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Comment Infinite Weasels (Score 1) 86

It is irrelevant whether an infinite number of monkeys posting everything they saw to the net would eventually produce every important news item that professional media organizations now produce.

1. We would never manage to find the important stories amidst the infinite amount of crap they would post.
2. We don't actually have an infinite number of monkeys.

Accordingly, it is necessary to employ a few professional, eagle-eyed reporters to keep the weasels of the world under control.

Comment Re:as far as I am concerned (Score 2, Insightful) 86

Newspapers are also extensive, experienced intelligence gathering organizations. They look for news. They do a better job than most of identifying stuff that matters. And then, they tell people about it. Some of the bad actors out there are quite good at hiding; it takes time and skill to sift the nuggets of information from the muck.

Yes, yes, publications also produce churn, listicles, FUD, etc. That's a minor annoyance compared to the value of having dedicated investigators on the job.

Comment Re:Just don't buy HP (Score 1) 249

I'm coming at you from an HP laptop I bought this year and have been happy with. But I bought a printer this year and after hearing that they are acting like such bastards about it I am very glad I didn't buy HP.

I bought a Brother double sided laser printer for $80 or $90 dollars off of Amazon. It also functions as a scanner, and third party cartridges for it from Amazon cost about $10-$15 and have worked great so far. I have been extremely happy with it. The double sided printing has been very helpful for some of my kids' school projects this year, and my wife and I had some paperwork we needed to scan earlier this year. The software for the thing is a little bit jerky (it asked if I want it to check for updates, and when it does it "helpfully" tells me about other software I might want), but that's nowhere near as bad as what HP is apparently doing with their printers.

Comment Shall Make No Law (Score 2) 317

This law says, you may not publish true information because some one else might do something discriminatory with it.

But, we already have laws forbidding the discriminatory thing that might happen. So, this law abridging freedom of speech and of the press is necessary why, exactly?

Answer: It isn't necessary at all. This is exactly the "won't someone think of the children" thinking that suckers us into whittling our rights away into nothing, one sliver at a time.

Comment Exotic Locales (Score 1) 85

What's interesting is the seemingly unlikely locations where projects are actually in place or being planned. So much for the argument that profitable wind locations would be rare or hard to reach.

Amazon@ Fowler Ridge Indiana
Amazon@ Paulding County Ohio
Amazon@ Perquimans and Pasquotank Counties, North Carolina
Amazon@ Scurry County, Texas

Comment Interests (Score 1) 436

because the State Department has asserted a very strong public interest in national defense and national security

It's nice when people express an interest in my life, but when they start demanding information it gets creepy, and when they start using it as a justification for violating my rights it has become abusive.

Comment Re:Kindergarten ? (Score 1) 228

They also neglect soft education like Music and Art

Are we still surprised by this? Anything that does not contribute directly to the bottom line gets cut. Recess. Music. Art. Sports. Here, the bottom line is that one-dimensional letter grade that legislators use to fund schools.

So, if you value these things, push to have them be part of the standards by which your state judges schools.

Comment You keep using that word (Score 1) 110

Amazon Says It Puts Customers First - But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn't

I think most people understand that the phrase "putting customers first" means "We strive to serve our customers well, with the expectation that we are going to be well-paid for it." So this complaint doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Amazon isn't necessarily going to offer me the lowest prices in the world. They aren't giving away stuff for free, after all. And I want them to profit so they will be around to serve me tomorrow, because I do feel like they serve me well.

the company gives itself an oft-decisive advantage

Decisive advantage over what? The customers? Is shopping a competitive experience between the buyer and the seller where one only gains at the expense of the other? This reads like an attempt to alienate a merchant and its customers. It's probably not actual astroturfing by a competitor, but one could be forgiven for wondering.

Comment Re:Who knew? (Score 1) 295

terrorist (n): a person who, in order to get you to do what he wants, hurts others

Attacks fully or partially caused:
Inability to route prescriptions electronically to pharmacies
Email downtime for departments where email supports critical processes
Inability to access remotely hosted electronic health records

Wherever we see this dynamic, regardless of sympathetic motives, we can recognize a bad guy. Heroes don't do it that way.

Comment Re:Don't rush to conclusion (Score 1) 84

So long as it is disclosed during the debate before the vote that Plan B is the AT&T/Comcast plan. So long as the vote is not manipulated. So long as discussing Plan B is not, itself, just a stalling tactic. Then there is nothing wrong with Plan B being heard.

Next step: the council votes.

Comment Re: like what? (Score 2) 537

Why haven't geeks solved all the world's problems yet? Perhaps because they have been busy solving the world's problems.

For example:
--invented and built out mobile telephony, improving personal safety and convenience
--built global data network (the Internet) that continues to enlighten populations and shake repressive governments
--invented gps sats and provided cheap handheld receivers
--invented geographic information systems (which allows not just MapQuest, but Yelp, gas buddy, and the self-driving car, among others)
--911 service was a geek project from start to finish
--proved the existence and cause of global warming back when it was still possible to fix it (too bad the money refused to listen)
--provided micro targeted (per zip code) weather forecasts that are many times more accurate than anything we had 20 years ago (try MinuteCast sometime)
--sequenced the genome, telling us what is likely to kill us, and, one day soon, repairing those defects (a work in progress)
--invented recorded music (c. 1877) and made it ubiquitous (c. 1962)
--created design tools that make it possible to build amazing stuff, e.g. successful 2700 ft buildings
--visited the moon (in person) and the planets (via camera probes)

Not that the amount of effort spent chasing short term profits isn't appalling (e.g. the entire video delivery and drm industry), but some of the things that computer geeks have built actually have changed the world for the better.

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