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Comments

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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

91degrees Re: Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign s (486 comments)

I quite agree slavery would have been abolished eventually. The US is actually unusual in that a war ended slavery. Most countries managed to eliminate it peacefully.

I don't think it was just about slavery though. While I'm sure a lot of people in the north were sympathetic, the idea that so many were sympathetic enough to actually risk death seems a little too heroic for a typical person. The southerners would have been fighting not for *their* right to own slaves, but for some rich landowner. The actual reasons must have been more complex.

yesterday
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

91degrees Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (486 comments)

There's no requirement to join the ERM II. ERM II membership is one of the requirements before joining the Euro.

Joining the ERM wasn't in the UK's interest. It probably isn't in Scotland's interest. Sweden certainly seems to be happy to hold off.

yesterday
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

91degrees Re: Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign s (486 comments)

The North won. Therefore Lincoln was a good guy, and completely right. If the South had seceeded, I'm sure it would be seen as equivalent in importance to the War of Independence, with the North painted squarely as the villains.

yesterday
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

91degrees Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (486 comments)

No, adopting the Euro is a requirement for new entrants. Countries that were previously part of the EU and did not adopt were grandfathered in and don't have to change, but for new entrants it's not optional.

But the requirement is not to do so immediately. A country can effectively hold off forever.

yesterday
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

91degrees Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (486 comments)

I guess there's probably other things the UK could do. Ultimately, Scotland isn't going to get independence until an agreement that both sides will accept is reached. The UK will not budge on currency union, or allow Scotland to simply shrug off the debt, and I wonder if sanctions could be imposed.

If the independence talks do stall, presumably it will be negotiated with a third part mediator. Perhaps I'm biased, but I don't see a third party accepting Scotland's demands here as reasonable.

yesterday
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College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

91degrees Correlation/causation? (262 comments)

While it's quite reasonable that the extra pay is because these people get good jobs developing COBOL, is it perhaps possible that it's more about the mentality of the person who takes such a course?

For example, if I'm interested in making lots of money I'll go into financial software. A lot banks still use COBOL, so doing a course on that increases my options in this area. Even if I don't use it ever again, and don;t even go into banking, I'm still a lot more likely to work for a company that pays a lot because money motivates me.

2 days ago
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Developing the First Law of Robotics

91degrees Re:So, he's a crappy programmer... (162 comments)

Presumably this was to study the effect of certain specific algorithms in the real world, as opposed to create a robot that prevents people from walking into a hole.

2 days ago
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Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

91degrees Quickflix must be a very poor substitute (172 comments)

If people are paying extra, and going to the hassle of signing up with netflix and dealing with the workarounds for paying and actually getting the service rather than just using your service, I think you're doing soemthing wrong.

2 days ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

91degrees Re:Atheism is not science (892 comments)

If an atheist decides God doesn't exist, because they can't comprehend an evil god then they're an atheist, even though they're not scientific about it.

A deist who decides that God is outside the realm of science is a theist yet can still be a scientist.

An omniscient god is demonstrably false when he is recorded as calling "Mulligan" on creation and staging a do-over after the Noahide flood.

A god can be a god without being omniscient. There are god concepts other that the judeo-christian concept of god. Deists believe in a deity with absolute power over creation but don't believe in the Noahide flood, or any other myths of traditional religions.

4 days ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

91degrees Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (892 comments)

its not hedging their bets, its the more scientific rationale to call yourself agnostic because its impossible to disprove something doesn;t exist

No it isn't! I can prove that there is no maximum prime number, I can prove that there is no odd multiple of 2.

4 days ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

91degrees Atheism is not science (892 comments)

Science is purely logical, purely rational and morality free!

Atheism is a much more general and also a much more loaded philosophical concept, that has absolutely nothing to do with science. Many atheists are very passionate about the fact that humans are moral, and, in fact, God, is not!

Stop trying to conflate the two.

4 days ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

91degrees Re:Perhaps Atheism is misunderstood. (892 comments)

My country had 14 million atheists at the last census. Out of a population of 64 million that's hardly unpopular or unaccepted.

4 days ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

91degrees Re:Should be obvious...but it's not (418 comments)

But not the battery. And not the PSU. Your choice in RAM is limited. It's very hard to get a PC with zero RAM, or no hard disk.

about a week ago
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Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

91degrees The otehr 50% take 95% of the time. (211 comments)

Do these guys have any experience of game development? Producing a sample level is not so hard. Level design, tuning, bug fixing and all the little bits you need to do to get it ready to actually sell is a lot of work.

about a week ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

91degrees Re:Should be obvious...but it's not (418 comments)

You are compelled to buy the RAM though, and the battery and the power brick. These will have different manufacturers, be available separately, and alternatives will be available. Why is the OS not considered simply another component?

about a week ago
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Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

91degrees Re:Rife in the UK (208 comments)

Like "Bright" with "on" at the end.

about a week ago
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Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

91degrees Re:Rife in the UK (208 comments)

The last one I spoke to was very unlikely to have been British-Indian. He didn't know enough about the UK, like, for example, how "Brighton" was pronounced.

about a week ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

91degrees Re:Credit System (444 comments)

Banks of batteries are expensive and take up a lot of space. You'd need to provide several megawatts for several hours. That would require hundreds of 85kWh car battery packs.

about a week ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

91degrees Do not trust Torrentfreak! (362 comments)

Serioiusly, I have never read anything on that site that didn't hideously distort the facts.

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

91degrees I'm confused. Why is he demanding this? (354 comments)

The GPL makes no requirement to release source to the public. Only to release source to the recipient of the compiled program.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

91degrees hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Of course it's a troll

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, probably, but there's usually a germ of truth in what I say.

Either that or I'm not trolling, but felt like ranting. Or making a joke.

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Why computers need driving licences

91degrees 91degrees writes  |  more than 12 years ago I was recently sent an email by a friend about stupid computer users. One of these people had broken his CD-ROM drive trying to use it as a cup holder. One of them had tried to use the mouse (The plastic device that you use to move the pointer around the screen) as a foot pedal.

My friend seemed to find this funny. I found it disturbing. We have people spending several thousand dollars on a piece of sophisticated equipment, that they have no idea how to use. It's not just this though. The shear volume of unmitigated dross on the Interent is screaming for us to regulate it, if only to make it possible to find something useful.

I think people should have to take a driving test for their computers.

This may seem like a strange suggestion, but this is simply because you aren't used to the idea. When the driving licence was first proposed for cars, people were horrified at the prospect. Now, if you even consider suggesting the abolision of the driving test, people with react with equal or greater horror.

A computer can after all be every bit as dangerous as a car. Used incorrectly, it can be used to attack commercial and government websites that are essential to the running of the free nations of the world. Even those who don't have any illegal intentions could unwillingly be allowing criminals to hack into their machines, and the evil hackers could use them as a springboard to get into other computers, making the owner of the computer an unwitting acomplace to a criminal act.

It is illegal to export powerful computers to over 100 countries. Yet these same countries do have low power computers. These can be used to hack into more powerful computers, that can be used to hack into the powerful computers that we have in the democratic world, and these can be used to hack into the extremely powerful servers that run our nation. People need to be taught to prevent this sort of attack from happening. We should not allow people to put these at risk simply because they don't know how to secure their computers.

We should expand this into restrictions of the types of computers that should be used on the internet. Now, many people here believe that Microsoft Windows should be the only operating system that people shuld use, but I feel that as long as they could ensure basic security was implemented, other operating systems should also be considered. Obviosuly we should make sure that these are rigourously tested, and at a cost to the manufdacturers. We insist on basic crash tests for cars after all. Once again, I'm sinmply suggesting that we apply the same rigourous standards to computers

This would have several benefits.

Old operating systyems such as the MS-DOS found on the early pre-Pentium machines can be decertified after they reach a certain age. This will keep the slower machines off the net, speeding up the internet for the rest of us.

After all, surely people should not be entitled to modify their computers in dangerous ways. Some people have REMOVED the Windows operating system that came with their PC, and replaced it with a free operating system in order to avoid having to pay for their software. I'm surpirised that this is still allowed. Nobody allows us to put spikes on the front of our cars, or replace the wheels with sawblades. Why should we be allowed to do the same to our computers?

Finally it will reduce the cost of our computers. Part of the cost is the cost of technical support. If they didn't have to train qualified people to answer so many questions, the cost of Windows would plummet.

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