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Comment Re:For a country so good at engineering... (Score 2) 212


Who is "we"? A bunch of noise making 20 something hippies?

must be. I'm German and I don't have anything against nuclear power. BTW I have to confirm that part of the upbringing of little children here in the past three decades has involved a lot of anti-nuclear resentments being fed to them not by their science teachers, but, funnily enough, by all the rest of the faculty who like to comment on issues they don't know anything about. One vivid memory from my own time in school was our (catholic) religious education teacher not willing to believe that the steam exiting the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant is not actually a radioactive smoke plume coming from some sort of fuel rod camp fire at the bottom of the tower! Until we managed to convince her she had probably already taught generations of children before us that kind of hogwash.

Comment Re:For a country so good at engineering... (Score 1) 212

What is really helping Germany at the moment is that solar ties up with peak demand nicely. Unfortunately for energy companies peak demand was where they made a lot of their profit, but for Germany as a whole it means they have lots of high value electricity to sell to other countries

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When the renewables are at full peak, German energy is sold for negative prices, precisely because there is little buffering capacity. This was frequently the case in 2013 and 2014 (only one example here). This has been criticized a lot here in Germany because the resulting loss is passed on to consumers, not to producers which were guaranteed fixed prices as part of a federal effort to ramp up energy production from renewable sources.

Comment Re:I don't blame them for being mad. (Score 1) 219

I do not know that many Germans that are seriously pissed off about that spying. Most of them do not even understand what the hell is going on - you can try to explain what metadata is or what it can be used for and see how far you get with that.

The whole NSA/Snowden affair was regarded as an important topic in the 2013 election by a mere 17% of the population (pre-election ARD poll).

The Pirate Party and FDP have since not stopped making a huge fuss about it, but the truth is that most Germans don't care. They probably think it'll only hit the terrorists. Same thing with CCTV in public areas, actually. If it only ever saves one pensioner from being robbed, the majority of voters are fine with it (and demand more!).

Comment Re:Okay, I'm European and... (Score 1) 210

I understood it that way from day one, and couldn't believe my ears as everyone around me kept extolling what great achievement in privacy they thought it was. Really, have they all forgotten to what extent people have been busy doctoring around with their Wikipedia articles basically since the existence of the platform (or have had their secretary do so)? Does a Wikipedia article turn you into a person of public interest? And when is a piece of information "inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive for the purposes of the data processing" as stated in the ruling? All of this is just not going to work. Thank God we can still use US sites.

Even the original case with the guy objecting to an auction notice didn't convince me at all, I mean come on, you screwed up (rather mildly in this case, I might add), so deal with it.

Comment Re:Slowly, Mr Uljanov (Score 1) 390

It's got nothing to do with "socialism". Quite far from it. What it has to do with is completely fucked up tax and tax money politics in Germany. There is a very easy fix for it: Stop bailing out banks, stop pumping money into bailout funds for high risk investment banks

Whatever there may be to like or dislike about the educational system in Germany and its cost, I doubt it has changed much since any "bailing out" began (well, some local governments have removed tuition fees in recent years) , so I doubt rewinding that would have any middle-class-saving qualities. An unmarried engineer starts off with 50% tax/social contribution ratio after college; it's been like that for at least a decade.

(actually, tax the fuckers 'til it's no longer profitable to leech the industry to death), stop destroying the middle class and instead tax capital gains more and you're set.

As it stands now, taxing capital gains means taxing the middle class, as they are usually invested in capital market backed retail products.

Comment Re:Yeah, but women want it all (Score 1) 427

So, there is some kind of unfair scheme being pursued by women in which they achieve an unmatchable degree of perceived physical attractiveness (hence the sexual power and the fawning), and expect equal pay on top of it?

(1) If there is, they have been failing rather badly at it over the past few decades, unless you take these 111% mentioned in TFA for granted, but I'm really not that sure about it.

(2) Your view of what's physically attractive is always biased by your own gender; meaning if you're a (hetero) man, you'll likely find an unfair advantage in attractiveness in the female; a good part of it might not have anything to do with any intent on their side. In fact, the assumption that they're guilty of making you feel attracted to them, give them presents etc. (i. e. bewitching you) is a pretty problematic line of thought. For any observable incident involving dollar-spending on the male part, an equally justifiable explanation is always that of a naive, romanticized idea of chivalry on behalf of the spender.

(3) Wouldn't any agenda that aimed at getting better treatment by physically appealing to the other gender cancel itself out once 50% of all management positions were held by females? So all we have to do is sit down and wait...

Comment Re:Uh... (Score 1) 362

Nothing is stopping you running your init scripts in parallel if you need it.

Quite true, actually I think in Debian this is already supported for the system boot sequence at least since Squeeze.

Together with dash being the default /bin/sh now, it already boots pretty fast, I don't see the startup time being a major factor in this decision.

It's probably more because of the fact that systemd now reaches into areas beyond pure service control that forces Debian to either follow that move or switch to another alternative that has enough manpower behind it.

Comment Re:How safe? (Score 1) 947

(And you would be surprised how many girls like the smell of a man who smells like a man and not like a pool of aftershave, deo and soap)

Even assuming this was true despite it sounding like a Gene Hunt quote, on /. it's not the most striking argument...

For my part, I'm not a girl and I currently have a bunch of bike-riders sitting a few meters down the hall from my office, and on some days I smell the sweat coming out of their offices whenever I have to go past them. OK maybe it's not them but the colorful mountainwear they hang over their chairs, but it's pretty bothersome. When 2000 people are packed in one building there ought to be some standards. (This also means no offensive fragrances, of course.)

The Media

How You Too Can Be Shut Down By the Feds For Flying Drones 195

An anonymous reader writes "University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Matt Waite waived a government cease and desist letter recently received for his experiments using 3-pound, $500 drones for news reporting (specifically, for a story about drought in Nebraska). He gave journalism organizations the lowdown on what they can expect from the government on this front going forward and said he's posting his experience in trying to get certified by the FAA on GitHub so they can follow along."

Building an Opt-In Society 182

An anonymous reader writes "In a talk at Y Combinator's startup school event, Stanford lecturer Balaji Srinivasan explained his vision for governing systems of the future. The idea is to find space to set up a new 'opt-in' society outside existing governments, and design it to take full advantage of technology to keep people in control of their own lives. That means embracing tech that subverts existing industries and rejecting regulation on new ways of doing things. '[N]ew industries are simultaneously disrupting existing ones while also exiting the system entirely, he says. With 3D printing, regulation is being turned into DRM. With quantified self, medicine is going mobile. With Bitcoin, capital control becomes packet filtering. All of these examples, Srinivasan says, are ways in which technology is allowing people to exit current systems like physical product production and distribution; personal health; and finance in favor of spaces of their own creation.' Srinivasan's ideas are a natural extension of a few proposals already in the works — Peter Thiel has been trying to build a small tech incubator city that floats in international waters, outside of government control. Elon Musk wants to have a Mars colony, and Larry Page has wished for a tech-centric Burning man that's free from government regulation. 'The best part is this,' Srinivasan said. 'The people who think this is weird, the people who sneer at the frontier, who hate technology, won't follow you there.'"

Comment Re:Obama Fellatio HQ (Score 1) 472

Being one of those liberal hippies you seem to be attempting to blame for "Republican Military-Industrial Complex Elitism As Usual" let me speak on our behalf:

No. Mr. O does not speak for me. Mr. O is just another "Republican Moderate" in allegedly liberal clothing [if he had been a *real* liberal he would have gotten us the "Single Provider" [aka Socialist} version of healthcare like all reasonable western countries have rather than the Capitalist "bend over, here's the bill" Romney-care.

I think that a government that is likely to give you socialist healthcare is also not likely one that is going to disband an agency like the NSA, mainly because it's not one to disband any agency. (If the situation here in Europe can be any indicator.) The "perfect" laissez-faire society would be the one without an NSA. Now granted there is no such thing in the real world and it would just mean going over that civil vs. economic liberty thing again. But still. Hiding away talented mathematicians and engineers like that is just a waste of taxpayer money.

Comment Re:The theater is dead. (Score 1) 924

I mean, other than for a midnight premiere, does anyone actually go to the movies anymore?

I rarely go to the theater to see a single movie, but I very often visit themed (e. g. Japanese / splatter / Japanese splatter / etc.) film festivals where you can watch five or six movies a day, over a period of one or two weeks. These offer value that I don't find elsewhere. The movies are not going to run in town later. They often wouldn't even be released on DVD in my area, meaning I would have to import them, which could mean $50 each. Some of them later run on subscription TV but you can't be sure of that in advance. Streaming might be an option someday, but my country really has a lot of catching up to do there.

That said, people using their phone is pretty much a non-issue there. The more common nuisance are glass beer bottles tipping over, which is unfortunate if your bag was standing next to them on the floor. But really this can happen to anybody, you can't be mad at them.

But yeah, I'm not sure about the future of the mainstream movie theater industry either. 3D might be its swan song.

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle