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Comment Re:What a coincidence! (Score 1) 423

Star Wars endures because of the nostalgia of the generation that saw the original versions when they were released (like me), which has aged into becoming the generation running various toy and merchandising companies. I truly feel sorry for people whose introduction to Star Wars was the hacked videos and the messy "prequels", because they did not experience the crowds leaping to their feet and CHEERING when the Millennium Falcon returns to the Death Star. (Is it still a spoiler if it's 40 years old? I say not.) (OTOH I find the recent discussion that Jar-Jar was supposed to be the secret Sith master, much as Yoda played the fool on first introduction, . . . . disturbing.)

Comment Re:Excessive Speed? (Score 1) 96

Gun violence is gun violence. Doesn't matter if it's a terrorist or a robbery or a crazy person. The comparison is valid. The question should be, Why is it considered acceptable that so many people die from bullets in the US? If it were a disease, there would be a charity funding research into it.

Comment Re:Go Work for the Competition (Score 1) 192

At my company, totally different type of product, for years the sales and marketing people insisted that our customers were one sort of people who wanted very stable and solid appearances and preferred older-style interfaces . . . . . until they came back from a trade show screaming that WE NEED TOUCH SCREENS RIGHT NOW because half of our competitors have one. So, no, I have little respect for this approach.

If anyone, I'd talk to tech support about what the callers ask about. But that's not recorded, because our old-line engineers' attitude was that if the users couldn't just figure it out or RTFM then they shouldn't be controlling this kind of equipment.

Comment New York City police commisioner blamed encryption (Score 1) 259

I live in the NYC area, listening to news radio stations out of NYC, so this got equal airplay to the unattributed "security agency" quotes about "going dark". There was also a lot of official amazement at the degree of coordination and planning involved. Somehow it doesn't seem any more complicated than a bunch of friends getting together for a movie, even before the existence of cellphones - certainly not as complex as many flash-mob events. "The attacks were totally synchronized!" - like, ever hear of wearing a watch? All you have to do to avoid online detection is NOT WRITE ONLINE, just converse by phone, and keep the topic general.

Comment Re:The liberals are in fact aiding the moslems ! (Score 1) 965

The bible doesn't include instructions to CONTINUE being pre-medieval forever. Its followers tend to build and develop and invent and move into the future, rather than remaining in the century in which it was written. While you can certainly point to instances in the bible of the clan being given instructions that we would now consider inhumane, the scholars and teachers of the bible uniformly decry those instructions and that behavior, and preach against emulating it. Scripture, and the way that the group's teachers interpret it, create the culture that performs the atrocities; and the groups following that scripture you call "the bible" are not known for atrocities.

Comment Re:The 80s is when the projects went to hell (Score 1) 109

I'm inclined to blame the Republicans because they have had a consistent approach of overloading programs until they break, then point at the broken thing and say "Government doesn't work". Since they could neither stop nor kill Social Security, they added more and more beneficiary categories to help it go broke faster; same approach with other social programs, and I expect them to do the same turnaround on Obamacare. From an abstract games-theory standpoint, it's interestingly similar to Microsoft's embrace-and-extend approach to standards ("Oh, yes, we use the standard PLUS a few bonus things we think were helpful . .").

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Simple charges of fraud, multiplied by the number of people defrauded (or at least the number of occurrences of extra charges for something supposedly "unlimited"). "Unlimited" is a word, in English, in the normal dictionary, and it has a clearly-defined meaning. It would be nice if some executive actually stood a chance of being punished for approving fraud. (BTW I think this applies even more to the bank debacle, in which companies paid fines but somehow no person was ever even accused of being responsible for any decision whatever.)

I will refrain from going all "Babylon 5" and demanding someone's head on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations . . . but it has its appeal . . .

Comment Re:Often a small number of users /do/ use a ton .. (Score 1) 622

I like this approach. Punish the guilty, don't burden everyone else, and - the best bit - don't even bother punishing the guilty when it doesn't matter, so it's clearer to EVERYONE that when they're being punished they really deserve it. And, as you say, it emphasizes MANAGEMENT of resources rather than creating artificial scarcity.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

There's a natural limit - "unlimited long distance calling" means "audio communication (at a certain bandwidth) for as many hours as human beings can keep talking on one number", expecting that human beings sleep and aren't using their phones 24/7. And even if they are, the POTS SS7 bandwidth is 8K bytes/second, which is pocket change and won't come close to maxing out the bandwidth. Running a torrent server CAN max out the bandwidth 24/7.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga