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Comment Re:It's almost like a fetish (Score 1) 288

I'm sure this is an ongoing issue, but given that FOSS database alternatives are available, can you tell us where it is that DB/2 (and presumably Oracle, etc.) vastly outclasses these alternatives to the extent that your company is willing to pay serious coin to use? Is Postgres, for example, simply unable to keep up with high throughput demands?

Comment Programmers not needed (Score 2) 165

Programmers are taught to code for a specific, well-defined objective, whereas untrained ordinary folk think more along the lines of "do what I mean". Recently, however, through the ACA state funding case, decided that what is *said* is immaterial, and that the law should reflect what Congress obviously *meant*. In other words, "do what I mean". Given this, language is no longer important, and it is up to the high priests of the US Supreme Court to view the auguries to determine true meaning. In other words, thanks to the Supreme Court it is not programmers that are needed, but magicians.

Comment Re:Not the same, but I guess the best we can do (Score 1) 73

I'm afraid that willfull, destructive ignorance and barbarism isn't a problem that technology can solve. A digital copy, however perfect, remains a copy, and by nature, can't be used as proof that there ever *was* an original, which is the entire purpose of ISIS's destruction of these relics.

Even having a physical object is not proof that it is the original. Moreover, I submit that even backups of purported original texts of the Library of Alexandria, for example, would be extremely informative, especially when the only other options is nothing.

Comment Interesting Idea (Score 4, Interesting) 73

It seems to me that if museums, as a matter of course, scan and extensively photograph all new inventory as well as old inventory -- and put the data on the interwebs -- that will provide some protection from the pigshit known as ISIL as well as other semi-human garbage. It would generate a lot of data, but these days that seems pretty cheap.

Part of the problem is that, although it is possible for museums from stable nations to storehouse collections from museums in unstable regions, the practical end result could be that those regions would be unable to show artefacts for decades or centuries. Further, if an official from semi-civilized country Y says, "give us back our junk", who is authorized to say yes or no, even if the purpose of getting stuff back is to destroy it? As I understand it, even now, items in museums in stable democracies are being returned to the country from which they were were taken, because those countries are asking for them back. Scanning such items before returning them at least provides the possibility to make a backup in case the original is damaged or destroyed.

Comment 70 years doesn't sound over-the-top (Score 1) 121

If this is 70 years, period, and not lifetime plus 70 years, then it may be tolerable, I think. If 50 years was the previous term of copyright, it would conceivably be possible for an artist to create a work when very young and outlive its copyright. This is even true for 70 years, but that seems like a better balance between public and private good.

Comment Ad hominem attack? Maybe Soon is on to something. (Score 0) 448

In the grand scheme of things, it is irrelevant how much he earned, or his detractors earned, from their respective supporters. In a debate, when someone resorts to saying, "you're stupid", or "you're ugly", it's a sign that the attacker is unable to counter the argument. Given the heated rhetoric directed at Soon, he must have landed some solid body blows against the 'global warming' position. If his evidence could have been easily swatted away, it would have been, and no one would have bothered to try to dig up dirt against him.

Comment Re: Aspergers, LOL (Score 4, Interesting) 289

I don't think you were paying attention to what the OP was saying, which is that credentials are not related to performance. Public schools, however, are generally unionized, so that credentials are valued more highly than actual performance. From local reports I have heard relating to students on the autism spectrum, it seems to me that they are either given some dumbed-down busywork, or efforts are made to keep them from disturbing "real students".

For those who know about ASD, however, this is not entirely unexpected. One of the problems is that autism is a *spectrum* of behaviours, meaning that everyone with autism is different. Of a hundred people with the disorder, you will find those with developmental delay as well as mental giants, those with physical handicaps and the physically healthy, some who dislike being touched and others who don't mind, some who speak and some who don't, etc. etc. Lumping them all into a single classroom, or using a single teaching method, is bound to leave many of these kids behind.

Comment Re:what counts as "an image of the prophet?" (Score 1) 228

That's a very good point. To censor images of scruffy-looking beady-eyed men wearing turbans sounds like a double insult. (It's like the story of two diners at a restaurant: the first says, "the food is terrible", to which the other replies, "yes, and such small portions!") For all we know, Mo might have looked like Sean Connery.

Comment Time to divert investment away from China? (Score 1) 145

What if Apple were to move its manufacturing to India, for example? Do Apple fanatics really need to prop up a dictatorship (oligarchy) so they can have their latest "iWantThat"? The same goes for the other tech toys made in China. Lots of people are willing to fork over money for "fair trade" coffee, but don't think twice about where their latest gadget comes from.

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