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Comment Re:And that's bad how? (Score 1) 1747

And of course, everybody everywhere has the time and the intellect to assess all the evidence of every scientific theory they want to form an opinion about and then form a judgement based on that evidence.

Very often when it comes to science the issues are so complex and the evidence so voluminous that one has no choice but to defer to experts: people whose lives have been dedicated to understanding and making such a judgement. They are likely to be more qualified and make a better judgement given the available evidence than me.

Comment Re:Especially bland form of English, a bad thing? (Score 2, Interesting) 243

Besides constructed languages, this is the case for practically every language there is. There are always irregularities; this is down to the inherently human nature of linguistic evolution. If you learn English without a single irregularity, what you have learned is not really English, but some other English-derived language which English speakers will be unlikely to understand at all - at which point, you may as well force everyone to learn Esperanto.

I also rather doubt that getting rid of odd past tense forms would really make learning English a great deal easier.

Comment Re:Especially bland form of English, a bad thing? (Score 1) 243

If you were writing specifically for the purpose of communicating with English learners, then you would use more simple, 'bland' English - similarly if you were writing something more informative than enjoyable. But to say that to rob English of its charm would be better, merely because it would be somewhat more understandable to non-native speakers, is an idea which I cannot entertain. English is an interesting, if often frustrating, language to learn, and to me its variety makes it worthwhile knowing for its own sake.

Comment Re:Especially bland form of English, a bad thing? (Score 2, Interesting) 243

I know this is Slashdot and the majority of you are boring, but the 'inefficiencies' of the English language (and all other natural languages) are what make spoken and written English interesting and artistic. Sure, English is a stupid language if you were to assess it on its regularity, unambiguity and precision, but it is precisely this irregularity, ambiguity and imprecision which make it beautiful. And that, more than fully accurate communication, is the essence of language.

Comment Re:Is this guy an idiot? (Score 1) 172

This injunction (as I understand from TFA) does not concern saving to XML. If saving to an XML format were patent-protected like this Microsoft wouldn't be the only ones up to their neck in lawsuits.

The actual technology to which this injunction pertains is "Custom XML", which "allows people to create forms or templates such that words in certain fields are tagged and then can be managed in a database." This is what supposedly infringes on i4i's patent (the actual patent which was infringed upon is 5,787,449). I imagine that very few people will notice the missing functionality - it's not a very common task for your day-to-day Office user.

And as much as it amuses me that Microsoft has been hoist by their own petard, it seems to me that this is a flagrant abuse of the patent system and should not be happening.

Comment Re:Will this benefit the average user? (Score 1) 383

This will benefit extremely the average user who might be watching a Flash video in one tab, with an unsaved e-mail open in another - if the Flash video crashes, under the current system, the whole application goes down (and so therefore does your e-mail, quite often). With multi-process tab support, only the video tab crashes, which is (I'm sure you'll agree) much better, and worth the extra couple of seconds it might take to load the browser.

Comment Re:Why would anyone want to buy a capped connectio (Score 1) 259

That's great for you; the majority of us can't get that sort of speed, and certainly for not that sort of money. The maximum reasonable broadband speed where I live (semi-rural UK) is 8/1. There are companies which do offer fibre to some places now, but you're looking at £50/mo for 50/50, with 'Fair Use'.

Comment Re:Privileged by Profession? (Score 1) 105

The question is whether these laws extend only to professional journalists - that is, those people who report for money, or more specifically as their main occupation - or more widely to the act of journalism itself.

If it is the former, then I agree that the protection of journalists alone is wholly unfair. It would be akin to saying that professional truck drivers have the right to break the speed limit. The latter, on the other hand, seems completely reasonable - it is the protection of free journalism, which is one of the cornerstones of free society.

Comment Re:Not even going to RTFA (Score 1) 295

I don't feel represented by the available parties I think the elections aren't fair(the system is geared towards certain parties) I don't want to legitimize these elections(perception of fraud) I don't want to ligitimize all elections(anti-democrats)

These options are much better represented by a spoiled ballot. Not voting says "I don't care". Spoiling your ballot says "I do care that I cannot represent the change I want by voting," or something along those lines.

Comment Why take it out on the law firm? (Score 1, Insightful) 545

TFA says they're a small firm who were simply doing their job, representing a client, and apparently doing it well. Okay, so they fought the case for a questionable cause, but a case is a case, and it's not the legal firm who decides whether the case succeeds. Now TPB is trying to ruin them. I apologise if I don't see the moral high ground here.

TPB's real targets are legislators, big business and the public. Not a small legal firm. I do, however, applaud their ingenuity.

Comment Re:You Can't Fight the Internet (Score 1) 544

I don't see what could be gained by the public from these photographs - and isn't that what freedom of information is all about? Sure, you could make some tenuous claim that it will enhance road safety, but if you're going to run a campaign like using that image it is only right that the family give permission.

There is no reason behind this leak and the subsequent distribution except sick harassment of a grief-stricken family. And to those of you calling the leak a wake-up call, consider that perhaps the death of your daughter would be a more significant spur than the irresponsibility shown by the dispatchers along with the infantile and extremely disrespectful actions of some anonymous teenager.

There is perhaps no criminal case here but the simple fact is that society should see that the actions of the dispatchers and the people who distributed this image were inappropriate, and a misuse of the guise of freedom of information.

Comment Re:What would Linux skills be? (Score 1) 208

If you are aiming for even a somewhat technical position this programme is not targeted at you.

I ought to rectify this a little; part of the programme does actually involve more advanced knowledge (namely Elevate America for Technical Professionals) but still, the majority of people utilising this programme will be at lower tiers.

Comment Re:What would Linux skills be? (Score 1) 208

But these are without shadow of a doubt not the skills which this programme is trying to teach. What Microsoft and Washington want people to learn is how to use word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, databases and Windows so that they have the basic computer skills required for most office work these days.

Your average office jockey doesn't need to know this stuff. If you are aiming for even a somewhat technical position this programme is not targeted at you.

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