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Comment Re:Lawyer? (Score 5, Insightful) 554

We haven't put it to the test in the last 100 years or so, because we learned the lesson the first time. The industrial revolution in Britain and the United States was a free-market wet-dream. No minimum wage, no worker safety, no anti-competitive status, and no child labor laws.

What happened was that industry found the sweet spot where they were just a hair better than staying on the farm (which also had none of those restrictions) so that they could run their machinery with a constant stream of new-arrivals. The result was sweat shops, child labor, company towns, tenements, slums, the reduction of the middle class (skilled workers), and massive environmental damage - all for the benefit for a few ultra-wealthy "captains of industry" like Rockefeller, Carnagie, Morgan, and Vanderbilt.

Ironically, communist China is in the process of repeating our free-market mistake.

Comment Re:Where's my computerized credit card? (Score 2, Insightful) 216

More FUD. Go read the laws on the books. The US Government does not distinguish between Credit Cards and other EFT Transfers. It's all under the same law. The dispute process you are referring to is something set forth by Visa, not the Federal Government. The Federal Gov't just dictates what the financial institutions can and cannot do.

Comment Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (Score 2, Insightful) 359

I agree that not all discrimination is bad; however, the original poster is clearly referring to agism by young programmers as a bad thing, then following up with sweeping statement that all young programmers are worthless right after graduating.

I am not trying to argue that experience has no worth or that older workers have don't issues getting jobs due to age; however, I am stating that the original poster is spewing as much crap about young programmers as the young programmers he is referring to spew about old programmers.

Comment Dumbest possible way to not find errors (Score 2, Insightful) 111

Remember the very obvious maxim of Dykstra: testing can only tell you there ARE errors, it can't tell you there AREN'T errors.

Randomly poking at data only find you the very dumbest errors. It takes some real thinking and mulling to realize, hey, if a xml field crosses this buffer boundary, and the last 4-byte Unicode code was cached, it's going to get bashed by the next 3-byte escape code. Or 255 bytes of code-page Yen symbol (255) followed by a 254 will lead to sign-extension and access to an address in the kernel trampoline DLL. Those kind of combinatorial errors are not going to be discovered by random poking at the data.

So they're going to (and have) given everybody a false sense of security, when the basic method can do nothing of the sort. it can only fin errors of the most trivial sort. It can't find errors that thousands of unemployed Russian hackers can dream up of testing for, and it can only FIND errors, not tell you there aren't an unlimited number of remaining errors.

Comment In Transit (Score 1) 130

I'm currently reading The Emergence of a Scientific Culture by S. Gaukroger. My interest stems from past readings in epistemology as a study of the methodology of science, and, my interest in Mediterranean death cult religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism as patriarchal control mechanisms, not unlike induced schizo-affective disorders, that come into play in agrarian societies with controlling oligarchies (monarchies) ensconced in developing urban centres. It's my own take on things that's evolved from trying to understand to what extent corruption is fundamental and necessary to democracy. I'm throwing it out in this thread because I think U.K. libel laws are symptomatic of a transition from class structured, shame-face saving patriarchal societies to modern democracies that have successfully tested empirical findings and common law and are putting aside almost Shamanistic believes that words are effectively magical or Gospel.

Cleisthenes in Ancient Greek history is said to have instituted the first democracy. Sketchily put he did it by breaking up the political clout of existing clans by creating voting blocks that abstracted away from the clan bases and instituted time limits on political offices. He also, IIRC, enforced political participation. I'm sure that somewhere in the Federalist Papers there are presumptions that all of us are corrupt, or subject to corruption, and, the American Founding Fathers instituted articles and laws to form a democracy that reflected their belief in the fundamental corrupt character of us all. I'm trying to formulate a view of modern democracy from the underlying idea that as a political institution democracy best addresses corruption. This sort of links up to Churchill's famous dictum that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others because it best addresses the citizenry and politicians of modern democracies as the worst of all peoples except for all the others, and, this because it best addresses our corruptible natures.

I believe modern democracies with universal suffrage given majority and capacity on the part of it's citizens are the most viable forms of modern government because they've stood the test of history in transitioning from agrarian to post industrial urban societies. British libel laws and things like hate laws have considerable merit but reflect a more industrial/agrarian society where class structure and "face" reflect more primitive belief systems wherein words carry magical import. Going into language goes to far afield but mentioning the "debate" between Newton and Leibniz over the discovery of the Calculus and the tribal wars of industrializing Europe give some character to where I'm trying to go with this stuff.

Archeology has in it's body the idea of a three generation window for viewing past cultures. A generation is somewhere between 20 and 30 years. Three generations give a vivid insight into a culture because grandparents, parents and offspring are a highly sympathetic and even empathetic cluster that transitions cultural values. The U.K., like all viable modern democracies, is transitioning to a new perspective that has as it's foundation empirical findings in Science and tested wisdom in law but still has to deal with the fundamental corrupt nature of our kind.

je m'amuse

Comment Re:Bad things to say about chiropractors? (Score 1) 130

Your error is in assuming that the fact that BadAnalogyGuy used the phrase wrongly means that the phrase itself has no useful meaning. I noticed that both you and he used professions in your discussion, but that's not where "hate speech" is a useful term. It's when speech is used to generate hate about something that isn't reasonably changeable, like a person's skin color or religion, that it takes on meaning. Virg

I wonder if you've thought that through. So it's wrong to hate a thing that is not easily changed, but okay to hate a thing that the person can change. If this is your guiding principle, what you end up with is a uniform society of conformists. They'll superficially look different (skin color, attire, etc) but any meaningful diversity will end there, because any real diversity of ideas, worldviews and philosophies is now on the "acceptable hatred" list. That's the problem with this notion, and more generally the problem with all of this focus on group identities instead of individuality.

Comment Re:Per-core licensing? (Score 1) 217

While untactful, the AC has a point - you don't run production DB servers on Gentoo.

Second, you ALSO don't run production DB servers on unsupported versions of the software. For development use? Sure. Download PostgreSQL and have fun. It's actually a very good DB that I've been using a lot lately.

HOWEVER, if you plan on putting into use for any important customer? Go to www.EnterpriseDB.com. It's PostgreSQL with commercial support. It's not free, but a support is pretty much a requirement for serious work. These are scenario's where if the system goes down unscheduled AT ALL everyone is pissed. If it's down unscheduled for more than 5 minutes you're getting angry phone calls. If it goes down unscheduled for more than an hour you're looking for a new job. It's a different league.

Comment Re:Not Bloody Likely (Score 1) 144

"The USSR was and Russia is a party to the Outer Space Treaty," she added. "It did not acquire the territory under the object when it landed. One cannot sell what one does not own. Since USSR/Russia did not have a property right to the territory under the landed object, there was nothing to sell."

The treaty only applies to nations, not individuals who purchase something from a nation so I suspect that angle is pretty useless. I'm suspecting a better "he doesn't own anything" angle would be 1) the rover is non-functional or 2) owning a dead rover on the moon is like owning the wreck of a chevy impala on Mars, you'd have a hard time protecting "your" property from the first person who actually made it up there.

Comment Ambiguity introduced by people that is right. (Score 1) 984

So computer scientists fuck up by using prefixes with specific meanings, but it is the other people, reminding them that prefixes are used in a different way, who are introducing the ambiguity?

What an egregious example of revisionism.

The only problem perhaps was that many of the early computing scientists were not conversant with the IS, which is why they fucked up. I am sure no scientist conversant with the IS would have used the prefixes so loosely because he would have been aware of their original meaning.

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