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Comment Re:U.S. is established on religion, so (Score 1) 900

> Slavery.

You do know that to a useful approximation the entire abolitionist movement was rooted in Christian churches, right? Same for the Civil Rights movement a hundred years later. Meanwhile the godless social experiments from the French Revolution on were all horror after horror, mass grave topped by larger mass graves themselves topped by pyramids of skulls.

Even better food for thought. The underlying theory behind the successful American experiment requires a god, the whole "All men are created equal, endowed by their creator...." business was specifically designed to put fundamental human rights beyond the power of kings AND parliments. And I still haven't seen a god-free replacement that even shows promise as a competing philosophical basis for a free society. Which is kinda annoying as an agnostic, the best I can offer up is that our philisophical understanding is still rather primitive.

Comment Re:U.S. is established on religion, so (Score 1) 900

Exactly. Both ends are nuts. On the one end we have folks who hear the Monty Python "Every Sperm is Sacred" song and don't realize it is a joke. The other end is in favor of infanticide. One is nuts and one is evil, neither is a sensible position. Problem is that science can't settle this one and the only solution most religions offer is the one that is nuts.

The only solution possible is to recogize the problem, err as much on the side of caution when drawing the legal line as practical and get on with other problems. But the godless progressives made a Holy Sacrement out of hoovering babies out of feminist wombs and refuse to even debate any sort of compromise position even as almost every progressive legal scholar now admits Roe V. Wade was a horrible decision.

Comment Re:U.S. is established on religion, so (Score -1) 900

> once you realize that religions deal with a problem domains which are important but not susceptible to the scientific method.

Which is my major beef with militant athesists, they almost to a man refuse to believe that part. They insist their God, Science, can indeed answer the big questions of Life, the Universe and Everything. But of course it can't. Science stops at the Big Bang, not a femtosecond beyond that line can it go and still be science.

Which is why as an Agnostic I find all 'believers' suspect. Anybody claims to have The Truth and I just giggle, give us another thousand years and we might.

Comment Re:It's a difference in perspective. (Score 1) 348

> Is Angry Birds going to steal the corporation's payroll records?

No, Angry Birds isn't malware. But if you get access to install any app IT has to trust you not to be stupid enough to install some crapware with a spyware payload. They might trust YOU, you read slashdot after all, but what about Ms. Blond Bimbo in HR? Do YOU trust her not to get infested and compromise every file she has access to, including YOUR personnel files? That is the sort of thing that keeps IT folks and the lawyers awake at night. It isn't just because they are assholes who dont want you to have Angry Birds.

Which is why in the end this pendulum will swing back just like it has done before you young iProduct buying punks learned to read. First it was the PC busting up the iron grip of the Lords of the Mainframe. But it was no time before IT brought them under their iron grip again, because leaving critical company info laying around on some mid level manager's PC was not viable. Same thing happened with cell phones. Now the cycle will repeat with tablets. You can't let random employees load up the most vital assets of the company in their personal hardware and carry it out the door, and without long drawn out contract negotiations it won't be staying in the cloud either.

Comment Re:Unsuitable for teaching (Score 1) 161

Stop with the $25. That is just marketing, I doubt they actually expect to move the first one of those because they are pointless. You need a keyboard and mouse and the Model A only has one USB port. Good luck finding a hub cheap enough that it doesn't make more sense to just spend the extra $10 for the Model B and get a network port as a bonus. As if network is optional these days.... unless you are going WiFi but price that out... along with a hub. Not to mention that running much of anything modern in 128MB ram is going to be a challenge; and that is before the main processsor (the totally closed GPU) scarfs up a huge ass chunk of that minimal memory load.

So lets break it down. $35 for the Model B plus a power supply for $5. Now you still need a case and I doubt those will be cheap, call it $15. Add in a USB keyboard and mouse for another $10. Yea it is still fairly cheap but now we need to ask WHAT the HELL it can actually do that a surplus P-III can't? Or if you want the I/O ports and are doing robotic/embedded stuff instead of a wierd desktop on a TV what could you do with the existing AVR stuff for really cheep. Or better, buy an Android phone or tablet, root it and thar ya go. You get a screen and perhaps some sensors for under a hundred if ya shop careful, see eBay.

Comment Reality is coming (Score 3, Insightful) 161

Dunno, I was in the same camp, no way they would actually ship at the stated prices, expect a doubling which would make it too expensive to be interesting. Or at least less interesting than the many other similar project computers and/or microcontroller products actually shipping. But if they are expecting to begin shipping next month and still holding to the original price they are either really going to pull it off or are truly idiots with zero business sense. I'd give em even odds at this point. :)

But why is it front page news every time these guys pass gas? If they ship it, that is news. Heck, when they auction off these guys I'd guess that would be news too. But d we need a story every month even when there isn't any actual news to report?

Comment Re:This is Dell (Score 1) 232

> Even with the atrocious metro UI, the ability to switch to a full-blown OS with plenty of app selection is enticing for many.

Except of course WE know that is a lie. Tablets with x86 processors are heavy beasts with short battery life and ARM tablets only get Metro instead of the full Windows desktop. I suspect there will be much wailing when end users plump down premium cash for em and then realize they have the smallest app base of any of the tablets while the marketing whispered sweet promises of it being "Windows."

Of course if Intel actually manages to get a CPU that can compete with ARM everything changes. But they have been throwing Sagans of cash at the power problem now for years with little to show for it. A 'low power' netbook or even ultrabook has several times the battery capacity of a large tablet's power source and compared to a phone it isn't even close. Most people's smart phone has a couple (as in way under ten) of Watt/Hours in the battery and that has to run several (2G, 3G, 4G, WiFi, BT, GPS, NFC, FM) radios, four or more processing cores (my cheap ass phone has modem CPU, modem DSP, GPU, CPU, DSP) and keep the DRAM refreshing, run the backlight, etc. And a phone really needs to be able to make it through most days without a recharge during the day. No way Intel plays with what is left over in that power budget anytime soon with a chip powerful enough to run Win8. They might manage the larger tablet form factors but phones are just not in the cards.

Comment Re:This is Dell (Score 4, Interesting) 232

> I'm sure it had nothing to do with the almost complete lack of consumer interest in Android tablets.

Let me revise and extend you remark to make it more accurate:

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the almost complete lack of consumer interest in Android tablets at close to iPad prices.

Google has been playing games by withholding the source and access to the Market to all of the no-name products while ensuring all of the brand name ones keep their prices out of 'commodity' territory. Now that 4.0 is available perhaps they will allow the clones into the Market and prices to seek their own level. We shall then see if consumers are interested in Android tablets at half the price of an iProduct.

Personally I have zero interest in them at current pricing. They cost a lot more than a netbook yet have less stuff inside and no MIcrosoft tax to explain the higher price. And while the form factor is interesting, the price they pay is being less generally useful than a netbook or laptop. But get em down under $200 for fully equipped ones (GPS, BT, WiFi-n, camera, 1GHz+ CPU, good display) and I suspect uptake will pick up. But the Android forces have pretty much lost this Xmas selling season because there ain't no way products based on 4.0 will make it to stores in quantity this year.

Comment The power of choice (Score 5, Insightful) 396

> There *IS* a loss associated with having too many choices, no matter what some people will tell you.

There is, balanced by benefits that outweigh the costs IMHO. Having multiple desktops and distributions means we can survive one going mad. Compare and contrast what is happening with GNOME3 and Unity with what is going on in the Windows and Mac worlds. When Win8 ships, those people have no choice, they get a tablet interface and it matters not if they like it or not. Eventually the Mac peeps know they get iOS and there ain't nothing they can do. On the other hand we told Fedora and Ubuntu to FOAD and picked something else. Most fedora users seem to be going with XFCE, Ubuntu users appear to be migrating in mass to Mint. Because we had a choice.

Imagine instead developers had listened to the siren song some people have been singing for a decade now, that GNOME and KDE had long since merged into one 'perfect' desktop, the small fry had folded up shop and got on board the One True Desktop. Then that One True Desktop caught tablet fever. Our options? All bad.

Right now we have multiple options in every major category of Free Software. Linus goes mad we adopt one of the BSD kernels. We have multiple web browsers, email clients, desktop environments, plumbing layers. About the only part that isn't redundant is X, no real options for that currently, but Wayland is under development.

Comment Green Energy does not and will never exist (Score 2) 324

> It isn't a perfect world, But doing nothing will only make it worse.

Exactly. I seriously doubt we are soon going to come up with any way to get billions and billions of Watt/Hours of energy without some nasty side effects. They all involve trade offs between instant costs and longterm risk, environmental losses, direct risks to humans, etc. All of them. even 'Green Energy' unless somebody patents direct conversion of unicorn farts... and locates some unicorns. And they probably have some serious downside we wouldn't discover until going into GW scale production.

>"Green Energy" isn't quite there yet.

And won't ever be. "Green Energy' is energy without consequences. As soon as a proposed 'Green' energy source gets beyond research, beyond government subsidized toys for 'I'm Greener Than Thou' prats and goes into real production the side effects (which were there all along) become visible and the Greens turn on it.

Look to history. Remember when Hydro was THE perfect green energy? Most /. readers are too young, but I remember. Then of course people noticed it disrupted fish lifecycles, submerged whole ecosystems, changed flow patterns of rivers and in at least one instance caused an earthquake. OH NOES, CONSEQUENCES! Can't have none of those, start bustin' those damned dams.

Windmills kill birds, environmentalists just won't abide them anywhere THEY have to see the eyesores. A couple of windmills are great, LOOK, I care about saving the earth! A thousand windmills cranking out MWs for the power corp? EVIL!

Solar? So long as the government tosses enough subsidy cash and the toxic manufacturing stays out of sight in China oh yea, plenty of Holier than Thou egoboo for the preening green. Cover the desert in collectors to generate industrial scale power? What! Lizards and shit live in the desert dude!

Geothermal? Causes earthquakes. Oops. Sorry bout that.

Tidal? Will kill fish. Just wait, you know it does.

Biofuels? Just toying with it spiked corn prices and is on the brink of causing worldwide hunger. Any attempt to derive a noticable chunk of our current energy needs from there is folly and our energy needs are about to skyrocket as the bulk of the world makes it to the 19th century.

Comment Re:It's a ridiculous idea (Score 5, Interesting) 377

> Give other people what THEY want, not what YOU think would be cool.

Oh bullpoop. The guy is giving out USB sticks. Very handy things for almost anyone to get in their stocking. He just wants to prepopulate em with some helpful stuff. Something you can't do with closed software but you can easily do with Free Software.

And yes, plenty of people give gifts based on their particular passion. Apple folk will tend to give out iProducts. Would they give one to somebody they KNOW isn't going to use it? Hopefully not, but a lot of people on their list would so they do. What is the difference?

Stick OO.o on there of course. And Firefox, Chrome, etc. And why not Gimp, Blender, and friends. All run Windows, why not spread em around. Will everyone use them? Probably not, but a few might and those that don't can just hit delete.

Comment Re:Bootable USB (Score 2, Informative) 377

> I'd suggest Ubuntu, with a "readme.txt" written for those who will plug it into their Windows box.

And make sure you give them WUBI instead of expecting someone new to Free Software to be willing to figure out repartitioning. Sure it doesn't perform quite as well, but the benefits balance out for new users.

Comment Re:!Now (Score 1) 178

Exactly. Why do we have to have a post about a press release for a product that may or may not actually come into existence next year?

A year is a very long time in this game, things will be very different, those specs will be obsolete for one thing.

If it ships, then we can discuss it, the usual suspects can troll, folks can point out it is pointless for reasons a, b and c. And so on.

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