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Comment Re:Related Anil Dash Blogs and earlier /. discussi (Score 3, Informative) 206

Perfectly wrong. Not only do you not need a google account, you also don't need any of their software that hasn't been released as Open Source.

Start by installing CyanogenMod. This will give you a fully functional base system, without any google applications. You do get a fully functional web browser, which still puts you well ahead of feature phones; no appstore, though. To fix that part, you can then add F-Droid, an alternative Android appstore focused on free software programs, given you a convenient way to install various mapping applications, more web browsers, pdf readers, games, or what-have-you.
The selection isn't anything close to what you get on Google Play, of course. So there's a price.
But you can do it. And you do end up with something that's still a lot more useful than a feature phone.

Comment Re:Optional extensions? (Score 4, Informative) 180

[...] SPDY insists on SSL secured connections.

Citation Needed.

Certainly the common server-side implementations right now like to use it with encryption, but I can find no mention of that being mandatory in the SPDY IETF draft.

In particular, section 2.1 has all of the following to say about upper-level protocols:

2.1. Session (Connections)
      The SPDY framing layer (or "session") runs atop a reliable transport
      layer such as TCP [RFC0793]. The client is the TCP connection
      initiator. SPDY connections are persistent connections.

SPDY has protocol elements that are only useful when it's wrapped by TLS/SSL, but then you aren't forced to use those on a given connection, either.

Comment Re:I hope he realizes he did more harm than good (Score 5, Insightful) 332

(Note: I am neither of the AC ancestors, but I'm pretty sure I understand their position, so I'll try to explain it regardless)

The critical difference here is that those Chinese workers are /not/ slaves. They are not forced into taking jobs at foxconn; they take these positions voluntarily, just like people in western countries do, because they think it's a favorable trade for them.

Why do they do this? Because as bad as the working conditions and pay at companies like Foxconn are by western standards, they are very competitive compared to the local alternatives. This point is crucial: Foxconn are not exploiting people in the sense that all else being equal, the people who work for them would be better off just not doing so.

You can make an argument that people living in sufficient poverty to make such a deal favorable is a terrible thing, and I'd agree with that. However, destroying Foxconn's business model by preventing them from selling to western countries does nothing directly to fix these people's poverty; in fact it makes it worse, by reducing the pool of jobs available to them (and not just randomly reducing it; you're taking away some of the best jobs in the pool!).

As an analogy, think of how you'd react if people in a hypothetical country that's even more wealthy than your's decided that your working conditions are far too horrible for your pay, and somehow stopped jobs like the one you have right from being offered anymore, resulting in you having to choose a worse job instead. Would that make your life better? Would you be happy about it? It's the same thing here.

The above is how the simple economic argument goes. Real economies and societies are complicated, of course, and there's several vectors by which driving Foxconn out of business oculd potentially improve the situation for common workers in China. But those aren't clear to me (and aren't clear to various other people who've looked at the issue) - the direct, obvious and robust effect is strongly negative. If you're going to argue that there are other effects compensating for it, it would be good to present your reasoning or link to other people arguing for the above reasoning being incorrect.

Comment Re:Just wait.... (Score 1) 220

Still need to know if you've passed the six month mark yet. ^_^

Fair enough, I should have been more specific there. I've been using the system I'm writing this on (and mentioned in my previous post) since April 2011, and it was a replacement for another Intel GPU notebook which I had been using since August 2009. So that's a bit over 2 years on Intel GPUs, now. :)

And how is the OpenCL support on those GPUs?

I haven't had a reason to look very hard for it, but as far as I can tell the answer is "nonexistent". According to Intel's relevant FAQ entry they don't support running OpenCL code on any of their IGPs, including the newest and fanciest Sandy Bridge chips. They do have an implementation to run OpenCL on the CPU instead. I have no idea if using that approach gets you any performance benefits over just running equivalent x86_64 code on the same CPU.

Comment Re:Just wait.... (Score 1) 220

I have yet to encounter anyone who has gone 6 months with an actual machine with an integrated Intel graphics chip-set, and not have them hunger for something better.

Hello lightknight, nice to encounter you.

I've been using Intel GPUs, specifically the Core 2 generation of them (my current one reports as "Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller"; using i915 kernel driver) for quite a while now. The computer I write this on also has an ATI GPU, but I've disabled that one permanently since the drivers are just too much of a pain to work with. The Intel GPU does what I need, and it does it with a minimum amount of fuss and instability.
I aggressively avoid anything made by nvidia, since the free drivers situation for their hardware is even worse than with ATI/AMD.

Reports are that the Sandy Bridge GPUs are even better than Intel's earlier hardware generations, and that's definitely what I'll buy and use for my next systems. :)

Comment Re:Governmental Takeover? (Score 1) 350

You don't seem to appreciate the deliberate way in which I phrased my response. I said I know of no such person. I did not claim that no such person exists.

I didn't mean to imply that you were lying. I was specifically worried about the NTS possibility since ESR is fairly well kown for his views among geekish libertarians, and so it struck me as relatively unlikely that someone with your understanding of the subject would be unaware of the existence of anarchist+libertarian views, to the extent of concluding that the association a result of propaganda from people opposed to libertarianism.
I apologize if this came across as unnecessarily confrontational; no personal attacks were intended.
I'm glad my post was informative for you :)

Comment Re:Governmental Takeover? (Score 1) 350

You make some good points. That said:

This is so easy to understand that I must conclude the numerous attempts to portray libertarian thought as some kind of anarcho-capitalism are simple demagoguery conducted by people who either have an agenda or have been propagandized by those who do. You do need a government to enforce notions like private property and civil rights and I know of no libertarian who would argue otherwise.

That can be fixed. Take a look at ESR's take on this:

The other 1/4 (including the author of this FAQ) are out-and-out anarchists who believe that "limited government" is a delusion and the free market can provide better law, order, and security than any goverment monopoly.

Please don't respond with "anyone who says this isn't a real libertarian" unless you have very specific arguments that prevent it from falling into the category of No True Scotsman.

There are self-described libertarians who are also self-described anarchists. From the way many of them talk (see e.g. that FAQ), I have no particular reason they are twisting words either when calling themselves 'libertarian' nor when calling themselves 'anarchist'. Anarchism is an extreme of libertarian thought, but it is definitely part of the spectrum.

Comment Re:oh darn (Score 1) 522

I thought the "dying in the fields" phrasing was an exaggeration you used for dramatic effect, but apparently it didn't originate with you. The argument I was talking about, which is a fairly standard libertarian one (and there's a good chance you've heard it anyway; I just want to avoid possible misunderstandings), runs roughly as follows:
1. Individual situations and lives are complex. Whether a voluntary exchange of goods is a net positive for someone depends on a lot of factors, many of which are much easier to evaluate for the individual involved than for any outside observer. The individual in question also typically has better incentives for getting the answer right than a third party, which (among other things) helps safeguard against many kinds of irrationality.
2. Therefore, not hurting people directly through commercial transactions is usually quite simple: Don't apply force, and be honest. Obviously forcing people into transactions is bad; robbing or raping people is clearly immoral. The same goes for defrauding them in voluntary transactions (by lying about your product, paying them with counterfeit money, or whatever).
3. Aside from those two obvious things, you're usually best off focusing on whether a given possible deal is good for you. If everyone does that, you get the people with the best information judging the efficiency of transactions, and most of such transactions will then end up mutually beneficial.
4. For similar reasons, judging that a given deal between two third party entities is directly morally bad requires that at least one of them is applying force, engaging in fraud, or catastrophically irrational (and also catastrophically more irrational than the actor making the judgement; unfortunately, it's very common for people to erroneously settle on this explanation). This is the standard argument as to why corporations running sweatshops (assuming the work contracts are voluntary, they don't inordinately pollute the environment, etc.) aren't necessarily doing anything immoral, and AFAIK it is valid.

Now, this is just about the direct moral consequences on the actors involved. By engaging in honest voluntary transactions, you might still be doing indirect harm by supporting an evil business. If you buy stuff from Sony, you're indirectly supporting DRM. If you buy NetApp devices, you're indirectly supporting software patent litigation. And if you do business with slavetraders, you're indirectly supporting slavery.
If you were making this last point, then fair enough, but note that this really only applies where you expect your money to go to an evil organization - when you're dealing with someone who's just voluntarily (i.e., not being coerced through threat of violence by other individuals or similar) offering sexual services for money, there's nothing morally wrong about doing business with them.
This also doesn't necessarily conflict with libertarian ideology very much. Libertarians don't typically condone forcing people into transactions, and many would agree that there's a role for government in preventing literal slavery (but note that "wage slavery" is really a horrible misnomer, and I'm not including that concept here).

Comment Re:oh darn (Score 1) 522

And "want to do it", whatever the tedious capitalist he-may-be-interned-in-a-factory-but-at-least-he's-not-dying-in-the-fields armchair philosophers will tell you, must not be confused with "is desperate for money and willing to do it because there is no viable alternative".

Since you brought the "he-may-be-interned-in-a-factory-but-at-least-he's-not-dying-in-the-fields" argument up, it's safe to assume you've read/heard reasonable explanations of it, including why it works and how exactly the naive alternatives fail - so I won't repeat those here.
I consider the aforementioned argument valid (and think it also applies to the situation depicted in your image). You have neither explained how/why it fails on theoretical grounds, nor provided specific empirical evidence for it failing in practice.
A rejection this argument is a core part of the reasoning you outlined in your post, but I am aware of no effective rebuttals to it. If you have some, please provide them. Either original research or links to existing material are fine.

Comment Re:Love the last sentance of that wiki link (Score 1) 89

full body scanners too now which are far worse

I disagree completely. Rummaging through my personal mass storage is a far more egregious violation of my personal rights than looking at every angle of my naked body (embarassing (and unpleasant for the observer) as that may be). Contrary to going over my primary mass storage, looking at my naked body doesn't tell you any of:

1. My stored passwords or other auth data (think SSH private keys).
2. My political views.
3. My taste in entertainment, pornography related or otherwise.
4. My browsing history.
5. My personal conversations going back half a decade.
6. Who my personal acquaintances are and their contact information.
7. What kind of work I do.
8. What kind of software I like to write in my free time, for my own use only.

Looking at my naked body doesn't come anywhere close in invasiveness, unless I wipe any and all remotely personal data on all storage devices I move through customs (I can always dowload it again later). Which I'll probably end up doing, when moving to or from any country with such egregious policies.

Comment FDIC harms small banks? WUT? (Score 2, Interesting) 398

I agree with most of what you've written, but this is dubious:

3. Competitiveness between banks is no longer that important, this is a problem, small banks start losing out to bigger ones just based on this alone.

Actually, all else being equal small banks have a stability disadvantage. A concentrated customer base means you're less diversified, more exposed to local economic shocks, and more vulnerable to any economic shock because you have less of a capital buffer.
FDIC unfairly advantages small banks by removing stability from the set of criteria customers care about. There are significant stability advantages to being a big organization, but no bank customer will care about those if all of their deposits are insured anyway.

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