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Comment: Re:Snarky article (Score 1) 293

by Free the Cowards (#26136975) Attached to: 100 Years Ago, No Free Broadband Pneumatic Tubes

The last mile is going to be a monopoly, whether it be water, sewer, cable, electricity, phone, or fiber.

It is? Why?

Look at data. Most people living in urban areas in the US have a choice of two "last mile" data providers: the phone company and the cable company. The fact that they use two different technologies is completely irrelevant in this day and age. You can get phone service from the cable company and internet service from the phone company. Now the phone company is laying fiber in many places which offers as much performance as cable, and they're certainly not restricting this to areas where the cable company doesn't have service!

You don't need people running cable to your house in case you might want it. You need people running cable to your house on demand, when you order the service. This clearly works, since it has been done. If you refute the idea, ensure that your refutation is compatible with the reality of the telephone/cable duopoly found in virtually every US city.

Comment: Re:Simple? (Score 4, Informative) 269

by Free the Cowards (#26128989) Attached to: iPhone Tops Windows Mobile Share; MS Releases iPhone App

More phones every 3 days than iPhones in existence? Really?

Let's actually inject some numbers into the discussion, shall we?

As of October 21, 2008, there were 13 million iPhones sold. Let's be as charitable as possible toward your position and assume that not a single iPhone has been sold since then.

You state more Nokia phones sold in 3 days than 13 million. That works out to at least 1.58 billion Nokia phones sold per year.

According to Wikipedia, Nokia's sales in 2007 were about 440 million. So they would have had to increase by over a factor of 3 in 2008 for your numbers to be correct.

Furthermore, Wikipedia claims that this 440 million was 40% of global phone sales in 2007, meaning that global phone sales in 2007 were around 1.1 billion. So for your claim to be correct, Nokia would have had to sell about 50% more phones just from Nokia in 2008 than everybody in the entire industry combined sold in 2007.

Is that really the case?

Now, let's take that 1.1 billion figure, assume it's gone up a bit, and call it 1.5 billion phones sold per year at present. Three orders of magnitude give you 15 million smartphones sold per year in the entire world. That barely accounts for the iPhone, let alone Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Palm....

So again, three orders of magnitude? Don't think so.

Comment: Re:Don't take freedom for granted (Score 2, Insightful) 521

by Free the Cowards (#26126447) Attached to: Wiretap Whistleblower, a Life in Limbo?

Of course there's a difference, but it doesn't mean it's right.

Healthy political discourse requires respect for your opponents. The English term of "the loyal opposition" comes to mind. We may not agree with each other but we should at least be able to converse civilly and respect our disagreements.

The problem is that this respect, what remains of it, is being systematically destroyed. The whole country is being divided into "us" and "them", with "them" considered to be idiots, shysters, or traitors.

So while it may be perfectly legal to publicly destroy works of artists who disagree with you, and it may well be perfectly morally acceptable, it's also a provocative symptom of the destruction of political discourse in this country.

Not everything is black and white. These people had every right to do what they did, but it's still very bad.

Comment: Re:Don't take freedom for granted (Score 3, Insightful) 521

by Free the Cowards (#26126341) Attached to: Wiretap Whistleblower, a Life in Limbo?

In other words, when his principles could actually matter, he caved, but now that he's secure and it makes no real difference, he can do whatever he feels like.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." As such I think it is far more telling to see what he did when the race was still in question.

Comment: Re:Say you legalize everything (Score 1) 1367

by Free the Cowards (#26032525) Attached to: Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition?

That's pretty easy to disprove. Look at all the people on Medicare and Medicaid, does the government get to say what they can do with their health, more so than the rest of us? Not that I've seen. Look at Canada, most of Europe, and any other place that has socialized medicine. Does the government have more say is what they can do with their health than the US government has over its citizens? Not that I've seen.

Comment: Re:That is impractical. I mean, impossible. (Score 1) 737

by Free the Cowards (#26027663) Attached to: What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines

It's their kid, so I find it unsurprising that parents are simply skipping the vaccines as long as there's the shadow of a doubt.

But that's just the thing. There's the shadow of a doubt both ways! Why is the one better than the other? Well that's easy, it's because measles sounds like something from a fairy tale, whereas autism immediately conjures up evening-news images of blank-faced kids spinning plates.

This is something that has annoyed me for some time now: the idea of "playing it safe" has been hijacked and now means "favoring the danger I'm more familiar with". 99% of the time, when someone tries to "play it safe" or "err on the side of caution" all they end up doing is accepting a greater but more familiar risk. Just because it makes you more comfortable doesn't mean it's the smart move!

A great example of this when it comes to parenting is the current scare about child predators and the almost complete destruction of childhood independence. That article a few months ago by a mother who let her boy take the NYC subway alone shows exactly what I'm talking about. Everybody freaked out about this "dangerous" ride she let him take. But in fact the risk to him was absolutely minimal, and nobody was thinking about the risk should he be sheltered to the point where he grows up stunted and is thereby never able to accomplish anything with his life, something which I fear will start to happen to millions of children when they face maturity in another decade or so.

So don't let people take this cop-out. If the facts support one decision as being safer then that's reasonable. But refusing vaccines isn't playing it safe or avoiding the shadow of a doubt, it's cowardly destroying public health because parents are incapable of acting rationally.

Comment: Re:And yet.... (Score 2, Insightful) 550

by Free the Cowards (#25984177) Attached to: Visual Hallucinations Are a Normal Grief Reaction

I think you should read the first post in this thread again.

You mean the one which reads "Yet, there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy..."? What is that supposed to prove?

And also read up on the Rhine experiments, as only one example.

Said experiment's results have never been successfully replicated. When faced with that fact, the reasonable conclusion is that the experiment was flawed, not that ESP is real.

Strange things happen all the time, and they don't have to all simply be misperception.

Sure, they don't have to be. But there's no reason to think that it's anything else.

Sure, our brains are great at making connections which aren't really there. But there also *countless* probability-defying examples of people's minds making connections which ARE there - but which they would have no possible way of knowing, if our brains are really "just meat".

Name three documented examples.

After all, consciousness itself is a metaphysical phenomenon. It is generated by physical means, as far as we know; and it very well may not outlast our physical components. But it still is something that is more than merely matter; that in itself should tell you that other forms of more-than-matter are at least *possible*, if not probable.

I admit that it's possible. Now what? That has absolutely no bearing on the rest.

Comment: Re:Um huh? Apple has always recommended protection (Score 1) 484

by Free the Cowards (#25962829) Attached to: Apple Quietly Recommends Antivirus Software For Macs

Anti-virus software only works against known threats. As far as I know, there is no software intelligent enough to detect that a piece of unknown software is a threat.

Therefore it doesn't matter if the climate is changing. Until a threatening piece of software is actually released into the wild (and antivirus vendors start protecting against it) there is absolutely no point to installing anti-virus software on a Mac.

Comment: Re:Call your credit card company.... (Score 0, Troll) 593

by Free the Cowards (#25937203) Attached to: Recourse For Poor Customer Service?

It would be really great if they would send you an e-mail telling you that they were shipping you a replacement motherboard and firing the representative who handled your case initially.

I've been through similar trouble with other companies. I had one idiot drone ask me what version of the operating system I was running four or five times in a row, when I was answering him each time. I finally asked for a supervisor and directly asked the supervisor to fire this moron. I doubt it happened, though. Most companies care not even the slightest bit for providing non-terrible customer service.

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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