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Comment Re:For us dummies.... (Score 1) 382

Planet Money has had some good discussions about this:

If I recall the tl;dr version it goes something like this:
Automakers screwed dealers during the great depression so the dealers ran for legislative cover. Dealers now make lots of money and pay lots of taxes so they have maintained that cover ever since. And now are the ones screwing everybody else.

Comment People are shits (Score 2) 469

Yup, there are lots of morally bankrupt and toxic corporations. Limiting your critique to the high tech industry could cause you to think this is about technology vs human interactions or some made up arbitrary distinction. Clear your mind, feel the force, and examine your feelings: this issue is much broader than you suppose.

People can be morally bankrupt and toxic. They can be greedy little shits. Usually they're either taught by society, or reigned in by societies laws, to be more ethical and bubbly and interested in the social justice and all that -- but only usually. And we all know that if you add a few layers of indirection, like maybe they're just doing their job and trying to get a bonus or grow their team or implement a cool feature and see their stock go up or find a business model that feeds and diapers the kids... well, ethics about some shmuck on the internet is a pretty easy thing to let slip. Heck, give them a big enough bonus and they'll close a plant and ship all the jobs to China. And run for office based on how much money they made when they increased the value of the stock.

If you're concerned then you need to engage with people. Work to built the society you want to see exist; work to encode that society into our enforced laws, and _vote_ for people that reflect your opinions.

Comment Re:what a noob! (Score 1) 818

Come on folks, of course I know who Linus is. Sheesh. Do I gotta put a smiley every time? (Apparently some people got it).

Sipper went ahead and clarified the underlying point anyway. Sometimes its fair to ask folks to contribute; but also it can be fair to "just" provide feedback without devoting yourself to fixing that specific problem. Linus certainly has the chops to address major design flaws -- but I don't expect him to do so everywhere he runs into them.

(Mostly I was just enjoying writing such a response about Linus' post. We don't need another discussion of open software strengths and weaknesses.)

Comment what a noob! (Score 5, Funny) 818

I don't know who this "Linus" guy think he is. Just because his name looks kinda similar to "Linux" doesn't mean he has the right to be jerk. The community should flame him off the forums because he apparently doesn't understand the open source ethos.

If he was a real programmer he'd just dig into the code and fix these problems. This is why linux desktop hasn't taken off -- all these moochers who just want their computer to work without putting any effort into understanding the underlying system and not being willing to chip in and help the effort.

Comment Somebody will have to die... (Score 1) 95

...before anything is seriously done about this.

Until then it will be business as usual. And unfortunately when some script kiddie kills somebody it won't make the news. I worry that this sort of thing won't get fixed until a major "breaking news story" about hundreds of cars running off the road plays out. Only then will it matter.

An optimistic alternative option is that the 'fear mongering' media run with this sufficiently to make it a big issue. This one of the times when the media's bias towards scary news stories can help society.

Comment This reminds me of a learning project (Score 2) 116

When folks want to learn to program, or in fact do pretty much anything, I usually suggest they pick an arbitrary project idea in the general field and simply start working on it. *What* exactly they're working on matters less than that they are working on something and learning from the process. (The scope of the project ideally grows naturally on their existing knowledge base).

In this case anybody working on this is developing (hopefully better) technology for finding stuff. That technology will go into our lexicon and when the aliens arrive we'll be all set to "quick, see if you can find them on the deep space scanners".

Comment Finally! This is Great! (Score 1, Insightful) 438

Microsoft has been letting "backwards compatibility" restrict their innovations for too long. Sounds like they learned a lesson with the Vista fiasco and are finally willing to move forward without continuously coddling all those customers that won't upgrade anyway. You all are scoffing but this is their turn around in action.

Either that or internally they can't convince any developers to install Vista for compatibility testing & development.

Comment Rocketman - Visa Parviainen (Score 1) 614

This guy looks like a young accomplished pilot (and scientist?) of experimental rockets that he straps onto himself and then flies around with. He may not be widely known to 8yr olds but they'll dig the youtube videos. There are other crazy birdsuit base jumpers out there you could point to. Start here:

In a similar vein there are people like Dean Potter or any of the extremel rock climber slacklining nutters out there.

What these have in common is that they involve physical prowess in addition to mental abilities. Frankly I just don't see an 8yr getting excited about a boring hero that is really good at doing homework. But there is no reason the sport has to be a boring one.


Comment Re:Homeland Security? Seriously? (Score 1) 359

You might find it interesting to read Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow:

"[The protagonist] helps develop a clandestine wireless network, X-Net [so named because it is built on Xboxes], that avoids DHS monitoring using anonymity and encryption. Using the X-Net as a secure communications medium, he organizes teenagers and twenty-somethings who are upset with the police state tactics imposed after the [plot elements]. They develop innovative uses of existing technologies to foil DHS monitoring and cause mass confusion and embarrassment to law enforcement."

I'm positive Homeland Security has read this book. They're probably just cracking down now before things get out of hand.

Comment Too sensitive touch screen: Troll of a summary! (Score 2, Insightful) 794

From TFA: "Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said there is no voter fraud, although the issues do come up because the screens are sensitive. For that reason, a person may not want to have their fingers linger too long on the screen after they choose their candidate."

It is interesting how the options work out; but the real issue here is a lousy hardware/software implementation. I wonder if any individual can control the layout well enough to purposefully take advantage of this. (Obviously the original submission implies such: but I doubt they were thinking about it vs just being a troll).

Comment This is excellent news! (Score 1) 404

Because the proposed shutdown process is so blatantly wrong that any inhibition that blocks misguided developers from copying it is a good thing.

What should happen is that the apps all shut down and go away without any IF/AND/ORs/BUTs about it. If they need to save some state or or whatever then they should get a chance to do so. They should NOT EVER get to communicate with the user or otherwise delay the shutdown process. The OS layer should chose, prior to sending the message, if there is any opportunity for GUI interactions (and should not normally do so).

In an ideal world this would force application developers to maintain proper state and properly deal with auto-save and other features to make the user's life easier. The current model, as detailed in this patent, just pushes the problem off to the end user (which is wrong).

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