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Comment: Re: Not forced... (Score 1) 256

by Richard_at_work (#49631735) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

The NHS doesn't ask about the reason you ended up needing medical care, but you may find yourself being denied immediate access to treatments for non-life threatening issues if you indulge in activities which either hamper treatment or are exacerbating the issues - for example, smoking when being treated for COPD or lung cancer will get you into trouble, or being very overweight will cause surgery to be put off until you lose weight.

Comment: What platforms would those be? (Score 1) 399

TFA said: "Otherwise, it risks having users (slowly but surely) switch to more secure platforms that do give them updates in a timely manner."

I'm curious what platforms those might be.

The only one I'm (slightly) familiar with at the moment is Replicant, which is an all-open port of Android - with support for a limitied - and (thus?) somewhat pricey (when even available)- handful of platforms.

("All-Open" being defined as "Functionality dependent on binary blobs we don't have open source replacements for is left out of the distribution. You might get it working by installing proprietary modules. But we think that's a bad idea / counterproductive / reduces incentive for people to MAKE open source replacements, so we don't recommend it or provide instructions." i.e. do a web search for somebody who figured out how to do it if you want, say, the front camera, WiFI, or Bluetooth to work and forget about GPS for now. (v4.2 on Samsung s3))

Now I think that's the right approach. And I'd love to see more support or help for the project.

But are there others? If so, what are they?

Comment: Re:why do we need a walled garden? (Score 1) 32

The walled garden here means free access for the user - no data charges, no access charges.

The alternative is for a user to have to pay data charges and/or access charges - in other words, the status quo. In many places, data charges can be expensive - in many parts of Africa, you can buy airtime in 15 cent vouchers, which sort of indicates the level of disposable funds people have. Data charges can fairly rapidly wipe out 15 cents, so people generally dont bother and stick to cheaper SMS and voice services.

So if the user isn't paying the data charges, who picks up the bills? Someone has to...

So why the hate for Facebook et al doing this? Do people really expect them to pick up the tab for everyone just because?

Comment: Re:Who will win? (Score 2) 175

Ok, so what is your argument about Uber flouting the laws in the UK, where anyone can get commercial passenger carrying insurance and then get a taxi cab license from the local council for less than £3,000 to operate from a taxi rank or a private hire license to operate point to point on prebooking jobs?

Is it perhaps because those drivers dont have to prove that they have taken out the commercial passenger carrying insurance, nor pay the license fees, and instead just sacrifice a smaller amount to Uber?

It just shows that when you remove undue barriers to entry, people will still cut corners in order to save that little bit more money, even when the fees are justifiable and fair. And that is why Uber is having the hard time they are.

Comment: Re:25% deflation? Amateurs, I tell you! (Score 1) 253

by DRJlaw (#49598261) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

Seriously are we back in the 90's? Some of the most valuable things on earth only exist in the digital realm, see microsoft office and windows, google, and everything produced by the television and movie industries.

We get it. You have an enormous hard-on for Bitcoin.

Too bad I cannot use Bitcoin to pay my taxes, my mortgage, my children's school fees, my grocery bill, any gas station, the parking meter, or anything else that requires interaction with the physical realm around me.

The value of Bitcoin is what I can buy with it, which is very little beyond mail-order luxuries that, let's face it, are better ordered via and protected by my credit card.

We do not care whether you have some anrcho-capitalist obsession with Bitcoin. Counterfeiting does not affect us. Inflation and a central bank is not a concern when compared with a "currency" whos value fluctuates far more against real world goods than the US dollar has in decades, if not longer. Using Bitcoin to trade with the Chinese has the fundamental problem that nobody in the private sphere wants a public and de-anonymizable record of all curreny flows in international and intrastate trade -- it's a surveillance state's dream, but a citizen's and a business' nightmare.

Go troll somewhere else.

Troll somewhere else.

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 437

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49598215) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Good. Now we've gone from "they're all scum" to "some of them (possibly including Rand Paul") are good and trying but the Repubican machine and its operators will block them."

At this point we're mostly on the same page.

Ron Paul is clearly one of those good guys. And the Neocons controlling the R party machine (one of the four major factions) steamrollered him and his supporters (sometimes violently), and changed the rules to make it even harder for a grass roots uprising to displace them.

Two debates are going on right now. One is between working through the R party (is it salvagable?) or coming in with a "third" party - either an existing one or a new one (is that doable or do the big two have too much of a lock?)

The other is whether Rand is a sellout to the Neocons or if he's just more savvy than his dad and trying to look non-threatening to them in order to get the nomination. Andrew Napolitano, who knows him personally, says he knows him to be a genuine liberty advocate, and I trust A. N. on this subject.

Comment: Re:inventor? (Score 1) 475

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596369) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

If nobody knows how it works, how did the guy invent it?

LOTS of stuff gets invented without the inventor knowing HOW it works, underlying physics wise. All that's necessary is to notice THAT it works, work out some details of "if you do this much of this you get that much of that", and engineer a practical gadget.

As they say, most fundamental discoveries don't go "Eureka!", they go "That's odd ..."

Comment: I'm not holding my breath waiting for superluminal (Score 1) 475

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596323) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

this gem ... hidden in the article:

"... whether it is possible for a spacecraft traveling at conventional speeds to achieve effective superluminal speed by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it. ..."

They've been playing at that for a while. It would allegedly work by creating a condition of cosmic expansion behind the craft and its converse in front of it, so the spacecraft is in a bubble where it's running slower than lightspeed (i.e. stopped) but the cosmic expansion and contraction regions behind and ahead of it each total to the opposite sides retreating or advancing faster than light (which is allowable).

I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to fall out of this - or anything. Effective superluminal translates to "Sending messaages into the past." and "Violating causality." if you pick your reference frames correctly. So I expect flies to appear in this ointment at some point: Like something broken about what happens at the sides, needing big-bang energy levels (and not being able to transfer them between the front and back so they're free), or not being able to set up the condition in front because the agency making it happen must involve actual superluminal signal propagation.

Nevertheless, an "electric motor" that works by pushing against virtual particle-antiparticle pairs (or the total mass of the matter in the universe, or of an inverse-square weighting-by-distance of it so it's mostly the local stuff, or dark matter, or the neutrino background, or whatever), instead of ejected exhaust, is just DANDY! Let's see if they can make it work for real at human-palpable, nontrivial, efficiencies and power levels.

Comment: Re:K Bye. (Score 4, Informative) 225

by Richard_at_work (#49592807) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Who said they are getting to walk away with just an apology? Their statement includes:

“As part of a settlement agreement with the major record companies, we have agreed to cease operations immediately, wipe clean all of the record companies’ copyrighted works and hand over ownership of the website, our mobile apps and intellectual property, including our patents and copyrights.”

Note the "as part of a settlement agreement ..." part - which indicates that shutting down operations isn't the end of it for them.

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson