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Comment Re:Ubuntu good for linux? (Score 3, Interesting) 143

These days, I prefer to think of Ubuntu as being akin to Mac OS X or Android: it's an operating system which is built on a Unix core, but it doesn't want to be a "Unix OS". So you shouldn't expect it to act like a normal Linux distribution, because it's intentionally trying to hide all the things you expect to be there. Personally, that's not what I want.

Comment Re:It's too bad (Score 1) 933

I've been thinking for a while that, with the direction Apple's been heading recently, there is the potential for a resurgence of sorts in the use of Linux by developers. Somebody needs to put together a developer-centric distro, not all simplified and "user-friendly" like Ubuntu is becoming, but also not forcing everyone down the way of the command-line (too much in that direction is why developers initially defected to Macs in the first place).

Comment Re:His most famous work (Score 1) 315

Not really. I think if you read the book (as I did), not for some high school English class (where you have to find the "correct" meaning or you fail), but on your own, without any preconceptions, it's pretty obvious what he was getting at. He makes it clear that the government, in burning books, is only doing what the people want.

Comment Re:You're A Newbie (Score 1) 221

That's kind of funny, because the folks making it basically said that the old UI (which they built) had no consistency and that almost no thought went into the layout. They'd add a new feature and just throw the UI controls for it wherever they could find space, even if that was on a panel devoted to completely different tools.

Comment Re:What happened? (Score 1) 964

That's the thing. When you burn coal to make power, there's no monetary incentive to encourage you to do it cleanly. You don't make more power, and hence more money, by not dumping all that crud into the atmosphere. But with nuclear, there is exactly such an incentive. If the stuff coming out of your nuclear power plant is still potently radioactive, then you're wasting money. You could be using that to make and sell more power. Nuclear energy is one of the few power-generation technologies where economic selfishness and environmental concerns actually align, at least in one respect.

Comment Re:Good for US economy (Score 1) 617

I have usually waited on hold over 30 minutes just to get "support" on the line

A few weeks ago, while trying to figure out something with insert company name here's product (where company name = Symantec) we were on hold, over the course of several days, for a total of ten hours. And in the end, they never did fix the problem; we fixed it ourselves, by looking up an article on their knowledgebase.

Comment Re:Too fucking bad.. (Score 1) 502

I think that a retributive model would serve better that any purely utilitarian model. Any kind of degree of punishment can be justified as being "useful" (for some definition of useful); it is only the idea that "the punishment should fit the crime" that allows us to say that this or that punishment is excessive.

For example, under a model where deterrence is the primary goal of punishment, if the actual perpetrator of a crime cannot be found, the model demands that someone be found and punished, regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent. Indeed, it is questionable whether the words "guilty" and "innocent" have any meaning outside of a retributive justice system. In a utilitarian system, the only distinction is between punishments that are useful in some context and those that are not. The degree and target of punishment need not have anything to do with innocence or degree of guilt.

But then again, I don't think we actually have a retributive system in America. Our justice is utilitarian, based on (as you said) making money for police and private-run prisons, and "protecting" society from the objects of their fears. As long as punishment makes somebody money, and helps the masses relax, it is deemed acceptable.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.