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Comment Re: Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

How can atheism be a religion? Be specific, and provide your definition of "religion"

There's a fable in Hinduism regarding this question. I don't know the details very well, but it concerns an atheist who, upon dying, suddenly found himself face-to-face with God (or maybe a god, I don't know). Startled by this turn of events, the man asked the god how this could be, and the explanation was given -- upon the moment of his death, his last thought was "There is no God".

Paradoxically this meant the concept of God was the foremost thing in his mind when he died, and this was sufficient to connect him to the realm of the gods in his afterlife.

Comment Re:That headline is three words too long (Score 1) 92

Apple's special treatment I can understand, with Job's reality distortion field and behind-the-scenes arm twisting backed up by the Apple juggernaut. But what about all those little crappy little landfill Android makers back then? Somehow, they were getting smartphones on the market with functional GPS and functional E-mail, at no additional cost.

You sound like an engineering-type, and it sounds like the engineering side of things knew what were the right decisions that needed to be made. But I suspect the Blackberry upper management was busy "synergizing" with the telecomm upper management, and mutually cooperating to figure out how to extract extra value (value from their perspective, not from the customer's view) with each subscription.

I'm also guessing Blackberry management was also busy figuring out how to extract the maximum value from the telecomm companies at the same time, with the various licenses and special servers required to run Blackberries -- and then the carriers passed the cost on down, along with a nice mark-up. Meanwhile, Google was probably giving away all the needed support for "free", with everything being handled by their cloud.

Either way, when I first got my smartphone, the extra monthly cost of owning a Blackberry was simply too much. Early versions of Android were pretty crappy in various ways, but they were just so much cheaper to buy and cheaper to operate.

Comment Governmental pressure? (Score 1) 66

"it's possible Microsoft found it easier to impose its Android patent tax on Xiaomi as part of a broader deal that also involved a transfer of patents."

Perhaps "easier" in the sense that the PRC government hinted that Microsoft could find itself highly inconvenienced in China, if it acted otherwise? Or perhaps they didn't hint anything, and Microsoft is choosing to be pro-actively obsequious.

Comment Nico~Nico~Nii! (Score 1) 321

Something similar has already been happening to weeabos, who use the term Nico, meaning a smile. Usually either in context referring to the video website Nico Nico Douga or to Nico Tanigawa's catchphrase "Nico-Nico-nii".

Unfortunately, there's also some Iranian corporation by name of NICO, so the term ends up triggering a flag somewhere.

Comment Re: Suzie can vote. Suzie can get a pitchfork. (Score 1) 954

But the damn fool does not realize, his machines won't need food, would not buy entertainment, would not buy a home or pay for college. As more and more employers automate more and more functions and lay off more and more people, he will end up with lots of shiny new machines willing sell food at great profit.... if only there are people with money to buy them.

And this is the point at which he instead tasks his machines with making more and better machines (instead of now-worthless food).

And that's how the singularity happens.

Comment Re:invite more people in? (Score 2) 547

Except most Chinatowns in the U.S. are where non-Chinese people go to eat exotic food, not a separate city-within-a-city where any non-Chinese who enter will be beaten (or worse).

Going back a century or more, Chinatowns were ethnic ghettos not that different from other examples. Brought together by the pull of being close together with familiar people with shared backgrounds -- and the push of being excluded from elsewhere.

Of course, what is different is that the Chinese opened businesses, and so they needed to welcome outsiders to come and spend money there. To the point that in some Chinatowns have become business districts where few Chinese actually still live:

Comment "Mobbing" (Score 2, Interesting) 786

I"ve sometimes wondered if this behavior is similar to the mobbing behavior you see in certain species such as Monk Seals:

"Mobbing" refers to a pathological behavior that occurs when the gender ratio becomes skewed, with an excess of males versus females. The adult males become increasingly aggressive towards females (and immature pups), and will injure and even kill them, as multiple males gang up to play out a violent parody of their normal mating behavior. This problem becomes self-perpetuating as females are hunted down, with natural populations having observed to be driven into ratios as extreme as 3 males for every 1 surviving female.

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