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Debt Deal Reached

fluxrad Re:Could Someone Help Me Out With This? (844 comments)

I don't spend more money than I take in.

So you've never owned a house? Good for you. Most people are at least one to two times their annual income in debt, due to things like homes, car payments, etc.

More importantly, sovereign debt works very differently than personal debt. Sovereigns control things like the currency with which they use to pay on their debts. They must also consider economic factors when adjusting expenditures and taxes (NGDP, RGDP, employment, exchange rates). Also, as RGDP grows, debt loads that remain the relatively static lower as a function of the whole. The rabbit hole goes deeper - and the U.S. is in too much debt (anything upwards of 90-100% of GDP is dangerous territory) - but the Country-as-a-household analogy is a bad one.

more than 3 years ago
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National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity

fluxrad Re:Charge for support (635 comments)

I hike 14ers on a regular basis and even though they are generally day hikes I always pack enough food and water that I could spend the night if needed.

It's the exposure that will kill you. I just bagged Huron Peak on Saturday and was appalled at some of the stuff I saw people wearing up there (granted, I'm pretty much appalled on every 14er). The group in front of us even had a guy who had (ostensibly) climbed Denali. Of the three girls in his group, two had on jeans and one had on short-shorts. I was amazed that this guy would let his daughters go peak-bagging in that kind of clothing. Granted, Huron is a walk-up, but it's very easy to find yourself on the wrong side of a mountain or disoriented in a summer storm.

Bring food. Bring water. Bring enough clothing to spend the night on a mountain in a storm.

about 4 years ago
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Court Orders Shutdown of H-1B Critics' Websites

fluxrad Re:H-1B is a Fraud (605 comments)

Well if there's enough demand for quality, someone will figure out a way to make money providing it. As a case in point, many people pay more for Apple products because they see them as higher quality (irrespective of whether or not that's objectively true). The same goes for clothing products from higher end stores (see: Brooks Brothers). Market share may be tiny, but these companies do exist. I think the disconnect comes when people are unable to accept that quality necessarily costs more.

In software, it's more difficult to eek out a living as outlined above since bad code is harder to differentiate from good - at least to the layperson. And you're talking about intellectual property, which can more easily be stolen out from under a company that's spent years producing quality code. So folks are correct in the sense that the margins are much smaller in software development (this is a good thing, but that's another thread). But this doesn't undermine the basic economic tenet that, if there's enough demand for it, someone will provide it.

more than 4 years ago
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Court Orders Shutdown of H-1B Critics' Websites

fluxrad Re:H-1B is a Fraud (605 comments)

And Americans are the worst to trust with voting with their dollars. The vast majority pick the cheapest every time, with no regard to quality.

So Americans demand low price over quality, which is exactly what customer-focused companies are providing them. This isn't a problem. This is economics.

more than 4 years ago
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Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany

fluxrad Re:Reading some comments (625 comments)

Oohh! +5: LOLUSians!

You simply have no idea of the significance of Nazi symbols in Europe

I think it's you that must have no idea of the significance of Nazi symbols in the rest of the world. Irrespective of your personal beliefs, in the U.S. we hold freedom of speech to be our dearest liberty. That includes, no matter how distasteful you may find it to be, the right of others to say damn near anything they please. That's why, despite slavery being the United States' version of original sin, we allow nutjob racists to run organized marches in the streets (As a presumed European, you simply have no idea of the significance of KKK symbols in the U.S. right?). That's why we allow southerners to fly the Confederate flag, or allow anyone who damn well pleases the right to suggest that 9/11 was an inside job, or that Obama is a <insert racial epithet here>. I'm sure someone else will drop the obligatory Voltaire quote.

US Government took good care not to expose US citizens to the truth about the Allied invasion of Europe, concealing (for instance) the horrors of D-Day and the Bulge.

Honestly, given the sacrifice (and stories) of American servicemen in both battles, I think that's an incredibly offensive thing to say. And I'm glad you have the right to say it.

more than 4 years ago
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Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany

fluxrad Re:Don't mention the war ! (625 comments)

Basil Fawlty: Yes you did, you invaded Poland.

Why, oh why, doesn't anyone give a shit about the Austrians?

more than 4 years ago
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Supermarket bans Jedi Knight

fluxrad Re:Here goes nothing (169 comments)

Of course it's a fake religion. All religions are fake.c

Not fake in that context. Do you really think that all christians believe Jesus was the son of God? I think they do. In fact, I know they do based on a lifetime of observation. The same theme (sans the Jesus) goes for jews, muslims, later day saints, and hindus. That said, my guess is that most "Jedi" are just keen on the genre. They're using George Lucas' second-hand plot to give them a sense of belonging, not meaning. That's what I meant by "fake." It's like the Church of the Subgenius. Apologies if that wasn't obvious.

How about we just agree a set of rights that all people share, and don't make it conditional on being a member of some recognized "religion"?

I was really struggling with how to talk about this in determining a response to the first guy's questions, and it comes down to this: We all have a right to life, liberty, and property. Inherent in those rights is the right to exclusion. If I own a house, and I don't want you to come into my house, then you can't come in. Similarly, if I own a store, and I don't want you shopping in my store, then you can't shop there. It's my right as a property owner.

But then we get into the sticky bit. Society has deemed (and rightly so) that several forms of discrimination are wrong. You can't not hire a guy just because he's black. Similarly, in many countries, you can't not sell to a guy, just because he's black. Law has also extended this protection to religious affiliation. You can't discriminate against someone based on their religion because, after all, no one chooses what they believe about God - at least so goes the theory. And, as an atheist who finds himself one rung below homosexuals on the American "trust" scale, I'd like to believe that's true.

Of course that's where we get into the discussion we're having now. Some asshole comes along and says he's a Jedi. How do you know he's telling the truth? How do you know he's not just gaming the system because he likes to dress up in robes and LARP in the woods? If that's the case, then what gives the state the right to remove my right to exclusion? Do we just believe him? Do we just believe anyone who says they have a special religion?

about 5 years ago
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Supermarket bans Jedi Knight

fluxrad Re:Here goes nothing (169 comments)

Show me a "real" religion that does not start indoctrinating at a young age?

LDS. Do they teach their kids the ways of the church? Yes. Have I ever encountered a group of religious adherents that do it so openly and without coercion? No.

Just wind the clock back about 500-600 years and replace "Scientology" with "Catholic Church"...

Here Here. Although I'd argue that 500 years ago the catholic church was less a cult than a form of government.

about 5 years ago
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Supermarket bans Jedi Knight

fluxrad Here goes nothing (169 comments)

I know I'm going to get modded into oblivion for this but here goes anyway...

This is a fake religion. It's like members of the Church of the Subgenius, or the Church of the Matrix (god forbid) crying foul for discrimination. Do these "Jedi" believe in God, a supernatural entity, or some other higher power? Sounds like it, but believing in a god does not a religion make. The accoutrements of their "religion" are straight out of the Star Wars franchise, and it's not too difficult to see why this store isn't buying what the guy in the article was selling. Here's a pro tip for those Jedi that read slashdot: If you want to be taken seriously vis a vis your belief in a life force that permeates the universe, don't hitch your wagon to a pop science fiction movie.

By the by - the reason this is different from Scientology is because Scientology is a cult. They don't tend to gain membership just from selling people a line of B.S. but rather through indoctrination. They've gained religious status as an organized religion through intimidation and litigation, but having a shit load of money doesn't make them any less of a cult.

Call me in a couple of hundred years if the Church of Jedi is still around. Otherwise, this is a non-story.

about 5 years ago
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Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

fluxrad Re:There's tickets? (210 comments)

Perhaps wood is only worse for the environment when you look at it from how much energy per unit it can produce.

There's the rub. You get fewer BTUs per unit burned from wood, so you have to burn more of it. Since coal is concentrated, you're getting more of the good stuff and, thus, less pollution per BTU.

more than 5 years ago
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Burning Man Responds To EFF's Criticism of Policy

fluxrad Re:There's tickets? (210 comments)

food actually, literally, grows on trees. As does fuel for cooking and heating

Jesus, man. wood is worse than coal! I sure hope you're not an environmentalist.

more than 5 years ago
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CentOS Project Administrator Goes AWOL

fluxrad Re:Is This Bus Syndrome? (492 comments)

I personally won't use software produced by projects like CentOS. My belief is that projects like CentOS are there because people want to skate on the backs of people and companies who have spent time and money making a good product, just because they don't want to pay for that hard work.

There are two flaws to your argument. First, trying to procure goods as cheaply as possible is a fundamental tenet of economics. Consumers try to maximize "surplus" by paying as little as they can for products they value. No one goes into Best Buy and says "I think I'll give you $40 for this DVD, even though you're only charging $19.99, because I value it at $40." Now if a company can't find a way to monetize their product in this type of environment, it's not the fault of the consumer...which brings me to my second point.

RedHat is a service provider, not really a software developer (although they do a fair bit of the second). People don't pay gobs of cash for RHEL because it's good software. They pay gobs of cash so they can get support for it. Specifically, so upper management can have a number to dial if everything in the data center goes to shit. To that end, RedHat is doing exactly what you're accusing the developers behind CentOS of doing; they're taking Linus Torvalds' software, repackaging it, and selling it. The only difference between RHEL and CentOS is that the CentOS developers aren't selling support for their particular Linux derivative.

more than 5 years ago
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What is your least favorite industry to deal with?

fluxrad Re:Banks, for one simple reason... (548 comments)

Have you tried switching banks? I can tell you from personal experience that customer service is highly institutionally dependent. If you're getting hit with all kinds of fees, then it's time to switch.

Also, I would strongly suggest you don't make purchases, transfers, or write checks on deposited money until after the check clears.

HTH.

more than 5 years ago
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Amazon Pulls Purchased E-Book Copies of 1984 and Animal Farm

fluxrad Re:Stay away from the Kindle! (645 comments)

Strong agnosticism is incompatible with atheism. Do you see why?

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA Defendant Moves For Summary Judgment

fluxrad Re:Curious interpretation of "the public" (117 comments)

I'm just going by what the law books say.

I would strongly advise that you begin incorporating case law into your practice and interpretation of the law. Arguing that file sharing isn't public is akin to arguing that bootlegging DVDs in Manhattan isn't public because only New Yorkers have access to the material.

more than 5 years ago
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Teen Diagnoses Her Own Disease In Science Class

fluxrad Re:Hmm (582 comments)

That's the exact response I had. More importantly, any competent gastroenterologist should have tested for Crohn's disease after seeing her initially.

more than 5 years ago
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Comcast Intercepts and Redirects Port 53 Traffic

fluxrad Re:"Official Response" (527 comments)

I'd watch what you call an 'Official Response' as many corporations have very strict rules about talking to the press, or making any binding claims to a general audience. Are you authorized for such communication?

Yes she is. She's handled one of my responses before. Recently corporations have started hiring "social networking" types to answer questions on places like twitter, facebook et al. It would Slashdot is another one of these venues.

more than 5 years ago
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The Hard Drive Is Inside the Computer

fluxrad Slow news day? (876 comments)

Flamebait: This is pretty low content, even by Slashdot standards.

Admins and help desk folk have been whining about clueless users for as long as there have been computers. It takes a few generations for people to hit an equilibrium level of tech savvy. Everyone loves to cite the car as an example of minimum mechanical competency. This comparason falls flat for two reasons:

1. Cars cost a lot more than a computer, therefore there is much more incentive to understand how they work. Mistaking windshield wiper fluid for antifreeze can cost you $10,000. This isn't the case with a computer (cue the anecdotal outliers like some virii stealing $10,000 from your mom's bank account). Moreover, this article mistakes the basic level of competency of most computer users. Most of them are reasonably proficient at any day-to-day operation of their PC. Beyond that, just as with a car, they'll take it to a professional.

2. This is the most important point: everyone grew up in a world with automobiles. Your parents understand how cars work because they had to own and maintain them. Personal computers as a universal device are less than 20 years old. Give it a generation or two and people will understand, as a rule, that the hard drive lives inside the computer.

Honestly, this kind of generic holier-than-thou geek wankery is really annoying. It's a sign of an immature perspective, coming from the type of person who is insecure in their knowledge.

more than 5 years ago

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