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Comment Mississippi River and empire (Score 4, Informative) 336

One of the largest threats to global warming (for America at least) is the continued lowering of water levels for the Mississippi River. Historians can correct or amend me here, but empires rise and fall on the strength of their rivers. The US is no different, and should the Mississippi fail then there will be serious strategic and economic threats to the security and health of the nation.

Not good.

Comment Re:This will stifle innovation (Score 1) 396

The 990i did not have a capacitive touchscreen. The screen was also relatively tiny, it had a physical keyboard, and was this weird hybrid flip phone. It was also dog slow, you could not install third-party software, and IIRC did not even have a music player. About the only similarity between it and the iPhone were that they both made calls and had icons on its screen. The 990i was a beast, but it was comparable to the iPhone only in the loosest possible sense of the word.

Comment Re:Does Windows 8 have an opt-out feature? (Score 3, Insightful) 489

You mean the OS that, by default, blocks you from running content that isn't blessed by Apple? Yes, you can download apps from sources that aren't the App Store - but they still have to be signed, otherwise, it either will refuse to run or lie to you and say that the app is "damaged" and you should "drag it to the trash."

This is complete bullshit. At no point does this ever, ever happen.

And if you try and disable this "feature" then it yells at you, warning you of dire consequences if you try and allow non-Apple-blessed apps to run.

This, too, is so far from true, and said with such force as to considered a lie. Let's take a look, shall we?

GateKeeper fully enabled, Disabling GateKeeper, GateKeeper disabled

Wow, that wasn't so hard, now was it? And the "yelling"? The "dire consequences"? Let's quote: "Choosing 'Anywhere' makes your Mac less secure." That's it. The entire message. But... in your world this is yelling about dire consequences.

Unless the joke was that Mac OS X is a downgrade from Windows 8, which is true, but it sounds like you're saying Mountain Lion is a way to opt out of being spied on by a giant corporation, and it isn't.

Really? So if you don't buy anything from the App Store, and turn off GateKeeper, what information about downloaded files is communicated to Apple?

Are you an astroturfer or something? I find it hard to believe anyone can be this dense unless they're getting paid to do so.

Comment There are no repercussions, across the board (Score 4, Insightful) 369

One of the primary reasons that the United States continues its descent into this strange dystopian corporate/security fascist state is because there are, almost without exception, no criminal or political repercussions for acts which are outside the realm of social norms. Black youths can be gunned down, drones can fly unrestricted, SWAT teams can invade and kill completely innocent people, bankers can steal/defraud trillions of dollars, whistleblowers are thrown in jail without trial for years, American citizens are executed at the sole and extra-judicial behest of the President, MPAA/RIAA-friendly treaties are negotiated in secret...

And on and on and on.

There are no repercussions for the actors in any of these cases. Here, the FBI says they can suspend the law because, well, who's going to stop them? Congress? Hardly. The President? Incredibly unlikely. The FBI, and most of the national security apparatus, is wholly safe from suffering any consequences to their actions, no matter how heinous they may be to the American public or the world at large.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 922

You do realize that it isn't a very big step between that, and a criminal sentence for saying anything a majority of people don't like, right?

It is a huge step. Inciting hatred is not political speech.

I realize the UK doesn't have laws protecting what he did. I'm saying maybe it should, because not having them is worse than this guy not going to jail, in the long run.

I don't think this is true. Not all speech prohibitions lead to totalitarian futures. Prohibitions against inciting racial hatred are, I believe, entirely appropriate and make for a better society. The "slippery slope" argument you are advancing is fallacious.

Comment Re:"Smart" TVs? (Score 4, Interesting) 381

I dunno. I have an HTPC and it's kinda a pain in the ass. If Apple can come out with a TV that has a built-in HD, a decent OS, and Siri, that could very well be the sweet spot for a lot of people, including me. "Siri, I'd like to watch the latest episode of Venture Brothers." Boom. Off ya go.

Now, what WILL be annoying is if their TV is iOS based.

Comment Why is this against the law? (Score 4, Insightful) 287

I should preface this by saying that I am no Google fan. I think they have made many poor decisions over the past few years, and the GPYW initiative has caused me to switch over to DuckDuckGo full time.

Having said that...

Why is it illegal for Canadian drug companies to advertise their goods in the United States? The US has insanely high drug prices, and Canadian imports of those same products are (or could be) beneficial to the lives, health, and finances of who knows how many people. This is an unjust law, and am having an incredibly difficult time finding a justification for it.

This seems like yet another instance of the pharmaceutical lobby protecting their vast profits from competition.

Comment Re:What?! (Score 3, Interesting) 376

Durability? Like, when I spill coffee on mine? Or, drop it? Or, draw mustaches on the people in it?

Anecdotally, I have heard students complain that book publishers have recently introduced a different kind of glue for the books' bindings, one which degrades rather quickly, over a year or so.

A quick search isn't turning up anything about this, but I have heard it enough over the past year or so to give it some credence. Perhaps others on /. who currently are students can share their experiences in this regard.

Comment Re:...Good for you? (Score 3, Insightful) 627

> costs on the order of a thousand dollars

Weasel words. Base model iPad 2 is $499.

> throws away 30 years of office app development

Don't care. Don't use Office or any competitor. Do not need it, do not want it.

> can't play a dvd

Don't need it to. My iPad has 32gig of storage on it. Right now I have seasons 3 and 4 of the Venture Brothers on there, as well as a few movies for my kids. If that's not enough I can stream stuff from my media server, or from Netflix.

DVDs are a dead storage medium.

> can't store more than a couple dozen gigs

So what? It's not a file server. It's a tablet. It has more than enough storage to do the job. And as mentioned before, streaming options are also available.

> doesn't allow installation of different OSs

So what? What if you don't care about installing different OSes?

> runs anemic, "power-friendly" processors

Powerful enough to run Lego Harry Potter, watch a movie, or anything else I want to do with it. What are you prevented from doing?

> can't multitask well

Same question: what are you prevented from doing? It polls for new emails in the background, if I get an IM I'm notified, etc., etc. What's your bitch?

Comment 1% (Score 1) 111

Won't happen.

There have been many similar proposals made over the years. None of them are implemented, because those who maintain power are apparently happy with the way things are. American democracy is a sham, highly susceptible to fraud, and anyone who makes such observations is dismissed by "serious" journalists and citizens.

I'm very glad MS made this proposal. Kudos to them. What would move me from mild approval to full-fledged fanboyism were they to take this idea and have it implemented universally.

Comment And? (Score 4, Insightful) 658

Look, honestly, what are you going to do about it? Complaining doesn't matter. The TSA will be here forever, and, as much as we hate to admit it, there is nothing that can be done about it. There is too much money involved, and contractors have vast amounts of power, much more so than any collection of outraged stories and messages on the internet does.

Seriously, I hope the TSA is abolished tomorrow, or hell even five years from now. But honestly without fundamental, almost revolutionary changes to the way the US government works this simply will not happen. Money talks, national security lobbyists have TONS of money, and that's pretty much the end of it.

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