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Comment: Re:Geoengineering wars to come (Score 1) 133

by dave420 (#47764053) Attached to: Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering
I don't know why they would - the new pests they'd be covered in wouldn't help them, not would their tundra melting and becoming swampland (complete with even more pests). Their land isn't good for farming, and so they'd be screwed. Their hydroelectricity would suffer as their capacity lessened, too, making it far from awesome. This notion that cold countries would be "better" if Global Warming kicked in a bit more is verging on the childish.

Comment: question? (Score 2) 177

by Tom (#47763593) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, [...] Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds?

Are you fucking kidding me? This is so plainly in the "if it's not illegal, it ought to be" category that it's really difficult to think of a more clear example.

It's a direct attack on a competitors system, intended to deprive them of their ability to deliver their service. In IT security terms we'd call it a DOS.

If this rumoured playbook exists, someone ought to go to jail for it. To me it's bright as daylight and even asking the question seems stupid.

Comment: Welcome to the free market (Score 1) 311

by jd (#47762443) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Where providers are free to gouge and customers are free to... well... complain on Slashdot, but that's about it.

It's only actually free when there's freedom. Freedom to choose between genuinely different providers is a start. If they go to the same tier 2 provider, then the that will define the prices and services, so isn't a choice at all. If they ARE the tier 2, then they're the ultimate source of services and pricetag for all the tier 3s out there.

But there has to be more, since bandwidth throttling dictates bandwidth availability downstream. You can't sell what isn't there - unless you're Time-Warner or Comcast, of course. Try that with a physical product ("It'll cost you $elebenty, payable now, no refund, and if it doesn't do what we claim, that's not a lemon, that's the fault of some unidentified someone doing something somewhere somehow and we'd rather screw you than bother them"). So, freedom to know what you're actually buying and freedom to use statuary rights to obtain that product or a refund.

This is actually one reason I'm a little unhappy with free software. It has been telling vendors that it's ok to not provide what is offered. Not so much by actually doing that - free software has been, in general, superb about being up-front about what it can and cannot do, known defects and limitations, etc. More by saying in the license that the producer is entitled to lie through his teeth without consequence. A quick look at Oracle's conduct shows that vendors have paid very close attention to that clause.

Free Software relies on there being a viable alternative, that users can go elsewhere if dissatisfied. The resilience to fixing bugs in GCC and GLibC, in present and prior administrations, demonstrate that when viable alternatives are scant, such software is too complex to fork or replace unless it gets really, really bad. Which it has occasionally done.

When it comes to cable companies, it's infinitely worse. You're not in a position to run fibre from your home to an alternative tier 2 in another State. Partly because of expense, partly because laws governing interstate activities make it impossible for private individuals, and partly because the cable companies would raise all hell, three quarters of bloody murder and a dash of pint of high water to stop you. Which would not be hard for them, all they need to do is to persuade the tier 2 provider to not sell the capacity. If that failed, they could keep you tied up in knots with the FCC over whether you were an unlicensed telecom operator or not. Mind you, some of you might like knots. I dunno. If all else failed, they could SWAT the people running the cable, get you listed for suspected terrorist ties, or just repeatedly run a backhoe through your cable until you got the message.

You have no choice. You have no freedom. The cable operators have been redefining "monopoly" and "telecommunications" to whatever serves their purpose, not yours, and on multiple occasions. They have been free to do so because everyone likes simplified services and nobody in the States is going to vehemently oppose the "market at work". Even when it clearly doesn't. Not until it is far, far too late to stop things happening.

And we're way past it being too far. It was too far when telecos started replacing copper for fibre at select spots. Supposedly to improve service (which never improved). The reality was that DSL companies competing with the teleco all went out of business where this happened. No great surprise, you can't run DSL over fibre and everyone knew it. It was too late when telephonic "service of last resort" stopped being mandatory in many States. It was too late when ADSL was all private users could buy, SDSL was only sold to select businesses.

It was too late when rival multistate networks got bought up by the Big Telecos with not a murmur from anyone.

It was not because these were fatal in themselves, it's because people had become too stupid and too utterly dependent on being spoonfed by corporate giants (who are far less efficient than any big government ever thought of being, except at defrauding customers). The time for people to learn to think had passed. There wasn't anything left to think about. There were no examples to learn from. All that was left was a self-inflicted oblivion.

It's as if a hundred billion endpoints all screamed out and then fell silent.

And no Consumer Jedi to notice or care.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Five

Journal by mcgrew

Injury
We both woke up around seven, still cuddled up on the couch. We'd been asleep for fifteen hours on that thing. We cuddled a little while more, then Destiny started coffee while I took care of the ship's air and corrected the course, since I was sleeping when the generator came back online.
We took another shower together after drinking a little coffee and she told the cook to make pancakes and sausage, and we watche

Comment: How did they build the pyramids (Score 4, Insightful) 190

by fermion (#47759577) Attached to: How the Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built the Pyramids
Nice Explaination: Lots of beer and bread

Not so Nice:Whips and violence

Some of the confusion seems to come from an unwillingness to accept that humans can be very self absorbed and mean. While some form of simple machinery must have been used, the basic resource for the pyramids was an expendable supply of labor. People tend to accept harder or more dangerous work if that is the life they know. We saw that recently in coal mining disaster where many people died because the owners did not have a practice of clearing the mine between shift changes. It increases profits and make coal cheaper, but is a huge risk to the workers. Raising the pyramids was probably not different.

Comment: Re:"Paleolithic diets" now vs then (Score 1) 276

by fermion (#47758099) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet
Here is what seems pretty well established. Pre-agrarian humans were probably no more or no less active that the agrarian people that followed. Hunter-gatherers in fact had to balance calories consumed by the group with calories available. This may have lead to situations where the entry of new infants were tightly control and old age became an issue. p> In every situation where agrarian humans competed with hunter-gatherers, the hunter-gatherers pretty much were wiped out. The agrarian humans created their stocks by domesticating the best food available into reliable crops. These crops provided a surplus that lead to classes of people, the rulers, the workers, the artisans, the warriors. However, these classes probably became the norm because of the superior source of nutrition, not just the reliable calories.

Also, the agrarian lifestyle was probably a choice. Hunter-gatherers probably had land on their migration plant that was proto-crop like. Initially it was probably just because they hung out in one spot, at some food, left the seeds, and the next year the seed sprouted. Over time they probably learned to intentionally raised stock that would be available as they migrated back. Eventually they made a decision to stay put.

Therefore it there is a diet that is most healthy for us, overall, it would be the diet of the agrarian society maybe 5,000 years ago. This is the diet that allowed one group of humans to dominate a probably less well feed other group of humans.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly

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