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Comment Re:wars destroy wealth (Score 1) 439

taxation is your payment for services rendered by your government. Army, police force, road maintenance, infrastructure. Your taxes pay for all that shit. And if you really want to bitch about welfare, you can consider that the "service" of keeping beggars off the streets and out of your sight/way.

And before you start saying its not a true transaction because you didn't choose what to "buy" well sorry but you did -- via your elected representatives. You can argue that the price is too high or whatever, or that your representatives are choosing to "buy" the wrong services or whatever, but calling it theft is rather disingenuous at best.

I agree with the rest of your post, but this bit is ridiculous. You're essentially saying it's impossible for (democratic) governments to commit theft, because everything a government does is morally validated by the fact that it was democratically elected. Sorry, but just because a lot of people agree with something, doesn't mean it's a moral action. Historical examples abound.

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 439

Marx's original conception of communism wasn't a system of government, so much as it was a state of being.

He considered socialism as a necessary evil - you had government imposing the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", because people wouldn't do it themselves, but the idea was that as people were exposed to this, saw its benefits and became enlightened, they would start acting this way voluntarily. When the population in general had reached this state, the socialist government would become unnecessary and wither away, and the population would be living, ungoverned, as "communist man", the apex of Marx's conception of social evolution.

Unfortunately, this breaks down, because the great benefits of socialism turn out to be mass starvation and poverty, which the people understandably get miffed about and don't embrace, which leads to their government shooting them in job lots. It's also why a lot of Marxists complain that communism has never really been implemented yet, and use that as a defence against the butchery their philosophy leads to.

Comment Re: All the better to 'drive' stoned (Score 1) 125

They might be safer than kids, but they're still on a bunch of medications on which they really shouldn't be driving. And in a crisis, their reflexes are typically awful, often for the same reason.

Crisis? What crisis?

That's a huge benefit of being an experienced driver - you smell trouble far before it happens. You know which drivers are going to do something stupid, and you stay out of their way. You leave others room to make mistakes and recover from it.

A good driver will avoid many situations where good reflexes would be needed, In addition, a good driver will make sure they have enough space to not act by blind reflex, but by thinking. Your "fast reflexes" will quite often just make the situation worse or will cause different problems.

Comment Re:Next headline (Score 1) 125

And the next line: Insurance company refuses to cover damages, clean-up costs, hospital bills, loss of income due to disability and so on. Even if you do eventually win expect to spend a few years in court with a lawyer driving you into bankruptcy first. Also if you're arrested you have the right to a lawyer, not so much in civil court when the insurance company claims you broke the terms, I'm sure they have something in the wall of legalese that will apply.

I don't know the US laws; in Germany your third party liability has to pay if the car was insured, and the damage wasn't caused intentionally. (And your car is almost always insured, even if you didn't pay your fees; if the insurance company decides to cancel your insurance, they will send a letter to you, and another to the police to seize your car until you insure it again).

That has always covered accidents caused by drunk drivers, by thieves and so on. Because third party liability is a legal requirement set by the government to protect innocent third parties, so it must be very hard to avoid.

If the USA has similar rules, then third parties should be covered. What happens to the owner of the car, that's a different matter. Everyone from police to insurance company will try their best to make their life very, very unhappy.

Comment Good move, difficult marketing (Score 1) 71

Facts are: There was nothing wrong with the phones themselves, except the batteries. Samsung first had the problem that some batteries were physically larger than they should have been, which _will_ cause problems. Then they had a second problem, that in order to fix the first problem, they rushed other suppliers to deliver high capacity batteries before they were properly designed. Lots of the damage to the brand was caused by the fact that they first had a problem, said it was fixed, and then had the exact same problem again because they rushed for a solution.

It seems that trying to fit in that extra high capacity (3,500mAh) was difficult. Too difficult, it turns out. Same battery with lower capacity (3,000mAh) should be much easier to build without any safety problems. I'm personally not in the market for a Samsung phone, but if let's say Apple offered "iPhone 7 with 2 hours less battery for $300 less", I'd be quite interested.

Anyone who wants to buy Android, I'd recommend looking at the price, and checking what you get for it. If it's better than another phone for the same price apart from lower battery life, you just decide what you want more (features, speed etc. vs. battery life) and buy it or don't. Emotionally, the brand is damaged. Rationally, I would think that these phones will be absolutely fine.

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 4, Informative) 439

The health care system in Germany is not owned by the government. There are hospitals that are owned by the respective town, district or state, but it's no requirement. No one forbids you in Germany to open your own hospital, employ your own physicians and make your own contracts with the health insurers. All practitioners are privately owned businesses, and most of them have contracts with all health insurers. The health insurers themselves are not necessarily governmentally owned either. There are health insurers which in fact are governmentally owned (the Ortskrankenkassen, municipal health insurers). But there are also cooperative health insurers, health insurers owned by private companies for their own employees (called Betriebskrankenkassen, corporate health insurers), and private health insurance companies.

The main difference is that there is a group of health insurers called Gesetzliche Krankenkassen (health insurers according to law), which are heavily regulated and whose service offerings are governmentally controlled. If you earn less than a specified amount of money as an employee, you are required to get coverage from such an institution. Which institution is up to you, it just has to offer you the contract according to law. There are about 100 different health insurers in Germany, which offer coverage according to law, and most of them operate through the whole of Germany. You are free to buy additional insurance if you want more or better services. If you are on social security, you are automatically insured by a Gesetzliche Krankenkasse. If you are self employed, operate your own business or earn more than the limit, you are completely free in your choice of health insurance.

Comment Who ships packages without proof of delivey??? (Score 1) 38

I dont know of a EU service even allowing shipping a package without proof of delivery. Reading all the horror stories about US postal service/private shipping Im just baffled. Why would you ship anything with a knowledge it will be tossed from a truck into your lawn/door for everyone to see???!?!

Comment Re:Only a penny a page, duplex? (Score 1) 5

I'll be better able to figure it when the cartridge is empty. The savings come from not having to pay eight or ten bucks for copies that I'm proofreading.

They're already online as free e-books, HTML, and PDF, with printed copies available at a price.

Comment Cataracts and Suse (Score 1) 6

IIRC you're Canadian (if in the US you'll need insurance) and should be able to get CrystaLens implants for an extra $2,000. They cure nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and cataracts.

I ran Suse back in 2003 and liked it, but moved to Mandrake because my TV didn;t like it; I was using the TV as a monitor with an S-video cable. Still trying to find a distro that will run on an old Gateway laptop.

Comment Re:PKI? (Score 1) 27

Worse than that; in all likelihood.

While adoption has been patchy; the 'trusted computing'/TPM guys definitely have what it takes to deliver a cryptographically locked bootloader and a variety of other powerful-and-somewhat-creepy capabilities; so anyone who gets onboard with this will presumably move from shipping hardware with shitty firmware that doesn't get patches to shipping hardware with shitty firmware that doesn't get patches and cannot be fixed or replaced even if you have the requisite expertise with that platform. The sort of 'support' that bootloader locked android devices get now. Far too insecure to be remotely safe; far too secure for mere mortals to reflash the firmware with something else without a particularly elegant 'trustzone' compromise or hardware attacks.

I hardly mean to suggest that OpenWRT will save IoT or anything(IoT needs a lot more saving than is probably possible for anyone; and vendors are spitting out unsupported hardware far faster than 3rd parties and mainline kernel support can catch up); but if you think shoddy firmware is bad; it's hard to get excited about shoddy firmware that is effectively impossible to replace even for devices based on well supported hardware.

Comment Re: Android is Linux (Score 1) 223

The definition of an OS is that it controls all resources of a computer and shares them between the applications. A single task system would not be an OS, as in a single task system the running application has full control of all resources of a computer. Thus DOS is actually a program loader, not a computer operating system.

Comment Re:vGPU seems cool (Score 5, Informative) 90

My understanding is that it is more extensive: PCI(mostly 'e' these days) passthrough allows you to assign a physical device to a VM; but the device can't be shared: if a given piece of hardware is being passed through to one of the guests, none of the other guests or the host OS can use it.

This 'virtual GPU' stuff is supposed to make allocating GPU resources between VMs closer to how it is with CPU time or memory, where all the guests and the host can't exceed the capabilities of the machine they are running on; but they can all have access, with relatively modest overhead, to the same device.

I don't know if things work as pleasantly as desired yet; but in principle it should be a lot more convenient than full device passthrough. Especially in cases where you might be interested in the GPU for its computational capabilities, video transcoder, etc.

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