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Comment Re:Aftermath (Score 3, Insightful) 546

Here's the outcome of Mr Snowden's "whistleblowing":

- American IT companies are losing billions because foreign customers are scared
- Intelligence networks are fucked
- Nothing whatsoever has changed in the way government agencies spy on US citizens

  The guy should send his resume to Al Qaeda.

You missed a few:
- a semblance of transparency for US citizens in what their government is doing
- cessation of some of the programmes
- the overthrow of several dictatorships in the middle east
but hey, you keep worrying about the profits of some rich folk who hate you, that's really important
Oh yeah, and your last point was wrong

Comment People, not tools (Score 4, Informative) 167

I've been involved with my local makerspace, Tangle Ball in Auckland NZ, for about five years now. The most important thing we have done has been to focus on the social aspect: we're mostly interested in how members and guests behave and relate to each other. So, obviously no discrimination, abuse or other bad behaviour is allowed. We do not focus on any particular technology or tools or activity, but instead think about how we run the place, who gets to make decisions (anybody can take part in debates, no committee with any real power) and who has access or doesn't. We don't exclude any particular activity, anything is permitted so long as it doesn't monopolise any of the resources, discriminate or exclude others.

That said, there are a wide range of activities, mostly around physically making things:
* Sewing
* Boat building
* Electronics
* Robotics
* Art
* Debate of social issues such as democracy, privacy, capitalism, urban development
* Software development
* Car painting
* Tool tutorials and safety
* A co-housing group
* A cycle repair group -
* Cooking and baking
* Collectivism

There is a 3D printer, but suggesting a makerspace must have one is an odd and rather arbitrary decision: why would you focus on that one technology, it's terribly limiting? Why not sewing or brass casting or something else?

The question is this: what are you trying to achieve, and why? In our case it was to provide a social space for members, who then provided whatever resources were required. The tools or whatever will follow from there; trying to predict what members and users want will straight away close down what can and can't be done.

Comment Re:When in Rome (Score 3, Insightful) 188

on the other hand, some would say he had balls for standing up to the oppressors. he stands up for what he thinks is right, and you say "well, it's your own fault" when he gets deported? perhaps if more people stood up, not less, we wouldn't have these problems, regardless of having crossed some arbitrary boundary like a nation-state border. we're all humans, irrespective of where we are. show some backbone and stop being so subservient to power

Comment Re:Javascript required? (Score 1) 161

...and it confuses the hell out of a lot of people who don't understand what javascript is. "I just want to see the webpage"

Rather than trying to get people using what is frankly an arcane and imprecise tool, we would be better off removing the incentive which makes data theft valuable. This then becomes and economic and social problem rather than technical. there are few situations where the latter can be solved well with the former

Comment Re:Subsidies inflate pricing. (Score 1) 1797

And what's the flip side?

Traditional financing. You finance a car, a house, a TV, why not an education?

This puts college education back in the private sector (that is, without government meddling). Let the market decide.

why would that help things? the problem with letting the market decide, is of course it advantages those who will do well in the market. and you know who those are? yeah, rich people. markets revolve around money, so having money will let you control them.

and being down on "government meddling", then suggesting "market meddling" is kind of confusing. why would the market be any better at regulating/providing than the government?

this is ideology, plain and simple. no analysis of whether it's good for HUMANS, only an appeal to an abstract set of relations we call 'the market'. didn't this all go wrong in 1929, with reliance on pure market forms? and several other times before and since?

also, education is a public good, it adds to society through the generation of knowledge which all can use and benefit from. an individual owning a car doesn't benefit society in the same way, in fact I'd argue it significantly detracts from society. society gains, so society pays

instead of letting the market decide what's good for people, how about we let people decide what's good for people? it's called democracy

Comment are you sure you're asking the right question? (Score 1, Insightful) 312

you're going travelling, to experience new cultures, people and ideas

put down the computer; the world won't end if you can't access slashdot and your email for a few months

i'm sure there are many ways to get around not having internet access - use phone banking, get your bank to automatically pay off your c card, use internet cafes for email (if you really must), or use a phone to call people.

why on earth you feel a need to access your investment account from the depths of south america, i'm not sure.

Comment Re:Not environmental costs, think cost of lost liv (Score 1) 740

perversely to what you would think, less-safe cars encourage safer driving, so REDUCING crashes

when drivers are concerned about what will happen if they crash, they tend to drive more slowly, leave a bigger gap in front, and generally behave themselves. similar trends happen when drivers don't wear seatbelts, etc.

look up any risk research by John Adams for more information

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