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Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 195

by Tom (#48643409) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

However, if another company wants to lay cable on that street... what is the problem?

That tearing up a street is expensive, inconveniences a lot of people and these costs to both the parties involved and those around the event far outweigh the benefits. It's the same reason that we have one publicly owned street and not 20 parallel roads owned by different companies competing for your car to drive on them. It's stupid, that's why.

With telcos, the only reason we have the last mile problem at all was because initially telecommunication was built as a public service, like roads. Then someone decided to make it all private, because free market magic. The proper decision would have been to keep the last mile as public property, but it wasn't made, because idiots.

You're basically just saying

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that visions are a dime a dozen. Realizing them is the hard part, and it takes more than a few "look, a three-headed monkey" sentences to do that.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 195

by Tom (#48640631) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

identified as belonging to the house.

This is not how property works in any western country. Someone dug up the street years ago, bought the copper, and paid to have it put into the ground. They own that cable. You cannot just go around and declare someone else is owner of it, without compensating the current owner, and probably even that would be challenged in court as the "give to the house owner" doesn't even fall into eminent domain.

And then switching from one provider to another would mean going to the gray box and unplugging a wire from provider "A" and plugging it into the box for provider "B".

Which would be a step back from the current system, where most provider changes are done by switching, not by mechanically unplugging wires. If someone needs to actually drive to a gray box and change wires every time someone changes ISPs, the costs for doing so would go up considerably.

ou're trying to prove me wrong instead of trying to understand the issue. It isn't helpful.

You're painting a picture of a fantasy world, ignoring the status quo. Yes, in a perfect world, if we would start from scratch on empty fields, maybe it would be better to do it that way this time around. But we don't start, we inherit a world where certain things are the way they are, like it or not. If you want to change something, you can't just paint a fantasy utopia, you need to show how to get there from where we are now.

So you want to change ownership of the last mile? Might be a good idea, show how to do it. Explain how to buy all the cables and grant or sell them to house owners. Come up with solutions for all the situations in the real world, with multi-story houses, houses with multiple outgoing connections, office buildings and private homes. A solution that works both for dense cities and isolated farms. That will not die trying due to resistence by the ISPs, the old cable owners, the house owners or the two dozen laws involved.

It's easy to say "this ought to be so". Everyone can do 10 of those in one minute. Cars ought to be pollution free. Ebola ought to be defeated. World peace should be achieved. Any of these statements just make you one of seven billion people with a vision. Being able to show step-by-step how to actually get there is the hard part.

Comment: board and cardgames (Score 1) 109

by Tom (#48639335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Forget programming. Sit down with him and make a few board and card games.

Too many game designers these days look at the technology and the graphics and the monetarization and all the other crap and forget that first and foremost, there needs to be a game.

When you limit yourself to the bare essentials, you see the game for what it is, and learn to make games by focussing on what makes a game.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 195

Cable between the street and the house might have be redone.

Yes. But the cable doesn't connect to the street, that's just how we say it. It connects to that grey box on the corner, which means after the garden it runs underneath the street and/or sidewalk for typically a few hundred meters.

What is more, the cabling between the house and the street might be owned by the home owner.

Can't say for other countries, in my country almost never.

We could set up a junction box at the street that links into the home's network./quote

We not only could, this is what we do right now. But those boxes serve an entire block, not one house. Theoretically we could change the whole network layout and install such a box at the edge of every property and terminate there, but there are reasons why the system is the way it is, and changing it would require changes in the system, maybe even a partial redesign of the local loop.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 195

Your experience has clearly made myopic and unable to think creatively about the issue.

Of course. If you disagree with someone, it must be that the someone is an idiot. It's not possible that maybe you are wrong.

There's no point having a discussion on this level. People who have arguments don't need to use personal insults.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 614

by Shakrai (#48638281) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

So will a million other factors, most of which can't be foreseen or predicted. Would your Grandparents have foreseen the day that you could access the entirety of human knowledge on a device that fits into the palm of your hand?

The Earth and humanity have never been and never will be static entities. The climate has changed a great deal during the geologically insignificant amount of time that humans have been around. Most of those changes occurred before we started digging carbon out of the ground. Changes will continue long after we've moved past carbon based energy supplies. The notion that the climate was "ideal" during some specific period would be laughable if there wasn't a serious movement trying to use it to make public policy.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 3, Insightful) 614

by Shakrai (#48633467) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

The fate of the human race is at stake.

No, actually it's not. This is the kind of hyperbolic nonsense that makes it so hard to take the alarmist crowd seriously. It also gives ammunition to the deniers/skeptics/whatever-you-want-to-call-them. Project the worst case scenario for climate change and the human race survives. People in developing countries don't do so well and even the developed world takes a hit (higher food prices, greater frequency of natural disasters, and so on) but the human race isn't going anywhere. Homo sapiens quite probably survived a super-volcanic eruption, without the benefit of modern technology and scientific understanding. You think you can kill them off with melting ice caps, stronger hurricanes, and rising sea levels? Best of luck with that.

I'm in the crowd that believes the climate is changing and that homo sapiens are a contributory factor to that change. I get off the bus when the green crowd starts talking about pie in the sky solutions that sound great on paper but invariably result in a lower standard of living and greater Governmental control over our lives. Unless you're willing wholly embrace nuclear power (to their credit a few greens actually are) there's no way you can generate enough energy to maintain our current standard of living without sourcing some of that energy from carbon based sources.

Comment: Re:10th amendment (Score 2) 462

by Shakrai (#48633157) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

It started with FDR (*), the New Deal, and a little known SCOTUS case involving wheat....

Thanks Democrats!

(*) Actually the progressive philosophy really got started with Wilson but that asshat didn't have FDR's cojones. I guess FDR did save Western Civilization as we know it; that probably should count for something....

Comment: Re:Dry Counties? (Score 1) 462

by Shakrai (#48633077) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I on the other hand have stayed away from all drugs (including alcohol) for years, but have enjoyed and used marijuana on a regular basis.

I hate to break it to you but THC is a drug by any definition.....

Mind you, so is caffeine, and I'm not passing judgment on you for using THC, been there done that. You just can't claim that you have stayed away from all drugs while simultaneously admitting that you use marijuana on a regular basis....

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 182

by Shakrai (#48628277) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

The yield doesn't have anything to do with how deliverable the weapon(s) are. You said that North Korea's nukes are WW2 sized in a comment about missile technology. I'm curious what you based on that assumption on? Or perhaps you were speaking about yield all along, rather than deliverablity, though in that instance I'd wonder why it came up in a discussion about missiles. In any case, a 7kt weapon is enough to kill tens of thousands of people in an urban area. Even a fizzle might manage to do that, via prompt radiation. North Korea's nukes can't be casually dismissed....

Comment: Re:I don't see the big deal here. (Score 1) 182

by Shakrai (#48627051) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

but not likely with a nuke as their nukes are freaking huge (like WWII huge...).

Do we actually have evidence of that or are you just making assumptions? North Korea is known to have exchanged nuclear technology with Pakistan and Pakistan does have warheads small enough to be mounted to missiles.

Comment: Re:I'd expect Fawkes masks to start making stateme (Score 1) 195

by Tom (#48624793) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

So you switched from nationalisation of certain industries to taxpayer-funded cronyism?

I don't know all the details, but basically, yes.

The Deutsche Bahn was a state-owned monopolist for long-distance rail transport (both goods and people). During the privatization craze of the 90s or so, the government decided to turn it into Deutsche Bahn AG - a private company, listed at the stock exchange.

After a short transition, the C level started to think and act like C levels do, and - with a little help of big consulting companies - decided that public transport isn't all that interesting and profitable and that they would simply use it as leverage to become a huge, global, logistics company. You can already see where it all went wrong.

In order to raise capital, the government planned to sell its shares. But to make it interesting to buyers, the company first had to become profitable. So all that I've described happened. People in small towns suddenly found out that they were not using the train enough, so train service was discontinued and the station closed. Of course, now they had to use cars more which meant more traffic, roads maintainence costs increased, more roads had to be built - as a singular entity, the government before had included all those factors and decided that train service to this town was the right decision, even if the ticket sales by themselves didn't cover costs - but if you figure in the costs of not having a train service, suddenly it does make sense. As a private company, the Deutsche Bahn AG only considered the side of the equation it owned, and that didn't show a profit.
This happened to hundreds of train lines and stations.

Total damage to the german economy - unknown. Some estimates I've read are in the billions.

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