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Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 129

"Our Nobel Peace Prize President dropped 26,000 bombs (real bombs, not little hand grenades) last year on various brown people (even though we are not at war)."

Why make it about skin colour? Your president was the same colour but he very clearly didn't bomb himself, so that was obviously not a factor in determining targets so why bring it up?

"BTW, has anyone considered that it might be preferable to address their grievances rather than just bomb them?"

Whilst I'd always agree for rational actors such as the IRA, FARC, and maybe even the Taliban, these actors aren't rational. You could make the same argument for the Nazis in WWII but given that their greivance was that they wanted to extinguish entire groups of humans to the tune of millions then it's not exactly a greivance that any reasonable human being can help address is it?

When the greivance in question is our very existence and way of life, then it's not merely that they're a bit upset about something and we can help make that better, it's that they want to extinguish our very existence, and the only response to that is to extinguish theirs first.

But if you believe otherwise, then do feel free to go and talk to them. I'll keep an eye on YouTube for a video of how you got on.

Comment Re:If irreversible, why not let it continue natura (Score 1) 313

The problem is that the fossil fuel industry is the most heavily subsidised industry going. A nuclear plant for example is always going to be made to be responsible for complete costs of waste disposal, and yet fossil fuel plants, and cars are allowed to just spew their waste into the environment at no cost.

If you were to make the fossil fuel industry pay it's actual costs - i.e. impact on people's health for example, rather than expect people to subsidise them by paying for their own health issues caused by fossil fuel users then the cost of petrol cars, of power via fossil fuels and so forth would be untenable and the market would change overnight but with massive economic and social disruption as people fail to afford to adjust to paying what they actually should, rather than to continue using their fossil fuel based power source or car at the expense of others.

So given the difficulty in trying to just completely alter the entire economic model of most countries overnight by making it illegal for fossil fuel users and power plants to continue to be subsidised by, say, doubling the price of petrol and electricity from non-renewable sources it's easier to just give at least some kind of counter-subsidy to renewables.

The problem is that the "natural" rate of change you're referring to isn't the natural rate of change, it's a rate of change crippled by the fact that fossil fuel power plants and so forth receive massive indirect subsidies through the fact they're not faced to pay for the actual costs they incur on society.

If you want to learn more search for "fossil fuel externalities". You'll find no end of articles and papers trying to estimate the hidden costs of fossil fuels, and whilst estimates vary it's to the degree of hundreds of billions every year in the US alone. The problem is that the system has been manipulated so long by the fossil fuel industries due to the power of big oil et. al. that they're not even close to playing on a level playing field even with renewable subsidies - they're at a massive subsidised advantage over renewables even when renewables have the subsidies they do.

Comment Re:Not an alternative to Linux, an alternative to (Score 1) 272

Whatever hardware you use, the best host OS for your virtual machines is probably Linux, and the fastest-performing PC you can run it upon is never an Apple, not even if we're talking only about pure turnkey machines that you can just order on the internet for a set price.

I admire their case design, and their ability to use it as a prybar which separates people from money. Their OS is pretty nice, although it offers too little configurability to make me happy even when coupled with third party tools.

Comment Re:Expected /. response (Score 1) 423

Well, I don't think staying on Windows 7 is a losing battle, for reasons I've described in my other comments in this Slashdot discussion. Short version: It works just fine for now and for the near future. I hope Microsoft will change their strategy before the Windows 7 option eventually ceases to be viable, but if they don't, yes, we will look at migrating to some other platform.

Another comment I was writing prompted me to look at how much of the software we use in my small businesses these days is still proprietary native Windows applications, and it's actually a very short list these days. Most of what we run natively on the desktop and literally everything we run on our servers is now freely available and widely portable to different platforms. The rest of what we run is hosted either on those servers or online and accessed via browsers and sometimes also mobile apps. The number of software packages we depend on that are actually Windows-only is trending to zero, and might well reach zero within the useful lifetime of our current Windows 7 systems.

Comment Re:Expected /. response (Score 2) 423

Obvious, but possibly naive. Small businesses in first world economies typically make more money, employ more people, and basically do and contribute more as a group than large businesses. And as the saying goes, every successful large business was once a successful small business. Also, small IT businesses, independent professionals, and "prosumer" geeks are disproportionately influential when it comes to IT decisions. Playing to the huge enterprise customers at the expense of the little guys may be a successful strategy for the short term, but in the longer term, neglecting the little guys will surely come back to haunt them.

Comment Re:People agree that Windows 10 has better tech (Score 1) 423

It's easy to say you have better tech if you ignore the complaints about it.

That's been Microsoft's SOP for a long time. Remember when they said they hadn't broken the networking in Windows 7, even though it suddenly took minutes or hours to copy large numbers of files over in Explorer that would have taken seconds or minutes on XP, or even from the command prompt on the same Windows 7 box?

Comment Re:Upgrade refuseniks are idjits (Score 1) 423

Not necessarily. For example, we're good for another hardware cycle at this point, and our software base is all paid up and permanently licensed to go with those machines, to the extent that we're still running proprietary local applications anyway.

For business planning purposes, we are assuming that by the time we get to our next major upgrade window, either Microsoft will have come to its senses regarding the Pro version of Windows typically used by smaller businesses like ours, or some other platform will be more attractive anyway.

Unless some of our businesses expand significantly more rapidly than anticipated after the possibility of buying new PCs and using downgrade rights has run out but before we migrate to some other platform, we're fine.

Comment Re:More like... (Score 4, Insightful) 423

Quite. I read this:

Microsoft says that continued usage of Windows 7 increases maintenance and operating costs for businesses.

and my immediate thought -- as someone who runs a few small IT businesses and is typing this on a Windows 7 PC -- was... well, it would be impolite to write my actual immediate thought at the time, so let's paraphrase it as "No, it doesn't".

With Windows 10, we offer our customers the highest level of security and functionality at the cutting edge.

The thing about cutting edges is that if you're not careful, you get hurt. And I have little interest in helping Microsoft's security at the expense of my own businesses.

Oh, and just for completeness while we're debunking every single statement in TFS, we bought a final round of PC gear just in time to still get Windows 7 preinstalled, and so far the total number of devices or software products we wanted to use that haven't been compatible with it has been 0, and the number of malware infections we've had to deal with has also been 0. Literally the only thing we've had to do with drivers that was even slightly awkward was slipstreaming USB3 drivers in when installing because PCs tend to have all USB3 ports these days, in contrast to the numerous reports of driver compatibility problems with Windows 10. We're far more concerned about the potential security, reliability and confidentiality risks fundamentally built into Windows 10 than we are about any threats Windows 10 is supposedly better equipped to defend against than Windows 7.

Ironically, the single most annoying and time-consuming thing in setting up those new PCs was applying the latest Windows security patches, because Microsoft have made such a dog's dinner of Windows Update in recent times that you basically have to use one of the alternative channels instead of the built-in one. And they want us to move to a new OS that relies on their update infrastructure and gives even less control over when it runs or what it does? Don't make me laugh.

Comment Re:Indiscriminate antibiotic use in farm animals.. (Score 1) 287

Or that the instant coffee that I drink for free at work isn't brown-colored urine.

It might as well be.

Either go full blown paranoid or stop complaining about things just because you don't personally agree with them and pretending you have some other reason.

The apparently paranoid part there is really not central to the main topic here, I just threw it in for fun. It's true, but let's put that aside for now. The main issue is that overuse of antibiotics is a problem already. Solving problems with drugs instead of actually addressing root causes only causes other problems.

Comment Re:I kind of like them as they are (Score 1) 62

Most roofing materials don't catch fire that easily.

It just so happens that I have samples of roofing tiles and bad LiPos handy, but I hesitate to create a toxic fire even for science. Too bad I never picked up a sandblasting cabinet, that might be a good place to execute a controlled experiment. I wonder what would be an effective filter for the exhaust.

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