc etc. I'd like to suggest a poll (Is there a better place to submit a poll suggestion?) You —
  • Did not apply any fixes. Do not care
  • Did not apply any fixes. Waiting for the dust to settle down and then going to upgrade HW/update SW
  • Applied the fixes, got burned, could not roll back
  • Applied the fixes, got burned, but was able to roll back
  • Applied the fixes and it works, but there is performance penalty
  • Applied the fixes and it works without noticeable performance degradation
  • Switched or going to switch to a different architecture

Comment Abolish political parties (and other ideas) (Score 1) 497

I feel quite strongly about abolishing political parties. They concentrate power in the hands of a few unelected people. Let each politician run on his own merits, and act on his own concience rather than according to some party line.

This is especially urgent because any district-based system (like the US has) automatically leads to it also being a two-party system. Such a system doesn't allow for new ideas and new parties to appear - there is simply no space for new parties to slowly grow into a real, serious, political party.

Without political parties, there will be a much wider pool of candidates for each state. Each candidate will have to convince the voters of the quality of his policies, instead of riding on some abstract national program (and loon candidates can be avoided fairly easily by making them collect some number of signatures before their candidacy is allowed).

Governing would become a matter of negotiation a lot more than it is today, but you'd be rid of the deadlock where one party blocks the other on principle.

I'd also add a few rules about laws only covering one subject at a time (no riders for completely unrelated subjects), add an upper limit to the length of any law, and I'd mandate that any proposed plan must always be accompanied by a detailed description of how much money will be needed, and where it will be taken from.

And perhaps each law must be explained by the politician who proposed it in three separate schools. If the kids don't understand it, start over.

Or alternatively, keep the system as it is today, but send multiple politicians to Washington for each state, with each wielding a fraction of the state vote that is determined by how many people voted for him.

Or do voting on a permanent basis: each citizen receives a token that he can entrust to a politician of his choice. Allow for the token to be recovered and entrusted to another politician at any time. On the first day of every month, replace all politicians that lost the trust of their voters. Instead of having to look great once every four years, let them represent you every single day of their carreer...

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