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Comment No Credibility (Score 1) 108

The U.S. Government has no credibility with regards to security. Its M.O. is to do stupid stuff, then to blame the messenger who tells the world just how incompetent our federal government really is. Even if, against all odds, our government is correct this one time, it is factually wrong so many times as to mask the one time it may (or may not) be right.

Comment Re:Consumers (Score 3, Informative) 307

So any reason why all these labels dont giv consumer what consumers want?

This suit comes right on the heels of a study which concludes that lawsuits do nothing to prevent illegal copying, but that illegal copies have higher consumer value than the legal copies because of stupid decisions made by music and movie producers and distributors.

Comment Re:How is this different from any university? (Score 1) 329

My university years were good for a few things, but major career training was not one of those things.

My university degree, though, was essntial for opening doors.

Every useful thing I learned about writing software I learned on my own -- all the core, and much of the advanced, stuff I learned before I ever set foot in a classroom; all the rest after I started my first job. None of the time between those two points yielded much of anything useful, but all the desirable jobs required a 4-year degree from an accredited university.

So yes, universities are a huge scam; but most businesses are in collusion with the universities to make them, for all intents and purposes, a required rite of passage.

Fortunately, though, I had the good sense to live with my parents until well after I graduated, so I paid off my entire student debt in about six years.

Comment Re:With all due respect to Mr. Hawking and us... (Score 2) 280

Uh, FTL travel is not possible. Ever.

There are several ways in which that statement is both true and, at least potentially, untrue at the same time.

True:
1) We have discovered no way to break what we understand to be the highest velocity at which a particle can travel: light speed.

2) No experiment we have ever conceived and/or tested has discredited (1) above.

3) There are several more, but I don't want to articulate them.

Untrue (or potentially untrue):
1) Our best understanding is that matter in the universe moved faster than light during a time following the Big Bang. This invalidates your assertion that FTL is never possible. Otherwise, matter could not have spread as far as it has in the given time since the Big Bang. This suggests that the speed of light may not be an absolute limit, but that we have no way to reproduce it. See (1) under the True heading. A sufficiently advanced civilization may, hypothetically speaking, possess such technology. This, if it exists, is so far beyond the state of our knowledge as to be indistinguishable from magic.

2) Reproducing the effects of FTL, without actually moving at FTL speeds, is an acceptable alternative. A sufficiently advanced civilization may, hypothetically speaking, possess such technology. This, if it exists, is so far beyond the state of our knowledge as to be indistinguishable from magic.

3) Again, there are several more, but I don't want to articulate them.

Comment Re:Some sensible things (Score 1) 168

Things like SELinux or Mac's Gatekeeper or any Unix-type OS can be set so that only specific applications have access to certain hardware.

I wouldn't trust Mac, as it's closed source. But I don't blindly trust my Linux-based systems, either, as they run on closed hardware. Comey and the Three Letter Agencies have made open hardware all the more necessary.

Comment Re: Sanitation For The Win (Score 0) 30

You're under the impression that sanitation equals pristine measures, which isn't the case. Sanitation means cleanliness. Most of the measures undertaken to eliminate Malaria in Sri Lanka involved cleanliness. That's not to say that this form of sanitation is without repercussions (perhaps the sprays cause cancer); but yes, most of the measures described in the article involve sanitation.

Nowhere in the article did it mention Primaquine. But even if the drug was involved, it doesn't detract from the sanitation effort one bit. The drug was one prong of a multifacted approach, and was used where the infection occurred before the sanitation efforts were undertaken. The drug will be largely, if not completely, unnecessary now.

Comment Re:"Meddling with nature"? Yes, please. (Score 1) 367

...and the resounding success that our "meddling" has yielded so far -- clothing, farming, animal husbandry, domesticated fire, water purification, and so on -- I find it a bit depressing that the "meddling with nature" trope still gets any traction at all.

There is a HUGE difference between developing external technologies and altering internals that we don't understand. I would put human understanding of human biology somewhere between .05% and .07%. We can't even create relatively simple medicines that don't have side effects, or create replacements for relatively simple organs without risking death, or manufacture basic replacement parts that actually work, and you're all for altering our foundational existence?

That's insane. You've been watching way too much TV.

Comment Minor Risk (Score 1) 265

Autonomous weapon systems, while being an issue that needs consideration, are far less of a concern than autonomous job killers. Putting people out of work, without a means to quickly repurpose them at equal or better pay, is far more dangerous to a civilized society than the very primitive state of so-called "artificial intelligence".

The risks of families starving and being homeless are far greater than the risks of families being killed by military drones.

Comment Doesn't Matter (Score 1) 391

Most IDE's (and some better text editors) have options to convert from spaces to tabs, and from tabs to spaces. Choose your preference, select "reformat" and get on with the job of writing software.

The debate was interesting back when all we had were dumb text editors, but it's entirely pointless now.

Comment Does Not Compute (Score 1) 367

So Comey wants to eliminate one of our biggest protections against organized crime, pedophiles, Federal agencies acting illegally, and other forms of criminals. Who on Earth can promote such an agenda, while claiming to be protecting Americans, other that someone with an agenda similar to those he is claiming to fight?

His arguments are highly illogical at face value, but make perfect sense as a means to harm America from the inside. Prior to Snowden, when we buried our collective heads in the sands of denial about illegal Federal behavior, I could have assumed that Comey at least had our best interests at heart. But now I must assume that his agenda is to continue harming us.

Comment Re:Could you gush a little more? (Score 1) 427

You and I have completely different experiences. I've had to maintain people's C# code, and it's no better than Java, and is frequently so obtuse as to be a bad joke. It has a whole set of solutions solving problems that don't exist, except in the minds of bad programmers, but completely lacks the cross-platform benefits of Java.

Java's cross-platform powers far exceed the minor (and most are very minor, to the point of insignificance) problems the platform has. Of the dozens of languages/platforms I've learned and forgotten over the years, Java hits a sweet spot that nothing else has come close to touching. It's unfortunate, because Oracle is a decayed, green, rotten donkey dick; but the GPL compensates for that.

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