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EC Sends Statement of Objections To Microsoft For Violating Anti-Trust Agreement

KevinIsOwn Re:Choice of Browsers is MS's Burden? (173 comments)

Have the standards for posting comments gotten so low that people don't even completely read the submission title? (I already know nobody reads the article or the whole summary even...)

Here's a quick (rough) overview for you and the mods who put you at +5:

1. Microsoft was accused of unfairly using its monopoly in the OS market to get people to use IE over Netscape.
2. Microsoft and the EU came to an agreement that Microsoft would offer a choice of browsers to users., or be punished.
3. Microsoft is now accused of breaking that agreement.

The fact that firefox, opera and safari are easily reachable with a Google search is completely irrelevant. Microsoft made an agreement with the EU and broke it.

And one more thing: No, most computer users do not go and download a browser. You can call them lazy and/or stupid all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that many people just don't care what browser they are using. They turn on the computer, and they start using the internet. The browser is completely irrelevant to them. In the context of Microsoft's OS monopoly in the 90s, it makes perfect sense for users to be asked what browser they want to use up front.

more than 2 years ago

Florida Accused of Concealing Worst Tuberculosis Outbreak In 20 Years

KevinIsOwn Re:Political correctness in action (409 comments)

The difference being that at least I can switch the company I'm dealing with but the government is the ultimate monopoly ...

Please do tell me how you plan to "switch the company" you're dealing with when said company is, for example, poisoning your well water through fracking, or polluting a river or the air around your house. A strict libertarian philosophy has no solution for externalities, other than hand-waving, i.e. everyone can form class-action lawsuits! Or the invisible hand will magically deal with it!

The solution is simple: You should be wary of both corporations and government and support checks and balances on both.

more than 2 years ago

Losing the Public Debate On Global Warming

KevinIsOwn Re:The problem is chicken little (1181 comments)

The problem is that there are NO accurate "models" of global climate. The models that we have can't predict the present given data from the past, and the results of the models, more and more, fail to match reality. Because Hansen and the Warmists are so firmly intertwined with their models that they refuse to accept the actual experimental data, real SCIENTISTS for whom the data is paramount are refusing to accept apocalyptic prescriptions that are based entirely on the MODELS.

This article was posted by someone else earlier, but it directly responds to your point about Hansen: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/04/1981_climate_paper/. In fact, Hansen's model seems to be holding up surprisingly well.

more than 2 years ago

Estonian Tech University Bans Notebooks and Smartphones

KevinIsOwn Re:Laptops are not the problem (134 comments)

This! I was always annoyed by people watching videos on Youtube in the rows in front of me during undergrad...

However, I don't think removing electronics from the classroom entirely is a fair solution. I would propose that anyone who wishes to use electronics be seated at the back of the classroom/lecture hall unless they need to sit closer for a legitimate reason (medical issue, etc).

more than 2 years ago

Amateur UAV Pilot Exposes Texas River of Blood

KevinIsOwn Re:If libertarians had there way (388 comments)

Because.. yeah.. none of this stuff can be farmed out to other people.

What a brilliant idea! We could all get together and pay a small fee for a group of people to go after those polluters. It needs a good name though... How about the Environmental Protection Agency? That sounds like a good name. And we could pay for it out of our tax dollars so there are no free riders! Perfect!

about 3 years ago

Slashdot Launches Re-Design

KevinIsOwn Not impressed. (2254 comments)

No, this is not a good layout. The javascript is lagging the crap out of my computer, and disabling it makes the site look even worse. Seriously, go back to version 1. Do you even understand who is still reading your site? We don't need or want fancy javascript. We are terminal monkeys, we want content, not bells and whistles.

more than 3 years ago

Google Goggles Solves Sudoku

KevinIsOwn Re:Sudoku (206 comments)

Indeed, solving Sudoku is extremely simple. Break out your favorite constraint programming solver and a couple for loops and a bunch of all-different constraints later, you're done. This scales to any size sudoku puzzle and is rather fast.

about 4 years ago

Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

KevinIsOwn Two sides to laptops (804 comments)

My experience during undergrad was that at least half of the people with laptops were just using them to watch youtube or do something unrelated to class. Another ~10% or so were doing their homework/projects (possibly from other classes) during lectures. The rest were actively taking notes.

The students who were watching youtube/facebook, etc were indeed distracting. I usually tried to avoid sitting behind laptops to avoid this problem, but banning laptops just isn't fair to the students who want to use them legitimately. There have been times where laptops have really added to classes (looking up facts mainly).

Therefore I propose a solution: All laptop users should sit in the back rows of the class, unless there is a legitimate reason for someone to not sit back there (eyesight or hearing difficulties). This makes it less likely for the people who are just screwing around to distract other students.

about 4 years ago

Facebook Postings Lead To Arrest for Heresy In the West Bank

KevinIsOwn Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (496 comments)

It must be nice having an ideology that is so clear cut. Blaming Israel for everything certainly seems like an easy way of rationalizing what happens in Gaza/the West Bank. But you are the one, after all, who suggested we pretend that we "come from another planet" earlier in this thread, and yet you blame Israel even for actions that are very obviously the choices of Hamas. Israel has nothing to do with Hamas's oppression of their own people.

You can criticize Israel for its blockade, for its demolition of houses, for its wall, and for a whole host of other abuses it has indeed committed, and should be ashamed of. But when it comes to Hamas oppressing people for trying to speak out freely and practice (or not practice) Islam in the way they wish, Israel has absolutely no say in this, and their occupation is entirely tangential to the issue at hand in this article.

Smiths, you are the one who needs to step back and realize that you have become entrenched by an ideology.

more than 4 years ago

TSA Bans Toner and Ink Cartridges On Planes

KevinIsOwn Re:Home Security Theater (633 comments)

That, my friends, is security.

That is also why only Jews (who are not subject to the same harassment after their religious credentials are established), those who have no other choice whatsoever and non-Jewish masochists fly to Israel.

There is also that wee problem that this procedure reeks of the worst days of the Soviet Union and the Nazi Germany, but then again those of us who remember this quaint concept of individual liberties and how wars were fought over what is now being given away on a mere remote possibility of harm, seem to be going extinct.

You just had to go and bring Godwin into this, didn't you..

In fact, establishing your religious credentials does NOT give you a free pass! I'm Jewish, and have flown to Israel. They do ask you some religion related questions, but those would be easy for anyone with an internet connection to fake. They always go further in depth. But thanks for spreading the rumor that Jews get special treatment. I'm not going to accuse you of antisemitism, but do try to take your head out of your ass.

more than 4 years ago

The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs

KevinIsOwn Re:This explains the political process (824 comments)

Your numbers for Social Security, Medicare and Medicare D are way off. Do you really expect anyone to take your post seriously when you suggest that social security is currently $14.7 trillion in debt, nearly the same as the entire GDP of the US? And moreover, that Medicare is currently $77 trillion in debt, which is $16 trillion more than the world GDP!.

Perhaps your numbers are over long periods of time, and if they are, then say that! Instead you just come off as someone who has absolutely no clue. Yes, SS/Medicare are doomed if we don't fix them, but keep the FUD numbers out of the discussion.

I'm not going to bother starting some whole thread on the merits of SS/Medicare, they are simultaneously incredibly successful, but broken programs. However, I do want to respond to one point of yours, which is the idea that you'll never get your SS/Medicare back. There is one extremely important component of Social Security that even young people sometimes benefit from: Disability benefits. If you suffer an injury that will keep you out of work for 12+ months, you can get compensation. This is, of course, assuming you've been paying into SS for long enough (which varies based on your age and a whole host of seemingly random factors)

more than 4 years ago

AI Pushing the Boundaries of Space Exploration

KevinIsOwn Re:Knowledge systems are not wisdom systems (89 comments)

Which is exactly why you will never see anything more than an expert system in space. There is no way any space agency is going to punt hundreds of millions or euros/dollars/pounds into space without a full understanding of the decision tree in the spacecraft control loop. It is hard enough at the moment without introducing outliers into the system.

Insightful? This is flat out wrong, by over 10 years now! See: Planning in interplanetary space: Theory and practice (A Jonsson, P Morris, N Muscettola, K Rajan, B Smith). This group of scientists from NASA Ames and the JPL used AI planning as part of the Deep Space One mission.

From the very first line of the paper's abstract:

On May 17th 1999, NASA activated for the first time an AI-based planner/scheduler running on the flight processor of a spacecraft.

And note that since 1999, much more work has been done in using AI planning (and perhaps other techniques) in space.

more than 4 years ago

Stuxnet Worm Claimed To Be Devastating In Iran

KevinIsOwn Re:Perhaps it's just me... (390 comments)

Actual quote:

We do not wish, we do not need to expel the Arabs and take their place. All our aspirations are built upon the assumption -- proven throughout all our activity in the Land -- that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.

Go fuck yourself.

more than 4 years ago

New Email Worm Squirming Through Windows Users' Inboxes

KevinIsOwn Re:Lulz @work today (473 comments)

Looks like somebody is embarrassed that they clicked the link to the virus. No, those weren't pictures from the party. Sorry.

But seriously, how is that a non-relevant criteria? Especially if you had somebody who has done it multiple times, that is a major risk to the company's network. Especially for a company with people's financial information, you can't have people downloading such ridiculous things.

more than 4 years ago

Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks

KevinIsOwn Re: How does (1088 comments)

The entire idea of rising up violently against a democratically elected government because you disagree with it has a major problem: What do you replace that government with? If you replace it with a democracy, the electorate is just going to elect someone you don't like again with good probability. Your only option is to replace it with a dictatorship, in which case you've definitely not made things better.

No, violence against the government simply isn't justified unless it is no longer a democracy. And at the moment, the US remains very much a democracy, and a rather vibrant one. Sure, there are problems -- incumbent Congressmen seem to last way longer than they should in Congress, and it would be nice to have more choices than just 2 parties. But ultimately the elections are fair, and you have the freedom to try to convince people that there is another way. In fact, a call to violence is an obvious refusal to take part in a democratic process, one that I will not join in regardless of how many people take part.

No, violence isn't the answer. The answer is education and eliminating voter apathy. Too many voters are simply too ignorant of the facts. And I realize the right-wing partisans will accuse the liberals of being stupid, and the left wing partisans will accuse the same of the conservatives. The problem is that for the most part they are right. Ignorance has nothing constructive to offer in the political discourse of our nation -- all it provides is screaming, hyperbole, ad-hominem attacks, but worst of all: loyalty. Loyalty to the party leaders who perpetuate this madness.

So go forth and fight for change, but not with guns; show people how to think rationally, how to question society and the world. And even more important, how to debate an issue without demonizing the opponent as a terrorist/socialist/.

more than 4 years ago

Just One Out of 16 Hybrids Pays Back In Gas Savings

KevinIsOwn Re:Only true if you ignore the externalities (762 comments)

The discussion is about bicycles, not motorcycles, which very obviously do not lower the rate of heart disease in their users. (Unless perhaps you are doing push ups while riding the motorcycle, in which case the comment about "biker putty" definitely applies)

more than 4 years ago

Connecticut AG To Grill Amazon, Apple Over E-Book Price Fixing

KevinIsOwn Re:Grandstanding (107 comments)

This is just grandstanding by a politician running for office.

You can claim grandstanding all you want, but those of us from CT know that Richard Blumenthal goes up against corporations from all around the US all the time. Sometimes they get picked up by the media more than others, but this really ins't anything out of the ordinary for him.

And you can like him or hate him for that, I'll keep this post apolitical, but this is just not unusual for him.

more than 4 years ago

Radioactive Boar On the Rise In Germany

KevinIsOwn Re:What????? (165 comments)

Note that certain mushrooms are still contaminated! Chanterelle mushrooms are still somewhat radioactive, at least the ones from Belarus, and that's where most come from. You can only eat them a few times a year, which is truly a shame, as they are one of the most delicious mushrooms that exists.

more than 4 years ago


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