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Comment Re:Well, you were dumb enough (Score 1) 92

It's not terribly uncommon to find a lottery where all or a portion of the jackpot is carried over to the next jackpot if nobody picks the winning numbers. In some cases this can increase the payout sufficiently that the YZ > X. The part about people being bad at math is that very small numbers round off to 0.

A one-in-a-million chance to win a billion dollars is a great deal if the tickets cost less than $1000--but you're still just throwing money away if you buy a ticket.

Comment Re:What were the parents thinking ? (Score 3, Interesting) 804

And those people are idiots. Zero tolerance is a terrible idea, even in cases where it's effective, because it flies in the face of "letting the punishment fit the crime."
Anyone who advocates such extreme overreactions is not of sound mind, or at the least just doesn't realize that they do things that are "wrong" all the time.
There are so many rules in our society, and they're so convoluted, that nobody can realistically be innocent of everything all the time.
The cynic in me thinks this is intentional, so that any arbitrary citizen can be reprimanded/arrested/fined/given detention on a whim.

Comment Re:What about the presumption of innocence? (Score 1) 1590

If we had many illegal immigrants from England, Spain, Mexico, and Canada, yet the immigration laws were only enforced against the illegal immigrants who are Mexican, that would be an instance of racism or ethnic discrimination. That isn't the case. Right now the problem is coming from Mexico and illegal immigrants from elsewhere are more like statistical error by comparison. Again, some percentage of Mexican citizens are responsible for that, not anyone who wrote or plans to enforce Arizona's new law. You'll practically never see such a common-sense recognition in the media.

What do you call it, then, if someone is suspected of being a criminal because they share the same skin color as other criminals ("illegals")? If (for the sake of argument), when chosen at random, a black man was twice as likely to be a criminal than a white man, would you argue it is not racist to subject black men to more thorough scrutiny (that effectively strips those men of rights) than their white peers?

The problem of immigrants causing more crime looks like a straw man to me. Crime is, by definition, already illegal. Is there really justification to make things associated with illegal things illegal themselves? To me, it appears laws that criminalize things by association are just there to make it easier to detain someone when the evidence is lacking. That is practically the antithesis of a just trial.

Comment Re:Can't buy the OS for $200? (Score 1) 531

If that's the case then you're needs are far more advanced than the typical user. For them it's something like so:

1. These exist but are generally not common. Chances are the user has never heard of them or has need of them.
2. They IT guy takes care of that.
3. They are actually stuck; but, as it's commercial proprietary software, there's no source code available so they can't compile it anyway. They can try their luck with Wine but it's hit-or-miss, and frequently has a few caveats.

It seems to me you've made the same mistakes of exaggeration that the summary did. Exaggerating to the point of FUD isn't helping anyone.

Comment Re:Flash only? (Score 1) 521

Granted, I didn't RTFA (who has time for that?) so I don't know whether it mentions this concept but: Why not just drag the stylus? It doesn't seem fundamentally flawed to make it work just like the touchpad on my laptop--dragging your pointer around moves the cursor like a mouse; to click simply tap the surface. Sure it's not as nice an interface but neither is Flash in the first place. What's the next problem?

Comment Re:Oh that's easy to explain (Score 1) 368

That right there is the actual problem with KDE4 IMO. It's perfectly acceptable to release alpha quality software for free. Nobody can really complain there. What was not acceptable, as far as I'm concerned, is taking away the one that works (KDE 3.5) and substituting the known faulty version. This is more accurately blamed on (K)Ubuntu and Fedora (and OpenSUSE IIRC) (you know, the most popular ones!) rather than the KDE team.

I, for one, have enough experience to install and maintain a popular Linux distro, but not enough to be my own package maintainer. I recall using a third party repo on Ubuntu to install Amarok 1.4.9 But it broke other things; all in all a sub-par experience.

Bottom line: If I were the KDE team I'd either be pissed that the distros removed the best version of KDE, or I'd be kicking myself for misrepresenting the state of the desktop environment.

Comment Re:Will the same happen to phones? (Score 1) 394

For Slashdot users who want something like this but at an even lower price point, you might like to know about the Zipit, which can be modded to run Linux.
I have one and I love it. It's not for everybody (very low specs for a general purpose device) so you won't want to run X probably (though it can). Have fun!

Comment Re:Only if you replace the tree (Score 1) 278

Deforestation? Who burns green firewood? Where I'm from lots of people have wood heating, but they only burn naturally dead wood because:
a. Green firewood is much more difficult to light.
b. Green wood makes a very acrid unpleasant smell.
c. Green wood increases creosote, which increases chances for chimney fires and clogs.
d. In addition, it is illegal to cut down green trees for firewood.
In summation, cutting long-since dead trees shouldn't cause deforestation. Saying so makes you sound like one of those people who are ignorant of how things work here, but somehow think they deserve a say in what we do.

Comment Re:I think Mandriva is getting a raw deal from us. (Score 1) 267

Mandriva deserves some love. It was the first distro that enabled the correct graphics driver on my laptop (on most distros I'd have to manually change xorg.conf to use vesa--even though this was around summer last year) and configure my wifi card correctly straight from the liveCD. No distro I've tried to date properly configures my audio chipset, but the workaround works as well on Mandriva as it does on any other.

In other words, Mandriva has the best hardware detection of any distro I've tried. My congratulations to the developers on their new release!

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell