* Posts by sisk

1978 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

sisk
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Doubtless the boss in question was suppressing a chuckle as he delivered the stern warning.

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Let's play immutable infrastructure! A game where 'crash and burn' works both ways

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This strikes me as a really bad way to do things. Every little problem the server encounters now, instead of being a basic troubleshooting problem, is an OS rebuild. "MariaDB went down? No, we don't check logs anymore. Just rebuild the server from the script." I could see it making sense for the big boys who have tens of thousands of servers to deal with, but I can't see it ever making sense for the rest of us no matter how good the infrastructure for doing it gets.

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

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Honestly I just can't fathom how SCO is still moving about. This case is like one of those rare funerals where the dead guy sits up and belches.

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Head transplant candidate sells souvenirs to fund operation

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All joking aside, if this works out all those people who paid a mint to have their heads frozen upon death are suddenly going to look a lot less crazy.

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I'm sure some mad american rich bitch woman would pay a fortune to have a set of encapsulated genitals over her fireplace

Don't be ridiculous. If you sell that particular piece of his anatomy in America it will end up dangling from the rear bumper of some redneck's truck.

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

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I think it's fairly obvious that the policy in question has nothing to do with keeping users safe. This policy is, to my mind, quite obviously designed to ensure that Apple customers have no option other than to give their money to Apple if their device needs repairs. In other words, yet another layer of vendor lock-in. You know, Apple's favorite marketing tactic? Honestly, do they really expect that anyone will believe a replacement touchscreen poses a security risk?

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

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You know, thinking about it I don't think he has any legal worries from the US as long as he doesn't come here. He was not in the US when he disclosed his information, nor is he a US citizen. The US has no legal grounds for extradition....no LEGAL grounds. I'm fairly certain we'd all know what happened if he vanished without a trace though.

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Re: A completely meaningless ruling

Assange reasonably assumed these bastards were out to get him, setting him up with groupies and bogus charges, which of course is classic takedown

I doubt they'd do anything so overt. The conspiracy theorists would have a heyday.

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Re: A completely meaningless ruling

Firstly - the UN WGAD has not authority or juristriction over the UK, or indeed any other country. All they can do is to winge and moan.

True, but they have international respect....for some reason.

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Re: We make our own prisons

The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions scrubs any remaining sympathy I might have for him.

As I understand it he's a fugitive for having sex with a consenting adult who later changed her mind. Which counts as rape in Sweden.

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

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You could always build a phone around a RasPi. It's been done. Granted you'll end up with something that looks and weighs like a cell phone from the 80s, but at least you'll have total control over it.

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I still hold that using your phone as a pay-by-bonk device is foolishly dangerous. The security on most phones just isn't strong enough to make me comfortable with that idea. Granted the security on a piece of plastic is functionally non-existent but folks tend to not leave those pieces of plastic lying about the way they do with phones.

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Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

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So, word to the wise, don't go downloading porn apps from third party sites. In other words....well how many times do we have to say it. Stick to the Play Store and you'll probably be safe.

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Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

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Not too terribly long ago I stumbled across an old 8086 luggable computer (I refuse to call anything with a CRT monitor portable, even if it does fold up into a package small enough to carry) in my dad's garage. Predictably the battery was long dead, but surprisingly once plugged in to the mains it booted from the 5 1/4in floppy that had been left in the drive. It also lacked any internal hard drive, but the boot disk had a copy of Space Wars on it so I spent about 15 minutes reliving my childhood. Sadly my wife would probably use the thing to whack me over the head if I tried to bring it home and I'd be unlikely to survive getting hit with something so heavy, so it went back into the storage loft dad built in his garage and will likely remain there till the day both my parents are in the ground.

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This gun says you ain’t leaving until my PC is fixed

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Way back when I was working an entry level job that didn't pay much I fixed computers on the side to make ends meet. My rates were low partially due to my relative inexperience at the time (I was, after all, in my early 20s and didn't even have a degree yet) and partially to undercut the local computer shops I had to compete with.

I once had a guy take a swing at me when I told him that his motherboard was fried and that I'd have to order him a new one so it would be about a week. Unfortunately for him I'm well versed in self defense. I left while he was picking himself up off the floor and never took another of his calls. Sadly I didn't get paid for the diagnosis I'd already done, but all things considered I decided it was well worth losing $25 (did I mention I kept my rates low?) to not have to deal with him again.

I heard later that he'd taken his computer to a shop known for charging significantly more than any other shop in town (and about 3 times my rates at the time) and got told the same thing. Plus as I understand it they took a month to get his motherboard in. The satisfaction I derived from that news made me feel a little guilty.

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WTF? Been seeing a lot of recommendations for Mint Linux to newcomers, why?

sisk
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I can only tell you why I, personally, recommend Mint to newbies.

Put simply, it's easy and it works. The interface will be familiar to anyone coming from Windows (which, let's face it, all Linux newbs are coming from Windows. Even if they're coming from Mac, they know Windows too). It's less buggy and requires less tinkering in the terminal to run than Ubuntu. And it's got a GUI for just about everything your average user is going to need.

Debian might indeed be better for the seasoned Linux user, but user friendly it isn't. Debian is very much a foundation distro, which is great for those of us who know how to put together the system we need from such a foundation, but newbs need a little more hand holding than it provides in my experience.

I used to push Debian because it's what I used, but I've found that the people I've started off with Mint have had much more success with Linux than the ones I started with Debian. Some of them have even been people I wouldn't have considered moving to Linux before because of a lack of computer skills and them being too far away for me to provide support.

One in particular, a friend who lives about 2000 miles away, has proven to me that Mint is the way to go with computers. This is a man who can barely run Windows, but when when he ran into a problem (caused by a shady tech selling illegal copies of Windows) and his choices were to spend money he didn't have or move to Linux to get his computer running again I mailed him a Mint CD and talked him through the installation on the phone. That was pretty close to a year ago and he has neither needed my support except for once (he had trouble updating a program that's not in the repository) nor regretted the move. That's the sort of success story I never saw with any other distro I've ever helped people set up.

And that, my good sir, is why I push Mint for newbies.

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

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Re: Trumps America

Ye gods man! Don't even pretend that lunatic has a chance of winning the election. Do you want to give us all nightmares? It's bad enough that he has a chance of winning the nomination.

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No one's this stupid. He's just trolling.

(Please don't burst my bubble....let him be just trolling...)

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BOFH: I want no memory of this pointless conversation. Alcohol please

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Re: One can only wonder

.... and remind me - how old do you have to be to buy alcohol in the various United States of America?

21 in all 50 states. There was some talk about pushing a federal drinking age of 24 earlier this year, but I don't think the feds actually have the Constitutional power to do that. Not that that's ever stopped them.

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Re: One can only wonder

The convenience stores have to stop selling alcohol at 23:00 though...

Seriously? Even here in the Bible belt convenience stores can sell what little alcohol they're allowed to sell (3.2% max) till midnight.

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Re: One can only wonder

Poor Brits. In America the pub opens at 6am

What part of America are you in? Around here a few open around 11 for lunch and the rest open sometime between noon and five. At least one (the one nearest to my house) doesn't open until 6pm, just before the second-shifters at the local beef packing plant start rolling out.

Not that I'd ever suggest that there's a connection between when the biggest employer in the area schedules their largest shift to get off and when the bars open.

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Sorry, kids. Microsoft is turning Minecraft into an 'educational tool'

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Re: What's that smell?

It is available on Raspberry Pi at no cost, ... at the moment.

That's not exactly the Minecraft that the kiddies know and love. Creative mode only, no monsters, not even all the blocks available in the regular version. Heck, even the mobile version has more blocks. And you can just forget about dungeons and strongholds and the enderdragon. And, most importantly for a huge chunk of Minecraft players, no mods at all other than the Python console.

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My pet peeve with O365. It seems like every freaking time I need some random config page in their admin panel the danged thing has moved again.

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Re: Hmmm... Call me a cynic.

Windows 10... that came free with any Windows 7 machine? On top of the usual school tier pricing?

There's a huge difference between what Microsoft does for individuals and what they do for organizations. I'm not familiar with all the ins and outs of it, but in the past we haven't had some options with volume licensing that consumers get with one license (case in point, a consumer can upgrade an OEM licensed OS at a reduced cost or downgrade for free, which we couldn't do under volume licensing until recently).

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Re: Hmmm... Call me a cynic.

Schools don't have to pay anything to upgrade, or downgrade, it's all covered under the campus site licence agreements.

Not true. For reference, I've been in a school district IT department for 12 years now.

The only part covered under the license agreements is the licenses. Now granted, that's a sizable percentage of the cost of an upgrade, but it's not even half of the total cost. We still have machines floating around with 1gb of RAM, and it's only in the last year that we've started getting machines with more than 4. By the time we get all the other software we need on the machines they'll need at least 6 to not run dog slow with Win10, so we'd end up buying $20,000 worth of RAM to upgrade all of our existing classroom computers (and, to be honest, some of them probably still couldn't handle it). Not to mention the thousands of dollars worth of time it would take the IT staff to install all that RAM and upgrade the OS on all those computers, plus the thousands more dollars in time spent troubleshooting all the problems that inevitably crop up after such a problem.

That said I think computing in education needs to move a huge step back from such high level, abstract things as Minecraft and Windows. The Raspberry Pi is a huge step in the right direction, and needs to get pushed in education, along with other tools to teach the basic building blocks of computing.

Maybe for programming classes, but as much as I like the Pi it simply can't do most of what we need computers to do. Our state testing software, for example, is only available for Windows and iOS (a lot of schools in this state have iPads). Our drafting classes use AutoCAD, and if you think that's ever going to run on a Pi then you've obviously never used it. And while it's possible to get a Linux machine joined to our domain (there's a Linux laptop joined to the domain within arms reach right now) doing so is a painful process.

We are, unfortunately, locked into Windows on multiple levels, as I would imagine 99% or more of all schools are.

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Re: What's that smell?

Yeah, desperately marketing free software.

Erm....Minecraft isn't free, in any sense of the word.

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Re: I'll do it on the Pi thank you

Hasn't Minecraft on the Pi somewhat stalled?

Unfortunately yes, which is the #1 reason my kids have old x86 boxes instead of Pis. But the Pi version does have one feature that makes it ideal as an education tool that, to my knowledge, no other version has: a Python console. The kids can write some Python code and instantly see the result in their game. It's quite useful for teaching them fundamental coding concepts.

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I'm already using it as an educational tool

Or at least a motivational one. It's proven to be a remarkable asset for teaching my 5 year old about how to work a computer. I've used it to stealthily encourage him to learn everything from basic troubleshooting ("It crashed? Why don't you take a look at the log while I'm fixing dinner and see if you can tell me why and then we'll figure out how to fix it.") to minor bits of programming ("No Buddy, I don't think there's a mod to do that. Why don't we make one?") to memory skills ("You lost your house? Well I can't help you there. You'll just have to remember where you came from and go back that direction till you find it.)

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DARPA commits to brain-computer interface development project

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Re: Yes, we had this after "Firefox" came out in '82...

I dunno. I rather enjoyed Firefox.

Of course it was the mid 90s and I was still hopped up on adolescence hormones last time I saw it, so, you know, perspective.

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I, for one, welcome our up and coming telepathic robot overlords.

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Internet of Things 'smart' devices are dumb by design

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This is I build any IoT device going into my house myself. Too bad not everyone's capable of that.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

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Re: Regarding Linux 'denial'

Of course. In 2016 Windows has a completely new set of failings.

To be fair - and I say this as a long time Linux geek - so does Linux. No OS is or ever will be perfect.

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Bah, 2015 was the fifth or sixth straight "Year of the Linux Everything Else". Let Windows have the desktop and let Android and iOS fight over the phones and tablets. It's only fair since the penguins have everything else.

(Also with all these new-fangled sub-$10 computers coming out it's just a matter of time before one of them makes it to the store shelves as a super cheap PC, and you can bet your boots it'll be running some flavor of Linux when it does.)

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Russian Pastafarian wins right to bear colander

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Re: Fighting talk!

" "Pastafarian is not actually a religion. Rather it is a philosophy that mocks religion.""

The difference being that even Pastafarians don't ACTUALLY believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. With any other religion you can be pretty sure that the true believers really are true believers. Not so for the Pastafarians, who are mostly atheists in reality, with a dash of jesters from other religions scattered about.

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Isn't Pastafarianism basically just an anti-intelligent-design joke? These guys are taking the gag a little far IMHO.

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Nvidia GPUs give smut viewed incognito a second coming

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Yeah, it's also for buying anniversary presents without your other half seeing what you bought them in the browser history.

No worries here. My other half doesn't know what browser history is....and besides, we have separate computers. For.....you know.....reasons.

(No, not porn. It's because when we briefly shared a computer - long, long ago - we were constantly fighting over it. Plus I prefer Linux and she prefers Windows so the thing ended up getting rebooted every time one of us sat down. It was easier just to get separate computers.)

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Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

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Re: FAA enforedes airspace restrictions to ground level

Whether they choose to recognize the (well established) fact that they have no legal authority at all below 83 feet and only very questionable authority up to 400 feet is irrelevant. The courts have repeatedly ruled against them in such matters, as noted in the article.

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It seems to me that the law is already quite clear on this subject. The FAA's authority begins at 400ft - confirmed over and over and over by legal precedence - and a property owners rights extend at least to 83ft based on existing precedence. Basically this guy has zero chance - short of a judge willing to discard existing precedence (which, given it came from SCOTUS, any judge likely to hear the case would be overstepping their authority to do) - of winning this case and getting the money to replace his drone.

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Tell us what's wrong with the DMCA, says US Copyright office

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Let's start with the fact that a DMCA notice fired off to an entity means they have to take down the material immediately, regardless of whether or not it's infringing a copyright or if the issuer even owns a copyright on anything at all, or face prosecution.

I could send a DMCA notice to YouTube for the latest political vlogger rant that offended me and they'd have to take it down even though I have no real grounds to claim ownership of the video. It would, of course, be put back up in a day or two when the content owner took some time to prove that it was an abusive notice, but that would be a day or two that something was off the web just because I wanted it off the web and I would face no real consequences for taking such action. I would never do something like that, but it has been done by many under DMCA.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

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Re: Tough Sell

What happens when designers send you layered PSDs...

That particular problem has never come up. In the rare event that someone other than me is doing graphics for the website they usually send it to me as a PNG or JPG. It may be a pain in the backside to juggle multiple peoples' needs most of the time, but being the only web guy for an organization does have its advantages. If it ever did happen then I would be forced to load it up in Photoshop.

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Re: Tough Sell

I'll have to take your word for it. I've still got CS4. I had CS5 at one point, but the install disk went missing around the same time a new computer showed up on my desk. I've never used CS6.

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Re: Tough Sell

Gimp < 2.9 is utter crap. An incompetently designed ham-fisted image wrecking toy. There is *NO* image processing task it can perform which Photoshop can't do *BETTER* and there are myriad common tasks which Photoshop handles well and Gimp < 2.9 can't do at all.

As a web developer who used Gimp in a professional capacity starting around v1.2 I have to disagree with you. I was actually rather appalled to discover some of the filters and scripts I'd come to rely on in Gimp 2.2 or 2.4 were actually missing from the current version of Photoshop at the time. There were many tasks that I did fairly frequently around that time that were much, MUCH quicker and easier to do in Gimp.

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Re: Does it still hate the user?

Maybe I'm an oddball but I've always found Gimp's UI to be much more intuitive that Photoshop's. I picked up Gimp and started using it sometime in the late 90s or early 00s when I no longer had access to a high school computer with Photoshop on it and achieved a reasonable level of proficiency fairly quickly. It took a college course years later for me to hit the same level of proficiency in Photoshop, and I still feel like it's easier to find stuff in Gimp's UI.

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Forget anonymity, we can remember you wholesale with machine intel, hackers warned

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I would imagine that their accuracy rate would drop rather radically as the pool of programmers they're trying to identify increases. After all there are only so many ways to implement a given function.

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Feeling abandoned by Adobe? Check out the video editing suites for penguins

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Kdenlive

Kdenlive has been my go-to option for video editing for a while now. I don't do a lot of video editing, but when I do I find that one to be the best mix of usability and features for what I'm doing out of the ones I've tried.

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Facebook hammers another nail into Flash's coffin

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Re: Is HTML5 pure and saintly

It's not so much that HTML5 is assumed 'safe' as we know Flash is most definitely 'unsafe'. At this point it seems like every time Adobe fixes a bug in Flash three more seem to crop up. There's also a lot less code backing HTML5 than Flash, which means there's less room for bugs to begin with. But really it boils down to the fact that there's a new exploit popping up in Flash every time we turn around. Whether HTML5 is actually safe or not it has to be better.

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Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

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Her comment is easily explained when you remember that this is a woman who has demonstrated very minimal knowledge when it comes to security. She probably thinks that we can have strong encryption that can be broken by the company that created the algorithm without a back door.

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

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Re: None of you morons

Trouble is, no pro-life argument, theological or atheistic, can stand up too well to a single word: overpopulation, and the proof of this can be seen plain as day in the increasing amounts of resource exhaustion and the increasing numbers of people for which society can simply find no place.

Let's not hijack the thread with a (pointless) debate on abortion. My point was simply that Trump's former status as a pro-choice advocate does not necessarily indicate a progressive mindset. My comment was not intended to be an indication of support for either side in that particular debate. I do have an opinion on the matter, of course, but I generally try to keep it to myself since it's a topic of discussion that's much better at starting fights than anything else.

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Re: None of you morons

As to "his utterly medieval views on religion or womens rights."... actually, Trumps history in this regard is considerably more progressive than most of his rivals. He's even been pro-abortion at times

Trump currently claims a pro-life stance (though that's probably just him telling people what he thinks they want to hear). Plus whether or not pro-choice is actually a progressive view is highly, highly debatable once you accept that there are atheist pro-lifers and give their arguments some consideration. (Seriously, google atheist pro-life some time. There are some very well reasoned and scientific reasons to oppose abortion. It's not all religious dogma.)

As for him being more progressive than his rivals....um, no. Not just no, but hell no. Do some looking into how he treats women before you go calling him progressive. And no other candidate would dream of making some of the racist comments he's made. This is a man who has nothing remotely resembling a progressive view.

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Rebels defeat the Empire (again) by giving BB-8 an API

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Re: “Go play with the cat,”

would require consciousness, and we're precisely as far from that today as we were when the first Star Wars came out.

Further away, in some ways. Neurology has progressed far enough and taught us enough that we've had to discard quite a lot of notions we had about exactly what consciousness is in the last 37 years. We've progressed to the point today that we can quite confidently say that we have absolutely no idea what causes consciousness nor even the vaguest notion of where to begin to recreate it.

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