Why, indeed, might prosecutors go so hard against the 1 guy who refuses to plead guilty, while allowing the rest to bargain for a minimal punishment or in some cases get off completely?
You suggest that perhaps it is because they just want to avoid trials, in other words to expedite the prosecution to get through their case load faster. This is no doubt correct, but the tactic also seems linked to the current incentives in the system to demonstrate successful convictions. Going thermonuclear on the hold-outs is necessary for the plea bargaining scare tactic - and the convictions that it produces - to work on the others. If the hold-out who refused to plead guilty received a punishment similar to those convicted, then plea bargaining would lose its value as a quick and efficient means to get convictions as there would be no incentive for the accused to accept the prosecutor's deal.
If this speculation is true, then it seems that it would be best to tie performance incentives for prosecutors not to convictions but to other means of evaluation, for example some type of external peer review. Unfortunately, however, when prosecutors are political appointees there is a lot of advantage to be gained in appearing to be a "hanging judge."
It's not niche. California is niche. Look at the following population stats for areas affected by extreme weather. Most people in the U.S. are concerned about the weather, because they actually have real weather events:
Population of the Midwest 65,377,684 (2012)
Population of Texas 25.1 million (2012)
Population of Florida 19,057,542 (2012)
Population of New York 19,465,197 (2012)
You can't base what is important to others off your own immediate circumstances. That said, I agree with you that Windows 8 UI is shit and their weather app is dumb. But some weather information is useful for most people and is one of the things they want their computer to do for them, quickly.
Weather is important if you don't live in California.
If you live in the Midwest, where nature tries to kill you every winter and makes a good stab of it in summer too, you want to know 1) how many degrees below zero it might be today; 2) whether there is an incoming snow storm that will affect your commute or close your kids' schools. Or in summer 1) if there is a chance of tornadoes today and you need to refresh your emergency supply kit; 2) if it will be above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with dew point of 82, and you need to make sure your air con is serviced.
It's helpful to have this in your OS. Its also one of the main benefits of having a smartphone if you live here.
I wish I had mod points for this. Who cares what Stallman eats or does with his toes. What counts is whether he has a point or not, and surely Slashdot of all places should embrace the geeks and freaks that don't care about bourgeois social norms and Emily Post etiquette bullshit. Fuck all of you juvenile morons / Microsoft trolls.
That said, I like Ubuntu. But I do agree that the shopping lens stuff is a bad move, and Bacon doesn't address its critics at all here.
THAT SAID, it is a freaking OUTRAGE than in 2012 there is not one open standard for document creation. As much as I find Libreoffice disappointing and sometimes find myself going back to MS, it is absolutely unconscionable that Microsoft still has a monopoly over the file formats in which we save most common office documents. Frankly, I don't understand why the EU spend so much time on the browser issue without combining it with the equally significant problem of office file formats. How is it that MS has been able to get away with this for so long? I mean, WTF???
It is just deeply, deeply sad that the work most people spend their days doing is subject to the control of proprierary formats.
Unix is expensive. I would be willing to concede that you may use a distro of Linux but other than at work, I would bet you haven't touched Unix.
Unix is expensive? Define expensive. You can get OS X on Mac Mini, $599 at the Apple Store.
Feel disillusioned? I've got some great new illusions, right here!