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Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 462

In context, with Trump denying the DNC hack was Russia trying to help Trump out, yes, this one can be seen as a very obvious joke. Just because he frequently makes horrific statements doesn't mean he doesn't occasionally also make jokes.

I don't think he's ever claimed that the wall comment was a joke. I don't think he ever will.

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Comment Re:Still hasn't learned (Score 1) 113

I don't know why you think they should be able to survive on releasing the same games that exist on two other consoles already. Why would anyone buy a Nintendo system at all?

Nintendo's salvation lies in strong third party support, but they won't be the same games as are on the PS4 and XBox.

Game budgets for PS4 and XBone are enormous. The pipelines are huge, and hard to fill. When you've got that much horsepower, you need a lot more creative staff to make sure there's actually something worth rendering. If Nintendo produces a modestly equipped console that has decent graphics, it will be a much lower barrier to entry.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 462

He was making a f---ing joke. He has brushed off the notion that Russia was doing the hacking in the first place. He made the comment at a press conference intending to ridicule the concept, not via a semi-secret text message to Vladimir Putin.

I'm no Trumpist, I mean, I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November and you have NO IDEA how little I want to do that, but I'm in Florida, so my vote may make a difference between Trump or Clinton, and Trump really is THAT BAD. But, in this one instance, the collective left and political establishment has lost their minds, and apparently their sense of humor.

Comment Re:a BAD sports team will pay for GOOD players (Score 1) 161

If you don't own shares in the company, it's none of your business how much the owners (=shareholders) pay the CEO.

The shareholders don't pay the CEO. The company pays both the shareholders and the CEO. And the company - and for that matter the entire concept of ownership - is legal fiction created by Us The People. We have every right and duty to ensure our creations perform the purposes for which they were created, rather than run rampant or be perverted or looted by parasites.

If a company also happens to enrich shareholders, good for them, but its purpose is to organize economic activity. Shares are just a way to rise capital.

Comment Re:EEE (Score 1) 393

Yeah, I wasn't even a fan of Pascal, but Turbo Pascal for DOS was an awesome experience, as was both Turbo C and to a similar extent Microsoft's early QuickC. And QuickBasic was lovely -- an IDE that would literally pop up the manual page for any instruction you could type enough of to recognize, or match a string in. QB was in some sense my favorite IDE of all time, and I wrote a slew of code in Basic back in IBM PC days.

I didn't even include Microsoft's screwing of OS/2 and IBM in the list -- I put on the Extreme Linux expo in Raleigh, NC back in the day not long after that and IBM was an avid supporter; their staffers were all literally burning with anger at Microsoft and were particularly eager to loan us piles of PCs and more for our cluster demos. Claiming that Microsoft was all warm and fuzzy towards developers and that it wasn't their fault that important packages inevitably broke on every major version update, or that there was no "conspiracy" because it was against the law to deliberately break them to the advantage of Microsoft's competing packages simply ignores reality. There wasn't a "conspiracy" to remove competing web browers from Windows machines or disable them so that they wouldn't work right, but Microsoft did it anyway and lost a small mountain of money on a lawsuit. And they won, won, won the lawsuit in spite of the hundreds of millions they spent on the settlement and the billions they spent dragging the suit out for close to a decade. By then it was a moot point. After that, nobody had or is likely to have in the future, the stomach to tackle Microsoft in court but somebody enormous with equally deep pockets.

That's the problem. A hundred-odd billion dollar multinational company is largely above the law. They can outspend almost anybody, and anybody who thinks that this doesn't matter in civil or corporate court (or even in criminal court) is naive in the extreme. Once enough retirement funds are heavily invested in Microsoft stock, nobody wants them to go down, not really, no matter how much they hate them. Not congressmen. Not the president. Not union leaders. Not corporate leaders. Most of the everyday people don't care. The only ones that do are oddball nerds like me who find their corporate ethics revolting and who resent the rise of the corporate shadow government to the detriment of personal and economic freedom. And there just aren't enough of us to matter.

As Donald Trump (defending his actions exploiting major economic downturns in the past) says, "It was just business". And so it is, and so it will be, without toothy laws regulating just what "business" activities are ethical and permitted in law.


Comment Re:EEE (Score 5, Insightful) 393

Not that much more subtle. I watched as Microsoft crushed a long list of companies using exactly this strategy across the 80's and early 90's. Borland was easy -- it's so easy to break a compiler with an OS upgrade. Lotus. Word Perfect. Wordstar. Various games. They certainly tried it with their browser and it took a decade long billion dollar court case to stop them. Every operating system update, everybody else's software would break, a bit, while Microsoft's clone -- often a clone of a startlingly original and brilliant idea -- did not. Add in their marketing team to convince businesses that if they didn't buy Microsoft's house product, they would break their... um... not arms, not legs, what's the word, "interface" if the competing product didn't perfectly comply with the new specs (and of course, they never did).

Microsoft simply made it impossible to buy a PC without their operating system pre-installed in any store that sells systems WITH their operating system pre-installed with punitive pricing agreements that dropped the margins below any possibility of profit if you tried selling a naked system or a system preinstalled with some other OS. They then convinced freelance software developers that they could get rich, quick, writing for their platform (and at first, it was true!) But gradually it has become clear that if you have a brilliant software concept, write the next killer application, and do so for Windows, Microsoft will let you run wild for a few years to build up the market and use their enormous software foundry to write their clone, then they will jerk around the OS so that your product breaks but theirs doesn't until they have the lions share of the market IF you don't sell out to them when they politely knock on your door and make you an offer you can't refuse. Five years later you will wish you hadn't.

I have to admit that I'm a tiny bit surprised that they are doing this with Steam as it could backfire. I'm guessing that part of this is punitive. They WANT game developers to be in a Microsoft cage, with huge cross-platform development barriers, and Valve is the company that has seriously broken out of that mold and made Linux gaming with native libraries and code possible for games that run on Windows as well. Since they are preparing to make users lease Windows for eternity and ensure a perpetual cash flow for every Windows computer purchased, and since software sales through "app stores" run by the company are now a major profit center for companies that have successfully built them, they hope to retake world domination while they still have control of congress and the unions and all those companies with 401 and 403 plans heavily invested in Microsoft.

Unless and until the government actually enforces anti-trust laws across the board, we'll have to put up with this shit. The "free" market doesn't, and won't, have a chance as long as the company that makes and sells the OS, with a virtual lock on third party PC sales in spite of much lower priced and viable alternatives, also writes software for their own OS with an insuperable advantage over independent developers, no matter how large or powerful. Software store selling "certification" (still the same company) make it even worse.

Face it. Microsoft is in the protection racket, and has been for nearly 30 years now. FUD is their stock and trade. They represent everything that is wrong with capitalism that isn't restrained by strong anti-trust controls and limits on things like sales agreements so that they do not and cannot become long term monopolies. They have so much money that they could CONTINUE to be mismanaged for another decade and STILL would be huge. And who has the guts to tackle them (again) in the US courts? They can spend a billion dollars a year in defense, stretch an antitrust case out for a decade, lose it, and still come out a total winner. They've done so in the past and will do so again in the future.


Comment Re:Cheesy 80's movie excuse (Score 1) 764

I believe "editing" in this context meant "Deciding what emails to publish", not "Changing the content of the published emails", so the DNC releasing the originals wouldn't help.

Wikileaks have made it clear they haven't altered the content of the emails, and the fact real phone numbers and blameless people's names appear in the emails would seem to confirm that (If it turned out they were altered, but Wikileaks left in people's phone numbers, that'd be a spectacular PR own-goal on WL's behalf.)

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BASIC is the Computer Science equivalent of `Scientific Creationism'.