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Comment Re:In the US we have an inflated estimate of US (Score 3, Insightful) 337

Please read up on the history of India, China, etc. and the myriad of failed systems that have existed in the countries (India, China, etc) you've cited over the past 5,000 years.

Your analysis of history belongs in the early 20th century! Seriously, read a newer history book! China was developmentally ahead of the western world in many areas (statism, literature, economy) for centuries before the west figured out how to build guns and decent boats and subsequently conquer the world. The Chinese actually had the first two before us, but lacked the ambition to do the latter. Had the emperor not ordered him to stop, Zheng He could have gone to Europe and made us crap our pants with his huge fleet.

You talk of failed systems, but do you believe that the current dominant political and economic systems are not doomed to failure as well? As history indeed shows, all systems of governance have failed and been replaced by more efficient ones, so what makes you say the current western system is the best that humanity will ever discover? Our descendants 500 years from now will look upon the present western notion of superiority as just as ridiculous as that of the ancient Chinese and Roman rulers.

Comment Re:Chinese puns (Score 1) 272

You've got it turned on the head. Old Chinese has a lot more phonemes than any modern dialect of Chinese, so it's wrong to say that characters evolved because of a lack of phonemes. Rather, the argument goes that modern Chinese lacks the phonemic variety to be written in a phonetic script. The website you link to, however, disagress with this conclusion.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Amazon asserts right to adjust prices after sale

An anonymous reader writes: On December 23, Amazon advertised a "buy one get one free" sale on DVD boxsets, but did not test the promotion before going live. When anyone placed two boxsets in their cart, the website gave a double discount — so the "grand total" shown (before order submission) was $0.00 or something very small. Despite terms stating that Amazon checks order prices before shipping, Amazon shipped the vast majority of orders. Five days later (December 28), after orders had been received and presumably opened, Amazon emailed customers advising them to return the boxsets unopened or customers' credit cards would be charged an additional amount. (You can read more threads about this here and here.) Starting yesterday, Amazon has been (re)charging credit cards, often without authorization. On Amazon's side, they didn't advertise any double discount, and the free or nearly-free boxsets must have cost them a mint. But with Amazon continually giving unadvertised discounts that seem to be errors, is "return the merchandise or be charged" the new way that price glitches will be handled?

Submission + - Teacher to be jailed for spyware porn incident

BabyGotMac-com writes: "A substitute teacher who was given orders to not shut down a computer has been charged and tried and is about to be sentenced to up to 40 years. The system was exposed to malware, and popped up porn banners and sites, exposing a classroom of children to them. Computer experts have vouched for the likelihood of spyware being the cause, but the woman was prosecuted and is scheduled to be sentenced March 2nd. This highlights the lack of technology training in the education arena, both on the administrative side and that of the teacher, who was evidently not even able to turn off the monitor or understand how to deal with the popups. index.html"

Submission + - Is your software ready for 80-core chip?

prostoalex writes: "Dr. Dobbs' Journal is reporting on Intel getting ready to demo an 80-core chip: "That's right: Not an 8-core; this is an 80-core chip. The microprocessor manufacturer has jumped way ahead of the expected progression from dual-core to quad-core to 8-core, etc., to delve into different ways to make something as complicated as an 80-core chip actually work.""

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