* Posts by RanTalbott

13 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2010

House passes, Obama disses 55,000 visas for educated immigrants


Um, no.

There is no requirement for advertising. And precious little requirement to "prove" anything: only a few percent of H1B visa recipients are actually checked to see whether the employers are cheating. And the rules are so fuzzy that employers often get away with cheating even when they're caught.

Over 80% of applications specify a salary in the bottom quintile of the federal government's range for the job classification (which is, itself, widely claimed to be below the actual market range. I haven't researched this myself, though).

Global warming still stalled since 1998, WMO Doha figures show


Re: Or maybe geocraft.com should

"Well the figure of 0.117% comes from here table 4a here"

The first problem is that it appears to _originate_ there: if you look at the alleged source of that number, it doesn't appear there. But let's accept, arguendo, what seems to be a gross understatement of the anthropogenic contribution.

The other is your contention that such a small change can't have a catastrophic effect. If you really believe that, then try this simple experiment:

1. Put a fulcrum across the edge of a cliff.

2. Put a perfectly balanced beam across it.

3. Stand on one end.

4. Put a mass that's 100.117% of yours on the over-the-cliff end.

We'll wait over here...

Google borgs 3D desktop


Truly bizarre.

Google goes to the trouble of including, not just file names and page titles, but brief extracts from the contents, in its search results.

Why on Earth would they push a desktop that looks like the remains of a losing poker game?

.XXX accuses ICANN of 'lip service' on porn domain

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No, it doesn't.

There won't be a mass migration of all, or even most, porn to .xxx. There's no advantage in it for the porn vendors, and there's no way to force all of it there. If some governments try, there will always be others that will play along to make a few extra bucks by letting the suppliers escape the "fence".

The most likely outcome I see from this is that the .xxx TLD owners send out a mass email to the owners of nakedschoolgirls.com, et al, saying "We're pleased to announce that you can now register nakedschoolgirls,xxx for the modest fee of $5000 per year. Or, you can do nothing, let us register it to the first group that comes along and ponies up the cash, and spend a few hundred grand on legal fees trying to make a trademark infringement case. Plus hundreds of thousands more fighting the mandatory-migration laws that our friends in fundie-friendly countries are just itching to pass. We look forward to your prompt reply".

It's nothing but welfare for lawyers.

Microsoft: 'Prepare for 15 billion more clients'


Better than "cloud"?

What better term could there be for "a large, fuzzy concept that floats in a conceptual blue sky, whose shape is a point of intense disagreement"?

Plus, the meteorological metaphor suggests an apt term for the MS version: "tornado". I.e., "a huge system of spin that sucks mightily and leaves a trail of devastation"...


It's deja vu all over again.

sed "s/Windows CE/Windows 7/g" <ms_hype_1999.txt >ms_hype_2010.txt

Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx stalks PC and Mac converts


Why not LaTEX? Because it's LaTEX.

And what nearly all users today want and need is a WYSIWYG system in which the computer manages the gory details of rendering, NOT a "printer programming language".

LaTEX was a great achievement, and a significant advance, back in the days when most of us were stuck with inserting cryptic dot-commands to use the limited formatting capabilities of Wordstar (which was, itself, a major advance over the systems of the 1970s like ATS).

But Linux isn't Unix, and the "LINUX way" is to give geeks the OPTION of tinkering in the guts of the system, while giving non-geeks the ability to EASILY use the power of modern PCs. And OO is falling short in that regard, when it comes to interchange with MS Office victims. That's not all (probably not even mostly) OO's fault. But if you're having problems with your lathe, the solution is usually NOT "go back to whittling".

Bush-authored warrantless wiretapping suffers abrupt defeat

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Read much?

There is no "Ninth Circuit of San Francisco", any more than there's a "Fourth Circuit of Richmond": the Ninth Circuit covers 9 States and various Pacific territories, and includes about 20% of the U.S. population. Since it's larger by far than any other Circuit, there would be something seriously wrong somewhere if there were NOT more reversals (in absolute numbers) of cases from it. Your assertion is like claiming that American whites are "economically disadvantaged" because there are more of them on welfare than there are of other ethnic groups.

Of course, that point is rather moot, because the author was applying "traditional" to the VIEW expressed in the case, not to the Circuit. Tip o' the day: in modern English, the adjective pretty much always modifies the next noun that follows it.

Your Pavlovian regurgitation of neandercon talking points casts doubt on everything you post.

Home Secretary swats away calls for Mosquito ban


More likely explanation.

They'd love to sell shiploads of them, but they want government regulations to shield them from liability for the misuses that will inevitably occur when you have enough of them in consumer hands.

Microsoft: Oracle will take us back to 1970s hell



Mainframes in the 60s and 70s did NOT "just work". The operating systems required HUGE amounts of maintenance in the field from guys (and it was literally about 98-99% guys in those days) like me to keep them afloat. And the hardware got PM on a schedule that was at least weekly, and often daily if the system was big enough.

Application programs were fairly likely to "just work", because they were usually very simple (by today's standards) single-threaded apps that sequentially processed batches of data. But the OSes were great writhing masses of spaghetti assembler code, full of ugly kluges that were included to save a few bytes of memory or CPU cycles. The applications started out like that, but the trends toward high-level languages and better-structured design were taking hold when I arrived about 40 years ago, and spreading into OSes as resources got cheaper and the horrendous costs of shipping bad code became apparent, Unfortunately for hundreds of millions of PC users, Bill Gates got his "education" in software engineering by fishing copies of ugly old OS code out of dumpsters.

US judges leave definition of obscenity to Amish, Kansas


Possibly, yes.

Just as the UK allows Americans to sue other Americans in British courts for cases of "libel" that would fail if brought in the U.S.

Or the French and Germans have gone after ebay and others for undermining their efforts to bowdlerize the history of the Nazis.

Or Pinochet, who got arrested in London for actions that he had made "legal" in Chile ("It's good to be the king. It's also good to be the absolute dictator"...), but offended the sensibilities of the Brits.

Or the various human rights activists, religious missionaries, and others that get busted when they visit countries who don't like what they have to say.

Sadly, there is no shortage of precedents for this sort of (over-)reaching by a large number of governments. This is why groups like the ACLU will defend the rights of groups like the KKK: to help keep governments from charging down the slippery slope that leads to their taking away _your_ rights.

Activists unleash Operation Titstorm on Aussie.gov


Only if you're a woman.

Or a thoracic surgeon.

Otherwise, you're limited to being in front of it.

Google betas Flash-free YouTube sans open codec


No, it isn't. You miss several points.

Your view is only true of "any large network" that's a (usually Windoze) monoculture. It assumes that the only obstacle to installing new codecs is lack of admin privileges on a desktop PC.

On the "large network" under discussion (the entire Intertubez), there's a huge variety of end user platforms, including systems like mobile phones and other embedded systems that don't have endless storage to carry around a bazillion different codecs and/or lack a mechanism for collecting money to pay royalties on proprietary plug-ins.

If you want to encourage innovation, and protect the planet from the threat of malware being able to shut down the entire industrialized world with a zero-day exploit, you need to ensure that our essential infrastructure is based on standards that anyone with time and talent can implement and deploy. That will promote diversity and diversity and rapid evolution among the systems attached to the network, while ensuring that the network, itself, remains stable and robust, evolving more slowly and in ways that don't break existing uses.