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Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

First: if you strip that regulatory power from Congress, how are you going to stop them from granting it back to themselves? The only way you're going to get Congress out of regulating is if the majority of voters want them out of it, and continue to want them out of it. It will never happen.

Second: in many European countries, the governments are big and have lots of power, and they aren't letting companies like Comcast, Verizon, Sprint, and so forth fuck consumers the same way it happens in the US. The problem of poor regulation is not fundamental to all governments, it's a specific problem we have that has been solved elsewhere. Our national education policy sucks - the national education policies in Finland, Japan, South Korea, and Poland don't suck. Our regulated broadband internet utilities suck - broadband utility subscribers in places like Denmark have better coverage for much less money.

Most of the people trying to tell you "big government is the problem" just don't want to pay taxes so median income levels can increase. Bad government is the problem, and that's not related to size.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

And how would the libertarians stop Congress for amending the constitution to grant itself that power again?

It seems to me the only way to do that is to have a Congress that's really under a tight leash from the voters. And to get that, you need educated voters. And to get those, you need... a decidedly non-libertarian national education policy like the ones in Finland, Poland, Japan, or South Korea.

Comment: Re:homeowner fail (Score 1) 536

Sorry, but I would have trusted the people on the phone too. It's an expensive honest mistake. I wouldn't have thought to look for physical proof. You really went to the house and asked the seller to let you test their internet connection before making an offer?

I consider that totally separate from a normal home inspection for construction, plumbing, wiring, and so forth. Maybe it shouldn't be in the 21st century. But it didn't cross my mind.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

Right. That's the angle of the libertarian fantasy that always puzzles me. Once you dismantle FCC, EPA, FDA, FTC, OSHA, patent law, copyright law, etc... what is going to stop Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Mosanto, Exxon, Intel, Walmart, etc... from buying enough members of Congress to put them right back together, even more favorable to the big players than they already are? I mean, if oligarchy is your goal you should be an oligarchist, not a libertarian. If free market competition is your goal then you need smarter government oversight, not less government oversight.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

I am, of course, sorry to hear that was your experience. I bought my current house in 2002 and at the time I didn't have the foresight to weigh the benefits of having more than one broadband provider available. So my only choice has been Comcast. My service has been rock solid the entire time, the only problem I ever had was with Comcast's phone billing department - which is horrendous. Everything else - technicians, contractors, most of their support staff, and the billing staff at their closest branch office has been excellent.

But if I can convince some crazy person to buy this property (I don't know how I could manage that in good conscience....) I would move somewhere with Comcast + Verizon available, or something similar. Or maybe somewhere with Google Fiber. :)

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 2) 536

My great grandfather worked in coal mines in the early 20th century. He worked for a mining company that had this policy after a cave-in: dig until you've recovered all of the mules, alive or dead. Then stop. Buried miners were ignored because they were paid by the ton and thus had zero cost to replace. His son, my grandfather, moved away from the mining town and got a job at a General Motors subsidiary and watched outrageous abuses of union protection and terribly shoddy work there.

Likewise, some contractors do rock solid, honest work and some rip you off.

You have to judge contractors or union workers on a case by case basis. There's no universal law that governs the quality of either - if there was, then one side would have won out decades ago.

Comment: Re:Looks Legit (Score 3, Interesting) 116

by DuckDodgers (#49180739) Attached to: NVIDIA Announces SHIELD Game Console
I think it may be a tough sell:
1. The Xbox One and PS4 are established gaming consoles with known names. This is new.
2. The Xbox One and PS4 have a big array of well known and popular titles available on it with interfaces designed specifically for use with a console remote. This game has very few, and lots of Android games not designed to work with a console remote. You need an internet connection to set up a game and to play, but you don't need a high speed connection during play to stream most of the content.
3. The Xbox One and PS4 have 500GB of storage - which is pathetic, considering how cheap a 2TB hard drive is these days. But 500GB sure beats 16GB.
4. The Xbox One and PS4 can play DVDs and Blu Rays. This can't. It can stream them, but the number of potential buyers with home media centers and their entire movie collection ripped for streaming is almost certainly much smaller than the number of potential buyers with DVDs and Blu Ray disks.

On the other hand:
1. This thing is cheaper.
2. If their game streaming service doesn't suck and the pricing is good, the game selection becomes way more attractive. It's still, so far, not as good as on one of the lead consoles. But I have to admit that spending, say, $10 or $15 per month to access to 30+ games looks more appealing than spending $50 or $60 per game even though the latter can be cheaper if you don't buy that many games over the life of the console.
3. Eventually I think most people - especially kids just entering the workforce now or in the next few years - may get out of the habit of buying DVDs and Blu Rays entirely and keep their entire movie collection in Vudu/Amazon Prime/Google Play/iTunes/whatever, in which case the lack of a drive is irrelevant. I have 300-odd DVDs (most purchased used), but I'm an old bastard.

Comment: Re:Operating at 20W gives zero improvement. (Score 1) 114

by DuckDodgers (#49127923) Attached to: AMD Unveils Carrizo APU With Excavator Core Architecture
I think for very cheap machines, if you take the cost difference between an AMD CPU + motherboard vs. Intel CPU + motherboard and put that cost difference into an SSD while the Intel box still has a traditional hard drive, then AMD is a good value.

And in fact, that's what I did with my wife's most recent computer. AMD A8-7600 + 12GB of RAM + 120GB SSD. Extremely cheap and it can still play Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for my sons.

But if you were going to get an SSD anyway, plus 6+GB of RAM (more for a power user or developer or someone doing video editing or virtualization), then I agree with you. Paying the extra $100 to go from an $80 AMD "APU" to a $120 Intel i3-4160 and compatible motherboard will pay off in spades. Even the $70 Pentium dual core 50 watt G3258 kills any AMD processor this side of the overclocked 220 watt FX series chips for single-threaded performance.

Comment: Re:Oblig. XKCD (Score 1) 716

by DuckDodgers (#49043741) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?
Good point. I did mean to include that under the inferior and inadequate solutions options, but of course it does complicate things because finding a technical solution that works that also has your preferred combination of license and contributor license agreement is much harder than just creating a technical solution that works.

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