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Comment Re:This is great (Score 2) 195

Since I have a Nest (and love it), here's the scoop: It doesn't have to be connected to the internet at all. It would work just fine as a standalone thermostat. Most of the functions would be harder to use (only so much you can do when you have 1 button and a wheel), but as far as I can tell they're all there. The web access provides an easier-to-use interface to the Nest. I don't use it much - it did a good job of learning my schedule, so mostly I use the web interface to turn stuff on at the airport after trips. There's some reporting and statistics, but those are mostly fluff.

Comment Re:In other words ... (Score 4, Informative) 265

And this is a perfect example of how, if you repeat your false story enough times, people will believe it. The IRS office in question flagged groups from all over the political spectrum to determine if they were engaging in political activities that would prevent them from being tax exempt charities. Yes, they used "Tea Party" as a flag for further investigation, but they also used "Occupy". They were attempting to enforce the law passed by Congress, albeit in a very bad, possibly illegal way. For the record, they started these investigations after specific requests from Congress to make sure these nonprofits weren't breaking the law. But the House very carefully tailored their requests to make it appear that only conservative groups were targeted, and attempted to supress testimony that demonstrated groups from all over the spectrum were affected. Once the full testimony transcripts were released, the press realized there wasn't really much of a story and mostly dropped it. But low-information voters like you never bothered to follow the story to its end.

Comment Re:I think... (Score 4, Insightful) 425

No, if GM had collapsed it would have taken the rest of the auto industry with it. See, first GM goes down. Then the GM suppliers start falling, because they're close to the edge and GM defaulting on payments breaks them. There's no funding available to restructure, so they're all getting liquidated at pennies on the dollar (remember, we're in a massive banking crisis with a liquidity crunch). The failures cascade down the supplier chain, and then start taking out other automakers (because they can't get parts anymore). Pretty soon you've blown up most of the industry. The correct anology isn't a a tree falling, making room for new, younger trees. This would be more akin to a massive forest fire (or even a volcanic eruption). Sure eventually you'd recover, but it would take years to decades and meanwhile it leaves a massive patch of utter devastation to deal with.

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

Tolerance is not approval. I tolerate his view by allowing him to have it, and by allowing him to freely state his view in public without government interference. That's tolerance. I may think he's an idiot, or a bigot, or pond scum, but I don't stop him. The tolerance he (and apparently you) want is actually a freedom from consequences. He should be free to say whatever he wants, but no one else should have the right to respond to him. He's an intellectual bully, wanting to hit at powerless groups, but running and hiding when they start to hit back.

Comment Re:Except, in that case there was an actual war (Score 1) 343

The Confederacy was never a separate nation, because they lost. They were merely territories in rebellion. Until you win (and convincing the other side to stop might be a win) you're not a separate country. Them's the rules. And in any case, the definition of "civil war" most definitely includes pieces of a former country fighting against each other.

Comment Re:What did Fox News do? (Score 3, Informative) 330

Essentially, the reporter in question wrote an article just to say that we had a high-level asset inside the North Korean government. There was no new factual information in the article otherwise - just the need to out a spy in an article about North Korea responding to sanctions. Similar to the AP case, where the reporter felt the need to out the fact that the British had an undercover operative inside Al Qaida who delivered them a sample bomb for analysis.

Comment This is tax avoidance (Score 2) 217

The primary purpose of the deal is to repatriate a bunch of cash without having to pay corporate taxes on it. A lot of the money originally started in the US, but was hidden overseas. This brings it back. The shareholders all get a premium on the share price, giving them their cut. Dell borrows a bunch of money to pay the shareholders, then uses their offshore accounts to pay the banks back, because loan payments are tax-free. And since it's all capital gains, the shareholders are all paying less on it than you pay on your wages. It's how the 1% rolls - good for them, not so much for you.

Comment Re:Software liberation not necessary for open sour (Score 2) 476

The "printer thing" is actually a red herring. The act that started RMS on his path was a lot simpler - all his coworkers at the MIT AI lab left. Stallman had finally found a place where he was comfortable, then thay all left to try and make a little money. RMS threw a hissy fit and set about taking all their original ideas and releasing them as free software. His stated goal was to drive them out of business - either to punish them for leaving or maybe to force them back to the lab. The printer story developed later, in an effort to make it seem not nearly so petty.

Comment Re:Oh dear... (Score 5, Insightful) 474

You're only a sceptic if you can be convinced (by reasonable evidence) that the original claim is true. Otherwise, you're a denier, and discussing the issue with you is a waste of everyone's time. There are some classic signs that indicate you are a denier, not merely a skeptic. A general pattern is someone from completely outside the field making extraordinary claims that everyone else is doing it wrong. There's usually a conspiracy from the "experts" to shut them out. It's a constantly evolving theory, where the conclusions never change, but the reasoning always does. And, of course, there's usually a lot of funding from an organization with a vested interest in opposing the the original science. Watt is really no different from the Intellegent Design folks or Jenny Macarthy and the vaccine-autism folks, and he's only a short step from the Time-cube guy.

Comment Re:The unfortunate state of gaming (Score 1) 247

WoW was never a "hard" game. It took over the market because it was the easy, casual-friendly alternative. That's always been Blizzard's mo - take a solid concept, polish out all the pain points and then take over a market. They make good products, but "genuinely hard" almost never applies.

Comment Re:Pot, meet kettle (Score 2) 289

Actually, the NLRB was very specific. The entire point of the meme was to inform companies that their overly broad scial media policies would make a reasonable person believe they could not discuss their salary or working conditions. That's specifically against the law - a law he repeatedly sites in the memo. The easy way around the issue is to include repeated disclaimers that no part of this policy will in any way restrict the employee's rights to discuss their salary or work conditions. But they don't want to point out those rights, for fear their employees would use them. So they whine that the NLRB didn't give them a template for exactly how far they can push the rule and obscure their employee's legal rights.

Comment Re:Would someone please explain to me... (Score 2) 809

Because there were several other paths they could have chosen to work with secure boot, but this was the most efficient? Because Microsoft is making a whole $99 to handle verification and signing for them? Seriously, this is sad. Microsoft will sign a boot loader for them for basically no money. This isn't a "Microsoft tax" situation - Microsoft will undoubtedly lose money on the arrangement, even if it's $99 every time Red Hat wants to update their "pre-grub" bootloader, and not the one-time registration fee the article implies that it is.

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