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Comment Genocide... when's it OK? (Score 3, Insightful) 287

Leaving aside, for the moment, the question of whether or not a virus is 'life' -- this question would apply to a bacterial disease as well -- how is this any different than the attempts in the last century to eradicate the North American wolf? They were dangerous (and quite inconvenient) to humans. Thankfully (to some...) we failed, and many people are happy they are returning. The reasons we wanted them gone haven't changed (although hardly as much an issue with the hugely reduced numbers).

If it's not OK to eradicate a species that looks like the family dog, what about if they were squirrel-sized? Insects? Where's the line, exactly, where we say 'OK, on this side, it's good and right to completely remove this species from existence, but on the other side of the line, it's a 'protected species' to be preserved, and we just control it? One could argue that wolves served a purpose in the ecosystem by controlling deer and other game population -- but honestly, we will never allow the grey wolf population to grow to a number to have any real effect on that anymore.

Not really taking a side on whether or not to eliminate the stocks we have of smallpox, but I feel like there certainly is an ethical question in whether or not it's OK to do so.

(As a side note, I think 'genocide' only applies to killing humans, but you get the idea, I'm sure)

Comment They know this data gets released? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

You think they'd submit some totally bogus/badly written requests just for the court to reject to make the optics on the numbers look better. It's not like the actual details get released on any of this. This is how little the gov't gives a shit (and how little the people give a shit either, since this is barely 'news' outside Techdirt and the like).... they can't even be bothered to do the small amount of work to FAKE oversight...

Comment Re:Same as it ever was (Score 1) 219

Most criticisms 'scrubbed' from that page are really just unfavorable comparisons to other languages, which are subjective and, imho, don't really belong in a wikipedia article on a topic anyway. Wikipedia is not a place to list every grievance anyone has on a particular topic.

Comment Re:Portugal (Score 4, Insightful) 74

The problem with the US market when it comes to broadband, wireless tech, etc vs. Europe or Japan is population density. US cities (It's an American mentality, I suppose) tend to sprawl out, and most of the country is rural, but still fairly populated. Most countries have a higher density (the US is 178th), and most of the non-3rd-world ones that are lower (Canada, Russia, Brazil, etc) have large areas that are entirely unpopulated (and thus don't need to be taken into account for density when it comes to rolling out tech). Not to mention the US is freakin' huge to begin with -- Portugal is a little smaller than Maine, our 38th biggest state. But with a population of 10 million, that's more than Michigan, our 8th most populous state. Rolling out a technology here in the US requires an _enormous_ outlay of cash because of the area that needs to be covered in order to cover enough people to make it worthwhile.

Comment Enlightenment 17 (Score 1) 460

Enlightenment 17 is the only WM (aside from, I think, a tiling one called 'Awesome') that lets you change desktops on a per-monitor basis while having TwinView or Xinerama active (so you can drag windows between). Compiz ought to be able to do it, but for some reason does not. Expect some stability issues with E17, though. I ended up going back to seperate screens, as I don't drag between monitors often and E17 crashes too much.

Comment Don't sell yourself cheap. (Score 3, Insightful) 245

Some companies are concerned about the 'viral' nature of the GPL in particular (some suit read an article about open source that talked about the GPL, and now 'open source' == GPL in his head) There are still many unresolved questions about the GPL in the US, as I'm aware it's only been rarely if ever tested in most jurisdictions in an actual court of law.

Personally, I expect to be compensated for my time and effort. This needn't be in money -- I release free software as a 'gift' for the community because I (and most of us) have received many such gifts in kind (Indeed, almost all the software I use, from the kernel down to the tiniest little nifty script) was a 'gift' to me by other members of the community). A commercial interest, on the other hand, will have to find some other way to compensate me for my work, as they (typically) are not part of the 'community' that has already compensated me for my time. Cash works well.

Comment This guy is a dick. (Score 1) 18

What is up with appliances having to use twitter? There's been a serious rash of pointlessly tweeting appliances that are, for some reason, getting linked from /. "For cigar aficianados, this means a lot". No, it means you're a dick who wants to show off your cigars and expensive toys. If you care about the condition of your cigars, have it text/email/whatever YOU. That's kind of cool, and useful. Why is twitter necessary for this? (For that matter, why is twitter necessary for anything, but that's besides the point)

P.S. Obligatory "/. has gone downhill in the last few years" comment.

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