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Skype: Has Microsoft's $8.5B Spending Paid Off Yet? Can It Ever?

Darkness404 Re:Might pay off if it were secure (147 comments)

...Because traditional phone conversations are secure?

1 year,18 days
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Romanian Science In Freefall

Darkness404 Re:Politics, Religion and Science (156 comments)

There are two types of sciences:

There is the theoretical side of science which is mostly publicly (or academically) funded. This is a lot of the stuff that makes you go "oh neat" but has little to no practical application in our lives.

Then there is the practical side of science, this is almost always privately funded through companies R&D teams, this is the stuff you use.

Until the theoretical side of science can really get the support of individuals, they're pretty much doomed to get cut first in any budget because their focus is almost exclusively on interesting, but not practical solutions.

1 year,18 days
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Microsoft Needs a Catch-Up Artist

Darkness404 Re:The worst thing is, they had some half good ide (406 comments)

Exactly, there were some great ideas, but the execution was terrible. The scroll wheel was one of my favourites too, I keep waiting for an Android phone to put a wheel like that instead of their volume keys, a volume rocker isn't the same.

Unfortunately either the hardware side or the software side was lacking.

1 year,24 days
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Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

Darkness404 Then comes the arms race... (302 comments)

Since a degree is primarily a qualification, its importance lies in its scarcity. It used to be since many people didn't finish high school, a high school diploma had meaning, it was a qualification. Well, then it was decided that -everyone- should have a high school diploma and curriculum gets dumbed down to the point that any person not in a vegetative state can easily obtain a high school diploma, it stops being a qualification. So naturally people looked for the next higher qualification, a college degree, when this idea that everyone should have a college degree (which, believe me is certainly taking hold) the classes start to get dumber and dumber and suddenly a college degree stops being a qualification. Soon employers are looking for your master's degree...

1 year,26 days
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Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

Darkness404 Re:Ratings cost colleges?!? (302 comments)

...Except they don't.

See, there are some little things called Pell Grants, Scholarships and Student Loans, these make it so college is much less price sensitive. Mix this with 6 years of guidance councilors stressing the importance of college, a depressed job market where a college degree is a requirement for even the most basic of entry-level positions and you have a market that isn't very price sensitive.

Its not like a student applies for college and is hit by a $15K bill for their first year, loans and grants cover it and so they might only pay $1-2 thousand per year up front.

1 year,26 days
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Obama Seeks New System For Rating Colleges

Darkness404 Re:Forget ratings, measure ROI. (302 comments)

Except that's really the only reason to go to college anymore, for a piece of paper that says you graduated.

All the knowledge you'd gain from college can be found for free online. And there are a hell of a lot better and more rewarding experiences you can have with 4(+) years of time and $60K.

The only reason to go to college and spend their absurd fees is so that you can get a higher paying job (or more rewarding) out of college that is worth more than the $60K and 4+ years you spent at college.

1 year,26 days
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EFF Wins Release of Secret Court Opinion: NSA Surveillance Unconstitutional

Darkness404 Re:Impeach Obummer! (524 comments)

The thing that makes Obama different than Bush is that Obama promised stuff like protection for whistleblowers and attacked the NSA's wiretapping.

Candidate Obama said that The Bush administration puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.

That is quite different than what President Obama is saying now.

This is very much like George Bush Sr.'s "Read my lips: no new taxes" line.

Nowhere did Candidate Bush nor President Bush vow to end illegal wiretapping. But Obama did.

1 year,27 days
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LG Reportedly Working On a Firefox OS Phone

Darkness404 Why? (64 comments)

What exactly is Firefox OS doing better than what is already available with iOS/Android/Windows Phone/BlackBerry/etc.?

Even from a geek's perspective I really see nothing better about Firefox OS than the OSes available today.

1 year,27 days
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Amazon Angling For Same-Day Delivery Beyond Groceries

Darkness404 Re:Town centers (193 comments)

How would that be a reduction in quality of life to be able to order what you wanted and have it delivered? Indeed, wouldn't it raise it? Now I know there will always be people waxing nostalgic about the time we were hunters and gatherers and in order to eat lunch you had to spear a buffalo first. Or when you had to spend a couple of hours every day tending a garden in order to eat. Etc.

But this is progress and certainly enhances our quality of life, not detracts from it.

1 year,28 days
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Amazon Angling For Same-Day Delivery Beyond Groceries

Darkness404 Great! (193 comments)

This is great news (although no doubt it will be quite a while before they start delivering to those like me who live in the middle of nowhere!). The biggest problem with online retailers has been the shipping, especially with regards to PC parts. For example, a couple of months ago a PSU died. Now you would think that a power supply would be a pretty common part, but yet all the major PC retailers anywhere close to me (again, living out in the middle of nowhere, but within an hour drive I could get to a Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) didn't have a PSU and because of that I had to order it online and wait a couple of days to use that computer again.

The same thing is true when I'm working on a project and realize that I ran out of some component (or I broke it!). It used to be that Radio Shack was really good at keeping just about any part I needed in stock, but anymore their electronics hobby section is much, much, smaller than their Cell Phones/PC section.

1 year,28 days
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Predictors of Suicidal Behavior Found In Blood

Darkness404 Re:Suicide marker? (209 comments)

Happy people don't kill themselves.

I disagree. While undoubtedly the vast majority of suicides are due to severe depression and unhappy people, there are a number of other reasons why people commit suicide. For some, they want to go out with dignity. Others have a debilitating illness and want to be in their right mind when they die rather than die unable to even recognize their own children.

Now that doesn't mean that suicide is the answer or that I condone suicide or anything, merely that there are some people who commit suicide without being really unhappy.

1 year,28 days
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Predictors of Suicidal Behavior Found In Blood

Darkness404 Re:Have we disprove free will yet? (209 comments)

Yep, its like genetics and intelligence, while no doubt they are correlated, someone who has the best genes in the world but does nothing but sleep, eat Cheetos and watch MTV is going to be less smart than the guy with terrible genetics who wants to better himself.

Unfortunately, the more we find out about this type of stuff the less personal responsibility people seem to have.

1 year,28 days
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Google To Encrypt Cloud Storage Data By Default

Darkness404 Re:Patriot act? (217 comments)

Since when does the FBI/CIA/NSA care about laws? As long as there isn't another Snowden, the media will ignore it and anyone who says otherwise will be dismissed as a mere conspiracy theorist.

about a year ago
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Google Glass Integration For Cars Is Coming: Neat Idea Or Crazy Town?

Darkness404 Except that... (102 comments)

Except that if someone is going to be a crappy driver, they're going to do it with or without technology. Technology is simply the boogeyman that the media uses rather than simply admitting that there are some poor drivers on the road. A crying child in the backseat is infinitely more distracting than a radio/cell phone/Google Glass

about a year ago
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Amarok 2.8 "Return To the Origin" Released

Darkness404 Re:Twice as good as 1.4 (99 comments)

Yeah, I remember loving Amarok before the 2.X releases. Once 2.X hit it started being a buggy mess.

about a year ago
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Russia Today: Vladimir Putin's Weapon In 'The War of Images'

Darkness404 US "News" (254 comments)

The reason why RT (along with the BBC, Al-Jazeera and others) are popular in the US is because they're not filled with the crap that CNN, FOX and (MS)NBC cover.

Rather than focusing on supposed "racism" about Oprah in a high-end fashion boutique they focus on the real issues, like the NSA spying scandal, Obama's drone wars, etc.

about a year ago
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After Lavabit Shut-Down, Dotcom's Mega Promises Secure Mail

Darkness404 Re:The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (158 comments)

Yeah, except none of those are followed by the majority of the countries that signed it.

Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29 certainly do not apply to the USA.

about a year ago
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Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service

Darkness404 Differences... (156 comments)

There is a huge difference between Pandora's ads and Facebook's ads. Even without adblock its easy to ignore Facebook's ads, not so much when your music is interrupted with an ad on Pandora. The reason why Facebook has been mass adopted has been:

1) Everyone is on it
2) Its free
3) Its not Myspace

I don't think there's a single person who would say that Facebook is great or amazing, instead its simply adequate enough for most people's needs. Other than simply having a lot more people on it than other social media sites, there is no advantage to Facebook when compared to literally any other social media site, it has no competitive advantage other than merely being the most popular. Pandora is different, its predictions are much more accurate than Apple Genius or Last.FM, its superior to its competitors, not merely the most used and until someone makes better predictions, it will continue to be used.

Facebook needs to make their platform better if they expect people to pay for it because all they have going for them now is sheer numbers, just like Friendster and Myspace had going for them in their heyday...

about a year ago

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