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Comment What is your problem? (Score 2, Insightful) 253

they'll censor whatever the fuck they want to.

Dude, WTF? Wake up. ... It's freakin' FACEBOOK! They can and could always do whatever the f*ck they want! With your content, with your data, ... they could eben change their TOS to allow them to superimpose everyones portrait on animal porn images and there'd be nothing for you to do about it other than delete your account and and all your data and hope that no one downloaded those images to their computer or other parts of the intarweb.

I'd say FB and Twitter curbing hate-propaganda is actually the lesser evil. People who are dumb enough to post such stuff on FB are probably best kept from doing serious harm. To others *and* themselves.

Comment If this is true, capitalism has come to an end. (Score 1) 531

Capitalism as we know it needs scarcity to function. What CEOs are saying when they say this is basically capitalism as we know it has come to an end. As soon as robots drive us around and build and sow and harvest everything we need, we're moving into a post-scarcity economy with solid utopia potential.

Us sitting at our keyboards and posting on slashdot are basically there already. What needs to happen is for the rest of humanity to follow.
But the general premise is true: Technology development is a logarithmic curve that's pointing up. Unless something goes really wrong the post-scarcity economy will continue on its way into society.

Comment Federal elections should be federal (Score 1) 606

In Germany we have "Voting Districts" which all have the same amount of registered voters, They determine who get's into the Bundestag, There is one direct mandate and one federal mandate. Direct candidates can get in if they are elected by the majority of voters of their district. There are a few prominent examples of this happening.

The German system is a little complicated and perhaps bloated - our Bundestag is 600+ people and could lose a hundred or so without hurtung anyone - but the key issue is this one: Federal elections are federal and are counted at federal scale. State elections are counted at state level with representatives of each state forming the "Bundesrat", the counter-balance for the "Bundestag". That way there is a nice balance of power. Gridlock is less in Germany, because any party can join the fray (A party needs 5000 signatures to be able to found itself). That way we have coalitions and a good balance of power. At the same time Germany has a 5% hurdle parties need to take in order to be able to join the Bundestag, which prevents excess fragmentation and a chaos we had back in the Weimar Republik, pre-Third-Reich.

A good example for a flexible balance of power is the "big coalition" with Angela Merkel as Chancellor. Because the larger "Peoples Parties" SPD and CDU lost voters in the last 3 decades, they are forced to work together and keep an eye out for protest movements and Germanys equivalent of alternative conservatives such as the AFD. The Germany federation works surpsiingly well and also is quite stable.

All in all I think the Germany system has some very neat democratic mechanisms that the US should really try out.
My first order would be: Federal elections are federal, no intermediate 'state' level election.

Comment Most likely. (Score 1) 324

I know from personal sources what US intelligence black-ops and their propaganda moves are capable of and have pulled of in the past to manipulate the public, so I'd say it's pretty likely.

Then again, that doesn't make Mr. Putin a nice guy or his regime an oderly one. It's just that the public US debate gives the Russians to much power and their own system to much credibility IMHO.

Comment MakerBot is the C64 of Matter Compilers (Score 1) 273

The answer to this question is quite obvious to me: MakerBot is to Matter Compiling (see "The Diamond Age" from Neal Stephenson) what the C64 is to the Smartphones we carry around with uns today, that resemble some distant spacey science-fition vision of a 19981 Cray 2 supercomputer for your pocket and that cost roughly a days salary of a regular worker today in 2016.

MakerBot marks the beginning of a revolution, not the revolution itself.

Like Commodore is basically just some brandname used on some products no one buys today, it marks for many of use the beginning of commodity computing. We knew what it meant back then, but very very few people outside of the micro computer faszination could even dream about the high-res touchscreens and flat, light, sturdy, long-running and dirt cheap supercomputers we have today.

MakerBot could very well be long dead when, in 25 years or so, when 3D printing a device is better and cheaper than mass-production today and is as common as smartphones are today. It's the way technological developmennt happens.

My 2 cents.

Comment 20 million is pocket change for FB (Score 4, Insightful) 58

In a strange way this illustrates perfectly what's wrong with the US. If FB would pay taxes and those taxes would go into proper schools, proper healthcare and feasible housing projects this token gesture of over-f*cking-welming 20 million USD wouldn't be necessary.

My 2 Eurocents.

Comment InOtherNews: Real Apple chargers fail budget test (Score 2) 120

I replaced my broken apple MB Air charger 3 years ago. Recently it broke again. I repaired mine this time around, with electric connectors and tape. 85 Euros for a charger is freakin' insane, even by Apple standards. The margin on these things must be higher even than on iPhones. Someone should list their global profit percentage on chargers - that would probably be 99.9% vis-a-vis 91% of all Smartphone profits globally. ...
One of the reasons I'm actually happy about moving away from Apple computers now.

Submission + - Has any of you worked through TAOCP? (wikipedia.org)

Qbertino writes: I've got TAOCP ("The Art of Computer Programming") on my book-buying list for just about two decades now and I'm still torn here and there about actually getting it. I sometimes believe I would mutate into some programming demi-god if I actually worked through this beast, but maybe I'm just fooling myself.

This leads me to the question:
Have any of you worked or with through TAOCP or are you perhaps working through it? And is it worthwhile? I mean not just for bragging rights. And how long can it reasonably take? A few years?

Please share your experiences with TAOCP below. Thank you.

Comment Brands and trademarks are *not* silly. (Score 1) 103

Branding is not silly. In fact, it is essential to getting a good product of the ground and into widespread use. Those neat Mozilla / Firefox Videoads are at least as important to Firefox acceptance as the newest Adblocker Plugin are. If they need to protect their brand and Debian sees no way of integrating a product called "Firefox" because the FF branding/trademark conflict with Debians rules, then they will have to ditch the brand, even though the product is the same. You could argue that Debian is being silly aswell, but in this case neither are - they just follow different core principles from wich both entities aren't willing to back down, both for very very valid reasons.

I'd say in todays sharing economy, branding is getting more and more important.

In conclusion:
Use a FOSS product, but dilute the brand that comes with it, and the key sponsor will come down on you like a pile of bricks. And for good reasons too. In this case Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu have acutally been quite generous. They should start sueing the companies in question and make some noise about why exactly they are doing it.

Comment I think kudos go to Tim Ferriss for this (Score 1) 150

IIRC Tim Ferriss mentioned throwing in his influence and leverage in the background to advance research and approval of unconventional medication in the area of PTSD treatment. IIRC he specifically mentioned this trial and it might even be prepared under his guidance. (It's in some Tim Ferriss Show podcast somewhere IIRC)

AFAIK he has been doing some brain-drug experimentation himself, having owned a brain-drug company before his success as a bestseller author. He also covers brain drugs in his book "The 4-hour body".

Say what you want, but he actually puts his money where his mouth is and tries to move regulations away from tradition-based misconception about some consciousness-altering drugs and towards an effective treament of PTSD. Doing useful stuff with his money, fame and success. Nice.

Comment I can confirm that. (Score 2) 228

In my teens I praticed meditation in general and, more specifically, what is called "astral projection", basically inducing out-of-body-experiences. I practiced it for six years just about every evening. In the end I finally made it, achieving that higher state of mind, where you experience the buzzing and humming, your body shrinking and your soul expanding and see "the tunnel" and such. It's the most intense state of being I've ever experienced and I doubt any drug can push you further. You're basically hyper-awake while it happens. And it's scary. Turns out we don't like to leave our body most of the time. :-)

The difference in state of mind and awareness compared to normal as normal compares to vivid, semi-lucent dreaming. I stopped it after this event, but one effect is that I don't fear death as much as I used to.

I cant say for sure that we are still around after death, like the mystics like to point out, but it sure felt like it.

My 2 cents.

Comment After 13 years I'm slowly moving away from Apple (Score 2) 142

I added Apple to my hardware selection of Linux boxes back in 2003.
I like Apple hardware and the new MB Pro is very neat. The huge touchpad, the awesome keyboard and the retina display are are all very neat things. However, after getting an iBook G4 back in 2003 (cheapes Subnote available at the time), a Mac Mini (cheapest mini PC available at the time) a few years later and an MB Air in 2011 (only ultrabook available at the time (the class "Ultrabook" didn't even exist yet), my new machine will be an generic netbook without any OS preinstalled. I'll install linux on it, as usual with non-Apple hardware.

Why?

While Apple is quite neat, I'm increasingly wary of the Apple golden cage and their lock-in. Apple pay built into the new MB Pros doesn't help. Also, Apple products arent' so stand-alone innovative as they used to be and the prices have risen. My new machine, coming this week, will be a 300 Euro Netbook with a quadcore CPU and 10 hours of battery time. Vis-a-vis a minimum of 1700 Euros for the new MB Pro that's just to huge a gap to justify the expense.

Another prime reason for me to get an OS X machine has disappeared: I used to do professional Flash development. Since Flash is basically dead and it is the first and last prorpietary non-FOSS technology I've ever invested time in, there is no reason for me to keep a system around that runs the Flash IDE. Linux is as flaky and obscure as ever, but it hasn't gotten worse and Java (for my Jetbrains IDE) and Web (for everything I develop today) work just as fine as with macOS.

Homebrew and other FOSS macOS projects such as iTerm are very neat too, but I still trust compling on pure FOSS OSes more. On my MB Air I'm still running Maveriks, and brew starts complaining about the outdated compiler. Since the MB Air is a little to weak for El Capitan, I'm slowly getting stuck between a rock and a hard place with this.

I might get an MB Pro again some time in the future, but it would be more for kicks than anything else. They build nice machines, no doubt, but Linux for Pros and ChromeOS for n00bs cover 99.99% of the markets needs and costs roughly a 5th. And with Linux I'll be in control until the day I die. Or at least longer than I would be with Apples neatly bound hard- and software packages.

My 2 cents.

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