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Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 307

I don't agree. This poster wasn't required to identify themselves, and that means a lot. They could have used a proxy, or used an open Wi-Fi spot.

So your argument is that as long as there remain theoretical means to protect your anonymity via technology, nothing the government does should be construed as stepping upon the right to anonymous speech? If I use Tor but the local node was ran by the NSA and they reveal my identity, there is no problem because I should have selected an anonymous proxy in Bulgaria? I suppose the freedom of religion isn't abridged if the government shuts down every church in the nation, since worshippers could meet in secret in someone's basement?

If ISPs and websites were actually required to log the information you say, then that would be an issue. But that's not the case now. Hopefully it remains that way.

I don't follow your logic here. Are you saying it is a problem if the ISP was required by law to keep the data and then the government asked for it, but would not be a problem if the ISP kept it for their own reasons and the government asked for it?

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 307

I don't know if you're trolling or just that dense, but I'll give it one last try. I never said that it is the newspaper's responsibility to protect me. I said that if the Constitution provides a right to anonymous speech, as indicated earlier in this thread, then the government has no right to compel the newspaper to identify me. Do you see the difference? If not, please read it again.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 307

Yes, you have a right to make anonymous speech. No, nobody has to provide a venue for you to do so. Exercising your rights is entirely up to you, and nobody else.

Again, it is nonsensical to claim that such a right exists yet also support the government's ability to force others to identify you. If the newspaper went to the government and said "Hey, this guy posted some stuff that I think you should know about", then your argument holds. If, however, the government comes calling and expects the newspaper to hand over this guy's information, we have a much different scenario. In this case it appears that the court went to the newspaper requesting them to identify the poster.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 307

In this case, the court is trying to investigate a violation of judicial procedure. To claim that anonymous speech prevents them from investigating isn't substantiated by the Supreme Court.

You're likely correct. I wasn't commenting about this specific case but the OP's twisted logic.

There's a difference between disallowing anonymous speech versus trying to uncover the source.

Perhaps, but in practice the line is so fine as to be invisible. For example, if the government doesn't have a law prohibiting anonymous speech but in practice requires ISPs to log identifying information of all users and then requires the ISP to provide this data upon request so that they can unmask the anonymous speaker, where's the difference? Whether proactive or reactive, you still have prevented anonymous speech.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 307

Yes, but that all goes out the window if you are not really anonymous. Wishing you were anonymous and actual being anonymous are two different things. If the paper has the requested information, then he isn't anonymous.There is no law that says anyone must respect anyone else's wish to be anonymous.

That makes absolutely no sense. If the US Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment protects the right to anonymous speech and this individual was trying to remain anonymous and had reasonable belief that he was, then the government violation of this anonymity would be in conflict with his constitutional rights. Until the government forces the newspaper to provide identifying information, he is in fact anonymous.

Comment Re:not with a bang, but a little heard whimper. (Score 1) 265

That's an interesting history lesson, but has nothing to do with the fact that the current US government hates coal with a fiery passion, and is using its power to further this goal.

Indeed. The way the Obama administration had more coal miners working than at any time during the Bush administration just a year ago. They are tricky about this war. I especially like the way they have secretly shown the natural gas industry where and how to get huge reserves to drive down the price so that electricity producers will use it instead. The real proof came this winter when Obama personally used his weather control device to ensure that an extremely warm winter would drive down the demand for coal and cause coal companies to lay off their miners.

Seriously. Saying stuff like you posted makes you look like a shallow-minded partisan idiot.

Comment Re:not with a bang, but a little heard whimper. (Score 2) 265

lol.. You know damn well it was metaphorically speaking idiot

1. I live in coal country and most people around here do not believe they are speaking metaphorically.
2. Regardless, your assertion is stupid and unsupported by facts. Calling it a war minimizes actual struggles.

Yep, your dad is out of work because of the war on coal.

Each time you say "war on coal" in a serious way, you bring down the IQ of the room. Please stop doing it. It rained today because of Obama's war on sunshine. The NY Giants lost their football game because of Obama's war on the NY Giants. Any other wars to blame on Nobama?

HE should start training to do something else in life because even if he gets called back to work, he will be left without a job soon unless something changes on that coal front.

He did. After having his back broken, he went back to school and worked for 25 years in the banking technology industry. After a few years of unsatisfactory jobs, he decided to go back to the mines during their recent boom.

There is no reason to expect any changes on the coal front. The easier seams are already mined. Cleaner options, such as natural gas, are plentiful and economic. There will be coal mined and used for quite a while, but not on the scale once seen. And despite the ignorant ranting of those opposed to Obama, it has nothing to do with a fantasy war on coal.

Comment Re:not with a bang, but a little heard whimper. (Score 5, Interesting) 265

A war on coal was when the coal operators murdered miners for trying to organize a union. They put a Gatling gun on a flatbed train car and rolled through a tent camp of miners, spraying bullets. The US military was finally called out to put the miners in their place when they decided to fight back. That was a war. What you're talking about is chicken shit political mudslinging.

You really consider it a war when the federal government finally makes the corporations that profit from coal bear some percentage of the cost it takes on the rest of us? A hundred years of dead miners, polluted waters, destroyed landscapes, polluted air, lung diseases, cancers, etc, but expecting coal operators to spend money on safety or power plants on technology to remove some of the pollutants and we have a war? My dad is currently laid off from an underground coal mine due to the downturn in the coal industry, just like he was laid off plenty of times 30 years ago during downturns in the coal industry. The current downturn in the coal industry is driven by last year's extremely warm winter and all-time low natural gas prices. Coal mining employment was higher under Obama than Bush until earlier this year.

War on Coal? What a load of shit.

Comment Re:At least it can be disabled (Score 1) 188

I actually do want more relevant advertising (I don't use ad blockers on the web for the same reason).

That makes sense only if you intended "more" to modify "advertising" rather than "relevant".

I use ad blockers because the Internet is unbearable otherwise. Yahoo's site makes me ill if I accidentally go to it on a browser not blocking ads. My local newspaper's site is literally unusable. It looks like a hideous link farm with banners, pop-ups, overlays, and a whole sidebar of smaller ads. But thanks to AdBlock, I found that they actually have content from their printed paper buried in there.

I occasionally find useful suggestions from vendors with whom I have a relationship (such as Amazon's "you might also like" suggestions based upon my purchase history). But trying to target ads based upon Google search words or Web browsing history is not accurate, so I'd rather skip the ads altogether.

Comment Re:Joke article (Score 1) 357

So, why are Slashdot running this Surface ad under the guise of an article?

1. Product placement
2. Page views for a flamebait article. Any Surface vs iPad article would get eyeballs, but one that is written by a Microsoft guy and avoids any actual comparison of the products while declaring the Surface superior, well, that's guaranteed to bring out the comments.

Comment Re:Posting test cases (Score 1) 266

I think you're making his(?) point for him. He never said he cared about F/OSS office suites or had an interest in seeing them succeed. He said he'd been asked to evaluate them on several occasions and found that they fell short. There is no obligation on anyone, or even on everyone who posts on Slashdot, to find F/OSS inherently superior in some way.

Indeed. I expect many read his posts and assume he is a troll. I pointed out that perhaps he isn't, but that he probably could have been more forthcoming in his responses.

He's not the only one with reservations. I, too, have evaluated many alternatives to MS Office for my own businesses, clients, and others. So far, I am still strongly of the view that for anyone with non-trivial requirements and whose time matters more than a little money (which is almost everyone in business or government for a start) neither the OpenOffice family nor any of the on-line alternatives like Google Docs that I have seen to date are serious competitors. Home users can use toy software and might not mind. Professionals need tools that work reliably and efficiently, and £200 or so is nothing compared to the losses of using substandard and/or incompatible tools.

I used OpenOffice exclusively as the IT Director for a university for several years. At no point did we seriously consider moving the campus there, but I proved to myself that it was very possible to use it day in and day out. In my current job (where I'm back on MS Office), we spend several hundred thousand dollars per year with Microsoft for Office. We are a heavily-invested MS shop and many of my folks are openly hostile to F/OSS. Yet budgetary issues have forced recent discussion toward looking at options to get us off Office, including OO/LibreOffice. We've found that your categorization of "professional" and "toy" is greatly overstated in the real world. Some specific use-case testing would be required for engineers, accountants, executives, etc, and we may have to spring for a handful of MS Office seats to address issues. But the average business is filled with people using Office for things that any of half a dozen alternatives can do with zero problems. The majority of our document creation could be handled by WordPad. A large percentage of our Excel use is either amazingly simple or poorly suited to Excel (from Engineering databases to, and I shit you not, HR's death of employee notice).

We're not going to dump Office for something that doesn't do the job and I would never claim that the alternatives are ready for 100% of scenarios. But I can promise you that moving our users to OpenOffice would have been no less painful than it was going to Office 2010 (from 2003).

Comment Re:Don't confuse disengagement for opposition (Score 1) 266

Don't confuse disengagement for opposition

I didn't claim you opposed anything; in fact, I specifically suggested that you be honest about your "disengagement". However, your posts would certainly lend themselves to assuming that you are trolling. You hand wave about supposed specific problems but provide no specifics, then when asked to contribute the specifics you suggest that you might if someone pays you for your time. For testing and reporting problems with a F/OSS project. This certainly looks more like opposition, not apathy. But I also consider other posts you've made and that perhaps you simply could have worded your responses better.

But having an audience that can't tell "doesn't work" from "works" means I wouldn't waste my time on that particular product.

I don't buy your assertion that this is overwhelmingly true with products like LibreOffice. Spend some time reading bug reports and feature requests; you may be disabused of your claim. I've used OO/LibreOffice and Google Docs at home for years. I am occasionally frustrated by shortcomings of Google Docs and formatting issues in OO/LibreOffice. I would never claim that these are 100% drop-in replacements for MS Office. They do, however, work exceedingly well for the purchase price and are perfectly acceptable Office replacements for many scenarios.

Are there overzealous evangelists for these products? Of course. What product and audience doesn't have that problem to some degree?

Further, my belief is that having more different types of word processors is more important than cloning MS Office.

I'm not sure what you mean here. I agree that competitors shouldn't be trying to clone Office, but they also must be similar enough to be given a chance by most users. What other type of word processor are you imaging?

Comment Re:Posting test cases (Score 3, Interesting) 266

That's a great idea! Let's think it through, however. I don't own the data; that belongs to the client. Thus, I have to be somewhat vague.

You couldn't modify the example enough to use the documents already examined in your tests? Or, if the problem was a missing feature instead of a bug, you couldn't explain it without that specific set of spreadsheet data?

I'm available for consulting at my usual rate -- my contact should be on my user page.

So you're saying that you don't volunteer your time to someone's project. Pay to play, right?

From your journal post earlier today:

Despite having other demands on my time, I've begun spending a half-hour or so every day making submissions to Slashdot and trying to write quality comments. I am doing this because I think Slashdot is an important part of the internet, which like other forms of media, for good or ill is a part of our "culture."...It's not perfect...I've been modded -1, Flamebait for a post I thought was insightful too. Nothing is perfect...Support Slashdot. With your energy, time, money, whatever. It's worth it.

Hold on now. If you're willing to take that stance regarding Slashdot, why not just be honest about F/OSS office suites? You don't care about them and have no interest in seeing them succeed. There really is nothing wrong with that position.

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