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Comment Re:Does *any* industry start a new union anymore? (Score 2) 761

Maybe, just maybe, you're confusing cause and effect there? Government workers aren't mistreated quite as much as, say, people working in an Amazon warehouse because they are unionised. Among other things, obviously: the government has a harder time mistreating people because there is some sort of political and democratic oversight. For the same reason, the government can't appear to be suppressing worker organisation. And of course government workers are usually more highly trained and less replaceable than warehouse workers.

For the record I have no idea if parent's assertion that government workers in the US are strongly unionised and my assertion that they're less mistreated bears any resemblance to reality.

Comment Re:Unions are archaic (Score 3, Insightful) 761

Facilitating communication is, at best, a secondary (if necessary) function of unions. Unions serve as collective bargaining platforms to somewhat level an otherwise inherently unbalanced power relationship. I don't know about the specific unions you're talking about, and I don't care. There are many kinds of unions, and they don't share many attributes regarding their internal structure. I do know that fundamentally nothing has changed regarding the imbalance of power.

Unions may be archaic, but so is human society.

Comment Re:Disgousting behaviour (Score 3, Interesting) 560

So, this is the poll you're referring to: http://www.people-press.org/2011/08/30/muslim-americans-no-signs-of-growth-in-alienation-or-support-for-extremism/

The actual wording in the poll is (in English, who knows what the poll said in Arabic, etc): "Suicide bombing/other violence against civilians is justified to defend Islam from its enemies..." (and then select one of Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never, Don't know)

It's fairly bizarre to conflate suicide bombing specifically with an abstract range of things, violence against civilians. Violence against civilians could mean all kinds of things to different people, it's quite vague. The wording implies that only suicide attacks against civilians are relevant, not (military) suicide attacks against non-civilian targets, another thing to misunderstand.

Civilians itself is the key word, I guess, our assumption would be that violence against civilians is not permitted almost per definition, civilians being exactly those people who are not to be targeted. But clearly, Western armed forces have had a pretty tough time figuring out who is a civilian and who isn't in recent conflicts -- usually erring on the side of calling somebody an armed insurgent. We just define our problem away.

Next, the question whether an attack is justified. Under Protocol I of the Geneva Convention (caveat IANAL!), killing civilians can be legal in certain circumstances, you just have to try to avoid it, or not know about it (despite due diligence), etc etc. Calling that a justification of an attack on civilians is a bit twisted, but it's a legal framework. And of course it happens all the time, legally, and without any serious repercussions. The US hasn't ratified Protocol I, BTW. To be fair, the wording of "against" civilians sort of implies an attack where the civilian casualties are the objective, and not just involved. But that's a fairly fine point to make, people are being asked to answer a poll, not write a paper.

Defend is another fun word to toss in there, as I assume many subjects wouldn't consider your average terror attack an example of "defense". Or maybe they do, whatever, we don't know, it's pointless to argue about it.

Defending Islam strikes us as odd, because that ain't a country, but first of all the question/sentence was written by Pew, subjects were not given a choice of slightly rephrasing it (I guess their best option to deal with a false premise is DK or possibly no answer); second of all defending Islam isn't any stranger than defending freedom or the free trade and if anything it's less strange than fighting a war on terror or on drugs.

The final "its enemies" ties the whole thing up neatly, going back both to the point about who's a civilian and who's not and to the point about defense.

There'd be more to say, but I am all out of words.

Comment Re:You continue to claim you understand? (Score 0) 470

Posts like these are why I mostly stopped reading Slashdot after a decade or so. I can take the trolls. I don't care about dupes or bad summaries or even off-topic stuff, I come here for the discussion. But when even the people who seem to have something worthwhile to say continue to make an ass out of themselves on formal grounds, there is just not much signal left in the noise.

Comment Re:Your are missing the point (Score 2) 333

The best method we have for judging whose truth is the right one is observation and logic.

Yes, but how do we establish whether a certain observation was made or whether certain logic is sound? Or, from another perspective, given a situation where different people communicate different truths, how do we deal with this situation? These things matter when you make decisions as a group. But I guess that's politics, not science -- point taken.

But still... I guess you could take the position that the hive mind is better than any individual at making the kinds of factual determinations we're talking about, so even if you come to a different conclusion, it's safer to bet on society than on yourself. Not that I'm saying this is the right decision for every person in every situation (since there wouldn't be any progress in this case).

Comment Re:Imaginary Numbers (Score 1) 245

How would you honestly come by such a figure, when there are myriad sources that can cause health issues (including people who smoke!)?

Well, we're not talking about any pollutant here, just greenhouse gases, and mostly CO2 when we're talking about energy.

I agree that it's not straightforward to establish a cost figure. So I guess one way to do it is set a goal of total emissions, run a few models to establish a tax amount that'd get you close according to those models and then run it in the real world and adjust in both directions appropriately. I guess you'd ease society into it by lowballing the tax and gradually increasing it until it you get to your intended goal.

I wouldn't want immediately toxic emissions to be handled in the same way because I don't want an individual plant to emit those at will and only subject to financial limits. But CO2 seems more like a finite resource than a toxic emissions.

Comment Re:Has to be bash (Score 2) 477

Embedded systems may not have a full featured shell. So even relying on shell scripting won't help.

Embedded systems usually use busybox, which can support a full-featured shell (even bash specific extensions, optionally). Most of the embedded systems I've looked at include at least ash support, so if there's any need to do scripting, shell script is the obvious choice. Anything else is likely to require more system resources.

Comment Re:TV Series! (Get good writers) (Score 1) 396

Yeah, but once Hollywood is done with it the series will be called Gotham Junior High...

Some exec at the WB requested almost exactly this in the late '90s after Batman:TAS ended -- they wanted a show with Bruce Wayne and most of Batman's rogues galley as high school students. Apparently it was bandied around for a while and eventually split into two separate ideas, an animated show about a teen Batman and a live action show about a fledging superhero in high school. These became "Batman Beyond" and "Smallville", respectively.

Comment Re:Run Away! Right in Front of Your Family (Score 1) 1198

Actually, it's not legal to videotape/shoot photos inside of a McDonalds and the employees overreacted to this ... that's my point ... and you missed it ... completely.

I don't know about the law in France, but in the United States it is perfectly legal to photograph in any public place. That said, most citizens and law enforcement are ignorant of this fact, and people are routinely hassled for photography. Sometimes their photos are forcibly erased (which actually _is_ against the law). Places might have a "no photography" policy, and if they tell you to leave and you don't, then you are trespassing, but that is usually their only remedy under the law.

Besides, under normal circumstances this device does not save any information, and is not "videotaping" or "shooting photos". It's a bit like assaulting someone at a concert for wearing a hearing aid.

Comment Re:Solutions for Linux, less for XP (Score 3, Interesting) 442

What about chain loading XP from the Canonical boot loader?

Secure Boot only looks at the first boot loader to see if it's certified. Whatever happens after that is anyone's guess.

--
BMO

It's not likely that the Canonical boot loader will allow chain loading XP. Any signed UEFI boot loader that boots an unsigned operating system will be doing so under threat of their own key being blacklisted.

Comment Re:No OS support. (Score 1) 565

A dead pixel on a high-res display is not as big an issue as on a low-res one, and a dead pixel on a high-dpi display is a smaller issue, still. Almost nobody is going to notice an individual dead pixel on a 250+ ppi display. A stuck-white pixel might be more noticable, not sure how easy they are to see if they're really tiny.

Comment Re:As we move into Memorial Day and Americans reme (Score 2) 225

And the fact that you eat "beef" and "veal" instead of Cu and Cealf is an artifact of the French conquest of England. Not sure what any of this has got to do with the military threat any country or group of people poses to another in modern times, though. "Skirt" is an artifact of the Scandinavian people invading England -- better watch out for those Norwegians, I hear they're still on a spree of rape and pillaging through Central Europe!

Comment Re:I laught at the western countries when I look (Score 4, Insightful) 209

I think the hope is that pollution standards will (continue to?) rise along with living standards in Asia, and at that point the West will already have developed certain practices and technologies that the newly developed countries can adopt. E.g. the price of PV panels has dropped significantly in the past years (along with the energy required to build them), fueled by an increase in demand in the Western countries. If it drops a bit more, it'll be cost effective enough to at least be a part of the strategy dealing with the rapidly increasing energy needs of the Asian countries. That's just the general argument and you don't need to "believe" in PV power generation to buy the argument itself.

Of course that's just one part of it, there's also the fact that despite much better environmental regulations, our per-capita emissions are still much worse (even you don't consider "exported" emissions via product manufacturing) and of course the fact that we've been emitting for a much longer time than the newly developed countries[0]. Those are moral arguments, the first one is more utilitarian -- e.g. even if you don't think per-capita emissions should be the important figure, the argument holds water.

[0] We have been emitting since the industrial revolution, that is. I wonder, though, considering the growth of both population and world economy -- 28% of the human hours lived were lived in the 20th century and, incredibly, "over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010" --, if the (CO2) emissions of the past 10 or 20 years don't exceed all emissions made prior to that.

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