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Comment: Re:Armchair engineering at its finest (Score 1) 203

by sumdumass (#48923907) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Well, not only is it entrenched in that way, there are a lot of laws and regulations that detail the mechanics of an elevator. This is even before liability issues and indurance consideration even come into play. So it isn't that just anything else could be used either. Of course there is no telling how much of those regulations are because of what you mentioned and what is pure safety.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 205

by sumdumass (#48922853) Attached to: Calif. DMV Back-Pedals On Commercial-Plate Mandate For Ride-Share Drivers

Sigh.. your reading comprehension seems to have taken a walk while you were sleeping.

You replied to a post with someone bitching about paying extra for pickup trucks. I replied with that in mind and now it seems you forgot and want to change the goal posts s bit. That's fine lets look at big rigs. California has a state tax on diesel of 40.6 cents per gallon and the fed tax is 24.4 cents. The national average mpg for an 18 wheeler 5.9 mile per gallon. Now it should be noted that if you cannot provide records to show otherwise IFTA willdefault to 4.7mpg. So the same 500 mile trip in a semi will use 84.75 gallons of fuel.

If we take this 84 gallons of fuel and multiply it out, we see they pay about $34.10 to the state and $20.49 to the feds for a total of $54.60 in fuel taxes. In a years time that is $2839.20 in diesel taxes. So if we bring the prius and pickup back, we compare that to $328.64 and $697.84 respectivly. So that is about 8.5 times as much as the prius and a little over 4 times as much as the pickup.

Now i know you believe something and want it to be true because you have shaped your world view around it. But this information is not hard to find or calculate. You could have engaged that critical thinking portion of your brain and discovered all this on your own years ago. And no, do not assume that the smaller vehicle is not overpaying in the process. Last i heard, about 15% of federal gas tax and roughly 25% of state fuel taxes go to programs other than building and mainraining roads.

Comment: Re:And all this without Jobs (Score 1) 296

by DigiShaman (#48922671) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever


Jobs had many products and ideas already in the pipeline prior to his death. To my knowledge, the only thing new is iPhone+. There's nothing magical about that decision. By the numbers, the market was clear in that people wanted a phablet. So they took an iPhone and increased the size; BFD.

I'm convinced the Apple Watch will be a flop. But then again, the R&D spent can be applicable in other future products. That's part of the cost of doing business; absorbing and learning from failures and moving on.

Comment: Re:facepalm (Score 1) 80

by sumdumass (#48921923) Attached to: Ed Felten: California Must Lead On Cybersecurity

Lol.. i explained why i wouldn't have to. I see you are ignoring content in order to focus on red herrings so i guess this conversation is over.

But here is a recap in case big paragrapg scare you. The context was obvious, no explaination needed as the article was talking of the government of california and the GP was talking of the article.therefore the attempt to associate anything that ever happened in california is misplaced and out of context.

Comment: Re: jessh (Score 1) 359

by sumdumass (#48921507) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

I think the point was not in asking but telling people under pain of law through executive decree.

In a free society, you make the case and ask people to be reasonable. Most will be and the rest you can easily deal with if something is needed. In a non free society, a single overlord uses the policing powers of the state to demand you do or not do something regardless of the costs to the citizen.

Comment: Re: Or maybe it's because (Score 1, Interesting) 181

by DigiShaman (#48920161) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Interestingly, I oftened wondered if it was in the interests of intelligent life to focus their "expansion" inward to cyberspace vs. outerspace; transcending their evolution via forgoing the flesh bodies to machines of silicon based computers (or some such). Meaning, we're looking in the wrong places.

Comment: Re:That'll stop the terrorists! (Score 1) 219

by Obfuscant (#48919505) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

It isn't up to politicians to think about what they're proposing. It's up to the people they serve to agree or disagree with it.

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic here or not. You think it is better for politicians to pass all kinds of nonsensical laws without thinking about them, and then let the people go to court to get the laws overturned? (Just disagreeing with a law doesn't stop it from being a law, you actually have to do something based on that disagreement. Just voting your rep out also doesn't remove the laws he voted for.)

Are you seriously suggesting that it was better for the Patriot Act to be passed into law without serious thought (or the DOMA, or the DMCA) and then have a lot of people disagree with the law?

Comment: Re:I have a simple legitimate solution to the prob (Score 1) 178

The assets of the company do not vanish instantly as the stock price drops.

The value of the company drops as the stock price drops, and the stock price drops as soon as it becomes obvious that customers are all cancelling their service.

Once we have 51% of the vote we can vote in a new consumer friendly board of directors to fire the current executives.

And as you're getting all the little people to buy this 51% over a three year period, large companies who would love to take over the areas served by Comcast are buying stock at the same bargain-basement rates you are. They can afford it. The people you want to buy stock are having to cancel service so they have enough money to buy stock. You'll never make 51%.

I can safely predict, if you cut the price of a share of Comcast today by 50% TW would be tendering a takeover offer before COB. They'd be fools not to, and you just don't have the money to compete with them.

It has the worst customer service and only maintains it function by being a monopoly.

So why hasn't another company come in and taken all the customers away from them? Because as much as you hate them and think their service is bad, too many other people just don't care. They get service, they pay their bill, they watch their programs. That points out that you are likely to get less than 0.1% of the customers to follow you in your cancel service/buy stock plan, which would turn a three year plan into a 3000 year plan.

1st question. You don't upgrade during the transition you upgrade after. Just the roughly 2 billion they paid in dividends could be put to use.

If they have no customers they have no dividends, and they have no cash flow to upgrade after the transition. Maybe you don't understand how the stock market works, but when you buy 51% of a company's stock the money doesn't go to the company, it goes to the people who owned the stock. Where do you get the money for all this upgraded hardware when nobody is paying for the service? You expect the stockholders to dump more money into the company when they've had to cancel their service to be able to afford what they've already bought?

2nd Tv is already dead is is all out IP bandwidth.

TV is hardly dead, and I have no idea what you mean by anything after that.

The last mile doesn't have to be fiber coax is just fine.

You don't have to buy out Comcast to get that. We've got that here. Fiber backbone, coax to the house. Nobody had to cancel service or buy stock.

Also I don't want them to magically maintain a company with no customers, I want the executives fired and the middle management fired and rebuild a customer centric customer own utility.

And your method of getting to the firing of the executives was for people to cancel their service and buy stock. Three years of no subs will definitely require some magic if the company doesn't go under in that time.

It not a pipe dream it a well worn business model.

Sure it is, but not by your means of getting there. You get there by getting the investors together and buying the working company. You don't try to drive the company into the ground, buy the remnants, and then claim success.

It would take a fortune to rebuild Comcast as a "customer owned utility" once you kill it off over a three year period. And now there's a question that needs another answer: how much stock must someone own before they can get service from their customer-owned utility? It sounds like getting service from this new company would be a very expensive proposition. Or you don't mean "customer owned", you mean "owned by people you think care enough to run things the way you want them to."

3rd Lessig Nader is a joke.

Those are the names you promoted as being the new bosses. I think it is a joke, too.

4th it doesn't have to go completely bankrupt, all we need is 51%.

And three years of no customers because they're all buying stock instead won't result in a bankruptcy. Sure. You'll never make it to 51% because TW will buy out Comcast just for the franchises long before your three year project is complete, and the faster you're able to buy stock as the price drops, the sooner the TW buyout will happen. If TW doesn't buy it all, smart stock fund managers will see fire-sale prices for a company they know will rebound eventually and they'll be buying the stock in large blocks. They won't share your concern for customer service, they'll be bottom-line guys looking for ROI. That may mean selling off the markets to some other large cable company and liquidating the original company, since by the time your three year plan is over, the only real assets will be the franchises.

But you'll never get everyone to drop service and buy stock, so it's a pipe dream anyway. It's also a failed thought experiment, so it's not even a nice pipe dream. A pipe-nightmare for the remaining customers -- those who haven't given up cable because they want the live and local services and are now paying exorbitant prices as the fixed costs are shared among fewer customers.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 435

by Obfuscant (#48918467) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

I suspect traffic circles ("roundabouts") would be a great solution

In my state, traffic circles and roundabouts are two different things that appear nearly identical but operate differently. For example, in a roundabout traffic in the circular roadway has the right of way over traffic trying to enter. In a traffic circle exactly the opposite is true: traffic in the circle has to yield to traffic waiting to enter. Sounds stupid, but that's the law. I treated a traffic circle like a roundabout one fine evening and wound up with a hefty ticket.

Comment: Re:Money *needs* to be removed from Politics ... (Score 1) 178

As opposed to only getting to hear the ones paid for by the elite ruling class?

You have it 100% backwards. Under the current system if you've got enough money to pay for an ad, you can do that. (With the exception of certain ads that applies to all.) If you can get people together to pay for your ads, you can do that. Citizen's United kept that possible. (CU wasn't a new thing, it reiterated an existing concept called "free speech" even for people who are members of a group.)

Under a public campaign financing system where ads are paid for by the public and money is limited to those who have met some popularity contest, all you'll get to hear are ads from those who the "elite ruling class" have decided pass the test. Independent voices will go away because they won't get the money authorized to buy ads. Unpopular opinions are not wanted and must be silenced.

I'm sorry if all you listen to today are the ads paid for by the "elite ruling class", but my radio and TV carry all kinds of ads from people who haven't passed the popularity contests during campaign season. Yes, I'd love it if there was a prohibition on this seemingly endless stream of nonsense from people I know are lying (feel free to apply that to whichever party you think it applies to), but I realize that it only lasts a couple of weeks and that any "solution" to the problem would be worse than the problem it's trying to solve. Perhaps that's because I understand that the First Amendment isn't there to protect speech that is popular, it's there for unpopular speech.

Comment: Re:and when the next one has a bomb? (Score 1) 219

by Obfuscant (#48917057) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

A 40lb payload would require a mammoth sized drone, which would be EASILY detected by radar. Thus, does not fit the problem cited.

A drone 'copter can fly just above treetops, or even below the treetops if actively navigated, and easily avoid detection by radar. The ground clutter would hide it very well until it was too late to do much about it.

A better solution than blanket "No peons, you cant own drones with that weight class!" would be like what we have with guns near schools. ... That kind of regulation would be OK, and would work

Why yes, because nobody who wants to do something illegal with such a drone would ever violate an exclusion zone. Nobody would ever think of putting a drone in the back of a pickup truck, driving down Pennsylvania Avenue, and launching it while passing by The White House.

2 pints = 1 Cavort