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Comment Re:Godwin (Score 2) 735

"Don't get too comfortable with laws and checks and balances you believe are bullet proof."

Nothing is "bullet proof". It requires constant vigilance, action and, above all, a sense of duty and responsibility. Your example of violence as a subversive force in society is simplistic. You see, there is a vast chasm between what you have described -- an independent criminal, or even a gang of them -- and institutional oppression. There is a reason why western societies have been able to survive individual acts of violence and that reason is a faith in their democratic institutions and laws (and, by extension, in those who enforce the laws). Criminal violence is very different from situations where the authorities are the ones committing the violence and oppression. We can easily shrug aside deranged individual violence and we do our best to prevent/fix criminal violence. But a society cannot survive when the police and other institutions of government, themselves, are the instigators of violence against citizens.

The legal system cannot be destroyed by individual violence because the perpetrators of that violence would be hunted and effectively removed. Judges in free societies do not fear for their lives for the very reason that there is confidence in the enforcers of law and order. The legal system and justice can only be eroded and destroyed from within. Sadly, with Americans ever more eager to embrace "strong man" tactics and an outlook of "might is right", the day these institutions are rendered ineffective may be closer than we would like. The polarization of American society threatens to tear it apart. I understand differences of opinion, but the outright hatred and the spread of it in the echo chambers of the internet, is disturbing. We don't have to think alike, but we should protect each other's rights to think and speak freely (in a manner that is legal and without hate). When we gloat at the violence inflicted on those we don't like, and worse yet, when we promote violence against others, we destroy the very thing that keeps us free. It is not done by some random criminal with a gun, though that is a favourite trope in scaremongering.

To bring this back to Trump, a judicial application of considered checks and balances, supported by the populace, would keep him in check effectively. And there is still no chance in hell he will be accepted and elected even by the majority of the Republican voter base, much less the entire electorate. Once the primaries begin it is my prediction that, unless he finds a source of serious funding, he will be out of the running after the first 5-6 contests. At that point, only a stubborn application of money, or money combined with a renewed bid as an independent candidate, will keep Trump around.

Comment Re:Godwin (Score 3, Insightful) 735

First of all, it will not be Hilary vs Trump. Hilary, yes. Trump? I would be willing to place a friendly wager with you that it will not be Trump. Not by a long shot. Yes, he is getting all the media attention because he's a nutjob and what media outlet doesn't like to cover a story that writes itself? It's easy money.

Second, all of you amaze me in your ignorance of the American political system. The President does have power, but Congress has a lot more. Appropriations, oversight, you name it and Congress has it. Has Congress ceded a lot of its power to the President? In some cases, yes. And it is done cynically, to deflect blame in most cases. However, should Congress choose to exercise its power there is little the President can do on her/his own. That would be even more true if the Supreme Court were to side with Congress. That is the whole damned point of the United States -- an abhorrence of kings. Why some Americans would willingly walk away from that is incomprehensible to me.

Submission + - More Troubles On The Health Care Front.

ti1ion writes: NPR reports on the difficulties the state of Oregon is facing in implementing its own health care exchange. "Oregon has spent more than $40 million to build its own online health care exchange. It gave that money to a Silicon Valley titan, Oracle, but the result has been a disaster of missed deadlines, a nonworking website and a state forced to process thousands of insurance applications on paper."

Comment Re:Photography expert ? (Score 1) 182

So, a couple of things. And, you should really learn this in life.

An expert in a field is not necessarily the best practitioner in the field. Not only that, but the best practitioners may not be the least interested in, nor capable of, teaching. Teaching is different from doing. Sure, in a perfect world you would have, say, the best brain surgeon also be the best teacher. In the real world, the best brain surgeon may be motivated by the money he makes and the chicks he gets to impress with his status and he may not give two s***s about you and your desire to learn. He is driven to be the best because of what that gets him, not for the love of spreading the knowledge around. This is true for a whole lot of things.

Sally Weiner Grotta's skill is in writing a coherent book and teaching an interesting and informative class. She is an expert because she knows her stuff, even if she produces relatively pedestrian work with that knowledge. It could be that her website is also used as an educational tool and the examples are there for students, as much as random visitors. What her students should, and will, do is use the fundamentals she teaches and extend them in their creative work. Maybe they will use different color gels on their flashes for special effects; maybe they will mix constant lights with strobes to make a statement; maybe they will paint scenes with light. If every teacher knew everything and could *do* everything, why would we need students? What new work could there possibly be? Grotta is a product of her generation and her interests. She can teach you all sorts of things about photography even if she has no interest in using those skills in her work, and it is then up to you to do what you can with that knowledge.

I was most impressed with Grotta's architecture, flower and some landscape work. She has an eye for lines and patterns. She is also capable of beautiful portraits, though I found that part of the site less impressive, as a whole. Remember the most important thing about photography -- it is *art*. As such, there are bound to be more people who dislike any one artist's work than are impressed by it. That is the nature of art. I am glad you did not like her work, but that does not mean someone else feels the same way. Go find work that you do like -- but the fundamentals of making that art are the same ones that she would teach in her class.

Finally, let me just say that I agree with you on one point -- this was one terrible interview (on the part of the interviewer).

Comment It's Been How Long? (Score 1) 1521

Oh man. A different time and a different place from that in which I discovered Slashdot.

I was actually taking an MCSE course, in 1999, with some modifications to it to expose the students to Novell Netware 4, Lotus Notes 4, and Unix (FreeBSD is what we used). In the end, though, it was about getting the MCSE. Our instructor for the Unix portion mentioned this website one day and I immediately checked it out. And I've been reading it daily since. And my browsers have been set to point to Slashdot as their home page since that time, as well. Although I had already heard of Linux by then and even looked into installing Debian on an old Mac I bought for $10, it was after I began reading Slashdot that I became really interested in the OS.

So many stories, so many events and interesting diversions... And so many more to come!

Thank you for creating the site and guiding it along all these years. It will be strange not to see your name attached to the posts.

Good luck to you in all your future adventures.

PS: I should have created an account right then, dammit!

Comment Re:Yes, I know (Score 2) 520

The obvious answer here is that you have not given it enough thought. You have not actively participated in discussions with real people who hold different views and been open to listening to those views. Here is one simple word that answers a lot of what you claim you don't understand: POWER.

Here is a simple way of describing it that involves a huge amount of nuance and complexity behind the scenes -- those who have it want to keep it; those who don't have it, want it. Now, think about what it takes to get that power and how many palms you have to grease along the way. You will be owned by those interests in the future -- how will you pay them back?

Blaming the media is a stupid, currently favored bogeyman approach to keeping one's eyes closed. If you don't trust an "independent" (yes, there are lots of issues with that word) third party, then who are you supposed to trust? Give me another entity that can delve into every facet of government, business and personal life and disseminate knowledge to the entire population? Many countries have carved out specific protections for the media to be able to do this and have given the media unprecedented access just so a semblance of "truth" (ouch, another problematic word) can get out.

Why do you suppose religion exists? Why would people willingly submit themselves to the authority of a small, privileged group (or individual) and then take the word of this group, or person, as (pun intended) gospel? Why don't they ask questions? Why don't they confront their leaders?

One key thing to remember is that the majority of the World's population is too busy trying to survive to be worried about politics, or why wars are started. They are manipulated by the information brokers into believing the cause is just and they don't have time to adjust their lives to accommodate fact-checking the allegations. Those who do have the time are wealthy (relatively speaking) and they aspire to be power/information brokers themselves, even if only in small ways.

At a basic level, we are all the same. We identify with our peers and our community. Our "truth" is built around the place we were born and where we grew up -- even today. It is easy to manipulate us because we are human, not fact-checking, emotionless computers. Wars start because, just like on the playground, you hurt (kill) my friends and I am now going to hurt (kill) you back. That's what the power and information brokers have been pushing to the people for as long as human societies have existed. We just have really, really, sophisticated ways of doing this now.

It isn't a bad guy vs good guy thing, it's a belief/faith thing. You have a faith that you may not even understand in your own society (Western). It is easy for you to believe what you are told by *your* leaders. Now, for a moment, why don't you try to believe everything said by some other authority -- say, the Chinese. Let's see how far you get. But, if *you* were Chinese, you would have an amazing faith in those leaders -- even if you did not like the Chinese form of government. Making Americans look evil is easy, if you are not American.

Keep thinking about it. Maybe you'll get there one day.

Comment Re:Witch-hunt (Score 4, Insightful) 196

So, why exactly is the parent comment moderated as a "troll?" It only points out the obvious! Oh, wait, it's the mock sarcasm, that must be it. Although, perhaps the author genuinely felt that this "sophisticated" tech audience, that delights in ripping apart knee-jerk statements/policies on other topics, would so easily join the herd on this ridiculous topic.

Upon reading the summary, my first thought was writing "Oh no! The Chinese! The Chinese! Protect your wives and daughters against the Chinese!" What a bunch of nonsense.

American corporations have been making and selling computer software for decades -- how many here are worried about government bugs in that software? Should the Chinese buy US made software? How about the Russians, or anyone else? How is it that Windows has 90% percent market share all over the world and governments are not screaming to have it removed? Talk about an opportunity to install secret access! And, if we assume the US government *has* been installing secret bits into US made software, what makes the US (from a foreigner's perspective) any better than China?

And the most amusing thing about this is that it was the US that pushed, and pushed hard, to open China to US trade. When Nixon made his trip to China, it was historic. So, after opening Pandora's Box, the US desperately wants to close it. Got it. Nothing shows decline like trading confidence for fear.

That's right, the Chinese are coming to get you. And you know what, you are so stupid (look at your education system!) that you wouldn't even be able to figure it out! That's what this story indicates to me. Forget actually having the knowledge and integrity to prove something, we'll just go on accusations. After all, everyone knows Linux is made by/for Communists and is anti-American. It's also full of security holes and opens the user up to all sorts of expensive lawsuits because those Linux Commies stole code from the good, America loving, closed-source corporations that only have the end user's best interests in mind when creating exceptional software.

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 2) 364

I don't believe your view is that unpopular, nor unreasonable. The problem is always in the details. So, let me ask you this, let's suppose you were told your Comcast cap is 25GB per month (that's for $44.95/month), and you have to pay $1/GB over that. Would you be happy with that level of service? I ask because that is what my ISP told me I will now start getting. I am *not* happy with that, even though I have *never* used more than 60GB in one month.

Now, let's say my ISP told me I would get 60GB for $29.95 and then have to pay $0.20/GB over that. Would I be upset? No. I would be happy to get a plan like that. Others may feel that is still too little and the cost too high. So, where do we set the pricing?

Comment Re:No.. that would be silly. (Score 1) 397

Have you ever heard of something called "jobs?" Yes, The US trades with other countries and provides access to the domestic market for products from other countries. Like it, or not, there is also a lot of politics involved in allowing/denying trade. One (example) of the most notorious of the recent past/present has to do with Canadian lumber entering the US. The US firms that were/are being undersold protested furiously to the US government, which established various trade barriers to Canadian lumber entering the US market -- which (surprise!) costs Canadian jobs. The US government basically said: go ahead and take us to international court. Canada did, and won, and the US did nothing because the international court has no power to actually make the US do anything. So, the Canadian government worked the "back channels," making deals with US politicians that eventually resulted in an agreement. An agreement that was still bad for Canada, but better than nothing. And that means some Canadian jobs were saved and the politicians can take that to the voters the next time there is an election.

There is no "ideal" world that is governed by concrete and un-alterable laws. We are people and are governed by people -- people with biases and differences of opinion. That is life -- get used to it. There is no universal fairness to all. Never has been. In the lumber debate, if you are an American, would you rather the US government told US firms to shove it, and cost hundreds, or thousands of jobs? Yeah, it ain't so cut and dry. Someone is going to lose their job and not be able to provide for their family. Depending on which side of the border you are on it is always easier to accept the "other" guy losing his job, not you.

The US is still a huge, fat market (pun intended). Others want access to that market and will bend under US pressure in the hope of gaining/retaining access.

Comment Where's the Mystery? (Score 1) 431

I haven't read the article (shocker!), but really, why would I want to? It is funny how people just don't seem to read/follow what has already been said. Just a little while ago there was an article posted here which discussed why Apple is so successful -- because they constantly invest in that "new thing" that will "disrupt" the existing order and even destroy the market for their older products. So, why can Apple make this work, but MS/Intel can't?

You want to invest in new things, even at the expense of your own, older, offerings because there is a need. Consumers want these things and you better respond. Many people now want lower power processors (just like they want fuel efficient vehicles), an OS that is less bloated than Windows, portable computing, etc.

The near-term future is not going to give us flying cars, or jetpacks, but it is obvious that it will give us ubiquitous computing. We are never going to be without a computer. We will have them in our pockets, or on our wrists, or on belt clips. We will use them for more and more of our daily tasks. And we will leave our desktops behind, except for specialized, dedicated tasks. Such tasks might include programming and photo editing and writing/composing -- things that require time and focus. But, for more and more of our computing needs, tablets and phones and whatever else comes about will be just fine.

You can't tell me MS/Intel can't see this.

Comment Re:my orcale suppor sucks (Score 1) 100

Yes there are.

They sell to companies run by older, conservative managers, such as banks and other established companies (think essential service providers, for example). These people still think Linux is some crazy, unproven, security hole ridden toy not ready for the enterprise. Many of them have not kept up with tech for 30 years and believe anything they are told by salespeople. Oh, and many of them hate IBM (the good old days, you know).

I've tried to move my company away from Sun hardware and was shot down every time.

Comment Re:Larry Ellison Doesn't BS (Score 1) 133

Not really. Larry "dial an intern" Ellison hires another guy who tried to get some on the side, big deal. The article (on Slashdot, no less) dealing with the HP/Hurd issue led me to a story about executives and how often they were removed from their position due to sex scandals. Interesting read. Larry has had quite a few liaisons of his own.

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