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Comment Re:Say what? (Score 1) 433

I've never met one of these mythical windows fanboys. Can someone point out to me where they are?

Actually, read any story about Apple, Mac, or OS X on The Register and chances are the Windows Fanbois and Microsoft Apologists will be out in force making disparaging comments. Especially if the article points out a flaw.

(To be fair, the Mac Fanbois tend to do the same thing in Windows or Microsoft articles, but you weren't asking about them.)

Comment Re:My $.02 (Score 1) 507

Hum... I don't fully agree with these arguments. I for one have an old IBM Thinkpad 486DX4 notebook, 24MB RAM, 512MB HD. It is still running Slackware 7.1, being able to decode MP3 through mpg123 and madplay. I'm running Xfree 3.x, FVWM or Blackbox, I can surf the Internet on Netscape 3.x and edit docs using Maxwel Editor. I'm not concerned about "security" here because it is not connected so often, and even though, I don't keep important information stored here. A 486 is a terrible thing to waste...

Comment Re:Canada (Score 1) 253

That's a great resource, thanks for posting it.

I read Bell Canada's history up to about 1905 and then skimmed onward from there. It did indeed become a monopoly through government mandated favoritism and also through some exclusivity contracts with the railways and aggressive marketing that would probably be illegal today. I couldn't find anything that suggested federal money was used for its networks in a direct way though.

Comment Re:Another success. (Score 5, Insightful) 106

At the least, we need to know if we can replicate fully the features and functions of embryonic stem cells. We'll need embryonic stem cells for that purpose alone. If adult stem cells don't work completely like embryonic stem cells, that means that we may need a supply of embryonic stem cells indefinitely as well.

Comment Re:Not a right (Score 1) 875

I'll rephrase the last part of my statement for clarity: "... then that eradication is morally right?"

Do I think so? No, but that wouldn't stop it happening if enough people wanted it to. While I don't think murder is morally acceptable, I can't provide a fundamental reason for that belief - I consider it axiomatic. I just wish everyone else were as realistic about the limitations of their philosophy.

The fact that some people commit murders is not evidence that murder is morally right. By the same logic, the fact that people's rights are often violated is not evidence that they don't have those rights.

No, but it is evidence that rights are not something fundamental to the universe, but instead reliant on active enforcement. Things which are fundamental and independent of human society, such as the laws of physics, cannot be violated even if everyone agrees to. People's rights, on the other hand, can, suggesting that they are not in fact fundamental and the whole concept of "natural" rights is a bit silly, really.

Comment Re:Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (Score 1) 239

fetishization of homeownership raised the default rate among the poorest buyers, who should have been renting

The poor should be renting and paying someone else's mortgage as well as paying them profits instead of paying their own mortgage? I can see renting when home prices are skyrocketing or if the renter is only going to be there a short period, but that's it. If you rent someone else is profiting off of you.

Are you seriously telling me that the mighty US financial industry lost hundreds of billions because of a modest, and highly predictable, increase in default rates of relatively small loans, often government backed, to known credit risks? Was that all it took?

Too many lenders made mortgages for more than borrowers could reasonable afford, I don't expect borrowers to know how much they can afford any more than the bank that lends them money, banks are supposed to be the experts. It didn't help that government encouraged mortgage companies to make those mortgages. Building regulations don't help keep cost down either, and may drive costs up.


Comment Hai thar (Score 1) 667

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Comment Re:Hinder development? Riiiiight.... (Score 1) 239

it was the Clinton administrations wet dream that everyone no matter how poor should own their own house that is the root cause of the current situation

And Bush's ownership society had nothing to do with it? When Clinton left office the budget was almost balance but under Bush it ballooned into the largest deficit ever. Though I hate to admit it Clinton cut government and Bush expanded it.

Republican presidents expanded government and a democrat shrank it.


Comment Re:What's the catch? (Score 2, Interesting) 239

In the (almost entirely hypothetical, at least at the retail level) neutral and highly competitive internet access market, demand for bandwidth is very high, because bandwidth is cheap and useful for almost anything. ... ISP margins are razor thin, and ISPs demand heavily commodified network gear, distinguished largely by price and simple packet passing capacity.

Welcome to a perfectly competitive world.

Any time a company is making billions in profits on something commodifiable, you have a market inefficiency.
And that reality is one of the disconnects that exists in the mind of "free market" conservatives.

Comment Re:I understand these modern times and all... (Score 1) 875

I have heard that Condorcet methods are used in a couple places, but I forget where.

Condorcet is probably the best one (though also most complicated, so it may not be suitable for nations where education is a problem, and democracy is a new thing - I wouldn't suggest it for Afghanistan, for example), but in truth virtually any non-majoritarian system for parliamentary elections is enough to break the two-party lock-in. Here is a handy reference table for electoral systems of various countries - as you can see, Finland, for example, isn't using runoff voting for parliament, but rather d'Hondt, which guarantees direct proportional representation, and lets parties get into parliament with (in Finland) as little as 3% of votes in a district.

Comment Re:Fingerprinting has never been scientifically va (Score 1) 103

The selection bias is only important if there's reason to believe that it has some effect on the item of interest. In this case, the dataset would be invalid if criminals have different fingerprints than non-criminals.

Besides, there are a LOT more fingerprints in databases than those of (reasonably) suspected criminals. More than enough to show there's no criminal-related bias. As an obvious example, perhaps you've noticed that the US is fingerprinting most foreigners who cross the border?

If all else fails you go to a university campus and get a bunch of non-criminals to volunteer their fingerprints. It wouldn't take an unreasonable number to show there's nothing special about the fingerprints of suspected criminals.

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