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Comment China wants to prevent another revolution (Score 3, Insightful) 22

Since the fast-movers with ties to government have already captured the formerly-state-run wealth and have turned China into an oligarchy of Mercedes and Tesla drivers, the last thing they want is the peasants chatting together on unregulated apps and starting something like a bottom-up communist revolution.

Comment What a Goombah (Score 3, Insightful) 117

Are you just jealous that the "uber-commie-corporation" of China is more effective at business, and more agile at taking advantage of new worldwide trends, than your corporations?

As Trump would say, they're just better negotiators.

Don't worry, you'll soon be protected by Trump so you can buy American solar panels. Just don't complain if they're twice as heavy and half as efficient (automotive sector I'm looking at you.) At least you can but genuine NAPA replacement parts.

Comment Candidate pool (Score 1) 346

To know whether they discriminate or not, you have to know the demographics of their candidate pool.

If say 20% women are applying (for a position type), and the women's qualification levels are equivalent statistically to men's, and roughly 20% women are getting hired that's not discrimination. Same goes with race.

If there are barriers to getting to the candidate pool with equivalent qualifications and experience, that's a problem earlier in the chain and in the nature of educational opportunity equality and barriers, economic barriers, social barriers etc. All of that is not Google's fault, if it's the case.

Comment Google may do it just for their developers (Score 2) 293

As far as I know the vast majority of Google's developers use a MacBook Pro (previous generation).

A good half of those at least will shudder at the thought of no proper Esc key and gratuitous omission of at least one regular old USB 3 port, and 16GB RAM is looking small for a development box these days. Oh, and the sheer horrible design thinking exhibited by omitting the amazing magsafe connector will be enough to sway some of those.

So confronted by grumbling developers threatening to order Surface Pros, Google may just make a super-souped-up chromebook+ for developers by freeing up user access to more of the Linux OS underneath, adding a giant SSD, etc.

Please.

Comment Re:What's wrong with Android uniformity? (Score 3, Insightful) 212

Ok but for the sake of argument, other than the following factors:

1) Name recognition and reputation
2) Resources and ability to write good quality software and maintain good databases with quality data (e.g. maps database, wifi IDs database)

Is there anything stopping open organization SPQR from creating

SPQR App Services for Android

and offering equivalents to the Google-branded services?

If resourceful, SPQR could convince phone makers to pre-load their phones with the SPQR app store and services.

My devil's advocate question is: Is this just jealousy that Google out-innovated and out-standardized others, and out-"take my free stuff"-offered others, creating a de-facto monopoly?

Is this just bitterness that the network effect (on adoption) is the network effect, and it's tough to compete with after a while?

Seriously, if there is a strong will (including possibly distributed financial backing) to have a good quality open alternative to Google services on Android, couldn't that be done in theory? There's nothing license-wise or artificial-technical-barrier preventing it, is there?

Comment What's wrong with Android uniformity? (Score 1) 212

I mean Android is just a use of an OS kernel and some standard services, including application security, and some UI conventions.

Everyone's free to write their own apps for it to make phones do whatever.
And that's much easier to do (and get wide user adoption) because the apps can target Android standard services.

If anything, there's too much diversity (not enough lockdown) due to carrier and/or phone maker mods of Android.
So users can get befuddled when they get something different and thought they were getting Android.
And developers have to target many different versions to reach a big market.
That's all because of too MUCH freedom (about when to push OS updates etc), not too little.

If you want to tinker with an alternative or forked OS, nothing is stopping you.
And if you do it significantly better than the prevailing standard, and also have the organization and business network to make it grow and stick, then more power to you. The core is all FOSS so embrace and extend and modify to your heart's content. I don't see the problem here.

The overwhelming number of users want something functional, regularly improved in the same way as their friends' phone, and something which supports the apps they and their friends want to use together. Are you people just cranky? What's the big problem with monolithic Android where the name means something singular and predictable?

Comment Re:Have they added curly braces yet? (Score 3, Insightful) 187

Because human readability of code is much more important than machine readability of code. With a suitable parser, the machine will be able to read the code. The art is in creating a language in which the program is obvious to many humans, not just the person who wrote it.

IMHO Python is on the right track for that. The best way to ensure all programs written in a programming language are readable by many people is to have the language enforce a uniform style, with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. People who don't like the language-author's enforced style conventions can use another language. Programs written in the language will be reliably readable and maintainable, and that's way more important than giving freedom of artistic impression to the program writer.

Comment Re:If we had a just carbon tax... (Score 1) 220

Yes. I mentioned a simple carbon tax (e.g. per tonne CO2equiv at source).

The main problem with cap and trade is that it needs lots of accountants "measuring" lots of abstractions, and it can be gamed easily so that it APPEARS on the books to be effective but in atmospheric physics terms is not effective.

Example. I can say I should get carbon-credit for not cutting down this forest land in my country, and so if I don't cut down those forests, I should be allowed to produce and consume a whack more fossil fuel. Or I can pay you to not cut down and slash-burn the forest land in your country, and then keep consuming or producing fossil fuel at growing rates. But that assumes that the 0 of the 0 sum game is a state where there are no forests left, which is both an environmentally immoral state of affairs, and one that we cannot morally or economically assume is the default trend. It is funny math, and it just lets us keep increasing our rate of digging up and consuming fossil fuel that needs to stay in the ground. The 0-value for forest state carbon-credit should be how much forest there is left now. You should only get credit if you allow more land to be forested than you have now, and you should lose credit if you are currently net-deforesting your land.

Comment No the conspiracy theorists are too clever (Score 2) 531

They KNOW that tinfoil hats are just a conspiracy invented to make it easier to identify the wingnut conspiracy theorists.

That's why they wear INVISIBLE tinfoil hats, made out of transparent aluminum.

BTW did you know that tinfoil hats, invisible or otherwise, act as an echo chamber amplifying and scrambling thoughts (and trapped electromagnetic radiation)?

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