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Household Robot Jibo Nets Over $1 Million On Indiegogo

istartedi Rolly (60 comments)

I can't help but be reminded of the Rolly. Does this mean the next stock market crash and recession is next year? Frivolity like this just seems "toppy".

yesterday
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

istartedi Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (117 comments)

I was kind of assuming that people knew all the cited examples were skewed in favor of women. I specifically put in models as an example to counter the argument that these are not highly paid positions. So since we're ruining the humor by explaining this, we might as well go all the way and cite Forbes for some model examples.

yesterday
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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

istartedi Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (117 comments)

Yeah, but how many male kindergarten teachers are in those districts, and how many boys in home ec?

Now excuse me, I'm a busy man. I'm off on a photo-shoot as the top payed model in the world.

yesterday
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Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

istartedi Re:I had a Chuckle (136 comments)

At least they weren't gzipped.

2 days ago
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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

istartedi Re:surpising (168 comments)

And the farmer cares about his pigs so he doesn't butcher them until they get nice and fat.

Honey, don't log on. That copy of To Serve Man just arrived. It's a cookbook!

2 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

istartedi Re:I'm confused (198 comments)

States Rights has always been nothing more than a tool used by people who want something. Usually what they want is to take something from other people. They would just as easily use religion, economics, erroneous statistics, philosophy, or any other intellectual tool they could find.

IMHO, ultimately states don't have rights any more than corporations do. PEOPLE have rights. The PEOPLE should have the right to freely associate and provide broadband. If they want to do that through their city government, fine. There's no need to appeal to "states rights" which has quite a checkered past.

2 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

istartedi Re: Bullshit (198 comments)

Even the District of Columbia DMV was pretty good, and DC is not known for efficiency. When I got rid of my car, it didn't take very long to hand the plate to the guy, who marked it invalid. That was that. Comcast? I got charged after disconnecting, and the dispute is unresolved after two months.

In other words, "disconnecting" from the DC DMV was easier than disconnecting from Comcast.

2 days ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

istartedi Re:Pot farmers. (367 comments)

The drug war is bad enough, but when the DEA waits until just before harvest to destroy fields they know about... really gripes my cookies. They let it consume all that water, *then* they destroy it. And of course they'll destroy small backyard grows that don't even push people into the next water usage tier. When Joe Sixplant's grow is pushed over, where does he buy weed? From big growers illegally diverting.

3 days ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

istartedi Re:Elective surgery on a critical organ (532 comments)

Someone who shall remain nameless once told me I looked so much better without glasses, I should get the surgery.

I place LASIK in the same category as nose-jobs, breast augmentation, etc. Unless you are truly freakish (e.g., Golf-ball shaped nose or something) I have a hard time justifying it. If you're normative in appearance, IMHO any ethical plastic surgeon should refer you to a psychiatrist but they generally don't because MONEY.

Anyway, totally not going to get a laser in my eye. Those ads for dry eye medicine you see? It's because of one of the most common complications. No thanks.

Glasses. Hundreds of years, reasonable outcomes. LASIK? Maybe it'll be proven as risk-free as glasses some day, but probably not until I'm long dead and buried. Vanity isn't worth the risk to me; but I understand others think differently.

3 days ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

istartedi Re:"Just let me build a bridge!" (367 comments)

Your analogy is unacceptable. You should have written it in Esperanto. Esperanto is the new standard for analogies from corporate. Also, you should have simultaneously posted it to your FaceBook account which you are required to have if you wish to perform analogy services on this network. Furthermore, you did not submit your prose to the grammar nazi trolls, or allocate time for analogy review in the scheduling program. Please rectify these discrepancies and I will get back to you during my appointed window for analogy review, Tuesdays from 2 to 4:20PM.

4 days ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

istartedi Re:Hit it. (701 comments)

New poll: Death Star trench or Lower Wacker Drive?

5 days ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

istartedi Re:volcano (151 comments)

Ask someone from Seattle

Ask someone from the entire central US. Yellowstone's "next to" is pretty large when you consider the projected ash fall from a major eruption. Aside from that, the knock-on effect on food supply and weather would have global consequences, so I guess we're all pretty "stupid".

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

istartedi Re:I don't know how they pay (509 comments)

The place I just moved from was a fine example of this. Bathtub clogs. Not just a bit. Full stop. Clogged. I tried vinegar+baking soda, hot water, no dice. Called the landlord, who calls the plumber.

Plumber is like... routine hair clog. Goes to work on it. No dice. After hacking for 10 minutes and getting nowhere (it's a master plumber and he's got an apprentice with him) they dive under the house to access from a different angle.

The real problem? It seems that ages ago the little brass dumb-bell that plugs the drain had broken off its chain. No problem. They just replaced it, leaving the old one in what they must have figured was a wider pipe. Perhaps it was, but over time it worked its way down to another section of pipe and just so happens it plugged nicely against the joint.

Only practical way to fix this problem was to cut the pipes with a killer saw. There were sparks flying and everything. The guy showed me that among other things, some guy had somehow sleeved one pipe over another, perhaps as some amateur way to stop leaks.

This was a 92 year old building. Like you say, weird things happen. Landlord was pretty pissed about the bill until I explained it. That's one nice thing about renting anyway--I didn't have to pay it.

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

istartedi This hits close to home (401 comments)

I recently moved out of Comcast's service area and am in the process of trying to have improper charges removed. Fortunately I live within a reasonable drive of their SA, where there is a physical office. Thus, I was able to employ the tactic of actually meeting a rep face-to-face. Like I said, I'm still in process though. She said I'd get a check. Both of us were very polite, because of being in person. She even did as I asked and printed a screen capture of her terminal, gave me her name so I would be able to properly document this in case the check never arrives and/or the charges aren't cancelled.

It's sad that you have to do this. I pity those who can't drive back into the SA and employ this tactic. They will probably have a much harder time.

BTW, allegedly the first rep that I cancelled with only changed my address, didn't cancel the account. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to change address outside the SA without cancelling. (sarcasm).

According to another source (not sure if this is true) reps get a +1 when somebody signs up and a -1 when somebody cancels. If this is true, then it's easy to see how the rep would be tempted to just change the address so that their rating wouldn't be affected. These aren't sales people, they are just order-takers. Sales incentives like that have no place in such situations, since the best sales person in the world cannot provision outside the SA!

about two weeks ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

istartedi One legit use of the commerce clause (382 comments)

Well now, here's an actual legitimate use of the Commerce Clause; but Congress won't use it. Every podunk dealer that ever contributed to their campaigns would ring their phones off the hook, as well as actual corporate lobby from GM, etc.

about two weeks ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

istartedi Re:Its a step in "rightish" direction (244 comments)

Ada and BeOS?

Tech 1: Lisp on a Lisa! What are they using???

Tech 2: Lisp on a Lisa.

Tech 1: Oh.

about two weeks ago
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How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

istartedi Re:Many worlds (202 comments)

See my post just prior to this one. It all hinges on the word "might" in my first post. I believe you improperly inferred that I was stating all alternatives *must* exist, as opposed to *might* exist. Yuck, I don't relish the thought of being in Nietsche's company. However, that's based on experiences with my peers when we were teenagers. They were just exasperating to talk to, and one of them actually went certifiably insane.

about two weeks ago
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How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

istartedi Re:Many worlds (202 comments)

Let's cycle back to what I said in the first place:

That might not be too far from the one where I'm GWBM

Do you see the word might in there?

You and a lot of other people incorrectly read that as must, hence you are arguing against something I never said, namely that infinity necessitates all possibilities. I got caught up in it a bit myself, going off on how unconstrained infinity may include all possibilities until proven otherwise, which I maintain is true.

Fact is, this whole thread actually seems to be an inference problem. There was of course, no way I could have headeed it off at the pass, I must invoke my un-named "rule" at this point:

Inference is broken

about two weeks ago
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How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

istartedi Re:Er Ma Gerd.... (128 comments)

Obviously, this means war. And strip searches at bus stations. Problem solved.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

istartedi hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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istartedi istartedi writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Stop Obama's plan to sell FNMA foreclosures to private investors in bulk. These properties should be made available to all regardless of political or social affiliation.

It's understood that putting the properties on the market en masse could have negative impacts due to supply/demand fundemantals.

Here is a suggested course of action that addresses that issue FAIRLY:

1. Charter a corporation to hold, repair, and rent the properties, with the understanding that they will not be sold into the market for a fixed period of time, and thereafter only a fixed percentage per annum may be sold (e.g., 5 years of holding and no more than 5% of holdings per year sold thereafter).

2. The corporation must be publicly traded so that it will be subject to the full transparency required of any other corporation, and so that anyone who wishes may invest, regardless of who they know or donated to.

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The Microsoft Antivirus

istartedi istartedi writes  |  more than 12 years ago

This article is a continuation of a thread that played out rather long, and was in danger of being archived before I was done with it.

Ogerman's words appear with emphasis, and mine in regular text.

I'm sorry, but you're way off here. I would consider myself one of the so-called 'zealots' that you refer to. However, my vision is not some imaginary socialist utopia where everybody blindly works for the good of all and is magically rewarded. GPL is a tool to ensure that control of the technology we embrace remains in our hands rather than being controlled primarily by business interests. Retaining control allows us (developers) to operate in a market with few barriers--a purely capitalist market.

That is one of the great myths of the Free Software movement. Copylefting software actually gives developers *less* control not more. How? Because developers no longer have money, and as people on /. love to point out, "he who has the gold makes the rules". So what if Linux is GPL'd? The suits at RedHat and IBM are still going to make most of the decisions about what areas of development get funded. At it's very best, the GPL does nothing to break the grip of the suits. If we get to the point where code under non-copylefted licenses is not available, it will be impossible for anyone to override the status quo, and the people who are most likely to do that are small developers in the garage, not the suits.

OK, lets assume that happens--for example, the Open Source community comes up with a beautifully written office suite that effectively drives all proprietary ones out of the market. How is this bad? All it means is the wheel will never again need re-invented and perhaps finally a true industry standard will emerge. There's still plenty of room for innovation--new features to the existing codebase.. contributed by anyone who pleases. Where is this scenario bad? It's sure as heck a more optimal outcome for thepublic interest. And if you've really got that great of an idea on how to re-think the whole concept of an "office suite" then sure, it's your right to go proprietary.

The harm to consumers would be similar to the harm done by any other type of monopoly--the lack of choice. It isn't necessary to standardize the software; only the file format. What happens if a customer doesn't like the one-size-fits-all look and feel of this office suite? Very few customers are capable of making code changes, and at the consumer level nobody can afford to hire a programmer. They will simply have to wait for someone in the community to make the change. I'm happy to see you saying "it's your right to go proprietary" in the last sentance. There's hope yet. However, consider the huge barrier now faced by someone who wishes to topple a GPL'd monopoly.

Toppling MSFT would be far easier. In fact, Be Inc. might have had a chance of toppling MSFT were it not for Free Software. Apple competes with MSFT by verticly integrating hardware and software. MSFT is not nearly as impregnable as people make it out to be.

To topple a proprietary monopoly, you can start by providing an inferior product at a lower price. Then, you can feed the revenue back into R&D until your product matches or exceeds the monopolist product in quality and/or price. Yes, nobody has done this in direct competition with MSFT. OS/2 had a shot. I think OS/2 was doomed by crappy marketing for the most part. Back in Win3.x and '95 days, I remember seeing OS/2 ads and coming away not really knowing what it was. OS/2 Warp? That sounded like some kind of ad-on that I didn't really need. If only IBM had said "run 32-bit Windows and DOS applications for half the price of Windows95". If only there had been an "OS/2 compatable" sticker on software boxes (maybe there was) I might have been sold.

However, to topple a GPL'd monopoly is entirely different. You have to either verticly integrate to subsidize the software (like the Intel compiler) or keep plowing massive ammounts of money into your R&D until you have a better product. Nobody will pay for the inferior early versions. If you do get to the point where you have a better product, you have to charge more for it to recoup development costs. That's why the Intel compiler is several hundred dollars; and that's even with a subsidy from chip sales. Can you imagine something as good as the Intel compiler being written by a pure software company?

As stated earlier, I would not take it to that extreme--outlawing proprietary. But on the other hand, if Open Source wins by nature and market forces, then so be it.

Good to know. FWIW, I don't think most people in the OSS/FS movements want to outlaw proprietary; it's just a core group of RMS et.al. that worry me. A /. poll on this might yield interesting results.

Nothing you have said thus far suggests any way in which copylefted software could cause social problems, but if you can provide a solid example, I'm all ears. Decreasing the size of the software industry due to increased efficiency of open development does not count, however, because this type of change is seen throughout all history and in all industries and is not a social problem. (compare: robotics replacing factory workers, etc.)

Of course I can't cite an example in software because like I said, the industry and the FS movement are both just babies. I see parallels to the communist revolution, and less extremely, to the public school system. If copyleft wins in a free market, I see poor people waiting for new features, while the rich pay premiums for software that already has the desired features. If copyleft wins by legal coup, I see a black market for proprietary software, with mafia coders moving in to add features and threatening to break your leg if you tell anybody.

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