268 posts • joined 15 Jan 2008
Re: Do I care enough to comment???
I'll tell you what, Sparky ... whilst us Americans try to deal with the political upheaval and constitutional upsets here at home, why don't we just leave all that pesky Middle East / Ukraine / ISIS terrorist business to you Brits & Europeans to handle, hmmm ? Care to step up to the plate and take a swing at it?
I'd think we could better use our resources and wealth here at home solving some serious domestic problems, and let you folks take on the role of defending yourselves from the bad actors. Why don't you start with Putin and his westward creep into your neighborhood? Or maybe you can put a few hundred thousand of your own into Syria and Iraq to stem the tide of black-flagged decapitators? I'm getting just a little sad at the price we're payin', and more than a little pissed at you slingin' yer bullshit at us. Alright?
But actually, I'd bet that if we pulled all of our US people out, and closed all the US bases, and pulled ourselves out of NATO and left it to you to man up and pay for, you'd shit a gold brick faster than your pols could scream, "Please, think of the impact on our economy!"
Damned if ye do; damned if ye don't
It's with decidedly mixed feelings that an American considers this bill and its defeat. About the closest analogy one can make is to compare it to a bill regulating wife beating. Everyone abhores wife beating, but it's come to be accepted as inevitable in certain social strata, so hence the need for rules for permissable beatings, and rules to punish those actions that cross the line.
Of course, that ignores the original posit that wife beating was never legal, a restraint that over time has been weakened by the reality that only rarely is wife beating lethal to the victim and constant calls to the police have been an expensive inconvenience to the government. Thus a certain compromise of principle has resulted.
If this analogy is a bit too obtuse, consider that the US Patriot Act authorized general warrants, which are patently unconstitutional (as wife-beating is clearly unlawful) but over time since 9-11 we have come to accept as inevitable that certain less egregious constitutional violations have proven convenient for government purposes. Now, however, it's feared by some that unchecked violations are proving lethal to democratic governance (as unrestricted wife-beating is lethal to the wife) and we're being asked to regulate the situation.
Problem is, once we decide to regulate it, we would also legitimize and authorize it ... both the hypothetical wife-beating, and the all-too-real unconstitutional post 9-11 surveillance practices.
It's a pity these issues require complex analysis. Politicians and despots love simplifying such questions for the benefit of the masses.
Re: ALL YOUR XP BELONG US?
You are a sheep running
XP Windows OS and the shepherd is walking towards you wearing gum boots ... are you nervous yet?
Fixed that ... not only XP has the slippery zipper and a lusty glint in its eye! Flee, ya woollies, flee!
Pot <==> Kettle = Black
Only the #@#$%!! FCC
Yeh, right! My grandson is in his third year of High School in one of the larger cities here on the US left coast. The school has the internet/wifi totally locked down, lest the little miscreants do something unauthorized. He carries his laptop to school for notes & homework, but can't get onto the 'net ... student access is not allowed.
As for grandiose FCC plans for hi-speed net to schools and libraries, that means all the rural areas in the US will continue to be screwed, as the cable & telco monopolies have no desire or requirement to spend $$ in low customer-density areas.
It's patently obvious. Rather than placing internet service under public utility rules, thus requiring the monopolies to extend universal coverage, the FCC opts to increase the tax on the users. This reinforces wealth redistribution in America, flowing from bottom to top.
FCC: the brilliant folks who took one of the most reactive and unstable globe-hopping short wave frequency bands (11 meters/27 Mhz) in the communications spectrum to create Citizens Band (CB) radio service. Anyone familiar with shortwave radio knows how well that worked out (not). I expect this new internet extension plan will achieve equally sterling results.
Re: no friends with any computer literacy ?
There are usually any number of good people willing to help with computer problems for elderly neighbors and friends ... but that's just the barest surface of the problem. First thing comes to mind, how about internet access? Here in the US, that is a major expense, easily costing $90/month for broadband. And in a great many rural areas broadband access is not available except as a poor compromise with satellite beaming ... more expensive, slower, and problematic.
Unless ... is your Gov there in Blighty dishing out free broadband for the elderly/poor citizens?
Not much of a mystery, really. Here in the US the situation is pretty much the same: overcrowded library computer access; restrictive software, limited hours; travel distance; etc. Plus there's a rather shameless tactic: the closing of smaller rural offices and facilities in favor of consolidation into large urban centers. With an almost total lack of public transportation between rural towns and large cities, the "clients" must either drive or be driven, and have money for gas/meals/lodging.
It's all very convenient in the name of "efficiency" for the state & federal government, but in truth it's a thinly disguised means of restricting access to qualify for benefits. That, plus the multi-page application form issued with instructions to return it "another day," and of course, there are errors found, again with instruction to return "another day," and so on. The miracle of the internet is simply that this game of delay and evasion now happens at light speed.
They just do a two-fer
Yeh, they're all 32-bit, but that don't stop 'em. One of them 32-bit virii just waits around for two 16-bit machines, splits, and nails 'em both. With Windows, anything is possible!
Forgive me for stating the obvious, but since this was the point:
To paraphrase: You wouldn't stop someone from giving away a book they no longer want. So what makes them think that's acceptable just because its an ebook?
It's not so easy to run off one or a hundred or a thousand copies of a printed book. That's not the case with an eBook file. Not to excuse the paranoia of the publisher, but it is a bit nerve-wracking to consider that the value of an $8.95 eBook can be diluted with a flood of free copies made from one sale.
The T-Mobile shop were pretty lenient in this case ... they didn't demand proof that the ashes weren't somebody else ... ! (Presumably they thought the death certificate to be a forgery.)
As for corporate apologies ... that's right in line with a politician's saying "so sorry" after being caught out. Both are equivalent to a crocodile's tears.
Re: Kiss your files goodbye
Perhaps many users do not subscribe to the "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" school of thought, and sensibly prefer to know when their personal information device is 'phoning home' to Mother.
Re: TPP is Customer Abuse On A Global Scale
As a point of reference (only one of many) the Blessed 1% reaped 95% of the gains during the last three years' economic recovery in the US. Captive politicians quietly endorse the Trans-Pac Partnership on behalf of their overlords. It's not unreasonable to think that any move to withdraw from the TPP would quickly be crushed. Disregard the golden rule* at your peril.
The peasants object? How droll ...
Re: You know, I'm not against using an F-18 to kill an ISIS messenger on a moped....
I had earlier written: And it is further reported that a flight of US carrier-based F18's destroyed an ISIS courier on a moped, and heavily damaged an abandoned van at a desert crossing checkpoint.
I suppose there should be an icon for irony/tongue-in-cheek. Yeh, using a $50M warplane (an outrageously cheap model compared to the F-35) and a $50K munition to obliterate a courier on a moped ... doesn't it seem the cost/benefit ratio here is a bit askew?
Three points to make (which was in mind at the time): 1) the US is allocating $Billions for anti-ISIS air strikes; 2) authoritative military pundits say this tactic is about as affective in stopping ISIS as is clearing the swamp of mosquitoes with a fly-swatter; 3) America's industrial-military complex is forecasting ever-soaring profits for the next decade; which profits might be even higher if only they could devise a means to out-source weapons production to China.
Too soon too old, too many old memories ...
And it is further reported that a flight of US carrier-based F18's destroyed an ISIS courier on a moped, and heavily damaged an abandoned van at a desert crossing checkpoint.
<sigh> I do so miss the days of daily North Vietnamese body counts. We were so refreshingly naive and gullible back then. Meanwhile, sending another 1,500 US troops to Iraq as "advisors and trainers" ... is there a vague hint of deja vu in the air ... ?
of the simple Hollywood proof that despite mind-blowing special effects and explosive action, mindless scripts and senseless plots can defeat any screen production.
There was one report of a hobbyist kite flyer getting wound up ...
Like an alcoholic ...
... more bad booze, another hangover. Oh, wait ... we've got XP. We'll pass this round, bartender.
America's reaffirmed Republican paradigm
God has blessed our noble overlords with endless wealth. Screw the undeserving poor.
Put a cold nose up HIS arse!
the GCHQ boss told FT that internet users would welcome a little surveillance
Right. A little surveillance. Bucko, that's about as welcome as his cold nose peering up my arse while I'm bonking the missus. What the hell are you Brits feedin' yer ruling class bureaucrats to make 'em so ridiculously paranoid and fearful? Their nannies was floggin' their little gizmos with every diaper change?
Re: So my upgrade path is gonna be...
AmigaOS 3.9 > Windows XP > Windows 7 >
Windows 14? Linux
Backup? We don't need no steenkin' backup!
Detective Emil said: “The US Coast Guard is busy decommissioning the existing eLoran infrastructure.
Wrong. The USCG spent millions refurbishing key parts of the old LORAN system, and tested the proposed replacement eLORAN system. Congress, in its infinite "eat the seed corn" wisdom, ordered the LORAN system decommissioned, thereby wasting the LORAN millions already spent. The US never implemented an eLORAN network. Europe has decided for reasons of marine safety at sea to implement the eLORAN technology. The US did not.
Why, you say? Well ... a $15 piece of jamming kit can bring down the GPS coverage in a wide area; being mobile, the jammers can easily evade tracking. One should recall that GPS satellite signals are extremely hi-frequency/low power and ridiculously easy to jam.
The new eLORAN system is extremely low frequency/high power, and near-impossible to jam. Accuracy of the system for marine navigation is quite good, approaching GPS standards.
The US has bet that we are impregnable from attack by nasty system jammers; Europe is not quite so confident and is investing in redundancy. 'Nuff said.
Coastwise navigation is infinitely safer with electronic positioning systems; those who think the sextant is sufficient should try getting a position during a storm on a small craft. The best backup for an electrical system or GPS equipment failure is a handheld GPS with fresh batteries. Problem solved. Redundancy is easy. Arguments to the contrary are the realm of armchair admirals.
Re: Bring back Tungsten filaments...
Ayup ... and they doubled so nicely for what you Brits call an electric fire ... right? T'is hard to warm one's hands over an LED lamp on a cold, blustery night.
Ayup ... an upvote for if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Re: And sharp, pointy implements, too!
they are easily available.
Ayup ... my point exactly. And too easily concealed. Unless it's a full-size machete, of course, which requires a long coat or baggy trousers to conceal, which makes sitting down on public transport a bit dicey. And now we've got the advent of the hatchet as a terrorist weapon of choice, as evidenced by the attack on four New York City policemen by a nutter who ran them down on a sidewalk in plain daylight.
It may be a bit premature to call for locked home kitchen and workshop drawers, but what would you like to bet that there'll soon be a call for metal detectors at all public corners and spaces, soon to be followed by body scanners similar to airport machines, when it occurs to some bureaucrat that ceramic knives are widely available on the open market.
Humo[u]r, yes, but there is no such thing as humor in the opportunistic security services industry and the political arena.
Speaking of hysteria, the State of New York has embarrassed the US by forcibly detaining and quarantining a nurse returned from caring for ebola victims; two days later the US president prevailed on the state's Governor to lighten up and get rational. Meanwhile, Gov. Fatboy Christie of New Jersey is pandering to the electorate by insisting that he'll not yield to science or medical opinion: in the interest of public hysteria, every suspect health worker will be detained under arrest orders if they refuse the mandatory interception and quarantine at any New Jersey airport.
Hysteria rules. Hide yer knives and hatchets, and don't volunteer for medical service in a plague country. (And never, ever, unlock your gun case.)
And sharp, pointy implements, too!
Firearms are only one small cog in the terrorist threat machine. As IS/ISIS/ISIL (pick one) has demonstrated, it is far more terrorizing to hack off a head than to put a bullet through it. Therefore, responsible authority must prevent terrorist access to sharp and pointy weapons.
Home inspection officers will therefore enforce compliance by issuing hasps and padlocks to secure kitchen and workshop drawers containing knives, scissors, and other cutting-edge implements. Subsequent random inspections will ensure compliance; unsecured items will result in cautions and citations.
Truly inspiring ...
"These kinds of egregious wage and law violations go on every day."
Ayup ... it is precisely that spirit of entrepreneurship, free-wheeling capitalism, and diligent enforcement of labor practices, that make America the world's greatest economic powerhouse. Nothing spells success like success!
Europe: firewall your data
"We want to be able to tell our customers with certainty that proper legal procedures will be followed in the event of any authority wanting access to their data."
Not likely to happen. The War on Terror US national security paranoia is exponentially inflamed by ISIS global recruiting and their recent call for random attacks everywhere. The Canadian Parliament attack will further justify ramped-up US covert digital surveillance actions, with new support from the Republican right-wing wingnuts when they gain total control of Congress in this November's elections.
No big surprise here ...
If there is any group in America that does not want anyone peeking into their email or cellphone messages, it is our esteemed Members of Congress and their contributors!
Follow the leader ...
... said in its official opinion that, in practice, this suspicion would be based on secret notes from intelligence services that people would not be able to challenge.
Yeh, old news. The US established this "practice" right after 9/11/01. It's just taken the French a few years to catch up.
Apple gave us Hypercard ...
and all these years later Microsoft, in a revolutionary reinvention of personal expression gives us ...
What a revealing comparison.
Re: I don't think I want to play with the Americans any more.
It's been that way ever since the rag-tag Colonials hid in the trees and sniped at the marching ranks of Redcoats. "Not a gentlemanly way to conduct a war" their officers complained.
it has been reported that in 2009 the US gave $486 Million worth of cargo aircraft ( a total of 16 C-27 cargo haulers) to the Afghanistan government. These planes were purchased from Italy and refurbished at US expense by a military contractor.
This year the Afghanistan government demolished all 16 aircraft, shredded them, and sold them for scrap metal priced at $0.06 per pound. Total recovery? $32,000. That is a conversion of $486,000,000 ==> $32,000. That works out to a loss of 99.993%. The problem? At the time of the "gift" to Afghanistan, they had no spare parts, no maintenance capabilities, and no pilots trained to fly the C-27s. The planes spent the entire time parked in the runway weeds until they were finally scrapped. None was ever flown in service by the Afghans.
How many four-year university scholarships could be awarded to US students seeking science degrees, if $486 million were made available for the program?
Hell, I'd even take the $32,000 the Afghan government got for the scrap metal. That would put one student through a full year, and pay board & room besides. Maybe the kid would go on to help cure cancer.
Sad. Don't look to the US for any form of leadership anytime soon. We're done for.
It would make far more sense if the political and educational leaders in the USofA would pull their heads out of their collective asses ... and take a look around at the huge financial roadblock to higher education here.
Thanks to the sweetheart "good ol' boy" arrangements between the banks and Congress, student loan debt in America now exceeds $1 Trillion dollars and is increasing at a rapid rate. It is so huge, it is now acknowledged as contributing to a lame economic recovery that is largely based on hopes of a consumer upsurge. Graduates are carrying too much crushing, high-interest student loan debt, and are pushed to take the highest-paying job they can find. That probably won't be in a science or research field.
Increasingly, bright young people are being shut out of higher education, as right-wing "conservative" politics slash scholarship and student aid budgets. And middle-class families, who have seen their earning erode for the last three decades, can hardly afford student tuition increases that have soared well above acknowledged inflation rates. IE, a year's tuition and fees at my state's premiere public university, the University of Washington, is now at $28,000 per year. (A typical textbook is now $300 or $400 for a science book.)
My 16-year-old grandson is a 3.8 GPA high school student, taking Advanced Placement classes in his junior year (3rd year), and he is extremely active in computer and ROTC activities. He's completely locked out of any possibility of becoming a biological scientist, which is his wish, given his family income and soaring university costs, and the current lack of sufficient student aid. The best hope is a US Military scholarship which the US Defense Department funds for a total of about $1 Billion per year. BUT ... of the 25,000 students who apply every year, only 4,000 will be chosen ... and the criteria is not based on need. If successful, the scholarship requires a commitment of 8 years military service.
In short, IMHO, America has decided to outsource its access to brain power. Let other nations invest in science education. We'll reserve our aid dollars for young military officers, and let all the others be indentured servants to the American banking system during their productive lifetimes.
America has been engaged in slashing and burning its infrastructure and social budgets for the last few decades. I call it "eating our seed corn" as a foolish system of government cutbacks.
Re: Instead of COMPLAINING about Microsoft......
The browser wars were over while AOL was still disc bombing your mailbox. IE won, get over it.
I await your downvotes
So MS decides to support IE by dropping all patches for it in Windows XP, which is still in use worldwide on older hardware that cannot support the MS upgrade Juggernaut ... and before fanbois scream that MS is not obligated to support an older OS, how about their obligation to support the IE portion that was current as of a year ago?
Here's a downvote, and a small tube of Vaseline to ease the way ...
Re: Apples and Oranges
I'll be sure to tell my 72-year old wife who is running Linux (SolydXK) on her desktop and laptop pc, that each time an update icon on her screen signals that an update is available, that she must "be a bit savvy" to deal with the "call to arms" patch alert. Because up to this point, she's simply clicked the icon, entered her system password, and let the patches proceed (with no reboot required, ever!)
I s'pose I'm in the same sad situation. I'm running SolydXK linux dual-boot with Windows 7, and I'm the one who set it all up for her. I'm 76, so that's probably why I forgot to advise her about the "savvy" and "call to arms" requirement. But it's been over a year and she's still keepin' on with keepin' on.
And I'm a bit pissed that once again, with Windows 7 and IE, I'll be on the MS Patch Tuesday treadmill yet again with no end in sight. Realizing that there is no way to know how many remaining "undiscovered" holes and flaws exist in the MS system, we (wife & I) restrict our internet activity to our respective Linux installs.
Disrespect our corporate masters?
Not surprising that Nadella should give voice to an American corporate premise: "It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise."
A brazen request for a pay raise is prima facie disrespect towards one's corporate employer and a demonstrable failure of trust in the American corporate system of performance and rewards. In short, such an unwarranted request is a stain upon one's team loyalty. Team success is possible only when all team players adhere to team standards!
Be ashamed and get back to work.
Rules are easily side-stepped
The US has had FIFA* laws on the books for some years now, at the federal, state, and local levels. It has proven exceptionally easy for government officials to evade, obstruct, delay or otherwise frustrate attempts to get access to public documents under the law. Worst offenders in most cases have proven to be US alphabet-letter agencies, where a released document will be totally blacked out under claims of protecting sensitive sources or processes.
So when it is suggested that "[what] is needed ... is a law that ensures the full and transparent disclosure" ... however unlikely it is that such a law could be enacted, it's quite certain that it will be neither obeyed nor enforced. Just like FIFA transparency requirements.
*FIFA = Freedom of Information Act
It's an American mega-corporation ... But, of course, they'll get away with it.
Gittin' a grip on yer privates
Yeh ... well, as I'd said another time, those who stand under the elephant's ass shouldn't expect anything but repeats of the same old shit cascading down on their head. But who would have expected that while the elephant was taking a dump, it would have its trunk in yer pocket, jerkin' on yer private ... ummm, yer private keystrokes!
Re: Post PC
What's the difference between an iPad running Pages and a mac running Pages?
About the same difference as watching the World Championships (name yer favorite field sport here) through a knothole in the fence, or having a mid-field seat along the sidelines. It's a question of screen space and work area.
Put another way, the difference is like trying to build a boat with a Swiss Army knife, as opposed to having a shed full of dedicated tools.
More for less ...
Boss, to employees John and Fred: "John, can you do Fred's job as well as your own?"
John: "Are you crazy? I'm working 70 to 80 hours a week doing my own!"
Boss: "Fred, can you do John's job as well as your own?"
Fred: "It's just possible. I'm also working 70 to 80 hours a week, but I'm free while commuting 20 hours a week. John's stuff can be moved online. It means all my commuting time will be taken up with laptop work, but it could be done."
Boss: "John, you're fired. Fred, you should probably buy a faster laptop."
MicroSoft have proved one thing for sure:
If you continue to stand under an elephant's ass, there's no point expecting what gets dumped on you will be any different than the previous version.
Erosion of trust
Damn, damn, damn. And double-damn-it all to hell, anyway!
Just as the various security agencies have violated trust that they will obey restrictions and rules governing respect for citizens' privacy ... so have the big banks and corporations shown that they cannot be trusted to focus effectively on security, nor do they promptly and openly reveal when massive security violations occur.
Sorry to say, this private household shuns banks (preferring credit unions here in the US); shuns all ATM machines (hidden card scanners); avoids all credit/debit card purchases at stores (hacked POS terminals); and is increasingly going back to carrying cash for all purchases. Sad ... sad, sad, sad ... it looked to be convenient, but in the US at least, trust is gone. Example: US credit card companies are still issuing cards with the flawed magnetic strip. Epic fail.
Okay, now I get it!
If we are carrying a phone or other device containing encrypted content, then obviously we are child predators, or complicit with child predators, or are fellow travelers with child predators.
We've become low-hanging fruit and the FISA system is going for it.
Re: So, Windows 9 is called
I had predicted in another thread that MS would call it "WinOS9" but who knew they'd skip over 9 altogether. So ... WinOSX it is.
Apple has used all the kitty names for their versions, so that leaves what ... canine names? Will it be WinOSX "Poodle" or ... heaven help us, WinOSX "Pit Bull" ?
Laying under the table, licking its balls?
Re: Hypocrites, each and every one of you....
Your statement has been noted and recorded. Ample time to reevaluate the contents of "http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/overview" will be provided you during your readjustment period.
Your statement that "I do not recognize ANY court ruling or law that runs counter to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution..." constitutes a voluntary abrogation of your Fifth Amendment right proscribing self-incrimination, and is a prima facie admission of anti-government attitudes and actions. Sentencing to be indeterminate pending acceptable attitude readjustments.
A marriage made in heaven
Microsoft is not a monopoly; China is not an oppressive power. We eagerly await the fruits of their union!
Re: Lest We Forget.
Think of the likes of Alan Turing.
Ayup ... it's difficult to think of Alan Turing without recalling the rewards a grateful nation heaped upon him.
Care to try another example to make yer point?
US options are far, far simpler ...
Unable to care for that beloved old parent, relative, or sibling at home?
NO PROBLEM! Here in our human-rights-loving American nation of fee-based health care, endorsed and promulgated by the world's richest economy and the globe's most powerful government, we have taken the issue of elder care well in hand, unsurpassed anywhere on the planet!
For the mobile version (catching up with the juggernaut);
WindOS9 for the desktop version (they've always lagged Apple);
and WindShield for the secure version (ignoring all those messy bug splats).
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- 'How a censorious and moralistic blogger ruined my evening'