Graham has made it clear that he deliberately and consciously denies himself a communication tool that would enable him to make off-the-cuff statements without thinking them through.
He prefers not to do that.
Huh? We're talking about email, not text messaging. You have plenty of opportunity to review and think through something via email, and it's a fantastic organizational tool.
All he's made clear is that he's completely ineffective as a leader. The real work is being done without him. Anyone who's worked in the government (or even a decently sized corporation) knows that a significant percent of your productivity is based on your ability to organize, task, and communicate through email. He's automatically losing a huge amount of collaboration and situational awareness by choosing not to use it.
And if he were so opposed to making off-the-cuff statements without thinking them through, he would have never gone on the record telling the American public he's so backwards and incompetent he doesn't even use basic communication tools to do his job. Embarrassing emails are the least of his problems.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: In a world where there's only two cable providers...
Um, your point about using 40-year-old computer systems and being proud of that was pretty much my point. I used Tandy 1000s, MS-DOS, and other green/orange-and-black computers with no hard drive, a 5.25" floppy. I think it was my third computer where I first used this fancy "mouse" thing.
I remember spending hours modifying AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files to create boot disks for each program, and finally finding the right code to get my stupid sound card working. I remember spending the time to type out long, complex commands and having to tab through multiple pages to find the right information...and heaven forbid you miss the page, because there was no "back" option; you got to start over. And forget copying that information elsewhere or multitasking; you got to write it down on a sheet of paper then manually type it in later.
Been there, done that. Those systems didn't have more freedom or customizability than modern ones. They were just harder to use and less forgiving. Do you program? Do you prefer the old compilers with hardly any documentation (let alone smart documentation), no autocomplete, arcane or useless syntax errors that didn't even highlight the general location of the error, etc.? I'll take my modern compiler with visual assistance and built-in libraries, error checking, and debug modules, thanks. If you prefer the old way that's fine, but the majority of people out there are unlikely to feel the same way.
I have no idea what you mean by becoming a "fraternity boy" by using broadband. Clearly it's meant to be derogatory but I can't really understand how it relates in this context. Your water supply example doesn't really make sense to me either; you're simply paying your phone company (probably for two phone lines) and dial-up company rather than Comcast. In both situations you're paying a private company for your "utility." While I certainly don't like Comcast, you're not really comparing like products; the crappiest broadband, heck even 3g wireless, is significantly better than the best dial-up internet (the fastest uncompressed dial-up is around 56 kbps whereas the slowest 3g is around 200 kbps; even with lossy compression a dial-up is still slower than the worst broadband or 4g internet). It's more like you're comparing a bicycle to a car. Sure, the bicycle works, but unless you're living in very specific circumstances it's rarely going to be even a fraction of the utility of a mid-low range car.
I'm glad Linux works for you, but the fact that you're satisfied with dial-up and your 40-year-old computer experience doesn't make a good case for Linux as being a viable alternative to Windows/Mac. I'm also confused why you would use two separate computers rather than a dual boot machine (possibly with two hard drives), especially if you're concerned about the price of broadband. And if it weren't for your dial-up internet, I'd wonder why you're using a manual rather than online Linux forums (which is the only reliable place I found to fix anything). I'm not trying to be rude or combative; I honestly don't understand your situation and how Linux is helping you, especially since you already paid for Windows.
I really want to like Linux, and I want it to be able to compete with Windows and Mac for a couple reasons. First, I want more developers to create awesome stuff for the platform, which they probably won't do unless the OS gets more adoption. Second, I want to see a free product compete with other operating systems, forcing them to deliver a better product at a lower price in order to stay relevant. Third, I like the idea of an OS I can really customize and make my own.
It just isn't there, and it concerns me that the people who use it are so wrapped up in their nostalgic "hipster" mentality that the programmers are catering to that crowd. It's just so much wasted potential.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: In a world where there's only two cable providers...
Linux doesn't "want to dig into the Windows market". That's Microsoft (and Apple) think and doesn't apply.
I doubt the companies that develop the Linux distros agree. "Open source" is fantastic, but to imply that there is no monetary gain or advantage in competing with other players in a similar market is a bit naive.
Linux itself may be free, but much of the software and peripherals designed for it are not. The more people that adopt the Linux platform the more potential customers these developers stand to gain. By making Linux free they have a huge potential user base. While I'm certain there are Linux users that touch nothing but open source, free software there are plenty more that buy Linux compatible software.
There is a lot of potential money in making Linux a more popular OS. Being "elitist" and limiting your user base to tech snobs who love to reminisce about AUTOEXEC.BAT editing is a poor long-term plan for anyone utilizing the platform.
The more people that adopt Linux, the more developers are likely to spend the time and effort to develop software that is native to the OS, which makes the system better for everyone. It also encourages Microsoft and Apple to be a bit more competitive with their own products, and it's working to a degree already (I doubt Microsoft would offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade just for kicks).
I'm willing to learn a new system, and I'm willing to put in some effort to pull out some advanced features. I'm just not willing to have to fight my computer to do basic functions, like click mouse buttons. I'm not alone. And all the others like me are making your chosen platform have less options and be less profitable for developers.
I'm not sure how that's beneficial to anyone (other than Microsoft and Apple, of course).
Re: Re: Re: Re: In a world where there's only two cable providers...
Is his defense, he's still using dial-up, so maybe by the time the page loaded it was still showing up as "new." =)
On a related note, Linux Mint was the first distribution of Linux I tried. And believe me, I tried. I ran into a couple of issues immediately:
- My mouse didn't register the mouse buttons after logging into the system after bootup. I would have to log out via the keyboard, log back in, and the mouse would work.
- My mouse, a R.A.T 7, had insane acceleration. Adjusting the built-in mouse settings did nothing. I had to manually enter my mouse settings through the shell and set up a script to run every time my computer booted just to be able to use the mouse.
- The system would not recognize my sound card, regardless of the drivers installed. The on-board sound worked...except in Google Chrome, which would only play sound via the sound card. No software solution I could find worked. If I wanted to watch Youtube in Chrome I'd need to physically replug my speakers into my computer.
- Steam had only about eight games with native Linux support that I owned, and of them only two actually worked when I tried them and none were games that I played regularly. WINE required extensive setup for each and every game I wanted to play, and would often crash.
- Web browsers, especially Chrome but also Firefox, routinely crashed.
- The majority of my external devices, including a webcam and my phone, did not work and/or have working drivers.
While Linux seemed perfect for me in theory, in practice it was a giant headache, and having to do everything via command line (with varying degrees of success), including installing system programs (again, with varying degrees of success) was profoundly irritating. Having almost none of my software or hardware work or work without effort made it nearly impossible to work or play on my home computer. I lasted about a month and a half before removing Linux from my master boot record and reformatting its partition.
Kudos to all you out there using it and having it work for you. You're probably not doing the same stuff I am, or you have significantly more computer knowledge than I do...and I'm an amateur programmer and build my own computers, which is probably more knowledgeable than your average user.
If Linux really wants to dig into the Windows market there needs to be huge strides in basic compatibility; being able to switch to multiple unique desktops is a neat novelty, but if my core stuff doesn't work I'm not going to want to use it. And I actually know how to research things and implement solutions; the average user would probably have given up the first time their mouse buttons didn't work.
It's too bad. Windows 8 has many flaws, but everything generally works when you plug it in (with the possible exception of networking, which is about as intuitive as writing in ASCII hexadecimal codes, and works when it feels like it). I love the idea of an OS I can really dig into and customize, but rather than getting a Honda Civic I can trick out I feel like I got a Jeep Cherokee with the doors falling off and no wheels. Sure, I can fix it up and deal with it's issues, but why bother?
While there are certainly abuses of the law that doesn't make the action legal or unprosecutable. To use the example of another notorious group in the financial sector, stealing billions of dollars via insider trading and other methods is highly illegal, but few of the criminals involved in the scandals circa 2008 were even charged, let alone convicted, of their crimes. We should not accept lawbreaking simply because the people involved have power and money.
There are other hackathons so technicly civilian hackers aren't prosecuted at least as long as they disclose their find to the company.
Sorry, this was a rhetorical question. The "hackathons" you're talking about are programming expos; nothing that would constitute a computer crime happens there (at least, not without risking prosecution). While illegal hackathons certainly exist they can also be legally prosecuted. Likewise, disclosing your finds may not protect you from prosecution.
This all goes back to the horror of what Snowden revealed. It's bad enough that it was happening. The real tragedy, however, is that it was all considered legal. You know there's a problem when the American public is outraged over something that, for all practical purposes, broke no law. If that doesn't reveal the size of the schism between what the people want and our government's actions I don't know what does.
The irony in this is that, historically, the United States has been one of the biggest violators of intellectual property rights in the world. Throughout most of the 19th century foreign patents and copyrights were simply ignored. Much of our technology and industry was based on British and German intellectual property that was nowhere near authorized.
The Chinese did (and are still doing) the same thing, but now that it's our IP being taken, we get all upset about it. It's like watching a kid cry about how the toy he stole from his sister was taken by bullies.
Let's try again. First of all, net neutrality has nothing to do with network security. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not even the idiots against net neutrality argue this.
Second, you have to be insane to think the current system is "freedom." Do you actually use any of the main ISPs? Do you use your internet for more than email? If so, you may have noticed a) you have a maximum of 2-3 options for your internet, if that, and b) all of your options are awful. Your real choice is either crappy, abusive internet or no internet. Yeah, that's freedom.
Third, the Title II rules can't do what you're afraid of. Even if we haven't seen the full rules we can ignore most of the FUD purely based on the other industries already regulated under Title II. You know, like the internet itself prior to broadband, which was regulated under Title II. And your cell phone, which is regulated under Title II. And these exist under rules that are more strict than the rules the FCC is proposing (we know this, because they already announced it).
Weirdly, you have significantly more choice in cell phone carriers, and there were more ISPs during dial-up internet than broadband. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but hey, I haven't seen the FCC regulating what calls you make or how much porn you watch on your phone. Now, Apple may not like your porn-viewing habits, but the FCC has never even made a statement on controlling online or phone content, let alone attempted to regulate it.
Must be nice to live in a black-and-white dream world where government = bad and business = good. So easy to conceptualize and understand. Completely divorced from reality, but hey, who needs that when you've got it all figured out?
It cracks me up that using someone else's password could be a violation of the CFAA, landing you years of prison time, but the CIA can hold "hack-a-thons" which encourage mass CFAA violations. Unless I missed a memo, government employees still have to obey the law. As a government employee, I'd really like to see that law, because right now I have to obey all of them and more (UCMJ).
"But it's the CIA!" many of you may be thinking, "They're supposed to be hacking stuff!" Not quite. Just like the military, most intelligence services have clear "rules of engagement" when it comes to using their tools. One of those ROEs is usually "target is foreign" in varying degrees of specificity. While it's certainly possible they simply marked Apple as "foreign" somehow that seems more than a little bit of a stretch.
The weird part about all of this stuff is that it's illegal to mark illegal actions as classified for the purpose of hiding those actions. That's why the NSA made such a big deal about the FISA court making all their shenanigans "legal," without that defense, they literally aren't allowed to classify it (or do it, for that matter). This is strange because EO 13526 is the fundamental order that drives virtually all classification guidelines throughout the government, and it specifically states the following:
(a) In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency; (3) restrain competition; or (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security. (emphasis mine)
Laws like the CFAA apply to organizations like the CIA; they don't get a magical free pass because it's their job, just like police don't just get to shoot anyone or break into their houses because it's their job (although it can sometimes be difficult to see). They need specific criteria to work around those laws.
I'm curious if a group of civilian hackers would be prosecuted for doing the same thing. If so, and the CIA hackers are not using their tools specifically on a foreign intelligence or otherwise suspected criminal element (which Apple is not), they are clearly breaking the law.
Just like the police, it's amazing what people will do when they have enough lawyers to ignore their violations and they've convinced themselves they're doing it "for our own good."
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.
"To be fair, he's right about competition. It really does do all these great things in a market. The problem is, you don't get competition for very long without regulation." - nasch
"Competition is only self-regulating when regulated by an outside source...I'll stick with properly regulated capitalism, thanks." - me
Sorry, had to quote myself saying exactly what you just said =). Considering most forms of capitalism have competitive markets as a primary economic driving force, whether free, social, or state, I assumed that the benefits of competition were implied (and nowhere did I argue otherwise).
The scenario we're discussing is one where we have the current ISP situation, which is made up primarily of a few large companies that have only-slightly-hidden "gentlemen's agreements" to avoid everything except the barest impression of competition. On one hand we have the free market proponents arguing that the solution is to leave things as they are and let the market fix the problem. On the other hand you have net neutrality proponents saying that clearly market forces aren't working, so we need regulation to prevent the current and future consumer abuse.
I'd love it if the former were possible, and market forces would magically reverse the current situation. Unfortunately it would have to be just that...magic. And as much as we'd all love for magic to be real, well, it isn't.
Which is why we have laws and regulation. Sometimes we have bad laws and harmful regulation, but you can't just look at them unilaterally and decry the whole system.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.
Free market capitalism does exist.
Sorry, I should clarify. I meant free market capitalism as a theory of economic improvement. Communism is an economic theory, but is provably false as a system that improves the economy. Stealing and murder are economic agents but I doubt many people would argue they are a good system to use at any institutional level.
The black market, by some estimates, accounts for around (at the high end) $1.8 trillion globally, which is roughly the GDP of Canada, compared to over $72 trillion in the GDP of the world. This includes all main forms of common black market goods. It also includes $117 billion from software and movie piracy and $369 billion in counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs and electronics, which are entirely based on intellectual property estimations, so you can arguably cut a large chunk of that annual market value's economic cost due to certain sectors love of exponential imaginary numbers.
Likewise, I would argue it's not really a free market, at least not in the sense of an argument unaffected by regulation. The existing regulations that make black market products illegal heavily influence the competition and market forces that surround the black market. The mere fact that the black market is illegal artificially alters consumer behavior, and for items that are black market but otherwise legal (like intellectual property items) a consumer can't help but be influenced by the legal framework.
Finally, by most economic systems black markets are considered fundamentally harmful to economic growth, which is why I don't consider them evidence of free market captialism. Free market theory postulates that rational and self-interested individuals will naturally create competition and self-regulate against bad actors to create a net gain in economic value. You can't use an example of something that creates a net loss in economic value as an example of why free market theory is accurate.
In other words, free markets exist, but free market capitalism is a false theory. This is because free market capitalism hypothesizes that an unregulated free market will result in economic growth and stability, which is directly contradicted by the historical and practical record.
I believe strongly in capitalism, but I believe (and am backed up by historical record) that a capitalist market requires government regulation and intervention to operate at peak levels. Stability and happiness are important things that you shouldn't give up to make a quick profit, especially when it's been shown time and time again that deregulation actively hurts the economy. Granted, some regulation reform would certainly be a good goal to move towards, but removing regulations just for the sake of removing them only benefits a few individuals in the short term.
Don't you dare ask anyone from the Austrian School to use real-world examples. It all works in theory, well, the theory that assumes a bunch of things that haven't actually every been observed in a real economy. But hey, the math works out...oh, wait, we don't use math in our economics! How silly, why use math when we can use imaginary models created in our own minds?
All joking aside, he may very well be an economics professor. One of the big economic controversies in the last ten years is that most economics courses are based entirely on mathematical models and free-market theory, especially in the "freshwater" schools. Mainstream economics is exactly what the U.S. government based their financial deregulation in the 80s and 90s on, and directly led to the 2008 bubble (which, amusingly, don't exist in Austrian or mainstream economic theories). I wouldn't be surprised for an economics professor to have no idea how economics work in actual economies.
The washing machine is probably one of the greatest economic inventions of the last 100 years, arguably more important than the internet or cell phones. Prior to the washing machine (and dryer) home care was literally an all-day job; women (and as this was the culture at the time, 99% of the time it was women) weren't able to work because household chores required a ton of their time.
With the washing machine and associated equipment (including vacuum) suddenly women could much more easily enter the workplace. The societal and economic changes created by nearly doubling the potential workforce is arguably one of the biggest economic boosts of the past century. While communication technology is certainly impressive, the ability to communicate faster has not had the impact that the addition of dual-household incomes has had compared to the time before the technology.
Anyway, I'm assuming your thing was a joke, but something to think about.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Title II does not create net neutrality.
Competition is self regulating and rewards those who do well and punishes those who do poorly.
Anyone who can say this with a straight face has no clue how economics works. This is exactly why we're in a financial crisis.
Competition is only self-regulating when regulated by an outside source. Otherwise people are playing by different rules, and factors other than direct competition come into play. Those factors are not something you can just ignore.
You're talking about free-market capitalism, which is a provably false theory. It's a popular theory, because Americans like to believe that everyone has an equal shot, and may only the best man win. It just doesn't actually work when applied to the real world. Some would argue that's a rather big problem with an economic theory (myself included), but living in an economic dream world is exactly why the world economy collapsed in 2008.
From a "theoretical" perspective, this was caused because the markets weren't free enough. From a historical perspective, it was caused because assuming all actors in an economic system are acting rationally and in their own best interest is retarded. People don't act this way on an individual level, there's no way they'll act this way at the macro level. Exhibit A: smoking is bad for you, expensive, and gives you no personal benefit other than a temporary minor high and leaves you with a lifelong addiction. And you would argue people make decisions based on reason and their own best interest? Insane.
You don't get to just ignore fundamental forces of human behavior, such as the fact that people will quite often act against their own best interest, and say that the market will "fix" it if left alone. Free-market economics are a great example of why free-market economics don't work...from a rational, self-interested perspective, a free-market economy is guaranteed to stifle or ruin your economy, yet millions of people still encourage it, to their own detriment. From a historical and practical perspective, an unregulated economy a) only benefits countries (to a limited extent) that already have a strong economy and b) has never actually existed in human history.
This is a pet peeve of mine. You don't even really believe in free-market economics anyway; no one does. A lot of people think they do, because the illusion of the free market sounds great. No government telling you what to do, instead you let the market force out the weak and only the strong prevail, which means the best result for the consumer.
Of course, that means no regulation. No regulation means no immigration laws, no anti-pollution laws, no safety standards, no child labor laws, no anti-slavery laws, no tariffs, no intellectual property laws, no government subsidies for research and development, no bankruptcy protection, and no trade agreements forcing other countries to play by our "free market" rules. Suddenly the country is dominated by foreign workers, you and your children are either slaves or forced to work in deadly factories for practically nothing, and every other country overtakes our economy due to their own regulatory protections in a few years, but hey, the market is "free."
I'll stick with properly regulated capitalism, thanks. We can debate whether or not a specific regulation is necessary or not, but arguing whether or not regulation is necessary at all is sort of like the imaginary global warming debate, where the actual argument is what we should do about it, not whether or not it exists. You may be against Title II protections because you believe that those regulations will harm the internet, due to whatever reason you believe. But if you're against it because regulation is automatically bad, you're simply wrong.
The decision to prioritise (sic) a single local screen was made to ensure a stable user experience across a variety of different PC settings and devices.
Bullshit. One of my PCs runs at 1920x1080 on a 127 inch screen. It's perfect for co-op games (which is why it's in my living room).
Anyone who thinks that PCs aren't used in a living room environment is still living in the world of five years ago. DVI to HDMI converters are extremely cheap and virtually all modern television and projector systems accept HDMI input. Wireless mice, keyboards, and game controllers for PC are also extremely common and inexpensive.
I have two main computers; my gaming machine that is in a traditional room with a desk, and my HTPC (if you can call a water-cooled quad-core 3.0 ghz, 8 gb DDR5 RAM, NVIDIA GTX 770 with a gaming SSD an a typical "HTPC"...as I upgrade my main system I use the components in my living room system). The HTPC is hooked up to a high resolution (1920x1080 max) home theater projector with a 127-inch retractable screen*. The entire setup, including computer and sound, cost around than $3,000; roughly the price of a 55" LG smart TV, and affordable for most middle income families. And if someone can't afford a second powerful computer, if they have even a halfway decent home network Steam game streaming works fantastic (I can't even tell the difference between a loaded game and a streamed one).
While they are fixing the issue, I find it incredibly ignorant to assume that "a single local screen" is the only thing PC gamers are using.
* Side note: Alien Isolation on a 127-inch screen with a home theater sound system in the middle of the night is not recommended without adult diapers. You've been warned.
They only fixed it for the same reason SimCity released an offline mode...modders figured it out and did it on their own. And the reason it's in "open beta" is because they left out huge portions of the co-op experience, like the ability to use different types of controls (you can only use xinput controllers) and any sort of UI.
So, golf clap for Capcom. I think the story is still relevant; it could possibly use an update saying that a fix is "in the works" but I'd hardly say a half-assed fix a week after release and only after modders did it without the developers counts as fixing the problem.
Actually, this may have an odd side benefit. If self-driving cars relied on wireless (terrible idea) and Stingray devices disrupt or delay wireless, wouldn't these poorly designed cars make the Stingray spy devices a safety hazard? I mean, more than the already insane idea of having a car that relies on internet connection to self-drive?
Maybe they'd finally be banned, because safety! Nah, never mind...I'm sure they'd just say that the people who die in car crashes due to Stingrays were resisting arrest.
Actually, neither is true. This article is kind of a strange one for Techdirt, although I realize it's being at least a little facetious.
Piracy is caused by a couple of things, but the two biggest are service and price (with the former substantially higher than the latter). Most people pirate because piracy is more convenient than legal services. The product you get from piracy is, in virtually all cases, superior to the product you get from a legal source, and it requires less overall effort and headache.
Once a service comes out that's even slightly more convenient than piracy, piracy rates drop down to miniscule numbers. Music piracy hardly even exists anymore, even though internet radio is inferior to piracy's media files and iTunes is absurdly expensive for what you're getting.
When the Oscars come out, they highlight movies that people become interested in enough to check out, but not interested enough to pay the ridiculous costs and inconvenience associate with them. Want to see Birdman? Better expect to pay around $20 at the low end, $70-$100 if you have kids and/or want some popcorn. Want to see Interstellar? Too bad, barring some special showing you can't for another month since it's out of theaters but not yet available on DVD. American Sniper is still theater exclusive and Whiplash isn't out on DVD until tomorrow. Piracy is literally the ONLY way to watch four of the biggest Oscar movies at home.
Is it so shocking that highlighting these films as "must see," then preventing people from legally watching them at home, is going to cause a jump in piracy?
Either way, there is no legal method to buy a purely digital version of a movie at the current time. I can buy a DVD and rip it, but considering my computer doesn't even have a DVD player (why would I use a 4 gb storage device that takes up the space of a large postcard when I could use a 128 gb storage device that fits on a keychain?), this is rather annoying and arguably not very legal, depending on the DRM I'm circumventing. I can stream it online, but if I want to watch it on my laptop on a plane, or camping, or in a car, or when my internet is down, or when their service eventually goes out of business, too bad.
How can anyone possibly be surprised at piracy when piracy is free and giving you a product that you literally cannot buy from the creator? It's completely insane.