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Comments

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Top Coders Tell Agents, "Show Me the Money!"

replicant108 Re:Not new (288 comments)

Would really appreciate if you could post contact details for this firm as I have a brother in Sydney who is currently looking for work in this area.

about a year ago
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Melinda Gates Pledges $560 Million For Contraception

replicant108 Re:Buying Windows does some good in the world! (451 comments)

> What marketing does Bill and Melinda Gates need?

Like most people they are concerned for their own reputations. Marketing is a way of addressing that concern.

> Could you be any more selfish and bitter?

It is interesting how vehemently people defend the virtue of Mr and Mrs Gates. Why the emotional atttachment?

more than 2 years ago
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Melinda Gates Pledges $560 Million For Contraception

replicant108 Re:Philanthropy (451 comments)

> it doesn't matter what the motivation for doing it is, the end result is what is important.

For someone who doesn't believe that the motivation matters, you have a very strong opinion on the topic

> When every conceivable want and desire is met, what is left but to be generous to your fellow man?

I seriously doubt that the wealthy are free from want and desire. Do you have any evidence to support this unusual idea?

It seems more likely to me that this is an example of people pursuing other common desires - the desire for reputation and the desire for influence.

I really don't think this is cynicism, by the way. Rather, it is expecting rich people to behave like anyone else.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Provisions Being Introduced Piecemeal From Lamar Smith

replicant108 Re:Irony (134 comments)

This is exactly why the digital rights activists need to go on the offensive. As long as we are continually on the defensive we are vulnerable to aggressive industry lobbying. Legislation needs to be promoted and passed that will solidify protection for digital rights, and weaken the position of our opponents. In strategic terms, we need to take the battle to the enemy.

more than 2 years ago
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Britain Bringing Out 'Sonic Gun' For Olympics Security

replicant108 Re:Wow! (193 comments)

I agree with your sentiment generally, but this part is completely wrong:

"When the IRA were blowing up buildings every few months or so the UK never resorted to police state tactics and it never militarized the police."

Resorting to police state tactics and militarizing the police is exactly what they did in Northern Ireland I'm the 70s and 80s. I know because I grew up there. What is happening in England now is merely the chickens coming home to roost.

more than 2 years ago
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Double Fine Adventure Crosses $2.5 Million In Kickstarter Funding

replicant108 Re:Again Kickstarter is used to rob the commons (114 comments)

GitHub are really well positioned to provide a crowdfunding platform for FOSS projects.

I suspect that, with the success of Kickstarter and other similar sites, it's only a matter of time before someone makes the model work for commons-based stuff.

more than 2 years ago
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How Nokia Learned To Love Openness

replicant108 Re:Openess (180 comments)

Apple looked at the same problem that Nokia is looking at and decided that since they had an operating system in house already, it made more sense to just modify it then modifying someone else's open operating system.

Except that Apple's operating system is based on modifying 'someone else's open operating system'.

more than 4 years ago
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Is Apache Or GPL Better For Open-Source Business?

replicant108 Re:Tell you my "stragetgy" (370 comments)

The second I want to make any contributions, depending on how I used the GPL code, my entire portfolio might be in legal jeopardy.

Firstly, "making contributions" does not normally trigger the GPL.

Secondly, the GPL does not put your portfolio "in legal jeopardy". The worst case scenario is that you have to remove (somebody else's) GPL'ed code from your portfolio.

Finally, it is copyright law which makes this a requirement, not GPL.

more than 5 years ago
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North Korea Launches "Communication Satellite" Rocket

replicant108 Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (492 comments)

I can write an opinion piece to the Atlanta Journal & Constitution declaring the President to be a bumbling buffoon, calling every Senator in Washington a bunch of dirty names, and expressing the opinion that Georgia's governor has terrible taste in suits. I run zero risk of being arrested for these acts.

You also run zero risk of being published.

more than 5 years ago
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Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

replicant108 Re:The new Gates (841 comments)

Bill Gates has already given away a huge chunk of his money, and will have given away the vast majority of it by the time he dies.

But the Foundation actually increases the amount of money he controls rather than reducing it. Granted there are restrictions on what he can do with that money, but as I pointed out before the rules permit him to use that money to exercise political influence and enhance his personal reputation. These things are of more value to Bill than buying another car or house.

Secondly, it's his wealth. He wants to see it go where it will do what he wants.

You seem to be contradicting yourself here. How can it be his wealth if he has given it away?

Thirdly - whatever douchebag. He's never been convicted of any kind of felony, and neither has Microsoft.

Microsoft has been found guilty of criminal behaviour (under Bill's watch) in both American and European courts.

more than 5 years ago
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Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

replicant108 Re:The new Gates (841 comments)

No, the rest is reinvested to "allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making".

But they do this by "investing for profit".

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story

The point is that the focus on maximising ROI inevitably means that ethical considerations come second.

The goal is to keep the foundation around forever so that it can continuously hand out money forever.

Since Bill controls the Foundation, it is effectively he who is handing out the money.

This clearly gives him a great deal of economic and political power.

For example most people have access to investment funds like 401k and such, however, I'm pretty sure nobody really looks at the list of companies or bothers to keep track of the list of companies within each fund.

Unlike most investment funds, the raison d'etre of the Foundation is supposedly humanitarianism.

Given that ROI comes before humanitarianism in 95% of its investments, one cannot help but feel that there is some hypocrisy involved.

more than 5 years ago
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Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

replicant108 Re:The new Gates (841 comments)

If you want to say that he "maintains control of his wealth", understand that means that he can control which cause gets the money, not go buy a Ferrari.

It should be obvious that exercising political influence is more important to Bill than owning another car.

The Foundation allows him to use his wealth for this purpose, while also accessing the other benefits I mentioned.

I'm not saying Bill is a good man, or that it's even excusable, just that I don't think his motivations were entirely selfish.

My point was that his motivations are probably less altruistic than they appear, not that they are entirely selfish.

more than 5 years ago
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Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes

replicant108 Re:The new Gates (841 comments)

The Gates Foundation only gives away 5% of its value every year. The rest is re-invested to maximise profit.

By transferring his wealth to a foundation, Gates has managed to:

a) minimise his tax liabilities
b) maintain control of his wealth (and use it in support of his fight against free software and generic drugs)
c) invest in restoring his reputation (which, for those with short memories, was damaged by his involvement in criminal behaviour )

Furthermore, investigations have found that the Foundation's attitude to ethical investment to be lacking.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?coll=la-home-headlines

more than 5 years ago
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Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

replicant108 Re:OK, so oil prices went up (600 comments)

Coincidentally oil priceswent way up shortly after Bush jr was elected

Why do you assume that it was coincidental?

more than 5 years ago
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UK Government To Outsource Data Snooping and Storage

replicant108 Re:Jackboots Jacqui strikes again (114 comments)

That's a nice theory, but it's actually not about the party. The Home Office has been pushing for these powers since long before New Labour came to power.

In fact, the Tories under John Major were pushing for ID cards in 1995 - a move opposed, ironically by Tony Blair.

If you think that a Tory government will be any different then, you will be sorely disappointed.

http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-61886

more than 4 years ago
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30 Minutes of Frank Miller's The Spirit Reviewed

replicant108 Re:Oh dear, hype machine (100 comments)

The somewhat fantastic animals, the way the heroes were larger-than-life, the fights over a fallen comrade, the caricatured enemy--it is exactly the way you'd expect a somewhat-talented ancient Greek storyteller to handle the tale.

Actually, the last three cliches are exactly the way I'd expect any mediocre storyteller to handle the tale.

"Somewhat fantastic animals" are not especially characteristic of ancient Greece either.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Biometrics no cure for data loss

replicant108 replicant108 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

replicant108 (690832) writes "Six leading British academics have written to express their concerns at claims that biometrics could somehow magically cure data security issues — recently highlighted by the loss off 25m personal records by the British government. The letter states: "These assertions are based on a fairy-tale view of the capabilities of the technology and in addition, only deal with one aspect of the problems that this type of data breach causes." The full letter is available here."
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replicant108 replicant108 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

replicant108 (690832) writes "Tom Evslin gives a fascinating account of working for Microsoft in the early 90s:

"So you're in there presenting your product plan to billg, steveb, and mikemap. Billg typically has his eyes closed and he's rocking back and forth. He could be asleep; he could be thinking about something else; he could be listening intently to everything you're saying. The trouble is all are possible and you don't know which. Obviously, you have to present as if he were listening intently even though you know he isn't looking at the PowerPoint slides you spent so much time on.

At some point in your presentation billg will say "that's the dumbest fucking idea I've heard since I've been at Microsoft." He looks like he means it. However, since you knew he was going to say this, you can't really let it faze you. Moreover, you can't afford to look fazed; remember: he's a bully.""

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