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Comment: It's all about ratings (Score 1) 391

by EmagGeek (#48915817) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

It's purely about ratings. That's it. It's not politics, climate change, incompetence. It is willful stretching of the weather models to generate more severe predictions, and hence more ratings. And, I would not be surprised to learn that makers of emergency supplies provided incentives to weather forecasters to predict more extreme weather.

The simplest explanation tends to be the correct one. The simplest explanation for everything is money.

Comment: Re:Spying on the world is unconstitutional in the (Score 1) 277

by EmagGeek (#48913501) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance

Indeed, the Bill of Rights is an enumeration of basic human rights that are to be protected for everyone, not just US Citizens. This nuance seems to be lost in the halls of government, though.

If you are on American soil, regardless of your Nation of Citizenship, you are entitled to have your basic human rights protected.

Government

Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition 255

Posted by timothy
from the never-let-the-government-define-words dept.
WheezyJoe writes Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge. Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score -1, Troll) 152

by EmagGeek (#48903265) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

"I work in a cosmology department."

That's pretty cleverly-worded there. You could be a sophomore year co-op student, or a janitor for all we know. You've made an appeal to authority (fallacy) on an incredibly vague claim of authority, and then supported your argument with Internet comics.

Weak-ass..

Comment: I have an even better idea (Score 5, Insightful) 304

by EmagGeek (#48892417) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Let's just enforce existing laws and get dangerous drivers off the road. THERE IS NO RIGHT TO DRIVE. If you are a dangerous driver you can and should be taken off the road.

A coworker of mine was hit a couple of weeks ago by a woman who, after fleeing the scene, was discovered to have had caused FOUR injury accidents in the trailing 12 months, had been dropped from her insurance two months prior, and who, despite all of that, had not had her license suspended, and was not even ticketed for leaving the scene of the accident she caused with my coworker.

It's our complete unwillingness to hold people accountable for their actions that has created the need for EVAN M0AR government regulation to "protect us from ourselves."

People who are incapable of driving shouldn't be driving. Period.

Businesses

Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11 65

Posted by timothy
from the not-to-mention-deal-extreme-and-amazon dept.
alphadogg writes SkyMall, the quirky airline catalog, looks as though it may be grounded before long. Parent company Xhibit has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and seeks to sell its assets. In an SEC filing, Xhibit explains that it has fallen victim to an "intensely competitive" direct marketing retail industry that now includes the likes of eBay and Amazon.com. Smartphones and tablets are largely to blame for SkyMall's downfall, according to the SEC filing. "Historically, the SkyMall catalog was the sole in-flight option for potential purchasers of products to review while traveling. With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog."

Comment: Re:its nothing new really. (Score 1) 809

by EmagGeek (#48880591) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

It's when the RPMs shoot up momentarily between shifts because the transmission, for whatever reason, is not completing the shift quickly enough. Usually it can be traced down to either a pressure problem (as in the famous defective-by-design Ford 6F35 transmission) or a computer adaptation misstep (the adaptive algorithms have learned something bad).

Comment: Climate change is real (Score 1) 666

by EmagGeek (#48874129) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Yes, I said it. Climate change is real. Climate is always changing. It is unavoidable, especially in a system with so many variables. There is a well-established record of climate change present in the geological record going back hundreds of millions of years.

Things we do also affect the system. There, I said it. Human activity has an effect on climate. That only makes sense. When you do stuff to a complex system, that system changes. When you alter inputs, the outputs change.

What is at issue is the magnitude of change in output from the change in input caused by human activity. Unfortunately, rather than approach this curiosity with reasoned science, it has become a political hot-button issue, which means the facts will never, EVER be found. Period. I doubt we even have the capacity to accurately model a more or less chaotic system with millions of variables.

All of that having been said, there are attitudes on both sides that are just unfathomably stupid. From the leftists who want to kill everyone but themselves and go back to living in caves, to the right-wing wackos who want to burn all the fossil fuel they can "because freedom," they are all a bunch of fucking idiots.

The rules here are pretty simple. Stop wasting shit, and stop multiplying like rabbits. The Earth has finite resources, and can therefore support only a finite amount of consumption. When we reproduce irresponsibly and consume all that we can possible consume just because we can, we're going to hit that limit a lot sooner.

I really wish the environmentalists would take a more conservationist approach rather than a purely biased political one. I am all about conservation, but I despise environmentalism, just like I despise hyper-consumptionism.

And as a disclaimer, my contributions to the conservation of world resources are: not having children, biking to work, and not having an oversized house filled with shit China told me I needed.

Comment: I grew up in NYC in the 1970s (Score 2) 783

by EmagGeek (#48828889) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

I walked around NYC by myself all the goddamn time in the late 70s and early 80s. I walked from my parents' apartment at 102nd and Riverside all the way to my private school at 112th and Amsterdam every goddamn morning.

I was never kidnapped once during that time.

We need look no further than this incident to understand why we have an entire generation of completely helpless, incapable 20-something year old children.

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.

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