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Comment Re:Next thing you know... (Score 1) 372

There is a lot of stupidity in that article, e.g. the mention of the fact that the buses' schedules are withheld from the public.

Yeah, so what? We also don't publish the schedules of our corporate shuttles, or our internal IP addressing schemes, or whatnot. Why should we?

And I love the idea that there was never a society with different socioeconomic tiers in it. That cozy egalitarian middle-class wonderland from the 1970s that he describes ignores the fact that there was plenty of poverty and shitty schools elsewhere in the US.

Comment Since when has Shakespeare been boring??? (Score 4, Informative) 338

Misleading headline aside, Shakespeare is hilarious.

Violence, sex, creative insults galore, betrayal, incest, murder, sword fights, pork sword fights, ghosts, and more invented words than you can shake a pork sword at.

It is awesome and even suggesting that the short attention span squad deserves being pandered to is borderline criminal.

Comment Re:We can't win without eliminating FISA. (Score 4, Informative) 413

Comment Re: H1 Visa applicants are less expensive (Score 4, Interesting) 684

Senior IT manager here. It's not just in America.

The problem is that most managers don't give a shit. They are under enormous cost pressure, and standing up for principles and employees costs time and energy, especially when you're being given a hard time by your upper management.

Most of the time, they're not around for long enough to suffer the long-term consequences of creating a million monkey club.

Even worse, usually it's based on false cost models - the same sort of crap that leads you to hire (more expensive) external people rather than salaried staff because they're "variable cost". Budgeting for external suppliers often does not include additional costs for facilities, travel, management overhead, training, etc., as well as the intangible aspects of a body shop simply providing you with the cheapest shittiest junior guy they can get away with - and then refusing to do anything but the work that's exactly laid out in the contract (and badly at that).

I've run into this situation myself a number of times and it is morale-crushing.

Comment Re:If hacking is outlawed (Score 1) 254

Actually the whole idea behind Volkswagen was that it was "der Volkswagen", or "the people's car", i.e. the original beetle. It was the Nazis' plan to provide a car to everyone who saved 5 Reichsmark per week but in the end, only 630 were built before and during WWII and went to either Nazi functionaries or the German armed forces. Also known as the "KdF-Wagen", for "Kraft durch Freude", the Nazi fun-and-games social program.

Hardly a people's car.

Comment Mass Drivers as Alternatives? (Score 3, Interesting) 438

Out of curiosity, why aren't mass drivers feasible for this sort of thing? You could build one up a mountainside near the equator - something like Mt. Chimborazo (6200+ meters) and drastically reduce the amount of fuel needed to get anything into space. By making the thing several kilometers long, you'd also massively lower the material strains on any craft (you probably still couldn't send humans up, but you'd have far less limits on how sensitive your cargo could be.)

The slingshot sounds like an extremely limited tool - you'd still need a high degree of complexity for things like guidance systems and engines, because of drag you probably couldn't launch anything right into space without at least a partial boost. A mass driver would only get your cargo up to equivalent speeds once it got to the "muzzle", which would ideally be located at very high altitudes with thin air...

Comment Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

The issue most people have is not with the idea of consolidated mail boxes in principle (although there are legitimate logistical issues - vandalism, distance, weather, and mobility of certain mail recipients for example.)

The outrage stems from the fact that the USPS should be capable of continuing home delivery, but is not able to due to incompetent funding restrictions placed on it by Congress.

Comment Re:+5 Insightful for (Score 5, Insightful) 424

It should also be mentioned that most of those issues were caused by factors beyond the control of Carter and his administration (eg. the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis had their roots in the 1956 Iranian coup, stagflation was a global phenomenon which in the US was largely the result of the Nixon shock).

Then there's the whole October Surprise topic; even without going into wingnut conspiracy mode, there's some things in there to make anyone go "hmm".

Arguably, Carter ushered in a lot of improvements - Camp David, the departments of energy and education, a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets despite massive cold war tensions.

And last but not least, I can't see anyone arguing about the fact that the guy has (and had) integrity - which is saying a lot in a President.

Comment Re:UN is not the governmemt, its the planet. (Score 1) 275

Why do americans get so paranoid that letting the world itself control the worlds telecommunications network, instead of the spooky us government is a somehow a threat to freedom.

It's not just Americans (I'm not), and it's not "the world itself" that we're worrying about controlling the Internet.

What we're worried about is undemocratic, opaque bodies that would do an ever worse job than the US. The US is a decidedly less worse controller of the Internet than the UN or any of its arms.

It SHOULD be controlled by a democracy of the world, not Obama and the NSA.

I absolutely disagree.

First, a democracy consisting to a large degree of undemocratic participants is not a democracy.

Second, no, a medium that relies on the free exchange of information should NOT be controlled by a democracy, which is as subject to the polemic whims of a tyranny of the masses as a totalitarian system is subject to the dogma of its ruling elite. It should, in fact, be structured in such a way that nobody controls the whole thing, period.

Fully distributed root servers would be a good start.

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