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Comment Re:Pincus strikes again (Score 1) 377

The problem is that Pincus has a history of building up a large and popular product, getting a decent-sized population of users, then destroying it through poor management or general asshattery (see Why anyone thinks he's a good CEO is beyond me.

Because he's smart enough to IPO or otherwise exit his POS companies before they implode. The people who back his ventures with initial capital make fortunes, and only the late-stage and retail bag^H^H^Hshareholders gets fucked.

Hence the rise of the âoesuccessfulâ unsustainable company.

Over time, all companies either sell out or go to zero. The CEO who's unwilling to sell out because he loves his work, his customers, or his employees too much, is the one who rides it all the way from zero to billions and back to zero again. By the time he realizes it's time to sell, it's too late to sell. Cue the weeping and gnashing of teeth from shareholders of sustainable businesses like RIMM, SUNW, etc.

Comment Maybe it's just me... (Score 1, Insightful) 90

But as a conservative this just smacks of central planning and the old adage of picking the winners and losers. I have never seen any explanation of why Samsung should be punished like this instead of everyone because they all infringe on each other. Yet somehow the rules don't seem to be getting applied even remotely fairly...

Really, we need to jettison the entire punishment and start over if we are going to have patents. Keep the products on the market, but require that the company keep an accurate tally of how much it sells and regulaly cut a check for the fees on a quarterly basis. None of this ban the from the market crap unless it is such a clone of the competing product that it is a hair's distance from a trademark violation.

Comment Re:A real shame (Score 1) 278

Buddhism is also often considered a philosophy and not a religion. But many strains of Buddhism also contain clearly supernatural beliefs and I would consider the concept of karma and rebirth, which is afaik shared by all strains, to be supernatural. At least current scientific theories do not provide any mechanisms for that.

Comment Re:A real shame (Score 1) 278

Dawkin's viewpoint is not as dangerous as the religious version that you put forth, because his is based on the lowest common denominator

Lowest common denominator? Dawkin's viewpoint is hardly something that is shared by everyone or least most of them.

since different religions can't all be right (according to their own internal teachings, each is the only correct viewpoint), all but one of them must be wrong, and there's no evidence saying the last one is right, either.

First: If you look at polytheistic religions you will notice that "(according to their own internal teachings, each is the only correct viewpoint)" is not true. But this is not the main problem with this argument. Your idea of an religion being wrong is "There is at least a single teaching that is not correct." However even if that is true for all religions a huge number of their teachings can still be correct. Many religion also agree on some teachings and some also acknowledge this.

Since science agrees with the viewpoint that there is no explanation for the world that requires the supernatural, this just includes the last religion in the group of "must be wrong."

Uh, no. This is wrong on so many levels:
1. Even when it is possible to explain the world without the supernatural, that does not mean the supernatural does not exists. Occam's razor is useful heuristic for building scientific theories, but it is not a proven property of the real world. So even if you have a simple and natural explanation for something and a complex and supernatural explanation for the same thing, it is way more likely that the first explanation is true but it is still possible that the later one is true and the first one is false.
2. There are clearly explanation for the world that require the supernatural. I think you confuse this with "There are no observed facts, that require a supernatural explanation."
3. Science does not agree with anything. It is a process not a person who can agree on something.

And religions are anti-social. This is evidenced by the many variations of exclusion they preach, ranging from the gentle: "he who believes in me and is baptized shall be saved" (which translates to the anti-social "we exclude non-believers from our version of an afterlife");

There are many religions that have some concept how non-believers will be saved in their afterlife, e.g.: See the "baptism for the dead" practiced by Mormons. But even without that, the religious teachings can be right: Maybe there is an afterlife and maybe not everyone will get it. Not the believers exclude anyone from the afterlife then, but god does. You can then complain about God being anti-social.

But even if we go by the hypothesis that all religions are wrong, calling them all anti-social is still wrong. Religions are very efficient at bounding groups together. They will bound together huge groups passing barriers provided by nations and languages.

Even if we divide religions into "always gentle", "mostly gentle", and "violent", and decide that we can tolerate one but not another, then we're saying that one is "more right" than the others, perpetuating the problems that any supernatural viewpoint brings.

No, we are not saying they are "more right" than others, we are just saying that we can tolerate them. One religion can completely disagree with known facts but can still be easy to tolerate, because it teaches non-violence and other nice values. While a different religion can have no disagreement with known facts but impossible to tolerate because it seeks to kill everyone who is not a member.

Comment Re:A real shame (Score 1) 278

If you're talking about Soviet repressions overall, then (where the reason above does not apply) it's also about religious whackjobs - it's just that their religion was called "communism".

Communism is not a religion, it does not contain any kind of supernatural believes. If you want to call "communism" a religion you need to call "new atheism" or "humanism" religions as well. Communism mirrors some aspects of religion, like providing a system of values. But that is true for "new atheism" or "humanism" as well. Mirroring some parts of religion is just not enough to be call a religion. A reasonable definition of religion always must include a believe in the supernatural, otherwise there would be no difference between religion and ideology.

Comment Re:A real shame (Score 1) 278

You can not tolerate people who would kill over an insult, yes. But the insult is still also a problem, a much smaller one yes, but still a problem. An insult does not help a discussion in any way, it will not get anyone the revise their world view to the better. It may even make people more fanatic.

But compared to what Dawkins says, that is really just nitpicking. Tolerating or even holding supernatural beliefs does not make you tolerate people who would kill over an insult. It also does not make you a person who would kill over an insult either. And not holding or not tolerating a beliefs in the supernatural does not prevent you from becoming such a person or tolerating people like that. Dawkins just ignores that there most believers in the supernatural would never kill anyone over an insult. He also ignores that killing humans over a disagreement is something that happens everywhere and has nothing to do with the supernatural. He prevents that the real problem is fixed, because he makes people believe that this is an problem that would go away if no one would believe in the supernatural. He also prevents the building of alliances between believers and non-believers against fanatics.

His point is to start from the viewpoint that everyone who believes in the supernatural is defective, and should be fixed instead of tolerated.

And here it is where it starts to get really dangerous. This viewpoint is just as bad as "Everyone who does not believe in god is defective, and should be fixed instead of tolerated." It justifies taking away human rights from believers and can even by used to justify killing believers: "They couldn't be fixed, so we needed to kill them, otherwise we would have been forced to tolerate them."

Comment Doesn't harm anyone? (Score 1) 289

Some of the research out there is starting to show that consuming pornography over time changes the reward centers in our brains and impacts our ability to have relationships with the opposite sex. Some of it even suggests that over time there is a need for kinkier pornography because the normal stuff no longer has as much of a dopamine release as it once did. This applies to both men and women, and not just with visual pornography (reading erotica can be an issue as well). I'm not trying to make a case for a blanket pornography ban, but those who imply that consuming explicit media "harms no one" are starting to slowly find themselves on the losing side of the science.

Comment Re:Key theft != cracking encryption (Score 1) 268

Not really, even if you power off, the memory will still hold its contents for many minutes. Some bits may flip but that is not such a problem, because even with some flipped bits you can still recovery the key. Most of the time the memory image contains not just the key, but also an AES key schedule which is an expanded version of the key with huge amounts of redundancy. Even if a little bit more than 70% of the bits contain random values instead of bits from real key schedule the real key can still be recovered within a few minutes: Applications of SAT Solvers to AES key Recovery from Decayed Key Schedule Images

Comment's still there, you know (Score 1) 255

Similarly, I knew a few people who were involved in serious discussions of Middle-Eastern history, and found a similar problem: Any mention of Armenia would trigger a flood of bot-generated messages, some megabytes in size, from the Turkish crowd trying to interfere with anything that might mention the Armenian genocide. (Hmmm ... I wonder if they're watching this discussion. ;-).

Ah, the Serdar Argic "Howling Through The Wires" 1994 USENET World Tour. With T-Shirt from net.legend Joel Furr. And a net.poltergeist horror story from that summer. Good times, good times (dot exe).

I miss the web we lost, but I really miss the NET we USEd.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 412

Yes, it is often confusingly lumped in to atheism.

Exactly and everyone knows that this meaning of atheism also exists. And like every word with multiple common definitions it is usually easy to determine the meaning of the word "atheism" from the context. Both believers and atheists like using this kind of meaning of the word atheist. This articles headline does not say: "Antitheist blogger Sentenced To 3 Years in Prison For Insulting Islam". But if we use your favored definitions the headline should have been this. Because it is pretty clear that he was not sentenced to prison because of his missing belief in god but because of his vocal antitheism. Precise definitions are good, but to not be bigot people have to use them everywhere and not just were they like them. And not at one place say stuff like 1."Atheism is just disbelief in god, nothing else. For this reason atheism alone can never be the reason for any foul dead." and then at next place when someone mentions that atheists in the soviet union killed a huge number of people answer with 2."These were not atheists, they were following a political religion." If atheism is just disbelief in god and nothing else then it just does not matter if people without a belief in god were also subscribers of political religion, they are still atheists as long as they do not believe in god. There are reasonable definition for atheism where 1. is true and there are reasonable definitions where 2. is true. But there is no reasonable definition of atheism where both 1. and 2. are true.

This is why I'd imagine we would agree that precision makes way more sense, and to attach single word descriptions to complex things is not a great idea.

Precise definitions are a good thing, however they should not be abused to make discussions about topics very hard. If someone is using a bad definition, but the context clearly allows determining what kind of definition is used, then please just suggest a better word and still answer the argument, arguments are not void, just because they could have been more carefully worded.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 412

It is also often labeled "atheism", e.g.: when Dawkins and others came to fame for their antitheist writings, this movement was not labeled "New Antitheism" but "New Atheism". "State atheism" is not just a missing believe in god by a state, but the active promotion and thus antitheism by a state. Or see the "American Atheists" also clearly an organisation that promotes a certain worldview and not just active disbelief. Here is a snipplet from Madalyn Murray O'Hair opening speech at the supreme court:

An atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and enjoy it. An atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.(...) An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.

Comment Re:Modern Luddites (Score 1) 544

There was a time when >90% of all people had to be in agriculture, just to keep everyone fed. Now fewer than 1% are involved in agriculture, we grow way more food than anyone can eat, and somehow we still have jobs for most people.

Think of it from the POV of a business owner. Even if you can fire 80% of your workforce, you cannot simply rest on your laurels and pocket the savings: other businesses are out there finding new ways to outcompete you or make your industry obsolete, and you end up hiring people that can help you maintain your edge.

It turns out that human time is always valuable, and we find new things for people to do. Its a kind of stasis really: people have to learn new skills and do more creative thinking to remain employable. Brute force and repetitive thinking jobs are always at risk.

Those who are willing to learn and adapt have remained employed.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 412

Accepting that atheism can have at least two meanings (active disbelief or simple lack of belief), the notion that atheism is a religion has been debunked so many times.

The problem is that atheism has not just two meanings but at least three. There is also atheism as a term for a specific world view which does not only include disbelieve in god but also stuff like "religion is (always) bad for people", "it would be good if everyone else would also subscribe to a atheistic world view", "if you can not gather positive proof for something then it does not exist", "there is no supernatural, no afterlife, etc."
This kind of atheism is basically a religion minus the supernatural.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 412

Religious motivations are also not strictly theistic. It basically does not matter if people believe in god or the supernatural, neither is going to stop them from following violent and dangerous ideologies. People are good or bad with or without believing in god. It really does not make a difference. If the 20. century shows anything then that atheists are just as easy to trick into commiting horrible crimes as believers. Maybe even easier than believers.

Comment Re:My apologies (Score 1) 450

Figures, Best Korea would launch a satellite with a bad attitude. Pity, Japan's having pitching a fit over NK's poor angle of attack, but y'all just need to get over it - NK clearly has no inclination to just roll over and take it!

I've seen PR flacks spin before, but never seen the efforts land so flat. It's clear that you get mad props for trying!

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