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Comment Since No One Has Pointed It Out Yet (Score 5, Informative) 348

'What do we get for that DRM?'

Did "we" vote on this? Let's look at their members list: Apple, AT&T, Facebook, Csico, Comcast, Cox, Google, Huawei, HP, Intel, LG, Netflix, Verizon, Yahoo!, Zynga and ... The Walt Disney Company. Seriously, are we really so daft that we sit here scratching our heads wondering why a consortium of those players and THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ended up including DRM? REALLY? There is a bill known as The Mickey Mouse Act in regards to excessive copyright that was passed into US law. And we're wondering how Disney might have influenced DRM as an option in a standard ... they're on the list, folks! Pull your heads out of your asses!

And those are just the companies I recognize that have a serious amount of money to be made on DRM (hello, Netflix?!). If I examine closer, there are much smaller players like, say, Fotosearch Stock Photography and Footage that sound like they would gladly vote for DRM in order to "protect" their products/satiate content owners.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 745

Most of the people living on welfare today made life choices that left them there. That's my fault?

Most? Citation needed. I'm just wondering what kind of tune you'd sing if you suddenly got leukemia.

NOTHING I did was the result of entitlement, family wealth, or favoritism. Certainly there was some luck, no doubt there.

But a lot of it had to do with other people being able to run a business in a stable environment, other people being able to go to school on public scholarships to pump money into the local economy, and having access to healthcare that allowed them to do preventive healthcare, instead of only showing up at the ER. THAT's what the real benefit of the social net is. You do not operate in a vacuum.

No, I don't agree that the unwashed masses have any entitled right to take MY money. I'd like very much to use MY hard-earned cash to improve MY kids' futures, not some poor kid. Crazy, right?

Yep. It's missing the point that you're not operating in a vacuum. Everyone you interact with has a life story that is probably far more similar to yours than you think. Furthermore, your kids' future is a lot of safer and stable in an environment where everyone has access to education, instead of only your kids being able to choose between a $20k/year school and one at $25k/year. If you're truly concerned about your kids future, you'd make sure that they not only have the basics covered, but that the large majority around them also have the basics covered. Otherwise, you're leaving it purely up to luck whether they succeed, or whether they get dragged back down.

unwashed masses

And there we have it. Damn dirty apes trying to take what's rightfully yours. But nobody better touch anything that you currently use that was developed with your and everyone else's taxes. After all, the only person that really matters is you. Your problems are the only real problems. Everything else is just people making stupid decisions. Especially things like getting sick.

But no, I don't accept your implication that somehow I'm a Bourbonesque lordling telling everyone else to eat cake

No - you're more like a junk-yard dog guarding his bone. Oblivious to everything beyond your turf; thinking only as far your current bone.

Comment Re:couldnt be worse than america. (Score 1) 266

What exactly is the difference between the two systems?

The fact that a) it isn't the board of directors you are accountable to, but billionaires, b) merely having an unpopular political opinion doesn't get you incarcerated, and c) you don't get incarcerated for drinking alcohol at a party, holding hands with a woman who isn't your wife or sister or get otherwise intimidated by the moral police.

And real democracies like Sweden are light years ahead of the US in the less-corruption department. I'm not saying they're perfect, but you simply don't get the same kinds of comments about those governments as you do about the US, even from citizens of those countries.

And my point is that part of the reason that that is the case is that those citizens are capable of a more nuanced analysis of a political situation. Yes, they also have apathetic idiots there, but the number of apathetic idiots both in the voter pool and in the politician pool in the US is staggering and scary.

Comment Too bad about the Chrome. (Score 1) 115

I had a Chromebook for about 3 days. Most of that time it was back in the box waiting for my next run to town to return it. I'd bought the Acer with a 320 gig hard drive expecting to either use it as a media player or torrent machine depending on which it did better. Neither. It can't access local network resources. And it couldn't handle any of my media files even tho they're h.264 and it's supposed to be able to play that format. So no media player. What about torrent clients? Nope. All I could find were remote control plugins to control clients running on other machines. When I complained about this on the official Chromebook forums I was told that it would be a lot of work to add local network support. Um...oooooookay. Oh, and, if I want to watch my local content, there are remote desktop solutions. I can just use those. Then W[hy]TF do I need the Chromebook?

I'm pretty Googleized with apps and drive and my android portables but the Chromebook was a real case of, "What the fuck is this shit???" I spent another $55 on a 'doze laptop and installed Chrome. Gives me all the Google integration I need without limiting what I can do with the platform.

Comment Re: Badly (Score 1) 497

As opposed to what - business? The more I work in IT, the more I become intimately familiar with how badly most projects go. The difference is that not each failed IT project at a business gets national attention, which is what happens for every government project.

There is only one real difference between a corporate IT project and a business IT project: who controls the red tape. In business, that varies with size. In government, it is ultimately controlled by the voter, and how much insistence there is on covering your ass when a failure invariably becomes public.

Incidentally, this also points to another difference between government and IT: in business, you can actually fail. The vast majority of business failures are accepted as part of the process. Government is not allowed to fail, and failure in any area is a huge issue, requiring huge amounts of red tape to provide political cover.

Either accept that government, like business, can fail, or quit demanding an impossible and non-existent perfection from it.

Comment Re:couldnt be worse than america. (Score 2, Insightful) 266

but both are controlled by the same group of billionaires so they dont really represent normal people

Cynical ignorance being passed off as insightful commentary. This is even worse than partisan idiocy - at least the partisans are fighting for something.

its at least refreshing to see a government say, "well, yeah your vote is meaningless" as opposed to the United States, where people become upset if you dont believe voting is important

How privileged do you have to be that you think that an autocratic government is better and more refreshing than a dysfunctional democracy? Here's a suggestion: if you think Azerbaijan is such a breath of fresh air, why haven't you moved there? Oh, right, because despite of how bad things are in the US, it is still light years ahead of dictatorships like Azerbaijan.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 745

I would however very much like to keep more of my income (that is, in small part, being used to subsidize other people's kids going to school) to pay for my own kids' education.

In other words: fuck you, I've got mine. Newsflash: your kids benefit far more from being in a society that is socially mobile than from being able to choose between a school that costs 20k a year and one that costs 25k a year.

More correct to say: "...Post-high-school education is becoming damn near unaffordable to the middle class, who are busily paying to educate the poor."

We've tried the approach of just ignoring the unwashed masses. It lead to a few revolutions, mass unrests and a general social instability that was far more costly than just installing a social safety and subsidizing education.

Comment Re:Not this shit again (Score 1) 754

Did you miss the part where the Industrial Revolution created huge unrest that was finally quelled by acceding to the demands of the freshly minted labour unions, social philosophers and practical statesmen who were tired of constant revolutions by the terminally poor and exploited?

We're on our way to another one. We can either try to learn from the past and ease the transition, or just say fuck it and see if we can reproduce a few Dickens and Hugo novels.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 5, Insightful) 745

The US' average education has been going downhill steadily in the last two decades or so. Post-high-school education is becoming damn near unaffordable to all but the wealthy, and even basic "participate in the world" type skills are getting worse.

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc., etc. are all American companies

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had upper-class parents. Zuckerberg was able to afford going to Harvard, Brin was born in Russia and Page was the son to a famous computer scientist. All you're showing right now is that the upper echelons of American society are going to be fine, and 1st generation immigrants are doing well too.

the Internet was created in America, not to mention the personal computer, integrated circuits and transistors. Or GPS, or air travel, or (going back a bit) the light bulb and audio recording.

All of which happened at least 40 years ago.

Most of the things that make the world the way it is today come from America.

Not really. Most of what makes the world what it is today came from somewhere else. Paper, rockets, computing and sewers came from somewhere else. We've had a brief supremacy spell after WW2 until about the early nineties. After that, it's been steadily downhill. We're still ahead of everyone else, but this is exactly like a racer thinking he's going to win a race after losing a wheel: he might still be ahead now, but that's not going to last very long.

And I see this type of short-sighted - actually, less than short-sighted; it is nothing but a snapshot analysis - far too often from Americans. Gloating that their GDP is still tops, that their per capita income is still tops, that they still dominate certain industries... without realizing that the gap is shrinking fast, and that the fundamentals are all wrong.

Comment Re:that's Obama's choice (Score 1) 193

Eye of the beholder, irrelevant to the question.

Not at all. Submitting a budget that has no chance of passing means the president dropped the ball.

The question is about the budgetary process. You're again conflating the process with the content. Nice try, but still irrelevant. You also missed the part where it is the official mission of the House majority party to oppose and denigrate every action the president takes. Even if it is something they were advocating days earlier. At that point, blaming the president for his budget not getting approved is merely advocating that the House controls the executive. I'm sure you agree that that is bad news when your team doesn't control the House anymore.

Obama has decided again and again to push through decisions against Republican objection, with the justification that his win entitles him to that. Well, he is learning that that's not the way it works.

And the House majority is learning that trying to push through the repeal of Obamacare by not agreeing to fund it is understood by everyone do be an endrun around the legislative process.

Absolutely. Question: what's a sensible budget? ... I'll settle for "a balanced budget."

A balanced budget without tax increases.

Says you. Furthermore, it again has nothing to do with the budget process.

No, only if the country ends up at the brink of default due to a breakdown in negotiations.

Negotiations require two parties. I'm just wondering why you think the current president needs to follow the wishes of a small faction in the majority party of the House of Representatives, whose reach doesn't even extend into the other chamber of Congress. That wouldn't happen to be because that small faction happens to be your home team, would it? No, I'm sure it's because you always oppose all tax increases. Including those that happened in the previous 2 decades.

Comment Re:that's Obama's choice (Score 1) 193

Yes, they were late


and were a joke at that

Eye of the beholder, irrelevant to the question.

And since Obama seems to have very particular ideas of what the budget should be like, it's his job to articulate them clearly


and come up with a budget that satisfies both him and the House.

Impossible. The Republican-led has made the decision to obstruct and chastise the president for every decision made. If he would propose a budget that had been secretly worked on by the Heritage foundation, Republican leaders would still blame it for putting the US on the road to socialism. See only commentaries made by House leadership on his decisions to visit Germany and what to do with Libya. In both situations, Republican leaders displayed remarkable cases of amnesia about what they had asked him to do previously. Nifty because in the case of visits to Germany, he was chastised when he went, and then chastised when he didn't go. In the case of Libya, he was first chastised for not acting, then chastised for acting. It was hilarious to see McCain twist when told that he was criticizing the President for doing what McCain himself had asked the President to do just earlier.

Furthermore, when Obama was a senator, he himself considered getting a balanced and sensible budget the responsibility of the president. We should hold him to that now that he is president.

Absolutely. Question: what's a sensible budget? Trick question: the country is far too divided to come up with an answer that will please everybody. I'll settle for "a balanced budget."

Finally, I'm just wondering: do you judge every president by whether he has presented a timely budget? Feel free to check out this list here if you have trouble answering that question:

Comment Re:We've already lost ... (Score 1) 130

I think you two are missing each other's point. Yes, the universe doesn't care what some particular think tanks puts out. However, a certain subgroup of the Great Apes family cares a great deal.

You can't just put out propaganda - at some point, the universe is just going to shit stomp everything. You can't just put out our best understanding of the universe - at some point, a certain subset of great apes with a lot of reptilian brain matter left over are going to have to be moved to action.

Unfortunately, to actually advance - and in this case, save - civilization, you need to be both right and a great orator. I know few people who are (and don't count myself among them).

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