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Comment Re:I know it's trendy (Score 1) 649

I know every budget has to be criticized by 'the opposing party' with a list of all the wonderful things that are going to be cut, but you all DO realize that the US government is nearly $19 TRILLION in debt - or more than $50k per person in the country?

Every single program that we're paying for, essentially we're living off credit cards. We are the wealthiest nation in human history, and we still cannot afford all the crap we want.

At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

No one disagrees with that. That's fairly obvious. But what *parts* of the budget are you going to cut?

Any cut you make hurts someone. A large percentage of all government spending is on pay for employees or contractors. Cuts cause those employees and contractors to go looking for work, and the money they used to bring in will stop being poured into the local and global economy as they scrimp and save trying to survive while looking for work.Losing your job hurts a *lot*.

On the other hand, a small tax increase that affects everyone might cost each individual $500 per year or so (in the case of a rather extreme tax increase), but (1) that level of burden isn't going to push anyone over the edge, causing them to go from "making it" to having to sell their home; and (2) the ~$125 Billion per year that you raise from it will go to continuing to fund these programs, significantly slowing the rate of incurred national debt as long as we don't spend *more* than we already have.

The problem is that the Trump administration and congress don't want to raise taxes, but they're happy to cut programs that they are ideologically opposed to. But it turns out that many of their ideologies are just plain *wrong*, like "not believing" in climate change, pro-choice, or even the general welfare of the people. Their answer to "how do you decide what to cut?" is "things we don't like".

Comment Region Failover, Guys (Score 1) 113

I'm mystified as to why these companies running mission-critical apps with $$$ on the line aren't using multi-region redundancy or at least failover. Imagine if some terrorist dug up the fiber lines leading to the Ashburn primary datacenter, causing US-EAST-1 to be offline for days.

This is why you spread your resources around and have redundancies across different geographical regions. That way, the worst that could happen is users might experience a momentary lag, or maybe a couple TCP connections might get reset, but as soon as they try again it'll be up and running like normal, except that they'll be talking to a server in California or London instead of Ashburn, VA.

Surprised that so many companies don't have redundancy that this ended up costing $150M.

Comment That's OK (Score 1) 223

I haven't used wired headphones in years -- been happily on the Bluetooth bandwagon since BT 3.0 was the latest spec -- and I already have plenty of USB-C cables, including C to C and C to A.

Also, to the extent that *some of* Apple's hardware is "So Last Year" compared to the Android flagships, some of it is genuinely ahead of Android by 6 to 12 months. For instance, A10 Fusion is still today the fastest production system on chip that you can buy in a fully-functional, consumer-oriented device being produced at high volume. Both its CPU and GPU are quite a bit faster than the nearest competitor from Qualcomm and the like. Samsung's Exynos is even further behind, because their serial performance sucks; they seem to be stuck in the same "MOAR CORES" rut as AMD was for a number of years while they were irrelevant and a non-competitor to Intel. Single thread perf is king for consumer workloads (which is most HTML rendering, JavaScript execution and game engines), period, end of story.

Sure, Qualcomm will soon eclipse the A10 Fusion with something faster, but by the time an Android manufacturer puts it to market, Apple's next gen SoC (A11?) will be out in an iPhone you can go buy at your corner Best Buy or AT&T store. And it'll be the fastest again.

On the RAM front, iPhones also lag behind by about 2 years (the 7 Plus has the same RAM as the Note 4 from Q4 2014). But this brings me to my next point: Software.

I used Android phones from three different manufacturers (HTC, Samsung and Motorola) from the Android 2.0 era up til KitKat. And I swear that with every single phone, with every single stock firmware, I encountered the following, reliably: horrible, annoying bugs in my daily use case paths; awful, choppy Bluetooth with anemic range; very poor battery endurance (never more than 2 years); and some degree of bloatware that was impossible to remove/disable that had very significant storage and/or RAM footprint. I also spent most of my time with Android running a device with a widely publicly-known root exploit vulnerability (several of them exploitable remotely over the network or through apps I used), usually with some open-source exploit toolkit out there that could exploit the vulnerabilities my phone had. This is because as soon as an OTA came out fixing an exploit, another one would surface, rinse and repeat.

Lastly, despite all Google's efforts, Android devices are still extremely laggy even at the ultra high-end and perennially have performance problems, even with custom ROMs. There are so many little lags and hitches here and there that it just feels like it's running interpreted VBScript.

In my two years of using iPhones, I've never encountered a single bug of any sort. Yes, the software is not perfect and has bugs, but they're so minor or such edge cases that I've never encountered them in my daily workflow.

The performance is consistently, almost perfectly fluid, with exceedingly rare performance problems and hitches. For every single noticeable lag I've observed on an iPhone, I would've observed about a thousand of them on my Android device by using it for the same duration with similar use cases.

And Apple actually fixes their security problems quite expediently. Many OTAs have been rolled out whose entire content is just security vulnerability fixes. And often those vulnerabilities had been disclosed within the past week, or less. So the exposure time once a bug goes public is usually quite narrow or nonexistent.

Also, Apple is assertive enough to give the giant middle finger to parasites like Verizon and AT&T when they ask about the prospects of installing bloatware onto iPhones. They simply say "No". You might say that they build this into the device purchase price, but I can always purchase an unlocked iPhone and Verizon won't make a penny off of that, so there really is no financial incentive available to a carrier selling iPhones, except that *users want them* and want to use them on their favorite carrier's network.

I'm frighteningly happy with the Apple ecosystem right now. And in the rare case that something I need isn't on the App Store, I can always compile an app in XCode and run arbitrary code on my iPhone via legal/supported sideloading. I never thought I'd be a happy customer, but after years of getting fucked by carelessly built products from Android manufacturers, I'm completely satisfied. I've also never had any sort of hardware failure on any Apple device, though when that time eventually comes, I'll be using independent repair shops if my AppleCare Plus warranty has expired.

Comment Re:All these words (Score 4, Interesting) 104

Sound like high minded excuse to start use the platform for political purposes. All these words "bullying", "fake news", etc. are code words involved in liberal virtue signalling. "Fake news" is something that those evil right wingers do (especially it does not apply to New York Times, et al. or any garbage coming from BLM or other such outlets).

Deception, coercion, half-truths and complete fabrication are not, and have never been, tools used exclusively by people with one particular political leaning or another. They're used by leftists, rightists, centrists, libertarians, conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans, greens, independents, tea partiers, anarcho-communists, fascists, feminists, masculinists, and everyone in between or beyond.

It might be the case that a certain number of news outlets could be liberally biased enough to use these tactics to undermine right-wing political viewpoints, but this in no way prevents or exonerates those outlets which are right-wing, from using the same tactics.

If your complaint then becomes that there are too many liberal news sources and not enough mainstream conservative news sources, then you're basically saying that you want the news to present you with lies that agree with your personal political dogma, rather than lies that attack or offend your personal political dogma.

If you think that a change of color or movement along a right/left spectrum will in any way affect the frequency and severity of lies, deception and coercion used by the mainstream media, you would be plain wrong in that belief. ANY politically motivated organization, regardless of what agenda they're pushing, is going to distribute deceptive and patently false information, also known as propaganda, that supports the agenda they are being paid to push.

The only way to return news media to reporting on objective truths observable by scientifically rigorous methods, and away from speculation, hearsay, the passing of rumors and fabrications, and opinion-slinging (all of which are inherently biased toward some particular set of beliefs, and in the context of politics, toward some particular set of political beliefs), is to forcibly separate media from financial incentive. Capitalist media is always going to be propaganda for someone.

Comment Re:Java sucks (Score 1) 155

Also, to make your argument look even more silly, Java was already ridiculously popular before Sun open sourced the code. Before that it was (mostly) freeware, but companies of all sizes were also buying support licenses for proprietary Java back in the early days. Open sourcing Java just accelerated its popularity, because, in the early days of .NET, its competition was much more platform-constrained (Windows-only, before Mono) and pricey (required a Visual Studio license to unlock some features or, in the very early days, to even get a compiler).

In fact, if you appreciate the extremely open nature of the .NET ecosystem today, then you owe thanks to Java, because Microsoft only open sourced .NET and allowed/encouraged/fostered the Mono project and cross-platform packages in Nuget because of Java/Maven's advantages that were pulling developers off of the .NET ecosystem.

Today, in 2017, there's not much reason to use Java compared to .NET if the libraries you need are supported on .NET (and even if not, you can use IKVM if you're absolutely intent on not running the Oracle HotSpot JVM, but you'll still be shipping Java bytecode). But Java led the way in platform openness and Microsoft was helpless but to follow or watch their platform crumble into obsolescence like VBScript and Cobol.

Comment Re:Java sucks (Score 1) 155

There are a precious few languages I can think of today that require you to pay money to get access to the platform and a compiler/IDE/interpreter.

All the major implementations of JavaScript are free.
C#, VB.NET and all the .NET languages are free.
C, C++, and Objective C are free (many free implementations exist).
Ada, Go, Haskell, Python, Ruby, Perl, PHP, Lisp, and virtually all of the hundreds of "esoteric" programming languages are free.

Your argument is based around a false premise, that if someone is willing to pay money to access a programming language, it is inherently more valuable than languages that can be developed in for free.

About the only languages that are popular and non-free are ones such as VBScript and VBA (they require a Windows OS, but free as in free beer interpreters exist) and a few really unpopular and hated languages like Cobol, Progress and MUMPS.

Are you trying to say that all the free programming languages mentioned above are worse than VBScript, VBA, Cobol, Progress and MUMPS? If so, you need to have your head examined. Spend some time actually _developing with_ one of these crippled, outdated, outmoded, feature-deprived and slow as balls "non-free" programming languages, and you'll be running back as fast as you can into the arms of the nearest free language. Maybe even Java.

Comment Re:Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

What's the difference? If your only other option is unreliable 3 Mbit ADSL that drops out when it rains, you're damned right people are going to use this as a home Internet connection.

If Verizon thinks they have a problem with unlimited data users on the cellular network, they can easily fix it by bringing FiOS to the 97% of the customers in their monopoly "turf" who get no service at all from them, or only ADSL. This is a problem they themselves created.

Comment Re: The problem could be Android (Score 1) 69

Meanwhile Apple continues to slowly make concessions to users' demands for added freedoms and features, like:

Adblocking, introduced in iOS 9. Some of the popular adblocking apps are really quite good, even compared to the best adblockers on the desktop like uBlock Origin, but perhaps not quite as performant (meh).

Sideloading; for $0 you can use a Hackintosh + an Apple developer account, or some open source experimental build tools on github, to compile open source iOS apps and load/run them on your phone -- there are plenty; see https://github.com/dkhamsing/o... .

Better support for third-party keyboards (than before),

Continued robust support for "Restrictions", i.e., preventing apps from doing things. And the apps are required to be coded to nominally work with user-tunable restrictions enabled; they can't just say "Sorry, without X you can't use our app, bye" (Apple will pull your app from the app store if it does that). The app must function as well as it still can without the desired permissions. Granted, an app mainly designed to record sound and encode it in MP3 isn't going to be terribly useful without microphone access, but it would still have to, for instance, give you access to play back existing recordings or copy them out to other apps.

And despite all the user empowerment that has been coming to iOS in recent years, we continue to enjoy a *truly* lag-free, buttery-smooth UI with sparingly few bugs (which are usually fixed by the .2 minor release of any given iOS major release). Our batteries continue to be saved by iOS's tight grip on applications' background behavior. TouchID is the best fingerprint recognition system on a smartphone, period. The latest iPhone has shipped the fastest mobile CPU, GPU and NAND for several generations in a row now, and also was the first product to mass market with a new SoC transistor fabrication size (16 nm with the iPhone 6S). And they (finally) caught up with competitors in making their phones water-resistant.

I don't even feel the need to jailbreak. The few things I want to do that I can't do with anything on the app store, I can easily do by compiling an open source iOS app on GitHub. Apps themselves have such robust access to the device's capabilities that jailbreaking doesn't even seem like it would add any value. I'm just waiting for someone to port a better browser like Firefox or Chromium to iOS and make the sources available to be compiled. That'd be awesome.

I used Android phones for 5 years, but I've never been more satisfied with my mobile devices than I've been with my iPhone 6S Plus and now 7 Plus.

Comment Re:Nature's taking care of the problem (Score 1) 137

Can't tell if trolling or just stupid...

"you must be american" --> Well don't let *facts* get in the way of your discrimination against people from a particular country:

India has a land area of 2.87 million km^2. 1.2 billion people live there.

The U.S. has a land area of 9.83 million km^2. 328 million people live there.

If the implication of your comment "you must be american" is that my country is more overpopulated than India, it's going to be fairly hard to convince me of that, when we have many times more land and about 1/4 as many people living in that land.

Yes, the US has a population growth problem, but then so do most parts of the world. But the US is not currently, as it stands, anywhere near as overpopulated as India.

Comment Nature's taking care of the problem (Score 2, Insightful) 137

http://www.albartlett.org/pres...

Either we choose from the list of ways to solve the population problem, or nature will choose for us. India is grossly overpopulated. Nature is running its course. You cannot build a society, a philosophy, a religion, a way of life that's built around reproducing as quickly and exponentially as possible while discovering new resources (land, energy) at a rate slower than exponential. The math doesn't work.

Their next strategy is to try and spill over into the other less-overpopulated parts of the world and make *those* places just as overpopulated as India, if not more. They just don't seem to get it.

Comment Price and bugs (Score 1) 270

It's not the media that dissuades me from buying a self-driving car. Not at all. It's the price of self-driving cars, and the fact that they're still pretty buggy.

Once the price of reliable, safe, bug-free-to-a-very-high-standard-deviation self-driving vehicles drops, I'll be in the market. I couldn't care less what the media wants me to think. The FUD bounces off and splats against the floor.

Comment Duh (Score 1) 64

I first realized something to this effect way back in 2002, when a company called Ctrax offered a download-based DRM music service for college students for a small fee (or was it free?). This was absolutely revolutionary in 2002, when Spotify, etc. didn't exist, so if you wanted to obtain large quantities of licensed music for free, this was basically one of the best ways to do it. I guess Ctrax came so early at the beginning of the "de-DRMing" of the music industry because college students were among the most egregious music pirates, so getting money out of the university and/or the students is better than getting $0 out of them. ... But you couldn't transfer the files between machines; you couldn't convert them to MP3s; you couldn't listen to them in other media players; you couldn't apply pitch shifting (and the EQ sucked); you couldn't transfer them to a mobile device; you couldn't back them up; and you'd lose access to them when your subscription to Ctrax expired.

In other words, the company didn't trust its users, so they imposed arbitrary restrictions on users, and used your own computer hardware against you to enforce those restrictions.

And I complained - loudly - about this in philosophical discussions in Computer Science courses. But of course everyone laughed at me for being silly about restricted music downloads because it's only a minor inconvenience, and I should be happy to have access to that much music anyway.

Well, we gave them an inch, and now they've taken every mile of the surface of the Earth. Good job, guys.

Comment Re:OVH - the abuser gets abused (Score 1) 116

The complaints aren't being "ignored". You try to deal with as many customers as they have while still turning a profit and see how many complaints you get and what your response time is. Besides, if OVH disappeared today, all the spammers would flock to the next-cheapest hosts, and then Amazon or Microsoft or Hetzner or whoever would be the #1 spammer, and we'd all be complaining about them.

Don't blame the landlord for a high crime rate in the city.

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