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* Posts by Fred Fnord

43 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Google vanishes Android apps from citizen phones

Fred Fnord
FAIL

Ah, the libertarian contingent arrives

> ... it's mine. I paid for it. I'll fuck it up any way I want

> to since I do own it. No questions asked, no conference

> calls, no dirty looks just me an my hammer reconfiguring

> my property any way i want. Or installing what software I

> want no matter how it wrecks my property.

Shorter Doug: if I want to host a botnet from the 'privacy' of my own phone, and, say, send out spam emails and SMS messages (or even computerized telemarketing calls!) without my knowing it, I should have every right to do so!

-fred

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Apple's iPad - fat iPhone without the phone

Fred Fnord
FAIL

Do your research

I don't care much about the pad, but this:

"Note, also, that the 3G-equipped iPads will be released a month after the 3Gless models. Was that to give AT&T a bit of a time cushion to beef up its struggling 3G infrastructure?"

...betrays an almost complete lack of awareness of the subject you're covering.

It takes time to get FCC approval for new items. Apple is releasing the non-3g version when it's ready, and the 3g version when the FCC lets them. If they'd applied for FCC approval a month ago they would have had to post details of the product into places where anyone could see them.

There are a few other obvious 'duh' moments in the article too. Seriously, if you're hired to write about this stuff, is it too much to ask that you learn about it?

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Apple MacBook Air

Fred Fnord

Someone's always saying this

> The difference being the above mentioned manufacturers

> actually make a superior product using superior components.

> Apple uses off-the-shelf PC components, packages them up in a

> spiffy case, and adds their operating system (be it better or

> worse depending on personal preference).

This is a constant litany these days, because one Apple product near the beginning of Apple shipping Intel-based machines had a standard Intel motherboard.

They don't any more. Apple designs all their motherboards and has them built to spec. You can assert (based, of course, on no evidence) that they're no more reliable than other machines, but they're not off-the-shelf components. Unless what you mean is 'most of the components on the circuit boards are the same components as other manufacturers use' in which case I just want to slap you upside the head and ask, 'what, are they supposed to design their own diodes?'

The typical Mac motherboard right now has a bunch of custom-designed (yes, by Apple) ASICs, a bunch of stock components, and a bunch of copper connecting them all together. A look at any current Mac motherboard would tell you that. But no, you heard once, three years ago, that Apple used the same motherboard as an ASUS, and so they all must be exactly the same.

Please.

-fred

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iPhone to get 3G in May 2008

Fred Fnord

Is that... a good thing?

> Saying that, I bought an iphone last week (and a vista based macbook) and I've

> honestly got to say it craps all over the windows devices.

I dunno... I usually like to stay away from things that crap all over other things. Honestly, you make the iPhone sound like a badly trained puppy.

As for the, shall we say, iPhone-unimpressed, just give up. For many of you, this is the same old Mac-vs-PC argument again. If you don't understand that some people actually value simplicity, elegance, and the ability to do things more quickly, and are willing to pay for them, then you won't understand the iPhone. (You are the logical equivalent of the people who said that GUIs were for wimps, until Windows 95 came out.)

And if you are willing to admit that elegance, simplicity, and so forth are actually worth something, but don't see them in the iPhone, then your mind works differently than the minds of those who do. Not worse, not better, just differently. So give up telling people that there's no advantage to the iPhone, because what you're really doing is insisting that everyone's mind must work the same way yours does. And it'd be a funny old world...

Right? And in return, iPhone users, please stop telling people who complain about the iPhone that they're stupid, or [obscene gerund] [anatomical noun]s, or whatever. Oddly, it doesn't seem to be convincing anyone.

-fred

PS: No, I don't have an iPhone. Maybe someday I'll stop being optimistic enough to believe that I'll be able to get rid of my cell phone altogether, and just buy one.

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World leaders meet to tackle global warming

Fred Fnord

What I find most irritating...

...is the people who don't understand *anything* about global warming, who nevertheless make ridiculous claims based on something they heard on the radio once, probably coming from some whack-job American conservative who is paid to keep the pollution flowing.

Global warming will mean more food... heh. God. Go look at the best available models for what the world looks like in 100 years. Twenty minutes on a web site will save you making a total ass out of yourself in public.

(Hints: Water. Desert. Topsoil.)

-fred

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Comcast throttles BitTorrent users

Fred Fnord

Shorter 'Steve'

"I'm more important than you."

-fred

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Eminem sues Apple - again

Fred Fnord

Well, is anyone surprised?

Okay, so although I loathe both the 'man' and his 'music', I have to admit he was fully justified in his first lawsuit.

That said, is anyone surprised that he's a big enough ass that he's decided that the test case for whether music downloads count as licensing or as sales should not be some worthy musician who deserves a bigger cut of his modest album sales, but a spoiled brat who has found what he thinks is a way to get revenge on the company he now hates?

Ye gods. If these are today's 'stars', when the older crop begins to die down some we're going to have a sky full of awfully dim bulbs...

-fred

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Brit spooks: Yanks are frightful cowboys

Fred Fnord

But CLEARLY...

... Mr. Blackley's way of life is much more important than Mr. Menzies's way of life. Because it is, after all, Mr. Blackley's.

It's such a libertarian viewpoint. "I support torture because even if they torture and kill thousands of innocent people every year, they won't torture *me*. And I think [incorrectly, as it happens] that my lifestyle is less likely to be disrupted if they torture all these innocent people."

So basically, if the only thing you can think about is yourself, and you're shortsighted enough to think that there's no such thing as a backlash to methods such as this, then torture is fine.

For the sane people, it's a barbarism.

-fred

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FBI asks Congress for phone record slush fund

Fred Fnord

Just as long...

> In fairness, I'd vote for a sack of drunken monkeys over Brown or Cameron.

Just as long as you wouldn't vote for George W. Bush over Brown or Cameron.

I'd certainly vote for Brown, Cameron, the Queen of England, or a sack of *dead* monkeys over George W. Bush.

-fred

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Mac and iPod save Apple's quarter

Fred Fnord

Some people

> If and only if Apple upgrade the phone to 3G will they be able to make those

> markets take interest in a way that will get them close to the 10mil mark. As

> Europe and Asia have superior networks it means offering a phone that doesn't

> make full use of the technology will put it on a back foot.

Wow, it's amazing how the expert market analysts just post their advice for free on The Register!

For one thing, I do suspect that Apple knows that 3G is better than 2.5G in the majority of cases. (For the cases where it's not, see prior articles by The Reg, where they talk about the potential for a 3G iPhone, if it were to sell modestly well, to completely overwhelm European 3G networks, whereas there is apparently plenty of spare EDGE capacity.)

But even if it does come out as 2.5G/EDGE, I think that you mistake your own (presumably geek-centric) viewpoint for that of the general public. There are people who won't buy the phone because it's not a 3G phone, and then there are those who will try it out and say 'that's fast enough for me' and buy it anyway. (This is not to imply that there aren't other categories, of course). Presumably you are in the former category, but unless there are lots of people like you who are willing to sit around and deride the iPhone for not being 3G and make fun of anyone who buys one for being stupid even if it does fulfill their needs, expect there to be plenty of people in the second category too.

-fred

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Can Osama keep Bush afloat?

Fred Fnord

I think he got it half-right

I think Krugman got it half right.

Yes, yes, the press is a big part of this mess. But even now, with the country overwhelmingly opposed to the vast majority of Bush's positions, the people inside the beltway are scared to stand up to him too hard. There's just too much 'common wisdom' that it's a bad idea to do so, and, well, they don't get it from the press, because they're the ones telling the press what to say.

-fred

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Conservapedia too pinko? Try Metapedia

Fred Fnord

I heard...

...that Himmler was an expert in animal husbandry. At least, until they caught him at it.

-fred

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Speedy evolution saves blue moon butterflies

Fred Fnord

It's the thermodynamics argument I like best

And the reason I like it so much is what happens if you take that argument to extremes.

The argument says, 'evolution can't happen because entropy only works in one direction: any system only stays the same or gets less complex, it can't get more complex.'

Aside from fundamental misunderstandings about the meaning of 'complexity' and its implications, this conveniently overlooks one word in the definition: any *closed* system.

If you conveniently overlook this word in other cases, you get some great results. For example, any concentration of energy in a particular object is, by entropic definition, more complex than an absolutely average distribution of energy. The average temperature of the universe, if I recall correctly, is around 2 or 3 degrees Kelvin.

By a trivial application of logic, we can see that since nothing can become more complex, it therefore follows that anything that is currently warmer than 2 or 3 degrees Kelvin can not ever become warmer than it currently is.

-fred

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Why the iPhone is a success

Fred Fnord

Some of these comments...

> The thing apple has suceeded at better than any other modern company is in

> getting a large number of uncritical evangelists routing for them. That these

> people are generally among the richer part of the population helps too.

The thing Apple has succeeded at better than any other modern company is creating products that you don't understand the advantages of. That might be because you're stupid, but is much more likely to be because your mind doesn't work quite the same as the people's who do understand it. Just like radon gas or death, just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

> Yes, there's a (possibly reasonable) "anyone but microsoft" view - but the

> momentum that has gained with Macs is just running on inertia. Ipods,

> Iphones, yes very pretty as ornaments for the superficial "look at what I've

> got"/fashion statement types, but no better or worse at actually GETTING

>STUFF DONE.

See, and there's where you're clearly wrong. Just absolutely clearly wrong. If thousands of people had MP3 players that they never used, which is the very clear result of the market research that The Reg reported on back in the day, and then along came the iPod and everyone bought one and they actually use it, then clearly the product is DRAMATICALLY better at 'getting stuff done', if in this case 'getting stuff done' means 'listening to music'.

There are a lot of people who don't understand that the interface matters. You appear to be one of those. People like that have two choices: they either assume that there is something there that they're blind to, or they assume that everyone else is stupid. You have chosen the latter.

> Given the amount of money Apple spend on promoting their products, this

> offering will not be allowed to be called a failure - no matter how many units

> they wanted to shift compared to the actual uptake (and remember, it's only

> available in a small fraction of the world so far). I reckon the marketing

> department will use the old fallback of "whatever we hit - we'll call that the

> target".

Apple set an amazingly ambitious goal, and made it very clear when they announced the product what that goal was: ten million phones in the first year, one percent of the cell phone market. At the time everyone laughed, because they said it was wildly unrealistic. (Here, for example, is a Reg article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/02/apple_iphones/ ) And I was with them; I figured they were being, shall we say, 'optimistic'.

If it really is true that they've sold a million of them in the first two weeks, which I find hard to believe but which is what scuttlebutt says, then I would like to revise my opinion a bit.

-fred

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What's al-Qaeda's take on the iPhone?

Fred Fnord

Umm...

Y'all are just weird.

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Another day, another iPhone rumour

Fred Fnord

Carphone Warehouse?

Bear in mind that AT&T, one of the biggest broadband providers in the United States as well as a huge cell phone provider (and a dessert topping, and a floor wax, and...), is probably no better at supporting Macs than CW. In a word: suck. (I say 'probably' because I have no experience with CW... I have plenty with AT&T.)

So don't count CW out just because they couldn't actually handle it. AT&T self-evidently couldn't either, yet they got the job.

-fred

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Strong laptop demand drives Apple US retail share to 13%

Fred Fnord

Um... whaaaa?

"Apple's share of the US retail computer business grew by more than the market as whole managed last month to hit 13 per cent, market watcher NPD has revealed."

I think you skipped some words, a piece of punctuation of some kind, and possibly a capital letter in the middle there somewhere.

"Apple OS as never been more then a toy, always was, always will. If peoples want a different OS, use Linux at least you will get the real thing, not a pathetic half backed clone."

*snicker* Oh please. My company has adopted MacBooks as the new laptop standard. They all go out dual boot, Mac and PC, with Parallels so they can run Windows on top of the Mac if they need to. So far (we have ten) we don't have a single person who is using Windows regularly. So apparently they, at least, disagree with your half-baked assessment.

-fred

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Hacking WoW and the pursuit of knowledge

Fred Fnord

Funny stuff, guys

I love all the people saying 'well, they wouldn't be hacking these games if they were any fun'.

This is an argument that can only be made by someone who is both so self absorbed he is unable to believe anyone would enjoy something he doesn't and completely unable to understand that some people will enjoy the game as designed and some will enjoy immediately becoming the most powerful thing in existence and lording it over those who choose to play the normal way.

If the game is not to your taste, then not playing it is *always* an option. If the game is to your taste as designed, but the economy is ruined by gold farmers/craft bots/whatever so that you can't play the game effectively *without* buying into that, then the game isn't as designed any more. And, to a lot of us, isn't much fun. (And if you can't play the game at all, because as soon as you stick your nose out of a town you are found by someone with a bunch of cheats running and who has the best equipment in the game and are mercilessly ganked, then it isn't any fun at all. I remember the early days of Ultima Online, for example.)

-fred

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Chileans mislay large lake

Fred Fnord

Time = happy hours?

Just a guess.

-fred

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iPhone variants on the way?

Fred Fnord

*snicker*

He successfully predicted... that a CELL PHONE... would be delayed by the FCC's regulatory apparatus?

Somewhat akin to successfully predicting that the iPhone would be able to make telephone calls. Because if it is able to make telephone calls, it will be delayed by the FCC approval process.

-fred

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Apple buyout rumours circulate as iPhone launch nears

Fred Fnord

Sure, I'm somewhat skeptical of the iPhone...

...but next time I'd write a story that doesn't sound quite so much like a 'sour grapes', 'I asked Steve Jobs for an interview and he turned me down' reaction.

I mean, really, implying that Jobs doesn't face hostile interviewers? That's well known. Neither do any other heads of industry in the US these days, nor does our President any more. But sure, Jobs is much more scrupulous about his vetting than anyone else that I know of who isn't currently in the US Government. (In the current government, the only person who ever faces hostile interviewers is our favorite-ist press secretary since the last press secretary, who simply lies every time he's given a question he doesn't like.)

Implying that Apple is putting out Google acquisition rumors in order to up their stock price? That's what we call 'being a d*ck'. And don't say that's not what you were implying, because if it's not, then you're a lousy writer. And you're not.

And it's always nice to hear the press weigh in on a new Apple product. I'll put your predictions of failure on the iPhone on the pile along with the predictions of failure of every major Apple product by a wide variety of 'journalists' over the years. I'd say the voice of common wisdom (if one can stretch to call it that) has had about the same record of successfully predicting such things in Apple's case as, say, a coin toss would. (Newton? Right, finally. iMac? Wrong. Pippin? Ever so right. iPod? Wrong. PowerMac G4 Cube? Quite correct. Mac OS X? Dead wrong.)

-fred

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FCC chairman says ‘broadband for all!’

Fred Fnord

One network to rule them all

We have a duopoly at best in the US at the moment, when it comes to broadband. In many (probably most) areas it's actually a monopoly, if you can get it at all.

Look for DSL and cable modem to be the dominant modes of data communication in the US for the foreseeable future... at least ten to twenty years. Look for every other country with any interest in its citizens to be up around 10 to 20 megabits direct to home while the US is still shouting about how good its 768 kbps downstream, 128 kbps upstream connections are. Which, by the way, will go back up to $30/month (or $40, or more, depending on what inflation does in the interim) as soon as this 60 month period is over. Since as long as the DSL company and the cable company have approximately equivalent offerings, there's no reason for either one to improve anything.

And if they make any real advances, then they won't be able to charge $400/month to businesses for a 1.5 mbps T1.

We are deregulating ourselves into the infrastructure of a third-world country. As long as we are happy with that (as it appears everyone is) then I guess the US should get just what it's asking for. Hard.

-fred

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Apple plugs holes in new Safari beta

Fred Fnord

Missing the point as usual

I found the following comment very, very funny:

Who in the right mind would want to use Safari on Windows (or Linux for that matter) ? Unless you are a die hard Apple cultist, it just does not make any sense. Less features, less compatibility, less stability, less security.. Anyone actually tests or develop for that browser??

Anyone actually test or develop for that browser? As it turns out, no, lots of people don't. And why don't they? BECAUSE IT'S NOT AVAILABLE FOR THEIR COMPUTERS!

Are you beginning to understand why Apple might be interested in offering Safari for the platform THAT THESE WEB DEVELOPERS ARE DEVELOPING ON?

Sheesh.

-fred

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Leopard gets dose of Solaris ZFS

Fred Fnord

More info

A little more data: Apple now says that ZFS will appear in Leopard but it will be read-only, at least for the moment.

And as for case-sensitivity... yuch. The single dumbest idea I've heard in a long time. The only reason to have case-sensitive filenames is so that you can have 'Readme.txt' 'README.TXT' 'readme.txt' and 'ReAdMe.TxT' in the same directory. Which is an abomination.

Computers are supposed to do things for the convenience of their operators, not the other way around. All of the positive aspects to case-sensitive filesystems are for the computer or the programmer, not for the operator.

Reminds me of a Linux program I once worked on. I was talking to the original author and he said 'Okay, take a look for that in the something.h header file' (I can't remember the real name). So I typed 'vi something.h' (in the project/headers directory) and it opened a file. I said 'I don't see that definition in there,' and he said, 'Oh, it's probably in the capital-something.h'. I said 'What?' and he said 'Try SOMETHING.h, all caps'. Yup, it was in there. He had decided to split the rather long 'something.h' into two files and claimed that this was easier to remember even than 'something1.h' and 'something2.h'.

Oh, and you should have seen the variable names.

I quit the team shortly thereafter.

-fred

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Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses

Fred Fnord

Misinformation

The amount of misinformation in the comments section is pretty amazing.

It's amazing how many people will write with authority about things they know nothing whatsoever about. And how resistant they are to facts even when they're confronted with them.

-fred

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eBay's phishy old problem

Fred Fnord

Liability?

If eBay was found to have been the place that one of these phishing scams resulted in identity theft, then, having acknowledged that they know about the issue, aren't they then liable for the results?

-fred

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Europe could give Microsoft verdict soon

Fred Fnord

Silly

Quote:

I just saw a mac ad saying how a PC comes pre-loaded with a bunch of crap and a mac comes pre-loaded with "awesome" mac based software.

Why ain't mac getting a run yet? Guess we gotta wait for them to be a bit more popular before the EU rips them apart?

Endquote.

Probably at the same time that Lenovo, Dell, etc are pursued for the software that they bundle on shipping systems.

If you don't see the difference between what Dell, Lenovo, and Apple do in shipping whatever software the computer manufacturer wants on the computers they manufacture, and what Microsoft does in forcing every computer manufacturer except for Apple to ship the exact software that Microsoft wants on the computers that they do not manufacture, then perhaps you need to read up a bit on antitrust law, bundling, and the actual legal issue at hand before you comment on it?

Just a thought.

-fred

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So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?

Fred Fnord

Keep co.uk

I've been reading from the US with theregister.co.uk for at least five years, probably closer to seven. It does not seem to have caused me any lasting damage, and I like the idea that I am actually reading something produced overseas since I gave up trying to decode Pravda and Interfax (in Russian) almost ten years ago.

-fred

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Bill Gates nicks Larry Ellison's health center

Fred Fnord

Silly

Quote:

... all the misanthropes who feel that having a greater number of healthier human beings is "the last thing the planet needs" don't just top themselves and do Gaia a favour? Of course, they might feel slightly differently if their children were dying of entirely preventable diseases.

Endquote.

Hint: most of us don't have children. Because the last thing the world needs is more human beings.

-fred

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Father of LCD dies at 74

Fred Fnord

Not so sure

If Newton were alive today, I frankly doubt that he would have accomplished anything that would keep his name in the public mind for hundreds of years. As science gets more specific and esoteric, it becomes dramatically harder to make vast public discoveries that sound wowee-zing to the layman.

The alternative to calling people like him a modern day Isaac Newton is saying that we don't have any, and will, most likely, never have one again. Name one living scientist that more than, say, 5% of the US population can actually name off the top of their heads. And that's while they're alive!

Your alternatives are:

1) people are stupider today, universally. Or,

2) It's so much harder to make a useful discovery today that the people who are as smart as Newton, or nearly so, are reduced to nibbling at the fringe of knowledge.

-fred

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Apple's Jobs urges Gore to run for President

Fred Fnord

Wow

To the author of "Come on people... wake up!!"

It's very refreshing to see someone without the slightest hint of a knowledge of politics telling Steve Jobs that he should shut up because he doesn't know anything about politics.

I will not bother addressing your 'points' about the Clintons and Gore, but your assertion that one man doesn't run the government displays all the knowledge of recent government actions that I would expect from a slightly stoned golden retriever puppy. Bush has, over the last six years, made it clear that he does not believe that Congress has any right to pass laws which constrain 'presidential powers'. In the last couple weeks it's become clear that he asked for authorization from his own Department of Justice to illegally wiretap a bunch of people, and then, when it was denied, continued doing it anyway. And of course even if the DoJ had said yes, it still would have been clearly illegal. And so far he seems to have gotten away with it just fine.

So no, Virginia, the Judicial branch isn't the most powerful of the three branches. Because at least of this moment, the President can do whatever he wants to, whenever he wants to, and no one will do anything about it.

-fred

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Vendor turns DRM against Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Real

Fred Fnord

Funniest thing I've seen in a while

Of course, they don't expect this to actually fly. But what a fabulous publicity stunt.

-fred

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The Pirate Bay admits links with right-wing benefactor

Fred Fnord

Silly and/or disingenuous

Let's see, silly or disingenuous?

> While I can see the point, albeit very far-fetched, you make about nation

> states, I am left wondering how you propose regulating any market without

> them.

This one is silly. I can only assume that you misunderstood his point, and probably not deliberately either.

He didn't say that nations should be done away with. He was arguing that nationalism, the idea that your nation is somehow better than all other nations, is a bad thing, because nations are inherently racist. This is clearly, to him, something to guard against. I would agree.

> How a free market would lead to government-mandated and supported

> "beasts" to regulate the market is beyond me.

And this is either disingenuous or you have no understanding of how markets work.

Totally unregulated (no patents, no copyright, no government protection of any kind) capitalism, of the kind that the libertarian fringe worship, leads almost immediately to huge monopolies. Any large company can, by and large, produce things cheaper than a small one, and thus any product created by a small business can be freely copied (verbatim, in this scenario) by any large business. Plus, of course, without various 'anticompetitive' (according to libertarians) laws and practices, large companies can very easily force smaller ones out of business. ('You may not sell raw materials to anyone without asking us first, or you'll lose us as a customer.' And so forth.)

There's your "free" market.

-fred

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Ballmer: Apple's iPhone will be a niche player

Fred Fnord

Interesting comments

I like Ballmer's comment:

> But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd

> prefer to have our software in 60, 70 or 80 per cent of them, than I would to

> have two or three per cent, which is what Apple might get."

Yes, Steve, I'm certain that you would.

Is it just me, or does that sound more like the ambitions of a saboteur?

As for Harris Upham:

> A large part of the iPod's success came from the iTunes music store- a

> revolution in music retail.

This is what we call 'wrong'. A very large majority of people with iPods don't even have accounts on the iTMS, and an even larger majority have bought a total of less than ten tunes. It is a good talking point but it in no way explains anything about the success of the iPod.

It's a shame, because I agree that the iPod's smash success does not necessarily mean that the iPhone will do the same, at least to the same degree. But I think your reasons are claptrap.

-fred

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Living optical fibres found in the eye

Fred Fnord

The simple answer

It appears, Jeremiah, that that would be a 'yes'.

-fred

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A Mac gets whacked, a second survives

Fred Fnord

...?

> But remember, M/S products and strategy was part of what made it

> possible for you to have an audience today.

Inasmuch as Microsoft has made the IT industry what it is today — dramatically larger than it really should be, completely obsessed with conformity, and working eighty-hour weeks and getting fired as soon as they start thinking they might want a family, or, indeed, a life, I agree.

> In other words GROW UP

Shorter translation of a long post: I don't know much about Macs or Linux, and I don't want to, and anyone who likes them enough to argue that they're actually better than Windows is clearly being immature.

Thank you for your opinion.

-fred

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Taiwan mislays millions of honeybees

Fred Fnord

Let's not blame this on GM just yet

I'm not a big fan of GM crops, but the fact that this has appeared in so many different places in the US at the same time is strongly suggestive of a non-GM cause. I personally have a friend who keeps bees in Maine who is quite a long distance from the nearest GM crops, and has had this affect him.

I think the precautionary principle should certainly be used in the area of GM crops, but to instantly assume that they are to blame for this is simply a kind of reverse wish fulfillment, where every problem that happens must be related to the thing one hates.

Incidentally, there was a similar problem with bee colonies dying off in the US ten to fifteen years ago, and it was discovered to be a couple kinds of mites. (Varroa and tracheal, to be precise.) Presumably it's not a new kind of mite, this time, though, because the problem is traveling differently and mites aren't that hard to find once you know what you're looking for.

-fred

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Beeb extends download trial to Macs

Fred Fnord

Oh *please*

I can only assume that the BBC is licensing the DRM from Apple, as Audible.com apparently did. Otherwise they would be trying to reverse-engineer it, as Real did, and it would be ludicrous to complain about how complicated it is.

However, it's pretty amazing to me that Apple would allow that, instead of pushing for the BBC to make it available through the Apple store.

Could it be that they really are trying to reverse engineer Apple's FairPlay, instead of writing their own? And complaining about it? Ye gods.

-fred

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DXG dishes out 5Mp camcorder with games

Fred Fnord

Curious why it's so cheap?

DXG makes cameras with no zoom, and with fixed-focus lenses. Lot cheaper when you don't need the lenses or mechanical parts for zooming or focusing.

As for whether they're worth even the low price you pay for them, well, I guess that depends on what you're using them for.

-fred

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'Cops help kill 32 Students', claims furious blogger

Fred Fnord

Just to keep the stupid comments in perspective

I'm not going to call for a ban on private gun ownership (for the purposes of a WELL-REGULATED militia), not because I don't think it would be a good idea but because I think that there really is an element of US society that would prefer to kill everyone in shooting distance than give up their guns. They clearly don't care about any other part of the constitution, because Bush has been carelessly violating it since the day he took office (with his signing statements and his illegal wiretapping — still going on! — and his 'extraordinary rendition' and his torture of random people and his holding people without habeas corpus... and these are only the ones we know about).

But I will say that many of the people here are sorely ill-informed if they think that 'he shouldn't have been able to get a gun anyway, so the law isn't the problem' is in any way a sensible statement. If you can walk into a gun show and purchase a gun from a 'collector' (not a dealer) without showing a permit, without ID, without anything other than money — and you can, and it's perfectly legal — then what is supposed to stop anyone who is 'not permitted a firearm' from buying one? And the NRA has been dead set against changing the least part of this loophole. It appears that in their opinion, it is very important for anyone, including psychopaths, to be able to get a gun. They couldn't care less if ex-cons can't vote, but it's terribly important that they be able to shoot someone.

Mind you, this all doesn't happen because we have a huge number of guns. Canadians have more per capita than Americans do. It's because we're a nation who, collectively, isn't mature enough to own firearms.

-fred

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House-trash party girl blames 'hackers'

Fred Fnord

It might be worth noting for your American viewers...

...that 'squirty cream' is apparently some sort of Britishism for Reddi-Wip (the ubiquitous 'whipped-cream-in-a-can').

It sounds naughty enough when you know that. When you're completely clueless, as I was before googling, well...

-fred

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Senator demands US create morally superior light bulbs

Fred Fnord

Pretty amazing

It's amazing the spleen that people vent when someone asks them to act like responsible adults.

A few facts for y'all:

California is the third to lowest energy usage per capita state in the US. And yes, there are a lot of us who don't need to heat our houses, but we definitely make up for that in the summer with our air conditioning.

Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/plugs/plsedr.html

There are fluorescent lamps that dim, though they take special bulbs. (I have one.) There are three-way fluorescent lamps, working by the simple expedient of having two bulbs. There are CFL spots and floods; I own a flood. It works fine. And finally, yes, there are plenty that will work below 30 F, though you'll have to look for one that is rated properly.

If electricity were a good, efficient way to heat a house, then you wouldn't be heating your house with heating oil/gas/franklin stoves/whatever. This is not to mention the fact that many people who are happy to have an incandescent light in winter just crank the air conditioning up a little higher in summer to compensate. And air conditioning is way the heck less energy efficient than heating.

On my last visit to Ms. Boxer's office, the entire place was lit with fluorescents, and the two desk lamps I saw were CF. I can't speak to her house, since I have never had the pleasure of visiting it.

California, and in particular the Silicon Valley, is the national leader in research on alternative energy generation. The state makes grants, and the venture capitalists are encouraged to get on board. And Ms. Boxer is quite heavily involved in the alternative energy movement (c.f. http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/04/05/042789.html ) and has quite a bit of credibility here because of it.

As for the energy situation in California, that is due to state politics, not national. Energy deregulation, shoved down our throats by PG&E, has really caused a great deal of harm to the state, and we're only now beginning to figure out ways to recover. But blaming Boxer for that fiasco is just as fair as blaming Clinton or Bush... it's a state issue, at least at the moment, not a Federal one.

As for the personal attacks on Boxer, I can only assume that they mean she's doing her job.

-fred

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Porn suit is reinvigorated by US appeals court

Fred Fnord

One does?

> One has to ask why the author kept adding words like erect and climax to

> his story as well as identified Perfect 10's images as porn and not art.

> (Adult in nature of course?)

Does one? Only if one doesn't have a sense of humor.

> ...devise ways to keep their product from poping up on their site.

Poping? Is that the new slang for it these days?

-fred

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