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Comment: Right... (Score 2) 124

by nbauman (#48658709) Attached to: Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait

Verizon in NYC had a similar help line escalation.

When I moved to a new apartment, and switched my phone, it didn't work and they couldn't get it working for a month. (Probably because they were trying to get rid of their land lines in favor of fiber optic, so they let their twisted pair maintenance crew decline.)

I was dealing with the usual tech support hell (on hold for half an hour, transferred call and dropped, supervisors who promised to return my call and never did, etc.).

Finally I called somebody by mistake in Staten Island who gave me the number of the "President's hot line". I called them up, got somebody who was actually helpful, made some calls for me, and got it working again. (Apparently their digital switches were malprogrammed. Give me the old solenoids back.)

A while later I was having trouble again so I called the President's hot line again. It wasn't working any more.

(Pro tip: When I really got fed up, I called my state assemblyman, Dick Gottfried, on the theory that Verizon is regulated by and accountable to the State. One of his staffers called Verizon, and straightened it out, even though it was Friday evening before the weekend.

So maybe that's the kind of thing that was going on with Comcast. If the service is federally regulated, your congressman should be able to call them up in your behalf and hold them accountable. And they can do it for themselves. I don't think it's outrageous for a politician to get that favor as long as they use it for their constituents too.)

* * *
I like copper wire. So sue me.

Comment: Re: It's totally superfluous (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by bill_mcgonigle (#48658149) Attached to: NetworkManager 1.0 Released After Ten Years Development

oh, does bridging work finally? I spent well over an hour with nmcli docs and on Google trying to setup bridges for each vlan I was using on an el7 machine and got nowhere close to working. Spent 5 min setting up redhat ifcfg- files and was done after yum uninstalling nm. It says that nmcli got some love in 1.0, and boy that's a good thing.

Comment: Re: not original (Score 3, Insightful) 177

by bill_mcgonigle (#48658061) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

Price "gouging" is a good thing. It sends information signals to the market to divert goods to where they are needed. Hurricane approaching Florida? That load of plywood headed to Michigan should be diverted to boarding up windows in Dade County instead of to building a dog house in Lansing. But if the price of plywood is kept artificially low (only possible by the guns of government), there's no incentive to send the truck towards a hurricane, so the Michigan contract is fulfilled.
During Hurricane Sandy some friends and I looked at renting a truck and getting some generators from our local stores to NJ - about 300 miles. It would obviously have to be worth our effort but both we and the people without power who could not find generators would benefit. But then Chris Christie got on TV threatening anybody who would charge above big-box store non-emergency prices with National Guard action. "Screw that", we said, "they can sit in the dark and enjoy their fairness".
The important information theory piece to learn is that prices are the information signals that are sent through markets. The important economic piece to learn is that scarcity is real. The important political piece to learn is that politicians ignore both, to the detriment of their people but to their own personal gain.

Comment: Re:Dementia will get'm long before 120 (Score 2) 429

by bill_mcgonigle (#48654483) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Or many of the other old age related diseases of which there is no treatment. Wishful thinking.

He's 47. He's got more than two decades before those are likely to affect him. I'll bet that in 2034 we have effective treatments for most all of them, with genomic analysis and gene therapy being available at the shopping mall, next to the place that does nails. OK, probably not FDA-approved (possibly even banned in the US due to costs of welfare if people don't die off) but that's what medical tourism is for. You might need to fly to Theil's boat to get it.

Comment: Re:Nothing can go Wrong Here (Score 2) 429

by bill_mcgonigle (#48654443) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

"no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons"

How could this possibly go wrong?

It's just nonsense - to build on a sea platform would require tremendously strong buildings and no owner of such a platform would permit shacks to be built there as crumbling buildings would threaten the platform and its other occupants. The notable difference between a seastead and local building codes is that such agreements on a seastead would be entered into voluntarily, not by fiat backed by violence.

The people who would live and work there would need to be attracted to live on a sea platform, so low-paid workers and destitute beggars aren't even an issue. This isn't a model for society, it's more of a Galt's Gulch.

I still think it's silly to get all the anarchists on a platform that can be sunk by a torpedo (see the Free State Project for a more sensible option) but TFS is written as if by a seventh grader who's heard something about libertarians.

Comment: Re:Stone Age diet ? he wants to live all 20 years? (Score 3, Insightful) 429

by bill_mcgonigle (#48654381) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Read up on the anthropology, especially about the value of grandparents. Also be careful to avoid means as averages in such cases.

Hint: healthy humans don't undergo menarche until they're about twelve, and human children do not survive well if their parents die off before they're eight.

There's evidence that life expectancy went down with agriculture, though housing heralds an improvement for infant mortality so the means go up, though tempered by increased disease.

Comment: Re:Precious Snowflake (Score 0) 323

by bill_mcgonigle (#48652669) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

A child without physical punishment learns early that all consequence is harmless. Risk becomes a non-existent factor in decision-making. The child becomes a self-entitled asshole or goes to an early grave.

Right, you know more about this than all the neuroscientists who have evidence that your claim is idiotic.

Lemme guess - your parents abused you and you feel a cultural need to love Mommy and Daddy, so you'll claim it was good for you to make the dissonance stop.

Comment: Re:Precious Snowflake (Score 3, Insightful) 323

by bill_mcgonigle (#48652525) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

And thus the decline of western civilization...

If it's to fall, it'll be due to people who were raised on the idea that physical violence against innocents is a virtue and who thus support societal institutions that use it as their primary means of motivation against adult subjects, contrary to the human drives towards freedom and creativity.

Way to ascribe the cause to the cure.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.