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BT To Buy UK 4G Leader EE For £12.5 Billion

Dave Emami That's a lot of acronyms, isn't it? (39 comments)

But remember, seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT? 'Cause if it leaks to the VC he could end up MIA, and then we'd all be put on KP.

2 days ago
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Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

Dave Emami Re:So it is official. (166 comments)

Uhhh, you realise that Ariane 5 has launched many many many missions successfully, and has a better reliability record than the US's launch vehicles, right?

SpaceX is in fact the untested upstart in this situation.

If that was Senator Gournac's objection -- "maybe it's cheaper but it's too risky" -- it would be entirely reasonable, assuming reality backed him up. But I'm assuming Airbus was considering SpaceX based on objective cost/benefit/risk considerations, and Gournac was effectively saying "Airbus should use Ariane because it's European, even if the cold hard facts say using SpaceX is the better option." And that's crap. Airbus should do what's best for Airbus and Airbus' stockholders.

And yes, if Boeing was considering launching a satellite using Ariane, and a US senator threw a fit, I'd say exactly the same thing.

4 days ago
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Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

Dave Emami Re:Exciting! (187 comments)

I hope something comes of this.

I predict at least one South Korean cavalry division mounted on war-mammoths.

about a month ago
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Black IT Pros On (Lack Of) Racial Diversity In Tech

Dave Emami Re: Yeah, right... (459 comments)

As an example, a business or industry that recruits heavily through word-of-mouth recommendations is likely to end up with a systematic racism problem, because even though the individuals within the system may be well meaning and totally non-racist

Racism is a belief (note the ism). Whether or not it exists is based on what individuals think -- in the case of racism, thinking that the goodness/badness or other attributes of an individual are defined by their race. A system cannot hold a belief, therefore there can be no such thing as "systemic" racism. Bad results can be caused by racism, but they cannot themselves be racism. Otherwise, a meteor striking a mostly-black-populated neighborhood would be "racist."

To give a flips-side illustration, consider Don Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers team, who was in the news a while back when he made racist slurs. Despite there being no negative impact (there were lots of black players on the Clippers, earning lots of money), he was still a racist, because of his beliefs.

about a month ago
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Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

Dave Emami Re:Back in the USSR (430 comments)

Whatever its political and economic faults, at least the Soviet Union didn't try to enforce medieval Christian values on people.

Yes, they did. They just used different language, calling it "social deviationism" or such, instead of "sinful." What happend to Yevgeny Kharitonov is one example.

about a month and a half ago
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Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

Dave Emami Re:Robot factories (331 comments)

Yes, when a University closes a philosophy department, it is a problem. You say that like you don't think it is.

I agree that it would be a problem, but so would taking out a large loan to get a philosophy degree. It's a recursive major -- the only significant demand for a degree in it, is to teach it. I'm not saying that philosophy isn't something people should learn (they should), or that you can't get a non-teaching job with a philosophy degree (I know someone with such a degree who works in software), but you're not going to go through the job listings and see "philosophy degree" as a job requirement unless the title is "philosophy professor." If that's your dream, go for it -- but do so with eyes open, and have a backup plan.

Incidentally, back in my senior year of HS, when everyone was going over the university course catalogs and deciding on majors, the thing that drew people to a philosophy and similar majors was the low number of fixed-course units. That is, there were only 35-something units worth of courses that you had to take, out of 120 units or so to get a degree, whereas for a CS degree there were 90+ if memory serves. I heard a lot of variations on, "Wow, for 3/4 of the classes I can take whatever the hell I want!"

about a month and a half ago
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Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

Dave Emami Re:Robot factories (331 comments)

So what you are saying is that the companies that employ burger flippers are SUPPOSED to pay below-market wages

There is no such thing as below (or above) market wages. What their skills can earn them in the market is their market wage, which varies with the particular combination of parties and circumstances. They may be earning below average, or below what they'd like to earn, but those are different things.

because someone else (parents) is SUPPOSED to SUBSIDIZE those companies by paying to house, feed, and clothe their employees?

The parents aren't subsidizing the companies, they're subsidizing their offspring. You're independent of your parents once your skill set is valuable enough -- said value determines by the marketplace -- to sustain you without their help, not once you reach a certain arbitrary age.

about a month and a half ago
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

Dave Emami Re:I give up. (137 comments)

First Battleship, now this.

And next... Pong!

about 3 months ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Dave Emami Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (288 comments)

Almost all of law is based on the 'why'. If you kill someone, it starts to really matter 'why'. On purpose? By accident? For profit? All very different scenarios, and treated differently under the law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

Right - guilty mind. "Why" matters.

I did not say that "why" does not matter at all. I said that if you have the right to do X, you can do so for whatever reason you want. Killing someone is something you normally do not have the right to do, but the law makes exceptions under certain extraordinary circumstances. That is, motive can make something permissible that otherwise would be forbidden, but it cannot (per natural rights, not necessarily per the legal system) make something forbidden which is permissible. I have the right to drive people around in my car, or let them sleep in my house, or eat my food, etc. I can exercise those rights, or refrain from exercising them, for any reason I want, or for no reason at all. I do not have the right to shoot someone, or break into their house, or physically restrain them, but the law may decide that I am justified in doing so in rare situations.

about 3 months ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Dave Emami Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (288 comments)

Money changed hands. Tax man needs his cut or something bad might happen to you.

Much as I detest taxation, that's a separate issue -- "you can do X but not in exchange for money" vs. "you can do X, but if you get money for it, we'll be taking some of that money." Though in the case of the IRS, they'll be looking to tax you even if money didn't change hands. If you drive your co-worker to work and he buys you coffee in thanks, the price of that coffee is income as far as the tax man is concerned.

about 3 months ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Dave Emami Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (288 comments)

When you do something for profit, your in business. Your legal liability changed. Your insurance needs changed.

And that's the wrong-headed doctrine that needs to be gotten rid of. If you have the right to do X, then you have the right to do X regardless of why you want to do X. When the law says otherwise, "then the law is an ass."

about 3 months ago
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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods

Dave Emami Meh (209 comments)

I prefer the Unix-based method from Vernor Vinge's A Deepness In the Sky. Everything is seconds based on the Unix epoch, with SI prefixes for longer periods -- ksecs (00:16:40), msecs (about 11.6 days), gsec (about 31.7 years), etc. With processing power as ubiquitous as it is, converting back and forth when planetary/celestial timing really matters is trivial. Most of our non-analog timing devices already work this way already, and those that don't (LED alarm clocks) are being phased out by devices that do work that way (smartphones). Granted this isn't any more likely to be used than the TCC, but at least it's cleaner.

about 7 months ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Dave Emami Re:Not even much money (423 comments)

This is complete and utter bullshit. I'm sick of people conflating basic human needs and monetary systems.

Who said anything about money? I said trade. If Ook the caveman gives Thagg the caveman some fish in exchange for a bearskin -- as opposed to clubbing Thagg over the head and taking the bearskin -- that's trade, just as making a lean-to out of branches is engineering, adding 2+2 is mathematics, and Ook and Thagg grunting at each other is communication. Everything else is just an increase in sophistication and scale. And when Chief Krunk starts deciding whether or not Ook and Thagg can exchange fish and bearskins, that's regulation, and (assuming they can't simply kill him) Krunk's goodwill is now valuable to Ook and Thagg. Krunk's probably going to be getting some "donations" of trout and furs.

about 8 months ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Dave Emami Re:Not even much money (423 comments)

True capitalism at work, everything is for sale, even the laws.

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." -- P. J. O'Rourke.

When people consider something valuable, that thing will be traded. Potatoes, oil, heroin, sex, shiny rocks, senators, whatever. That's not merely capitalism, it's basic human nature, on which capitalism rests. And it is by far those who dislike capitalism who push the hardest to make politicians valuable.

about 8 months ago
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Navy Creates Fuel From Seawater

Dave Emami Hydrocarbons besides olefins? (256 comments)

What I'm wondering is, can they modify this process to produce edible hydrocarbons? Probably not something you'd enjoy eating, but the primary limitation on a nuclear submarine's endurance is the food supply for the crew.

about 8 months ago
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China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Dave Emami Re:The Odd Distort (26 comments)

Only three posts in and we're already doing the moral equivalence song and dance.

Yeah, the "tu quoque" fallacy is big around here.

It's really funny the way the Microsoft shills on here continually mod down their opponents

What alternate universe do you live in? Criticism of Microsoft on Slashdot is consistently and routinely modded +5.

However the hypocrisy and stupidity is still obvious and if we want to be able to suggest improvements to China perhaps we need to keep our own house in order.

Umm... no. If the US government does something bad, we should criticize it. If the Chinese government does something bad, we should criticize it. If the governments of Liechtenstein or Brunei or Tonga are doing bad things, we should criticize them. The important distinction here is "people being screwed over by their governments" vs. "governments doing the screwing-over", not "US" vs. "China" vs. etc. etc. If anything, the fact that the NSA is acting badly towards Americans should make Americans more sympathetic towards Chinese citizens getting similar, harsher treatment from their government.

about 9 months ago
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China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Dave Emami Re:Incomprehensible Headline (26 comments)

In fact, no mainstream party in an industrial or post-industrial state can be considered Maoist. The term only refers to peasant socialism/communism in pre-industrial societies.

Maoism is basically "there are more peasants than workers, so it should be 'peasants of the world, unite.' Oh and by the way, since I'm a Third World guy and most peasants are in the Third World, I should be the leading Marxist now that Stalin is gone. Screw you, Comrade Khrushchev."

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Dave Emami Re:Tarzan need antecedent (824 comments)

Would you have been fine with it if he had donated money to a campaign to promote that belief?

I didn't say I was fine with his belief, I said that I wouldn't have wanted him to be fired because of it. Nor would I want him to be fired for donating to promote it.

What about if that donation had had your company name attached? Maybe not so much, because that's linking you and your employer to that belief. What about if his job was to be the public face of the company (i.e. the CEO)? Maybe even less, because now the company (and, indirectly, you) are endorsing those beliefs.

If he donated it in the company's name, that would be different, but to my understanding Eich made his donations in his own name, not in Mozilla's name. The contribution database merely notes that Mozilla was his employer at the time. So, for the equivalent question, if I were still at the same company as the coworker I mentioned, and he were promoted to CEO, I would not protest it. Nor would I protest if, as CEO, he continued to make such donations in his name. The important distinction is whether or not the views are being espoused by the person on his own, or by the company -- and I mean literally, officially in the company's name, not some vague "associated with the company because he works there in an important position" sort of thing.

Incidentally, I've been in the "leadership might do things I dislike" position, too. Back when I was part of the team of a startup whose CEO was a Scientologist, a coworker and I insisted that our contracts include clauses that the company not use "Hubbard Management Technology" (look it up, it's hilarious, sad, and offensive at the same time), and that if the company gave money to or bought anything from WISE (a Scientology business group) that it would have to make matching contributions to the EFF.

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Dave Emami Re:Tarzan need antecedent (824 comments)

Would you say the same if he had given money to a group that supports the return of Jim Crow? What about if he gave to one of the groups that promote holocaust denial?

Well, I've worked with someone who denies the Holodomor (the Ukraine famine) and Stalin's other mass-murders, which are on par with the Holocaust. I would never have dreamed of suggesting he be fired for his views, and would have vocally defended him if someone else did -- and I'm about as anti-Communist as you can get.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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MoveOn.org removes "General Betray Us" ad

Dave Emami Dave Emami writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dave Emami (237460) writes "After President Obama's appointment of General Petraeus' to replace General McChrystal as commander of US forces in Afghanistan, MoveOn.org has quietly dropped the online copy of their "General Betray Us" ad into the memory hole, apparently forgetting about such things as Google cache and Archive.org. The ad originally ran as a full-page spread in the New York Times"
Link to Original Source
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GW Bush hosts Intl. Cyber Dissident Conference

Dave Emami Dave Emami writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dave Emami (237460) writes "On Monday, the George W. Bush institute hosted a Conference on Cyber Dissidents, with the former president giving opening remarks, along with presentations by dissidents from seven nations. Other speakers included Ethan Zuckerman, founder of Geekcorps, Hal Roberts of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Christopher Walker of Freedome House. "The Conference's two goals were to bring dissidents together to share best practices and learn from one another, and to learn ourselves what we in America and other democracies can do to aid the work of dissidents – in particular, to help them protect and enhance their high-tech tools and counter the technological counter-assaults from government and terror groups.""
Link to Original Source

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