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Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 64

Fwiw I've been happily watching Netflix in the browser via their excellent HTML 5 player without flash or Silverlight for a long time now. Works flawlessly in Chrome and I think it's ok in Firefox. Requires the (built in) Widevine plugin for DRM.

Amazon Prime video works too. I uninstaller Flash 2 years ago and have never installed Silverlight.

Comment Re:Racism is something different (Score 2, Interesting) 366

You seem to regularly fall for the extremist left wing nutbag douchebag comments every time to take the advantage of writing an otherwise excellent post but using it as a vehicle to basically shit on "liberals".

Do you think that this is helping? Because to me (as a non-American who, like most of the rest of the world, are just baffled by almost everything that happens there) it seems posts like this just exacerbate the divide and try to frame everything in black and white issues.

I agree that there are "liberal" nutjobs who are offended by everything. There are also "conservative" wackjobs that do the same. This problem is massively blown out of scale by a) the shitty echo chamber filter bubble of social media and b) the feckless media who thrive on such black-vs-white dissent because it is amazing clickbait.

To drop a footnote like this, specifically to cast every liberal (or conservative) with a broad brush, in what is otherwise an insightful and important topic makes it look like you're not really interested in a discussion, but just scoring points against people on the "Other Side".

Anyway. I think those three questions are interesting. But otherwise this post is kind of flamebait.

Comment Re:California has mountains (Score 1) 270

California has mountains, and mountains block high speed rail, unless you drill tunnels through them, and tunnels are very expensive. France has flat land, which is cheap for HSR. China and Japan had enough population density to make it worthwhile to deal with some mountains. California and Australia don't have enough people to make it worthwhile. But hey, politicians want HSR, just like France.

Building while the population density is low is the best time to build it!

Comment Re:$93.8M of my tax dollars (Score 2) 755

The reaction on Facebook is also interesting, in a "what the fuck is going on?" kind of way.

I saw "Hillary Clinton" was a trending topic and was wondering why so clicked on it (something I rarely do). I was amazed to see it was basically wall-to-wall coverage of some comments Hillary made about bombing Syria, followed by gems like this person basically blaming Hillary for the bombing.

From a quick glance there appear to be many people citing this story and abusing Hillary for this action. I am not American so maybe I'm missing some detail, but - she didn't win the election right? She's not somehow in charge of deciding where to drop bombs through some other agency?

Comment Re:It's not universal if it's not for everyone (Score 1) 300

Well, in most modernised Western countries, the birth rate has dropped (in some cases below replacement levels). I think the data clearly shows that the better the quality of living (and the better access to birth control!), birth rate drops significantly.

So I would argue against people not being in control of their basic urges.

Comment Re:It's not universal if it's not for everyone (Score 4, Insightful) 300

But should we also be supporting people who are certainly capable of working, yet choose not to?

I think that is the goal we should be striving for. I like the John Adams line: "I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce, and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry, and Porcelaine."

Or more simply, "I am a soldier so my son can be a shop-keeper and so his son can be an artist."

I think it will be a long time before we get close to the kind of post-scarcity economy that would allow this kind of lifestyle though - if ever. Maybe it can only exist in the realm of science fiction. But I think it is a noble goal to strive for.

In the meantime though: I agree with you. I think if we're going to have a UBI or whatever social program it should be based on subsistence and survival for now, with a view to getting people to want to join the economy if they want more.

Comment Re:How Google does Open Source (Score 3, Interesting) 36

While I don't disagree with you (I hate fancy pants websites as much as the next nerd that just wants a plain text list of things), I'd note two things:

1) There's a 'grid view' option at the top right of the list of projects that provides a simple interface to view the list. It's still not as good as a simple table list but it's better than the weird mess that you get by default.

2) I have to wonder if part of the reason for this is to intentionally make it the sort of flashy shit that appeals to less nerdy more mainstream types (CxOs who want to see pretty colours and animations). Open source still has a reputation as ugly, scruffy, immature, etc (we can argue about whether that is deserved or not all day), and this approach makes it a little more slick.

Perfectly willing to agree this is annoying. I want a table list. But if it helps people take a look at open source with fresh new eyes maybe it isn't all bad?

Comment Re:Tesla is gonna take over - believe me folks... (Score 1) 80

Adding power points to a parking spot is not an insurmountable problem though. Maybe in a huge complex there are issues supplying enough power but even then it seems manageable by using pricing tariffs encouraging charging at off peak times, etc.

I mean I agree it's unlikely apartments will do that for you without a lot of begging. But I can easily imagine a future where not having power points in car parks is like not having phone lines or internet available for tenants.

Comment Re:Who's "we"? (Score 4, Insightful) 366

"Lost in tax revenue". That is, it's the government's money, and the citizens are just thieves who are stealing it.

Let's correct that, shall we?

"It's estimated that somewhere between about $3.5 and $5 billion in Australia every year is saved by the people..."

This'd be fine if it was being "saved by the people", but the reality is it's often being "saved" by unscrupulous business owners who are deliberately working in cash to avoid paying their rightful share of tax.

You can be all libertarian about what a great success this for the citizens or how people have a duty to minimise their taxes or whatever - but in many cases what this means is people legitimately are not paying their fair share and other businesses that do are put at a disadvantage.

As an Australian I would say that people generally are not as opposed to "taxes" as the average American; we see the benefits of them all the time in our healthcare system and so on. Maybe I'm biased - I'm a small business owner - but I certainly want other businesses correctly paying their taxes and not dealing in cash for the sole reason of being able to avoid correct reporting. If they don't, it puts more strain on me as a citizen and more strain on me as a business owner.

Comment Seems reasonable (Score 2) 90

This sounds great although I'm pretty sure my teleport startup will cut into their margins significantly. We will be offering London to Paris trips that are instant and cost only a few dollars.

We're just waiting for the technology to get us across the line but we've done a lot of thinking about the business model and we're pretty confident!

(BBC journalists feel free to call)

Comment Re:Yes, "line rental" is for POTS (Score 1) 82

This probably raises a question among some of you: "So why even subscribe to POTS in the cellular era?"

You generally need [to pay for] a POTS line if you want a DSL Internet service (at least, true in Australia (where I used to live) and the UK (where I live now).

In Australia you can get "naked DSL", which means you don't get a POTS service with your DSL service. IIRC these are a little cheaper than DSL with a phone line. In London I don't seem to be able to get such a thing; I have to pay a line service fee which includes some phone service that I have no intention of ever using.

Comment Re:When Ebooks are more expensive then pysical cop (Score 1) 153

The publisher needs to learn and set proper prices on EBooks.

I think as important is publishers need to learn that the world is one place and they should sell books everywhere.

I've been trying to buy "Dream Park" by Larry Niven for the last few weeks. It seems to be restricted by territory for sale in the UK. I can find ebookstores in France (Amazon) and Netherlands (can't remember) that sell the English version but I cannot find anywhere in the UK that sells it at all.

I'm sure I can pirate it but haven't been bothered yet as I have other stuff to read. LET US FUCKING BUY THESE THINGS.

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