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Comment Re:Great Deal (Score 4, Interesting) 308

Now, if the cinema was playing older movies or classics along with the new releases, that might start to get interesting.

I have often thought that a cinema with smaller rooms and a giant database of TV shows and movies that you could rent by the hour would work. Want to watch 20 hours of Buffy or Star Trek with friends? Groovy, get some comfy chairs, a big screen, and all the popcorn you can pay for. Soundproofing and a private screening means you can yak it up.

But then, I suppose people would prefer their own home cinema in a lot of circumstances, and unsupervised people in dark rooms...

Comment Re:Another reason not to buy Surface (Score 4, Insightful) 561

You don't understand what "Abusing a monopoly" means.

When you have a monopoly, you can apply pressure to other people, knowing that there is no competition for them to run to. If they have competition to run to, you aren't abusing anything, you are just being a damn idiot. This is Microsoft's product. The Surface is manufactured by Microsoft and is in every way theirs. They are allowed to make arguably stupid decisions when it comes to their own product, as long as there is sufficient competition that other people do not need to feel impinged upon by their mistakes.

If all UEFI bootloaders only accept this private Microsoft key, and if it turns out that's Microsoft's doing, that's one thing. However, in my understanding, other OEMs will probably take the publicly signed keys that Microsoft makes available. Microsoft surface, however, will not, which some people find disappointing.

Comment Re:Sweden doesn't have a judiciary? (Score 1) 234

Make no mistake about it, it was pressure applied to these companies to stop payment, and VISA may find themselves in the middle of two governments who differ in their interpretation of what is required here.

One side will say they were funding terrorism, and the money needs to be withheld (if not seized), and the other side will say there isn't sufficient legal basis to withhold.

When they became international money handlers, I bet they thought they could get all the perks of global power and none of the liabilities that come with governance. Certainly, the ones that inherited the company after decades of prosperity and peace thought so.

Naivete is so cute.

Comment Re:Kudos (Score 4, Insightful) 1061

By the same measure, discussing out loud in a public place plans to kill and harm people should be "protected" as a human right?

It's not bad because it's a crime, it's a crime because it's bad. When bad things aren't crimes, you should expect some amount of vigilante action, even if you fundamentally believe in civilization.

We as a nation can't find a middle ground between our principles and protecting the populace from hatespeech. When we do, vigilante action will happen less, or at least be less applauded.

Comment Re:Title is misleading (Score 1) 510

But some people don't try. They don't want to try. If given a choice between a free shack and a nice home they can work to afford, they will choose the shack. How do we get them to contribute something positive to society, and to take the risks that the safety net is intended to promote?

If you were content with your life, and someone was shouting that you ought to be more ambitious because of some principle they hold, how would you view them? Some people prefer to live in a shack because it solves a problem. For example, they may be paranoid or OCD, and not needing to work for a living cuts their stress tenfold. They may be hated by the nearby populace (racism, classism, religious prejudice, etc), and not courageous enough to go searching the country for a place where they belong. In each of these cases, trying to force them to work normally (or expecting incentives to work and thinking badly of them when they don't) is arguably the wrong choice.

In these circumstances, people are not contributing positively only because other factors are contributing negatively. If you want positive contributions, you have to solve their problems first, whether that's teaching them to solve their own problems, or incentivizing others to help them.

And by the way, saying "They don't try. They don't want to try." is expecting incentives to work, and thinking badly of people when they don't. There are a lot of things "I don't want to try because", which is different from "I don't want to try period." Some of them are curable fears, anxieties, etc. Some of them are based on opinions. Some are just cultural ignorance. But more often than you seem to give credit for, those reasons are, well, reasonable.

Comment Re:Perhaps Horsepower No Longer Equals Next Gen? (Score 2) 173

And, frankly, I'm a little disappointed that Sony ... haven't done a little innovating and created their own technology like SLI/Crossfire to connect several cheap GPUs for their heavy graphics lifting on their machines

The Cell processor (what that powers the Sony PS3) is a processor tech designed by Sony and if I remember right is meant to hook a whole bunch of fairly small GPU-like units (vector processors) together, usable for general programming rather than mostly graphics.

It's one of the reasons the PS3 cost so much, along with blu-ray. And the reason the cell processor cost so much is because Sony the R&D themselves instead buying off-the-shelf parts. If any of the console companies "does a little innovating" in hardware, they will have similar R&D costs.

Additionally, if the only (or just the first) place that these technologies exist is on a such platform, such as Sony with the Cell processor, it becomes a pain to program for that platform, and ESPECIALLY to port programs from one console to the next.

Comment Re:Everyone loves a winner. (Score 1) 881

The majority of mouth-breathing, drooling, sycophants with no knowledge or interest beyond their personal prejudices, greed, and entertainment... are getting exactly what they deserve.

You say that as though a generation ago, they held a vote on whether to be sensible or idiots, and all decided to be the latter. It didn't start with their generation, or the one before, or the one before. Everything iterates, slowly but surely. Whatever assholes in government and whatever dullards in the populace we have today are their answer to the life they had growing up.

What they deserve? Talk that way when they have a viable choice, and have MADE that choice wrong. And you'd better believe that it will continue if we don't find a way to give those after us a viable choice. You'll look at people that were born with the potential to be anything--good, bad, or indifferent--and complain that they "deserve" this, because of what we choose during our lifetimes.

Comment Re:Yes, and no. (Score 1) 135

Free and open societies may allow some injustices to occur. But the notion that totalitarian (not fascist) societies don't is just totalitarian propaganda.

Propaganda for a type of government is silly; the people actually in charge can and will make all the difference. The larger problem is that forms of government last across generations, and what might be right for one generation (a dictatorship with a benevolent king) can be terrible the next (the benevolent king's evil son). This is equally true with democracies, republics, federations, and all other forms of government; even anarchy might do alright for a generation or two before devolving into depravity and evil.

Part of the question of what government is best is about planning for this multi-generational span, and the modern answer (constitutional republics, especially with the legislative/judicial/executive breakdown) seem to do alright. However, especially now that the world's changing, we are getting a good look at some of the flaws, and I fear a little bit for the future. Given the complexity of the system, I wonder how it could possibly be fixed without someone using nearly dictatorial powers to overcome it.

And, naturally, the people involved may have different definitions of what a "fixed" system looks like, which is part of what makes it so dangerous to involve dictatorship...

Comment Re:Yes, and no. (Score 3, Insightful) 135

That's because laws are fixed. In any scenario, if you stare at fixed defenses long enough, you can find some way to get around them. What you need is a vigilant and trustworthy justice system that punishes attempts to get around the law.

It can happen, it's just that it comes closer to fascism than most people are comfortable with. If you want to punish abuses of the law, you have to say, "Even if the law would let you get away with it, I won't." That's not how most people view a free and open society, although arguably it is necessary to maintain one.

Comment Re:SCOTUS (Score 2) 203

Protesting is inherently public. As you protest, if you break more and more laws, you get less and less support, because everyone's watching you descend into madness.

Much of what the government does is behind closed doors. If they were to continue and break more and greater laws up to and including constitutional mandates, it's still happening in private, and each act has to be reported to get the same loss of confidence and support. The government breaking its own laws ought to be viewed with the same "slippery slope" glasses as terrorism, because in the same way, it can get out of control without you ever realizing it, and then explode all at once, destroying everything that was valuable about the system.

Comment Re:Interesting questions (Score 1) 112

Our society is based on the principle of specialization of labor. Until the printing press, there was no way you could expect to know how to do something technical like ruling or manufacturing--and I mean, you had no idea at ALL; you may not even know how to read or write, you had no idea what anyone else had ever thought unless someone told you person to person--unless you had access to good teachers, who were very scarce, and controlled by people with money, or by churches. With massive numbers of textbooks that were eventually printed, the average teacher could go from terrible (pre-books) to middling. With the internet, it can get a lot better, but that's a couple decades old at this point.

Understand that every generation since before humanity was humanity has seen learning and experience as something necessarily--not artificially--reserved for the few. Because we believe so strongly in specialization of labor, it makes intuitive sense that the people with that learning and experience control the flow of power. It's only when we see it actually happening that we realize that they're human--corruptible, distractable, foolish--and we seek to find the best candidate to fill any given position.

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