World's Smallest Political Quiz
How do you define your political leanings? Do you think you are a moderate centerist, liberal or conservative. Try it out for fun you can always say it was rigged like the "conservative" friend of mine who scored to the left of Ted Kennedy ;). Just for full disclosure I score on the line between Liberal and Libertarian.
Saturday November 17, 2007 Slashdot : Wi-Fi Piggybacking Widespread
You touched on both the real issues here
"We should be arguing: If you don't believe in using the wifi spectrum for free, open communication, then you shouldn't be using it. Pay for a license to use your own block of restricted spectrum."
One: the telecos want to define this in a way that allows them to sell the most services and features. Even if everyone in your router range could get all the connection they need without exceeding your bandwidth allocation, remember unlimited does not mean unlimited anyway, the telecos miss the sales of services to them. This is why they have often taken community based projects to court, though I do not know what their legal argument was specifically. Plus there is a chunk of the population that would agree with this on the philosophical ideal of 'mine, mine, all mine' that asserts authority is gold, greed is good and anything that questions authority or is open or free is a pinko liberal communist plot. I suspect this is about 10-15% of the population, or the same percentage that believes Cheney is a patriot and Bush is the messiah.
"But it seems we have a lot of people here who are profoundly anti-open-communication, and think that people who caught communicating openly should be punished"
Two: if every/anyone can access your wireless router this provides a layer of anonymity that does not allow troublemakers to be hounded down, you know the need to 'save the children' from the druggies, perverts, terrorists and their pinko liberal communist enablers. Plus since many of the same people that distrust a society that allows open anonymity are technical Luddites who would be lost configuring a wireless router and thus they are fearful that they may be confused for some of the above distasteful persons and end up sharing a cell with them.
Even for those who do not fit the descriptions above, the population in general seem either too distracted with their fat lazy lives, too busy pilfering someone else's life, or are simply too stupid to comprehend what is actually happening to our world. I look to the left, to the right or right down the middle and I just don't see anyone in leadership REALLY addressing the slaughter of our liberty and very few in the great masses that have a clue what is happening and just why they should be concerned about it.
When hear someone proclaim themselves as a 'progressive' and I grab my wallet and hide my gun. When I hear someone proclaim themselves as a 'conservative' and I grab my wallet and load my gun. When I hear someone proclaim themselves as a liberal, I roll my eyes and think 'oh really?' but still hope maybe, just maybe this one is for real. When I hear someone proclaim themselves as a patriot my first instinct is to shoot the frackin' fascist idiot while I still can.
If there is anyone I did not piss off here, please let me know how I failed you and I will try to correct my mistake next time.
Thursday November 08, 2007 Slashdot : Congressional Commitee Rips Yahoo Execs
Re:They should remove the log from their own eye
"Matthew for President: The Websters Dictionary defines Liberty 1.as the quality or state of being free.2. A action going beyond normal limits.
Seems to me that the bureaucrats have taken the liberty to make liberty a commoidity to be bought and sold for the price of a barrel of Oil. I wonder just how many barrels is your freedom worth."
First thanks for the reply, you know the payment for our liberty was made with the blood of our ancestors. As for the loss of liberty caused by conflicts in the world being driven by the availability of oil. There may be some truth in this as there are others in the world that would prefer to see the USA neutered somewhat. Russian and Chinese leaders to be sure as well as many others would for sure prefer to see the USA not as powerful. This is partly simple human nature and partly because of our own behavior. The human nature part is something we have limited control of and simply need to accept and deal with in a logical manner. The issue of our own behavior is something we have much more control of. Preemptive acts of aggression against other nations or detrimental manipulation of other societies out of greed or ignorance is not helpful to say the least. While it may often necessary to act in our own interest in these manners we should be cautious and do so in a logical and ethical manner. The situation I see today seems to me to be driven by the greed of a select few at the expense of almost everyone else, caution and ethics do not seem to part of the equation.
My original post was mostly directed at the issue of violations of American citizens constitutional guaranteed rights in regard to issues such as the unconstitutional wholesale data mining of internet traffic by the government with the assistance of corporate entities. My view on this is that the government officials and corporate officers should be held accountable for these criminal acts perpetrated on the American citizen. Others believe that these should be either ignored or handled by civil suits against the corporate shareholders. I do not think the average shareholder who has little if any influence over the corporate officers should pay for these criminal acts, the corporate officers and government officials directly involved should, in criminal court. As for those who think these issues should be ignored. Well this republic is supposed to be a society based on the rule of law not oligarchical discretion or popular opinion. If the law is not applied to the very powerful who violate it in a very public and disrespectful manner then such inaction will embolden criminals to act even worse and create a cynical distrust in the honest persons that will grow like a cancer and destroy the nation.
As one of mostly European but also some Native American ancestry I view our nations history a bit different from many others. It is all too common for many of todays 'patriots' to place this nation on a pedestal and ignore the genocidal atrocities in our history. It is also true that some of mostly Native American descent tend view their ancestors in the same sort of unrealistic light. Scores if not hundreds of millions of Native Americans died as the direct result of European settlement of the Americas. Most of these deaths happened without undue malicious intent simply due to exposure to disease they had little resistance to. However many were the direct result of greed and malicious intent by the European settlers. Those of Native American lineage would be well served to make themselves knowledgeable about the history of their own ancestors though as most of those societies had a very bloody history as well. There have always been bad persons/societies and even good persons/societies that did bad things out of ignorance or poor judgment.
My point in all this yap is that we should all be very introspective and honest about how we got were we are if we expect to find a true path to what is right. Those that do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it. We should also honor in our actions, not just with words, the sacrifices of those who made our world possible. All I am calling for at this time is for people to stand up and demand lawful and ethical action from our elected officials, I ask for this out of respect for the sacrifices of our ancestors and accept the responsibility for defense of our own liberty and our descendants future.
Wednesday November 07, 2007 Slashdot : Congressional Commitee Rips Yahoo Execs
They should remove the log from their own eye
Not to defend the actions of Yahoo but congress should remove the log from their own eye first. The Bush administration and few bureaucrats that call them selves Judicial branch public servants, possibly even a few 'Legislators' and the people running corporate entities such as AT&T should be held accountable and criminally charged for violating the constitution and the civil liberty of US citizens. From what I can see there appears to be sufficient evidence to impeach, dismiss AND charge these parties.
If we do not act soon our generation may very well be cursed by our descendants as the selfish spineless cowards that pissed away everyones hopes, dreams and liberty. Congress has it within their power, but we must demand it. It's time to plant your feet and raise your voice folks. The very stuff you see happening today are the same types of things that inspired statements like "Don't Tread On Me" and "Live Free Or Die". To allow a oligarchic kleptocracy and a bunch of brain dead country music star 'patriots', bible thumping narrow minded bigots and other assorted chicken hawks to destroy our childrens liberty is a sin if there is indeed such a thing. Hundreds of thousands or maybe millions have already given up their blood, hopes and dreams indeed for many their everything so WE and OUR children could live in a world where these were not simply hollow platitudes. We are committing a horribly sacrilegious act of omission as we allow things to continue as they are.
Saturday November 03, 2007 Slashdot : Anti-Terrorism and the Death of the Chemistry Set
Sorry try another Thomas ...
"By the people, for the people"?
I prefer the following quote by Thomas Jefferson - "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."
Also "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security are deserving of neither." which is attributed to either Jefferson or Franklin, depending on where you find it.
Both are very very applicable to the current state of affairs."
Actually I believe the first quotes origin belongs to another Thomas with the last name of Paine. I do agree they are very applicable to our world today. One of my favorite quotes is by Franklin:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin
And just in case you may sometimes, possibly in a moment of exhaustion, think we are all wasting our time when we challenge things we see as unjust and detrimental to our liberty I have another favorite:
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." Samuel Adams
I have listed a few more very interesting quotes at the bottom of my homepage:
Monday October 29, 2007 Slashdot : FEMA Sorry for Faking News Briefing
AND patriots, to finish the paraphrase
"Liberty is fed with the blood of tyrants"
AND patriots, to finish the paraphrase of Jefferson. Herein lies the problem today. Despite what a few country music stars and other assorted chicken hawks would lead you to believe there is a bit of a shortage of true patriots these days. We are all still just too comfortable and thus too fearful of losing our soft lives, so far anyway. I do believe there are plenty Americans with the passion and fortitude to evolve into true patriots, if pushed far enough. The question is just how far can these folks be pushed before the break occurs. Anyway as TJ noted form time to time the "tree of liberty must be fed" or it will simply wither and die from neglect.
Thursday October 25, 2007 Slashdot : Terror Watch List Swells to More Than 755,000
Re:Let's resolve to keep our freedom
Welcome to the list.
Thursday October 25, 2007 Slashdot : FTC To Take a Second Look at P2P
Think freenet NOT gnunella
I think this has more to do with darknets than most normal P2P file sharing clients. Of course what they want is a undefeatable backdoor. Of course this is impossible to guarantee unless the technology's supporting such networks are banned. This is a battle where the FOSS community will have to take a stand on the side of freedom or loose much of our moral authority. It will be a tough fight since the confluence of serious threat, real malicious intent with the ignorant scared masses and their appointed idiots makes for a frackin' mess.
In most of the western world today complainants about one or more issues of terrorism, illegal content, or copyright have some legitimate right to be critical of darknets. At least from my limited excursions the accusations of misuse seem to have some valid claim. There does not seem to be much real use of the darknets for what I would consider important liberty related stuff as of yet. However in the near future this may not be so, besides at such a time such information would be a threat to those in power so it would be declared illegal anyway. Still I find value in a few quotes that relate here:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
"It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own."
"When the people fear their Government, there is tyranny. When the Government fears it's people, there is liberty."
"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."
Henry David Thoreau
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
"We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Benjamin Franklin
When the fight comes home where will you stand?
Monday October 15, 2007 Slashdot : Dragonfly-Sized Insect Spies Spotted
Re:Grain of NaCl
"Doesn't a jump straight from squirrel to fly violate Moore's law?"
Flying squirrels, cool... can they pull a wabbit out of their hat as well?
Monday October 15, 2007 Slashdot : Dragonfly-Sized Insect Spies Spotted
Re:Grain of NaCl
"So it comes down to these two options.
a. The government of the US can create almost magical technology and then is stupid enough to use it in this manner.
b. Someone at a anti-war protest thinks they see robotic spy bug and tells other like minded people that they saw a spy bug who are then sure they saw a spy bug......"
Lets see we have in option A: The dimwits behind the Iraq war, duct tape personal protection and color coded terrorism alerts. In option B: Quite a few rally attending activist tinfoil hat types. Sorry but it seems to me that both of your options are equally valid.
Friday August 24, 2007 Slashdot : Drug Testing Entire Cities at Once
Re:So when does privacy end?
"As much as the "well they are breaking the law/what do you have to hide" appeals to me"
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln
Saturday August 18, 2007 Slashdot : Manhattan 1984
Those dang Blair men
Odd don't you think that this all started seriously for my friends in the UK during the tenure of another man named Blair? Personally I am happy I do not yet consider myself a "subject", even if the reality is that I am "subject" to more intrusions upon my liberty with each passing day.
Wednesday August 01, 2007 Slashdot : FBI, IRS Raid Home of Sen. Ted Stevens
Re:The same man...
"Here's a cool fact you can use to impress your friends:
It's actually Congress that is in charge of determining the federal budget, not the president!!"
Well that is not quite right either, while the process I describe below may not be 100% accurate and is certainly simplistic it is more representative of what actually happens than how you seem to think things work.
The state governors work with the state legislatures to project the required federal fund assistance required, the exact process for this varies with the state/commonwealth. The governors then submit these individual budgets to the president. In parallel the congress via the OMB assists the presidents appointed executive staff with data and recommendations on state and federal budget issues and the presidents appointed executive staff adds or subtracts as they see fit and compiles this data into what the president submits to congress for consideration. Congress rehashes the process in the house and submits the results to the senate, the senate repeats the same process and sends the results back to the house (note this part of the process may exist in a loop until the house and senate agree). Finally the congress as a whole submits the budget back to the president for approval. If the president fails to approve the budget he can resubmit the same or a modified version back to the congress for reconsideration. On final approval by the president the budget is official and the congress then has the responsibility of funds dispersal. While the congress does indeed have final control of the purse strings generally, they are not generally allowed to add to the total spending nor are they allowed to unilaterally disaffect budget items. Either the president or the congress may however via emergency measures effect actions that effectively and grossly ignore the budget (ie: Iraq war spending or Hurricane Katrina relief). Even judicial rulings can have an unexpected effect on the budget via issues such as requirements for EPA or ADA compliance in federal or state programs.
This republicans did this and democrats did that mentality is sometimes true but not usually going to change the opinion of someone with the opposing view. Both parties are responsible for both our economic successes and failures and thus so are we. The same logic applies to our liberty or lack thereof. I will agree that one or the other political party gets out of control at times. Often both are responsible for things breaking down, more often it seems to me that considering how complex the issues are it is amazing how well things manage to work out. But the assertional that a single branch of the government is the only ir/responsible one is ridiculous.
Friday June 15, 2007 Slashdot : FBI Releases Results of Operation Bot Roast
"so how about if i go out and buy myself a shiny new race car. I have NEVER had to handle a car with that much power, so i end up ramming it into a farmers market."
A race car and a farmers market? A 'race car' is built for a 'race track' not a public thruway adjacent to a farmers market. A 'race car' is not able to be licensed for operation on public roads. Now if you mean simply a 'high performance car', yea it seems to me that you simply acted in a reckless manner.
"The car is not defective in any way, so long as you have the skills to operate it."
So do you mean to imply that Windows is not defective in any way as long as you have the skills to operate it? My view is that sufficient skills in using an operating system allow one to circumvent or otherwise negate the defects that are inherent in ANY of them, especially in Windows. In fact the closed source nature and the excessively applied license restrictions on circumventions of the limitations in Windows interferes in ones ability to negate the defects that exist in all operating system code, again especially in Windows.
"I should be held responsible for being a jackass and buying a race car."
No you should be held responsible for operating a 'race car' on a public road and/or possibly reckless operation of the vehicle.
"Granted, windows == race car is not a very good comparison, but I still think that it works for the analogy."
Yea and I don't think it is an especially apt analogy either. Again I am not arguing for direct legal liability for Microsoft or any other software developer in respect to the security or reliability of the code in a consumer use area like desktop/internet functions. And yes I also believe that the user of such software is to some degree responsible for its proper operation. My view is that the whole industry, marketing or development houses and those that review them should be more responsible in what they promote, produce and how they review these products.
I would much prefer an honest market driven demand determine the direction of this technology than some horrible legal quagmire where we all lose. The technology of both computer hardware and software is in its infancy. We have much to learn and legal methods of interference in this process need to be mostly contained to the conventional aspects of the business. There is no such thing as perfect code and probably never will be. To be too aggressive in the requirements concerning its reliability would be a mistake that could bring the advancement of this technology to a halt. The same type of mess that can be seen today in regard to areas like patent and copyright issues. What can and should be done is to actually apply the existing legal framework to the marketing and business aspects of how these companies are run.
What ticks me off is the dishonest manipulation of the market with misinformation and disingenuous legal bush wacking. I see more of this type of behavior coming from Microsoft than anyone else. And BTW I was quite the Microsoft fan at one time, that is until I got bit by misinformation one time to many. The case that broke it for me concerned issues of scalability and reliability of the the MS Jet database engine implementation in MSAccess. I don't wish to see Microsoft gone, ruined or any such nonsense. I would like to see this party crashing 800 lb gorilla of a corporation legally tranked and caged until it can learn to enjoy the party with the rest of us in an honest and civilized manner. And as I noted in my other post they are far from the only corporation that needs a good judicial bitch slapping, maybe not even the one in most need of it.
Thursday June 14, 2007 Slashdot : FBI Releases Results of Operation Bot Roast
"If my car comes flying through your bedroom window at 30 miles an hour because I parked it at the top of a hill in neutral, should General Motors be responsible?"
If you are going to use a car analogy here at least make it accurate. If the car indicated it was in park but was really in neutral, the entire industry including the manufacturer and yourself knew the shift indication mechanism was unreliable then I would say both you and the manufacturer should be liable for damages.
"Likewise, if i leave a completely unprotected winbox up on the internet and it gets rooted, should Microsoft be held responsible (which seems to be what some of you think)?
In both cases harm has been caused by my negligence, and i should be held accountable for both."
There are three parties that should be held responsible for this situation, A: The cracker thief that rooted your box, Microsoft for selling defective software, AND you for not taking action to correct the situation.
Now the real question is just how would YOU prefer to see the liability for damages divided. In an perfect world the cracker would be caught and forced to make full restitution for all damages. But lets stay within the confines of your car analogy where there was no primary or actionable party only the accessory or supporting parties. In such a case with your 'winbox' that leaves YOU and Microsoft.
If you are a windows networking tech guru I would agree that you have committed a act of omission in you responsibility. However for your pop, granny or other non tech expert whose windows networking skills are at a level less than your own, the level of responsibility cannot not be the same.
As for Microsoft who portray themselves as the tech gurus of all time, indeed as the technology saviors of the western world but continue to knowingly go to market with a defective product I see the same or higher level of responsibility as for you the guru. So I will agree that there should be accountability for the parties at fault here. I just can't see how you think Microsoft should not be held accountable for their omissions.
This is not to say I wish to see a legal quagmire where every possible omission by Microsoft or anyone else is acted upon with a judicial sledge hammer, this would be horrible for the progress of technology. What I would like to see are a few things like: The honest appraisal of Microsoft products by the pundits, which at least seems to be getting better as the products get worse relative to the alternatives. Real legal action on the monopolistic commissions by Microsoft, Exxon, BP, ATT, the MPAA, the RIAA and others like big pharma corps. Cleanup in goverment agencys like the USJD, FCC, FDA, and especially Kellogg Street lobbyists.
What I would like to see more than anything is for people to pull their heads out of thier asses and see what is being done to the world, especially to and by this nation, and then that they should vote in an informed manner with both thier ballot and pocket.
Saturday June 09, 2007 Slashdot : 'Dangers of the Internet' Resolution Passed By Senate
Raising children, start with yourself...
Raise your children with compassionate independent minds, basic critical thinking skills and and a good dose of good old common sense and you will have much less reason to worry about them. Your children do not need a best friend or a dictator, they need emotionally stable and intelligent mentoring from one or more persons willing to invest the required time and effort.
The biggest problem with most people of all ages is due to a lack of proper 'raising'. There are all kinds of gray variations on this, but a few basic types of problems. There are those who act as an authoritarian overlord who uses mainly the 'because I said so' mentality and the fear of consequences, this produces fearful and lazy minds that rely on authorities to do all their critical thinking and decision making for them. Then there are those who try to be their children's best friend and use pleading and bribery to manipulate the responses they wish, this produces spoiled soft minds that have unreasonable expectations of life. There are a few that espouse a 'survival of the fittest' mentality in raising children and take a minimal role in the raising. Finally there are those who simply can't be bothered in dealing with the issues they need to the most. These last two methods often produce very strong independent minds, but alas just about as often they turn out emotional basket cases if not outright criminal sociopaths.
Anyone who has raised children to adulthood has at one time or another made a choice that put them in each of these bad categories. The secret is in doing the best you can as often as you can to do the right thing, good old repetition and consistency go a long way. This usually means dealing with a negative response from your child, spouse, or someone else that does not care for your decision. The main thing to remember is that it takes a lot of time, thats what they need the most, assuming of course you are not all screwed up yourself. Alas thats the biggest problem, so many parents are basket cases themselves. So a good deal of self examination and reflection would be an excellent place to start for all of us.
BTW, I have managed to raise two pretty good kids of my own, not perfect,but then I'm not either ;) Did I leave them the ability to have privacy with a computer and the internet, yea somewhat after they were were about 15 or so. Did I monitor the usage? Yep, logged the IP addresses and did random checks. Did they ever get into things like p0rn or chat, sure they did. Did they use a reasonable amount of good sense in such activities? Yea from my best observation they did, I did not raise idiots. Did I confront them in these instances? Yep sure did, but I handled it in a logical manner, I told them such was not allowed, they lost internet privileges for a reasonable time period, and I also took the time to explain the reasons for my actions. Did it work? Yea not perfectly, there were some repetitions in some cases with my eldest son, but overall they took the direction pretty well. For one thing the time they spent online was limited by other activities like personal responsibilities and outdoor entertainment. Would I change anything? Of course I would, for instance I would push them into academic efforts like reading and writing for personal satisfaction a bit more than I did.
Saturday June 09, 2007 Slashdot : Creationism Museum Opening in Kentucky
Good whiskey,fast horses and fine women.
Good whiskey,fast horses and fine women. Or is that Good whiskey, fine horses and fast women? Being a native son myself I can attest to the quality of the 'whiskey', especially Makers Mark and a few local products. Horses I know just enough about to stay away from, ie they are very large and tend to be rather nervous and excitable. Now the women part I have to admit confuses me, I married a 'fine' little Kentucky wildcat about 30 years ago, but I have also been familiar with a few 'fast' Kentucky gals in the past. As to the topic at hand, this is as of yet another sad story among many these days. Rest assured though there are a good many intelligent and reasonable folk still around these parts.
Friday May 11 2007, 2007 Slashdot : California to Start Review of Voting Machines
I suspect if vote selling is really an issue we may soon see electronics sweeps for people entering the voting booth to prevent digital recording or transmissions of the voting act as proof for the purchaser. Of course considering just how screwed up things are now, and how little actual effort is being made to effectively address the problems AND how much effort is being expended to downplay the importance of such problems, maybe not. And so it goes...
Wednesday May 09, 2007 Slashdot : Two US States Restrict Used CD Sales
Re:CDs are more dangerous than GUNS???
When they come for ya, good luck holding them off with your CD collection. Of course if your collection is horrid enough you could try the reverse approach of what the Marines did with Manuel Noregia. A rather ingenious offensive tool, somehow I suspect it would not be much of a defense though.
Quotes of relevant note:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Benjamin Franklin
"When the people fear their Government, there is tyranny. When the Government fears it's people, there is liberty." Thomas Paine
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
Sunday April 29, 2007 Slashdot : NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse
"'Who'd've thought that a member of the "party of Reagan" would preside over the largest budget increase in history?"
Myself for one, given that Reagan AND a split congress (Senate=Rep House=Dem) were responsible for the second largest budget increase AND deficient in history, due mostly to defense spending and tax breaks. Remember kiddies the biggest difference between the two major parties is not how much they take or spend, is who they take it from and what they spend it on. I for one prefer they spend it on something with a real ROI. I have no problem with even massive tax breaks for the top percentage IF the breaks are designed in such a way that the savings have to be invested domestically in things with a reasonable ROI for all of us. That means not using them to play around in things like hedge funds or foreign markets. Such tax breaks should also not be available for investing in foreign industries that are decimating our own because they rely on paying shameful wages or ecological practices to be competitive. Though it is going to be necessary to prevent some group from simply appropriating the results of public investment like the debacle that has happened in telecom. Neither party is innocent in these things. Neither is innocent in issues concerning the lose of liberties our ancestors died for. However from my point of view, this executive administration and the last few Republican congresses have been by far the worst I have seen in my 50 years of direct experience.From my readings they may have very well found the historical bottom of the muck, which is not surprising with all the raking of it that they have been doing.
Sunday April 29, 2007 Slashdot : DARPA Developing Defensive Plasma Shield
Re:Defensive? see Gatling guns
""Defensive weapon" is an oxymoron. All weapons are offensive by definition. You may defend yourself by using a weapon, but you would be defending yourself by attacking back - it doesn't make the weapon defensive, and it doesn't change the fact that you are actively using it to hurt or kill, as opposed to something passively protecting you like a wall or a moat. Arguing that a weapon is defensive because it is heavy is disingenuous - plenty of things are difficult to do but it doesn't stop them being what they are."
Look I did not make the post as a philosophical argument defending the definition. I was simply stating the most probable reason for the military to declare it as they did using classic military logic, that is by tactical/strategic definition. Military tactical strategy and the logic supporting it do not always make sense to a layman. That you can feel correct in defining it as a oxymoron or as a disingenuous statement is simply a matter of definition by perspective and/or lack of knowledge of such tactical strategy. I am not a big fan of the military industrial behemoth that in many ways threatens our republic. I am also not a fan of warfare as it is a terrible, no make that a hideous way to settle disagreements. However the logical underpinnings of the methods of military tactical strategy that have evolved over thousands of years are more than worthy of my attention.
However since you insist, my observation of whether any weapon is defensive or offensive can be dependent on attributes of the weapon and/or relative to the incident of its use. There are static defenses like moats, walls, armor plating or anti ballistic missiles then there are active defenses like archers and tubs of hot oil atop the walls, crocodiles and snakes in the moats, large caliber stationary automatic firearms or retaliatory banks of second strike ballistic missiles. Even such can be muddied up by the intent of use. For instance anti ballistic missiles deployed to destroy only offensive ballistic missiles are viewed by many as part of an offensive strategy themselves as they could be used in strategic ways to support survivability of first and second strike offensive missiles and other strategic holdings, thus they are seen to destabilize parity in ballistic missile holdings. I personally wish there were no such thing as a ballistic missiles, but I could click my heels together for eternity and they would still exist. I can wish for the end to warfare, I can even be active in opposing unnecessary acts of violence, which BTW I am, more so than most. However I am at my root a objective realist, thus I realize that such will be with us for far past my lifetime. I also realize that sometimes though rarely, fighting will be the only acceptable choice.
In the end run if someone kicks my door in and attacks me with whatever, the fact that I shoot them dead with 12 ga shotgun is a defensive act regardless of how you personally wish to define the shotgun. I personally own mine just for such a purpose and no other, as believe it or not I am too soft hearted to hunt for sport and would rather buy my meat packaged these days.
Sunday April 29, 2007 Slashdot : DARPA Developing Defensive Plasma Shield
Re:One little problem...
Fuel Cells. Of course a Mr Fusion would be nice but in the mean time fuel cells, then next nano process fuel cells are the most likely critters. Possibly even more promising near future source for a better power-to-weight ratio would be mini turbine powered generators. Of course for less portable applications conventional CAT gensets and capacitor banks might work pretty well.
Saturday April 28, 2007 Slashdot : DARPA Developing Defensive Plasma Shield
Re:Defensive? see Gatling guns
It is defensive in the same way Gatling and Mini-guns are. That is the damn thing and its ammo or in this case its power source will be too heavy to be portable enough for effective use as a non mechanized ie: infantry assault weapon. Of course mount the critter on a rolling, floating or flying platform and it makes a pretty good offensive weapon as well. However it is well founded classical military logic that the infantry is the root of any offensive action. All other weapons systems are seen as defensive support for the infantry, even those like tanks or air power that are used to "soften" up the enemy first.
Saturday April 28, 2007 Slashdot : Resolution To Impeach VP Cheney Submitted
"There is no way an issue like abortion can be "solved"."
Effective and acceptable conception prevention that would actually be used and could not be defined by opponents as just another form of abortion like most of the more effective methods available today. Objective and realistic acceptance of the sexuality of all people including those who are not of legal age. Realist forms of education of people especially those of lesser experience or mental ability. Cultural acceptance of non intercourse type of sexual activity, ie: masturbation, oral, and "petting" types of activity, once again especially for those not of legal adult status.
I know most all of this would be opposed by the same persons that oppose abortion. However the arguments about the sanctity of life taken by abortion is addressed. If such methods were actually in place the incident of abortion would be so low as to defuse the abortion debate itself. I am also aware that issues of disease transmission are not entirely addressed by what I suggest, however incidents of such could be quite effectively reduced via these methods. To put it as simply as possible it could be stated as:
A.Humans are sexual animals, they almost always become sexually aware well before they of legal age or maturity.
B.They will be sexually curious, and usually active before they are legally responsible adults.
C.Self enforced abstinence is not a natural answer or we would have been extinct long ago.
D.Human sexuality and its expression is natural not unnatural.
While there are some technological hurdles like conception and disease prevention and educational methods, they are realistically addressable in the near term. The real obstacles here are cultural acceptance of sexuality, again especially the sexuality of those not of legal adult status. There are several reasons for this cultural bias, one is completely understandable and solvable, some others are well illogical and will be very difficult to resolve. A parents concern for the welfare of their children is very understandable. Issues of unplanned pregnancy or STD's that can screw up many peoples lives is a valid concern for parents. These can be addressed via technology and education very effectively in the foreseeable future. The really tough problems with the cultural bias is rooted in the institutional and personal interpretations or religious texts that were written hundreds or sometimes of thousands of years ago. That these texts had very detailed instructions as to what was proper expression of human sexuality should not be unexpected. That those instructions were formed by decisions on the best survival methods for the technology at the time is to be expected. The instructions were usually even very logical and thus relevant for the technology of the time. They were almost always focused on maximum reproduction and minimum mortality rates, disease prevention, and stability in the society.
That we should have a set of instructions for our own civilization is completely logical. That we should continue to use those adopted by a civilization hundreds or thousands of years in our past is not logical and is in fact an exercise in insanity. It is illogical to expect changes in outcome without without changes in input, if we keep doing the same old stuff and having the same old arguments we should expect to keep getting the same results. I will agree that the cultural situation at hand is an absurdism. I also agree that there is no sure and enlightened path to the future that resolves these issues. It could very well be that a few hundred years from now the Christian and the Islamic fundamentalists will rule the world by a set of 12th century edicts and still be slaughtering each other and burning and beheading heretics like me. I do suspect though that to do so they will have to stall or regress most science and technology. Do able I guess it seems many are already trying to effect such change. Still given the logic at the base of the scientific method and the obvious benefits of technology advancements I tend to be a bit optimistic that they will continue the slow but mostly forward momentum in the enlightenment of all our cultures.
Friday April 20, 2007 Slashdot : FCC Admits Mistakes In Measuring Broadband Competition
Fancy that! Oh the irony..
"Our statistical methodology seems almost calculated to obscure just how far our country is falling behind many other industrialized nations in broadband availability, adoption, speed and price."
Seems almost? Hello! This would be funny if it were not so painful. If the American people ever manage to wrestle control of their nation from the corporate oligarchy this last decade may very well be recorded in history as the most corrupt since the days of the railroad barons. If we cannot manage reclamation of control such things are going to get a whole lot worse before they break. A disaster which is an inevitable end in a nation where a minority groups greed and corruption run reckless over the will and common interests of the majority of the populace.
Over the years I have heard several people quote some old Scottish monarchist, whose name I forget just now, who rattled on about how democracies were predestined to fail due to the ability of the people to vote themselves endless benefits with no responsibilities. Oh for want of a rope...sorry, back on topic. This I guess could be true in a straight up democracy, however we in the USA are supposed to be living in a representative republic which is designed to negate such excesses. Somehow the Republic has been damaged or at least it's principles have been subverted by those at the top of the economic and political food chain. What is really appalling is that many of these entities are not even real persons, in fact not even Americans. What is so ironic is that the failure of this nation might very well happen through the lack of honest democratic process. Had enough yet folks? I would really like to see this corrected via pressure on our representatives before it get so bad that worse methods are employed by very angry people.
Tuesday April 17, 2007 Slashdot : IRS To Go After eBay Sellers
"you do know that 79% of the tax burden is carried by the top 20% of income earners, right?"
You mean those folks that hold the vast majority of the assets? Sure just cherry pick a single statistic from a single source and proclaim 'look what I know, you dip shits didn't know this did you, huh, huh?'. Look the issue here is just how out of balance things can get EITHER way before it breaks the system. The balance right now grossly favors those at the top of the economic food chain. If it continues to the point of breakdown just what do you think the fate of the top x% will be? In the end it is in everyones interest to not break the frickin system.
"Maybe for once we should stop being partisan"
Yea, thats rich, considering the drivel to from the "conservative" party I have listened with great restraint, and admittedly often with amusement, for most my life. Can you make a clear argument just using common sense instead of falling back on a single cherry picked statistic form BillO's list of "facts" to throw at a liberal---remember you have to use this word in with a dirty slur pretext or voice. Don't take this to mean I am a just another sheep in the Democratic flock, which in contrast to the Republican flock, is actually more like a herd of cats anyway. I will say I like many others are sick of the "good cop - bad cop" routine the two parties have used so successfully for so many years. So exactly whose drivel is it you like best? Oh thats right you like to quote the "fiducially conservative ones", hehehe, yea.
Tuesday April 17, 2007 Slashdot : IRS To Go After eBay Sellers
Re:Oh Please - you break it you buy it!
"One last statistic that is also interesting. The bottom 40% now "pay" a negative percentage of individual income taxes. And the bottom 60% combined pay less than 1%. That means the top 40% pay over 99% of individual income taxes.
I think these inconvenient facts show that your statements are the real propaganda, ignorance and prattling truisms."
Unless objectively applied to a well defined and specific question statistics are less than useless, hence the colloquialism about there being "Three types of lies, lies, damn lies and statistics. Yea good old "earned income" otherwise known as "wages, tips, other compensation". This is why many business owners pay themselves next to nothing, and why many CEO's prefer to work for peanuts and stock options. How about capital gains taxes, since this is where the top % make their real gains in wealth? What is the top rate now, 15% or so? And the 15% only applies to the part that exemptions and loopholes have not excluded/hidden. How about the sleazy off shore corporate registration and banking setups? Either you are just a sucker for propaganda or part of the problem. Break the system and we all frickin pay, but those who are seen as the agents of causation are the ones who will pay the most, for a change. Kinda lends a different meaning to the term "you break it you buy it" doesn't it?
RIAA infiltrates the Democratic Party!
Excerpt from a press release by the Democratic National Committee.
Announces Senior Leadership Team for Denver 2008 Convention
"Jenni Engebretsen, Deputy CEO for Public Affairs
Jenni R. Engebretsen is currently the Director of Communications for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Washington, DC-based trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Before joining the RIAA, Engebretsen spent eight years working in Democratic politics, most recently as a Regional Communications Director for the Kerry-Edwards for President campaign, where she was responsible for developing campaign communications strategy for top-targeted states including Florida and New Hampshire. During the 2004 presidential cycle, she also served as Deputy Communications Director for the Democratic National Convention in Boston and as Press Secretary for the Edwards for President campaign during the primaries. Before that, she worked on Capitol Hill in the communications offices of Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and in the White House press office during the Clinton Administration. She is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism."
Contents of an email I sent to the DNC and moveon.org
The RIAA is simply a face for a group of corporations that seek to lock in the unfair advantage in the market that they currently enjoy. In addition only one of these corporations is even an American company!
They are abusing the judicial system by recklessly and irresponsibility bringing suit against individual Americans and American businesses. In doing so they have literally ruined the fiducial lives and thus the health of many American VOTERS. In fact the RIAA's law of choice, the DMCA, was even used by Diebold to suppress information concerning failures in its voting machines.
They are manipulating our courts and legislators to the detriment of the peoples liberty by lobbying for laws that suspend due process rights of the accused. Not to mention the toll on the peoples economic well being and fair use rights. This woman should be ejected from the Democratic Party NOT placed in a position of leadership. She and the organization (RIAA) she represents should be brought before the congress and charged with criminal conspiracy by the FTC.
My first observation that this move by the Democratic Party will alieniate many of the more vocal independant voices on the internet did not began to appreciate just how stirred up these folks are. According to according to a recent poll on the Consumerist.the RIAA is the most hated "corporation" in America, having beaten out even Halliburton, Blackwater and Wal-Mart for the honor. Is this how the Democratcs intend to win in 2008? This womans job the past few years has been to convince the American voter that a group of thugs the likes of the RIAA is right. Not only does she take money from an organization thats works to our detriment, heck she is apparently not very good at it either.
Slashdot Discussion: Democrats Appoint RIAA Shill For Convention
Boing Boing:DNC appoints RIAA shill to run Public Affairs for convention
Monday March 12, 2007 Slashdot : Political Leaning and Free Software
Free Software transcends political pigeon-holes
I myself could be described as a small l libertarian who is about off the left side of the scale on social issues but fiducially pretty darn conservative, ie: cheap. I also have this personality glitch wherein I get pretty annoyed if things do not work properly and consistently. Free Software is about as good as it gets from my point of view. It works very well as a matter of normal course, I can do what ever the hell I want with it on my computer, it is inexpensive to obtain in the extreme. As a bonus I end up connecting with a lot of like minded folks with whom I can share, trade, improve and support others in developing this software without the parasitic authoritarian, bean counting and marketing types demanding their divvy. Oh but if only the rest of my life should fit so well to my inclinations wants and needs....
Saturday March 10, 2007 Slashdot : Homeland Security Tests Snoop Computer System
Please see Amendments 4, 9 & 10
"Until the US creates a Constituional Amendment which defines a citizen's right to privacy"
Already taken care of in Amendment 4 in pretty plain language, ie: "secure in" = inviolable or private. Even IF this could be argued, Amendments 9 & 10 cover the rights to privacy via explicit reservation of all unenumerated rights. Our "public servants" just need to be taught to respect the constitution as it exists. I'm sorry but we can have endless writ specifying and confirming our rights, unless or until we hold those who would ignore and/or abuse these writs and the rights they define to serious consequence such writ is just "a goddamn piece of paper".
Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Source: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html [usconstitution.net]
Saturday January 20, 2007 Slashdot : Post Topic : Dark Cloud Over Good Works of Gates Foundation
What the foundation is about...
.. is preservation and expansion of power. I do not dispute that Gates has an interest in helping people. I do not dispute that on the balance the foundation could be a extraordinary positive agent of change in the world. However nearly all such foundations have a common trait due to the laws that support their existence.
By giving away 5% of the wealth they avoid a tax rate that would most likely be higher than 5%. The reinvestment of the 95% remaining wealth should yield a average return of much better than 5%. From the basic facts in should be obvious that not only is the foundation perpetually self replenishing it is actually growing in wealth and thus power. Additionally the wealth it controls, it controls itself, not the representatives of the people via the tax man. So the power stays within the executors of the foundation perpetually, or at least as long as the laws allow it to do so. As to whether an individual foundation turns out to be a beast or a angel will be for future historians to decide. In this specific case I can only note that due to the level of initial holdings it has the potential to be one of the greatest agents of change in human history.
Thursday December 14, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Moglen on Social Justice and OSS
People should appreciate what they have
"I definitely think that anyone (poor or not) should earn what they get. I think one of the greatest things that has undermined US culture and other cultures is poorly designed welfare systems."
Personally I think that while poorly designed and implemented social welfare systems are a problem, they are less of a problem than inherited affluence. There are way to many who do not appreciate the importance of the assistance they get from their parents or other benefactors. In my experience the most vocal critics of public social support systems are those who have had overly generous private support systems, ie: wealthy or at least comfortably well off parents or grandparents. In my 50 or so years I have found that neither sloth or intelligence usually have much to do with ones fiducial conditions. Sometimes fiducial success results from where one places such as a priority in life coupled with a dogged persistence toward some such goal, more often though it is due to the initial bootstrap one has received from ones ancestors. The most fiducially successful persons are those with lives that are reflective of both base issues. And yes many of the more reflective and intelligent successful persons are aware and appreciative of the bootstrap, many more however are clueless of its importance in their lives, indeed most of these types see such as something they are entitled to.
"People have come to believe that they are entitled from someone for the basic necessities in life."
In a civilized society the idea an individual should be entitled to the basic necessities in life is not really that bad of an ideal to build upon. However as a member of said society they also have a responsibility to contribute as best they can back into said society. I know that I sound a bit like Karl Marx but he was not entirely wrong, you have to place yourself in his time and place to understand his views. I do believe there is a social responsibility that we a have, if nothing else to our ancestors efforts and honor. This is coming from someone that considers himself very much an (small o) objective thinking independent person with a (small l) libertarian view of life.
"In terms of knowledge, however, I think think it should be free."
I agree and besides "It wants to be"! I know that was shameless and I guess it sounds a bit silly to anthropomorphize such, however in the big picture we all "stand on the shoulders of giants". The base ideals that Thomas Jefferson had that gave birth to the patent system allowed people to receive benefits from their creativity and efforts for a reasonable period of time. Too bad it has been corrupted almost to ruination by shameless greedy types.
"It seems that creating knowledge creates power, sharing knowledge shares power."
This ignores the synergy that can and usually does result from sharing of knowledge. The gnosis and thus power of both the original creator and those they share with can both increase as long as the transaction is open both ways. BTW your entire perspective on this is, from my view, at the heart of what "free" software is about, GNU/Linux is one excellent proof of of the models success.
Sunday December 10, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Second Amendment Questioned
Re:From my cold dead hands
Not to disparage the value of quality firearms in skilled hands, but even if such are not available a determined group or even individual can act in very effective and devastating ways. The chemicals at the base of many commonly used, and necessary, products can be easily be isolated, concentrated and/or combined to make really nasty things. Even if such products were heavily regulated and thus scarce there are plenty of naturally occurring elements and compounds that would be impossible to control in less than a generation or two, if ever. Taking and maintaining control of a nation all actually hinges on some very elusive stuff like cultural inclinations and philosophical ideals. Given the cultural and philosophical nature of its citizens the USA would be pretty much impossible to hold as a single martial controlled state. That being said if the federal state were broken and it devolved into many smaller feudal states, say 50 or more, some local areas may see long term martial rule. As always all it takes is a determined group or sometimes an individual to shift the balance. Oh and BTW I would bet my grandfathers 45/70 Sharps would still be a most effective sniping tool, but I would still prefer my 30-30 carbine and 12 gauge for close in urban or brushy stuff. As for tanks I wonder how the long the occupants would be effective with a dose of concentrated poison-oak and jabenero pepper oils. Chem suits you say, they had better be prepared to live in em. As for automatic weapons, it only takes one shot for a kill, or in case of a shotgun well enough said.
Sunday December 10, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Second Amendment Questioned
come on now
psst! I built scratch made black powder rockets at age 12 with items I got at the local drug store and empty toilet paper or cigar tubes. And there are plenty of more effective and a lot more nasty things that can be built from VERY common items. American civilians have access to a lot more materials that may be used as weapons than the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan. Industrial and agricultural product supply houses would be at the top of the list, the local hardware or grocery store at the bottom. Take the average automobile: gasoline, oil/grease, sulfuric acid, lead, ceramics, antifreeze, rubber, vinyls, plastics, aluminum, glass, steel, and even platinum, you would probably be surprised to learn that there are plenty of materials in your automobile for several really nasty weapons. The stuff under your kitchen sink, in your laundry room, garden shed or beside your propane grill is very likely to be just as useful. Hell your own body provides excellent weapons materials most every day, spit, feces and urine can be used chemically or biologically as weapons. All it takes is: (A) A reason for one to do so (B) Basic knowledge of chemistry/biology and a little elbow grease (C) there is no C, see how easy it is! Not to mention that the nasty effects of a lot of these improvised devices/methods would make getting shot with a hunting rifle sound like a good way to go.
Monday December 04, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Stallman Absolves Novell
Serves them right ..
.. if they read such hogwash and believe it, kinda like the FOX "News" fanboys deserve to be misinformed. Anyone who would believe they have developed a well informed opinion about something as complex as the GPL and the surrounding legal issues from such a small data set deserves to be misinformed regardless of the bias in the information. However bias is the reason that such people go through life with a warped view of the world. This is somewhat analogous to the idea of a self full filling prophecy. Their less than nimble minds already had the kernel of misinformed or warped view and thus seek only sources that reinforce such fantasy. A spiritually and mentally slothful and thus dangerous way to live, this is. Ahh Karma!
"because other people who don't know anything about the GPL read this shit, and then they think that they do"
Your observation reminds me of one of my favorite quotes...
"It ain't what folks don't know thats gets them in the most trouble, it's the things they think they know that ain't so"
Will Rodgers (or a close paraphrase of something he said anyway)
How about a fork - FreeSuSe the Karma Khameleon , as an icon I kinda like the twisted little lizard-like navigator/engineer character off of "Trippin The Rift", I know he was a bit of a perv, but none the less a kool one, don't ya think! It seems to me he would fit in well on /.
Wednesday November 29, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Politics and 'An Inconvenient Truth'
coal is a fossil fuel
"What I think we should be serious about is sequestering a percentage of fossil fuel production and make sure it is set aside for those industries that produce secondary products that are not possible without petroleum - e.g. pharmaceuticals, plastics, various advanced materials.
You might be able to build a clean-burning coal-fired automobile, given the NECESSITY of doing so (in the not-so-distant future), but can you imagine the difficulty of doing so with no plastics?"
Not to dispute most of your post but coal is a fossil fuel itself and very similar in composition to oil. If you look about you will find that pharmaceuticals, plastics and many industrial base products can be and have been manufactured from coal as well. I seem to remember that high sulfur coal is the preferred raw material for some pharmaceuticals. My father was a coal miner for most his life, the last company he worked for (Mapco) at one time gave its employees a set of outdoor furniture made from a combination of unburnt coal products and fly ash - a burnt coal product. It looked very much like plastic to me and was extremely tough and durable. The practice of using coal as a replacement for oil is mostly a question of economics. It rests not only on the question of which is cheapest at any specific time, but also on infrastructure costs and the old "who gets to make the money issue". All these questions today favor oil. Two, ten or twenty years from now that might not be the case especially considering the US and Canada have huge coal and oil shale/sand reserves. Despite these facts I do agree that the preservation of certain oil reserves might be a good idea.
Some quickly Googled links on this topic:
http://www.heritageresearch.com/manufactured_gas_I .htm [heritageresearch.com]
http://acswebcontent.acs.org/landmarks/industrial_ t1.html [acs.org]
http://chemicalland21.com/specialtychem/finechem/P HENANTHRAQUINONE.htm [chemicalland21.com]
Sunday November 26, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : So What If Linux Infringes On Microsoft IP?
How would one know anyway.....
How would one know anyway, whats to stop Microsoft from stealing and inserting GPL'ed source code into Windows source code base and claiming they wrote it first? Does any independent third party hold Microsoft source code in some sort of a legal proof copy? If so how often is the base updated and re-certified, with the constant evolution/bug fixes of the code base? The way I see it there is no way for closed source software to prove it's copyright short of such a method, even a check sum value of the packages can be manipulated with comments and such. It seems to me that closed source code should never have been granted any form of copyright protection since issues such as this prevent it's being clearly provable as legitimate. Things like a book, digital document, schematic or blueprint are certainly easy enough to prove as legitimate first copy, but closed source code, how?
Another thing, just how much GPL'ed IP is Microsoft Infringing upon? How is anyone to know? You can't compare the code because it one party keeps its code closed. As of yet another issue, just what IP are they discussing anyway, that subject to the law in the USA?
Now this is an example of a IP issue where copyrights are concerned. The other IP issue is patent infringement which is just as stinky a mess due to reckless patent grants. Way to many patents have been issued for obvious fundamental computing concepts, business methods, research methods, technological concepts, etc. Software patents are an especially way too generalized in application. I have looked at a few and the way they are written makes me wonder who the idiots were that thought issuing patents for such a nasty mess was a good idea. I am surprised that no one has managed to patent gravity yet. Political/corporate USA has a huge interest in sequestering and protecting IP since it is about all they can look forward to now that they have sold off/out virtually all of its value added services like materials processing and manufacturing for short term gains.
The next 50 years should be interesting.
Saturday November 25, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Scott Adams Suggests Bill Gates For President
"Those who are too ethical or intelligent to engage in political
endeavors ironically are doomed to suffer a self inflicted curse of rule
and domination by those who are not similarly restrained by conscience
or enlightened by gnosis." Socrates*
*This is a paraphrase of my rendering of something that I understand he had spoken,
possibly repeated/recorded by his student Plato in a similar form.
Saturday November 25, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Scott Adams Suggests Bill Gates For President
"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
"And his hands would plait the priest's entrails, For want of a rope, to strangle kings."
Tuesday November 11, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : An Open Letter To Diebold
It is states rights issues...
"Why does only the Federal Govt. decide things like National Security & minting of currency. Becuse these are matters of vital, national importance."
I am too tired tonight to recall enough or research the details but the dizzying array or often disparate election procedures and laws in the US is mostly related to local governmental autonomy and states rights issues. Due to the nature of the USA origins and peoples there has always been a certain level of distrust for a monolithic federal government. Remember there are also state and local elections often concurrent with federal elections. I agree that I think more openness in processes, uniformity in technology and regulation and much better legal oversight would be generally a great idea. However I can also relate with some who have concerns about issues of too much federal power in general. The governing of the population in the US despite some national and international opinion has always been an exercise akin to herding cats, IMHO this is how it should be.
Tuesday November 07, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Bogus Experts Fight Your Right To Broadband
The free market mantra, phssh!
I read enough of this topic to see the Free Market mantra coming up over and over and over. I am fed up with hearing about "free market" this and that. Listen close now! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE MARKET! The markets are anything but free! Global corporations have bought the legislation to ensure such. This has always been the case to some extent, there has never been a truly free market anywhere on as a grand scale as a nation. I doubt that there has ever been one larger than a individual Quaker community. Today the manipulation of markets for the gain of the privileged few are happening very effectively all over the world, it is just a bit father along in the USA than in say Europe. Anywhere national or state level legislation doesn't work out they just bribe or coerce local officials. Wonder why so many in the third world hate us? They see us in the light of these "business leaders" and our rah-rah support of these "free market heroes" and their propaganda.
As for free markets I am not even sure we want really free markets, as they are probably just too volatile to support a stable society the size we have today. What annoys me is all these business and political types running around shouting the free market mantra and holding up a free market as some sort of holy rule that we cannot muck with, when such does not even exist. I wish I had all the answers, I would be most pleased to share them. I can share this much, DO NOT believe the propaganda that we have a free market economy in the USA! The professed aspirations of such aside it is not and never has been such and getting less and less free with every congress. The big difference between today and recent history in the USA is that the balance of power, political influence and wealth distribution between those that produce via their physical labor, creative ability's or information juggling/processing skills and the parasites that exist upon such has gotten out of hand, again. Not that is has ever been fair. sheezz!
Saturday November 04, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Diebold Demands That HBO Cancel Documentary
Quit frickin' whinin
"I'm really forced to wonder if the Slashdot group-think would hate Diebold as much as they do if Gore won in 2000 or Kerry won in 2004"
Come on now, if, IF! Are you really that dense? Why is it so hard for some to understand the importance of the election process being trustworthy? In your glee that your preferred pilferer is in power can you not wrap your mind around what the consequences of wholesale subversion could be?
ie: Quit frickin' whinin', up against the wall you traitorous wuss!
Look I know it's poor form to bitch about mods, but "Funny"? What the hell is funny about the post folks? Maybe I am dense myself but I don't get the joke. Unless it is a sick type of funny like the "hire the handicapped their fun to watch" line? I think the poster is serious, and that's, well, it's just pitiful, and you folks should be ashamed for finding humor in it. ;)
Tuesday October 24, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Diebold Disks May Have Been For Testers
..a waste of time, none of this is relevant
Debating the existence of the disks or examinations of the same is a waste of time, none of this is relevant. Even if Diebold uploaded this "source code" to SourceForge tomorrow, there is no way to know that is it the same source that will be used in the machines during an election, or that there is not an issue with the compilation of such code, or that it has not been infected with other code after installation, or that a swap or flash of the firmware on the machines is not an issue.
There might be a way to use electronic voting if the whole process was open enough, both in design and implementation and the equipment was physically secure enough. However at this time the only effective way I can see to ensure the elections are accurate is to dump the whole effort and go back to paper and pencil. While we are at it make the voting period longer, several days would make sense to me.
I actually prefer the idea of runoff type of election that would allow for 1st and 2nd and etc choices. This would go a long way toward eliminating the stranglehold of the good cop/bad cops mess we get from a two or even three party system. But at the very least we must make sure people that are eligible can vote and that they have a confidence that their vote will be counted accurately.
On other issues, the gerrymandering of voting districts is probably as serious a problem or worse. We need to clean this up before we have a chance at having representation that we are able to hold accountable. This along with actual serious efforts to do something about the ways money is involved in elections AND influences over the voting of our representatives must be addressed.
Running Firefox 2.0, man the built in spell checking is sweet, and the hangs on tab switching during page loading I got on the last version seems fixed. Thanks Mozilla Folks!!!!!
Monday October 23, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : England Starts Fingerprinting Drinkers
Re:V for Vendetta...it's happening. ..a waste of time, none of this is relevant
"Statistically insignificant. Hmm. When 3,000 people dead on one day at the hands of just 19 people is statistically insignificant ....then 2,800 dead over three years in a "war zone" is...what? A hellhole? What level of mass death is statistically significant to merit a response? 100,000 dead in a nuclear attack? That's only 2.5 years of car accidents in the US. Oh well, just another statistic, right? This kind of morbid bean counting gets rewarded on slashdot? Come on!"
I believe your numbers are a bit off, try 2,800 US soldiers dead PLUS 300,000 to 600,000+ others (mostly civilians) . Oh and BTW you also failed to mention the 30,000 or so US soldiers maimed, who knows how many others maimed as well.
"What level of mass death is statistically significant to merit a response?"
The answer to your question is ONE. The real questions should have been; what level of response is logical and ethical, and how do we implement the response in a effective and judicial manner. Listen close now, 99%+ of the 300,000 to 600,000 more or less that have died in Iraq had NOTHING to do with the 3,000 that died on 9/11.
"100,000 dead in a nuclear attack? That's only 2.5 years of car accidents in the US"
Do you really believe that the mess in Iraq has rendered such an event less likely? How would you feel if your child, lover, sibling, parent or close friend was blown in half before your eyes? Then you get to see the persons responsible smiling and strutting around using such actions to make political hay, now how would you feel? How many more thousands of persons with a vengeful hatred for the US are there today just because of this war?
"Oh well, just another statistic, right?"
Think about it....
Monday October 02, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Administration Ignored Bin Laden Intel
Re:Olbermann is a left-wing O'Reilly
"Am I the only one who thinks Olbermann is a left-wing O'Reilly? I don't know whether he's quite such a pathological liar as O'Reilly but his whole rhetoric..."
A lot of what he does that seems over the top like instances where Bill O Reilly seem to me to be simply ratings driven. At least he seems to have a bit of fun in his engagements with the numb nuts at FOX. As for his, mostly recent, op-eds on the Bush administration, well as I see it he was dead on in the assessments. So whenever someone aggressively criticizes the powers that be it makes them a demagogue and a puppet for the opposing party? In my view Oberman is perhaps the most courageous and honest op-ed host on TV news who is not a party and/or corporate shill and/or pathological liar. I respect many other folks like Chris Matthews, Jim Leirer, Charlie Rose or Tim Russert, even Joe Scarbourgh, but they have been failing in their lack of aggressive questions or stance given the current all to common flagrant disregard for the truth by those in power.
Sunday September 17, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : FCC Orders Anti-Monopoly Report Destroyed
Managed 401k type accounts...pssstff
"I get the joke, and I have to laugh, because if not I'll think of the 7% FICA tax I've spent over the years plus the 7% my employers have been matching to FICA, and cry. (FICA is the social security fund, I forget what it stands for) I can't imagine how good retirement would be if I could put 14% in a mattress, much less put it in investments much safer than the stock market. My last Social Security statement estimated my benefits would be around $1200/month, which means I better have my house paid off and buy an old car so I can afford to keep the lights on. What a ripoff, considering the additional 12% I'm having to also put into my 401k to be able to *really* retire will pay out much more than that. I'm pretty sure a safety net for the poor and unfortunate --which we should provide-- cannot possibly cost this much. (sigh)"
I have been investing a higher % than your 12% into a 401 or 403 account for about 20 years, admittedly mostly in the higher risk funds. Things did look pretty good during most of the 90's. However in the last six years or so things don't look so well. I am not sure one can trust such "managed" accounts. I suspect that I like most those falling in the later 25-30% of the baby boom will work till they die. I put my trust of being able to stay comfortable and well fed into the home I am building and my hands on living skills as well as my marketable knowledge. The home is designed to be inexpensive to heat and cool, and intentionally designed to not to fit within standard market definitions. This may make for a lower market value but it will thus also have a lower taxable value as well. The house will be a mostly buried steel reinforced concrete over steel quonset form. It is being built on a very rural tract without a mortgage and will survive just fine without insurance.
Thursday September 07, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Another 150,000 Years of CO2 Data
Socialist != Communist
"During the cold war 1st world = USA and free countries in Europe, 2nd world = socialist country, 3rd world everyone else.
So I would say it is unlikely that Brazil will be 1st world standard if they keep applying a socialist model."
Your getting things all confused, if holding Socialist ideals or applying such are deciding factors then most of Europe for the last 50 years would be considered "second world" states. The term "second world" referred primarily to Soviet Block nations and sometimes loosely to other communist states such as the non Soviet block Slavic states or China. Socialist != Communist just as Capitalist != Fascist even if the lines get blurred in some specific cases.
Brazil is simply making a trade of possible long term wealth held in the Amazon Rain Forest for the temporary gains necessary to lift itself out of "third world" conditions. The methods it uses for the control and distribution of these resources, Capitalist or Socialist, have very little to do with the basic nature of the actions. Either Capitalist or Socialist society's are capable of making responsible compromises or disastrous Faustian bargains.
Directly the opposite of what most people intuitively think, the soil of a tropical rain forest is actually very thin and poor. So the long term usefulness of such soil will depend on managing it from the start in a manner that returns organic matter. I don't know what the specifics of sugar cane are by my past experience farming have given me so insight on these issues. For instance corn harvested for grain, NOT silage(the whole plant) is much less damaging to the organic structure of the soil than soybeans even though it is more demanding fertility wise. It can actually improve the structure of a soil faster than leaving it aside in grasses. And even silage operations can have the impact softened by returning the silage fed animal waste to the soil. If the Brazilian's are returning a large enough volume of the organic matter to the soil then they might have a long term sustainable situation, if not it will degrade the soil structure and cause loss of topsoil.
As for fertilizer and ph issues these are mostly mineral based issues. Phosphorus, potash and trace elements can be gotten from quarries or sources such as slaughterhouses, only nitrogen is derived mostly from hydrocarbon supported processes. Plus nitrogen can be supplied or at least supplemented by other methods such as green manuring or with nitrogen fixing bacteria and rotating crops like soybeans or peanuts.
As for water resources, unless they cut enough of the rain forest to alter weather patterns in a substantial way I doubt if they will even have water problems with the Amazon and rainfall they receive. It is possible that they could poison the thin poor initial soil very quickly with salts through bad fertilization and irrigation methods. It is also possible that they could build the cleared areas into some the richest in the world over time. Even possibly in the distant future allow it to return to the jungle, managed or wild.
If not for the issues of species losses from the clearing actions I would say this all could possibly be of very little long term concern, possibly a very good thing for the whole world. I think that very intensive management by relocation or preservation of wild species, or at least the DNA of such, occurring in advance of the clearing would be great idea. I think it would be or great benefit to the "first world" to be as proactive and helpful in this as the Brazilian's allow. I suspect that the mid to long term ROI on such matters are sufficient enough that it even makes sense for big pharma, agri and chem industry's to assist in a substaintial manner, even without corporate welfare payments.
Monday August 28, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Heroic IT Dept Less Likely to Steal... Lunches?
The bigger the roll the tighter the rubber band
The bigger the roll the tighter the rubber band. In my past experience as a independent general and electrical contractor, and also as a truck farmer I found the wealthier the customer the more likely they were to contest the bill or otherwise try and get extra stuff or services for free. The easiest to satisfy and to collect from customers I ever had were almost always the least affluent. The absolute finest customers were working class older black folks, they are the salt of the earth in IMHO. The worst were CEO and VP executive types with professionals like doctors and lawyers a close second. Interestingly enough most of the independent business owners while demanding were rare to contest a bill and far easier to get along with than the executives and professionals.
I believe my opening statement is reflective of the situation, most of these folks are simply greedy and tight. Every dollar they can coerce from you is another dollar for them. That and I believe they value money differently than most others do. I mean I value money for what it can provide for me, ie: security, a new toy, ease of mind from not worrying about a bill. I believe they value money for it's own sake, or maybe it is for the power to control others, maybe it is a competitive game they play with themselves or others, whatever it is a very different and much more powerful a need that my own. Also these types seem to have a lower ethical standard or at least a very flexible set of ideals as compared to most working class folks. They also seem to less concerned about what others may think of them on a personal basis, or at least it is far harder to cause in them an embarrassment or shame of their actions.
Saturday August 19, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans
Re:Are we not men?
"Are we not men?"
Why yes of course, some of us are anyway, or more precisely some of us are indeed males of the species homo-sapiens. This does not mean any of us male, female or otherwise are the final product in the evolution of our species.
"I hate Liberals and Conservatives."
Ahh grasshopper, be forewarned, standing in the middle of the road is a good way to become road kill.
"If you are a Liberal or a Conservative, then FUCK YOU!"
Do you really think rather crude and foul displays of your loathing are in any way helpful in convincing anyone that your views are correct? Do you really think those you seek to demean give a rats ass what you think?
Really to do what? Be brash and obnoxious? This is hardly a display of courage.
Wednesday August 16, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans
Oh papa I am so 'shamed
Additional evidence that mankind's evolution is far from finished. Unfortunately it seems that a considerable percentage of the bloodlines in the US are well involved the process of devolution, at least intellectually and socially. Oh papa I am so 'shamed.
Wensday June 28, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : ISPs to Create Database to Combat Child Porn
Re:It's a really delicate subject
"I don't want to sound liberal, I'm against child pornography"
How the hell does something that contains the quote above get modded insightful, are you people on crack? As an unabashed liberal I take offense to the posters implication that being of a liberal mindset equates to being supportive of child pornography. Just because I support my AND YOUR right to enjoy the freedoms many of our ancestors died for it does NOT make me a fan, apologist, or enabler of immoral criminal activity. The existence of this nation, in fact the observation of many of the human rights we accept as basic were founded in the time of the Western Enlightenment on LIBERAL principles by courageous people of a liberal mindset. If this is not what the poster meant I will accept a retraction and apology. Otherwise they can bite my LIBERAL ass.
"Another idea could be the "infection" of some images/files/videos and leave in the wild"
Yea thats what we need a bunch of infected files floating around out there so some asshole can compromise some else's system and mass mail to pretty much anyone. Once again I ask, are you people on crack? This is an insane idea, there is already enough risk of this with viruses, trojans and malware, XXS and the like. There are already laws to deal with pedophilia related crimes, the answer is simple, use existing constitutionally sanction legal methods and enforce the laws.
Before the Internet most of this material was exchanged via the postal service, and that was dealt with without the need to open everyones mail. It seems to me that those who trade this material over the Internet by its base nature leave themselves more exposed than the ones using the postal service, without resorting to methods that cause wholesale loss of everyone else's privacy. This pedophilia stuff is like all immoral, unethical and criminal activity, it has always been with us and will always be, all we can do is resist it and minimize it.
As for P2P, freenet and other darknets and the like I don't have a answer here and now. But I can't see where there is any serious difference between them and a closed envelope with a fake return address using the postal service. I suspect these platforms and other forms of private electronic communication will eventually be outlawed by politicians using these issues as the reason.
Yes I am a LIBERAL in that I am concerned about the loss of liberty and I am aggressive in the defense of the freedoms that are intrinsic to our liberty. Many western nations, especially the USA are well on the way to becoming neo-fascist police states, empowered by some that like to call themselves liberal who really want a nanny state, and a few others that like to call themselves conservatives who really want a paternal theological state. If people like these continue to support such ideas and policies without any serious and courageous resistance our descendants will curse us all as a few generations of mindless cowards that selfishly pissed away their liberty, hopes and dreams.
Tuesday June 27, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Billions Donated to Charity
It is about cultivating a selfless compassion
I read in this passage (Mark 12: 41-44) the same basic message as most of the teachings of Jesus. That of placing ones self interest below ones compassion for others, especially those of lesser abilities and of greater needs. Marx actually came close to the same ideal in "from each according to ability, to each according to need. However Marx was attempting to codify such into a social structure, something that did not really have anything to do with the ideals or intents of the individual regardless of how lofty the goal. I believe that Jesus had the correct approach in that his teachings were almost always directed at coaxing a selfless compassion for the welfare for others in individual hearts. Society after all is merely a collection of individuals with at least some common ideals and intentions. This was intended as grass roots building of a kind and noble civilization based on love and compassion. Sadly many Christians I have encountered seem to misunderstand this most basic of testaments. You don't simply do these things out of fear because an all powerful and vengeful God insists you do them. You need to cultivate the softness of heart that makes YOU WANT to do them out of love and compassion. But then this interpretation of Jesus's teachings is from old agnostic me.
Monday June 26, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic :U.S. Secretly Tapping Bank Databases
Hey at least we can agree on something :)
"The Democrats are more fascist (yes, I know what the word means) and inept than the Republicans will ever be"
Apparently you don't. It may be somewhat fair to say that the Democrats of today have socialist tendency's but fascist, naw they can't compete with Republicans there. The definition of fascist does however describe todays corporate butt sucking, bible thumping, flag waving, issue baiting, war mongering Republican party very well. And as for "inept", well I will agree that the Democrats seem to be inept at politics lately, or maybe it is just a matter of ethics that keeps them from sinking to the new lows of the Republican party. All in all though it looks to me like the "decider" has provided all the data necessary to complete the definition of inept to perfection. This guy would be a riot to watch if he was not in command of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Just think how much better off we would have all been if he would have went into stand up comedy. You know I hear Hitler was a closet artist, actually a pretty good one.
"I don't want the children to have healthcare if it has to be paid for by non-voluntary contributions out of my wallet. The same goes for old people and drugs, and poor people and food."
I suspect you would like to get rid of SSI or dump it into a 401k type account as well. I hope for your sake that all our 401k type retirement accounts are safer than I suspect they are. Because one of those "children" may be the one responsible for what to do with your sick "old" "poor" ass someday. Be a shame if you ended up in a bottom of the barrel nursing home, where the people responsible for feeding you, medicating you and wiping you ass had to resort to stealing your food and medication to take care of their own. Be a shame if they left you laying in your urine soaked, feces soiled drawers for hours due to staffing shortages cause by budget cuts.
"But I suppose I'm just one of those crazy extremists. Ummm... actually, I am."
Hey at least we can agree on something :)
Sunday June 25, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: FCC Approves New Internet Phone Taxes
Re:This USF stuff is bullshit.
"All I know is that this "fee" requires me to dump MY money into paying for telephone service for the boonies"
I suspect this a red herring. I live in the "boonies", about seven miles from the closest city/teleco office. My basic rate is US $58.00, with county to county, taxes, Internet , more taxes, more taxes and surcharges my bill without any long distance calls or other special services is $118.00 a month. Somehow I don't think my and my several dozen local neighbors max 28k lines are being supported by the seven mile off city dwellers that pay around $16 a month for 56k capable lines. Do you believe everything the teleco companies and politicians tell you? Besides by your logic my taxes regularly support construction for bridges in New York, new super highways in LA, new water projects in Las Vegas or as yet another new missile factory outside Dallas, whats the diff?
Sunday June 25, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: U.S. Secretly Tapping Bank Databases
it is about WHO gets to make the money
"Family values', 'American values', 'traditions' - any improvement on these so far ?"
Improvements? Improvement is antithetical to a conservative mindset. In 1956 everything was near perfect, Ike and Dicki ran the show, wifey and minorities knew their place. The only real big problems were those pesky unions and that damn rock an roll. For them everything since 1956 has went to hell in a hand basket. Improvement that sounds "progressive" to me. Ya must be one of those darned ole malcontent liberals --dirty word :).
Sunday June 25, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: FCC Approves New Internet Phone Taxes
Re:No week pass without something to fuck U.S. People
"Family values', 'American values', 'traditions' - any improvement on these so far ?"
I think there were a several reasons that this administration decided a war with Iraq was in their best interest. Historians will deem some of the theory's reasonable and legitimate, others as not supportable by fact. If, that is, historians are allowed to openly and honestly investigate these issues, this may not be a possibility in the future. A lot of past history being taught is inaccurate, incomplete, over simplified or just plainly used as propaganda. Often this is due to information being classified, and the volume of that increasing.
I believe that the 911 events were used in premeditated manner by the perpetrators to elicit just such a response. It is well know now that Bush had Iraq in his sights before 911. I find it hard to believe that the perpetrators of 911 were not aware of this. A mostly absentee president who was in power via a close election that was beginning to appear stolen. The economy in a steady downward spiral after several years of steady gains by his predecessor of the opposing party. There were many hints of coming legal troubles for the leaders of his own party. The chances of his reelection were not very good.
This presidents cabinet was and is infested with neo-conservatives and totally in bed with the big energy and construction companies that make trillions from the Middle East oil and natural gas reserves. The spread of the theocratic Islamic states in the area were and still are a huge concern for these global corporate interests. It is unlikely that these states would decide to just sit on these resources, after all that is about all most have going for them. They would however be very likely to demand a much better deal that the totalitarian or monarchy's that exist in most today. I can even see how Bush and company thought they could plant a democratic republic in the Middle East. It is not implausible that such could happen. It is just that like everything else this type attempts they tried to do it on the cheap. End result, as usual penny wise a pound foolish, the cost will be many times what it should have been if the effort is ever successful at all.
Even the politically unchallenged war in Afghanistan is not all that it seems to be. Afghanistan lies between the Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and the ports on the Arabian Sea. These relatively undeveloped nations hold huge natural gas reserves that have for some time now been courted or already actively assisted under contract by US energy companies in the development of these reserves and the construction of pipelines.
The results of 911 were the same as one would get by smacking a hungry dog in the nose with a rib eye steak. Today one of the theocratic Islamist's most formidable opponents in the Middle East has been not only neutered, the half dead carcass serves as a breeding ground for new recruits. Even worse it may very well be democratically elected into a theocratic Islamic state itself in the near future. In the end though I have to say this war is not directly about oil, not in the way many believe. It is about WHO gets to make the money off the oil, natural gas, and all the activities that surround and support the industry.
BTW this is also what the deal is with coal as well. The technology exists to burn coal cleanly, or to convert it to LPG and thus even plastics efficaciously. The whole oil and natural gas or coal debate is a red herring, it is simply all about WHO gets to make the money in the short term. If you are under thirty you will probably live to see a transition away from oil as the predominate energy source, because it will be exhausted as a source or too expensive to get at. The same people that make trillions off oil now will move to making trillion more off coal and biomass.
Saturday June 24, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: DefectiveByDesign Supporters to Call on RIAA Exec's
I can live with that
"The people that produce and distribute it are willing to let you listen to it,_if_ you are willing to agree to their terms. You don't have to agree to their terms. But, then you don't get to listen."
I can live with that. I keep my money and they can keep their over priced, restrictive and mostly crappy material. Screw 'em, I'll bet they miss me more than I miss them. But then even GOOD music is only at best a minuscule part of a happy life, for me anyways. This applies to DRM and to proprietary formats and technology's as well.
Wednesday June 21, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: U.S. Gov't Spent $30M On Citizens' Personal Info
god damned piece of paper
"I've said it for many years now: what this country needs is a Constitutional Convention, to bring the Constitution more up-to-date and to iron out inequities in the system."
Be careful of what you wish for. In such all possible choices are open, including the bad ones. I would hardly trust those in power today to make choices comparable with the wisdom the founders. You can see proof of this in the prohibition amendment and it's subsequent repealing amendment. Maybe in few more years after things have become intolerable the people might somehow manage to clean house and elect representatives with the peoples personal liberty and general welfare as the basis for such choices this might be a good idea. But in such as case it would probably be unnecessary. If the constitution was simply honored and applied as it exists today most of the things that concern you would cease to be an issue. The problem is we have leaders that consider it a "god damned piece of paper". I believe we need to change the elected representatives not the constitution.
Wednesday June 21, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: Prototype System Blocks Digital Cameras
Plus it could be even more disruptive
"I'd be mighty angry if I was at the movies, and the babysitter couldn't call me and let me know that my children had hurt themselves and was in ICU at the hospital."
I agree, plus it could be even more disruptive. Imagine if the cell phone of the on-call surgeon the kids needed were blocked as well. I am a controls technician for a health care foundation. If I get call on my cell phone it is very likely because there is an issue with a critical system that patient care depends upon. With systems redundancy it is rarely life threatening, but can still be disruptive. I think most people would consider having air conditioning in the hospital, working fire alarm systems and getting their pain medication on time enough reason for an occasional interruption of a few seconds of "quality" movie time. We really do not need more "big brother" or "nanny" laws or in most cases similar applications of technology either.
Saturday June 17, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: PayPal Security Flaw Allows Identity Theft
use my ATM PIN? why would I do that?
From the article:
"... are subsequently presented with another page which requests them to enter further details to remove limits on the access of their account. Information requested includes social security number, credit card number, expiration date, card verification number and ATM PIN."
Now who in their right mind would ever enter their SSN or especially ATM PIN into such a web based form? The only place I have ever been asked to use my ATM PIN online is my banks login, and I whined and cried to the bank about that. The bank now has a password feature that does not use the ATM PIN which I feel much better with. My main problems with using the ATM PIN as a IP transmitted login password were A: It made my account less secure if my PIN was stolen via a store spycam or similar non IP "over the shoulder" type exploit. B: The PIN length the bank used (4 char) was too short for a decently secure transmitted password. C: Simple separation of risk. D: The only way I could change my PIN and thus IP login was via a bank visit and physical note to a cashier. My bank now allows for an 8-16 character login password that I can change over IP.
Other notes on these issues. I recently backed out of a credit report service signup form because I was uncomfortable with the information they wanted. These credit reporting agency's and the information they want make me nervous. I have used one of the big three a couple of times before and guess I will probably just stick with the expensive services they offer. I ALWAYS do my banking with a single session of Firefox or Mozilla, clear the cache and kill the session when I am done, then start a new instance BEFORE I browse anything else. Of course this is pretty much not possible with Paypal and eBay. However I typically only use the eBay provided "Pay Now" button in "My eBay" instead of one provided by a vendor, even if I have to use their checkout service to process my shipping address and such.
It is unfortunate that it does seem to require more than just "a little common sense" to use such online services safely. The be any kind of safe one it seems one needs to be almost pathologically paranoid. The silver lining is at least I guess that part of my sometimes warped psyche finally might work for my benefit.
Sunday June 11, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: Techies Asked To Train Foreign Replacements
free markets, no such creature
"Welcome to the free market. The politicians in this country have not introduced any kind of real legislation which protects US jobs. And this is because big business donates billions of dollars to politicians to prevent them from doing it."
I am fed up with hearing about how "free market" economics are causing these problems. Listen close now. The markets are anything but free! Global corporations have bought the legislation to ensure such. This has always been the case to some extent, there has never been a truly free market anywhere on as a grand scale as a nation. Today the manipulation of markets for the gain of the privileged few are happening very effectively all over the world, it is just a bit father along in the USA than in say Europe. Anywhere national or state level legislation doesn't work out they just bribe or coerce local officials. Wonder why so many in the third world hate us? They see us in the light of these "business leaders".
As for free markets I am not even sure we want really free markets, as they are probably just too volatile to support a stable society. What annoys me is all these business and political types running around holding up a free market as some sort of holy rule that we cannot muck with, when such does not even exist. I wish I had all the answers, I would be most pleased to share them. I can share this much, DO NOT believe the propaganda that we have a free market economy in the USA! The professed aspirations of such aside it is not and never has been such and getting less and less free with every congress. The big difference between today and recent history in the USA is that the balance of power, political influence and wealth distribution between those that produce via their labor and the parasites that exist upon that labor has gotten out of hand, again. Not that is has ever been fair.
Sunday June 11, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: Techies Asked To Train Foreign Replacements
Amadeo Giannini is rolling in his grave
The genius and ethics of Amadeo Giannini are once again insulted by the modern day managers of what he once built. I know a lot of other entities have had a hand in the BOA (Bank Of America) of today, some as honorable and some not. However the Bank of Italy that he founded in the 1920's is a important keystone of the modern BOA. From what I have read about Mr Giannini he would be ashamed of what his legacy has produced.
Oh well what should we expect from managers that settled a class action lawsuit brought on by Enron investors, for $69m? Of course under the settlement agreement , the bank denies that it violated any law. These are the same managers that, even after buying out a $9M class action lawsuit, still continue the unethical practice of "Largest Check First" check clearing. That is when the bank clears checks in order from largest to smallest, with less regard to when they come in causing more checks to bounce, triggering more overdraft fees for the bank to collect from their customers. The same company that has been convicted of raiding the Social Security benefits of customers with awarded damages that could exceed $1 billion.
I can't help but to wonder what this companies shareholders think of these type of practices and losses, regardless of the bottom line effect. The really bad part is I suspect it is almost certain that my 401K is at least in some small way or another linked to this company or another one just as bad. This type of issue has been nagging at me for while. The meager amount that I have invested in 401K and 403K accounts is still a considerable part of my overall wealth, and my late years will depend upon their wise investments now. I have them well diversified in various managed funds.
There sure seems to be a lot of liquid variation in these funds investment allocations, almost to the point of abstraction for someone of my non professional investment skills. I mean I really do not have the skill set or time to learn such to follow theses things in the detail that it seems is necessary to determine just where my money is invested. I suspect that the only way I would ever be sure is to try and gain full control of the accounts and personally make explicit stock purchases of specific companies. Even if I could find the time to acquire and hone these skills, I am not sure it is viable legally for these type of accounts.
These things extend past my personal financial future. There is also the issue of the ethics of how my money is being used. It is easy with everyday stuff. I noticed who the gas station owners were that gouged prices on September 12 for example, and no longer do business with them. However difficult such decisions might be with individual stocks, they seem near impossible with these managed funds. Anyone took this to the next step? I for one would like to at least do what I could to not make our problems worse, if not help fix some of them.
Thursday June 08, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: DRM and Democracy
There is an even more insidious problem
There is an even more insidious problem with this picture. To quote Simon and Garfunkel in The Boxer "A man hears wants he wants to hear and disregards the rest". There is a tendency, especially among the hard right to watch, listen and read only what reinforces their already warped views. What if the "pay per view" model was extended into news programming as well? How many FOX "News" fans would ever choose to pay for ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC much less CSPAN, Link or PBS. Now I realize they don't watch much else anyway, it is pretty obvious. But this would pretty much lock that in by removing the rare opportunity for them to blunder on something besides the rancid propaganda Fox feeds them. Now on the other hand if I could remove my meager contribution to FOX "News" as a revenue stream for Rupert Murdoch by breaking it out of my DTV package, well I would be much happier. I do watch it every now and then when I think my blood pressure may be a bit low. Honestly, I try to get my information from a variety of truly "balanced" and even some disagreeable unbalanced sources, but explicitly paying for Fox "News" would be kinda of like paying for an Ann Coulter book, not likely to happen here.
Tuesday June 06, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic: Net Neutrality: Lobbyist McCurry Raises Ire
Infested with Republic-rats ...
The problem is there are very few true Republican or Democratic state (at least in my state) or federal Executives, Senators and Representatives. I have become fond of saying that Washington and most state capitals have become infested with Republic-rats. This is not say they are moderates, instead they seem to have managed to devolve into a vile species of creature that has the attributes of the worst aspects of both parties.
There are way to many opportunist types calling themselves Republicans that who do not hold traditional Republican values like self responsibility, constitutional caution and thrift. Instead they seem hell bent on perverting private issues into divisive social confrontations all the while picking the pockets of the small business person and working people and creating a revolving door political-corporate oligarchical Neo-fascist big brother state.
It also seems to me that way to many so called Democrats have forgotten the honorable liberal principles of freedom of the individual to live as they please, innovation and courage in the face of change and the ethics of striving to progressively create a more equitable society. Instead they seem too often to be obsessed with creating an always politically correct socialist nanny state, are too greedy or cowardly to say no to way too many special interest agendas, and too self interested to stand up for core liberal values.
The sometimes conflicting agendas of true Republicans and Democrats work well to rein in the extremes of either. However the perversions of those values into what we see today may very well destroy this nation if not corrected in time. If this situation is not corrected soon our descendants may very well curse the selfishness, ignorance and cowardice of those that allowed the destruction of the greatest scientific, economic and culture power in history and allowed its children to be robbed of their hopes, dreams and liberty.
Monday June 05
I recently received a forwarded email newsletter from a former coworker. The newsletter had a amusing lead article about a fathers inattention in mistaking a neighbors kid for his own, that was cute. As for the other content, well he should have stopped there, the other content was classic of what is wrong with most of the information I see coming from the right side of the political spectrum these days. A lot of misinformation and miss-applied statistics. In my humble opinion the author of this newsletter, one Zig Ziglar is doing society a great disservice by spreading this type of trash. I have pasted below the content of my reply to my former coworker, with appropriate quotes from the newsletter.
" The question being repeatedly raised in America is "just what did the First Amendment say about the 'separation of church and state'?" To begin with, it says nothing about the separation of church and state. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment says church and state must be separated."
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
As quoted above, Amendment I of the Bill Of Rights explicitly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". In order to connect the state with the church, a church, that is a theology would need to be selected, and thus established as the official theology. This was common in European nations at the time, and was in fact the reason many colonists choose to leave Europe for America. While European laws still had some effect here it was usually negligible thus most could worship as they pleased, within their local community's tolerances of course.
The Supreme Court correctly interpreted the intent of the framers on this issue. In the run up to the Constitutional Convention there was considerable debate on even the inclusion of any references to a deity or theology in the Constitution and even in the Declaration Of Independence. Many including Jefferson and Franklin argued for little or no reference to a deity or theology in the drafts. They were concerned that the inclusion of such references left the documents weakened and subject to exploitation by the same influences prevalent in Europe and other governments throughout history.
There were many compromises, one being the various references to a deity commonly accepted as the God of Abraham, but not explicitly stated anywhere I am aware of.
You may be interested to know that the Oath of Office required for elected Federal officials does not require an pledge before God, only one of the individuals honor made to the People and the Constitution. Similarly the mention of "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was inserted in the early 1950's.
Overall I believe the original framers made amazingly well thought out compromises in these documents, and the Supreme Court did a good job on the interpretation of the same. By not having an official religion we are all free to worship OR not to worship as we please as long as it does not impede on anyone else's rights or welfare. For the Baptist's how would you like it if Catholicism were adopted as the official religion of the USA? This could be a real issue in the near future with the immigration of Hispanic population if not for the first amendment. If you are a Catholic how would you feel if the church were forbidden to conduct mass?
Want to see what a theologically supported government looks like, look at the Islamic states of Iran or Saudi Arabia or read on the "emperor as god" states of ancient Rome or pre WWII Japan. Want to know what a Christian theological state could be like, read up on the Spanish inquisition. What to know about a simply theologically anointed state is like read on the the governments of Kings Charles, George or Louis. I am not arguing for a atheistic state like the Soviet Union or the DPR of China. I happen to think we have had a pretty good compromise for the last couple hundred years.
"Since the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible-reading in public schools were to be outlawed, increased crime and violence, a decline in academic achievement and other negative consequences have resulted."
Most issues of crime and violence with kids and adults has more to do with lack of raising by their parents that anything else. While a legitimate argument can be made for an ethical decline in the world, lack of indoctrinated Bible study and public acts of prayer have little of nothing to do with it. Anyone can pray anytime they want, privately, so far there is no way to prevent or directly inhibit our thoughts. Public prayer is often like the Pharisee's practice of faith anyway, for show. Prayer even when done in union is by its nature a personal matter between one an ones God.
A much better argument for the increase in crime and violence, which I dispute anyway maybe it has increased since the since the 70's, but the statistics I have seen show a decline through the 90's, it seems the 80's were a violent decade. And maybe it has picked up again recently I am not sure. But even given that there has been a increase since some unspecified date, lets look at what has changed in our world. It is more likely that both parents work even if they are still together, and most marriages fail over economic reasons anyway. So the kids have less supervision and direction. The prime wage earner, usually the father is working longer hours than ever, so he is involved less than ever in their day to day lives.
"A decline in academic achievement" Who would have guessed that was possible? Maybe anyone that noticed that Federal backing in real dollar funding fell through most of the Reagan years in the1980's and has hit new relative lows again with the current Bush administration. Heck a good number of kids go to school all day without enough to eat. This is a fact even though often what they can afford to eat is so loaded with simple carbs and fat that they seem well fed, even obese, eating well can be expensive these days. Hey, but at least we can give generous tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of the population, so they can make those great foreign investments. Plus ain't it just wonderful that we can afford to spend more on weapons than the next half dozen or so nations combined. You don't think the kids noticed do ya?
There is also a lot of apathy in the kids today, why should they strive work hard when they see their parents working longer and harder for less every year, their grandparents often unable to afford medication they need. Then the parents and kids alike get to watch as their inheritance, if any, is gobbled up by obscene health care costs in the last days of the grandparents lives. The last couple generations have been fed a bunch of propaganda revolving around what I call social evolution theory. They have been lied to about Social Security issues to the point most believe it is a grand pyramid scheme. They have been indoctrinated by politicians, yellow journalists, many Hollywood producers and Nashville country music artists to believe in a simplistic perversion of true patriotism. They look about themselves and see politicians, executives and professional athletes committing all kinds of atrocious acts, and getting away with it. No wonder so many are apathetic, unethical or outright criminal.
This social evolution, survival of the fittest, greed is good, I got mine and you can go "eat cake" philosophy, is often espoused by both Republicans and Democrats, though not quite equally as the Republicans seem to have literally enshrined it. I like to say that Washington has become infested with Republic-rats. Not Republicans, not Democrats, but the worst parts of both. There are way to many opportunist types calling themselves Republicans that who do not hold traditional Republican values like self responsibility and thrift. Instead they seem hell bent on perverting private issues into divisive social confrontations all the while picking the pockets of the small business person and working people and creating a revolving door political-corporate oligarchical fascist big brother state. It also seems to me that way to many so called Democrats have forgot the honorable liberal principles of freedom of the individual to live as they please and the ethics of striving to progressively create a more equitable society. Instead they seem too often to be obsessed with creating an always politically correct socialist nanny state, are too cowardly to say no to way too many special interest agendas, and too self interested to stand up for core liberal values.
The sometimes conflicting agendas of true Republicans and Democrats work well to rein in the extremes of either. However the perversions of those values into what we see today may very well destroy this nation if not corrected in time. You may not agree with all the observations or conclusions I have made. Don't be too hasty to dismiss these words though, I think about this stuff a lot, so I don't make these statements without a lot of observation and contemplation. Do your part, try to raise your and others kids with a sense of open minded personal ethics, personal responsibility, with the inclination and ability to think for themselves. Educate yourself on the issues, reach you own conclusions, and make a pest of yourself to BOTH parties and those around you spouting fallacious opinions as fact. If you don't end up locked away as a malcontent and possible terrorist in the making you might actually have an effect.
Sometimes all it takes is one person to stand up at the right time for the right reason and the world is changed for the better. Sometimes you might not be that person, it could be the child you nurtured or the neighbor you confronted on a fallacious opinion he digested from someone else's talking points. Remember to not delude yourself, to keep some humility about your own opinions and never stop with the observations. However if you don't ever act, don't ever expect action. May you live long, may you be embraced by true love at least once, may you find comfort in your times of despair, may you live with a humble honor, and may you finally die with dignity and at peace with yourself.
Sunday June 04 Slashdot Post
A couple Slashdot posts of mine... replying to agree with someone ... hey I do that sometimes.
Exactly! it is about domestic malcontents
"Have you read Patriot Act I and II? If you have, you'd know that the new definition of a 'domestic terrorism' is "any action that endangers human life that is a violation of any Federal or State law". You'd also know that anyone who fits this ridiculously broad definition of 'terrorism' can now be considred an 'enemy combatant' and stripped of their U.S. citizenship and rights. Under current legislation, a person could be legally held indefinitely without trial for something as innocuous as speeding."
Exactly! Many seem perplexed as to what is behind the obsessive interest the current "government" has with the communications and other private affairs of American citizens. The target is not pedophile, Islamic terrorist groups or any real criminal activity at all. What this is all about is getting as much data as possible on domestic malcontents. These include some pretty radical but "well heeled" militia groups that operate far enough within the law to prevent court sanctioned monitoring.
What the "Patriot Act I and II" and these other anti-liberty ploys provide is a means to circumvent the public face of the judicial system. Of course there is also the advantage that via the same methods they could also quiet other domestic malcontents, including those unafraid to speak their mind, like you and I. These attempts to identify malcontents are bound to stir up the more radical, and usually well armed factions. I cannot not help to think that the current bunch of nitwits is trying to "stir the stink" and prove themselves "saviors" when they start to roundups following an event they brought on by these methods.
The big picture is rather chilling. This nation has had problems from the start like the slavery and segregation of blacks, genocide and apartheid of native peoples, bondage and serfdom of Asian, Irish and other later immigrants, and the more recent abuse of illegal. It has serious problems with wealth distribution and it is getting worse all the time. It has a judicial system that operates in relation to the $$ one has to spend on bribes, oops sorry "on qualified representation". The methods we have used over the years to elect representatives has always been far from perfect, but seems to be on the brink of collapse lately. The horrendous laws that have been passed in recent years, combined with the total lack of respect for that "god-damned piece of paper" by a bunch of nitwits, well I see a storm on the horizon or is it a bad moon risin'. Best of luck, see ya in camp malcontent.
Sunday June 04 2006 Slashdot Post
It is all about intent and knowledge
" - and most terrorists could easily commit crimes using low tech means (like, oh say, boxcutters, maybe?"
Actually most persons of normal physical conditioning and strength can be taught in a short period of time how to kill or maim rather effectively with only their hands, feet and the victims body mass. Then there are items like ball point pens, glass bottles, aluminum cans, shoelaces, house keys, plastic ID badges, personal care products and household chemicals. Almost anything can be used as an offensive weapon in a specific circumstance. It is all about intent and knowledge, resources are nearly inexhaustible and opportunity can be created.
Monday May 29 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:AI ain't what it use to be.
At least they have the courage to call it as they see it. The current crop of political "leaders" holding the executive and majority control in both houses of the US legislature have not only damaged the nations economic stability and endangered the liberty of its people, they have also soiled its ethical standing. Not that it has not happened before, but it is really atrocious how the arrogantly self righteous this bunch is. Do YOU like the way things are being ran, or are you just afraid to say otherwise. At least AI is willing to stand up and declare the emperor naked. For my part, I will add not only is the emperor butt naked he's damn ugly as well.
Tuesday May 23, 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:Aw, these Americans...
I guess you think your Republicrat buddies are doing a "fine" job "fixing" things, huh? The only things I've seen them "fix" are energy prices, judicial decisions and elections. All in all though I think the experience could be good for the nation as it is exposing to the American people the true nature of these "fixers and deciders" as the deceitful, malicious, greedy incompetent fascist idiots that they are. That is except for a few nitwits like you, some cases are always hopeless.
Friday May 19, 2006 Slashdot Post
"Science wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for the work of Christian/Creationist Scientists such as Copernicus, Kepler, Boyle, Newton, Gauss, Faraday, Maxwell, Lord Kelvin"
You think maybe these intelligent folks might not have any other motivations to avoid confrontations with rabid theists? Like their careers, or in some cases their lives, maybe they placed the value of continuing their work above the self gratification of dissent.
Take for instance your first example, Copernicus. The Austrian mathematician Georg Rheticus wrote a book Narratio prima in 1542 outlining the essence of Copernicus' theory. The generally positive reception among peers and failing health convinced Copernicus to allow Rheticus to undertake the publication of a second more extensive book. It is said the first printed copy of De revolutionibus - orbium coelestium was placed in Copernicus' hands on the very day he died in 1543.
He did not have to be concerned about encountering the same fate as some others that embraced his theories. Fifty seven years later Giordano Bruno was tried before the Inquisition, condemned and burned at the stake for such blasphemy. Galileo was charged in 1633, under the threat of torture and death, forced to renounce all belief in Copernican theories, and was thereafter sentenced to imprisonment for the remainder of his life. Georg Rheticus himself may have avoided persecution because he was under the protection of Duke Albrecht, Albert of Prussia, who consented the publication, for whom he had developed a day length calculating instrument.
Maybe these folks just did not wish to suffer the fate of Galileo or Giordano Bruno. That is, to lose their positions of influence, to starve , be imprisoned or even be burned as heretics? Even in their public writings they may have well have been simply patronizing those that might cause them trouble. I have found that you see more of who someone is through their acts than their words anyway. The acts these men performed are the very foundation of the science that the creationist's argument is positioned against.There is also the issue of your implication of their support for the modern creationist argument. Even when they accepted the general therom, todays form of dogmatic faith might might be a bad fit. There is no way you know what these people actually thought about such matters.
Please note that while not a theist, I consider atheism to be even less of a valid belief system. I guess if you had to have a label for me it would be an agnostic honestly invested in the search of gnosis. Most of what I have read and seen in the theisms of yesterday and today is far less than honest and all to often devoid of knowledge, so I search on. BTW, I was raised once upon a time as a Baptist, so there is hope even for the well indoctrinated. From my experience and observations I suspect the root of the noise with the theists' communities has more to do with control of women and children than any true search for gnosis.
We are as a species very young, our individual live experiences rank close to the mayfly when compared to the age or agelessness of the universe. What we do not know in the span of the only mortal life we have evidence of far outweighs what we do know and will for a very long time. Just because something does not fit your world view does not mean it is not true. Even if it does or does not, just because something is true here and now does not mean it will be true elsewhere or tommorrow. Please keep some humility about your assertations of knowledge.
Evolution is a theory and is taught as a theory with mostly well supported evidence. It is a complex endeavor and that some parts of the theory may be invalid is more likely that not. I have reservations about a lot of it myself. However I see very little in the way of supporting evidence for the Creationist's argument. Never the less it should be taught, in an comparative and equitable manner along side other religious and philosophical topics, but not as a science.
Saturday May 13, 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:The Shock! The Surprise!
"Because Diebold is only interested in stealing elections, not your money. So rest easy."
Naw they still want your money, they just are not interested in the chump change in your account, when they can get serious $$$$$$$$ by stealing elections. Plus they are much less likely to get caught AND prosecuted by stealing an election. Or so it seems, so far anyway.
Friday May 12, 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:serious question...damn trolls
"How dare you question our leader in a time of war? Go to North Korea and see if you like it better!
This is exactly the kind of stuff that makes the terrorists more powerful. All they're looking for is weakness in our resolve and people like you make it easy for them. You should be ashamed to call yourself American."
Damn trolls, I can't seen to resist them lately. Look if this is meant sarcasticly, QUIT IT, it's not funny anymore, this is serious stuff. If this is what you really think, well Mr A.C. it looks to me like you are ashamed of your own thoughts and words, with good reason though. Dumbass as they are.
This is exactly the kind of mindless drivel that supports a fascist state. All these 'leaders' require is a tipping point of weak minded people like yourself to make it easy for them. YOU are the one that should be ashamed to call yourself American. If people like yourself continue to support such ideas your descendants will curse you as the mindless cowards that selfishly pissed away their liberty, hopes and dreams. Please try a little self evaluation and reflection, ask your self what is the "stuff that matters". Then try, just try thinking for yourself for a change.
Saturday April 29, 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:Let's see this for what it is, shall we?
Well stated! Jefferson had concerns about large enterprises, mostly banks and the trading companies they often owned. The argument could be made that they held the same positions of influence at the time as nearly all large corporate interests do today.
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks will deprive the People of all property until their children will wake up homeless in the continent their fathers conquered." Thomas Jefferson
Add to this that many of the largest today exist as global entities and that the executives and controlling shareholders of these corporations can afford to live anywhere in the world they wish. The result is that these individuals and the enterprises they control have no allegiance to any culture, nation or its people. The only reasons the welfare and indeed the survival of the western nations are of any concern to these corporations is for the purchasing power of their marketplaces and for the military power enforced stability they provide. Should these marketplaces become broken or displaced by say... Asian nations, the ability to exert military power will follow the money, and the West will find itself the new third world, and quicker that you might think.
If the purchasing power of the West continues to decline among the masses of its population the system will break. Before you trickle down fans start yapping about increases in purchasing power for the western nations, let me remind you that these have NOT "trickled down" and increases in wealth have remained with the top five percent or so of the western population. The vast majority of the populations in western nations have seen purchasing power fall consistently over the last three or four decades.
As for the nitwits that trash Ralph Nader, I find that he is more in tune with what is actually happening than the corporate puppets you continue to support. For those who would accuse him of fostering class warfare, well you have it backwards. The original poster was correct there is a war, it could even be construed as a class war. However the executers of this war are the rich and powerful, and they are winning. The formation of a new breed of Fascist society with its corrosponding cultural values is well underway in many western nations. If this situation is not corrected soon our descendants will curse the selfishness, ignorance and cowardice of those that allowed the destruction of the greatest scientific, economic and culture power in history and allowed its children to be robbed of their hopes, dreams and liberty.
Saturday April 08, 2006 Slashdot Post
Re:M.A.D. Software Patents
"Or a company on its last legs can make a crazy last-ditch effort to sue themselves into profitability, like SCO. But what's Lucent really doing here?"
Isn't Lucent in the middle of a takeover or buyout attempt by a French firm? Maybe this relates to that deal. Possibly a shot at making it seem more of a player via it's IP rights and thus add to it's value. Maybe its a way to complicate or delay the takeover process. Maybe this is a move by both parties in the takeover to drag the issue into French courtrooms as well, or make an implied threat of such apparent to Microsoft.
"Isn't Microsoft going to turn around and use it's double-click patent to try to make Lucent stop selling everything they make that involves a GUI at any point?"
Apple or the folks they got the idea from http://www.parc.xerox.com/ [xerox.com] PARC might have something to say about the GUI issue. From the PARC history page.
In 1973 the PARC "Alto personal computer becomes operational. As it evolves, the Alto will feature the world's first What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor, a commercial mouse for input, a graphical user interface (GUI), and bit-mapped display, and will offer menus and icons, link to a local area network and store files simultaneously."
In 1975 PARC "Engineers demonstrate a graphical user interface for a personal computer, including icons and the first use of pop-up menus. This interface will be incorporated in future Xerox workstations and greatly influence the development of Windows and Macintosh interfaces."
Friday April 07, 2006 Slashdot Post
True the corporation behemoths that own the media, for the most part do not care about truth or liberty, just money. It has always been this way to some extent but the trend toward such has turned nearly straight up in the last few decades due to the bean counter mentality, forced buy outs and such. There are a few exceptions still around like the NYTimes, the Sulzberger family that holds controlling interest in the company seem to still be trying to "hold the line" with mostly unbiased fact seeking journalism. A good read on the state of the American press can be found in "Read All About It" by James D. Squires. And I do believe there a still a lot of good journalists out there, it's just that there are also a lot of "yellow media whores", thankfully a lot of them seem to work for Fox News, so at least their concentrated well.
Friday April 07, @2006 Slashdot Post
"I am literally ashamed I voted for Bush in 2000"
Hehehheh thats funny, I almost voted for the idiot myself in 2000 because I figured a lot of folks would end up feeling this way after a good taste of an all Republican government. I had became tired of the preponderance of "Republicrats infesting the "center" of our capital and mucking up my liberty. I figured a good dose of neo-fascism might get the peoples bellies full. Couldn't make myself do though 'cause I was sure a lot of folks would pay with their lives, bad karma and all. Seems four years were not quite enough anyway.
"Realize the other party aren't the only ones out to screw you over, but also the party you yourself belong to... Democrats and Republicans!"
Yea but the Republicans but be hung better because they sure leave my ass hurting a lot worse. There are a few good folks on both sides but they don't stand a chance at this time. BTW I have voted on presidential elections since 1976, thrice for a Democrat (Carter 1st time, Clinton 1st time and Kerry the last round), never for a Republican (well there was maybe one, the excommunicated Republican John Anderson as an Independent in 1980), the rest "wasted" on Libertarians or Independents like Ralph in 2000.
I still sleep pretty good though, how about you? Ever hear the cries of the tortured, maimed and dying in your dreams? Are you truly concerned about the idiotic reckless economic damage and dangerous international precedents set by these idiots? Or are you like so many other regretfull Bush supporters, just pissed off about the price of gasoline and 401K losses?
Saturday April 08, 2006 Slashdot Post
a recursive anthropic..oh just forget it.....
"It's a popular modern quirk to consider ones time so unique and so different from any other time"
"That's not a modern quirk at all. To state this is to consider our time so unique and so different from any other time."
Thats an anthropic, no its a recursive, no its a anthropic recursive ..... , or is it a recursive anthropic .... Oh just forget it, I'm going outside. :)
Saturday April 08, 2006 Slashdot Post
The cause and effect relationship.......
All thoughts are "neurochemical phenomenon". But the cause and effect relationship gets a bit cloudy in these areas. Gross disturbances of chemical compounds are indeed responsible for neurological illnesses in many cases. But the statement "you are what you think" has some merit as well. Ones thoughts and patterns of thought also effect neurochemical changes and balances.
I believe one can think themselves into a destructive neurochemical state. In effect you can program your brain into producing disturbances of chemical compounds. It seems to me that such "programming" often includes a feedback loop that amplify the processes. I suspect many bad habits and addictions are supported this way even if some start from external electro/chemical or internal biological influences.
So yea I think "p0rn" could and indeed does act as the raw data source such in some cases, but then so can and also do books, news, movies, games and religious "faith". As to if "p0rn" by its nature in some way contributes to the "program source" in an especially destructive way, I would say depends upon the specific nature "p0rn" and the individual, same as for news, movies, games and religious "faith". Both also depend on the amount of "processing time applied.
Whether it is reading Hemmingway, watching the idiotic demologues on Fox News, looking at naked butts, watching violent or sexual deviant behavior, watching scientific documentaries, watching violent movies or sports, playing challenging games, playing gratitiously violent games, listening to Mozart or listening to a deranged mullah or evangelist, do it long enough and it will change your neurochemistry and thus your thoughts and maybe your actions as well. What goes in... well thats your choice, sometimes:). What comes out, thats pretty much always your choice.
Friday March 24, 2006 Slashdot Post
"How would you like it if someone stole your work and flooded the market with copies of it so that you couldn't make money from it?"
Well if I had the inflated ego of most artists and authors I might be grateful for the fame and promotional publicity it created that would put me in high demand for lucrative live appearances. But I do not have that kind of ego and nor do all artists or authors. I have no wish to deprive the creators of content of whatever they and the marketplace decide their efforts are worth. I simply wish to be able to: A. protect my investment via archival B. to be able to transfer it to a alternative storage media for my personal use, without breaking the law!
As one old enough to have purchased the same titles on vinyl disc, 8track ,cassette or video tape, now CD/DVD, I have hit a point where enough is enough. I refuse to buy the same content endlessly as the technology changes but the content doesn't improve in a substantial way. If in the future a new recording of a favorite old piece becomes avaliable in a improved more true method of reproduction I might bite. In most cases it has not improved in quality, it has actually declined.
"It's the million people stealing a song or DVD that necessitates DRM b/c it's not worth it to the company to go through archaic enforcement procedures (filing lawsuits, etc.) to recover the $15"
Again, theft of copyright protected content via P2P and USENET or warez site type file sharing is and should be illegal. I also have a problem with the selling or pre-populated iPod type players with duplicated (read pirated) content. I don't doubt that napster and such took a bite out of the industry's pocket. I do suspect they are exaggerating the extent of the damage. And by engaging in punitive tort litigation with sometimes equally clueless single parents and grandparents they are simply beating themselves in the face.
I think the losses claimed from file sharing are mostly a red herring anyway. Most of what I saw on the internet in mp3 format was rather poor quality low bitrate versions anyway. I believe that most people who would buy a CD/DVD would still buy it anyway. Even if they had to pay for content they did not want, I have, though I have about stopped. This issue of content is probably the biggest reason the sales fell for them. In far too many cases one would spend $15 for a CD with maybe one or two good selections and a dozen or so filler pieces of junk. This is a big reason why file sharing became so wide spread and services such as iTunes have done so well. One can build a collection of what they like without fishing through the trash. Which by the way is what was really behind the old mix tapes of yesteryear. The artist's and producers got lazy and greedy, and technology bit them in the ass, it has before, and it will again if they don't change their ways. If they were not so clueless about things they could harness the power of digital technology and add to their bottom line. Look at what Apple has done, with I have to add what seems to me a pretty draconian deal for the customer, forced by I suspect the RIAA legal whores. Such restrictions keep folks like myself from building the collection they have always wanted. If one accepted that they had no other motives it would seem they are just incapable of learning.
With the $6 a month service from Microsoft can you archive your collection when the $100 device becomes unreliable or obsolete? If your $100 device dies without being backed up will you need to download all the music again? I guess you have broadband, many of us still do not. What about services like Apples iTunes, from what I have heard if your iPod dies so do your rights to the music you purchased and downloaded onto it. The way I understand the DMCA it is illegal for one to circumvent Apples DRM to archive the collection, to anything but another iPod (or maybe a Mac) anyway. This seems like a pretty clear case of using the law to support unfair monopolistic practices to me.
True Digital Rights Management would protect the customer as well as the content creator, I would have no problem with such. The reality is that DRM as currently employed by most major media content providers does not protect a customers rights. Rather it has been deployed simply as way to support the creation of laws that attempt to roll back fair use laws and stifle competition. Which I again postulate as my base argument against DRM as currently deployed. I think we probably actually agree on this point.
Thursday March 23, 2006 Slashdot Post
"since there is clearly a demand for convenient and unrestrictive DRM, that will clearly be the future of DRM"
A demand? From whom? Not the customer. How can anything like DRM possibly be seen as "convenient and unrestrictive"? At best DRM would an annoyance to the customer who needs to preserve the collection they have paid for when the specific technology it was stored on becomes unreliable or obsolete. At its worst it is undermining the legal precedent set with "fair use" laws. It is also a drag on the evolution of technology when it is used as a weapon against legitimate competition. The only "demand" for DRM is from what I see as an illegal collusion of a short sighted greedy media industry and clueless and/or purchased politicians. They never expected DRM technology would "stand on its own". DRM is simply a stalking horse that was deployed explicity to support the creation of the DMCA. Heck it doesn't even address the serious pirates, in most cases as they produce "bit level images", usually in the case of DVD and CD media, they produce stamped media. These are true "cloned" reproductions, including even the DRM elements.
How we treat the vanquished
Most of you who know well, know me to be ..well.... not especially religious. This does not mean I am not spiritually active. In the same light, I can't not honestly say I have the generally accepted level of unquestioning surety of belief that makes one a Christian or devout follower of any other faith. This does not mean I do not find spiritual peace, revelation or ideals in the teachings of spiritual leaders, especially those attributed to Christ. Indeed it is there that I have found the most complete, relevant, simple, elegant, moving, and deeply emotionally stirring message.
The article below seems to me to a near perfect example of where and how these teachings may be applied to dealings with ones enemies. It does not suggest, nor do I, that we lay down arms, run from bullies, ignore injustices or cower from evil, it just simply describes the logic of a compassionate approach. If we expect to influence or change how others think of us, we need to the take a higher path in how we treat the vanquished. History could record this generation through any one of many lenses, how would you like our generation to be remembered?
Are we not taught by business today that the difficult customer while rare, a very small percentage, requires the most patience and effort? If this is important enough for the money used to buy toys, does not the price paid in the blood and tears of our children make it even more valid in the affairs of nations, especially in conflicts involving entire civilizations? Should not WE as a people be seen to reject the uses of deprivation, torture and terror as valid tools? Should we not be seen instead to embrace honor, mercy and compassion as way of life? Should we not value our honor, compassion, and ability to reason more than our hubris of ego or possessions?
For those of you whose faith is more certain than my own, I ask what do you think God would wish? If you are not sure ask for an answer in your prayers or meditations. What would the Christ teach? Not sure? Go back and read again the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). If you are of another faith of which I am less familiar, please read this short chapter for the core of what I think Christianity is based upon. And please enlighten me with pointers to items you would consider of similar message and/or equitable value in your faith. I really would love to read them in a most respectful and earnest manner.
Why do our leaders not have these insights? How can we help them to see these things? They ALL claim to be devout, they ALL say they hold such teachings as sacred. If they simply do not care, how can we act to create concern in their hearts? If I were sure enough in my heart to presume the right, this is what I would ask of God. Please cause or help me to create such concerns in the hearts of ALL mankind, especially those of great influence and power or those in with a malignant hate, unrequited loss or bitterness of injustice searing their soul.
May you live long, may you be embraced by true love at least once, may you find comfort in your times of despair, may you live with a humble honor, and may you finally die with dignity and at peace with yourself.
In Iraq's Prisons, Try a Little Tenderness
Sometimes even the big ole corporate media does it's job,
imho the NYTimes is usually better than most. .... Zealots at the Air Force Academy
Now this is an excellent example of badddd hypersynergy, religious ideology and the military must be kept separate. Hell this is specifically the evil what we are supposed to be fighting.
Militant Islam or an Industrial Corporate Christian Military, both are wrong. Don't we have enough trouble with corporate/political/military collusion issues already? I respect everyone's
right to observe any faith that does not intrude one anyone else's faith, human or civil rights. Especially those that are to accept the sacred duty of defending their peoples, they will
need an ideology. I have my own ideology, you have yours, this is as it should be. The military organization should have an ideology itself, one based on honor, professionalism, respect,
truth, justice, I don't even care if it accepts the existence of a higher power in it's definition. Never the less, any external specific ideology must not be allowed to become one, a duality or a trinity with
with the military.
From a 2003 USENET posting of mine to a Bush supporter. Primary Topic: collusions of interest, political and
religious manipulation. also footnote on agnosticism.
Republican vs. Democrat is there a difference?
Yea there is a difference a big one, the Democrats are the lesser of two evils by a considerable degree. Of
course that's my opinion, simply put. You on the other hand have yapped on to considerable length mostly
parroting a party line of talking points and of course linking to your favorite political sites. I did take the
time to read your letter that seems to me to be simply more of the same. Since you opened this up, a 'brief' on my views and positions as they relate on the primary topic you raise of who should lead this nation.
There are indeed many issues, population numbers, energy issues, environmental issues, destructive
social evils, many pathologically nasty human nature conditions, sometimes it is just the often unforgiving
and hostile nature of the universe itself, that all must be eventually solved, contained or defeated.
However a few operating in a sort of synergistic spiral lurch out at me as being an imminent threat to us
1. This nation, indeed the entire planet faces dangers it has never known before, the ability of humankind
to destroy itself and possibly the rest of the planet as well. The evolution of technological advances have a
'hypersynergy' that has great promises but terrible dangers. I do not see technology as the problem,
technology is a tool, it is not by its nature good or evil, just a tool. In fact I see advances in knowledge and
technology as humankind's rightful destiny. I also believe that such tools are the only solution for our
ultimate survival as a species.
2. We have not evolved socially at the same rate as our technology. So many of the territorial animals
survival instincts are reflected in our social structure that we still find it difficult to apply reason to our
decisions. The rise of the fundamentalist religious sects, of all faiths, and their resistance to logical and
reasonable changes to society are evidence of the instinctive animal nature still embedded in humankind.
The fundamentalist movements rely on and indeed harness by manipulation the territorial animal based
fears and insecurities their followers face in a rapidly changing world. This has of course been the case for
thousands of years, however a war of the faiths, fought with the technology of tomorrow places the entire
planet in danger. The basically flawed non-inclusive nature of religions is degrading into racial and ethnic
hate mongering world wide. This is due to defensive territorial animal instincts of our nature being
manipulated by the those who will eventually lose control of the beast they create.
3. One other situation we have also endured for millennium involves the concentration of power and its
inherent limitation of logical analysis. Most consequential events are decided and controlled by a
minuscule percentage of the population. Most resources are also controlled by the same persons. Indeed
the percentage of this base to the world total is shrinking. While it is often true that this 'elite' percentage is
more intelligent or otherwise capable, it is not an absolute. Throughout history here are many instances of
where idiots, fools, lunatics, hedonistically greedy types and even pathologically insane evil persons have
acquired great power. Do not think it cannot happen again, I suspect it already has.
But then bad events don't necessarily need the above instances of malformed mind. Systemic abuses of
humanity are rampant in the world today. Regretfully the effective form of government in the 'free world'
today, including the USA , is more of a corporate oligarchy with very limited democratic control. The
populace is being manipulated by appeals to our animal based territorial and security instincts and our
liberty is being surrendered for a perceived safety. My recollections on history lessons indicated that most
failures of civilizations were caused by ecological disasters -often self perpetuated, corruption of office,
overly ambitious and unrealistic attempts at conquest, abuse of the citizen or conquered, unfair
unrepresentative taxation, and/or the simple failure to represent the will and general welfare of the people.
Inappropriate collusions of the principles that control a society assure corruptions of office, monopolies of
wealth, consolidations of influence, and at the heart are antithetic to the spirit of a republic and
representative democracy. Presidents Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, both Roosevelt's and Eisenhower among others like A.Smith, T.Paine and B.Franklin have warned us of these collusions of interest, and deceptions of security, we should listen.
The primary sources of my repulsion of the Republican party are divided between the last two above
observations. They have decided to pander to and manipulate the fundamental religious movements of
the Christian and Jewish faiths. They have also decided that the best interests of the nation and world are
reflective of the corporate oligarchy that is compromised of a micro percentage of the nations population.
They act in ways that leads me to believe they have decided that the best method of controlling this nation
is to further consolidate that power. I do not believe this privileged elite has the knowledge, foresight or
ethics necessary to ensure the survival of this nation in a form I would want to live in. This is not say the
Democrats are innocent of these collusions or transgressions, its just that they either practice them in
lesser numbers or degrees or they are not as proficient in their executions or deceptions, ie the lesser of
two evils. I am also concerned that the language and methods employed by the Bush administration to
fight terrorism have been very divisive and exacerbated the conflict. I agree that radical Islamic
fundamentalism is a grave threat to the whole world, but you don't destroy a hornets nest by annoying the
hornets unnecessarily. I agree that the right to life and liberty for an Iraqi is valid as one for an American,
or a Korean, or an African, or a Saudi, or a Chinese citizen. I will even accept the possibility that an
objective, practical and logical analysis of the Iraqi condition may have justified their selective liberation in
a well planned and objective manner. I agree that there is a possibility that Bush truly believes he has
acted logically and honestly, I don't however believe that he has. What I am sure of is that there have
been way too many costly misjudgments in his actions.
So for Bush, simple, he should not be be re-elected simply due to his incompetence in the area of
choosing the members of his staff and cabinet, simple poor judgment in choosing whose advice he
should dismiss or retain. He seems to lack the ability to entertain a logical analysis of the facts without
placing them in a subjective box, he seems to, as Simon and Garfunkel wrote, "hear what he wants to
hear and disregards the rest". Well as they also note "the words of the prophet are written in the tenement
halls", a disillusioned and disaffected populace can be a most disruptive power. I suspect he should
realize this Nov03, but the lesson will probably be to bitter for him to learn from in an objective and logical
manner. If the citizens of this nation place him in control of our national soul for the next fours years, well I
think it was Blaise Pascal that noted "people get exactly the type of democracy they deserve".
More on my views on Agnosticism and religion in general ...
As one of an Agnostic inclination, I do not profess a definitive or absolute knowledge of anything spiritual
or other form of extra-experience. I do however have every reason to know that there are many things
outside my personal experience that are real. I am somewhat well read and very literally liberal in my
reading range. The thoughts and experiences of many of these writers seem to me to be genuine enough
to accept as a very real possibility. I have had many experiences, a few friends, and in fact had a few
dreams, that I will not launch into a discourse upon, that have affected me profoundly. Thus I do not, and
will never dispute the existence of God. Also I do believe that there are a great many aspects of a 'faith'
that are very valuable and a great comfort to humankind. I also believe that many of the practices of
almost all faiths have been positive for humankind. Many of the text attributed to Jesus Christ are still the
most profound and elegantly simple statements I have ever read and affect me in very powerful emotional
level while having excellent logical reasoning as they relate to the human condition. However for most of
humankind religious teachings have been used more often as a narcotic or stimulant for our animal
natures, as those in power required at the time. There is a great deal of pandering to and outright
manipulation of the faithful today. In many ways Jerry Falwell is just as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden.
Even professed nonviolent movements like Falwell's can and are contributing to the hatred and general
animosity by using practices are intentionally disrespectful and divisive. This is happening today at an
accelerated rate between almost all of the worlds faiths and in an environment of accelerated
technological advance, this 'marriage' concerns me deeply.
While the faiths of Abraham, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic (in order of age) are at the center of today's
stage with both inter and intra conflicts running amok, other belief systems like Hindu, Buddhist, and
Native African tribal faiths also have bloody histories and have some very serious internal or external
conflicts today as well. The African conflicts have devolved into some of the worst slaughter in recent
history. Other faiths, even monotheistic faiths like those of many Native Americans are not just ignored but
indeed disrespected as primitive and invalid, which is at the base of the problem of religions, exclusion of
other beliefs by invalidation. I do not mean that religion is the sole source of conflict in the world, just often
used as a tool. Dismissal of religious faith is not a condition that excludes these terrors. One cannot
ignore the atheistic forms of abuse, especially those in the last century. The horrors of Germany, Japan,
Russia, and especially China dwarf most other abuses in history and all but Japan existed outside of the
religious movements. Well Germany's condition wasn't religion free it was more was bipolar, read some
Herman Hesse, the titles Steppenwolf or Demian would be excellent choices. However these movements employed many of the same tools, like the forms of pandering and manipulation used by religions. Please note, I do not mean to define the descriptor of an 'agnostic' generally, just what it means to me.
"It's not what folks don't know that gets 'em in the most trouble, it's the things they do know that ain't so"
"Any sufficiently advanced technology appears as magic" Arthur C. Clarke
"I am an agnostic, I don't know and you don't either" unknown genius
"If you want to know who someone really is, you get a lot better idea by watching what they do than
listening to what they say. Most of the time folks are either going to tell you what they want you to hear, or
what they think you want to hear." Albert V Hill - my grandfather