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Comment Re:I've no time to check, but .... (Score 1) 124

If you put it like that - it's not possible, however I do hold the both those views - only each have an ammendment you didn't consider "provided they are in line with the international agreement on human rights".

As a general rule (though aside from that) I believe that whenever a company does business in another country, it should be compliant with the laws of BOTH it's parent country AND the one it operates in except where those are contradictory to the point where following one would violate the other (this is extremely rare) in which case the law where they are operating takes precedence.
So by that understanding - because America's minimum wage is higher than China's Apple ought to (in my view) have to pay their Chinese workers the same minimum wage as Americans get.

Comment Re:Ubuntu vs. Slackware (Score 1) 231

>An interesting contrast: Volkerding does what he does with Slackware with no fuss. Shuttleworth gets all defensive on what he does with Ubuntu.

Interesting, and part of the reason (besides size of userbase) I believe is their different attitudes. Volderding actively ENCOURAGES other people to do what he chooses not to. Remember a few years ago when slackware dropped Gnome support ? Patrick stated that he was dropping it because gnome (at the time) required patches to libraries which were not part of the standard versions of those libraries, meaning that to support it at all you had to ship those patched libraries even for people who chose not to use gnome - something he disliked.
At the same time - in the very mail where he announced the change he also gave a list of the outside projects that were already providing custom gnome builds for slackware - so users who preferred it could use those projects instead. By then quite a lot of the regular gnome users were already using them anyway since their builds were more complete and advanced and nobody minded much.
If you wanted gnome rather than KDE on slackware, you just got it from one of the other projects - and Patrick actively encouraged this.
In contrast Shuttleworth has a bombastic attitude about unpopular decisions - of the "if you don't like it, you're an idiot" variety.
That I think annoys people. Sure ubuntu lets you run other desktops, but only if you sacrifice the very integration that made it good - and no longer actively supports the respins for those who prefer other desktops like they used to.

Honestly, if I had to explain the difference in how their actions are perceived I would lay 90% of the blame purely on the tone in which they announce and defend those actions.

Comment Re:He has a point, no? (Score 1) 231

At least with KDE you get to choose on almost every level. I also think they made the right choice with their default approach: a complete menu that is searchable, not search-only.

That's the best of both worlds. I've never much liked kicker's interface, I was using lancelot as my KDE menu since it's earliest releases and I love it, full listing of apps with a zero-click launch design, searchable menu (that also searches documents and all other relevant data sources), application favorites, integrated views of documents and other data-sources in the main menu. Frankly I never look at my desktop anymore, I can get instantly to anything and everything I want from lancelot.

This suits my preffered working style (two screens - on each a window that is maximized - generally this will be something like geanny on the one screen with code being edited and a konsole on the other to test the code as I go) - since my desktop is always covered by maximized windows, if I need to open something else the last thing I want to do is have to minimize each of the 6 to 8 other maximized windows behind it or find the show-desktop button - I just open lancelot and find whatever I need immediately.

I am using KDE on mint as my standard desktop on about six computers, as is my (absolutely non-techie) wife - and it's a pleasure to work with.

Comment Re:Conclusion: (Score 2) 53

At the rate we're discovering real and viable cures - 18-20 months is indeed worth it as there is a good chance of that being long enough to be around when a complete recovery becomes possible.
It's happened in my own life. About a year ago very good friend of mine started complaining about severe pain in her side, physio didn't help but the physio noticed something off and suggested she go for a scan. The scan revealed metathesized lymphatic melanoma - the biggest tumour was almost 15cm long, wrapped around her kidney arteries at that.
Initial prognosis: inoperable, incurable - 10 months to live, 18 if she's really lucky.

A surgeon however decided to operate, he knew he couldn't remove the tumor but as he said "I'll cut out as much as I can - and buy you time". He did just that - which turned out be only about 3cm that could be safely cut out, but it bought her a few more months.
4 Months later her oncologist called her to let her know about a drug trial for a new treatment (sorry, I don't know the name) which is a form of chemo based on gene-therapy, it specifically and exclusively targets cells with the specific mutation of the cancer she has, so they can use much higher doses than is usually safe with chemo (because it has almost no side-effects and doesn't affect other cells). He got her into the trial group.

Three weeks ago she announced that all the spread tumors were gone, and the main (original) tumor was down to about 2cm in size. It's likely that when the trial ends she'll still need surgery to get rid of the last bit -but her prognosis now is full recovery and cancer free before the end of this year.

That is why it's worth keeping them alive as long as possible - every DAY we buy them, massively increases their odds of a full recovery.

Comment Re:Clean Energy = Scam (Score 1) 313

>I'm guessing you would consider the concept of 'First, do no harm' to be close-minded?

Indeed, but that isn't ALWAYS a bad thing. There are times when it's better to be closed-minded and prudent. When you're talking about a person being seen by his doctor - that's a case where prudency is a higher virtue than eager experimentation.
When you're a medical researcher trying to test a cure for a disease on volunteer subjects, that's a time when taking a risk is both justified and required for the sake of potentially positive change.

It's all about context. There may well be a case where it makes sense to be conservative and prudent in politics. That case however does not exist anywhere in the world today. That case CANNOT exist until every citizen is fed, sheltered and has a GENUINELY equal opportunity at success, until everybody gets the same quality education and the same level of opportunity and until we live in a society where all people are judged EXCLUSIVELY on their choices, with zero judgement influence from anything that was outside their control (such as their race, or their parent's salary bracket) and where nothing outside your control could have an impact on the life you can have.

So maybe when we live in ST:TNG's utopian future - THEN it will be acceptable to be prudent and conservative in politics. Until then - we have a crapload of problems which we have to fix, all of these problems were WORSE during the times that the conservatives consider a lost ideal and want to go back to. We can and should ALL be conservative - on the day we have solved them all. On that day - it makes sense to be careful before changing anything and only institute a change when we are certain it will be an improvement with no risk of harm. But right now, we live in a world that is still so broken that ANY change is worth trying if it MIGHT be an improvement. If it has negative side effects, we'll deal with those - but the odds are that even the worst negative side effects can't make things any WORSE.

Comment Re:Clean Energy = Scam (Score 1) 313

>An open mind is more than capable of realizing that some things need to change but some are just fine kept the way they are.

And if "needs to change" is limited to EXCLUDE "what we think it was like in the past" then Republicans are most certainly not capable of that.
Personally, I prefer politicians who do NOT think that the ideal course for a country is to try and recapture the lifestyle of the 50s... especially when they are thinking 1750s....

Comment Re:Clean Energy = Scam (Score 1) 313

Your point is well made, but not really valid - the republicans across the board validate their proposed changes on the basis that they are "how it used to be".
If there is a flaw in how I put it, it's in the word "status quo" - because conservatives also have a permanent hankering for an idealized past and will try very hard to "return to it" - but this is still "trying to conserve" - only it's conserving a memory instead of a moment, either way they are allergic to every considering alternatives.

In short: the entirety of conservative thought is just a massive scale version of the call to tradition fallacy.

Comment Re:Clean Energy = Scam (Score 1) 313

How about you ask the dictionary what "conservative" means, and what it's etymology is.
The word is derived from "conserve" and refers specifically to those who wish to cling to current (or past) political or ideological principles and are not open to the possibility that they may be improved upon.
What the hell did YOU think conservatives were trying to conserve ?

Comment Re:Clean Energy = Scam (Score 4, Informative) 313

>And there's another myth - that 'being liberal' means having an open mind. The not-so-subtle implication of that statment is that you must also believe that anyone who is not 'liberal' does not have an open mind.

No myth there. Simple fact. Conservative, by definition, means NOT having an open mind. It means "wanting to conserve the status quo" - which is ipso facto a closed-minded approach.

Comment Re:Natural vs artificial (Score 1) 228

>The fashion industry has IP protection and there are regularly lawsuits regarding fake merchandise. For example, here is a story about Coach being awarded $8 million for trademark infrigement and unfair competition. I think your point is valid but your example isn't.

Wrong. Under the Berne convention certain industries are specifically excluded from all IP laws - notably clothing and food - thus fashion design and recipes cannot be patented or copyrighted. What does exist is trademark protection NOT on the designs but on the logos and brands. You can make all the inflatable running shoes you want, but you cannot put the Nike logo on them.
Trademark laws, of course, do not EXIST to protect companies at all - their purpose is to protect CONSUMERS from FRAUD. So that if you buy a product you can be reasonably sure that you get what you paid for. This is why on fashion it applies to the logo but NOT to the design. Knock-off handbags that look exactly like a Louis Vitton are perfect legal, but if you put a close replica of the L.V. logo on the clasp that is NOT legal.

Indeed, that is part of how the fashion industry DOES make money - exclusivity of brand. The real L.V. bag costs a LOT more than the knock-off, many people are quite happy to pay that difference for a sense of "owning the real thing" - but exactly because so many people cannot afford the real thing - that's EXACTLY why the knock-offs (assuming they have a different logo) are perfectly legal.
There is no legal protection against the copying or replicating of items considered basic requirements to live - such as clothing or food.
I daresay that medicine OUGHT to fall under the same classification.

Comment Re:Where does the nonsense end? (Score 1) 228

There's a difference between "shouldn't have a price" and "doesn't have value". Nobody says a doctor can't get paid - but what most people outside the USA has realized is that it's tantamount to murder to demand that sick people need money to be allowed treatment, to give insurance companies the power to deny a life-saving claim under ANY circumstances.

What most countries outside the USA has done to address this is institute single-payer universal healthcare. And apparently this is one case which absolutely disproves the claims of free-market fundamentalists because these "socialist" (as they are called by Americans who don't know what the word means) medical systems are MUCH higher quality than your for-profit model (the USA's healthcare industry isn't even in the top-10 -it's number 37 worldwide) and tellingly the most vulnerable people in society show the greatest benefit (for example - they all have far lower child-mortality rates) and worst of all - they all manage to do so while spending FAR less money in total on health-care than you do.
When you DO in fact get better quality, for a lower total cost, from sharing the cost through taxes, that's a perfect example of something the market CANNOT provide better.

In fact, health-care is logically the stupidest thing in the world to make subject to market forces. A sick person is by definition in-capable (or at least less-capable) of earning an income - and therefore less capable of paying for health-care. The only free-market answer is insurance - and since an insurance company is always incentivized to deny every claim and in healthcare you don't HAVE to be right - you just need to deny it LONG enough for the patient to die, that has made sure that a great many people who could have lived have been killed - people who HAD insurance, who paid their premiums, who got sick - and died from a curable disease because all of a sudden their insurance company just started making up excuses, safe in the knowledge that the stiffed customer won't live long enough to sue them.
As if that's not bad enough - you THEN also allowed them to deny service to people capable of paying based on ludicrous crap - so the only people who could GET insurance to begin with was those least likely to ever need it, so the insurance companies could run the ultimate protection-racket.

Just imagine for a moment living in a world where insurance companies was as scared of not paying a claim promptly as you are of missing a premium... that's the ONLY world where a free market healthcare system is NOT a disaster, and it exists ONLY in your imagination.

Comment Re:This exactly (Score 1) 228

>Without the forced publication of patents, a lot of this research will be locked away in corporate black boxes that are treated as trade secrets.

False, the vast majority of genetic research are done by universities and the vast majority of it is funded by taxpayer funds. The dumbest law in US history may be the one that says you can take the results of research done with taxpayer money, patent it and start a new private company to monetize it.
No, when the citizens pay for research, they have a right to public domain use of the results.

Comment Re:Natural vs artificial (Score 2) 228

I postulate that they would have come about in another manner then. The closest we have to a proper experimental control is industries that lack any IP protection, the fashion industry springs to mind, yet every year designers come up with new designs -and make a fortune out of them.
They simply found OTHER ways to make money out of invention and fund the process. Removing the patent protection does't mean removing the financial incentive from those that want (or need) it, it simply means the methodology by which that incentive is satisfied gets changed.

Comment Re:Natural vs artificial (Score 1) 228

>Um.. so we are all going to be able to look up our genes online and the information we find will be sufficient for us to make our own tests and treatments?

Perhaps, technology can develop in interesting ways. Right now we have projects like folding@home which has already contributed greatly to medical research very closely related to genetics - how well do you think that would have worked if somebody had thought to patent protein-fold shapes they discovered ? How many people would have participated if the results were going to be patented by some company ?

Whose to say that we will not, quite soon, see a similar crowdsourcing application to discover the purposes of genes ? But it won't happen while genes are patented.

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