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Comment Re:I look forward to contributing to the fund (Score 1) 686

Strange. From what I have read of Xiph's attitudes (avoid patented methods at all costs and code around any you bump into), I can only see an SCO-like court case ahead. And if that happens, Xiph will get donations from me. Because I am an artist creating public domain works with free tools. So I dislike people who try to outlaw my tools. And obviously, publishing free art is simply impossible with the specter of licensing costs hanging above it. Yes, there is that "non-commercial" loophole. For now. Do I want my creativity to be at the mercy of a consortium?

Comment Re:Ignorant conclusion at end of article (Score 1) 241

The bodycount in those expendable countries (someone really should come and waterboard you every day for those words) will never be clear, since cause and effect are difficult to establish. 1.5 million Cambodians, as US policies in Vietnam allowed Pol Pot into power (the CIA actually funded and protected Pol Pot after his fall)? Decades of civil war in Angola using weapons supplied by the US and USSR? 200,000 communists massacred in Indonesia as CIA sponsored dictator takes over? Bloody repression in dozens of US client dictatorships all over the world? We could be talking about millions of dead. And there are still some hundred thousand American landmines in Angolan soil, so it's not over yet.

Comment Re:How are we supposed to understand this? (Score 1) 1671

She shouts a warning to turn around, they don't heed it (maybe they don't speak English, doesn't matter why).

So the US army has been in Iraq for seven years now and still sees no need to learn addressing the locals in their native language? That is utterly barbarian (and stupid) in itself. Your grandfathers invading Germany, Italy and Japan did not just have fluent speakers in every troop, but nearly all of them came back with a smattering of the local language (which is how words like pajamas and honcho entered your language). Now, for some reason those invasions worked out a lot better than the ones in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, didn't they?

Comment Re:How are we supposed to understand this? (Score 1) 1671

You might want to read up on the Algerian war of independence. The French army fought the insurgency with all the brutality needed to win. And they did win. The insurgency was crushed. But by that time their methods had antagonized the whole population of Algeria to such an extent that they rose up and drove every single Frenchman out of the country.
Every time any American in Iraq does something that is patently wrong and unjust, he creates another enemy. Those children in the van had relatives who are right now unlikely to piss on any American if he's on fire. Can you win a war against an exponentially growing enemy?
American leaders keep talking about hearts and minds, but they are not walking the walk. Until they do, this will be drag on and cause ever more deaths on all sides. Which, BTW, I'm not happy about. I rather like most Americans. Because you're funny.

Comment Re:People work on the "easy" problems (Score 1) 195

I wish someone would finally notice that the Flash player is a closed, commercial product, so the fact that its Linux version sucks hardly reflects on the quality of free software or its development model. Strangely enough, the only piece of software on my computer that truly sucks dump trucks through a straw is that Flash plug-in. It also happens to be the only bit of non-free software here...

Comment Re:Free Content? (Score 1) 43

Mind, by that logic the porn industry would be entitled to a much bigger share. I buy a hundred CDs a year, underground music, though, and I do not download non-free music. I would be pretty pissed off at a RIAA tax on my net connection - especially as none of the independent musicians I listen to would get a dime of that.

Comment My heart bleeds (Score 4, Insightful) 174

The NSA tapping American phones? I would feel really bad about that, if I did not just recall that I'm European and that the NSA requires no warrant or reason to invade my privacy. It was expressly created for that. Do not expect me to feel sympathy when a Chinese agency snoops on your communications. You never gave it a thought whether indiscriminate spying on 'them danged furriners', i.e. me, was ethically justified.

Comment How well does it read and write MS Office files? (Score 1) 165

Unfortunately that is the first criterion by which I must judge an office suite. I see the occasional customer accidentally saving files as DOCX, but nobody has ever asked me whether I do OASIS documents, as well. So any word processor I use must first scale that mountainous mess of MS file formats to be at all useful to me.

Comment Re:If I were sleep deprived (Score 1) 469

Quite a few Fortune 15 companies have not been doing well recently and many of the decisions that have led them there have appeared deranged in hindsight, be it derivatives trading or persisting with the production of monstrous SUVs in times of skyrocketing oil prices. Thank you for the insight into how that might have come about.

Comment Re:It Is Rated R! #6 for Opening Weekend! (Score 1) 448

The worst director's cut I have seen is Monty Python's Meaning of Life. It simply ruins much of the film. Avoid at all costs or you'll be left wondering why people are raving about the genius of the thing.

Crime #1: They've cut out the Crimson Insurance intro. Which makes the later attack of the pirates look about as meaningful and funny as a giant mechanical spider in a western movie...

Comment A generation of equally asses (Score 1) 115

A generation taught to read online will be very rarely exposed to the kind of polished prose that can teach you both style and clear thinking. Almost any book ever published has been first rewritten by its author once or a dozen times and then vetted by an editor for spelling, grammar, style, structure and contents. Just about everything on the net is first draft - this present post included.
So it is not just the atrocious apostrophes, the equally asses, the complementary compliments and their brethren that will haunt them, but a flabby race-to-the-first-post argumentative style that has no patience for intellectual rigour.
Mind, that goes for us old farts, too. Lately, I have been forcing myself off the computer and into the library to refresh my ear for language with past and present masters of the craft. Reading good literature - as opposed to paperback fantasy and such dross - is a revelation. You can see the time the author has lavished on the crafting of his/her sentences to make them both beautiful and persuasive carriers of argument.
I wish there was a way of transferring this to the internet, but, although many blogging sites allow authors to tinker with their posts, it would be futile to go through several drafts, as there are no readers to dig into bygone articles to see how they are shaping up after five months of revisions...

Comment Re:S/he (Score 1) 849

I'm a Finnish translator. The differing approaches to sex denomination can cause quite a bit of pain when translating passages of stories with protagonists called just 'he' and 'she'. Usually, we end up using their names, if available, or clumsy constructions like "the woman says", "the man went". It is entirely possible to write whole novels in Finnish without giving away the protagonist's gender. It's been done, too. Yes, we have a few gender specific job descriptions, like the speaker of the parliament is the 'puhemies' - the 'speaker man' - which got somewhat awkward as soon as the first woman got the job and had to be referred to as Madam Speaker Man...
So, no, sex is not automatically conveyed with anything in Finnish. And we do not address people by name in every other sentence, like Americans, either. Determining the sex of an online Finn can be tricky. :)

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