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Indian Mars Mission Has Completed 95% of Its Journey Without a Hitch

Jiro This is ridiculous (116 comments)

95% is not a milestone. There's nothing significant about it. They're just sending out press releases at random moments in the trajectory because they want to get publicity additional times without actually doing additional things that deserve publicity.

about two weeks ago

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

Jiro What? (538 comments)

Isn't imposing a large cost on the other country the whole point of an embargo? What's the complaint here? I mean, Cuba obviously doesn't like it, but it's sort of like Russia claiming that the sanctions for invading Ukraine are costing it money, or Al Qaeda claiming that US military intervention is killing terrorists. That's the intent.

Clearly $1.1 trillion isn't enough considering it hasn't worked.

(Also, does this figure count Russian aid during the Cold War against the loss from not trading with Americans?)

about two weeks ago

Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

Jiro Re:No, it wasn't. (463 comments)

Having a law that permits them to use electronic devices just means that using the electronic device isn't automatically a crime. It doesn't (or at least shouldn't) mean that they are excused from all consequences of doing so.

If you want a car analogy (no reason I can't use a car analogy to make a car analogy), a driver's license gives you permission to drive a car, so that you can't be arrested just for unlicensed driving, but you still can be arrested if you run over someone with the car. Likewise, the police have a "use electronic device license", so the use by a policeman is not a crime all by itself, but the negligent use of one still can be.

about three weeks ago

TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

Jiro Re:Is he a senior? (251 comments)

This also explains using names like John Connor. You and I would be able to recognize the source of the name. It's much less likely that a senior citizen would, so it gives them a way to filter out the people least likely to fall for the scam.

about a month ago

Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Jiro Fearmongering summary (and article too) (531 comments)

Reading TFA, even if I take TFA at its word, TFA's headline claims the group is Koch-backed, but TFA itself only says that the head of the organization previously worked at a Koch-backed organization. The idea that there's any Koch connection, financial or otherwise, to his current organization is complete speculation.

TFA further obscures this by containing a link for the phrase "strong ties to the Koch brothers", presented in a way which looks like it should be about the current organization, but which when you follow it, turns out to be about the previous one.

"Koch" has become such a left-wing bugaboo that any reference to it should make the reader automatically skeptical.

Furthermore, TFA quotes the email, although using an image (why, I don't know--to make it harder to search?) The claim that "he thinks net neutrality is Marxist" is a distortion of that email. It claims that

1) It is like things done by China and Russia (astute readers may remember that Russia gave up being Marxist decades ago; summarizing this as "he thinks it's Marxist" is another left-wing scare tactic meant to bring to mind McCarthyism) and

2) a reference saying that one *specific* group led by one specific Marxist individual supports it.

about a month ago

Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Jiro Re:They're not gamers. (276 comments)

The way you see it, calling someone who only reads the ingredients list on the back of food packages is like calling someone who plays Candy Crush a gamer.

The way you see it, calling someone who sings the Star Spangled banner at the start of a ball game a music fan is like calling someone who plays Candy Crush a gamer.


"Gamer" does not mean "someone who plays a game" in the same way that "reader" doesn't mean "someone that reads something".

about a month ago

Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Jiro Re:Amazing (276 comments)

Nobody would read that headline and believe that whales are really doing the same thing as people with engineering degrees. The literal interpretation is so obviously impossible that everyone can see that it's an exaggeration and should not be taken literally.

The literal interpretation of "women outnumber boys in gaming" is not impossible in the same way that whales having engineering degrees is. It's just incorrect.

about a month ago

Mangalyaan Gets Ready To Enter Mars Orbit

Jiro Not news (67 comments)

Because 9 million miles is no more newsworthy than 8 million or 10.

I'm reminded of the old joke:

"What famous event happened in 1732?"

"George Washington was born."

"Very good. Now what famous event happened in 1743?'

"George Washington became 11 years old."

about a month ago

When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Jiro Re:Apple (257 comments)

People want cheap and get cheap because it's easy to tell what something's price is. f you have to choose between a cheap laptop and a more expensive laptop that has the same specs but might fall apart faster, it's really hard to get figures on how fast the laptops fall apart such that you can determine that the money you save is not worth it. Hiding laptop failure rates is easy, but you can't hide the price, so consumers buy based on it.

This may be better in the case of repeat customers, but honestly, how often do you buy laptops?

about a month ago

UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

Jiro Re:Moreover... (391 comments)

Islamic countries in the Middle East generally work on a tribal culture which is heavily based around people gaining status through family connections. In other words, even you just kill the actual terrorists, you're *still* making someone angry because you killed his family.

about a month ago

Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

Jiro Re:They can already cut off your service (299 comments)

Asking your carrier to cut off your network access doesn't prevent you from taking pictures and videos with the phone.

about a month ago

German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

Jiro Re:High Horse (170 comments)

They don't WANT to spy on you. You don't matter.

Spoken like a man who has never heard of the term "false positive".

If you don't matter, but they think you matter, they can make life hell for you.

about a month ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Jiro Re:Sigh (748 comments)

Also, if anyone holds a political opinion that isn't subject to change when faced with new evidence or arguments, while I admit that happens a lot, that's a problem.

But that's a different sense of "change". Evidence can change it, but you can't just change it by saying I choose not to have this belief because people with it are subject to prejudice".

about a month ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Jiro Re:Sigh (748 comments)

I am skeptical that someone can honestly think, for instance, that farm subsidies are good, then say "I choose to believe that farm subsidies are bad", and tomorrow honestly believe that farm subsidies are bad. I'm not even convinced that "choosing to believe X" is a coherent concept.

But even supposing that someone has a messed up belief process such that they can do this, intelligent people who use reasoning won't to be that way. Congratulations: you've just decided that prejudice against people with the wrong politics is "different" from prejudice against gays when its only different for people who you don't want on your forum anyway.

(Or you could just say "well, anyone who disagrees with my political side is stupid and doesn't use reasoning". But I hope you can see what's wrong with that.)

about a month ago

Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

Jiro Re:No exemptions for zero-knowledge services? (82 comments)

It says that the heir has the same rights as an authorized user. An authorized user who lost the password in this situation would not be able to get it by asking the company, so the heirs would not be able to ask the company either. On the other hand, if the heirs do get the password (maybe the deceased left it in a safety deposit box), it would stop the company terminating the account for TOS violation.

about a month ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Jiro Re:Sigh (748 comments)

Disliking homosexuals is disliking people for something that they didn't choose and cannot change.

Being a capitalist, conservative, liberal, etc. is ultimately a description of your beliefs. You can't choose or change your beliefs--you didn't arrive at your beliefs by suddenly saying "I choose to believe in farm subsidies", you figured out that farm subsidies are good or bad. Even though people with opposite beliefs could argue that you made a mistake when figuring it out, you still figured it out to the best of your ability and can't just change that by force of will.

Beliefs are not like rooting for a football team.

(Of course, you could still change your actions--you can't choose to believe in capitalism, but you could choose to buy stocks or speak about capitalism--but that applies to homosexuality too. You could choose to have gay sex, to express pride in being gay, etc.)

about a month ago

Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

Jiro Re:Well I Think That's Swell! (82 comments)

If the deceased had things on paper, or on their computer at home, they would certainly be able to learn things about the deceased. How is this different?

Do you want to prevent people from inheriting paper documents from the deceased so relatives can't find out about their gay love letters or whatever?

about a month ago

Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

Jiro Re:Or (82 comments)

Some people have already replied that you might not be able to trust everyone with your password, but that's only one of the problems. The other problem is that although your heirs may be able to physically read the password from your sealed envelope and type it in, just typing in the password won't make your access authorized. Trying to download the deceased's ebooks, music, or apps would be piracy, and even just revealing that you accessed the account (by trying to use the information in it in a billing dispute, or to take it to the press if it is whistleblowing in nature, for instance) could subject you to a selectively prosecuted hacking charge in court to get you to shut up.

And even if you don't actually get in legal trouble for accessing the account, companies could use the illegal nature of the access to refuse to do things that they would do upon request of the account owner, such as closing the account (if you want it closed), leaving the account open (if you want to keep paying for it), or restoring or sending you a backup.

about a month ago

Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Jiro Re:War zones, 3rd world, disaster struck regions.. (419 comments)

By that reasoning ithe subject of the game doesn't have to be war. If the kids play Fruit Ninja the dad should take them to a poverty-striken third world country that is having a food shortage, so they no longer want to trivialize the act of destroying food. As you said, starvation is something that Westerners are normally shielded from. "You're teaching people that life cannot be compared to the boom and splat of video games".

Yet it would be obviously ludicrous to do that.

about a month ago


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