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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Archtech Re:What about other devices? (413 comments)

"Then she doesn't need a PC, she needs an iPad or a Surface RT".

Good luck buying one of those with a 24-inch screen, so she can see her pictures in full glorious detail. And read her messages in 24-point, because her eyes aren't so good any more.

But at least it'll fit in her purse. (And probably stay there, when she forgets about it).

3 days ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Archtech Re:What about other devices? (413 comments)

Oh by the way, Grandma... you can buy this PC with Linux pre-installed for less than the other one without Windows. That's because Linux needs less powerful hardware to run properly. Oh, and you'll find it just as easy (if that's the word) to use as Windows.

Freedom! Isn't it good?

3 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Archtech Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (528 comments)

Other questions that would be moderated "Troll" by Slashdotters:

"Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?"

"What is truth?"

"And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the morality of the many—is that just or not?"

4 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Archtech Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (528 comments)

"So to answer your question, US culture is, simply put, not communist dictatorship culture, it's something that's objectively better for most people..."

That sounds rather like a description of the American political system, not culture. What do you think is the difference?

4 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Archtech Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (528 comments)

"Where are you from again? I'm sure I can point out how inbred you are".

What difference does it make where I am from? (Seriously). And how would it advance our discourse if you were to point out how "inbred" I am? That sounds like a straightforward ad hominem, which should be ignored.

As it happens, my simple question was exactly what it looks like: a simple question. Someone mentioned US culture, and I inquired what that is. I honestly would like to know. Some replies on this thread have suggested answers, but I don't think any so far are framed in a very serious way.

Another way of looking at my simple question is as something like a Rorschach test. It's quite revealing, and even somewhat amusing, to see the responses it brings forth.

4 days ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Archtech Re:Wrong Title (496 comments)

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security".

4 days ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Archtech Re:Wrong fucking argument (496 comments)

'According to the story, a “typical liberal college professor and avowed atheist” declares his intent to prove that there is no God by giving the creator 15 minutes to strike him from the podium. A few minutes before the deadline, a Marine “just released from active duty and newly registered” walks up to the professor and knocks him out with one punch. When the professor recovers and asks for an explanation, the Marine replies, “God was busy. He sent me.”'

Actually I find that story amusing and thought-provoking on several levels. Taken at face value, it's good for a smile - the professor was rather sticking his neck out. Although I suppose the Marine might get a short prison sentence for assault - especially considering that he has been trained to kill with his bare hands, and has a duty not to use his military training to harm a civilian. (Outside the movies and TV, knocking someone out with one punch can lead to distressing complications such as a broken neck, broken jaw, concussion, or permanent brain damage).

Looking a little deeper, it's significant that the Marine apparently believes it's legitimate to claim that "God... sent me" to do his work. If he really believes this, might he also believe that God has sent him to kill an abortionist... or blow up the biggest meeting of atheists he can find? As someone said (my words), "Follow anyone who is seeking God. Run from anyone who has found Him".

4 days ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Archtech Re:Wrong Title (496 comments)

" If you read the article again, you'll see that the Office of Personnel Management only said that those organizations were affiliated with violent organizations".

How ironic that those doubtful allegations were used to stop her from working for the most violent organization in the world - the US federal government.

Think it through. Which is the only organization to have used nuclear and chemical weapons against civilians? Which organization's *first* reaction to any development in the rest of the world is to bomb it? Which organization has deliberately caused the deaths of literally millions of civilians - including at least half a million children - since 1945? Which organization has started or stirred up over 200 wars since 1945? Which organization spends as much on its armed forces, every year, as the rest of the world combined?

Talk of "terrorist organizations" can turn out to be very double-edged when you have a track record like that.

4 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Archtech Re:The sins of the father (528 comments)

"The US Army is hardly the world's largest".

Not since Vietnam, when the drug addiction and officer-fragging led to a decision never to field a conscript army again. Nowadays the US Army consists mainly of those whose principles and patriotism are so lofty that they are blind to the harm their efforts can cause, and the majority who can't earn enough to eat any other way.

4 days ago
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Reanalysis of Clinical Trials Finds Misleading Results

Archtech Re:Not the usual way science is done (74 comments)

Whoops, I misunderstood the article for a moment there. If it's a matter of incorrect or misleading statistical analysis, that seems to be rife in studies of nutrition at least. Part of the problem may be that the same people develop a theory, conduct studies to test it, and do the statistical analysis on their numbers. Naturally, the numbers usually turn out to support their theory!

It might be safer if the three different activities were done by separate teams, with a "blind" system so no team knows who the other teams are. Thus the theory is developed by Team A, then studies/experiments to test it are created by Team B, and the number are analyzed by Team C. Thus Team C would have no idea what theory they were analyzing, or what might be the meaning of any correlations they found.

5 days ago
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Reanalysis of Clinical Trials Finds Misleading Results

Archtech Not the usual way science is done (74 comments)

Now that is an interesting observation! Mostly, in science, when someone does an experiment that supposedly proves a theory, the next step is to document and publish every detailed step. Only when a number of peers have replicated the results can they be accepted with any confidence.

Yet in clinical trials of new drugs, it seems, only a single trial is ever done. How did that ever get accepted as proper scientific evidence?

5 days ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

Archtech Re:Contacting BBC, via VPN (362 comments)

"If they were socialists, they wouldn't be paying themselves exorbitant salaries, they'd be spreading the money around".

Have you ever met any socialists? What people say, and what they do, are not always entirely consistent. Hence the term "champagne socialist".

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

Archtech Re:Contacting BBC, via VPN (362 comments)

Gentlemen, gentlemen... please calm down! You are talking past one another. The terms "left" and "right" are archaic, dating back to the French National Assembly of 1789. At that time "left" meant progressive, radical, secular, revolutionary; while "right" meant conservative, monarchic, religious. All of that is so far behind us that it's pretty much irrelevant nowadays.

The BBC is *pro-establishment*. Partly because it had a nasty near-death experience when it tried to tell the truth about Tony Blair and the Dodgy Dossier: the director-general had to resign, heads rolled, and since then everyone has known that the only thing to do is parrot the government line. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_...

The BBC is also pro-establishment because of its membership. It leans very heavily towards well-educated, middle-class, liberals who (rightly or wrongly) try very hard to be politically correct at all times.

These facts confuse anyone who tries to apply old-fashioned categories like "left" and "right". The BBC seems to be "right" because it's pro-establishment; but it also looks "left" because it's politically correct. However, I find that if you assume the BBC will always speak truth to power you will be absolutely wrong. The BBC will, in fact, tell power exactly what it thinks power wants to hear. Because, to be honest, that's how you get on in life these days.

From what I hear, things aren't all that different in the US media.

about a week ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Archtech Re:A Betteridge No. (280 comments)

"In today's world of fast hardware, saving a few seconds booting up a system makes what difference?"

Not a lot for most of us. There are usually things that can be done in the intervening 20 seconds - opening curtains, getting coffee, looking at the in-tray, discussing last night's game...

Personally I would prefer to keep the software that I think does the best job, and if I want a faster boot, install an SSD.

about a week ago
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Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Archtech Re:Nonsense (280 comments)

"...you will find a radio [button] option for optimizing windows for programs or background services".

True. Have you actually tried using it, and what differences in response time did you observe?

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Archtech Re:Gotten? (762 comments)

"American English is the largest group of English speakers".

But the consensus is not always right. 8-)

about a week ago
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Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Archtech Re:Rules of war (254 comments)

"And according to your links, only one side's sources are capable of providing reliable information on this conflict: the Russian ones".

My views are based on a careful study of reports and opinion from all sources: USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, India, China... I also notice which sources are consistent, logical, and fit with the facts. And which sources seem curiously identical to the statements of their governments. It is quite easy to work out who is telling the truth.

about two weeks ago

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