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Comment Re:Full Audio or it didn't happen... (Score 1) 413

The President didn't, but the Justice Department did, and by the policy of "the buck stops here" the president is at some point responsible. Problem is that the first series of "gunwalking" operations started under Bush. So, AC isn't a "bigoted coward" unless he or she is of neither African or Caucasian descent. And I don't know where the cowardice comes in, unless you're referring to posting as AC, in which case I totally agree. Except for the general tone of your reply, which seems sort of, I don't know, bitter and stupid.

Comment Not to beat a dead horse, but... (Score 2) 474

I mean, obviously, moving is your best option. Cities are loud places. Although a city with 350k is pretty small, if you're living in the center of the place, you're going to have to deal with noise. If you haven't gotten used to it yet (which is kind of surprising, really), your long-term solution is to save up some money until you can afford to move to the 'burbs, or out to the country. Or to a smaller town.

That said, I lived in a bigger city (600k or so) in a bad neighborhood (so there were cars and sirens all night) for a little while. Heavy drapes help, with the added benefit that people can't see in your windows. Sirens are made to be heard, so you might have a hard time really insulating yourself from them, but as for just general road noise and city sounds, I'd move your office into an internal room, i.e. one that doesn't have any windows, and that preferably has rooms with doors between it and the outside. As others have said, you could certainly install double- or triple-pane windows, but at that point you're better off spending the money on a down payment on a house or condo somewhere other than the busiest part of the city. Plants, bookshelves, basically stuff to get in the way and create more surfaces between the windows and you seem to be somewhat effective in reducing sound. Also, since you won't be able to get rid of the sound, you might try doing stuff like leaving the tv or radio on in the background, just as a low-cost "white-noise" alternative.

But, really, the core issue here is not how thick your windows need to be to live in the middle of an urban area and not hear anything. It's why you would locate yourself somewhere that you're not going to be able to work, or, the way it sounds, live comfortably. I don't know what you do for a living, but, if cost is an issue, a long-term solution might be to relocate to a cheaper area nearby, where you're still close enough to meet with clients in the city if need be, but you're not in a noisy area. Based on where you're posting and what you're posting, I'm assuming you're not a glass blower or a mime or anything, so I'd also point out that the wonder of telecommuting is that you can do it from quite far away...

Comment Re:Winblows, LOL (Score 3) 515

I disagree, but I'm much closer to your opinion than the two hopeless fanboys that posted earlier.

Full disclosure, I use Linux in a professional environment. We use it to run wifi hardware, and in LAMP configurations for websites. Personally, I have used Linux off and on for the past six years, and Windows since it existed.

For the combination of low resource overhead and stability, Linux (CentOS in our case) beat Windows hands-down for the hardware that we sell to clients. We need something that will act as a router, bridge, or access point, so we need it to stay up and running for as long as possible. We don't upgrade hardware often, so as long as it works when it's installed it'll probably be fine, and we don't need to update the OS for the same reason.

In all other regards, Linux has been at best something that we can work around, and at worst a hindrance.

In 2012, being limited to a command line is archaic and counter-productive, so a user should be able to accomplish most if not all tasks from within a GUI. We can argue about command line interfaces and how 1337sauce they are all day, but the fact that all serious OSs on the market, including Linux, incorporate GUIs tends to indicate that moving away from command lines considered a good move by people that design and develop operating systems. It might be faster for people who are used to it to live in the command line, but the overwhelming majority of users want GUIs that provide all the functionality they need, and people who are in the business of making operating systems respond to this. And, overall, if the GUI is well-designed, it's generally more efficient than the command line. My opinion, yes, but I'll argue it all day.

Any security gains in Linux (and there certainly are) are mitigated by the obscurity of the system itself. Yes, you can batten down a Linux installation to a level of security you don't see with MS if you know what you're doing. The problem is that you have to have a high level of comfort and expertise with the OS to see these benefits; you can realize at least base-line security on a Windows machine without having to know anything about IPTABLES. It's like the classic martial arts dilemma: Chinese boxing might be superior to all other martial arts, but it takes decades to achieve mastery; a student of Krav Maga or jujitsu can become competent in a few years.

At our office I and another person write the documentation. With Open Office, we ran into formatting issues that, frankly, made it impossible to produce a professional-looking document. Even the person who'd been doing the documentation before, who is a self-described "Linux guy", admitted that he'd reached the limits of what could be done with OOo, and recommended I use Wine to install Office. This required that I switch distros, because CentOS doesn't support the latest version of Wine, which was required to install Office 2010 (a copy of which had already been purchased for a previous employee). Admittedly, the alternative was to install some flavor of Windows on a VM, but that would've required buying a license; I work at a very small company where cost is always an issue. Eventually, after some tweaking, I got Wine to install Office and launch it reliably, although there are stability issues.

As a gamer, too, I can speak to Wine and Linux in home applications. Yes, some games run under Wine. Certainly not all, and not even most. Also, big releases, especially multiplayer games, remain the province of Windows. It's changing, slowly, and Steam going to Linux is a promising development, but a PC running Windows remains the best platform for gaming. And, sure, you can run a VM, but then you're adding to hardware requirements that new releases already stretch on most PCs.

I know it's sort of de rigeur to hate Windows if you like Linux, but it's not the 1990s. Linux has come a long way, especially Ubuntu, and I think the argument can be made that some distros are no longer "hobbyist" OSs, but Windows remains the authoritative PC operating system because it's actually a really good product. Yes, it has problems, but the overall plus/minus is better with Windows than with Linux. Linux is getting much closer, but you can't just say that a solution to web security is to switch everyone to Linux and make them run things in Wine.

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 2) 255

Excuse me while I play devil's advocate.

1a.) In what way does advertisement encourage over-consumption beyond what would be caused by non-paid information from, for instance, a review website? And what proof do you have that people are more inclined to purchase anything (not more inclined to purchase one product over another, but inclined to buy something at all) because they've seen an advertisement? Keep in mind that these ads will be targeted based on search information the user enters. If I'm searching for "best espresso machines" I'm probably in the market, so I'm already going to buy something.

1b.) The term "over-consumption" is heavily loaded. How much consumption is "too much", and who decides what that figure is? In a market economy, consumption is what drives growth; if you have a problem with consumption, it's probably (and this isn't meant as a dig or insult) because you have a problem with markets. Talking about something called "over-consumption" is a tell that you're probably coming from a Marxist/socialist background, and so you're gonna have a problem with anything to do with markets, private commerce, or consumption.

2.) Ads don't increase prices, nor does consumption. Ads don't influence price, they influence demand. Vendors or producers determine price. The impetus is for price to be set in such a way that it's worth it to produce product X, and people are willing to buy all the product X that gets produced at price X. So, as demand increases, the price increases only if production doesn't also increase. Given that it makes sense to produce more in order to sell more, most rational producers will try to produce more if possible.

3.) Ads don't create privacy issues unless the information that you submit is linked to personally-identifiable information. Granted, at that point, you're trusting the search provider to do the right thing, which doesn't always happen. But, again, the issue here isn't that ads threaten privacy, it's that the technology used to deliver tailored results can potentially be a threat to privacy. Any time that search results are tailored, or, more broadly, user experiences are tailored based on personal information, users have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks. That's a decision that users have to make regardless of advertisements.

4.) Charging a price for Ubuntu is, IMO, a more serious violation of FOSS than ads are regarding privacy.

I'm not saying that I love advertisements. I turn them off or block them. But, I'm just saying that ads aren't the bogeyman that you're portraying.

Comment Re:Turf Wars ... limo vs cabs (Score 1) 264

In a word: bullhockey.

Government regulation is fully capable of creating monopoly and oligarchy, and that, in fact, is what history shows us. Case in point: any socialist nation. Shit, as much as I like Doctor Who, the BBC. And, as much as the idea of big scary companies frightens you, at least you have the option to not use that companies service or product in a free market. You can choose a competing company, or a competing product. If the government controls that service or product, and forbids competition, then you've got no option. And I'm talking about the United States, too. Because any major corporation that holds a monopoly or even dominant market share of any service or product that you care to name I can point to a subsidy, tax loophole, and/or special legal category that the government has allowed which lets that company hold a monopoly.

Don't look at the US and say that free markets don't work, because we don't have a free market.

Comment Re:Turf Wars ... limo vs cabs (Score 1) 264

I know, we're such assholes for not responding to government subsidized monopolies by saying, "Well, what can you do? That's how the pseudo-free market works!" It's just like how the Iraqi elections under Hussein resulted in his winning 99% of the popular vote, thus proving that democracy is impossible and hopelessly broken.

Comment Re:"while operating a taxicab" (Score 2) 264

Did they overlook the $1 mil for a cab medallion? Because, speaking from the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia, for non-natives), that was the first thing we picked up on. Apparently, NYC has so much money that only rich people can own cabs. Because you can get a smartphone for way less than an NYC cab medallion. I don't know what it's like up there, but, everywhere else, smartphones aren't limited to "rich people".

Comment Insect burgers, hovercars, self-cleaning houses (Score 1) 705

Whenever articles like this come out, I laugh. It reminds me of the "House of the Future!" stuff from the 50s, the sort of bizarre futurism that the Fallout series lampoons so well. The idea that people will start eating mealworms because hamburgers go up to $20 a pop in five years is just silly. You'll just see what we're seeing now, which is a combination of subtle changes in diet caused by everything from socioeconomics to health concerns.

Look at the trends today: buying local, aquaculture, sustainable agriculture, "alternative" meats such as goat, eating more varied proteins (swapping meat out for legumes). Collectively, these factors are pretty significant, and help avoid the alarmist dystopia the BBC is predicting.

I think population, particularly settlement patterns, is a more significant problem.

Comment Re:After Rage (Score 4, Insightful) 635

PC gamers use PCs because they can upgrade hardware components easily. Macs have always been "black boxes" for the most part, have focused on proprietary hardware, and have generally approached gaming as a secondary priority, if a priority at all. Linux, however, will run on a PC, and supports a wider range of gaming-oriented hardware than Apple OSs ever have.

People don't buy Macs for gaming; they own Macs and then want to play a particular game. To make the switch, they have to spend more money (to get a copy of Bootcamp and Windows, for example). People who own PCs run either Windows or Linux; to switch from Windows to Linux is free. If you only run Windows to play games, you can dump Windows and run Steam in Linux without incurring any additional cost. Not so with Mac. So, comparing the Mac market to a potential Linux market is apples and oranges, really.

Comment Re:After Rage (Score 3, Insightful) 635

I second that. Rage on its own merits was a mediocre AAA FPS with a buggy launch and consolitis. As a monument to Johm Carmack's overinflated view of his own relevance to gaming in general, it was and continues to be extremely telling. Linux isn't commercially viable for game designers because the market isn't there, and the market isn't there because developers don't make games for it. Valve stepping up and bringing Steam to Linux has the potential to cut that particular Gordian knot. Frankly, Valve is big and relevant enough to do it; Carmack doesn't have the juice to do it if he wanted to anymore.

Comment Re:Willing to bet.. (Score 1) 1706

I don't know, but if I see I guy coming in through the Exit door in body armor, and I'm an off-duty or plain clothes cop, and he hucks a canister, I'm gonna say something. And, yeah, if there's a guy shooting in a theater in a cloud of smoke, I'll shoot at the muzzle flare. It's better than the alternative, obviously.

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