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Comment: Re:House of Lords? (Score 1) 131

by Austerity Empowers (#47577163) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The political fervour that is whipped up in the populace, from security theatre / war on terror, the war on drugs, etc, takes a life of its own in a pure democracy.

Who whips up that fervor, the war on drugs wasn't started as a grass roots campaign, for sure, it came from the top. It's the same in the US and UK, I think, certainly with the same dark motivations and same ill-gotten power. Anonymity is a friend to the masses and an enemy to power. Whistle-blowers, leakers and disharmonious speech are threats to the status quo, the same one that provides the wealth they wield to have this alleged long-term view.

I don't disagree with the concept of having a ruling body that is not beholden to the mob, I just haven't seen any mechanism by which that body can be kept honest and magnanimous. That is the same spirit which brought down monarchies to begin with.

I'm certainly too ignorant to decide in what ways the UK system or the US system are better or worse, but in this particular example I do not see any significant difference.

Comment: Re:not true because... (Score 2) 156

by Austerity Empowers (#47570251) Attached to: The Problems With Drug Testing

Most jobs I've had to have a test before I could show up the first day. The past two not so much, with the current job, and I quote HR "Whatever drug you were taking in the interview, we really want you to keep taking it".

So basically, leave it to HR to always adopt a position that is not usually in your best interests.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Interesting) 553

by Austerity Empowers (#47561881) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

The medical thing is important, more than once I've been told my debt is being sent to collections because the hospital and insurance were bickering over who pays what. My wife and I have adopted a policy of not paying until at least 6 months later, or after those two sort it out, since you can never get your money BACK once sent, but until they settle it out there's no way to know what is owed. There has also been a case where something was on my bill to the hospital that was not a rendered service, and having disputed it endlessly, the hospital would still not relent that my 6 yo son had required a breast pump for his treatment.

I've also heard of, particularly gym memberships, being sent to collections because the company had constructed a labyrinth of obstacles to cancelling membership (e.g. Gold's Gym). So people would simply stop paying, and ultimately be sent to collections for non-payment of a service they didn't use. I suspect this form of collections will be on the rise, as the growing trend of writing mandatory recurring payments into contracts increases. I fully support anyone who cancels such things de facto (as long as they actually stop using the service), it's a horrible practice.

Comment: Re:bi-modal (Score 1) 152

by Austerity Empowers (#47559119) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

I noticed this too, but think it reflects something other than access.

Obviously if you cut the cable: you stream or you either suffer the airwaves or just don't watch TV. But if you do still have cable, do you never stream? I don't think so, cable is dying because it can't offer the content you want on demand. You'll still stream, but you'll also get new shows on the DVR and balance the two.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 3, Insightful) 394

Never say "bandwidth provider" to a telco monopoly. It grates their teeth and raises their dental insurance. They've been staring down the barrel of this reality for 20 years and have done everything they can do, bought every politician and generally screamed bloody murder to get us to where we are. They seriously think the world wants to go back to using them as their AOL/Prodigy/Compuserve.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 394

I don't agree, the internet is the very definition of "all inclusive". There is a ton of stuff on the internet that I do not want, and in some cases outright fear. But I am paying for "internet access" and with that every beltsanders-and-geese-porn type content that someone may unearth from the deepest parts of a russian brothel. It's a given that there is nothing "efficient" about the internet, it is one, giant, bundle. But it's a bundle that allows us to exclude the monopolistic evil that sits between us and the rest of the world so we take it.

Verizon can choose to install a Netflix CDN, or choose to upgrade the peerage link. It's on them to figure out how manage bandwidth costs while delivering optimum service. It costs what it costs. We'd believe Verizon more if they and their ilk didn't so thoroughly block any efforts to have competition, such that prices would balance themselves out.

Comment: Re:It's about time!!! (Score 1) 116

by Austerity Empowers (#47533697) Attached to: eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

By playing against other people, they're playing another game that uses DOOM graphics. Yes I've played it over the network, but it wasn't a lot of fun. It's like baseball, it's fun to swing at the ball, it's mildly amusing to catch balls launched into the stratosphere or flying at you at high speeds, or even to see how fast you can throw the ball straight.

Playing a game of baseball is incredibly boring, you get to bat maybe three times, more often than not told to not try to swing for the fence but to just get on base, even if it means jumping in front of the ball to get a free base (taking a ball to the shoulder at 90mph is not MY idea of fun, ymmv), because statistically home runs are unlikely, but a team that gets players on base will almost always get the most runs. Only one guy can be the pitcher so the rest have to stand around the field being bored, waiting for the ball to get near them. Mostly it saps all the fun out of the game.

The same situation exists in football, soccer, and basketball. In my opinion eSports are even worse because the single player game was designed to be fun, while the multiplayer game mechanics tend to deviate very far and you find yourself doing annoying things just to win.

Comment: Re:It's about time!!! (Score 1) 116

by Austerity Empowers (#47532473) Attached to: eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

As far as I'm concerned the only thing as stupid as regular sports, are eSports. I will never understand either one, but eSports are perhaps more irritating to me personally since I like video games just fine, but the bastardization that occurred in turning them in to an eSport seems always to have entirely removed every ounce of fun from the game, in favor of the min/max activities required to compete.

DOOM was fun, then I beat it, played it a few more times just for giggles, then never played it again. It just doesn't make sense. Competition without a purpose doesn't make sense, in most cases it seems destructive. In a few cases it might be useful in determining an optimal strategy or team, but I'm not sure what i'd do with a team of footballers or FPSers other than football and FPSes.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 5, Insightful) 546

by Austerity Empowers (#47524739) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Also, having worn glasses for so long I've gotten used to the built in "objects flying at my eye" protection they offer. My glasses have caught more than a few flying objects and/or children's fingers.

Then there's reality:
1) Something might go wrong
2) My eyes are unbelievably important to what i do for a living and how I entertain myself, I'm not sure I'd want to live without them
3) I don't like the idea of being concious while someone/thing is cutting on me, especially my eyes

Comment: Mandatory IQ Tests for Politicians? (Score -1, Flamebait) 224

by Austerity Empowers (#47518891) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Do they do a test before they get elected to ensure that no one with an IQ of over 60 can be elected? It seems statistically unlikely that we've developed such an awesome collection of concentrated dumbass in one place on earth without actually trying to do so.

Comment: Re:slashdot worthy? (Score 1) 353

Unifying a base of users is always a good way of forcing change. Otherwise it's just one guy versus a big company. Lots of people on /. use netflix, or at least used to use it when it was still a trendy tech-type company thumbing its nose at The Man. Things have changed in the past ten years, but it is still a useful service for all the wrong reasons (i.e. it's best product has no real "net" in it).

I personally found this to be one of the few useful stories posted today.

Comment: Re:Uhhh... (Score 2) 529

Technically he works for the people of Alabama, and engages in the magical cooperition of federal government that is intended to give us all the feeling he works for the rest of us. Regardless, if he does something good we should all praise him.

Personally I think libertarians are people who worship some strange pagan deity, in the sense that they believe in and worship magical forces of nature which sensible people shield themselves from, so what he's doing is good. Unfortunately I think by the time his position matters, his party will have shut him up.

egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space. -- unix manuals