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Comment Re:Communist revolution is needed (Score 4, Interesting) 548

Ammo sales were a particular no no.

Private gun ownership was fairly common in the Soviet Union, at about 10 guns per 100 people, and is still common in Russia today. Private citizens were limited to long guns (rifles and shotguns), and they had to register them. But they were generally available to almost anyone that wanted one. The idea that all dictatorships ban private weapons, or conversely, that an armed citizenry always prevents tyranny, is clearly false.

Comment Re:No way I could trust a self-driving car (Score 5, Insightful) 98

A self-driving car probably won't be as good at anticipating stupid drivers as a really good human driver.

Why should SDCs have to be better than a "really good human driver" rather than an "average human driver"? As long as SDCs are better than an average human, they are a net win. Also, bad drivers will likely be the first adopters, both because many bad drivers don't enjoy driving and because they pay higher insurance premiums.

Comment Re: Yahoo, kill yourself! (Score 2) 300

It was a really silly idea, nobody really expected these guys would honer this

Except that they were honoring it, before Microsoft poisoned the well.

... even if it did have legislative backing.

The laws/regulations required them to honor "user requests" not "browser settings". Once the browser setting is on by default, it no longer indicates a "user request" and there is no legal requirement to honor it.

Comment Re:Yahoo, kill yourself! (Score 4, Insightful) 300

Google and Yahoo make money by selling information that they collect from users. Microsoft makes money by selling software.

Microsoft is losing the battle for online advertising, so they are instead trying to poison the market. In MSIE 10 and 11, the "do not track" is on by default, which means the user never actually made a decision to set it. Microsoft's original plan was to diminish the ability of ad agencies like Google to collect information. But instead, they gave those agencies an excuse to ignore the setting, since no human made a decision to set it. Some more ethical ad agencies check the browser ID and only ignore the setting if it is MSIE. Unfortunately, ethics and advertising seldom go together.

Comment Re:People still use Yahoo? (Score 4, Insightful) 300

Anyone savvy enough to care about this issue stop using Yahoo long ago anyway.

You are equating "care about this issue" with "don't want to be tracked". That is not always true. I care very much about my privacy. But, in most cases, I want to be tracked. I get a more personalized experience, and I see fewer ads that are irrelevant to me. When I want privacy, I open a new private browser window. There is a tradeoff between privacy and personalization, and not every informed user wants, or should want, 100% privacy 100% of the time.

Comment Re:Did you mean in a VM or on the metal? (Score 1, Flamebait) 221

If I install GNU/Linux in a virtual machine, I still get Bing when I tab back to Windows.

Solution: Don't tab back to Windows.

If I install GNU/Linux on the bare hardware, I lose access to applications on which I depend that aren't usable in Wine.

Solution: Install GNU/Linux on the bare hardware, and then run Windows in a VM.

Comment Re:10 kw (Score 1) 234

I'm surprised that producers haven't switched off their taps in the hope that prices would go up.

In many cases, they can't. In America, it is illegal to flare gas. So if you pump oil, and gas comes up with it (as it often does), you have to separate the gas and put into a pipeline, even if you lose money by doing so. Many wells on private land have a contract with the land owner that requires that the well be kept active, to keep the royalty checks flowing.

Comment Re:I started with a Humanities Degree (Score 5, Funny) 264

Then earned my IT degree later in life.

As an engineering major, I took plenty of courses in humanities, and I feel that I got a very well rounded education. At least at my school, the humanities were not
neglected at all. Everyone had to take a "core" of mandatory classes in literature, and also take a required number of elective courses in history, economics, sociology, etc.

Still, I can communicate and write better than 90% of my peers

The problem with humanities majors is not that they can't communicate, but that they have nothing interesting to say.

Comment Re:Trade secrets, not patents (Score 4, Informative) 148

If someone works for Coca Cola and discovers/absconds with the formula, and then sells it to, e.g., Pepsi, then that person violates trade secrets laws by doing so.

Back in 2006, this actually happened. Instead of using the formula, Pepsi notified Coca Cola, and Coca Cola then reported it to the FBI. It makes sense that Pepsi would decline the offer, since in blind taste tests most people prefer Pepsi. Coke is successful because of their marketing and brand, not because of the taste of their "secret formula".

Comment Re:That's easy (Score 4, Insightful) 482

Because telecom markets are monopolized

I don't think that is the reason at all. I have always used no-contract pre-paid phone service. I save money, with no strings attached. There are good choices for anyone who cares, but most people choose the dumb option. Why? Beats me. The problem is that most of the people signing up for these contracts, are also eligible to vote, leading directly to our $17 trillion national debt.

Comment Re:China could be a threat (Score 2) 272

Any time you have two large nation states there is always the possibility of military conflict.

Sure, conflict with China is possible, but with the USSR it was seen as almost inevitable. The USSR had a goal of global communism, and a view for the future of the world very much in conflict with the West. China has no territorial claims outside of Taiwan (which both the US and Taiwan itself acknowledge to be part of China) and a handful of disputed islands. They have no significant ideological differences with the rest of the world, and certainly no ideology that they are trying to push on others. I lived in China for several years, and learned to speak the language. Chinese people like Americans. They don't see us as enemies or even rivals. But they do feel like we consider China inferior and that we don't respect them. I don't think that is true, but that is how most people in China see it. They see their space program as a way to win that respect. But they don't see it as a contest for dominance.

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