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Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1, Insightful) 281

by Attila Dimedici (#49603183) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

Paying for them is a simple matter of raising taxes on wealthy people.

By which you mean, confiscating some portion of the wealth of those wealthier than yourself. The problem with that plan is that if you do not confiscate it all at once, those with the bulk of it will move it beyond the government's reach when it becomes obvious that that is the plan. And if you do confiscate it all at once, there is not enough of it to cover the cost of what your are proposing. Oh yeah, one other problem, the vast majority of wealth can only be used to pay for stuff if there is someone willing and able to pay for that wealth (that is, most wealth is some form of property).

Comment: Re:Oh Look, a Car Analogy for Last Week's Story! (Score 1) 649

by Attila Dimedici (#49526333) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
No, I do not mean patents. I mean actions by government officials which were designed to force other phone companies to a competitive disadvantage to AT&T. For example, after the Kingsbury Commitment (which theoretically reduced AT&T's monopoly position) AT&T agreed to allow other local providers to connect to its long distance service, but did not agree to allow them to interconnect with its local services. The result being that if you had non-AT&T local service you could place long distance calls to other people who did not have AT&T service through AT&T long distance, but not to those who had AT&T. There were other policies which also promoted AT&T's dominance. The Woodrow Wilson Administration was very active in promoting AT&T's dominance.

Comment: Re:Oh Look, a Car Analogy for Last Week's Story! (Score 1) 649

by Attila Dimedici (#49514885) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
Ma Bell phone rentals were a result of government regulation, NOT the free market. Ma Bell did not get their monopoly in a free market. The federal government decided in the early 1900s that a single phone company was easier to control than a lot of smaller ones. So they worked with AT&T to make it the dominant phone company.

Comment: Re:Is a non-neutral net the symptom or the disease (Score 1) 489

by Attila Dimedici (#49442681) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)
That would be a good example, except for the fact that Ole Ma Bell had a monopoly because the Federal government decided back in the day that it was easier to regulate one large company than many small ones. So, yes, Internet service is following the model laid down by phone service. First, the Federal government encourages a monopoly to come into existence (Ole Ma Bell, back in the day, the big ISPs today). Then it uses that monopoly to justify regulations over that service. Several decades down the road, the monopoly starts to obstruct advances which everyone wants, so the government breaks up the monopoly (only to allow it to reconstruct itself in another form). I will never see that happen to the ISPs.

Comment: Re:The internet has just become Ma Bell (Score 3, Interesting) 489

by Attila Dimedici (#49442625) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

The primary reason there is usually only a very small number of ISP's that serve a particular area is simple, and it doesn't involve tin foil hats or conspiracy theories. It is that building broadband infrastructure is fucking expensive. Everything from the hardware, to the permits, but especially the construction.

The problem with that theory is that I was actually alive and paying attention when the local monopolies were created...and your argument is EXACTLY the argument made by the various cable companies to get the government to GRANT them a monopoly in the various local areas. What nobody in government thought about (and if you tried to say it, you were called a crackpot) was, if cable was a natural monopoly, why did they need the government to grant them a monopoly? Wouldn't the company that did the best just end up with a monopoly?

Except that isn't what happened. What happened was that local municipalities were allowed to grant local monopolies for cable service. Then once every area where it was profitable to offer cable service had cable service, the big players began buying up everyone else. It didn't matter that they had lousy service, they had a monopoly, and the local municipalities discovered that they no longer had any leverage because they could no longer take the franchise for the local area back and give it to someone else because there was no one else.

Comment: Re:This cop is clearly wrong (Score 4, Informative) 489

by Attila Dimedici (#49437093) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

and unfortunately that requires police with guns and military gear now due to the influence of the NRA.

In the U.S., the police have always needed guns (at least to some degree). I am not sure how the influence of the NRA can be held responsible for the police "needing" military gear, considering that police began using military gear as laws restricting gun ownership increased. It is worth noting that when it was legal for the common citizen to own automatic firearms, the police were perfectly satisfied to be armed with civilian weaponry.

Comment: Re:Powdered alcohol is stupid. (Score 1) 421

by Attila Dimedici (#49412041) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Banned In Six States
Except of course the person you are replying to told you that it is NOT made by mixing 1:1 ethanol to maltodextrin by mass. They claim that the ratio is 1:5. If they are correct it would be six times as heavy as 200 proof ethanol. That being said, considering that the reason the person behind Palcohol wanted to develop it was to carry it when he went backpacking, it seems likely that is a good use case for it.

Having read the comments here, I tend to agree that there are probably better ways to package alcohol for hiking, That being said, I believe that there are probably some good use cases for this product. I don't know what they are, because I am not willing to spend the time thinking it through. I will say that I, also, believe those use cases would make powdered alcohol a niche product in the long run

Comment: Re:I do not understand (Score 2) 538

Actually, most Republicans have a clear definition of "conservative". Those definitions vary, but they are usually pretty clear. For some, "conservative" is about social issues. However, for an ever growing number the definition of conservative is limiting the federal government to the powers defined in the Constitution as understood by the men who wrote it.

Comment: Re:Meaningless goal (Score 1) 442

by Attila Dimedici (#49369051) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient
I have seen the reports. I do not know if they are accurate or reliable. I am asked to present citations for this. Yet, I have repeatedly seen people claim that Big Oil supports AGW deniers but no one ever gives any citations to support that stance. It is just accepted as true.

Well here are some citations for what I said. I will repeat that I do not know if they are true, so don't respond by telling me they are biased sources:

Even that promoter of non-skeptical acceptance of global alarmism "Skeptical Science" admits that Big Oil now supports AGW alarmism:

There are more. How about some citations supporting the allegation that Big Oil supports AGW skeptics?

Comment: Re:Meaningless goal (Score 1) 442

by Attila Dimedici (#49367245) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient
Actually, I have seen several reports which indicate that Big Oil gives more money to scientists supporting AGW than they do to scientists opposing it. I do not know if those reports are accurate, but I have not seen ANY which actually quantify the money Big Oil gives to each side which disagree.

Do you have any citations which support your claim?

Comment: It is too much trouble to fix the problem (Score 4, Interesting) 61

by Attila Dimedici (#49357833) Attached to: Hoax-Detecting Software Spots Fake Papers
Springer reveals that they are not interested in fixing the problem revealed by SCIgen, they just want to prevent that software from demonstrating that they have not fixed it. They aren't going to change the review process to ensure that they no longer publish papers which are nonsense. No, they developed software to eliminate those papers which were generated by other software.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein