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Comment More importantly (Score 5, Insightful) 419

Every vote for a third party is a threat to a major party's political power.

As long as it's not enough of a threat to swing an election, they don't care.

What it DOES do that's useful, though, is tell them:
  - Here's someone who cares enough to take the trouble to vote, but that (both of) you weren't able to attract to your candidate.
  - and THAT (the STATED position of the minor party) is the direction you have to change in order to attract this voter later.

Comment Pointer "safety." (Score 1) 307

Underrated.

There's nothing "unsafe" about pointers. Compromises of safety occur as a result of using pointers *wrong*.

There's plenty unsafe about programmers who don't understand what they're doing, and/or are careless, and/or assume that libraries that are black boxes beyond the API level to them are inherently safe.

Unfortunately, the typical metric for hiring programmers is "do you have a degree" rather than "do you know what you're doing."

Comment I don't think that's what he did. (Score 1) 1002

So you don't think the Republican candidate for the Presidency of the US inviting a foreign power, one that is at the best of times in a rather tense relationship with the United States, to hack into US systems just to gain dirt on the other party's nominee is reasonable?

It's obvious to a native speaker of English (who isn't astroturfing the Democrats' talking points) that Trump was NOT inviting the Russians to initiate a new crack on his opponent's servers.

He was ribbing his opponents, and keeping their lax security (and their "The Russians are aiding him!" attempt at distraction) in the public eye, by pointing out that the Russians probably ALREADY have the emails that Clinton's people "can't find", and inviting them to dig them out of their own archives and provide them to investigators and/or the press.

People claiming he is inviting new espionage don't just look foolish. They also play into his hands, by keeping the issue in the face of prospective voters.

But feel free to continue. B-)

Comment Re:From where does the FAA get power to regulate i (Score 1) 44

Having a patchwork assembly of differing state and local regulations and restrictions to follow while in the air would absolutely affect interstate commerce. There's really no good rational argument against that.

Yet we have just such a patchwork assembly of differing state and local regulations and restriction to follow while on the roads: Speed limits and rules for setting them, turn restrictions, stop and yield sign placement, various rules of the road and its amenities (turn-on-red, where - if at all - U-turns are legal, lane-change frequency restrictions, lane restrictions on trucks (and no-truck routes), passing on the right, maximum durations at rest stops and activity there (such as sleeping or cooking over a fire), and a host of other rules - not to mention their enforcement) all vary from state to state.

It's dependent on each state's government(s) to pass the individual regulations. Yes, there's a lot of standardization, and following federal rules. But the federal rules are followed voluntarily when it's in a state's interest, enforced as a condition of federal funding for construction and maintenance of roads bearing US or Interstate route designations, or encouraged by federal blackmail composed of the withholding of the state's share of funds gathered by the federal gasoline taxes.

Any argument that flying at all is interstate commerce goes double for driving - where long-haul trucks, passenger cars, and even bicycles and pedestrians share common roads. So why does the Federal government have to blackmail the states into legislating their way for regional and local roads, yet can claim it has the right to totally control flight, not just of interstate traffic and/or at interstate altitudes or in the glidepaths around federally-funded airports, but of battery-powered gadgets, with range far to limited to reach a state border from most parts of a state, lighter than the average dog, and all the way down to the grass in your back yard?

Comment Re:EEE (Score 1) 410

Yeah, I wasn't even a fan of Pascal, but Turbo Pascal for DOS was an awesome experience, as was both Turbo C and to a similar extent Microsoft's early QuickC. And QuickBasic was lovely -- an IDE that would literally pop up the manual page for any instruction you could type enough of to recognize, or match a string in. QB was in some sense my favorite IDE of all time, and I wrote a slew of code in Basic back in IBM PC days.

I didn't even include Microsoft's screwing of OS/2 and IBM in the list -- I put on the Extreme Linux expo in Raleigh, NC back in the day not long after that and IBM was an avid supporter; their staffers were all literally burning with anger at Microsoft and were particularly eager to loan us piles of PCs and more for our cluster demos. Claiming that Microsoft was all warm and fuzzy towards developers and that it wasn't their fault that important packages inevitably broke on every major version update, or that there was no "conspiracy" because it was against the law to deliberately break them to the advantage of Microsoft's competing packages simply ignores reality. There wasn't a "conspiracy" to remove competing web browers from Windows machines or disable them so that they wouldn't work right, but Microsoft did it anyway and lost a small mountain of money on a lawsuit. And they won, won, won the lawsuit in spite of the hundreds of millions they spent on the settlement and the billions they spent dragging the suit out for close to a decade. By then it was a moot point. After that, nobody had or is likely to have in the future, the stomach to tackle Microsoft in court but somebody enormous with equally deep pockets.

That's the problem. A hundred-odd billion dollar multinational company is largely above the law. They can outspend almost anybody, and anybody who thinks that this doesn't matter in civil or corporate court (or even in criminal court) is naive in the extreme. Once enough retirement funds are heavily invested in Microsoft stock, nobody wants them to go down, not really, no matter how much they hate them. Not congressmen. Not the president. Not union leaders. Not corporate leaders. Most of the everyday people don't care. The only ones that do are oddball nerds like me who find their corporate ethics revolting and who resent the rise of the corporate shadow government to the detriment of personal and economic freedom. And there just aren't enough of us to matter.

As Donald Trump (defending his actions exploiting major economic downturns in the past) says, "It was just business". And so it is, and so it will be, without toothy laws regulating just what "business" activities are ethical and permitted in law.

rgb

Comment Re:EEE (Score 5, Insightful) 410

Not that much more subtle. I watched as Microsoft crushed a long list of companies using exactly this strategy across the 80's and early 90's. Borland was easy -- it's so easy to break a compiler with an OS upgrade. Lotus. Word Perfect. Wordstar. Various games. They certainly tried it with their browser and it took a decade long billion dollar court case to stop them. Every operating system update, everybody else's software would break, a bit, while Microsoft's clone -- often a clone of a startlingly original and brilliant idea -- did not. Add in their marketing team to convince businesses that if they didn't buy Microsoft's house product, they would break their... um... not arms, not legs, what's the word, "interface" if the competing product didn't perfectly comply with the new specs (and of course, they never did).

Microsoft simply made it impossible to buy a PC without their operating system pre-installed in any store that sells systems WITH their operating system pre-installed with punitive pricing agreements that dropped the margins below any possibility of profit if you tried selling a naked system or a system preinstalled with some other OS. They then convinced freelance software developers that they could get rich, quick, writing for their platform (and at first, it was true!) But gradually it has become clear that if you have a brilliant software concept, write the next killer application, and do so for Windows, Microsoft will let you run wild for a few years to build up the market and use their enormous software foundry to write their clone, then they will jerk around the OS so that your product breaks but theirs doesn't until they have the lions share of the market IF you don't sell out to them when they politely knock on your door and make you an offer you can't refuse. Five years later you will wish you hadn't.

I have to admit that I'm a tiny bit surprised that they are doing this with Steam as it could backfire. I'm guessing that part of this is punitive. They WANT game developers to be in a Microsoft cage, with huge cross-platform development barriers, and Valve is the company that has seriously broken out of that mold and made Linux gaming with native libraries and code possible for games that run on Windows as well. Since they are preparing to make users lease Windows for eternity and ensure a perpetual cash flow for every Windows computer purchased, and since software sales through "app stores" run by the company are now a major profit center for companies that have successfully built them, they hope to retake world domination while they still have control of congress and the unions and all those companies with 401 and 403 plans heavily invested in Microsoft.

Unless and until the government actually enforces anti-trust laws across the board, we'll have to put up with this shit. The "free" market doesn't, and won't, have a chance as long as the company that makes and sells the OS, with a virtual lock on third party PC sales in spite of much lower priced and viable alternatives, also writes software for their own OS with an insuperable advantage over independent developers, no matter how large or powerful. Software store selling "certification" (still the same company) make it even worse.

Face it. Microsoft is in the protection racket, and has been for nearly 30 years now. FUD is their stock and trade. They represent everything that is wrong with capitalism that isn't restrained by strong anti-trust controls and limits on things like sales agreements so that they do not and cannot become long term monopolies. They have so much money that they could CONTINUE to be mismanaged for another decade and STILL would be huge. And who has the guts to tackle them (again) in the US courts? They can spend a billion dollars a year in defense, stretch an antitrust case out for a decade, lose it, and still come out a total winner. They've done so in the past and will do so again in the future.

rgb

Comment Re:From where does the FAA get power to regulate i (Score 1) 44

Where does the FAA claim it gets the power to regulate drones which are only engaged in INTRA-state commerce and flying too low to interfere with interstate air traffic? Seems to me that's the state's job

From 49USC app 1301 - the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 ...

No, no, no. Not what I meant.

From where in the Constitution, in the face of the 10th Amendment and Norton v. Shelby County 118 U.S. 425 (1886), does the Federal Government's Congress claim to get the power to delegate to such an executive branch agency?

Comment From where does the FAA get power to regulate it? (Score 1) 44

I'm curious:

Where does the FAA claim it gets the power to regulate drones which are only engaged in INTRA-state commerce and flying too low to interfere with interstate air traffic? Seems to me that's the state's job.

(Similarly with the FCC and radio signals that are too weak to be decoded outside the state of origin or substantially interfere with reasonable interstate services. Sure "radio goes on forever". But so does sound - with the same inverse-square law and similar interference characteristics - and we get along just fine without federal regulation of speech and bullhorns.)

Comment Re:Temperature increase from what temperature? (Score 1) 258

But what a great insult! Don't take away the genius of it just because it was, well, less than genius in its conclusion. After all, one can get milk in cardboard boxes already that will last "indefinitely" on an actual shelf, so the entire article is only marginally interesting from the point of view of increasing our quality of life, and since the entire first half of the discussion seemed to focus on a wilfull ignorance of the simple fact that unpasturized milk can carry all sorts of potentially fatal diseases -- including one that was a scourge at the time the process was instituted, tuberculosis -- instead of the science of the process itself. At least this thread discusses the process.

To quote the Wikipedia article on pasteurization:

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says improperly handled raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other food-borne disease source, making it one of the world's most dangerous food products.[16][17] Diseases prevented by pasteurization can include tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and Q-fever; it also kills the harmful bacteria Salmonella, Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli O157:H7,[18][19] among others.

So, one can take the chance that the raw milk you drink is "properly handled", which may be a reasonable bet in a rural setting where you know the cow and farmer involved, or you can insist that your milk be pasteurized. As a firm believer in the second law of thermodynamics and evolution, I personally will opt for pasteurization and encourage believers in in the comparative virtue of raw milk to drink lots of it, preferably while still young.

Given this level of nonsense in the discussion, one has to take what one can from it! "High UID Monkeys" is actually highly competitive with TFA and post itself.

rgb

Comment Re:Temperature increase from what temperature? (Score 1) 258

Is it really that god damn difficult for you high UID monkeys to use a bit of simple logic? Do you really need literally everything spoon-fed to you?

I must commend you, sir, on the invention of a unique new insult. I will remember this one, as it is spectacular. UID as a sorting mechanism for intelligence -- scary, that one is...;-)

rgb

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