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Comment: Thinking outside the box yields a better solution (Score 1) 413

by GPS Pilot (#47770807) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

A lot of people are completely against this idea (government intrusion on freedom, etc.) but that's the only way we've ever solved problems based on the "tragedy of the commons"

Really... government coercion the only way? No one voluntarily shares their assets for the benefit of the greater good? The facts say otherwise:

"Total giving to charitable organizations was $335.17 billion in 2013 (about 2% of GDP). This is an increase of 4.4% from 2012. Although this is the fourth straight year that giving has increased, it is still not at the pre-recession level of $349.5 billion seen in 2007."

Charitable giving increases as a person's disposable income increases -- and not linearly, either: as income grows to exceed a person's basic needs, people tend to increase the percentage of income given to charity. That's why a 10x increase in GDP would result in greater than a 10x increase in charitable giving.

So if we just resume pursuing pro-growth policies for a few more decades, private charity will be more than capable of providing the entire social safety net -- bigger and better than our current social safety net -- and government will be able to streamline itself and stop performing that function. (Which will be a quite virtuous circle that has further benefits for the economy.) There is also quite a bit of value in the fact that it will be 100% funded by voluntary contributions, and 0% by coercive confiscation.

When philanthropists perceive that the social safety net is well-funded, they will shift a portion of their giving to other charitable purposes of their choosing: for example, subsidizing clean energy projects.

Remember, pursuing pro-growth policies is the key to realizing this rosy future. That means growth we come by honestly, as opposed to short-term growth that is forced by unsustainable, house-of-cards measures -- like deficit spending, or the Fed holding interest rates artificially low.

Comment: If we let the free market sort it out... (Score 1) 492

If we let the free market sort it out, no doubt Consumer Reports will print an article revealing which ISPs deliver Netflix content at good speeds, and which ISPs deliver Netflix content at lousy speeds. It's no different than when Consumer Reports prints an article revealing which detergents do a good job of getting grass stains out of your clothes, and which detergents do a lousy job.

Are you arguing for a "Detergent Neutrality Act" that would force all makers of laundry detergent to offer equally-effective products?

Comment: Bulk discounts will suddenly disappear? (Score 1) 492

Should netflix pay premium for every mb because they're a "high bandwidth user"

In every other industry, heavy users get a bulk discount for commodities: The Sara Lee bakery pays a lot less per pound for flour than I do. The bauxite-smelting plant pays a lot less per kilowatt-hour for electricity than I do.

Why are you so worried that bandwidth providers will go against their own self-interest and set up a pricing structure that's completely different from every other industry? Why aren't you also fighting for "flour neutrality" and "electricity neutrality"?

Comment: Choices, please (Score 1) 492

Do you think those that pay for the supersonic speed should be shuttled to the Grayhound station for certain destinations

How about allowing consumers to choose, instead of imposing regulations that may not benefit me in any way?

Simplified hypothetical example:

Mega-ISP offers three tiers of service:
1. 7 Mbps to all destinations - $30 per month
2. 40 Mbps to all destinations web services, with some exceptions: you get 7 Mpbs when visiting,, and - $50 per month
3. 40 Mbps to all destinations, period -- $60 per month

If a fast connection to is important to me, I'd probably choose Tier 3. If not, I'd choose Tier 2 and save $120 per year. Let ME have that choice.

I can see how this will go down... "No matter how we reform the 'net, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your internet plan, you will be able to keep your internet plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

Comment: Bring on the toll roads (Score 1) 492

After reading this, please let me know what would be so awful about 100% toll roads.

All roads are already toll roads, in that their maintenance is paid for by gas taxes. What would be so awful about that money going to an efficient enterprise, as opposed to an inefficient bureaucracy?

Comment: Paying by the MB (Score 1) 492

Without it you get toll roads everywhere, and you constantly have to pay by the mile, or bit the MB

We've been paying for roads by the mile for decades, via gas taxes -- an effective way of making people who drive more, pay more.

Do you feel that all electricity users should pay the same cost, regardless of whether they wastefully use many kilowatt-hours, or frugally use few kilowatt-hours? I'm guessing no. So why impose a completely different price structure for bandwidth (which is a finite resource, just like electricity)? Why penalize grandma for her thrifty usage pattern (she receives a few emails per week and never surfs the web), by charging her as much as someone who downloads movies several times per week?


IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch 110

Posted by timothy
from the more-power-to-'em dept.
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Now that IBM has sold off its x86 server business to Lenovo, it's full steam ahead for IBM's Power business. While Intel is ramping up its next generation of server silicon for a September launch, IBM has its next lineup of Power 8 servers set to be announced in October. "There is a larger than 4U, 2 socket system coming out," Doug Balog, General Manager of Power Systems within IBM's System and Technology Group said. Can IBM Power 8 actually take on x86? Or has that ship already sailed?" At last weekend's Linux Con in Chicago, IBM talked up the availability of the Power systems, and that they are working with several Linux vendors, including recently-added Ubuntu; watch for a video interview with Balog on how he's helping spend the billion dollars that IBM pledged last year on open source development.

$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen 192

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-backups dept.
kdataman writes U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ben Eberle, who lost an arm and both legs in Afghanistan, had his Ipod Touch stolen on Friday. This particular Ipod Touch has an app on it that controls his $75,000 prosthetic arm. The robbery bricked his prosthesis: "That is because Eberle's prosthetic hand is programmed to only work with the stolen iPod, and vice versa. Now that the iPod is gone, he said he has to get a new hand and get it reprogrammed with his prosthesis." I see three possibilities: 1) The article is wrong, possibly to guilt the thief into returning the Ipod. 2) This is an incredibly bad design by Touch Bionics. Why would you make a $70,000 piece of equipment permanently dependent on a specific Ipod Touch? Ipods do fail or go missing. 3) This is an intentionally bad design to generate revenue. Maybe GM should do this with car keys? "Oops, lost the keys to the corvette. Better buy a new one."

Early Bitcoin User Interviewed By Federal Officers 92

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-wasting-electricity-officer dept.
MrBingoBoingo (3481277) writes Recently a Bitcoin user reports being interviewed over their past use of a now defunct exchange service by agents from the FBI and Treasury Department. This encounter raises concerns that earlier Bitcoin users who entered the space inocuously and without ties to Dark Markets or The Silk Road might need to prepare for Law Enforcement questioning about their early Bitcoin related activities.

Predictive Modeling To Increase Responsivity of Streamed Games 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the so-predictable dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes Streaming game services always bump up against a hard latency limit based on the total round-trip time it takes to send user input to a remote server and receive a frame of game data from that server. To alleviate the situation, Microsoft Research has been developing a system called DeLorean (whitepaper) using predictive modeling to improve the experienced responsiveness of a game. By analyzing previous inputs in a Markov chain, DeLorean tries to predict the most likely choices for the user's next input and then generates speculative frames that fit those inputs and sends them back to the user. The caveat is that sending those extra predictive frames and information does add a bandwidth overhead of anywhere from 1.5 to 4 times that of a normal streaming game client. During testing the benefits were apparent, though. Even when the actual round-trip time between input and server response was 256 ms, double-blind testers reported both the gameplay responsiveness and graphical quality of the DeLorean system were comparable to a locally played version of the game.

Comment: I'm confused (Score 2) 416

by GPS Pilot (#47750037) Attached to: South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

Are you against arresting kids for writing the word "gun"? I have to wonder because Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh regularly rail against schools' substituting zero-tolerance policies for the use of common sense. The arrest of young Mr. Stone is anything but a reason to rail against Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh.


Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the bubbling-up dept.
sciencehabit writes Researchers have discovered 570 plumes of methane percolating up from the sea floor off the eastern coast of the United States, a surprisingly high number of seeps in a relatively quiescent part of the ocean. The seeps suggest that methane's contribution to climate change has been underestimated in some models. And because most of the seeps lie at depths where small changes in temperature could be releasing the methane, it is possible that climate change itself could be playing a role in turning some of them on.

Comment: This proves California is unreasonable (Score 1) 327

by GPS Pilot (#47674941) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

We all know that Musk cares a lot about the environment. That's why he's Chairman of Solar City. So Musk's battery factory is not going to be a big polluter, and any regulatory regime that drives said factory out of the state is unreasonable.

California should make its regulations reasonable for all enterprises -- large and small, famous and obscure. Not only would that preclude accusations of "selling out"; it's just the right thing to do.

Comment: CA unemployment rate (Score 1) 327

by GPS Pilot (#47674917) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

Your link contains an interesting graph, showing that CA unemployment has consistently been higher than the national average, since about 1990.

Imagine how much larger the surplus would be -- or how much lower tax rates could be, without impacting services provided by state government -- if CA unemployment had been consistently lower than the national average!

Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.