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Comment: Re:Cheaper method (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by Fire_Wraith (#49177109) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave
If you're a climate scientist who says there's no Anthropogenic Climate Change, there are lots of Fossil Fuel groups that will shower you with money - much like Tobacco companies would to any Scientists that said Smoking doesn't cause Cancer.

And yet, it's the ones who report the opposite that get accused of being on the take, when their findings match what everyone else in their field (except those taking money from the fossil fuel industry) almost universally report.

Comment: Re:Monopoly Control (Score 2) 103

Just because someone doesn't have a monopoly, doesn't meant they can't have outsized impacts on the markets. Windows has never had a complete monopoly on operating systems, but that didn't mean they weren't guilty of monopolistic abuse by bundling Internet Explorer to cut out Netscape/etc. Comcast certainly didn't have a complete monopoly on connections between Netflix and Netflix's customers, but that didn't mean that when Comcast choked off reliable access between them that Netflix wasn't affected, or that it wouldn't be a significant hit to Netflix's bottom line.

Now, to be fair, while I don't think they should necessarily be regulated as suggested by the DT exec. I do think it's an interesting question as to what we consider Google, though, and what sort of power and influence it has, for good or ill.

Facebook, on the other hand, is just an Evil Organization, and should be handled as such. :)

Comment: Re:I'd like to ride to work (Score 1) 303

by Fire_Wraith (#49160545) Attached to: I ride a bike ...
23km is definitely too far. I live about a 10km/6mile ride from my current job, which isn't unreasonable - I found it takes me about 40-45 minutes or so each way, most of which is along a dedicated bike trail, so my time worrying about cars is minimal. However, since I started working into the evening, I find it's not so convenient, even with the appropriate lights. Add in the fact that you need to shower and change, and that's easily another 30 minutes prior to work. Contrast this with the 10-15 minute car ride (not to mention the convenience of having a car if I need to pick up something to eat or run an errand), and I find I'm often better off just doing separate exercise on my own time - even if that means riding my bike down the same trail/route I might take to work, earlier or later. :)

Comment: Re:Changes based on the Season (Score 1) 303

by Fire_Wraith (#49160491) Attached to: I ride a bike ...
This exactly. There's a lovely bike trail roughly a half mile from my house, but once the weather gets cold, I won't be out on it. Ice and snow are not kind to a road bike, nevermind that the effective wind chill when racing along on a bike makes everything feel far colder than it is. Multiply that over an hour or so, and it's about the last thing I want to be out doing.

Comment: Re:Oh joy. (Score 1) 229

Like many things, the theory is great, but the execution isn't necessarily so. I agree that the "needs to not be big enough to corrupt the entities that should be overseeing/counterbalancing" part, and would add that it also works best in areas where other competition exists. For instance, the government (or some level thereof) is the only "consumer" for private prison services. There's no outside expertise specific to this area, save to the extent that we create it by privatizing an inherently governmental function. On the other hand, things like construction are commonplace, because everyone uses it, and it makes no sense for the government not to rely on the same private companies that everyone else does when they want to put up a new building.

To toss in a pair of anecdotes from my personal experience:

When I was in the military, I saw what I'd consider a "good" example. Instead of having soldiers run the dining halls during basic training, rotating in a new group of wholly untrained people every 1-2 weeks, and taking that time away from training (at severe cost to the government, who was paying not only salary but food/housing/etc), they contracted it out to a food service company, that brought in regular workers at prevailing wages. This not only cost less than using trainees, but provided a lot more consistency in terms of service (which can be very important in terms of proper food handling).

On the other hand, I later got to see what happened with contracting in the Intelligence community. Now, this was a while ago, but the situation still hasn't changed at all. Essentially, the government was/is paying more to bring in contract workers. The supposed advantage was that they were easier to hire/fire, but in practice this rarely seemed to come into play. What was worse was that the vast majority of these people were former government/military personnel, because pretty much the only place to get training/experience in that field is... ...working for the government. It basically amounts to creating increased competition for the same pool of workers, causing the cost for those workers to rise, which winds up costing the government far more. To some degree it's good for the workers, since they have more options for more money, but most of the extra money isn't going to them - it's going to the companies, some as wasted duplicative overhead, but mostly as profit.

Comment: Re:cant lie (Score 1) 229

The question really was where his personal beliefs and loyalties lay. For instance, if your job is to represent a certain set of interests, you may do so wholeheartedly, even though you think exactly the opposite (lawyers in particular). Now, most (moral) humans aren't really capable of doing this for overly long periods of time, so we tend to gravitate more towards positions that conflict less with our own personal beliefs - that is, unless we've decided that the money involved outweighs the cost of our cognitive dissonance.

Thus, it was not an unreasonable assumption that based on his prior position as head of the cable industry lobbying association, either A) he had decided that his sympathies lay more with the cable/telco industry, or B) that his financial interests would be better served by ignoring any conflicting personal beliefs of his own.

We should all be thankful that it appears that neither of these was the case; an increasing rarity (or at least seemingly so) in today's world. Instead of a dingo, we wound up with a guard dog.

Comment: Re:One Word ... (Score 1) 229

A single individual has the option to move to another location outside that municipality. While this may not be easy or ideal, it's certainly moreso than the notion of the municipality moving to another state.

As far as the concerns regarding tax-subsidized business ventures competing with private firms, while that may be valid in some instances, that's not been the case in the instances in question here. Furthermore, this is the sort of area where municipalities in general have a long history of providing exactly these kinds of services, at reasonable cost, such as water, gas, trash pickup, etc.

Can it be abused, or turn bad? Certainly, as with all manner of human endeavor, corruption is always possible. However, the answer is not for state laws to ban all municipal internet services, especially at the behest of the incumbent providers who are refusing to provide the kind of service that the residents are asking for, and are willing to pay for. Municipal government is generally the most responsive to its citizens, and the easiest to change and reform - certainly moreso than state or federal.

Comment: Re:How do we know? (Score 1) 631

by Fire_Wraith (#49142411) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
And yet no one related to the debate on anything to do with the internet is even remotely talking about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, except for the right-wing demagogues who are trying to conflate it with "Net Neutrality" in the minds of their adherents, because it benefits them (and their corporate buddies) for people to think Obama and the FCC want to impose that kind of thing. It's scaremongering, and it's dishonest.

And while one or two may talk about it, the key word here is " a handful". I've heard politicians propose we should bring back the Draft, but do you think it has even a snowball's chance in hell of passing anytime soon? There's a majority of support for legalizing marijuana, among the overall US population, but even that's still not gotten through yet.

Comment: Re:How Time Warner, et al, Will Defeat This (Score 2) 631

by Fire_Wraith (#49142323) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
Doing that would probably just push the FCC to move to mandate local loop unbundling though. After all, the various companies have already divested, so it's even easier to say that the one who owns/maintains and rents out the physical infrastructure to the ISP company is itself a utility, and that it needs to offer that same service to anyone who wants to compete with the ISP.

Comment: Re:Coming: Revenge of the junk fees (Score 1) 631

by Fire_Wraith (#49142303) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
The good news is that this doesn't preclude future rule changes if they prove necessary. One way to look at this is that the FCC has been very "hands off" up until the point where events proved there was a need for them to step in, such as the recent crap with throttling of Netflix in order to extort payments from Comcast/etc. If new/different abuses occur, and there's a similar groundswell of public opinion that it needs to change, then I do hope we can get something like local loop unbundling added so that there's real competition in the ISP market in order to address it.

Comment: Re:The big thing that is missing (Score 1) 631

by Fire_Wraith (#49142279) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
The good news is that nothing in this prevents local loop unbundling in the future. The other thing that many people are missing is that this isn't simply the government stepping in to affect the ISP market. What they're doing is stepping in to prevent local monopolies in the ISP market from abusing that monopoly against other markets, such as the streaming video market, or anything else that takes place over the internet.

Comment: Re:Can't be enforced. (Score 1) 631

by Fire_Wraith (#49142219) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules
Yes, and the various companies will likely sue and claim Title II doesn't apply. To that I say "good luck", because it's pretty clear to me (although IANAL) that they're common carriers, not information services.

AOL and Compuserve were information services. They provided something more than just a pipe. My ISP today does nothing of the sort, and is functionally indistinguishable from any other ISP other than the number I call for tech support when it goes down. Even better, some of the telecom companies have been playing fast and loose, classifying some of their buildouts as Title II in order to take advantage of financial benefits from the Government, even while they claim they don't have to play by those rules.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!