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Comment Re:bitwise math (Score 1) 612

We really take our faster computers for granted, and our code is far from the level of optimization we were once required to achieve.

And that's a good thing too; now we can focus on more important things.

Admittedly not a coder, but I'm in partial agreement with this. True, the ability to throw hardware at a performance problem is easier now than it used to be, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a benefit to optimization.

Even if not formal QA, it's worth going to Best Buy and getting the absolute cheapest computer they have (probably a Celeron with 4GB of RAM, a slow hard disk, and no GPU of consequence), along with Norton Internet Security, and no uninstalling anything that shipped with the machine. Use your program on that and see how it runs. A measurable number of your users will try using your software on that. If it's not usable, it's worth optimizing.

You might have a development workstation with 32GB of RAM and a core i7 and a Quadro card and an SSD, but not all of your users are. Even if they do, they may well be running Photoshop, AutoCAD, and a VM or two. "Lots of hardware" and "Lots of hardware for you to use" are two different things. Sure, far less necessary to optimize programs as much as they used to be, but there is still value to keeping system resource usage as low as it can.

Comment Re:Stop calling them apps! (Score 1) 65

For now.

First, the Mac App Store was opt-in.
Then, it was opt-out.
Then, it prompted when applications were run if they weren't installed from the App Store.
Then it required admin access to allow sideloaded applications.

It's abundantly clear that Apple is using the winning formula from iOS and applying it to OSX. Slowly, of course, but mark my words: within the next release or two of OSX, you'll see at least a few of these:
-require a terminal command to enable sideloaded apps,
-prompt every time a sideloaded app is run without the ability to suppress it.
-require a third party patch of some kind.
-require some sort of jailbreaking procedure.
-threat of voided warranty if sideloaded apps are found.

OSX isn't a walled garden yet...but Tim Cook is absolutely building a wall. And his customers are paying for it.

Nope.

For starters, there's a limit to apps in the Mac App Store. They can't install device drivers, nor can they be "demo" apps.

Admittedly I'm not a daily Mac user, but I'm having a rough time coming up with hardware that fits the limitations. Device drivers? I'm having trouble coming up with one that doesn't come from Apple directly. Even specialty/media hardware tends to either be class compliant or properly autodiscovered, and typically the super-specialty hardware (like MRI machines or factory floor operations equipment) tends to be PC specific.

And then those apps are sandboxed - they do not have full access to the filesystem. So this excludes a whole bunch of utilities.

Okay, so WinDirStat and XYplorer and Defraggler are out...

Finally, Gatekeeper only pops up the message when a app is copied from "untrusted" sources. What's untrusted? Stuff downloaded from the internet. Not stuff obtained from USB sticks or optical media, or even... the compiler.

Apple doesn't sell machines with optical drives anymore, and very few pieces of software made it to flash drive distribution. Basically everything is download now, so Gatekeeper is going to apply to like 99% of software installed that isn't from the MAS. The compiler makes sense, because it's the same user account doing the compiling as is approving the message from Gatekeeper...and again, applies to developers and basically nobody else.

And the Mac App Store has a $1000 limit on pricing.

That's where IAPs come into play. The kitchen sink edition of the Waves plug-ins costs about $7,000, but one at a time they're like $800. People regularly spend more than $1,000 on phone apps; desktop app devs aren't going to let something like that slow them down.

And there's the few developers who will never be on there - Adobe and Microsoft, in particular.

So as long as people want to use Photoshop, Office on Mac, keeps it open.

This is probably the best case made. Part of me is thinking that Apple and Microsoft can absolutely come to some sort of arrangement, and that while Adobe may largely be in the same boat, they've managed to figure out how to make annual releases of Photoshop Elements a thing for a decade beyond its feature-completeness. Serif has got a bullseye on Photoshop with their $40 Affinity Photo, and Apple's gutting of the 'pro' versions of their products to be on par with midrange PCs makes me wonder how much they care about pissing off pro photographers.

As long as AutoCAD costs more than $1000, it will be open. (AutoCAD LE, though, is sold through the Mac App Store. Autodesk has said they make more per copy of AutoCAD LE than through their resellers).

AutoCAD is far from an OSX staple. it spent about 30 years being PC-only prior to its release on the Mac in 2011, and only a very small number of the very expensive Mac Pros have Firepro or Quadro cards to take advantage of the rendering capabilities beyond the LE version.

As long as people want to connect oddball music devices or other device to the Mac requiring a device driver, it will have to be open.

Oddball music devices = CoreAudio Class Compliant or MIDI. I haven't seen a Presonus/Tascam/Focusrite/Rane/Pioneer device that required a device driver install for a Mac in over a decade. Virtually every printer I've installed in the last five years has had its driver auto-downloaded and auto-installed; even Windows 10 does this almost perfectly now.

As long as people want to use utilities like disk management, disk repair, etc, will keep it open.

Are there any besides Disk Utility that matter? Even the Microcenter shelves don't seem to have them. I'm not saying they don't exist, but I am saying that Raxco does not have the clout to avoid having Apple say "too bad, so sad".

And yes, the compiler is trusted. So even in the worst case, it would result in macOS being the first commercial OS that supports open-source over closed source applications. (Take that, RMS).

Well, you may be right - they won't *truly* close it, they'll just close it to other companies that want to distribute closed source software independent of the App Store. You can always get VLC that way, but that's not nearly the same as the present system as it currently stands. Remember, we're dealing with a company who is perfectly fine telling people with $300 Beats headphones "use an adapter".

The only thing non-Mac App Store apps cannot do is access iCloud...

That's not a bug, it's a feature. MAS apps can access iCloud, store data in iCloud, and have their own slice of data in iCloud. Users pay for 1TB of cloud storage, and all their data syncs along with their apps. "Meet your new Macbook. Same as your old Macbook." This is a selling point.

Hell, even iOS is not bound by the walled garden - open source applications can be loaded on any modern iOS device via a Mac without approval from Apple or paying $99. XCode can compile and use a sefl-signed certificate for iOS apps. Sure you have to reload them every 30 days or so, but it's an era of openness that hasn't been seen before.

So, to install an OSS application on my iPhone, I need to:
-own a Mac.
-generate a certificate.
-compile the code.
-load the app.
-rinse and repeat monthly.

That is one HELL of a definition of 'open'. It is basically every possible roadblock aside from actually-disallowing compiling. Android has a thousand things that piss me off, but it's about 90% as practical and convenient to get apps from F-Droid or AppBrain or Amazon as it is from Google. Downloading APKs from the internet are almost as simple (dumb, but simple). Apple provides no such analogue.

Apple may be moving slowly along the trajectory, but their trajectory and momentum is toward closing things, not opening things.

Comment Re:Stop calling them apps! (Score 2) 65

Macs have never had a "Walled Garden" approach. The vast majority of Mac software is still sold independently of the Mac App Store.

For now.

First, the Mac App Store was opt-in.
Then, it was opt-out.
Then, it prompted when applications were run if they weren't installed from the App Store.
Then it required admin access to allow sideloaded applications.

It's abundantly clear that Apple is using the winning formula from iOS and applying it to OSX. Slowly, of course, but mark my words: within the next release or two of OSX, you'll see at least a few of these:
-require a terminal command to enable sideloaded apps,
-prompt every time a sideloaded app is run without the ability to suppress it.
-require a third party patch of some kind.
-require some sort of jailbreaking procedure.
-threat of voided warranty if sideloaded apps are found.

OSX isn't a walled garden yet...but Tim Cook is absolutely building a wall. And his customers are paying for it.

Comment Is this even a need? (Score 1) 216

So, I'm thinking this through a bit further, and I'm wondering whether encrypted e-mail still makes sense...

How many people actually-communicate via e-mail anymore? Yes, e-mail is still necessary as it's a de facto identification method - virtually every sign-up form uses e-mail addresses in this manner, but it's highly irregular that I send an e-mail to another human after I leave work. Most of that communication takes place via Facebook (known insecure) or WhatsApp/Viber/Kik/Line/BBM/SMS, and most of that communication needn't be terribly secure - for most people, "I have nothing to hide" is a valid reason to not care that Facebook reads their messages.

But what about people who do care? Well, there's Telegram, there's Retroshare, and there's self-hosted RocketChat, offering different levels of security and functionality depending on the particular use case required. Sure, it requires agreement of protocol, but most of the go-to use cases would have defined endpoints that could agree on a secure messaging method beforehand, whereby these tools would make sense.

Now, let's get back to the "after work" qualifier. During work, yes, e-mail is still the way businesses communicate with each other. They don't need security from government actors, they need security largely for compliance purposes and liability. Letting Barracuda or Microsoft deal with the secure transmission is just fine, because most businesses would hand over records to government actors if asked anyway, so as long as their insurance company says "good enough for us", that's typically all that matters.

So, given the fact that virtually every use case is covered already, why is encrypted e-mail a problem worth solving? When it's not that serious, e-mail is fine. When it is that serious, it's not like there is still a lack of things like Retroshare that can provide the needed security. That covers basically everything, doesn't it?

Comment Re:Has slashdot been taken over by the poor? (Score 1) 172

It's not a matter of people being angry over a matter of $20 a month to get superior service. Here are some of the more rational issues...

1.) Instead of throttling once a data cap has been reached, Verizon does overage charges...except they changed that recently, but you have to ask for it...
2.) Verizon requires locked bootloaders to sell phones through their retail locations, and are the only provider with this requirement.
3.) Verizon is the slowest to provide updates to Android phones.
4.) Verizon installs more bloatware than any other carrier.
5.) Verizon heralds "moar speed!!11" while still having some of the most stringent data caps in the industry (XLTE, I'm looking at you...).
6.) On a number of devices, they indicate that they are SIM unlocked while also disabling the ability to manually add APNs.

Now, you're right, that in the middle of west bumblef'k, you'll have better luck with Verizon than T-Mobile when it comes to getting a signal. For those who live in those areas or travel there regularly, Verizon absolutely makes more sense for the reasons you specify. In my most commonly traveled 50 mile radius, however, T-Mobile actually has better coverage (I have both), and I've consistently seen better speeds and lower latency from T-Mo than Verizon. Thus, in my case, and in the case of about two million people who live in that 50-mile radius, Verizon isn't just more money, it's more money for inferior service.

Verizon has definitely improved from the days when they'd intentionally disable Bluetooth profiles and custom ringtones, and had terrible data speeds because they used CDMA. If you recall correctly, they did everything they could to weasel unlimited data customers out of their contracts, including making it so those plans died with the handset they were used on, even if they got the same handset through an Asurion replacement.

As an aside, T-Mobile has consistently been the most root/mod friendly carriers available, always willing to provide support even for rooted or modded phones.

Hopefully that explains a bit more as to why Verizon doesn't have much love.

Comment Re:but but but (Score 1) 557

Seriously, anyone using animation in a presentation is a disaster himself.

Found the Slashdotter who lacks imagination. Yes, the formula in the boardroom is basically that quantity of animations are inversely proportional to useful information. However, Powerpoint is used beyond the boardroom. My mother is a children's librarian. She does all kinds of things with animations and layers and her monthly story times are amongst the most well attended in the district. On the other hand, Steve Jobs used the "slam in and make dust/smoke" effect on a number of his annual product release presentations (yes, he was probably using Keynote, not the point). The "Animations" area is also used to manipulate timing and audio playback - even if you're not using "Fly from Right", a slide transitioning in, playing audio clips in succession, and transitioning out, is all done as an animation. Finally, if moving an object on a screen along a multipoint bezier curve is acceptable in After Effects or Motion, but not Powerpoint, that's simply shortsighted.

99% of presenters I've seen use Powerpoint, use it badly. We're taught how to make Powerpoint documents rather than how to visually reinforce presentations, so the latter skill is rare indeed...but bad Powerpoints don't make Powerpoint a bad tool any more than bad Python code makes Eclipse a bad IDE.

Comment Is it possible... (Score 2) 557

Obviously, the go-to assumption is that there was a deal made on a golf course somewhere. It's entirely possible - probable, even...but let's take a moment to suspend the "crucify Microsoft" direction and consider a possible alternative...

Libreoffice is a solid product. I do not mind it one bit; in some cases I even prefer it to MS Office. Munich probably did save a bundle in licensing costs for Office. However, that's not the whole story. Integration with Office can frequently be a mission-critical requirement. There's a whole lot of reporting software, calculation software, CRM software, and document management software that integrates with Office. These vendors do not typically include integrations for LibreOffice, which means there are two options:

1. use products that work with LibreOffice.
2. roll your own.

Option 1 is a bit of a quagmire because it's not like they were moving to a computerized system from filing cabinets and typewriters, so it's not like they could just start with "linux/LO compatibility required" as a bidding condition. If they did, it probably would have been better for OSS as a whole, but alas, there is data residing in incumbent systems which need to be considered. Thus, we land at option #2.

How many programmers would be required to make a LibreOffice/LogicalDoc rollout roughly comparable to MSO/Sharepoint, move all the data over, access the same set of databases and workflows, etc., and do it in a timeframe that doesn't bring the city to a halt? Well, that needs to be compared to the cost of just using MSO, and do so favorably...but let's say that it did, and we ignore the user training side of things. What about the server side of things? Were they still using Windows Server and Active Directory, or migrate all that over to LDAP? Same with Exchange and Dovecot? MS SQL and Postgres? It's a bundle of money, but moving everything over, everywhere, ever, is almost as challenging as getting Linux desktops to work flawlessly with a Microsoft backend.

Now, let's head back to the golf course. Who called the meeting? If it was Microsoft, that's a good thing. Do you really think that Microsoft will be able to convince the city to migrate back without giving them one hell of a good price on it? If MS wants the contract back, you know they're taking pennies on the dollar for it.

If the takeaway of this exercise is that Microsoft is giving the city of Munich a software contract at 70% off for the next decade and that the OSS community ends up with a to-do list of functions that were considered shortcomings, then it sounds like some good ultimately came out of it. If it really was an offer they couldn't refuse, then by all means, crucify them.

Comment Re:Web page designers (Score 1) 325

If I might make a suggestion, if you have an old(ish) desktop and a spare NIC around, check out Untangle. It's a router distribution, and their $5/month home license will likely be super helpful to you. Its web filter can be configured to nix virtually all advertising, and its transparent web caching features can help minimize downloads for content that is requested repeatedly. You can also have a custom set of blocked domains if you'd like, and all the rules apply to all the devices in your home, even if they update or modify hosts files or whatever. You can also look at reports that will tell you what the biggest offenders are, so you can manage accordingly.

With respect to the Win10 hosts file situation, the 'gotcha' is that the inability to edit hosts files is a function of Windows Defender (which, to be fair, there were a number of malware strains that were redirecting Google and Bing to malware servers). Disable Defender and you're probably fine, but it's probably worth installing a third party antivirus instead - NOD32 is my weapon of choice, personally.

Comment Re:Plea for simplification: static HTML (Score 1) 119

It is absurd how much computing power is wasted on dynamically generating what is effectively static content, like blogs.
A simple blog should not require an SQL database and complex software stacks that are executed whenever someone visits the site.

I absolutely agree with this...in theory.

Instead, consider using a static website generator like Pelican, or one of the many alternatives.

Okay, let's do that. Hrmm...not in Softaculous, or the other one-click install options at Godaddy or Hostgator. That's annoying, but it's only one time, so let's check the website...Hrmmm...no 'download' area from the front page...documentation I guess? Great! They have an install instructions area! ...that is full of CLI installation commands and doesn't provide a download link at all for shared hosting environments. Also, while PHP support is near-universal on shared hosting, is Python? Well, we'll assume for a minute that it is and go from there.
Okay, let's head over to the section about installing themes...oh look! *more* CLI stuff! Yes, Pelican assumes that users want to use a CLI to decide how their website appears. When I did look at their themes area, I saw a Github listing. Github. No screenshots, no galleries. A list of files and folders.
Now, writing a blog post should be simple, right? Oh...there's a markdown language I have to use, a series of inline commands for formatting and links and content embedding requires a specific file system? Wait...this was addressed in your statement earlier...

Write articles and blog posts in a simple, human-readable markup language such as Markdown or ReStructuredText.
Manage your documents in git. Run the generator to recreate the HTML and update Atom/RSS feeds.
The resulting website is blazing fast and can be hosted on dirt cheap servers.

More simplicity on the Internet please.

I am pretty sure that you have a different concept of "simple" than 99.9999% of bloggers out there. From a technical level and the amount of data ultimately transferred, no question whatsoever. For someone who can run circles around you with respect to gardening or keeping bees or fashion or a thousand other topics that don't involve software development, the usage here is the absolute furthest thing from "simple". Articles and blog posts are written in English, or whatever the native tongue of the author is. People writing blogs are writing down thoughts and observations for humans, by humans, using languages that facilitate communications between humans. Only on Slashdot does that need to be specified.

Let's compare this with the Wordpress experience:

Wordpress: One-click installation from basically every major shared web hosting provider on the market. Once installed, enter the username and password to the backend. Click 'themes', then 'get themes'. Browse around for hours, finding one that looks the prettiest. Customize it using point-and-click options that are reflected instantly. Many themes automatically handle mobile layouts with zero user intervention. Depending on needs, add a few helpful plug-ins. Don't know what to get? Ask Aunt Google, and there will be no shortage of recommendations! Want to write a blog post? Click add-> post, and you've got a simple-to-use box to type in that automatically saves drafts, looks and works pretty similar to Microsoft Word, has a list of categories on the right for easy filing, and a big "publish" button for when you're done. Did I mention there's a mobile app for real-time posting or that Pelican doesn't seem to have a comments section at all, or that literally everything I've described here has required ZERO command line usage or PHP coding and are all stock functions with zero plugins or extensions required?

Slashdot can piss on Wordpress all it wants, and yes, security/hardening plugins are the first thing that should be installed due to the state Wordpress is in. However, very few people who use Wordpress care that it's a database backend when it shouldn't need one, they care that it's incredibly simple to do what they came to do - write a blog post about how to blend makeup to make that perfect smoky eye look without a single technical hurdle to doing so. When Pelican, or some other browser-based static website generator can provide that experience, that is when there might be change.

Comment Re:WP auto-patching should have mitigated this bet (Score 1) 119

In my experience, the answer is "custom code and plugins". If you're running a bog standard Wordpress install with Akismet, FormNinja, Gallery, and a handful of the other top-20 plugins, auto-update is just fine and won't bother you at all. If you have a lot of custom layout code, or specialized plugins that are mission critical but not regularly updated, updating Wordpress can break them, thus breaking the website. Yes, it's stupid. Yes, this situation should not be the case. However, you asked thy people don't enable auto-update. That would, in fact, be why.

As an aside, shameless plug for the super awesome Shield Plugin. It's free, and when properly configured, can prevent nearly all of the major forms of automated attack. I've also used iQ Block Country to nix traffic from most of the usual purveyors of such attacks. Not a dev or an investor, just a super happy user of both.

Now, to go one further, Slashdot seems to be back-and-forth regarding mandatory auto-updating. Wordpress has a flaw, and the response is, "why isn't auto-update just how the thing works?". Microsoft implements this with Windows 10, and the response is, "How dare they tell me when I have to update!". Which is it?

Comment Re: So.... (Score 2) 171

That would make sense if they were were doing something positive, just not what Microsoft wanted. There weren't a whole lot of user facing hardware innovations, just a race to the cheapest clamshell available, an initial boot time of four minutes or so, and half a dozen pop-ups on the first start from all the shovelware vendors, trying to meet the $300, $400, $650 price points. HP was busy photocopying MacBook Pro stylings with terrible heat dissipation and abhorrent touchpads, Dell was flirting with Android and the tablet market but couldn't commit, Acer was making their usual plastic, Asus was half decent if you were super careful about your DC jack, and Lenovo was going through that phase where they tried selling Acer-grade laptops with ThinkPad logos, with the sole exception of the dual-monitor W700 series that was epic if you could carry the 10-pound workstation after paying its $4,000+ price tag.
The major PC vendors were busy cutting corners while Apple was making hardware people actually wanted...so yes, MS tried something different and soon after, the PC market started to rally.

Comment Re: There was no decline (Score 1) 51

I half agree, and I half don't. The 30% CPU speed increases were far more noticeable in the late 90's and early 2000s, but I think you'd be comfortably within the second standard deviation of users who would be able to meaningfully distinguish between 4x2.5ghz cores and 16x3.5ghz cores. Hardware used to matter more then, in no small part because the things that mattered were all local. I remember the days of checking out software on CD-ROM from the library, and a mindset where "logging into the internet" was done for AIM and email/nntp sync, but little else. Today, a laptop without Wi-Fi is basically considered a typewriter.
Now, I'm right there with you in wanting ever-faster computers, but Slashdot is a self-selecting group in terms of that sort of thing being valued. For most people, desktops resemble toaster ovens. They have one in the house, some people use it more than others, they're better at certain tasks than the far-more-convenient microwave, and they're basically mature technology where the primary reason for replacement is breakage.

I think there's less of a push for traditional computing because the functions simply aren't there anymore. Games, media production, and IDEs are basically the hardware-demanding desktop tasks, and simplistic iterations of those tasks can be done on an iPad. Tripling CPU power would be great for Steam games, but users who are satisfied with Candy Crush are not going to be looking for a new desktop to do it, even though Microsoft has shoehorned it into Windows 10.

Comment Re:For comparison (Score 3, Interesting) 210

I'm unfortunately in the same boat, but I think it does also depend on what you're looking for. I'd wager that if a lot of people had their default search engine changed to DDG, they'd probably fine. Let's be real, "facebook" and "facebook.com" are very common searches because most people have forgotten the distinction between a search bar and an address bar, so typing URLs in a Google/MSN search is probably a solid third of their traffic. DDG would probably be just fine for this sort of thing; people sure didn't notice when their default search got changed to Trivoli or the dozen other browser hijackers that were making their rounds a few years ago.

Where DDG comes up very short, however, is in more specialized searches. If you're looking for a code snippet or an outdated version of some app or something more specific and technical, DDG is a crapshoot at best and useless at worst. I mean, I can't really blame them - Bing is still inferior at this point and they have thrown Microsoft quantities of money at the problem. Search is hard - there was a decade prior to Google where Altavista and Lycos were doing their best with plenty of money and lots of talent, and they were still beaten by Google.

Ironically, DDG might get better relative to Google because Google results have continued their downward spiral toward the lowest common denominator. Just yesterday, I was trying to find out if anyone else with my particular TV was able to get the Android app "AnyRemote" to send the right IR code. I went to Google to search the model number with 'anyremote', and Google seemed to thoroughly ignore the existence of 'anyremote' in my search query, instead showing me physical remote controls, even when I put anyremote in quotes.

If Google continues this behavior, it's only a matter of time before they end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, giving DDG inroads to increase their market share. The ultimate question is, however, whether the revenue they get while retaining their staunch privacy directives is enough to keep them profitable, or if they will have to compromise their privacy policy, be bought out by someone who does not share their values, or make some other rough choices to keep themselves afloat.

Comment Re:I thought state and religion were separate in U (Score 1) 1560

It is quite ridiculous. It seems that despite political correctness advancements, it would still be impossible for an atheist (that is, anyone who is not terminally insane yapping about jebus and imaginary sky fairies) to become president in the USA.

With this attitude, you're probably right. Yes, I'm one of the handful of Christians that frequent Slashdot; there are indeed a handful of us. If you don't share the same set of beliefs as I do, that is absolutely you're right. If you are unhappy that there aren't more atheists in government, I completely understand that (to an extent, I'd even agree). If you're going to be insulting and degrading in the process, then you're going to find sympathy pretty hard to come by.

Lets get this straight, people: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOD!

I disagree. I also know that I cannot empirically prove my stance, and thus cannot and will not fault you from arriving at a different conclusion. Telling me what I should believe, however, is the very behavior your post seems to find unacceptable.

One has to be pretty drooling stupid to believe in that child-molesting garbage

Yes, the Christian/Catholic church has had issues with this in the past, and I do not for a moment defend them. However, molesting children is far from a core tenet of the belief system, and millions upon millions of Christians manage to go through life, pursuing their faith, and are successful in doing so without molesting children. Moreover, a spiritual belief system need not be a direct reflection upon intelligence. A successful heart surgeon who has gotten a Ph.D. is, in all likelihood, a pretty intelligent person. If they also happen to believe in Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, or an faith derived from a tribe of Indigenous Americans, that doesn't mean they aren't intelligent or that I wouldn't let them operate on me if I needed open heart surgery, only that they do not share my faith.

yet in front of the people who are supposed to be running this country they have these retarded blathering idiots going on about their magic sky daddies and friends.

1. So don't watch it? Or DVR it and fast forward the religious leaders?
2. For what it's worth, I'm of the persuasion that this is far more a matter of pandering than an intent to set the course for the country. If the majority of people who voted for the winner were another group, there probably would have been people pandering to them instead.

It is one thing to make a president swear on some 2000 year old book of BS because tradition. But there no excuse for the rest. None at all.

See above.

As an atheist it reminds me that I am not represented and that people would still be happy to come at me with their torches and pitchforks.

Has anybody threatened your life on the sole basis of your faith? If not, are you honestly of the persuasion that the only reason people have not done so is because it's illegal? There's some credibility to the point that there are few (if any) atheists in Congress, but would you vote for somebody on the sole basis that they share your views regarding God (or a lack thereof), even if your views were opposite on foreign policy, NSA wiretapping, gun legslation, health care, economic changes, the educational system, and other things that they would actually be responsible to address and legislate?

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