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Comment Re:what about skinny people? (Score 1) 378

Invoking the "murder your family" argument is equivalent to Godwining the discussion. You are trying to make an emotional appeal that overrides logical consideration.

That being said, in the "no free will" worldview - which I do not necessarily share - laws and punishments are part of the equation. Even if a person has no free will in the sense that his decisions are considered to be predetermined given his circumstances, law and punishments are part of the circumstances and will affect the decision. Even without self-determination, whether something is forbidden / punishable will affect the outcome. However for that effect to be in force the punishment must also be implemented. So while "justice" might not really be an applicable concept, laws, punishments and the concepts of right and wrong certainly are.

If anything, considering human decisions to be deterministic makes for a more cold-blooded judicial system. If you think that a person, given exactly the same circumstances, might act differently on different occasions because of self-determination, then you can't really write off that person as a lost cause. If, on the other hand, you believe that given the same situation the person will make exactly the same decision, then your only choice is to make sure the same situation never arises again. Sometimes this can be accomplished through non-violent means. Sometimes not.

Submission + - OpenShot Video Editor Achieves $35k on Kickstarter, Final Goal in Reach! ( 5

JonOomph writes: The popular open source video editor, OpenShot, has less than 39 hours remaining on popular crowd-funding site, The lead developer, Jonathan Thomas, has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot.

Comment Oh yeah, how about that resin (Score 0) 59

From (emphasis and reductio ad absurdum style worst case scenarios added):

Long shelf life when not exposed to light (like vampires, it bursts into flame in direct sunlight?)

Safe to use in a controlled environment (a hermetically sealed laboratory?)

Low environmental impact with proper disposal (encased in lead and stored in an abandoned mine which is subsequently sealed with concrete?)

The qualifiers make it sound like a software EULA.

Comment Re:The Downfall of Microsoft (Score 1) 245

Awww, give them a break. The second one actually carried two useful pieces of information: it has a pen, and it supports USB peripherals :-)

Also, you seem to remember the ads quite well. Would that be the case if they had simply explained the features and benefits? Perhaps the whole thing is a devious plot to keep people talking about Surface simply by keeping people talking about how awful the ads are...

Comment Re:Are we talking human on human battles? (Score 1) 892

Sounds more like a cute story that at the same time panders to human ego than the author realistically proposing something like that might actually happen. I remember one science fiction writer saying in story notes how some sci-fi magazine editor really liked stories where some trait humans possessed made them superior to all aliens; this seems like one of those. Even in the story you describe, the ability to move things (gravity manipulation) is a weapon; the aliens could have simply bolted engines on a couple of big asteroids, bombarded Earth back to stone age and come back after the dust settled. Their matchlock weapons would have been quite enough to subdue what remained of the population.

On the other hand, another story of that type proposed that humans are uniquely gifted in weaponizing anything and everything; so perhaps there is some internal consistency there after all...

Comment Re:QT is fine (Score 2) 80

QML is used to specify the UI for an application. It is a declarative language that specifies UI components, their states and animations, etc. The syntax is JavaScript like in that it looks a bit like you are defining JavaScript objects. QML uses JavaScript to specify UI logic and calculations, and if your application is mostly UI (say, a simple game) you can code it entirely in QML + JavaScript (not unlike Flash). Nontrivial applications typically have a separate engine part written in Qt C++. The Qt signals, slots and properties system make it easy to integrate the QML part with the C++ engine part. That is actually a part of the idea with QML: it is easy enough to learn and use (there are graphical tools too) that designers can work with it to design the application UIs (instead of using Photoshop or Flash), and coders can concentrate on the engine part. So the UI design is actually working code, and if the designers get a great new idea and want to redesign the entire UI, instead of groaning (because they have to re-implement everything) the coders can just smile and tell them to go right ahead (because the designers will do the UI implementation themselves, and the engine part will be isolated behind its API).

QML is optimized for writing the kind of fluid UIs that mobile applications favor today, meaning there is a lot of support for animations and other eye candy, and everything is heavily optimized to run smoothly on mobile devices. HTML, on the other hand, is not optimized for writing such user interfaces. So, writing a non-trivial, non-web-page-like user interface takes much less time to do in QML than in HTML (if it is possible to achieve in HTML at all) and the resulting user experience will be much better.

Of course, if your main concern is portability across mobile platforms, then HTML (and something like PhoneGap) is the way to go. Or, like a (fellow) Nokia employee put it: "If you want to go fast, use QML, If you want to go deep, use Qt C++. If you want to go wide, use HTML."

Comment Also, don't forget Qt Quick and QML (Score 3, Informative) 331

Qt has recently introduced Qt Quick, a collection of technologies meant to help you create animation-rich UIs similar to those used on touch phones. The most important part is the QML language, which is used to describe the user interface of a program. QML is declarative and animation-friendly, and makes it easy to create fluid interfaces. On the downside, it is not mature yet and lacks most of the standard UI widgets at the moment (basically, you have text input and clickable areas). I wouldn't have recommended it for general application writing just yet, but the original question was not very specific on the requirements so it might be suitable already in its current form.

Comment Re:Pointless. (Score 1) 200

Acceptable, unless your legal system is based on a distrust of government and fear of persecution like in US. Then you would assume that the police who broke the law when gathering the evidence will only be prosecuted for show if at all, and will get a slap on the wrist at most.

Who knows, you might be right.

Comment Re:Weve seen that argument before (Score 0, Troll) 1066

While I am no friend of DRM, there is a genuine ethical dilemma here. If someone (movie makers) is selling a product, should they be forced to sell at the same price to everyone? Especially when said product is not necessary for life and health? Note that this would harm people in the poorest countries because the seller would then set a price optimized for the more lucrative western market and would not be able to sell at a discount price in the poorer countries.

Outsourcing is a different thing - no one is being forced to do anything. It sucks for the local workers, but if the cheap labor abroad is treated fairly I do not see an ethical problem. Buyer's choice, just like you yourself can choose whether you shop at the local mom-and-pop store or at the big outside-town supermarket. Some people support the local store, others go there for convenience or buy there just those products which are better than at the supermarket, but most people just go to the supermarket because the prices are much cheaper. The corporations do exactly the same. Some feel social responsibility and hire local people, others hire locally only for jobs that are difficult to outsource, and the vast majority look at bottom line only. Supporting the community / local store is nice and often has long-term benefits, but I don't see why people not doing so should be condemned.

Everyone makes this about movie makers being the evil guys and the consumers being the victims, but isn't this essentially about consumers wanting to dictate to the movie makers the terms under which they can sell their product? I mean, it sure is nice for me as a consumer to be able to play my content anywhere I want, but I don't think that it is my god-given right. We can of course take the position that the public benefit (consumer benefit, faster development of new services, new innovative businesses, etc.) outweighs the rights of the movie makers, but that is a very complicated comparison. The state should not take away rights lightly.

Comment Re:The Washington Post.... (Score 1) 837

All of a sudden, people who are thrilled by predator attacks and civilian deaths are outraged, outraged, I tell you that Afghanis might be at risk for collaborating with American forces. What a load. I don't believe for one second these war mongers give a rat's ass about what's going to happen to Afghani civilians who might be named in the Wikileaks papers.

You miss the point I think. They are not worried about the Afghani civilians at all. They are worried about the US ability to recruit Afghani informants.

Comment Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 281

It is insightful in the sense that companies typically ignore the law to the degree that they can get away with it, just like individual people do. And since an employee is usually at a massive disadvantage in the case of a dispute, a company can get away with quite a lot with regard to its employees. So, in that sense, they can do as they please. You can sue them, but then you have burned your bridges - it is not a viable strategy unless you are confident you can find a new job easily, or they are mistreating you so badly that unemployment is preferable by comparison. And by the way, prospective new employers do not usually appreciate workers who sued their former employer.

The last bit about standing up for yourself was somewhat unhelpful grandstanding without actionable advice, though.

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