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Comment Re:WTF is the point? (Score 1) 406

I assure you that the US, like other "great powers" don't help other countries by altruism.
For example, a third world country may have cheap labor, natural resources, a heavily polluting industry, etc... that can be exploited by the US. But a country that is starving or at war isn't productive, so the US sends "help". The worst part is that the third world country may actually do very well by itself but the more resources the country spends sustaining itself, the less are available for the US to exploit.
There may be other reasons, such as using other countries as buffers to keep conflicts out of our own territory.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 1) 631

You can get an Ubuntu minimal CD and don't select any package at install time.
Then you'll have a barebone system that allows you to install any package from the Ubuntu repositories (using the "apt-get" command). This way, you can have your distribution exactly as you like it. The only difficulty is knowing the package names, all the details are handled by the package manager.
In fact there is very little difference between Debian and Ubuntu when used this way. And Arch is probably similar too, except that it uses pacman instead of apt.

Comment NSA backdoors in algorithms ? I don't think so (Score 1) 128

Why would the NSA deliberately weaken crypto algorithms ?
Sure, that makes spying easier but it is also quite dangerous. Because if the vulnerability is found anyone can access the encrypted data, including the enemies.

Think about it : the NSA releases a "recommended" crypto package. Obviously, US companies will be much more likely to use it than, say, the Chinese. If this package happens to be weak and that the Chinese find out, US companies will be the most affected. Also, to spy on its own citizen, it is more effective to use the legal system than relying on broken algorithms.

To use broken algorithms as a weapon, I think it is much more effective to distribute it undercover as something that is "definitely not from the USA".

Comment Re:Maybe we shouldn't be remembering dreams (Score 1) 112

If there is an evolutionary reason it may be simply because the brain have things more important to do than recording the incoherent mess that our dreams are made of. Especially if we consider that dreams are the result of various thoughts and memories that may be available in other, much more coherent forms.

Comment How can one be proud of a lack of interest ? (Score 1) 163

IMHO, a true genius never dismiss things. Not reading Harry Potter is OK if the reason is "yeah, I may take a look later, but I have to finish this..." but saying "what will I learn from that ?" as a rhetorical question is a bit close minded.
After all, there *must* be something to learn from a book that made its author a billionaire, even if it is not evident at first.

Comment Re:How is this news? (Score 1) 617

Just wait a few hundred years before saying this.
The 18th century probably produced a ton of barely musical crap, and most of it is currently forgotten. What remains are a few genius works, such as Mozart's that stood the test of time.
I have no reason to think that it isn't the same today. Maybe in a few generations, when all the crap will be forgotten, our era will be remembered for its own genius.

Comment High security requires multi-factor authentication (Score 1) 303

Getting fingerprint data is easy for a determined attacker, you are leaving them all over the place, and yes, obviously, you can't change them. That's the inherant weaknes of biometrics.
That's why, for high security, you have to combine it with another factor, which might be a physical key or/and a password.

Comment Re:Should have done it on MTV (Score 3, Insightful) 762

There are plenty of variations of feminism, but the most vocal are the kind that don't just want to be treated as equals, they want to be superior.

Also, none of the smart geek girls I know are feminists, they don't have to.
They usually handle working around men quite well while still being feminine. In fact almost all of them prefer that to all-women workspaces. And if they do a good job (and they do because they are smart ;)), not only they get all due respect but they are also defended by their colleagues in case someone gets the wrong idea.

Comment Re:Out of jobs? (Score 1) 736

I don't think that robots will make things worse.

The idea is that even if the 1% own all the means of production they won't just sit there and let the 99% starve.
They expect top class service and goods, and for this they need highly skilled people. And these people don't come cheap, they need education, enough comfort to concentrate on their assigned task rather than in survival and a good pay to keep them working for you instead of your competitor. They will become the 5%.
Now the 5% also want their little comfort too. They won't be able to get top class service like the 1% but they can still get moderately skilled people to work for them, which, in turn, can create work for the lower skill people, and so on...
You'll end up with a pyramid, exactly like we have now, and like we had in the past. The jobs will change, but the idea is still the same.

Comment Re:iFixit it most useless website ever (Score 2) 52

Samsung manages removable batteries quite well.
Also, while most batteries can last for more than two years, they gradually decrease in capacity. Interestingly, people often blame software updates for the resulting decrease in battery life. By providing user replaceable batteries, it is possible to get back to full capacity and use the old battery as a spare. I did this for my last two phones.
As for Li-ion batteries that actually wore out and got replaced, it happened on 3 devices : an MP3 player, a laptop and a phone.
As for the safety argument, I don't buy it. Battery explosions are extremely rare and happen on genuine models as well.

I agree with you that most people don't bother with tearing down and fixing anything. But some others do, even if it is just for fun, and for these people, iFixit is great. Don't call something useless just because it is only useful for a limited audience.

Comment Re:NO NO NO (Score 1) 687

Solar works in Germany because it is supported by coal, gas and a bit of hydro.
In fact Germany have a high peak power capacity mainly due to their fossil fuel power plants. As a result they can easily absorb the fluctuations of their solar and wind plants, they can also buy nuclear electricity from France when it is cheap.

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