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Comment No free games?! BS. (Score 1) 364

'in two years time I'm afraid there will be no free games to play in the world,'

That's absurd. First, there will always be DRM-free games. People like me will not buy them. I don't care if I have to wait 5 years before I play a game, selling my soul, privacy, control of my computer, and all the other hassles of DRM is not worth it. Eventually software companies will realize that they're losing out on people like me and our money, and eventually they'll come around.

Secondly, aside from DRM-free, closed-source, non-free commercial software, there are numerous free software games out there of varying quality.

Comment Re:Bogus plot -- didn't the 2000 election teach us (Score 1) 57

That's an interesting concept.

But it does not do away with the undemocratic Electoral College, it just massages the system to force the Electoral College electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote.

As such, it's likely an improvement, but to me the fact that this strategy is being used highlights the broken nature of our political system and the fact that it is simply too difficult to amend the Constitution so such end-around moves have to be done to reform/change things.

Comment Bogus plot -- didn't the 2000 election teach us? (Score 2) 57

I don't like the winning plot at all; it ignores reality and the Constitution.

Forget about encryption or electronic voting -- didn't the 2000 election teach us anything when Al Gore got more of the votes from the American people across the country but George W. Bush took the White House? Does this plot presume we had a constitutional amendment to do away with the undemocratic Electoral College?

The US Constitution clearly says that the president is elected by the Electoral College. There are only 535 members of the electoral college. We could call them via phone calls in a couple of hours to see how they voted.

But don't let me get in the way of a good fairy tale... :-)

Comment Re:bye (Score 1) 531

I agree wholeheartedly. Sadly, the handwriting for this has been on the wall for some time. I can only hope Debian's Iceweasel port of Firefox does not adopt this "feature".

This makes me start to wonder if there is a reduced capability browser -- something leaner and meaner, focused militantly on privacy and even going so far as to deliberately not support portions of HTML5 (e.g. DRM).

Coders of the world, here's a niche you could fill...

Comment Re:Reality interferes... (Score 2) 197

The anti-missile bases and technology are quantitatively and qualitatively utterly inadequate to make a flyspeck of a difference. Russia knows this.

They likely do. But as we've wasted well over $100 billion on our so-called "Star Wars" anti-ballistic missile system over the years, and even more money on the anti-missile systems we're developing with/for Israel, I'd bet the Russians fear the day that we finally get it working.

Consider that after the breakup of the USSR, Russia has engineered and deployed substantial new nuclear weapons and delivery systems. The US has not.

I think this is misleading. Of course Russia has developed new ICBMs. First, this ignores what may or may not have been in the developmental pipeline. But more importantly, it ignores that we did unilaterally break the ABM treaty and started deploying ABM sites and mounting systems on ships. To expect the Russians not to counter our aggression is to expect them to act foolishly.

Is it the US who is really the only problem here?

Considering the US has launched multiple wars of aggression since the breakup of the USSR, the US gov't wages blatant proxy wars, the US gov't ignores all int'l law dating back to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia and claims a "right" to attack any country even if we have not been attacked first, and considering things like we have used flat-out torture as a national policy and spend almost 1/2 of the entire world's military spending, the US gov't may not be the "only" problem but most definitely our gov't is the largest and most aggressive problem country in the world.

Not surprisingly, but still sadly, it's not just me saying this; in one Win/Gallup International survey of people in 65 countries, the US is seen as the greatest threat to world peace.

"The organization has concluded that the United States is now the principle violator of human rights and freedoms worldwide." -- Amnesty International's annual report on human rights.

Comment Re:Reality interferes... (Score 1) 197

However it is also true that every nation which entered NATO practically begged for it.

I think it's important to remember some of the skulduggery that we did in Europe -- for decades. Remember, we essentially bought elections in France and Italy in the late 40s to prevent communists from being elected into power; we beamed divisive ethnic propaganda into Yugoslavia for decades. Hell, even as late as the 1980s we had our CIA work with European rightists to conduct flat-out terrorist actions against our own NATO allies in a strategy of tension designed to push western European gov'ts to the political right.

Given the fact that many of the new leaders of the former Warsaw Pact we funded and backed for years and years, and in such an atmosphere of such skulduggery, it's not surprising that they'd want to snuggle up to the west if only to increase the odds that they would not continue to remain a target.

After all, it's not like the vast majority of the common people of those countries had a lot of say in the economic shock therapy that was inflicted on their nations, nor in whether they should become a member of NATO or not.

Comment Reality interferes... (Score 5, Insightful) 197

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The reality is that the US and west never stopped waging the Cold War. We broke the understanding with Russia and pushed NATO eastward, even incorporating parts of the former USSR into NATO.

Then we tore up the ABM treaty and put anti-missile bases in Eastern Europe claiming we were doing that because of Iran. The Russians didn't find that laughable claim one bit funny and understood that the west was seeking to negate their nuclear deterrence.

NATO has been used offensively both inside and outside of Europe and shows that it has nothing to do with "defense".

We portrayed a rag-tag group of Muslim fundamentalists as some sort of existential threat to the US and west, but now the US gov't has made a "pivot" and is portraying China as militarily aggressive because they are squabbling over some worthless islets with their neighbors. It's clear that China is the focus of a new Cold War.

It's clear the US is in search of a "new enemy" because that's what keeps Americans distracted from how much we waste on our military and our continuing economic decline.

"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy." -- Ambassador to the USSR and US State Dept. strategist George F. Kennan.

Comment Re:Country spies on other country (Score 1) 158

> Performing actions that US govt sees as 'acts of war', against other, *allied*, country?

Well, the European Parliament has found that the CIA in conjunction with right-wing Europeans committed many different acts of terror -- acts killing and wounding hundreds of civilians -- on our own NATO allies during the 1980s in US gov't's pursuit of a strategy of tension.

So for the US gov't to do this would be nothing new. :-(

Comment Re:I happily block ads, and will continue to do so (Score 1) 978

Yes, exactly. If some site wants to bar me from using their site because I block their ads, or only allow session cookies, or lobotomize JavaScript -- or whatever -- they're free to do that. I have no problem with that.

For example, I refuse to read NYT articles that require me to create an account. I feel not only is the NYT overrated, but the overzealous way they track users means I'd rather not use their "service". Ditto for Facebook, once aptly described as a surveillance service disguised as a "fun" social network.

More and more people are going to have to decide whether they're sheep being led to the slaughter, sacrificing their privacy, attention (in the case of ads), and forced to do this or that because some "service" wants this, or whether they're actual customers or consumers with real rights and the ability to make decisions. IMO since the Internet was privatized/corporatized after the 1990s telecomm act, the pendulum has swung way too far towards users being considered sheep for exploitation.

As Andrew Lewis bluntly put it: "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

Comment I happily block ads, and will continue to do so... (Score 2) 978

There are several reasons I block ads: I don't want to be tracked. And I don't want to be conned, gamed, decieved and/or lied to (and for most ads, this is their goal). But most of all, to me it goes back to a fundamental concept of computing: This is my computer, I'm paying for the network link, and I get to choose what enters my computer and how I use/display that data/info.

Sadly, advertising permeates our society and is forced down people's throats everywhere. Back in college when they had ideals, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google said, "We expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers." They were right. The same concept applies to other advertising.

Does this mean that Destructoid or other sites might disappear because people like me don't want advertising? Yup, it might. But that's not my problem -- it's an "adapt or die" mindset. If they choose a less deceptive way of funding themselves -- straight subscription, crowd sourcing, whatever -- I'll decide whether their value is worth me paying what they ask.

Then I'll decide whether to allow their text, data, pics and videos, etc., into my computer, and I then I'll decide how I want to use/display that content.

There's an old saying in business: The customer is always right. If the customer doesn't like your advertising or business model, the business has a problem, not the customer.

Comment Nice from a tech point of view, *BUT*... (Score 2, Insightful) 226

But considering the fact of global warming/climate change and the topic of greenhouse gases, isn't our core problem that we are simply burning too much stuff? With that in mind, is this really going to help?

Shouldn't our focus be on creating forms of energy that produce energy without burning things?

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