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Comment Re:TL;DR Version (Score 2, Interesting) 148

I don't know if it was their idea from the start, but MSR is hugely different from other companies' R&D. They operate more like a university. Researchers are free to work on anything they want, without consideration to whether it will directly effect a Microsoft product or not. It is one of the few places left outside academia where researchers can do basic research in computer science.

I have no way to know if that's right or not, but I'm willing to concede that it's right. I wonder if the problem was that they accomplished nothing of value or if they did actually come up with great ideas, but the non-R&D management above them squelched them. In any event, Microsoft has always struck me as a reactionary rather than visionary, which is exactly why they are pursuing their current strategy of trying to become major players in phones and tablets. Microsoft just waits to see where everybody else in the industry is going and then they follow them and try to pretend that they were there first. In the past that worked pretty well on the PC side of things, but consumers understand phones and tablets enough that they can't get away with that in those areas.

Comment Re:Asia is out of control (Score 2) 110

You're painting a picture with pretty broad strokes there, chief. Perhaps it would be useful to explain exactly what part of Asia you are in now because they are not allthe same. Chinese people in Asia, both in China and other places with large Chinese communities like Singapore, believe that Chinese Traditional Medicine is the number one cure for anything not life threatening. You just about have to put a gun to the head of these people to get them to go to Western doctors, who they view as almost witch doctors who prescribe pills for everything. There is some truth to that view in that Western medicine everywhere does tend to lean towards giving a pill for everything, but certainly Chinese Traditional Medicine is not guilty of using antibiotics at all. CTM patients will get some herbal concoction of possibly dubious ingredients but they're definitely not going to Western doctors unless CTM just completely fails and they cannot get better by following it. Unless you have Chinese friends who actually were born and live in Asia, you really cannot understand the resistance towards Western medicine. One of my friends in Taiwan had constant pain for a condition that can only be fixed by surgery but she tried every possible herbal approach towards treating it that existed and they all failed. It took the efforts of me and her mother constantly trying to convince her to get surgery before she would do it and the surgery did fix her problem. This kind of thing just illustrates how some Asians aren't just looking for antibiotics every time they go to the doctor.

Comment It's not just an Asia thing (Score 3, Insightful) 110

Seem quite simple, doesnt it? The fact that cattle, fish and shrimp feed in asia have huge amounts of antibiotics as a "preventive" measure to keep the animal from going sick, and the resistance the bacteria gain dealing in that sick field, and whatever trickles up the food chain doesnt seem to bother anyone, has long money is made. And nobody will care until it is too late. Big pharma also doesnt care, quite by the contrary the patents have long expired, and antibiotics are bought by the shovel, as soon as they stop working they will have then gov "fund" to further develop very expensive nanomeds. This seems like a stupid plot from a bad scifi movie.

This isn't just an Asia thing. You have described at exactly how food production in the USA works. I'm sure that there are other countries where it's the same. Food production in the USA is Big Business and Big Business always gets what it wants. What they want is zero loss and the way to achieve this is to use high amounts of pesticides that kill any bug that dares to get near produce and feed antibiotics to animals to keep them alive long enough to slaughter them.

Comment Re:Such a landmark decision (Score 1) 55

>Why shouldn't the Chinese people think their government has their best interest at heart? They are seeing everyday evidence of their government working to make their lives better. As contrasted with the US where the government has pursued a stagnant wage policy for over a generation.

Because people still get poisoned and sometimes die when some food manufacturer puts adulterants in the product to save money. Just last week I found an article about how all kinds of meats that would be considered undesirable in the USA were being faked into being "beef". There's also the fact that the government is pretty darn corrupt at all levels and rule of law and property rights aren't respected. There's the fact that for the first time Communist Party leaders are becoming rich and their children are being simply given the spoils of wealth just by virtue of birth. Yes, some thing are better for sure, but you better believe that among educated and internet savvy people there that they know that things could also be a whole lot better. If you're rich, you can do almost anything you want. If you're ordinary, the rules that you may not like still apply to you.

Comment Unintentional humor (Score 1) 138

You can find the quote here: http://iran.usembassy.gov/education.html

I find that link name a little humorous in that the US has not had an embassy in Iran since some, ahem, "unpleasantness" in the late 1970s. But we do need to keep accepting and educating them because it benefits big business (US universities) and anything that benefits big business can't be bad? Right?

Comment Why Hulu is a US only service (Score 3, Insightful) 169

Hulu may work fine in Canada for all I know, but basically I wanted to respond to the bitching about it being a US only service. There is an actual reason for this and it has nothing to do with "America hates your country" or "America is stupid". Foreign rights to American TV shows bring in a lot of money and basically Hulu only works for US viewers because somebody may have bought the rights to the TV show in your country and the deal prevents Hulu from letting you watch it because doing so makes you less inclined to watch on TV, where the rights were paid for. Since the foreign rights buyers might argue next time they need to pay less because Hulu is cutting into their viewers, the only way to protect the revenue streams is to do a "US only" policy for Hulu. Additionally there is some chance that actors, writers, etc. might have to get cut in for additional money if too many new distribution methods are found, so it's just makes it easier on everybody in the US side to have those restrictions.

Comment Unlikely to get court/lawyer costs awarded (Score 1) 159

In the USA, the plaintiff is extremely unlikely to get court and attorney fees awarded, even when the other side has been a complete douchebag. My best friend is an attorney and he explained to me that judges almost never award court and attorney costs, even when the lawsuit should never have happened, because they are afraid that doing so will make people afraid of bringing legitimate cases to court because they might have to pay the other side's fees if they lose. Yes, fees are awarded sometimes in very egregious cases, but these are the exception.

Comment Edison is maybe not the best example (Score 1) 191

I'm not saying that Edison wasn't smart and didn't accomplish anything, but do keep in mind that in a lot of cases he just simply improved what others did before him, profiting off the heavy lifting that others did. He promoted things that weren't really all that good to begin with such as the current wars. It's known that he took credit for things that were actually done by people who worked for him. And finally, it's not well known today, but you can research how his motion picture patents put the early motion picture business under his total control and it took deliberate, illegal violations of his patents to get the movie industry established in Hollywood. In fact, one of the reasons Hollywood got started was to be completely on the other side of the US from Edison and thus in a place harder for him to control. If I remember correctly the US government eventually had a conversion experience and invalidated those motion picture patents when it became convenient for them to do so because Edison was basically using them to prevent all competition. Then again, maybe he is a perfect example for this kind of discussion but not because he benefited society but precisely because his goal was pure old greed and to use his patents to remove competition so he could make more money.

Comment Afghanistan so far removed from China? (Score 1) 182

When you ask a neighbor about Facebook, they give you a confused look. Posting a status update on Twitter is a foreign concept, and most citizens still rely on printed newspapers and radio reports.

This could also be said about China, although they do have their own in country Twitter knock off that does get used and is subjected to heavy government censorship. About all a Chinese person can tell you about Facebook, if they've heard of it at all, is that they are officially blocked from using it.

Comment Re:Worry about USA instead (Score 2) 121

So what. The USA has over 100 reactors running, and have more nuclear weapons than any other country,

Untrue. Most sources agree that Russia has roughly 1000 more than USA. This is one of the reasons that Putin has been unwilling to reach any agreements to reduce the number of weapons each country has although previous leaders on both sides were able to reach such agreements in the past. Nice try at America bashing buddy, but if you'd like to deal with reality, you can consider that Putin and his government actually believe that if the US builds a missile interceptor base in Eastern Europe that it can singlehandedly stop 100% of the Russian nuclear missiles and open Russia up to complete and utter nuclear annihilation at the hands of the USA, or so they have said in public. You might consider that the US has been talking about having maybe 10 interceptor missiles at such a site and we don't even truly know if the technology will actually work. An 80% kill rate of theoretical Iranian or North Korean missiles aimed at the USA would be disastrous for the unlucky people where the 20% of the missiles hit.

The worry about North Korea is that they are actually stupid enough to potentially launch a nuclear weapon at South Korea, Japan or potentially even US territories should one of their unstable military leaders actually give the order if they were under attack or the guy with the finger on the button just freaks out. What concerns me is not that Kim Jong-un might be running things but that it probably isn't his finger at all on the button and all the years of propaganda, special treatment, and purges of dissent have created a military with a tenuous grip on reality. Just the rumor of an invasion without anything happening in reality might be enough to cause tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent people to die via a North Korean nuke. But don't worry, I'm sure that you'll be safe in Euroland while everybody else pays the price for the freedom you enjoy.

Comment Re:Meaningless ... (Score 1) 248

I fear the US has more or less decided that the entire world should be operating on less security to protect their interests. And I'm not sure why everybody is playing along with that.

Have you considered the possibility that maybe they aren't playing along with that at all but simply have the good sense to know when to shut up?

Comment The reality of your plagarized website (Score 4, Interesting) 215

I am going to be the cold, hard dose of reality in your situation.

Takedown laws do not exist so one of the unwashed masses (this means you ) can protect their content. They exist so big business can protect whatever the the intellectual property du jour is that they want to be protected.

I can assure you that nobody in the government or judicial system has any interest at all in protecting situations like your web content. Don't know how you missed the memo, but the laws are for the benefit of the rich and corporations. If you were one of those, you'd be protected.

Comment Re:Great country you have over there (Score 1) 771

That's what most Americans who've never left the US would say. In practice, there are few places worse. You'd have to work hard to land somewhere worse. China is better than the US, so long as you don't spend time and money opposing the government.

My Chinese friends who live in China certainly don't think it's better. Some of them desire more political freedom, specifically a true multi-party system that would offer some choices. I hear a ton of complaints about corruption in government officials. In the US this gets punished enough that there seems to be a big incentive against it as the fear of getting caught is high. In China, few government officials fear getting caught and they have the idea that the odds are that they either won't get caught or if they don't go too far with the corruption, they can just bribe their way out of it. My friends also have expressed some fear about food contamination with the idea that those responsible will likely never be punished, even if people die from it.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 520

It will be interesting to see how they will handle this. When I visited China, computer security didn't seem to be one of the top priorities among the computer users, so the majority of the population might just not care much about updates.

I can confirm this. My previous job was doing customer support on an email product my company sold (had anti-spam and various other features). We used to host customer mail domains on our servers, so all mail involving our email customers went through us, both from them and to them. We were always getting servers on blacklists because some stupid customer in China had a compromised PC that was sending spam through us. We'd have to contact the customer with some kind of nasty warning email that they if they didn't clean up their servers that we'd have to shut down their access. The impression I got was that nobody in China cared anything about patching their PCs or security in any manner.

One of the reasons that XP might still be widely in use was that it was the last version of Windows that could easily be cracked and distributed and made to look legit to Microsoft's validation servers. Microsoft has backed down from every previous deadline on stopping support of XP so while I do understand why it would be in their best interests to stick to the deadline this time, their reluctance to do so previously makes me think that they'll likely push this one off by yet another year or two as it gets closer to the deadline.

Comment Amber alert in my state (Score 2) 380

I live in the eastern US and also am an AT&T customer. A few months ago I got blasted awake by an Amber alert in the middle of the night. It was the loudest sound I ever have heard coming from my iPhone. I honestly did not know it was possible for the phone to produce a sound that loud. I was less than thrilled at having received no warning about this being implemented. The next morning I read up on how to disable the alerts. If you haven't received an Amber alert on your phone, disable them now because you definitely do not want your first experience to be your phone screaming like a banshee in the middle of the night.

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