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Comment Re:House loses most staunch Democrat (Score 1) 406

Are you aware of these 535 people called "Congress"? They negotiate and pass bills. The President just signs or vetoes them.

That's not accurate either. The President via the OMB basically drafts the federal budget. Since the executive branch runs the bureaucracy it knows what resources are necessary to make a program successful. So even when Congress is against the President there's a limit to how effectively they can force their will. Congress can easily kill programs they don't like by defunding them but it's much harder for them to force the executive to run a program effectively when the executive wants to kill it.

Comment Re:A guess (Score 1) 243

Palm's issue, was that the "Pre" was to late to the smart phone market, by then, Apple was already with iPhone. When I had my Palm, and my cellphone, I kept wondering why the two were not melded. My wonderment lasted over two years.

So if it was so difficult, why not break Palm OS to make it work on phones.

Never heard of the Treo? Palm was selling smart phones since 2003 when they acquired Treo from Handspring. But I don't think it was ever successful. Blackberry devices were more efficient and by the time the iPhone came out they had switched to Windows Mobile.

Comment Re: FreeBSD has as well STILL not patched. (Score 1) 208

The installed binaries built from the ports tree are not automagicly updated with the standard OS patches, this is why many people chose NOT to build from the ports tree and instead chose to use the binary package installer pkg tool such that the packages are then updated automaticly by the FreeBSD team as opposed to the user having to re-fresh the ports tree and manulay rebuild every package that gets an update.

I call bullshit. Binary packages have never been up to date on FreeBSD. Anybody knows anything about FreeBSD knows to use the ports tree. Especially for something that takes 2 seconds to build. The ports tree since yesterday has had the NetBSD workaround which is even safer than GNU's own since it disables the vulnerable (and hardly used) functionality entirely. (Who intentionally imports shell functions from the environment?) While we're going to be updating our Linux systems yet again for GNU's next attempt at fixing this.

FreeBSD isn't even vulnerable to begin with. /bin/sh is Almquist shell.

Comment Re:What did the US expect? (Score 1) 297

Pakistan was founded as a Muslim state, and it is not a reasonable expectation for it to work against Islam in Afghanistan by supporting the heretical idea of secular government.

Not accurate. Pakistan was founded as a secular nation. Their motivations in Afghanistan are all about power and control. Pakistan had militarily supported the Taliban against the Northern Alliance in the 90s, and so now that the Northern Alliance runs the government they ally themselves with India instead of Pakistan.

The only reason Islamabad gave the US the time of day in the past was to obtain arms to use against its mortal enemy India which was buddies with the Soviets during the Cold War.

The US came to India first. They wanted to be able to put missiles in India aimed at the Soviets. But India wanted to be neutral. Pakistan saw this and decided to ally with the US for money and arms to use against India. After China invaded India and gifted land to Pakistan, India gave up on neutrality and joined with the Soviets.

India would be wise to make buddies with the US after the US-Pak relationship collapses. If it comes to war, US assets could help India take out Pak nukes which are a menace to civilization.

It's never that simple. There have been several wars. And India always wins. Pakistan wants Kashmir because that's where the water is. There's not enough to go around so Indian dams cause the Pakistani rivers to run dry. They are so desperate for it that they constantly send their soldiers over the border posing as Kashmiri freedom fighters to fight and die. Like North Korea they are a doomed nation with nothing left to use. So they continue to terrorize out of spite. Even before both sides had deployed nuclear weapons, India had always stopped short of invading Pakistan because they see no use in trying to occupy it.

Comment Re:And they suck. (Score 1) 245

It's not a hardware problem. We have lots of T60s at work and they all the same problem in Ubuntu 10.04. The open source driver support for the 1400 is not good. I have to disable most of Compiz to avoid glitches. ATI's closed source driver worked a little better in some ways but they dropped support for those chipsets and the old drivers don't work on current kernels.


Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share 595

ozmanjusri writes "Online market share of the dominant Windows operating system has taken its biggest monthly fall in years to drop below 90%, according to Net Applications Inc. Computerworld reports that Microsoft's flagship product has been steadily losing ground to Mac OS X and Linux, and is at its lowest ebb in the market since 1995. 'Mac OS X... [ended] the month at 8.9%. November was the third month running that Apple's operating system remained above 8%.' The stats show that while some customers are 'upgrading' from XP to Vista, many are jumping ship to Apple, while Linux is also steadily gaining ground. A Net Applications executive suggests the slide may be caused by many of the same factors that caused the fall in Internet Explorer use. 'The more home users who are online, using Macs and Firefox and Safari, the more those shares go up,' he said. November has more weekend days, as well Thanksgiving in the US, a result that emphasizes the importance of corporate sales to Microsoft."

Comment Re:Sure, let Haliburtin do it (Score 1) 128

As far as spaceflight being dangerous, so is flight of any kind in general. So I take it that you never fly commercial airliners and believe they should be shut down as well due to safety issues? And it wasn't risky in the 1920's just when commercial aviation was starting out?

You misunderstand me. I'm not saying that people in general are unwilling to risk or their lives or that progress is possible without risking life. I'm saying that there's currently no sustainable business model around manned space flight for commercial use. Sending people into space does not solve a business problem. There are a few very rich and brave individuals willing to go into space for personal reasons. Not a sufficient market right now. You won't find many VCs willing to invest in such a company. They will certainly not turn a profit any time soon. But it is something that government space agencies invest in. I'm not saying we shouldn't let the private industry take over more of the design and manufacturing of spacecraft. Or that NASA is doing a terrific job. But removing NASA as a customer will make things a lot worse.

When aviation was starting out, we had a few entrepreneurs that were able to take the risks and build an industry themselves. They didn't need much funding and this liberated them. Space travel seems to be a lot more expensive for individuals to embark upon without large amounts of external funding. That's the fundamental difference in my mind. But perhaps, as you say, it really isn't all that expensive if you approach it correctly.

As far as a "zero tolerance" of fatalities, I certainly don't see that from NASA...

I meant private industry in this case. A high risk of death is something that makes manned spaceflight unprofitable for the private industry right now. It's hard to get repeat business when your customer dies! The private industry has to deal with the lawsuits resulting from fatalities. That's much less of an issue for NASA.

Also, NASA isn't the "only customer"...

But you're not a customer unless you can afford to pay. There are plenty of window shoppers, but the cost isn't going to go down if you lose your existing customers.

I just think we're better off with NASA bumbling towards something than not having them trying at all. They consume a relatively small part of the federal budget and tend to deliver a better return on investment than most other things the government spends on.

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