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Comment Er... (Score 5, Insightful) 259

Yes, the company offering free service if you pay a one-time fee for the hookup (a fairly reasonable one, at that) is totally making the digital divide worse. Clearly.

The pricing of their gigabit offering is fantastic. And while that price is undoubtedly out of the reach of poor people, so is almost everything. If it's really that important to have gigabit internet for the nation's poor, then that's something the government (as well as charitable organizations) needs to subsidize, just like with anything else that is deemed necessary (but too expensive for the poverty-stricken to afford). In no way can Google be reasonably found to be at fault here.

Comment Re:This is why I have a 1 week delayed install pol (Score 1) 254

In the sense that there is a non-zero risk? Sure. But that goes for any system which you patch. In the sense that there is a significant risk? Absolutely not. I have installed more patches on more machines than I can count, and I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever had a problem. The only times I have had problems was on occasion with my test group of PCs at work and well... that's what test groups are for. On my personal machine, I have never had problems ever, even though I have nothing to test the updates on first. It is not at all difficult to avoid problems patching. You have a test group or (if that is not an option) wait a week or two for others to have issues and for Microsoft to resolve them. Either way, you avoid any significant risk to your own machine(s).

Comment Re:This is why I have a 1 week delayed install pol (Score 4, Insightful) 254

Let's address those point-by-point.

  • Free: fair enough.
  • Fast: Windows is plenty fast enough, and has been for quite some time.
  • Open: who cares? Being open source doesn't matter for the vast majority of people, even power users.
  • Reliable: Windows is also plenty reliable enough. We aren't on Win95 any more.
  • Not back-doored by the NSA: for all 99% of people know, Linux is back-doored by the NSA to high heaven. The ability to inspect the source code means nothing when you aren't qualified, nor in possession of a trusted contact who is qualified, to find vulnerabilities in the source code. Linux's lack of back doors is taken by most people on faith... the same as Windows.

So out of your list, the only valid point is "free". And perhaps applications, depending on if you need to use an app which is Linux-specific. But otherwise it's not a compelling argument you just made. And hey, if you have no need of applications which run on Windows and want to take advantage of the Linux price point (or just prefer the OS), God bless you. But Linux advocates also need to cut it out with this superiority complex nonsense. Linux and Windows are both perfectly serviceable operating systems which may or may not be superior depending on your needs. Saying one is inherently better than the other is asinine.

Comment Re:you are pushing shit up hill with that request (Score 0) 399

This is probably the best way to tackle it. Although frankly, the real answer is that your personal data almost certainly isn't important enough to bother encrypting it. But if you must be paranoid, then let them choose the best method, because I guarantee you that if you start asking them for a public key their eyes are going to glaze over.

Comment Re:Someone start a defense fund (Score 1) 955

There is no chance of this working. The Whitehouse petitions are a theater to let the Whitehouse look caring and connected to the people. It's not in place to get anything done.

There is no realistic chance of this working. That is not the same as no chance whatsoever. It may be about the same as the odds of winning the lottery, but it's still non-zero.

This is basically never true. This action makes people feel like they have done something without actually doing anything at all. Because they felt like they have acted, they don't feel the need to act any further. Donating just $5 once to the EFF or the ACLU would be actually doing something, funding groups that actually do things. A whitehouse petition is the same as doing nothing at all, but damn if you don't fell like you did something.

In the cases you mentioned, the alternatives are not "do something that probably won't help" and "do nothing at all", they are "do something that probably won't help" and "do something which helps in a small way". Not the same thing at all. If someone was going to donate $5 to an advocacy group, then I can respect saying that this hurts the cause for the case of that person. But if someone was going to do nothing at all, this is still an improvement, however small.

Comment Re:They also want to allow private cyberwar... (Score 1) 443

That is only true if you define "stealing" to include depriving the original owner of the use of their property. Which almost nobody does. The usual meaning of the word is nothing more or less than to take without permission.

Not to mention that in moral terms, it is the same damn thing as conventional theft. But hey, let's focus on technicalities of language. Nobody (except the industry people themselves, or those taking their paychecks such as legislators), is going to say that the tactics proposed by the media industry are reasonable or morally acceptable. But the fact that they are dicks about making their point does not diminish the validity of their point that piracy is not ok.

Comment Re:Not me (Score 1) 232

I like what I do a lot. But regardless of how much you enjoy your work, if you're putting in extra work without fair compensation then you are allowing yourself to be ripped off. Your employer isn't going to show you a shred of loyalty for those extra hours, so why sacrifice other activities you enjoy to work, even if you enjoy your work?

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