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Comment Re:sooo... (Score 1) 508

Not detracting from your post, I agree there is always that option. Unfortunately (in the context of the discussion at /.) if they chose Option 4, there's a good chance we'd see an article here complaining that "MS would rather pull a product / waste developer hours / any option other than release GPL'd code". MS can't win here...

Comment Re:Most deserving (Score 1) 829

What's amusing to me is that people think education or health care is a proper role for unaccountable entities whose primary responsibility is profit.

Right... because nobody is profiting from the broken system overseen by "accountable" politicians. Take a look at the education system in California. Corrupt politicians bound to their lobbyist masters. CTA spending $58 MILLION on advertising in 2007 to defeat reform measures that Govenor Schwarzenegger was trying to get passed. California's education meanwhile, ranked 40th out of the 50 states (and DC).

Private corporations may have profitability as a goal, but you're sadly mistaken if you believe they can achieve that goal without providing a satisfactory product (in this case, education). Why do you think some parents pay expensive tuition at private schools? Despite the fact that private schools may want to be profitable, the education they provide is generally better than their public counterparts. Meanwhile the administrators of the public school system are happy to piss money away because, when it eventually becomes time to raise taxes, they know nobody will want to be the jerk voting "against education".

California is a very visible example of the naivete inherent to the "government is non-profit and accountable and therefore better" argument.

Comment Re:The Real Answer (Score 1) 834

I agree with your point about the suckiness of TV in general and "reality" shows in particular, but you couldn't have picked worse examples of shows that got canceled (according to you) due to this trend.

  • Terminator - looked like a crappy rehash of an ancient franchise
  • My Name is Earl - got 4 seasons out of it. Not a great run, but not terrible either.
  • Scrubs - 8 seasons and getting noticeably tired at the end
  • Frasier - 11 seasons, dozens of Emmy's, that's a fantastic run (especially for a spin-off)
  • Samantha Who - "who?" is right. Never heard of this one. Maybe they needed better marketing?

It's tough to respect a list of shows that were canceled "because people are stupid and watch reality TV" when you include 2 long running shows who clearly had reached the end of their writers' creative pools. Sometimes a show doesn't know when to quit (ahem, The Simpsons, I am looking at you), but those shows did and I doubt the reality TV fad had much to do with it.

Comment Re:tax burden myths (Score 1) 293

Dude, you're missing the point and not dishing out any knowledge in the process. You accused these people of being "blue bloods" - indicating that they came from substantially wealthy & established families. Ok, maybe the son of a congressman fits that description. My mistake for not vetting the list properly. Instead of picking out the 1-2 guys who don't fit, why don't you try and see what the greater point of the list was. These are people who are each worth BILLIONS and they didn't come from families with anywhere near as much affluence as they now have. Most of them did it without vast social networks or tons of funding like you assume all wealthy people have, they just hustled until they were at the top of the game.

You keep saying that all their profits are made on the backs of the poor. That may be true to the extent that some of their companies may have engaged in unethical business practises, but a few anecdotes in no way proves that all wealthy people got their money off the backs of the poor. That's not only incredibly naive, it's illogical. As for the people who aren't making enough money to be self-sufficient, where is their responsibility in this? Did they ever attempt to learn a trade? Do they speak proper English (not that it is always necessary, but it sure helps)? How many kids do they have? Have they tried to work other jobs or multiple jobs? I have very little sympathy for a person who doesn't speak any English, doesn't have any skills except for knocking up his wife, and now he's complaining that he can't make enough money to feed all the mouths. And before you accuse me of being racist against immigrants, I'm thinking more about the ghetto people who grew up in the US who have had opportunities to get educated (all you really need is a high school diploma), have had opportunities to keep their dicks in their pants, who have opportunities to get jobs that aren't glamorous but will pay the bills. Why is it that illegal immigrants keep coming to this country and make decent livings while people born in this country cry out that they need welfare and government assistance? That's why I call people lazy, despite how offensive you find it. There are hard workers hanging out in front of Home Depot waiting for a chance to make some cash so they can pay their cheap rent and wire moeny home to Mexico and most of them aren't complaining. On the other side of the barrio you have kids who grew up in the US who turn their nose up at working in fast food and sag their pants in job interviews, then complain that they can't get hired and they need assistance.

As for your claim that wealthy people just sit around hording their money all I can say is wow, you really have no clue. Wealthy people aren't wealthy because they put a bunch of money in a WaMu savings account and sit on it. They're wealthy because they use their money to make more money. This is done by investing their money in other ventures - their money gets used by people with less money to start new businesses. Even money getting thrown around the stock market is flowing into companies who turn around and use that capital to conduct their business. With few exceptions, the money does flow back into the economy. Not only that, but when investments are successful and these businesses grow they have to hire more people and more jobs are created. World Wealth is not a zero-sum game. Wealthy people having money doesn't deprive the poor people like you seem to think.

You and I are never going to agree. You think that the wealthy exist only because of the poor, and vice versa. I think the wealthy exist largely because of themselves, as do the poor exist largely because of themselves as well. If I ever make enough money where my kids and grandkids never have to work, holy shit that's a great thing for my family. Hopefully they are good stewards with the money and can help make the world a better place.

You never answered the other question: Can I have $20 from your wallet? I'm sure your lifestyle will not be impacted and I'll give it to a good friend of mine who is less fortunate. She's a single mom who has trouble making ends meet. Surely she is entitled to the money because she's 2 months late on her car payment, hasn't paid her cel phone bill, and spent the rent money to pay for food for her 6 year old boy. Her income is below the poverty line and she could desparately use some money. Don't get me wrong, my question isn't about whether or not you have a big enough heart to donate $20 to a person in need. My question is whether that person *deserves* or is *entitled* to your money. Can you answer that with an honest "yes"?
Announcements

Submission + - Worlds biggest library system wants website advise (torontopubliclibrary.ca)

pulitzer writes: The Toronto Public Library (the worlds largest library system) is redesigning its website and wants your ideas and opinions. This is our opportunity to ask for RSS feeds, RESTful API's, social networking features, etc. Libraries and librarians can be a conservative bunch when it comes to technology, they've been using the same one for centuries, the book, and now they need a bit of a push into the 21st century . The library as a place can be the center of a community and a place for information sharing and communal learning, we need to let the Toronto Public Library that the library web site can serve the same functions. Even if your not a Toronto resident this is important as just like most profession libraries and librarians share information and experiences and TPL as the largest of library systems has quite a voice in the community. So come on Slashdot lets give them a piece of our mind and tell them what we'd like to see. The survey is very short with ample opportunity to add fee text info. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/abo_uep_index.jsp
Quickies

Submission + - Null Hypothesis | Magenta Ain't A Colour (null-hypothesis.co.uk) 1

jd writes: "Over on Null Hypothesis, there is a raging debate over whether magenta is (or is not) a colour. The article puts forward the view that as there is no such thing as monochromatic magenta, it is an optical illusion and not a colour at all. Needless to say, the geeks in the comments section being, well, geeks, virtually every point made in the piece is dissected, fried with garlic butter and in a few cases apparently fed to the trolls.

However, one thing does intrigue me about this whole argument. The eye has no way of seeing most colour directly — there are two or three (and in very rare cases four) distinct types of cone in the eye. Most of what we take as colour is simply the result of a bunch of numerical tricks in the brain as it tries to unscramble the limited data available to it.

My question is: If colour in a physical sense has no direct connection to the colour that we see, then does the colour that we see really exist at all?"

Programming

Submission + - Is HTML Validity Overrated

An anonymous reader writes: Hi all, in the office today coding away on some random website, checking my my XHTML coding was valid, in my boredom decided to check a number of popular sites thinking that they would would intern be valid, though to my surprise i struggled to find a single site that was 100% valid in it's coding. www.google.com — 30 errors, www.microsoft.com — 28 errors, www.apple.com — 4 errors, and i wont even mention how many eBay had. Hell even our beloved Slashdot didn't have a clean slate. My question is "Is HTML Validity Overrated?" or is there a reason for all the big sites not caring about there code? Now i'm a very (I must stress very) small time programmer, and my skills are pretty poor, but am i just waisting my time checking my code, is it wrong of me to believe in standards?
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone turns into iRock (noahgift.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The iPhone won't activate for thousands and it has turned into a debacle for Apple according to this post there are threads on the Apple Support center that have up to 23,000 views and will actually hang your browser they are so big.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft hosing down speculation about Vienna

thefickler writes: Last week Microsoft executive, Ben Fathi, blabbed that we should expect a new Windows operating system, code-named Vienna, in 2009 and that Vista was a compromise because XP Service Pack 2 soaked up precious resources that should have gone into making Vista better.

Now Microsoft's corporate PR machine is trying to hose down speculation about Vienna, with the company issuing a curt statement effectively telling the world to forget about Vienna, and to focus on Windows Vista.
Mozilla

Submission + - flaw in way firefox updates extensions

Rishabh Singla writes: "mozilla firefox has a flaw in the way it tries to update extensions when there is no active internet connection. instead of simply telling the user that there is no internet connection available, firefox throws up an incorrect error message as well as removes all the available updates from the list. this could be irksome and maybe harmful to some.
check out the details here
http://rishabhsingla.blogspot.com/2007/02/mozilla- firefoxs-way-of-updating.html"
Software

Submission + - Inside Symbian: the Platform Nokia Secretly Hates

DECS writes: The Symbian OS runs the majority of todays smartphones, and is generally regarded as a solid platform. All is not well behind the scenes however. Here's why Apple ported its own OS X to the ARM architecture for the iPhone, why Motorola left Symbian for Linux, and why Nokia executives secretly regard Symbian with contempt. An inside look from Symbian developers: Readers Write About Symbian, OS X and the iPhone.

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