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Comment: Re:One small way I try to help. (Score 1) 218

[citation please]

There are earthworm species that are native to North America (see, for instance, Hendrix's Earthworm Ecology and Biogeography in North America). There are also exotic / invasive species. These species (as well as one or two native species with expanding ranges) are definitely a problem, but that is a different statement from "earthworms are not native to America."

I don't know about earthworms, but I did hear years ago that the native species of lady bug in North America had been entirely supplanted by an Asian variety, and there were no native Lady Bug species left.

Comment: Re:Or, maybe there's no paradox at all. (Score 2) 205

by Curunir_wolf (#47524991) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

The paradox arises when this system falls into a black hole causing the information to devolve into a single state.

Or... maybe it doesn't devolve into a single state at all. We can't actually see what goes on inside of black hole... but if our assumptions about what actually happens appear to create a paradox, then maybe it's our assumptions aren't valid, rather than the original basic concept of what a black hole supposedly is. I believe that the concept that black holes are necessarily singularities may be flawed. Space is so distorted by gravity in their vicinity that straight lines which intersect their event horizon never exit it, but I do not think that means that all of a black hole's mass is necessarily at its center, or even necessarily collapsing inexorably towards its center. Its center is just its center of mass.

And yeah, I know that astrophysicists with a vastly more qualifications than I have came up with these ideas, but in the end, an argument from authority does not make one actually right.

The theory of black holes did not come from any observations of physical phenomenon, it came from studying Einstein's theories. The math suggested the possibility of singularities, but at first no one thought they would actually exist in our universe. Of course now we know that black holes DO exist, so those theories are validated. Now we're just trying to figure out how to reconcile with OTHER theories.

Comment: Re:hire the girlsgonewild.com team, they can scale (Score 4, Insightful) 136

Braidamaged, toxic, idiotic, retard conservative culture (You. You heard me. Did I fucking stutter?) has convinced everyone that nothing can be ever developed in house by a government, ever.

It's known as "crony capitalism", or "Public-private-partnerships (PPP)", and we called it Fascism in the 1930's and 1940's. Leadership on the "progressive" or "liberal" side is at least as guilty of promoting these things as conservative culture, in fact it seems to be conservatives that want to back away from it, while the Democrats are doubling-down. It was the Democrat governor Mark Warner that handed all of Virginia's IT work over to Northrop Grumman many years ago. And, of course, the liberal appointees at Obama's HHS that outsourced the HealthCare.gov website for millions of dollars more than should have been spent to do it.

Comment: Re:So It's Come to This (Score 1) 75

by Curunir_wolf (#47523405) Attached to: Verizon's Offer: Let Us Track You, Get Free Stuff

Except it isn't Google's business plan. Google sells advertising targeting to ad companies. Verizon is selling your data to data mining companies. Google would never sell your data because it's their core business to be the keepers of that data so they can sell targeted ads. Not that Google is altruistic, just that they are themselves the data miners so they are not going to share.

Google offers free services to compensate. Services people tend to find pretty valuable such as Android, Gmail and Search.

Verizon is going to offer "discounts for shopping, travel and dining" read: coupons (ie more advertising). Verizon is going to "anonymize" your data and sell it to anyone and everyone willing to pay.

I see the exchange of value in one business plan, and not the other.

Verizon is offering more than just the points. Your asymmetrical FIOS connection gets upgraded to symmetrical based on your download speed if you sign up. My 150/65 got upgraded to 150/150 and speedtest.net shows it is actually hitting 152/164 consistently. I'll take it, especially considering they could probably have sold the data with no compensation.

Yes, I took it, too. I read all through their terms-of-service fine print, too, and there is nothing there granting them any access to, or additional rights to use, any data or tracking information about me. That is, there was no change in privacy policy stuff for signing up for the Rewards+ program. So whatever data they are selling, they are not collecting / selling more of it than they were before.

I suspect that what they are selling is eyeballs to advertisers or merchants that want access to Verizon's customers. And you get "points" for actually becoming a patron with one of their partners / advertisers.

Comment: Re:No More Limited Upload Globally (Score 1) 230

by Curunir_wolf (#47502263) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads

I went to Verizon's site to check on this for my account. Here's what I got:

My Rewards+

SHARING ONLINE JUST GOT FASTER!

Great news, you are eligible for an upload speed to equal your current download speed, at no additional cost to you! Simply click here and enroll in our My Rewards+ program - it’s easy and free. Just our way of thanking you for being a loyal Verizon customer. Faster upload speed means better sharing experiences. That’s Powerful! Join Now

Comment: Re:So depressing. (Score 1) 108

by Curunir_wolf (#47501711) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

US government foreign policy prefers it this way, because then these other countries are beholden to us if they want to act militarily. It's hegemony.

Plus, military weaponry is just about the only US export still bringing in money. Civil wars or border disputes crop up, and the US companies get to sell to both sides. Of course, I'm sure State Department advisers would NEVER do anything to encourage those conflicts...

Comment: Re:In Verizon's defense (Score 1) 390

by Curunir_wolf (#47484075) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Actually, they did. Verizon has just yet to deliver. Apparently they don't expect to deliver until the end of the year in any case.

Which this article seems to implies it takes Verizon a year to send a technician to 7 cities to connect up a few cables between routers. (And / or maybe install a couple of cards). Maybe Verizon should stop having their techs travel by horseback, they might get it done faster.

It's not that simple. This isn't adding cards and cables to an existing interconnect, it's installing a whole new one. In fact, Netflix will be co-locating servers with content either within or close to Verizon's data centers. So there is lots of logistics involved.

Comment: Re: Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (Score 1) 533

by Curunir_wolf (#47471959) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

So the credit rating was lowered because the Republicans eventually capitulated, not because they "shut down" the government.

Not because they "capitulated," but because it was obvious that they'd play stupid games like that without actually making useful moves towards controlling the debt. Make no mistake, the GOP didn't cause the shutdown because they were concerned about the debt. They were annoyed that they didn't get their way to the exclusion of all others.

Close enough. Neither party is serious about their "stance" - it's all marketing.

Comment: Re:a bit of legislative history (Score 1) 148

by Curunir_wolf (#47471871) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

These are easy taxes for the localities to pass.

Then they should be eliminated, or at least made more difficult to pass. WTH?

We need a straight up progressive income tax with no exceptions, deductions, credits or waivers.

Well we already have the most progressive tax system in the world, but you're right, it needs to be flattened, and the vast majority of those deductions, exceptions, etc. NEED to be eliminated. There is a MAJOR issue with the complexity of the current tax code. This desperately needs fixing, and no one is even talking about it.

If they need more money let them raise the base tax. This BS where they tax every little thing and service is grossly unfair and tends to disproportionately shift the tax burden to the middle class/poor and excessively harms the poor.

Exactly this.

Comment: Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (Score 1) 533

by Curunir_wolf (#47471591) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

The problem is that this system has been thoroughly polarised and distorted due to the amount of money that has been thrown at this process.

No, not really. I know that's the prevalent leftists meme, but it really doesn't wash, and a Constitutional amendment to change free speech, and license journalists, and all the other statist ideas are just a way to protect incumbents and provide them more power to shut people up. Already the rules are quite onerous - I know, I tried doing the accounting for a VERY small disconnected political committee. It's a full-time job just to keep up with the reporting requirements, and it's often used as a tool to crush [real] grassroots opposition, because almost nobody can follow the rules to the letter, and the organization treasurer is personally and criminally liable for failing to deliver reports on time.

The 2-party duopoly is certainly an issue, as Washington warned about. It breaks the balance of power of the executive / legislative / judiciary, because they end up with more loyalty to party than to their branch. But the real issue is the break-down of the Republic, which is designed to vest the greatest authority in the people, then the local government, then state, then Federal which is supposed to have supremacy, but only in very limited, specific powers. State governments are much more responsive to their constituents, and local governments even more so. Unfortunately, the Feds are now exerting police powers (which they were never supposed to have at all), the bureaucracies are heavily armed (from the FBI to the USDA even down to the Department of Education), and the centralization of power is out of control.

Rule of law? Who at the Federal level does anything but laugh at such an idea - it's gone.

Comment: Re:Gots to find more ways to avoid taxes (Score 0) 533

by Curunir_wolf (#47470137) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

I take it you are unfamiliar with the history of coal miner unions? Corporations have used PLENTY of violence. You may want to look up The Battle of Blair Mountain.

Yea, I did... the rebellion was put down by local law enforcement - Logan County deputies - the government.

So this just proves my point. Don't rely on government to protect you, they use violence as the means to their end.

And, let's face it, labor disputes are a really BAD example. Labor unions are certainly guilty of instigating violence in many instances, even today. And since the 1970's, they are almost impossible to prosecute when they do so.

With your bare hands?!?

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