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Comment Re:UBI will reach 100% of tax (Score 1) 1124

So what if the UBI reaches 100% of the federal tax?

I think the way that $3 trillion figure is formulated is more than a little disingenuous. Surely you don't just give $10,000 to every Tom, Dick and Harriet. Anywhere this has been looked at, it's been implemented as an income subsidy. In other words, you top up everyone's income so that nobody earns less than a given amount. Based on that calculation, and factoring in savings on welfare, food stamps etc., the idea actually looks quite attractive.

Comment Re:OpenBTS or WiFi? (Score 1) 37

It's OpenBTS, not Facebook's new project, that developed incredibly cheap 2.5G GSM service on cheap, software defined radio hardware.

Exactly. This idea has been around for yonks. Probably the most visible in international development circles was the Grameen Foundation's Village Phone project. This included small-scale GSM transmitter/receivers along with phones that would be shared on a commercial pay-as-you-go basis.

I met a few people working on a variation of this in Timor Leste, and tried to get some formal backing and traction for this in some Pacific island countries. The bottom line is that it's a no-go scenario, because you have inordinately high regulatory barriers, and the opposition of local telcos, who don't want anyone else hanging off their infrastructure, no matter how good it is for the bottom line.

That made some sense at the time, but today, why wouldn't you build your wireless network on WiFi instead?

Because at the end of the day, you still need to interact with local telcos. You can shim it any way you want, but if a person can't call or text their cousin in the capital, they're not going to pay to use the service.

But that's not reason to give up hope. You should give up hope because the telcos will never let it happen anyway, and even if they do, they'll find some new way to screw you out of accessing an affordable and open internet. :-)

Comment Headline is wrong (Score 5, Informative) 92

Brewster Kahle said that sentence at a conference also attended by TBL. And the quote doesn't even appear in the article that the phrase is linked to.

The actual quote is in the New York Time article:

“Edward Snowden showed we’ve inadvertently built the world’s largest surveillance network with the web,” said Mr. Kahle

Congratulations on failing journalism 101. But then, this being Slashdot and all: Congratulations! You're an editor!!

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 515

But a large number of professional programmers didn't learn how to code in a formal school program, either because they're self-taught or because they learned on the job. Citation please.

In the early days, many people didn't have anyone to learn from. If you weren't enrolled in a University computer science programme, you probably had close to zero access to formal instruction.

For my part, a colleague of mine came by my desk, saw me struggling to handle a conditional with a macro, and showed me how to create a control structure in Visual Basic. Spent a few months playing and reading MS' Knowledge Base in text mode through a 9600 baud connection. Then I found Kernihan and Ritchie little book, and suddenly it all made sense.

Fast forward 6 years to the late '90s, and I was writing systems software for NOC services. The dot com boom happened, and Bob, as they say, was my uncle.

Comment Re:Let's just get the makers vs takers out of the (Score 1) 1116

This is the capitalist version of "let them eat cake." Because god help them if the proles feel like they deserve some of the money they're making capitalists.

That's truer than you realise. Marie Antoinette reportedly said, 'Qu'ils mangent la brioche.' Translated in the proper context, it meant that because flour supplies were so low, they should use alternate sources, in this case, the highly refined (cake) flour that was being saved off for herself and her family.

This was straight-up socialist redistribution she was calling for.

I think Marie Antoinette would have supported the idea of a guaranteed basic income.

Comment Re:AP are fucking asshats (Score 1) 218

I follow The Economist or, when I have to write for the colonials, Chicago.

The rest are all shite.

The Economist's style guide is a thing of beauty. I have it sitting on my desktop to provide inspiration. But it has to be read with an Oxbridgean accent, and the speaker has to imply with every breath that really you shouldn't be writing at all, but if you absolutely must communicate, then this form is probably the least offensive to others.

Except when it's meant to be. I'd never seen the title 'Mr' used in derision before I picked up that lovely rag.

Comment Re:Not on Slashdot... (Score 2) 266

I saw on the news the other day, that students were saying they had been traumatized by someone writing in chalk "Trump 2016". I mean, I'm no Trump supporter, but seriously, traumatized?

Others have pointed out that the report was utterly false.

Still, look at how well the lie plays among self-righteous bigots with a persecution complex. And yet we still allow Trump and his ilk to spew this shit, because free speech. Astonishing, isn't it, how people will allow people such as yourself to fill yourself with ill-informed tripe, and yet you're the ones who are persecuted?

If you aren't for the latest gay agenda...

Respectfully: What The Fuck is a 'gay agenda'? Equal rights? Enjoying the same rights as everyone else everywhere?

or if you raise the concern that a certain group does seem to have most of the terrorist problem coming from their ranks....

Just say it, for fuck sake: MUSLIMS. You mean those dirty, rag-headed, gutteral, snarly, infidels who chop people's heads off and want to impose Shariah law on you and your loved ones? That's who you mean, right, when you spew mealy-mouthed phrases like 'certain groups'? How fucking precious.

And how fucking wrong. In the United States, Muslims terrorists are not more numerous than others. Historically, levels of terrorism in the US and Europe are down, not up.

well, you just cannot speak about that without repercussions. It isn't even just being shunned, but you are actively suppressed these days.

Goddamn right, you're being suppressed. If by 'suppressed' you mean 'told to shut your fucking yap until you derive at least the slightest clue about the subject you keep ranting about'.

Look at how many comedians these days, won't do shows on college campuses anymore....

Okay, that one is a fair cop. People on both sides of the political spectrum are way touchier than they've a right to be.

That said, I would treat them to the same derision I'm showing you if they failed to adhere to the facts and basic logic.

Theres major concern that any dissenting speech is being supressed, if it goes even remotely against the new social agenda.

For as long as the 'new social agenda' constitutes actually caring about the truth, and upholding basic human rights and equality under the law... then Fucking A Right, nothing deserves—even remotely—to go against the new social agenda.

... and for as long as the 'new social agenda' is a bunch of gluten-free, artisanal hipster snowflakes busy enabling and affirming themselves while old Brooklyn cries in shame, then they can go get fucked too.

Even what used to be common sense has no place in the public square these days.

Bigotry used to be common sense for far too long and for far too many people. It deserves to die a death, and those people who perpetuate it deserve to be told to shut their cake-holes.

Look, I get how you feel, but dude, seriously, your views are not just wrong, they're hurtful and harmful. Not to people's precious feelings—to their lives. When you oppose the 'latest gay agenda', you're sentencing some very good friends of mine to not being able to hold a loved one's hand in the hospital. You're saying that someone who devoted their life to caring and tending for a home should be ineligible for their life partner's pension. You make it harder for people just to... be... fucking... normal.

That's just one example. But please: expletives aside, you really do need to inform yourself better about the actual repercussions of your incorrect and ill-founded opinions. I'm a huge supporter of free speech, and I actively defend it every day. I run a newspaper that prints some opinions that make me fucking cringe. But I do it, because the only cure for stupid talk is more talk. And as long as we keep talking, we're not fighting.

But when I see someone conflating social disapproval with the suppression of free speech, I can only say: Fuck that noise, Sonny Jim. Try living in my country. I'll show you what suppression of free speech looks like.

(To be clear, that's my predecessor, not me, in the photo. I've only been sworn at and had my staff assaulted so far.)

Comment Re: Mr. Obama?!? (Score 4, Interesting) 629

You refer to him as President Obama the first time and Mr Obama after that, what's the problem?

That's standard editorial practice. The Economist style guide says that you provide the title once, and then it's Ms/r/rs So-and-so for the rest of the piece. In my newspaper, that's the way it works as well.

I know that last sentence was purely gratuitous. I just get a kick of out of saying, 'in my newspaper....' :-)

Comment Re: Let Me Guess... (Score 4, Interesting) 314

But you have to admit, politically speaking, your country is a fucking laughing stock right now isn't it?

Tough call, actually. We just put over half the government into jail for criminal bribery. Seriously. 14 out of 27 MPs were convicted. On the one hand. Bribery is so common and politicians are so shameless that they collectively walked right into a conviction. On the other hand, we actually showed that crimes among the ruling class have consequences.

Comment Re:Let Me Guess... (Score 1, Insightful) 314

The last time the politicians compromised, the American people got the Iraq war. I prefer gridlock over compromise.

Un. Fucking. Believable.

I don't really care if I get modded down so far I can't edit my hosts file for moo-ing.

This is the most vacuous piece of reasoning I have ever in my life come across, but tragically, that's probably because I live in Saneland, which is the geographical area NOT occupied by the contiguous United States. It's just so wrong in so many ways there quite literally is no way to respond respectfully to it, unless it were uttered by a bespectacled, slightly sociopathic eleven year-old. In which case I would tell him to stop talking until he's finished his homework.

I despair of you, you know that? I am saddened by what your country—and you—have been reduced to. And I grew up with the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, with the Nixon resignation and Reagan's arms for hostages constitutional fuckuppery. I breakfasted under a Doomsday clock that was just two minutes to midnight.

But nothing compares to the pass you have brought your nation—and, God help us, this planet—to now.

Mod me down; label me a troll. But I used to be your neighbour. I used to be your friend.

Comment Slashdot continues to spiral down the dra (Score 5, Interesting) 393

Slashdot is wondering what happened to their old tech/geek audience, while allowing the radical liberal activists and brainwashed "global warming" propagandists to take over the site - the same way Digg was destroyed.

If the new owners want to see a future for slashdot, the first thing to do is kick out these idiot Global Warming activists.

You know what? I'm a radicalised global warming (no scare quotes) activist. You know why? Because I live in a perfect island paradise in the South Pacific.

Only these days, it ain't so perfect. First, we got hit with the most powerful cyclone in the history of this region. Then we got 8 months of extreme drought thanks to the most powerful El Niño event in recorded history.

Neither cyclones nor the ENSO cycle are abnormal here. We are situated just south enough of the equator that we get an average of about 1.5 cyclones in our territorial waters every year. And ENSO has pretty much defined our climatic cycles since before humans ever inhabited here.

But the severity of these events, and the abnormality of weather events in recent years, is indisputably increasing. This year alone, we've seen record high regional temperatures, cyclones crossing the equator—an hitherto unknown event—and just this week, we saw a weak hurricane reverse its path, redouble its strength to Category 3/4, and now we're waiting for it to make landfall in a country that is about 1000 miles from where the storm's typical path would be. We've also seen cyclonic storms forming outside of the tropical belt, and... well, the list goes on.

Have I been brainwashed? Yes. Brainwashed by the evidence. You can cite all the skepticist bullshit you like, because I'm watching my climate change right in front of my eyes. And yes, I know the difference between weather and climate. I also know that virtually all of the climate prediction models call for increasingly wide fluctuations in weather behaviour, and that fits pretty much perfectly with the evidence in front of me.

So respectfully: If I and my ilk have ruined Slashdot for you, then good. Feel free to fuck off out of here and leave the conversation to rational adults.

Comment Re:What should happen but won't (Score 0, Flamebait) 1105

Obama should word with rankng Senate members of both parties and nominate a politically-centrist judge whose judicial qualifications are impeccable.

Or they could just select a racist, sexist, blatantly partisan, third-rate juridical bombast whose greatest claim to fame is having written some of the most laughable Supreme Court arguments in recent memory.

'Cause we're short one now on the bench.

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