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Comments

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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

walterbyrd What about Youtube? Spotify? (96 comments)

I can listen to practically any song I want on youtube or spotify.

2 hours ago
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HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

walterbyrd Don't believe it until you can buy it. (148 comments)

Microsoft has a long history of over-promising, and under-delivering.

This has been going on for decades: "don't buy our competitor's product! We are just about to release something that completely blows it out of the water!" Then Microsoft starts pushing back the delivery date, changing prices, dropping features, and so on.

5 hours ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

walterbyrd Re:I still don't get this. (301 comments)

Practically everybody puts their phone in a case. Which makes wonder: why is phone thinness such a huge issue?

Apple especially acts like the thinness of the phone is one of, if not *the* most important feature. But once you put the phone in a case, then shaving 2mm off the thickness means nothing.

3 days ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

walterbyrd MOD PARENT UP! (301 comments)

This video is a real public service.

Apple's claims about this only happening to nine phones, out of 10 million, are extremely dubious.

This is the second time this guy has done this with a new iPhone.

3 days ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

walterbyrd It's just a BS threat - call their bluff (363 comments)

Now that everybody knows the H1B thing is a total scam, MS is making childish threats.

5 days ago
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

walterbyrd Re:I thought Gnome was the default desktop already (394 comments)

As I understand it, XFCE worked out just fine.

Debian 7 Fast and Rock Solid Stable
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG8ZSpUOJuw

So why switch, and go with a total POS like Gnome3?

about a week ago
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

walterbyrd What happened to Debian? (394 comments)

I have heard they are being strong-armed by Canonical. Canonical makes donations to Debian, that puts Canonical in a position to influence Debian.

Everybody knows that Gnome3 and Systemd suck. But the leading Linux distros are forcing that unwanted crap on users in a very Microsoft sort of way.

I am not that surprised by Red Hat, or Canonical, but I am disappointed in Debian.

about a week ago
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Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

walterbyrd Re:Slashdot's new lows (191 comments)

Way to play the victim card.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

walterbyrd Re:What's the background? (142 comments)

I think Oracle is announcing earning today.

If earning suck, and Oracle tanks, Oracle will be able to say that it was only because their beloved CEO resigned.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

walterbyrd Muslim claim *they* are the victims. (165 comments)

Muslims are infuriated, claiming that they are the true victims. Muslims are very upset about the arrests, saying they were dishonored. Muslims are protesting, carrying signs that say "Raids Terrorize Woman and Children."

Muslim community apprehension after raids leads to 'snap protest'
> Wassim Doureihi, a prominent member of the group, told the crowd that the community was deeply upset by the raids.
> "What would be your reaction if your home was raided and your women dishonoured?" he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/muslim-community-apprehension-after-raids-leads-to-snap-protest-20140918-10iupz.html

about two weeks ago
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Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

walterbyrd Are we any different than the old slavers? (183 comments)

As I understand it, the economy in the south was dependent to slave labor.

But of course, that is no excuse. If we lived then, we would have nothing to do with the practice of forced labor, even if it did wreck the economy. Right?

about two weeks ago
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A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

walterbyrd My father is a retired corporate pilot . . . (112 comments)

According to him, the rear engine placed in the middle of tail fin is a bad design. The engine vibration puts too much stress on that fin. The metal weakens after a while. Compare this design to the design of the 727.

I think, some time ago, this design was causing problems.

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd According to Spock . . . (937 comments)

> “If this is your God, he’s not very impressive. He has so many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He’s a pretty poor excuse for a Supreme Being.” — Spock, The God Thing, by Gene Roddenberry

This quote was recently making the rounds on Facebook. It’s taken from a newly discovered script, what The Complete Star Trek Library is calling “Gene Roddenberry’s Last Star Trek Novel.” Roddenberry was an ardent atheist and it appears he was constantly working his critique of religion into the series. The God Thing is a testimony to Roddenberry’s atheistic aims.

http://mikeduran.com/2012/08/star-treks-loopy-deity/

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd According to Gene Roddenberry . . . (937 comments)

> “We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd Re:Maybe first you can stop pigeon-holing people.. (937 comments)

> It's like when atheists are dumb enough to treat all Christians alike, or Muslims, ...

No it's not like that at all.

When you join an organization that espouses certain values, then you must agree with those values. Otherwise why would you join?

For example, if somebody joins the KKK, it would hardly be wrong to think that person is a racist. And if somebody joined NAMBLA, then it is fair to believe that person believes it is okay to molest children.

Atheists have no set ideology. For that matter, theists may not either - unless they belong to some organization that has some specified sort of ideology.

But if you are Christian, Muslim, whatever; then you are claiming that you ascribe to those values.

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd Re:Atheism offers no values - you have to add them (937 comments)

> And of course the excesses of the church pale into insignificance compared with the horrors of Stalin and Mao

Which is "the church?" All religions? Christianity? Catholicism?

Let's remember the Nazis were very Christian, and the holocaust would not have happened without Christianity.

Christianity was also used to justify slavery, and witch burning, among other things.

I have read that throughout Islamic history, about 270 million people were killed for the cause of Islam.

Furthermore, Stalin, and Mao; were not motivated by any sort atheist ideology. If there is such a thing as "atheist ideology."

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (937 comments)

> The problem is even atheists still feel a need to believe in *something*

Nope.

> with varying details of what they consider "good".

By that you mean: bigotry, misogyny, blood sacrifice, slavery, and war. Also severe punishment for free speech, not worshiping as told. And of course, must give loads of money to those humans who claim to have a direct connection to "god." Finally, do not use reason, do not think critically, just accept everything on faith - that is the ultimate good.

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

walterbyrd Why is science to blame for the holocaust? (937 comments)

From the article:

> "To which one might reply: Science is all those things. Between holocausts!"

My understanding is: without religion, there would have been no holocaust.

German Christians hated Jews. Hitler was a product of his strongly Christian upbringing. At the time, in Germany, Jew hatred was taught in public schools.

Why on earth would you blame science, and not religion, for the holocaust?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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31K people an hour are joining Ello the anti-Facebook

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  3 days ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "A brand-new social networking startup — Ello — has gone viral. At one point on Thursday, the site was acquiring 31,000 new users an hour — many of whom flocked to there because of a disagreement with Facebook over its policy requiring real names, which some say is unfair to LGBTQ and transgender users.

Ello's founder, Paul Budnitz: "My partners and I had lost interest and were fed up with other social networks — exhausted by ads, clutter, and feeling manipulated and deceived by companies that clearly don't have our interests at heart""

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Offshoring: good for corporations, bad for everybody else.

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about two weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "A study conducted by the University of California system determined that 14 million white-collar jobs are threatened by the off-shoring trend, including office personnel, information technology, accounting, architects, engineering and design, data analysis, customer service and even legal services. You might even be working at one of these offshore companies or others like them."
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Microsoft lays off 2,100, axes Silicon Valley research

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about two weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Microsoft Corp will close its Silicon Valley research-and-development operation as part of 2,100 layoffs announced on Thursday, as it moves toward its new CEO's goal of cutting 18,000 staff, or about 14 percent of its workforce."
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You can't patent movies or music. So why are there software patents?

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about two weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "To many computer programmers, software patents look a lot like movie or music patents. A computer program is a sequence of abstract mathematical operations. The Supreme Court has long said that by themselves such mental steps are not patentable. And just as musical innovations didn't become patentable once musicians started recording music electronically, so software patent opponents don't think sequences of mathematical steps shouldn't become patentable just because a computer happens to be doing the calculations.

Of course, others disagree with this way of looking at it. Patent attorneys have had a lot of luck re-casting software patents as patents on machines that happen to run a particular type of computer program."

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MIT's robotic cheetah no longer needs a leash

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about two weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "MIT's big-cat-inspired robot has gotten some serious upgrades as researchers continue to improve its skills. It's come a long way since its first treadmill test, during which it was tethered up. It can now run free, and a new algorithm allows it to bound in a peppy manner while navigating the terrain of a grass lawn."
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Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) slams Mark Zuckerberg

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about two weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "So rich high-tech companies are using the H-1B visa program to keep wages down and to hire less expensive workers from abroad. Indeed, the same companies demanding more guest workers are laying off American workers in droves."
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Software patents are crumbling, thanks to the Supreme Court

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about three weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "This doesn't necessarily mean that all software patents are in danger — these are mostly patents that are particularly vulnerable to challenge under the new Alice precedent. But it does mean that the pendulum of patent law is now clearly swinging in an anti-patent direction. Every time a patent gets invalidated, it strengthens the bargaining position of every defendant facing a lawsuit from a patent troll."
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Why Does EU Consult Microsoft On How Google Should Operate?

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about three weeks ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Why on earth should Google’s page be set up so as to favour Microsoft’s offerings? The two companies are competing in the search space, correct? Well, go compete then instead of whining to the politicians."
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What's wrong with American health care

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "1) Americans pay way, way, way more for health care than anyone else
2) We pay doctors when they provide lots of health care, not when they provide good health care
3) Half of all healthcare spending goes towards 5 percent of the population
4) Our health insurance system is the product of random WWII-era tax provisions
5) Insurance companies have small profit margins
6) Getting health care in the United States is dangerous
7) One third of healthcare spending isn't helping
8) Obamacare is not universal health care"

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Feds creating database to track hate speech on Twitter

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project."

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Microsoft Admits Keeping $92B Offshore to Avoid Paying $29B in US Taxes

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Microsoft Corp. is currently sitting on almost $29.6 billion it would owe in U.S. taxes if it repatriated the $92.9 billion of earnings it is keeping offshore, according to disclosures in the company’s most recent annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount of money that Microsoft is keeping offshore represents a significant spike from prior years, and the levies the company would owe amount to almost the entire two-year operating budget of the company’s home state of Washington."
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Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access to Free Software

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software."
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How patent trolls destroy innovation

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month and a half ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "A new study by researchers at Harvard and the University of Texas provides some insight on this question. Drawing from data on litigation, R&D spending, and patent citations, the researchers find that firms that are forced to pay NPEs (either because they lost a lawsuit or settled out of court) dramatically reduce R&D spending: losing firms spent $211 million less on R&D, on average, than firms that won a lawsuit against a troll.

"After losing to NPEs, firms significantly reduce R&D spending — both projects inside the firm and acquiring innovative R&D outside the firm," the authors write. "Our evidence suggests that it really is the NPE litigation event that causes this decrease in innovation."

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Breakthrough discovery of quantum computing methodology

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about a month and a half ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "A research team led by University of Chicago scientists have discovered a new methodology to document quantum mechanical behavior of electrons contained in the flaws of diamonds. The scientists blasted a region of a diamond that contained a nitrogen atom with repeated, quick pulses of a laser beam, which enabled the team to control the quantum state of the area as well as observe the electron state of a single electron."
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"Weird Al" Yankovic - Mission Statement

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about 2 months ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "The entire song is made of corporate jargon and buzzwords. The video is one of those fast-draw whiteboard scribes.

It's getting to the point where Weird Al Yankovic accelerates his brand trajectory using management philosophy (that last part ripped from a youtube poster)."

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Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about 2 months ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages."
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Bachmann: Gay community wants to let adults "prey on little children sexually"

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about 2 months ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said this week that the gay community wants to repeal age of consent laws "so that adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually," reports Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch."
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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about 2 months ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "There's some pointed language in the announcement, which includes a canned quote from Mike Bracken, executive director of the Government Digital Service to the effect that “Using an open standard will mean people won’t have costs imposed on them just to view or work with information from government.”"
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A week before MS layoffs announcement, Bill Gates calls for more imported labor

walterbyrd walterbyrd writes  |  about 2 months ago

walterbyrd (182728) writes "We believe it borders on insanity to train intelligent and motivated people in our universities — often subsidizing their education — and then to deport them when they graduate. Many of these people, of course, want to return to their home country — and that’s fine. But for those who wish to stay and work in computer science or technology, fields badly in need of their services, let’s roll out the welcome mat."
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