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Comment Re:The CAP is badly run, inefficient, but a good i (Score 1) 154

Well, the "foreign" bit didn't come out right - I didn't mean to imply you're racist. What I meant to say is that most people, particularly those from the bigger countries, have no clue about the politicians and politics from the other member states (this is an observation, not a complaint). And it's easy to mistake all those politicians for "faceless" bureaucrats when you only know a few of the more than 700 MEPs. After all, you sure haven't voted for all these other guys. But some of the 500 million citizens sure did.

> Britain doesn't elect it's head of state - the Queen, it also doesn't elect it's Prime Minister - the main party in parliament's leader becomes Prime Minister.

Well, I thought it was be clear that it's not the Queen sitting in the European Council. And while you don't choose your PM directly, it's not like you don't have a say at all in who the PM will be. Either way, if you want to send someone to the European Council that is directly elected, like a president, or a PM that is appointed in a more democratic way, than by all means, your country is free to do so. It's not a lack of democracy of the EU though.

> You can write to your MEP all you like - they don't make the laws so it's a bit futile.
> In the UK the laws are chosen by the people we vote for.
> In the EU they are not.

They actually do hold legislative powers, together with the Council of Ministers. The parliament is directly elected. The council is composed of the national ministers. And your cabinet ministers are again selected from elected members of the house of commons, right?

> So to re-cap:
> 1. MEPs - elected but not much power.
> 2. European Council, not directly elected.
> 3. Commission, most powerful, not elected.

Well, we had our chance with the EU constitution. It would've established more power for the parliament, more transparency, smaller commision, in short more democracy. But all people heard was "more faceless bureaucrats" and said no on the referendums in France and Holland in 2005.

In any case, I'm not saying the whole EU thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. What bothers me is that the EU is very often unfairly blamed for a lot things. Our own governments push things through on the EU level, knowing full well it won't get the same amount of public scrutiny, then turn around and proclaim they have no choice but to implement these evil EU diktats on a national level - while all along that was the goal in the first place.

I think it's long overdue that EU citizens took an interest in what the EU institutions actually do. And that the media properly inform us on these matters.

Comment Re:The CAP is badly run, inefficient, but a good i (Score 1) 154

> faceless unelected bureaucrats

Right. Sure.
- the European Parliament's MEPs are directly elected by the citizens
- the European Council is made up of heads of state, like, say David Cameron, who (I hope) is elected by the citizens.
- the European Commision is indeed not directly elected, but has to be approved by the Parliament, and put in office by the Council - seems like there's still some democratic checks there.

Just because you don't know these "foreign" people, doesn't mean they haven't been elected.

But yeah, people don't seem to give a shit about EU elections, even when it directly affects them.

You _can_ write your MEP, and directly influence them as citizens. Corporate lobbyists have clout, but ordinary citizens _can_ get themselves organised and lobby too. But for that you actually have to:
a) know what's going on
b) care

Comment Re:Roland MT-32 (Score 1) 585

At least you can hook up an MT-32 straight to MIDI. If you make DOSBox pass through your MIDI interface you're set. No such luck for me with my LAPC-I, which you're supposed to plug into an ISA slot (try finding an ISA slot on motherboards these days).

There's some projects out there that try to emulate the MT-32 / CM-32L / LAPC-I - even on linux. But to be honest, I found them somewhat lacking.

Comment Re:Sounds pretty fair (Score 1, Interesting) 432

Do I think this should be a firing offense? Sure. It's simply bad stewardship to make the network crash with you.

Do I think this is a criminal offense? Nope, not really. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt that this wasn't about extortion (for money or career opportunities), and more about there being no proper protocols in place for transferring control - something his superiors should have worked out long before this happened.

Any other person in any other position would simply have been given the sack. If it was critical they have the passwords (ie. rebuilding the network would cause enormous disruption) his superiors should have foreseen this. What if he got hit by a bus? What if he simply forgets (dementia, amnesia, whatever).

This trial always seemed to me as a clash of personalities, than about actual harm done (or even intent to harm).

And sentencing in the US is just completely bonkers.

Comment Re:Check which modules get rejected (Score 1) 175

As someone who actually used Bluetooth headsets (A2DP, HFP, HSP) both with and without Pulseaudio (through alsa, or through gstreamer plugins, whatever) I can honestly say Pulseaudio provides a superior solution.

As for latency: with BT there's some inherent latency, independent of the software stack. If you mean sync issues, BT (even on A2DP) has no way of reporting back latency. So Bluetooth sucks, not PA.

Comment Re:tell me with a straight face (Score 1) 430

Well you're talking about the US two-party system, which seems to not have failed completely yet - a good counter-point that proves it can still work.

However, I was referring to the upcoming UK elections. Tell _me_ with a straight face that voting for the Tories in 2001 would have avoided the UK to invade Iraq.

The two parties in the US are still very different, I agree (the examples you listed prove that). What happens when they no longer are, and become increasingly out of step with what the middle wants? Is there any way then still to redress the balance? I think an important property of a good governance system is how easily it can be fixed when things go wrong.

I suppose I could be on the fringe, but as you say my perspective doesn't matter. I used a big issue like the Iraq war as an example because for that issue it was clear there was never any popular support for it in the UK. Yet the electorate was unable to avoid any of it, and felt they were unable to punish Labour for their mistakes in the general elections of 2005, because the Tories were on the same side on this issue.

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