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Comment Re:How Does Germany Beat Chinese Pricing? (Score 1) 644

One possibility is that Germany could be subsidizing their solar competitors less than US does. So even at greater solar cost, solar energy might be more viable in the big picture, due to a free-er market.

If Germany's various mining industries have to pay for their liabilities to others (whereas in US we let it be an externality; if your water got polluted by fracking or dumping part of the top of a coal-filled mountain into a stream, then their action is somehow your expense; or if an industry's price stability needs an expensive military campaign, the taxpayers will bear that rather than the industry or its customers) then those techs' energy can be relatively cheaper to produce. In addition, if users' purchase of those other energy sources is subsidized (i.e. you aren't required to pay to plant a tree to soak up the CO2 that your burn is about to release into everyone else's atmosphere; the taxpayers will bear that expense whether they use fossil or solar) then solar will be comparatively more expensive.

That wouldn't explain why their solar products don't get undercut by China, but it would explain how their solar industry could possibly weather the competition, better than America's solar industry does.

Comment Re:But WHY? (Score 1) 93

People have been saying that for decades. That's why we all use Ti 99/4a computers; it was the one platform with the greatest number of applications, so it's all that anyone ever bought, so it's the only platform it makes sense to develop form, so it remains the number-of-applications leader, so it's still the only computer any of us ever buys. It's a vicious cycle!

I get what you're saying and it really does make sense. And yet it's always been wrong. For some strange reason, the computer in your pocket isn't a 99/4a, and it also doesn't run MS-DOS, and strangely, it doesn't run PalmOS either. I don't know why; I just know that's how it is. You tell me why, and you'll have spotted the hole in your own argument.

Comment Re:Impeachment for following our orders? (Score 1) 800

I'm glad you wrote your 'critter (that's more than I usually do). My point is that when you think about who you just wrote to, and how they're going to read your letter, you'll probably not expect results. It'll be something like this:

Dear Congressman,

I have just learned that the president has ordered his Attorney General to prosecute puppy shredders. Puppy shredding is not interstate commerce and the prosecution of it is beyond the constitutional limits of the federal government's allowed power. Please impeach him.

Yes, I realize that you personally voted for the bill that made it a federal crime to shred puppies. I want you to forget that, though, as it is unimportant.

Yes, I realize that you were on TV last week, criticizing the president for his failure to prosecute puppy shredders fast enough.

Yes, I realize that in the last five elections, you have run on the platform that you would make it a federal crime to shred puppies, and your opponent ran on my current position, that the US DoJ should leave puppy shredders alone. Yes, I realize that as a result of your position, you got 99% of the vote and your opponent disappeared into disgrace and obscurity.

Yes, I realize that many people write you all the time, demanding the federal government do something to stop the shredding of puppies, and nobody ever petitions you to leave puppy shredders alone. Today, that changes. I am the first.

The first of many. I promise you, there is a growing movement in this country that puppy shredders should be protected and the shredding of puppies unimpeded. I reluctantly admit that none of us pro-shreddists ever vote (or we vote for anti-shreddists because voting for shredders would be "throwing our vote away" and we're too cowardly to do that), and the anti-shredders have a well-established voting record. Sure, if you adopt our position and do what I say, you will lose your re-election race. I urge you to reconsider anyway. In a century or two, you will agree that history was on our side.

Break your word to the president, doing it openly and publicly in a hilarious over-the-top display of hypocrisy. Impeach him for doing what you constantly demand he do. Because really, if you read the constitution, the power to prohibit puppy shredding is clearly just not in there, anywhere.

P.S. No, I am not yet trying to have you recalled based on your horrible unconstitutional anti-shred vote. I'm waiting to see how well your impeachment process against the president goes. If you succeed, that'll give me hope and I'll go ahead and try to have you dragged through the mud too. If you fail to successfully get the required votes to impeach, or if you don't act upon my petition, then the pro-shred movement probably lacks steam and I'll give up and leave you alone.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't write, because at you mention near the end, you really are correct. And as you allude to in the paragraph before that, in a few centuries, people may hold your letter as an important document of the proto-beginnings of a new phase in US policy.

I just don't think the person you're writing to, is going to join your side. :-) The voting booth is the right tool for this job.

Comment Re:Well, who would be the replacement? (Score 1) 800

Which party exactly is the party of limited government and civil liberties? It sure isn't the Democrats or the Republicans, and it sure isn't the Libertarians either as they are now thoroughly politicized.

Waitasec.. if you don't like Libertarian politics, ok. We can fight about that another day. But what did you mean by "thoroughly politicized" as though it were a bad thing, rather than a good one? (Beyond even "good thing," I'd say it's the one and only thing that makes any party legitimate!) How could that, of all things, be a barrier to small government? It's practically the only hope of small government, as far-fetched as it may be, or as undesirable as non-libertarians may think it would be.

If you don't want parties to be politicized, then what do you want them to be? What else could any party ever possibly be any good for?

Isn't the whole reason Democrats and Republicans suck, as opposed to being merely subjectively "misguided" in the eyes of half the country, that those two parties are largely non-political; that they're corrupt at the expense of ideals? i.e. they're "sellouts?"

So-called "conservatives" get elected and spend bigger than LBJ and respect constitutional limits less than FDR, and whatever ideals they do hold (where they actually do have politics (as fucked up as they may be)) and don't sell out, are more about mysticism than conservatism (a Republican talking about biology or weather, sounds just like a hippie talking about chakras).

(Some progressive/liberal can step forth and explain how the Democrats let them down and seem largely non-political; I could present the position but I don't think I could do it full justice.)

You're flaming Libertarians for not having done that yet, for still being political?! Dude! Stop that. I don't shit on Communists for remaining political instead of selling out; I admire and revere the foolish far-seeing myopic demented heroic wise idiot uncompromising enlightened unenlightened bad-ass motherfuckers.

Comment Impeachment for following our orders? (Score 1) 800

It will take people like you, voting against this kind of stuff, instead of everyone's current policy of constantly voting for it, every election, by a 99-to-1 overwhelming supermajority.

Congress can only impeach presidents for activities that go against what Congress wants. And even if a President goes against what Congress says they want, they can't really reasonably do it for things that Congress approved and encouraged (even if they felt bad about it, changed their mind later, or make up some other excuse). That's why it was so hilarious when people wanted Congress to impeach Bush .. over the useless expensive war that Congress authorized! ;-)

If you would like to live in a country where Presidents get impeached for this sort of thing -- where this is reasonably seen as struggling against the other branches of government rather than acting in concert with them -- then you need to start voting against Republicrats in Congress. Get people in there who will say "no, don't do that," instead "I demand that the president do that."

If you're not willing to do that (and to be fair, lots of people have lots of excuses for why they vote for Republicrats) then seriously: STFU about impeachment, treason, etc. Those are "advanced topics" for people to use after they've voted, in the event they don't get the government that they voted for.

Comment Re:Simply put... No. (Score 1) 589

That is a good idea, but I'd hardly say it's a solution to the problem being discussed. All that means, is that they don't try to dodge bad shots. It doesn't solve the problem of lots of good shots, and tech advances favor adversaries eventually taking good shots. You can't count on them all being Stormtroopers.

Comment "Math" = "relatively larger numbers"? (Score 1) 589

Am I pedant, or just a bully, for wishing harm upon anyone who uses the word "math" to mean relatively large numbers?

If player A scores 4 points and player B scores 6 points, I say player B won because he has a higher score. But this fuckwit says player B wins because of math. And that makes me want to kick him in the face. Is it just me?

Comment Let me get this straight (Score 1) 432

I haven't seen the movie in question, but if I understand you correctly, you're saying that if computer-y things worked like they did in the movies, it would be bad.

Does this mean I should turn off the beep that plays every time a character is displayed? And I should get rid of the "security override" button on my login screens?

Comment Re:Bad idea. (Score 2) 505

I think his point is that if a cop does that in 2013, a judge and/or jury will believe he got the right suspect, since most people don't have (or see) open wifi so it's a hard-to-believe defense (and yes, in real life, criminal justice is based on preponderance and likelihood of evidence, not proof). "The defendant says he has an open AP? Nobody I know does that. Sounds like bullshit."

If open wifis were the norm, then abusive cops might still be hauling people to court, but the "evidence" would be worthless. The judge or everyone on the jury would think "There are ten open APs in my neghborhood too, just like this defendant says his is. The fact that his IP was used, doesn't really suggest anything to me about his guilt." Cop still gets the pleasure from the power trip of harming innocent people, but his conviction rate (i.e. a certain measure of his penis size) is low. Eventually, everyone can tell he's the bad guy. His 2013 equivalent, in contrast, is a shining example of justice-giver.

Comment Re:Now to fix Android remotes... (Score 1) 146

What moron uses a mouse?

If you were a character in a movie and said that near the beginning, I would write a scene immediately following that, where you have a nightmare about slowly scrolling through long lists, and .. *shudder* .. not having a scroll wheel.

If it's a Freddy Kruger type movie, then that's it for you. You're dead.

Same applies if it's a nature documentary. A predator got you while you were wasting time scrolling or searching or sorting, or your own prey escaped.

If it's one of those "some guy finally gets a clue" type movies, then you'd wake up in the morning and realize that the "Ten Foot Interface" guys are working on something which is maybe a little .. faddish? .. and there really aren't very many of these people compared to the computer interface industry+hobbyists at large, and the TFI guys have only really been trying hard, for a paltry decade and half. Their "Best and Brightest" aren't stupid and I never would say they are, but they're from a very small pool, haven't had much time, and right now they're a decade or three behind the state of the art -- competing with the refined results of several decades of development in file managers. It's damn slick compared to people manually working with videotapes, so people loved it around the turn of the century , as it really was a major upgrade in entertainment systems. But .. something's not quite right. It's almost as though organizing and presenting videos from among a list, is Just Another Form of a Long Understood Problem which Top Men have been Tuning For A Long Time.

Throw in the fact that sometimes you use the same room for things other than finding and playing videos, and you'll realize that creating lircd entries for the game-of-the-week you've been playing, isn't really the best use of your time. You're going to have a mouse and keyboard in there anyway... Once you figure out where to put them (a non-trivial problem for some rooms, I'll admit) you just might find yourself looking contemptuously at the coating of dust on your IR or bluetooth remote.

If it's a super-hero gadgeteer movie, I suppose you'd end up with some kind of complicated handheld remote with a scroll wheel and full keyboard and maybe a trackpad(?) all integrated into it. You would successfully fight crime with your super-remote most of the time, getting by just fine, and sometimes to pretty nifty effect. The gadget itself is ok. But make no mistake, I put your reliance on this ridiculous gizmo into the story, as a potential weakness that I could sometimes exploit for dramatic effect.

Comment Other things which are probably true (Score 1) 85

Humans working in government are probably not listening to your unencrypted phone calls or reading your unencryped emails.

If you forgot to lock your front door this morning, a burglar is probably not taking advantage of the situation.

Even if you skip your dog's rabies vaccinations, it probably won't get rabies.

If you drive home drunk tonight, you will probably arrive safely, and without hurting anyone else or facing serious criminal consequences.

North Korea probably doesn't intend to nuke anyone.

If you run with scissors, you probably won't trip and accidentally stab yourself.

Comment Thank-Sothoth for China (Score 1) 475

Tip: search the 'net by SoC names. Maybe start off by googling "mtk 6577 gsm android" (if, say, you use T-mobile (GSM)). There are a few others but that's a good one to start with. Check out the phones' features and prices.

Here is what you'll find, which (imho) wasn't quite the case a couple years ago: the "subsidized" prices of the carriers' phones these days, is only just barely competitive! You don't need to accept a locked phone from your carrier anymore. You don't save money -- NOT EVEN [much] UP-FRONT MONEY -- by taking the deal. (And you definitely lose money, over the long haul.)

It is outrageous that assholes in DC say you're not allowed to work on your own computer, so by all means I still advocate repealing DMCA. But in this particular scenario, it's a nearly dead issue. Locked phones will be a thing of a past soon, I think.

Comment Re:Who loves USA (Score 1) 377

When you actually talk to the people there, like myself, you find NO ONE wants to be like the US. It's just that we're all too lazy and pissed (as in beer) to bother with politics.

So you hate the government and its policies but you are too apathetic or demoralized to do anything about it. I understand. Hey, you know who you sound like? Us Americans. You people are just like us. :-)

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