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Comment: Re:Obama killed it. (Score 1) 66

by tnk1 (#49552905) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

Obama appointed the commissioners, but they're more independent than your usual government department. If Wheeler did Obama's bidding, it is likely because Wheeler and Obama were on the same page, not because Obama forced it.

And of course there is a difference between the two parties, just not one that makes any fundamental difference in the long run. They both want the government to be bigger, so much so that they will even occasionally steal from the other team's playbook to make it bigger. I don't actually think it is a conspiracy, per se, I just think it is a bunch of people who like exercising power, and by doing so at the Federal level, they drag more and more into its orbit. Centralized power, whether built on the basis of defense expenditures or entitlements, will eventually be used for the benefit of the opposite side.

Comment: Re: So surprising... (Score 1) 66

by tnk1 (#49552865) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

I'm pretty happy it didn't go through. That may not make me happy about the government, but I'm happy about anything that kept that abomination of a deal from happening. This is a legitimate cause for celebration, even if it doesn't really mark a significant change. Most systems are at least a little corrupt, so it is a fine thing to see a good decision come about sometimes from that mess.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 2) 66

by tnk1 (#49552853) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

There's no need to be skeptical. No rule is without exceptions. He could easily be good intentioned in this case and still not really disprove the rule of regulatory capture.

Of course, you're right that he could have a reason that this particular merger met his ire. He may have a job lined up with a competitor. Maybe Comcast pissed him off when he was on the phone with them once. Maybe his friends at the country club don't like Comcast.

Still, he could easily have been annoyed about how transparently bad the arguments that Comcast and Time Warner Cable made were. I mean, just listening to the commercials they were hitting us with and how they tried to somehow convince people that Comcast, one of the most hated companies in America, is somehow going to be good for us because they planned on implementing Net Neutrality without being told to (a line that went away right after the Title II changes). As if they could be forced to keep that promise after they merged with TWC. And gee whiz, they sometimes give away internet to poor kids, which I'm sure no one else has ever thought of, ever. Right.

Comment: The Revolving Door Argument is Thin Anyway.... (Score 5, Insightful) 66

The pool of people who are knowledgeable about the practices, challenges, and daily business realities of the telecommunications industry (or any industry for that matter) is a small one indeed; good luck finding someone in that pool with the experience necessary to lead an agency the size of the FCC who hasn't worked for the industry at one time in his or her life.

Comment: Re:Bad use case (Score 1) 116

by tnk1 (#49552039) Attached to: Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

The downside is that you'd have to have 1.4 million people who are perfectly positioned to take advantage of these devices with sufficient reaction time to be able to get to them, and sufficient warning time to know to try and find one. And once they did, you'd probably have two people trying to fight their way into one, while another at a less useful location was completely unused.

In the same vein, nuclear bomb shelters were an iffy idea even if you ended up being able to get to them and use them, but they never really addressed the issue of what happened if you got nuked while you were at work or school, or if you were on vacation. They only really made sense when tensions raised publicly and for a protracted period of time. Most ICBM attacks would have been done pre-emptively with very little time for even the military to react. You *might* be able to get to your shelter if you were at home, awake, and happened to have your TV or radio on or your neighbors clued you in.

A 7 billion dollar seawall could not only save a lot of property, it could potentially save more than 1.4 million people because it heads off the problem at the most likely point of attack instead of relying on positioning of people in relation to an escape pod.

This sort of thing could be useful, but only in high risk scenarios like the iceberg one where you know you have a high risk of needing it, and you also don't need to leave the near vicinity of the object (or even leave the object at all).

Comment: Re:Next up... (Score 3, Interesting) 116

by Shakrai (#49551825) Attached to: Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

That's a matter of perspective. I've been there numerous times and have found that the Canadian side has the best views but the American side is less of a tourist trap. The Canadians have done a piss poor job of keeping development in check, in fact, there's a school of thought saying that the Horseshoe Falls are perpetually mist covered (historically they weren't) because of changes in the local wind currents brought about by development on the Canadian side.

Besides, the coolest thing there is the Cave of the Winds, and that's in good ole USA. No trip would be complete without seeing both sides, but there are plenty of people (myself included, obviously) that think the American side is at least the equal of the Canadian side.

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