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Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 523

When it comes to free speech, I'd still rather them be in charge than just about anyone else.

Indeed. Nowhere else in the world has the robust guarantees of free speech that America has.

Sure, why not? However, and correct me if I am wrong, what we are talking about is "the transfer of oversight of the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN", who administrates what (top level) domain names can be used in DNS, and coordinate who uses what, to we can avoid name clashes and that sort of things. I find it really hard to see that it will have any impact on free speech in general, whether they will allow you to use domains ending in .xxx or whatever; of much greater importance is the operation of the root domain servers, but since disrupting them in any way will hurt everybody, I can't see that happening, no matter who oversees the operation of ICANN. The only real importance of this transfer is symbolic, in that it puts the US on the same level as the rest of the world (nominally), but in practical terms, it makes no difference at all. Speaking loudly and forcefully about it is no more than posturing - like picking a fight over which shade of grey you prefer.

Comment Not optimistic, but... (Score 2) 258

The language is deliberately vague, because of course this is mostly a marketing stunt for Microsoft; after all, what does 'solve cancer' mean? But to be fair, we are in fact beginning to understand many of the factors that make up several cancer diseases, and sometimes it is beneficial to focus on a far away goal, even if it isn't entirely realistic in the timeframe.

Cancer, I think, will always be with us - in a snes it always IS; some would say that all of us have cancer, all the time, because there is always a certain proportion of new cells that have genetic faults, and some of them have the potential to become cancerous - what saves us is a good immune system. It makes intuitive sense, I think, because as we get older, our immune system becomes less efficient, and then we are less likely to stop all cancer cells, which explains why cancer is much more common in older people.

There is, however, reasons to hope that we can at some point find a single or a few common traits that unite all types of cancer and make them curable; I have certainly seen articles that hint at something that could give us that. But in 10 years? I don't know.

Comment Re:I claim prior art (Score 1) 201

It's not a paper bag, you fool - it is a modular, physical containerisation system, a completely different concept. Paper bag indeed - young people now a days. I throw up my hands*.

(*makes you wonder how I managed to swallow them in the first place, doesn't it?)

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 1) 205

None of them require us to live like the Amish.

Indeed - even if you compare the amount of energy used in America per inhabitant with the same for Europe, you can see a significant difference, and I don't think most Americans would feel life was uncortably primitive if they wen't to stay here. To think that only something like 150 years ago, Americans were incredibly tough pioneers, who survived on next to nothing and still managed to build up a great nation; things have gone downhill somewhat, it appears.

It is perfectly possible to live good, comfortable lives wasting next to nothing in terms of resources - you just have to be open minded and inventive.

Comment Reddit? (Score 2) 610

The thing that caught my eye here was the mention of Reddit - is that a good forum to discuss techie things? Maybe I'll have to go and check it out - I always just dismissed it as yet another social media thing.

Oh, Clinton and Trump, yeah right, what's the fuss? Clinton is without doubt the most evil, criminal mastermind in history (based on hearsay on the gossip channels), and Trump is the spoiled son of a family that made it's fortune from brothels and gambling, apparently (if one can believe this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...). To be honest, I don't think it is only the political classes in the US that are sick - from the noises, it sounds like the whole nation is in the grip of severe, mental illness. I hope I'm wrong - I think any sane person would dismiss the more obviously stupid noises and look up fact for themselves, like what are the track records of the two candidates, what have they achieved that is relevant to the job they are applying for and so on. I mean, those things are in fact quite important, since the President holds real power, unlike some other heads of state. Has anybody of you guys with the loud voices even thought about what qualifications are desirable in a president? Or does it just boil down to "whatever seems to fit the description of our candidate"?

The world is going through a very difficult time, and it is going to get worse before it gets better. Globalisation means that things like nations and capitalism are beginning to lose their relevance, and climate change means that we are going to see major conflics over mass migration, among other things. Terrorism is only a small symptom of what is likely to come, if we don't get some things sorted out rather urgently, so I would suggest that people take the issue of who governs the most powerful nation on the planet a little more seriously; this isn't a cheap "reality show".

Comment Re:Already approved (Score 1) 69

My attention immediately shuts off any I have no respect for what that person is saying. Sounds like marketing drivel.

They are expressing an opinion, no different from saying "Linux/OSX/Windows is the best thing ever!" - nothing wrong with being excited about your favourite tool, I think, even if others have a different perspective on things.

Here's my experiences with the beast: I have, since the early days of Linux (kernel 0.9 installed wirh a huge pile of floppies) been a terminal+vi+make kind of guy; I never really liked GUI based IDEs and was not too keen on the fullscreen IDEs of the DOS era either. As everybody else with development background, I've had to use IDEs from time to time, but I still prefer to develop C and C++ without. However, since I started on working with Java EE, I suddenly found a use for an IDE, and the one that I converged on was Netbeans - I've tried Eclipse, Kdevelop and JDeveloper, but for me at least, Netbeans has all the things you need when you don't know too much about Java. It automatically suggests which things to import, and believe you me, that is a huge help in Java EE, with the enormous number of standards, annotations and what have you. Perhaps if I had lived with Java development from the beginning, I would have preferred the command line, but ...

Comparing with Eclipse, for example, Netbeans was really easy to get going with, perhaps not surprisingly, because I think Java and Netbeans have grown up together for a long time, whereas Eclipse seems to be more of a universal IDE that started closer to C and C++.(in my superficial view).

Comment The real problem (Score 1) 181

There are many reasons why watching pornography may be bad, but I have never been convinced that seeing pornography is likely to traumatise anybody, especially not a child, who would have no experience against which to interpret what they saw. It seems to me that any trauma that arises comes from adults making undue fuss over it and describing it as "dangerous" and "dirty". When you have no sexual experience and have yet to develop your drives and lusts, porn is more likely to evoke feelings of confusion and perhaps some level of disgust.

Comment Re:Illiterate cretins... (Score 1) 170

First of all: "using a similar email address as Musk's"

It's "using a similar e-mail address TO Musk's" (American cretins).

And secondly - the e-mail itself is an illiterate load of rubbish, no capital letters, 'txt speak', etc. WTF?

I too sometimes find myself irritated by things that seem to be common, American usage, but the thing is - the correct form of a language is decided by the native speakers of that language, and American English is slowly becoming a different language from British English; and of course, what is taught in British schools as 'correct' is only one version of the many, equally valid, English dialects. Just because they speak Geordie in Whitehall, that doesn't mean it isn't correct. BBC Parliament would be a whole lot more fun to watch if they did.

Comment Re:Thelema (Score 1) 539

Some of the best people I've known in life have been believers,...

Well, there are believers and there are believers. There are those, who like you describe, are good people, who put other first and so on. Then there are the ones that feel their religion is more important than people. I think the religion in question is irrelevant - like you say - but I would go further and say that whether you have religion at all is beside the point - there are people who are genuinely good in the only sense that is real, namely that they do good. Didn't Jesus say something like 'know them on their fruit'? (sorry, can't be bothered looking it up). And to counter your experience, some of the vilest creatures I have known have been people who genuinely believed and lived their faith, sometimes at great cost to themselves. This is also something that history confirms: read about Tomas de Torquemada. I don't think there is any doubt that he genuinely believed very strongly in his religion. He was also the founder of the Spanish Inquisition.

I think the way it works is like this: people are what they are - good, kind, social, or otherwise, and then they make up a God or gods to match their own personality. The good are inspired to do more good by their beliefs, and the bad use it as an excuse: 'It is God's will!' Hence the jihadists, who murder and torture innocents and rape children, or people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who seem to have major issues with sexuality and loathe themselves for it - and use religion to hide from themselves. I'm sure there are good, religious people in the world, but in my experience, good people almost never talk about their faith; they know that although it is important to themselves, it is mostly irrelevant to other people's needs.

Comment And the connection is? (Score 1) 111

What the hell is the connection between Samsung printers and smartphone batteries that overheat? Is this new style of non-sequiturs an attempt at looking clever without actually making a serious effort at understanding the subject? Are we going to see things like "Gravity waves have been found, as predicted by Einstein, who famously never wore socks"?

In this case there is an excellent opportunity to comment on a variety subjects:

1) HP's and Samsung's financial trouble and the future direction their products will take.
2) Compare the quality of the printer offereing from the two.
2) etc etc ...

In stead we get this idle chit-chat.

Comment Re: Shocking! (Score 3, Insightful) 526

Well said. It is a bizarre fact indeed that the so-called climate skeptics (and other whatever skeptics) are so credulous, whereas scientists are the real skeptics. Climate change deniers throw out terabytes of evidence, that comes from all over the spectrum, which is one of the things that make it more believeable; but on the other hand, they are willing to believe the incoherent rantings by unqualified individuals, who have cherry-picked their eveidence (or in some cases, simply made it up). In real science, on the other hand, you actively try to disprove your theory (that is what the scientific method does), and if you fail consistently, then you start to believe it may be true - you can't get more skeptic than that. I mean, just imagine every time your wife/girlfriend comes home and says "I went shopping", you go "Yeah, I'll check the CCTV footage to see if that is true" - that is what scientists do to their theories. They are the least credulous people on the planet.

Comment Re:This is Hillary's Agenda (Score 1) 149

Oh, no, your aren't calling for censorship, no you'd never do that. You just want responsibility where your political opponents aren't allowed to speak.

I realise that nothing I say will ever change your mind, which is sad, but for the benefit of those who haven't completely closed their ears and eyes, I think I have to respond; somebody needs to stand up against this kind of stupid nonsense, whose only arguments come in the form of bullying. Let''s start with the word "Censorship" - that is when the government or similar decides whether you are allowed to say things or not; I'm not calling for that - I think this is already clear to those that are willing to listen and understand what I've already said. What I am calling for is responsibility: that is when you think about the effect your words and actions have on the world around you and hopefully decide to use words that inspire solutions to problems. Just as an aside, for those who read and think, please note that I don't get wound up by your absurd arguments; I respond calmly, and hopefully with a good deal of common sense. I'm even willing to admit that I may be wrong - prove that I am with good arguments.

As an example, most people would agree that it is not right that there is a tiny elite of incredibly rich people who get richer no matter what goes on in the world, despite having really quite modest abilities and talents, whereas a huge number of people, from the middle class down, get steadily poorer. A responsible criticism would point out that inequality will leads to social unrest and ultimately hurt even the rich, and will suggest ways to solve the problems in the least painful way. Any idiot can shout about revolution and imagine that this is quick and easy solution to everything, but the truth is that we all lose out in that scenario, and the people at the bottom of the pile will still be at the bottom - they just get new overlords who quite possibly turn out to be less pleasant.

After all, they're racist, homophobic, and xenophobic, and evil speech like that really can't be allowed.

Well, they are, and as I said before, it is necessary that decent people stad up for reason and speak out against hate speech. Should they be censored? No, of course not, but if your rantings cause actual harm to other people, by inciting or inspiring violence or by bullying vulnerable people until they harm themselves, then you should be prosecuted for your part in the crime, no doubt about it. That is all about responsibility - the fact that you don't care isn't an excuse.

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