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Comment Re: We need communism now! (Score 1) 144

Yes, but oddly there's a lot of people who want to give me everything and their soul for those oddly colored rectangular pieces of paper. And as long as they do, it has a value.

Money is a commodity like any other. Its value is not what you attribute to it but what someone else is willing to give you for it.

Comment Re: We need communism now! (Score 1) 144

The idea was to oversimplify the problem to get the 5 second attention span millennials to actually listen for a change...

The problem of the communist model wasn't wellfare. It was basically what you said: No matter how hard you worked, it didn't matter. So people didn't. They took the GDR party slogan "We have to squeeze everything from our factories" to the heart and did exactly that. The consideration for the average worker was no longer how to produce more but how to get more out of it for himself. Since that wasn't possible by working more, and working less was not really punished either, people simply put up some work spectacle. Twice so when they noticed that due to the usual shortages working quickly when raw materials arrived meant not having to work at all at the end of the month when there were no raw materials left to work with.

That was, by the way, similar when the East Bloc fell and the workers were taken over by West companies. The companies were delighted to see their new workforce work with incredible zeal, which plummeted instantly once they noticed that burning through the raw materials by the 5th didn't mean slacking for the rest of the month but instead getting a new stack of raw material...

So don't worry. I know both systems. Quite intimately.

Comment Not exactly an easy question (Score 2) 90

And before I answer it, one thing in advance: It won't go without "tweaking". Yes, Linux went a long way from its "CLI only" days that became "CLI only, but we have some kinda-sorta frontends for some of the things, and a few of them actually work" to what we have now, a system that you can mostly configure without ever touching a command line.

Linux is still, though, an operating system that retails its command line roots. In other words, every GUI does, CLI can do better. Or easier. Or faster. Or with more options. Eventually, you will open that terminal window. We know you will.

Linux is also not a "fake it 'til you make it" OS where you guess your way through the menus, hoping that eventually you will find a way that lets you do what you want to do. Unlike Windows, where there are usually a few ways you can reach a goal, some more intelligent and efficient, some less, there is usually only one way to do something in Linux, and it needn't be the most intuitive one depending on the angle you're approaching from.

So, with this all said, the question which Linux distro is the right one for a newbie is answered by answering two questions:

1. With what Linux distribution will access to webpages on the internet work out of the box with near 100% certainty?
2. Which Linux distribution has the most informative and best Google-findable "how do I do stuff" pages?

The answer to those two questions would be Ubuntu. Yes, Mint works too, but Mint is a tiny bit different, and the last thing you need as a newbie is to wonder whether some cookbook you just follow is wrong, whether it's something on your end or whether it's one of the few things that differ between the textbook and your copy. And yes, Mint is a good system and in some areas actually better than Ubuntu, especially when it comes to support and tweaks for home entertainment, but I'd still stick with Ubuntu. Simply because you have a solid amount of good and helpful advice at your disposal that works for YOUR system.

Comment Knoppix (though maybe not a distro) (Score 1) 90

I suggest running Knoppix from a CDROM or DVD.
Unless you specifically tell it to it's not going to change anything on your hard disk. You are not going to mess anything up by accident.
If you want to keep stuff save it to a USB disk, or even run Knoppix from a USB disk.
I've seen a lot of people who had never used linux before run knoppix with no trouble.

Comment Re:They are concerned about lost tax revenue? (Score 1) 148

Where is it written that a government *MUST* tax sales?

Because relying on import duties caused pissed off shipowners to send the Fourth Crusade to hit Constantinople and relying on a single commodity has really fucked over Venezuela. The simple, all eggs in one basket ways have been tried so if a society wants to fund infrastructure their governing body has to grab cash wherever they can find it while pissing off the minority of the people.

This also gets into the "mark of the beast" territory from Christian tradition ... religion does play a part in this

Oh fucking hell get a grip - NRA shit has rotted your brain. As for your sig, your popgun is not going to protect you from artillery deployed by the National Guard (you know the guys, the militia the second amendment is actually about and not some rifle club gone feral while run by a traitor (Oliver North)). You are free because a LOT of people around you value freedom and your popgun has nothing to do with it no matter how impressive it looks.

Comment Backhoe - public enemy number one! (Score 1) 148

It doesn't even need a disaster. In a few situations it's required no more than someone digging in the wrong place to kill a link between a city and where the funds are being processed. The trend is towards processing in less locations so fragility is increasing.
I expect a major storm hitting Manilla would fuck up the payment processing of a large number of US based banks and a few others. Consider the hard drive shortage when Bangkok got flooded only for communication.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 2) 148

For those Americans confused by the above "chop-chop" is tobacco sold outside the mainstream so not subject to very high rates of tax on over the counter tobacco products. While there is likely to be a massive black market it's probably less than the tax even just Apple avoids in Australia.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 148

What this kind of paranoid person doesn't understand is that they can already track you to an incredible degree

In Australia not so much. People disappear all the time just because they don't want to be found. Sometimes (eg. battered wives with a homicidal spouse looking for them for extreme examples (which do happen)) it's not a bad thing.
I think you'll find it's not unheard of in the USA either despite efforts to track people getting onto busses etc.
There are still a lot of cash in hand jobs so it's possible to get by with no identification in a lot of places apparently.

Comment Re:I really don't understand the scale model thing (Score 1) 122

We should probably be designing things to not fail.

Testing is part of that. About the most obvious example is Edison not designing a perfect lightbulb on day one.
Refer to my post above about why aircraft scale models are still used. Simulating how the design works on a computer is still prone to producing results that diverge from reality unless you get a bit of feedback on what sort of modelling applies. Turbulent flow is a pain, laminar flow is not as simple as you would think and once things go supersonic many things that you would think are obvious get turned inside out (eg. subsonic nozzle converges, supersonic diverges such as the nozzles on the Saturn V).

Comment Re:I really don't understand the scale model thing (Score 1) 122

I really don't understand the scale model thing.

It's because fluid flow is not only computationally difficult but also the rules are all empirical with uncertain boundaries between different domains so sometimes it's not clear what equations to use. That's why there is still wind tunnel testing of scale models. Since the end product is going to be very large (and supersonic wind tunnels are very difficult things to deal with apart from very short test durations) it makes sense for the scale model to be a flyable aircraft that can reach supersonic speeds itself.

When you go to scale up, you're practically building an entirely new vehicle.

Not entirely. The model won't be a precise shrink down of the full design because it's a test of how the air will behave over the full sized design.

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