Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
This makes me think of the ideas of certain thinkers, who said that this kind of society is inherently unstable - the social inequality will keep growing, the rich becoming richer by extracting wealth from the poorer, until there is nothing left, the value of wealth vanishes because there nothing the spend it on, and the whole thing comes tumbling down. I think it was Karl Marx who said it, actually. He was sometimes a very clear thinker.
I believe it is true that he also advocated bringing on a revolution, but the main message was that at some point something will by necessity happen to overturn the system and level out the imbalances, not for ideological reasons, but because the economic dynamics make it unavoidable, no matter what we do. He also imagined that a perfect society would be something like communism or socialism, and he may well have been right; but it will have to evolve naturally, as people become convinced that this is what they want. Well, one can dream.
Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?
Since I am the only guy with Linux experience I would have to support the Linux installations. Now the problem is what works perfectly fine for me may be a horrible experience for some of my coworkers, and even if they would only be using Firefox, Thunderbird and LibreOffice I don't know if I could seriously recommend using Linux as a desktop OS in a business. Instead I want to set up one test machine for users to try it and ask THEM if they like it. The test machine should be as easy and painless to use as possible and not look too different compared to Windows. Which distro and what configuration should I choose for this demo box?
All changes are painful, and there will always be some that will whinge and tell you that can't live with it. So, you have to prepare the ground, persuade people that it is worth it, all the same. Having worked in the industry for 30 years, I have seen a lot of changes, and the thing that I have learned is that you absolutely must do your groundwork if you want to succeed. It doesn't actually matter whether the programs are best in class or whatever - it is amazing what people can put up with if they feel it makes sense; after all, they have lived with Windows and Office, which for most of the past decades has been unstalbe and poorly designed - it is only since XP that Windows didn't unversally require reboot several times per day. I mean, just run that last sentence past your mental SYSRDR one more time - other OSes have stayed up for years since the 60es.
So, prepare people and get them on board (one really can't say this too much); after that, it will be fine. Linux is great on the desktop, as you already know, and if you do have to support people, you can use ssh -X or even Xnest, so you won't even have to climb around in the compund all that much.
IOW: make good preparations (sorry if I repeat myself). Ask people what they use their systems for, what they really want to be able to do in Linux (including the non-work things!) and find out to do it. Make plans for how you will support them and how you will teach them things. Done well, this can be great for everyone.
NASA Setting Up $250,000 Mars Lander Competition
Here you are:
Now, cough up.
Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
I really don't understand you guys. I really, REALLY don't. I mean, how can anyone believe that a for-profit healthcare can be both better, cheaper and more fair than something run by society? But as soon as anybody opens their mouth to challenge this view, they get 1) modded down, and 2) called 'socialist' or 'communists'. I can only assume that this is an expression of what goes for 'faith': the ability to reject clear facts in order to avoid having to change your mind.
To paraphrase Terry Pratchett - there are certain people who one one hand wouldn't believe it if a high Priest told them the sky was blue, and could show them signed affidavits to that effect from any number of people of good standing, but on the other hand are perfectly willing to bet their lives on the word of a stranger they've met in the pub.
Now, to my mind, and you can call me socialist or worse - and I shall wear that title with pride - that mindset is exactly why America is no longer the greatest nation in the world. You seem to have closed you minds, so how could it be any other way?
Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie
In a universe that seems to be infinite in size (or a closed manifold), any point can be declared to be the centre. The reason for saying that Earth and the other planets circle the Sun is that it makes it easy to understand the observable orbits of the planets. But, it is perfectly valid to put Earth in the middle, if you have a wish to do so, just not very useful.
Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam
- paid for by the tax-payer.
I like no 5:
5. Contaminated cigar. They may have given up on the TNT stogie, but the idea of spiking his smokes was still being floated around. The CIA even went as far as to recruit a double agent who would slip Castro a cigar filled with botulin, a toxin that would kill the leader in short order. The double agent was allegedly given the cigars in February of 1961, but he apparently got cold feet.
Cold feet, or maybe he was just dying for a smoke.
Cuba: US Using New Weapon Against Us -- Spam
Another, perhaps less amusing thing is that the US actually do care; at least as long as there is a noisy group of displaced, Cuban voters to please.
Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe
Mainframes are not user friendly, and youngsters are not likely to devote two or three years learning something from the grannies, on a very harsh learning environment, with a step learning curve, when all their peers are talking about creating a new app and selling to Google for a gazillion dollars.
Well, that's the problem to solve, then.
1) Make it less difficult to learn - this is only a matter of investing in producing good teaching material and making it easily available.
2) Make the idea of mainframes much more appealing. There's loads of stuff in a mainframe and even in z/OS, that is way cooler than the average PC crap.
3) Make it legal for people to download and run z/OS etc on the Hercules emulator for development and study purposes after a similar model like Oracle's
People have taught themselves Linux and Windows, not because it is more interesting, really, but because it is much more approachable; and within the reach of a tight budget. Which teenager is going to invest tens of millions in a mainframe? Make it free, like Oracle did with their database - it worked for them.
A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them
Wearable devices will not be massively popular unless they will be as simple to use as headphones
- and give the user something they actually want or need. The smartphone is popular because it is flexible enough to cover a wide range of needs that people have, not because it is cool or "wearable". In fact, I suspect that being wearable often counts against a device, because it so often has to be worn in a highly specific way, unlike a phone, which you just stuff into a pocket, bag, glove compartment or whatever.
Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds
why they don't just sell their spent fuel? It shouldn't be difficult to find buyers in, say, the Middle East.
UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
Any time someone cites personal observations that don't support global warming, they get smacked with "ZOMG! ANECDOTE, YOU FUCKTARD!" by the climate orthodoxy.
Yes? That is of course not right - anecdotal evidence is valid evidence, but one anecdote is not enough evidence to either support or reject a theory. My postulate, if you will, is that is we collect all anecdotal evidence and review it without bias, what we will see is that:
1) There is a growing trend towards more unusual or even extreme weather, and
2) Overall, there will be more anecdotes about unusually warm events than about unusually cold ones.
There, I have now put forward two predictions; if you want to be scientific about it, go and find evidence to falsify them. It is a large undertaking, of course, but it is something most people with access to Internet, libraries etc can do if they want.
UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
I've met and seen many scientists argue against GWA.
Really? Do you happen to know their names and what their branch of science is? And BTW - what is "many"? You are simply postulating vague nonsense without quoting any evidence; unlike the real scientists, who are specific and quote evidence.
As for fear mongering - what you guys are saying is "Look, they want to take our cars and our modern lifestyles away and make us poor"; is that not fear mongering? In contrast, the scientists are not spreading fear and despondency like you; they say it is possibly to avert much of the harm if we work on it, and they point out that we can, in fact, benefit economically from doing so. How is that 'fear mongering'?
Finally, explain this: Many, if not most people of my age (55) in northern countries can remember how, in their childhood the winters always seemed colder and with more snow; now, in N. Europe winter seems more like an extension of autumn. I have seen flowers in February that I remember from late May when I was a child. And so on - there's even large flocks of wild parakeets living in many parks in London now, fig trees thriving and in one place, on the A40 near Ealing in London, there's even a date palm.
One Person Successfully Removed From US No-Fly List
Ironically, most Americans (apart from the relatively few Native Americans) were foreigners not long ago.
Operation Wants To Mine 10% of All New Bitcoins
I can't claim to understand bitcoin (or virtual currency in general), but as far as I can make a mildly educated guess, the value stems from the fact that the work required to produce them is so great that it has to be a collective effort. If it somehow becomes easy, then they are no more than a form of pyramid scheme.
Other currency standards are based on things of tangible value - even gold or diamonds have a practical value far beyond being pretty. Bitcoins, on the other hand, have no intrinsic value - we could wipe them out completely today, and the world would be no poorer in real terms.
IPCC's "Darkest Yet" Climate Report Warns of Food, Water Shortages
As always there is a lot of noise about this, as if it was possible to determine the truth by shouting the loudest. People seem to forget that this is SCIENCE: it means that the scientists are saying "These are our data, we think it means so and so" - and then everybody can in principle go away and check and draw their own conclusions. A lot of very competent people have done exactly that and reached conclusions very similar to the IPCC, and they can argue very convincingly for the validity of their calculations.
I have not, on the other hand, heard any of the so-called sceptics do the same - which is probably why they direct their arguments at the general public, who are not in a position to actually question their explanations. Let the sceptics present their data, like all real scientists do; if their data and their conclusions are valid, then they will stand up.
Ah, but of course, this is where the conspiracy theories set in: You can't get funded, you can't get published etc, and it is not because you are wrong or your research is flawed - no it is the fault of The Establishment of Evil Scientists, who make a career out of milking the research funds dry. Yeah, right.
China Using Drones To Spot Polluters
The comments on this list really show America in a very unflattering light, sometimes. Fortunately I and many others are less superficial, so I know that most Americans are not complete idiots.
How about reading the article with a more open mind? It is after all about something that is a good idea: using some quite simple, cheaply available technology to do something that is potentially good for the environment. And while judging how poisonous smoke is by looking at it is not accurate, it still gives a reasonable indication in most cases: black smoke is probably full of particulates, white smoke is perhaps mostly steam and so on. It's not as stupid as you make out.
Can it be used for spying? Well, obviously - but it can also be used for billion good things. And as you say in America: "Guns don't kill people ...". It makes little sense being opposed to a technology for what it might be used for by bad people.
Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences
...if there are crimes so severe that only vengeance gets through to the perpetrators' minds in the absence of any hope of 'correction'...
In that case, the obvious thing is to execute the person, quickly and cleanly. Vengeance will never make sense - not only is keeping a prisoner in this case extremely wasteful of resources that could be better spent elsewhere, but it also doesn't allow the families of the victims to move on with their lives. I know very well that it sounds very cynical to anyone that's weighed down by sorrow, but the only way to get better is by moving on; holding on to the suffering is only misplaced loyalty and it can not bring the lost ones back or undo what has happened.
U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration
I'm afraid there is no helping you, you filthy parasite.
Hmm, interesting viewpoint; I advocate moderation and talk about being willing to take part in society and take on the responsibilities that come with freedom - so I am a "filthy parasite". And you offer no arguments that I can discern, so my views still stand unchallenged. I present my views logically, thus inviting everybody to contradict me; all you do is howl incoherent abuse. Who of us stands out as the better person, do you think?
Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It
I won't claim to have to ultimate solution, but perhaps something along similar lines as apprenticeships might work? Ie. while you study, you earn a modest, but adequate salary in return for doing work that is relevant to your studies.
It is no wonder that young people are less and less interested in studying at university. I don't think it is only about debt - it is debt, combined with the feeling of seeing your less gifted class mates getting an apprenticeship, then job, family, car, house and going of on holidays every year, while you are still struggling with debt in a job that perhaps only just pays more than the average plumber makes. And to top it off, you find that you are regarded with something rather like contempt in the wider society - you are "a nerd", and there's all the tired jokes about graduates only being able to find a job in McDonald. Being intelligent and well educated is something that increasingly feels like low-status, and definitely not attractive. If society genuinely needs people to bother with education, then these things have to change.
U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration
Every time this subject comes, there is howl from the Americans about "freedom", as if people on /. knew what it is. There are several reasons why this leaves me feeling a bit nauseated - let me just recount a couple:
1. I am old enough to have lived through the Vietnam years. I have read about the McCarthy era, and I believe we have all seen the Iraq wars. I remember how America was one of the staunchest supporters of South Africa under apartheid etc etc. As far as I can see, freedom to American is mostly a matter of convenience; you guys seem all out for freedom and the right to free speech, when it doesn't really cost you much. Yes, I know - I'm being harsh, and probably too much so, and I shouldn't generalise, but Americans in particular need to shut up and think before spilling their guts about "freedom", just once in a while.
2. Words like "freedom" and "censorship" are highly charged, and they are mostly abused as a cover-all and an excuse for why it is OK to be a filthy parasite on society. So, when you roll out "freedom" as your argument without qualification, it is 99% likely that it just means "I don't want to give up my ...." (substitute "porn" or whatever it is this time).
3. There is no such thing as absolute or perfect freedom. There will always be rules and limitations, and most of them you don't even want to be free of, if you were to think about it. The best anybody can hope for is enough freedom to feel happy about your situation and your prospects; and that is not really all that much. You want to feel that you can speak openly without fear, and that you can choose to pursue your own happiness in the way you see fit. Most people don't really want to be free from social context, even if they say so - as the song says "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose".
4. What you see as freedom may feel like slavery to another person. Take the stupid furore in Europe about whether muslim women should be allowed to wear a burqa in public; if you ask themselves, they actually want it in most cases, but no, no, they have to be forced to accept our kind of "freedom". If you don't see the flaws in that sort of logic, then I'm afraid there is no helping you.
I am all in favour of allowing people freedom, and think it is best to avoid banning things in general, but true freedom starts with respect for others.