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Comment Re:Microsoft is winning this in the 2nd Circuit (Score 2) 67

It's not venue-shopping, it's part of the design of our system that the Supreme Court weighs in only after the issue has been litigated in multiple circuits, especially if the circuits are split.

For one thing, if many or all of the circuits agree, there's much less reason to have the Court weigh in. But moreover, it means that the Court can draw on the full record of opinion and reasoning from all the lower courts to better inform their decision.

Comment Re:Batteries from Nevada to Australia? (Score 1) 274

If these are lithium ion batteries would it be possible to ship them by air given all the shipping restrictions that are placed on lithium ion batteries currently?

The restrictions are on shipping them on passenger airplanes. You can still fly them around on a cargo plane, where the tolerance for risk has always been significantly higher.

Comment Re:Lots of work to do (Score 1) 160

But if you're one of the many of us who actively fight being tracked, we're going to be relegated to second-hand internet user thanks to Google's monopoly.

Whatever happened to you happened because the owner of the site chose to use ReCaptcha as a tool to prevent bots. You have no right to insist that a particular website cater a particular user experience to you -- if you don't like it, you can go elsewhere.

And what monopoly are we talking about here? There's certainly no monopoly on plugins to detect bots, there are dozens. Google might (probably even) have a monopoly on search, but that's hardly relevant to the captcha story. . .

Comment This is a bit disingenuous ... (Score 5, Insightful) 87

Yes, pollution is bad for your health. In no way is that a false statement.

At the same time, living in a pre-industrial society is also very bad for your health. As it living in a poorer society for a number of important reasons.

And since (unfortunately) we cannot yet have an industrial society without some pollution, it's disingenuous to say that pollution causes those deaths because we don't know if reducing it, and thereby reducing our output, would be beneficial or harmful at each margin. It's somehow implying that the pollution isn't accepted as part of trade-off -- or that we intentionally pollute with no side benefit -- which is ludicrous.

Of course, by the same vein that not all polluting activities are harmful on the margin, not all are beneficial on the margin either. Clearcutting rainforest to make room for banana groves is almost certainly a net harm. Burning natural gas to electrify rural areas that didn't previously have power is almost certainly a net gain. In between there's a whole realm of less obvious answers.

There's a future where all our power comes from nuclear and renewable and all our food is grown or synthesized on a small amount of land. We aren't there yet, and so we have to pick and chose.

Comment Re:Read the response... (Score 1, Insightful) 244

What the author of the above post is saying here, basically, is that they dont like being lied to which seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Right, no one likes that. But that's besides that point that someone lies to you and that reveals some inconsistency in your preferences, it seems like a good time to re-evaluate.

For instance, if someone gives me Budweiser but tells me it's PBR and I drink and enjoy it, then two things are concurrently true:

  1. 1. I can be angry and truthfully say I don't like being lied to
  2. 2. If I previously didn't like Budweiser or thought it was bad beer, I should reevaluate that based on the fact that I enjoyed it.

The second point is true totally irrespective of the first.

Comment Re:Read the response... (Score 0) 244

But if I found out my favorite single malt balvenie was actually blended and not disclosed, the fact that they lied about what it was would bother me immensely.

Wait really? If you found out that the beverage that you enjoyed (for years?) due to its taste was produced in a different fashion, your reaction would be to be upset at the purveyor rather than to re-evaluate your preference for single malt?

I mean, I get that they shouldn't lie. And in many cases the labeling implicates important nutritional, ethical or ecological concerns where lying is a direct affront to the consumer's preferences. But in the example you gave, there are none of those concerns: the only relevant concern is how the scotch tastes.

It's like the cookies that consumers rate as tastier because they are labeled organic. The empirical approach when confronted with information that challenges your beliefs is to reevaluate them, not to get upset at the guy that gave you that info.

[ There's probably a political lesson here too. ]

Comment Re:EU Governments need to ban Windows 10. (Score 1) 161

I understand that they are motivated by protecting the rights of the citizens here.

But the GP was suggesting that citizens be prohibited by those bureaucrats from running the computer software of their (potential) choice on computer hardware that they own. This is not something that I can accept as being compatible with the right of each citizen to determine what runs on his own machine.

Of course, citizens have the right to chose to run Linux or FreeBSD as well. Be careful of the future in which those options, too, are subject to the power of the State, even if those functionaries believe strongly they are protecting your rights.

Comment Re:EU Governments need to ban Windows 10. (Score 1) 161

The only way for the Privacy of EU Citizens to be assured of Privacy in the EU is for EU Governments to ban the Use of Windows 10. The entire OS is Spyware. Full stop.

Are you seriously claiming that that the citizens of the EU should prohibited from loading a particular piece of software on my personally owned computer?

Comment Re:snarky: managed languages RulZ! (Score 1) 374

Absolutely untrue. I work in a group that does low-level coding on a processor with 48k of RAM and 1MB of storage.

Yes, knowledge of C is essential. But so is Python. I would say that I write about 10x more Python than I do C, partially because there's so little code on the actual platform and so much test code, analysis code and framework code that needs to be written to validate that small amount of embedded code.

So this whole dichotomy is totally nuts.

Comment Re:Theoretically (Score 1) 172

Diamonds and oil are well known examples of large organizations being quite capable of agreeing to keep prices high, to avoid a competitive spiral.

Except there's tons of evidence that OPEC members cheat on their quotas as soon as prices rise. This is pretty much what you would expect from greedy members: first lie to the other members' faces and then grab as much of the excess profit as you can.

I think this is what's mistaken about the modern claim that because competitive entities are sociopathic, they must be restrained from outside. The counter-claim is that multiple sociopathic entities competing against one another to satisfy demand restrain each other. The cheating among OPEC members is a nice manifestation of this counter-claim.

[ And, of course, in reality the truth lies somewhere in the muddle. But for phone carriers where consumers can switch relatively easily (and port their phone numbers), the latter seems to deliver. ]

Comment Re:So normalized to the percentage of source ... (Score 1) 415

I agree, there is a bright future for solar.

We will know that future is here when solar can deliver the same amount of power as existing fossil fuels for the same cost, counting both labor and materials. This article is emphatic proof that we are not there yet, given the enormous labor costs associated with solar.

I really do have every hope that some alternative form of energy gains traction and reaches the kind of efficiencies needed to displace the old methods. But that hope is not some blind cheerleading that is willing to celebrate before the underlying numbers justify it.

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