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Comment Re:Ratio (Score 2) 1216

Really? Because contrary to current dogma, the bulk of human history has had "haves" and "have nots" - and the disparity between the two has been STAGGERING.

The fact is that neo-socialists (and people who derive political power from such positions - let's not forget the original mission of the AFL-CIO quoted in the OP) have as just an illusionary utopianist view of "what society should be" with as much rationale as do the Tea-Partiers.

The fact is that some people are capable, some aren't.
Take a mythical cross-section community of the population, say 100 people, give them all $50,000.
At the end of a year, there's going to be a bell curve of results.
A small proportion are going to hold most of the money.
The bulk middle of the population, the majority, will have more or less held onto theirs.
A small proportion will have blown it all and have nothing.
Witness: the bulk of lottery winners are eventually poorer than when they started. This is PROOF that simply throwing money at poor people is truly a stupid idea - it doesn't help.

You cannot legislate away people's inherently bad choices, and I would argue it's IMMORAL* to do so. The US has, in my view, a larger and more visible poor underclass because there are indeed fewer protections against peoples' bad decisions. I agree there is a need for a social safety net to help the unfortunate - that's what a society does. But ultimately, people need to face the consequences of their own bad choices or someone else will have to bear that cost.

Had a baby at 14? You're an idiot, and get to work in a crappy minimum-skill job forever. Fathered that baby? You NEED to be responsible for the financial well-being of that mother and child until the kids' 18, or the state should drag that value out of you in a workhouse or penal battalion. Committed a crime? You're a selfish idiot who gets to work in low-wage jobs because you've proven you don't have fundamental self control that most people are able to display.

I believe second-chances are earned; nobody's entitled to them.

*this will of course only make sense to people who treat every human equally; much is made of people 'dehumanizing' the poor, but in my experience there is an equal segment of the population who don't consider the wealthy worthy of any sort of moral consideration, solely because of their wealth.

Comment Re:Win95? (Score 3, Interesting) 110

You're right that motherboards won't post without memory sticks, but I don't see a good technical reason about why that should be. UEFI could be written so that it posts by using only the resources of the processor and its cache, if it detects no usable memory. I mean, never mind 128MB of L4. Even the 6MB of L3 that modern processors have is larger than the entire system memory of our parents' first computers. It should be more than enough to run something as simple as UEFI.

It would also be rather useful. Instead of issuing you beeps as it fails to boot, a motherboard with a correctly written UEFI implementation could post without working ram and run diagnostics on exactly which systems are working and which are not, and what exactly is going wrong. I really think this would increase everyone's system-building confidence and give the manufacturers who make it happen a leg up in the market.

Comment Marketers believing their bullshit (Score 2) 810

"Surveys show drivers are interested in electric cars--and that they love them once they drive them. "

Yeah, except the real-world has considerations outside the scope a 30-second commercial or magazine ad, or that marketers are 'uncomfortable' to address (and we're not *quite* to the point of Idiocracy where we simply do what the market-wonks tell us we should):
- range: most people seem to drive 20-30 miles to work, with commutes of approximately 20-45 minutes. Can I drive this (to AND from), plus run and get groceries, and maybe go out to a movie without being nervous about being UTTERLY out of power
- where am I supposed to charge the stupid thing? The 'spin' notwithstanding, nobody has the time to dawdle while these recharge on 220v plugs, much less the 110v-overnight-option.
- cost: contrary to popular belief, a lot of people can't afford a $30k car, particularly one that smells like it might need a new $10k battery pack after 100k miles.

Comment Fine, I'll say it: (Score 0) 453

Mark me -1, callous, but ....where's the problem?

7 billion is a ridiculously high number of people on this planet anyway.

I'd guess frankly (as much as this might make people squirm) that most of the deaths are going to come in the bottom 50%ile of people - the ones doing most of the breeding, btw, and who frankly contribute little or nothing to humanity. Oh no, Kolkata (Calcutta) only has TWO million people mostly living in squalor in 2050? Is that really a tragedy?

FWIW I'm not intending anything racist or classist about this - the fact is that I'd be PERFECTLY FINE if a 50% cull took place in the US and Europe as well. If it's me that's culled, and I know that the next generation gets to live in a world with 50% fewer people, I'd be fine with that too.

Sorry if this offends your "every life is a precious snowflake" sensibilities, but when there are too many snowflakes around here, we call a snowplow.

Comment 30-40% (Score 1, Troll) 276

That is the 'percent complete' the IT folks who made the Obamacare site estimate that it was when it launched.

Some people, including Obama, say the site had 'bugs'. It didn't have bugs. It was not complete and had never been tested.

So at $600 Million and change, we got 30% of a website that is central for people getting the healthcare that the government mandates that they get.

Furthermore, part of the 60%-70% that is unfinished are the parts that pay the insurance companies.

Let that one sink in. The companies that will be shelling out money to pay your doctor at this very moment have no way to get any money from the website.

Here's another one:

Site launched with NO SECURITY. Not 'flawed' or 'incomplete' security, NONE. During senate hearings a white hat hacker was texted by a friend that 30 more vulnerabilties were found THAT DAY. I've used companies that, for a fee, will do a full security audit and in about a week recommend all the ways to close the holes. Nobody thought of doing that?

Obama claims he had no idea. No idea. The site that carries the future of his only important work as president is completely non-functional and he had no idea? Never thought to try it? Ask "Does it work?"? The contractors who built it were very open in saying it was not done, they said everyone knew it was not done, but Obama is shocked, SHOCKED, that it 'has bugs'?

Seriously folks, this is the guy you want leading our military? Our economy?

You Democrats are ****ing idiots.

(note, not my comment, but I couldn't have said it better. Thanks Armand.)

Comment Re:Sorry, no (Score 2) 168

FWIW, at reaching my mid 40's, I now recognize that I simply don't have enough lifetime left to waste on nostalgia.

If you add the time-commitment of the:
- stack of books I want to read
- computer games I want to play
- movies I want to see ....and add that to my current age, it EASILY exceeds my allotted three-score-and-some, even were I to sleep nothing more than 3 hours a night and have no gainful employment.

I rarely give a book more than 5 chapters, or a movie more than a half hour. If I don't actively enjoy it (or at least see promise/value in the writing, acting, what-have-you) I tend to drop it and move on. Life's too short to be bored, or waste it watching Twilight.

PS: I am willing to spend some of those precious minutes on a naked Natalie Portman, please add me to the subscription.

Comment They're sometimes required to fly on autopilot (Score 4, Informative) 270

There are a couple of parts of the flight where the pilot is required to use the automation. The biggest is during cruise in what's known as RVSM airspace, where the vertical separation minimums are reduced from what was standard before RVSM was implemented. There, if your autopilot quits, ATC will send you down below the RVSM floor. RVSM is in use above some altitude in the 48 states and on transAtlantic routes. (I don't recall the exact altitude.)

The other is in flying an instrument approach to very low altitudes, known as a category III approach. IIRC, those must be flown on autopilot in order to continue below category III minimums.

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 172

It may be the "right thing" to pay their taxes, but let's face it, they're just walking in Steve's tax-evading footsteps.

You know, the lease-a-new-car-every-6-months-so-he-never-has-to-get-license-plates Steve Jobs?

Or the "park in the handicap zones when you want to because you're big shit Steve Jobs" and the cops are unlikely to hassle you?


Comment So here we have an example of our crossroads... (Score 2, Insightful) 239

So, our choices are apparently either:
- an overbearing nanny state in which the government makes all the decisions, or
- a weak state in which the corporations make all the decisions.

Great. That really illustrates why frustrated people turn to Caesarism, and faith in a single strong personality given despotic powers to "fix the mess".

Unfortunately, while you might get lucky and ACTUALLY get a Gaius Marius or someone genuinely interested in the general well-being of the people and nation, *rarely* is that ever sustainable to whomever inherits (earns/steals/etc) that power next....(Marius himself - in pursuit of very-much-needed reforms - could arguably be blamed for turning the Republic into the Empire)

Comment Re:Why not release multiple controllers? (Score 1) 206

I agree. This is what I would recommend if I worked for them: Make the "frame" of the controller standard, allow adjustment maybe in one or two directions, but then make it possible to replace the moldings with custom parts of different shapes and materials. Fancy people could even buy surfaces with natural materials like ebony, leather, silk and wool. Because, you know, sometimes you get bored of the tactile experience of plastic. I actually use my dremel tool to make custom wooden moldings for my mouse. I have large hands and love the satisfaction of making the geometry exactly match what my hand naturally wants to do.

I am not a business type, but if I was, here is one thing I would consider: Allow people to make a model of their perfect mouse, or perfect game controller, out of play-doh. Then have them take photos of it from all angles, enough so that software can reconstruct the 3D shape. Send those pictures to some new business with standard parts, 3D printing tech and a CNC machine, who could just print them out a mouse from whatever material they like. It wouldn't have to be cheap. The world has plenty of rich people who are being underserved in the tech-for-the-super-rich market. For example, very rich people typically use an iPhone 5s, but so do many ordinary folks that ride with me on the bus. Very rich people tend to use some normal Logitech or Razer mouse, just like me. And they use the standard Playstation controllers. There is no Aston Martin or Maseratti option for the tech devices that they (like the rest of us) probably interact with most often. That seems like a market gap waiting to be filled.

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