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Comment: Re:The saddest part is..... (Score 1) 53

by sjames (#48230505) Attached to: Secretive Funding Fuels Ongoing Net Neutrality Astroturfing Controversy

It's important to keep in mind that for the purposes of market theory, competition requires much more than 2 players. When Smith wrote about competition, he meant dozens of small businesses, each barely bigger than the customers they serve.

In the ISP market, this was briefly true in the dial-up days. It was effective enough to kill hourly rates and made $9/month a standard offer. This was possible because the barrier to entry was low. The massive infrastructure was already provided by a regulated natural monopoly. All you needed was a T1, a few phone lines and a few servers (occasionally installed in your basement).

Unfortunately, the regulators are asleep at the switch and so now we have only one or two competing ISPs in most places. Perhaps if their actual understanding of markets went deeper than the brief overview they learned in elementary school, things would be better.

Comment: Re:Is that unreasonable? (Score 1) 148

by hey! (#48230459) Attached to: High Speed Evolution

Is it unreasonable for the average height of a population to grow by 7" in twenty generations? I should think so. But if you changed your initial conditions somewhat, maybe less unreasonable.

There are roughly 400 genes known to influence height. Imagine we have a small, isolated population that does not interbreed with other populations -- say on an isolated island. This population's average male height is, say 175 cm for men -- roughly the same as the average American. However the population contains all the alleles neede to generate individuals approacing 7' in height. We then take our population and put them under evolutionary pressure; let's say we shoot everyone who reaches the age of 16 and is below average height. It wouldn't many generations for that population's average height to become quite tall, as "tall genes" begin to predominate.

Let's change that initial condition by stipulating that there are no "tall genes" in the initial population. It's still average height, but maybe it lacks both "tall genes" and "short genes". It would be surprising if the genetic height potential for a newborn changed very quickly, because you've got to wait for a lot of "lucky" mutations and twenty generations is not that long.

Let's go back to our successful initial conditions and change something else. This time the population has all the necessary alleles to produce super-tall people, but it interbreeds extensively with a large external population which is not subject to our culling protocol. Under these conditions the population's height increase will be slow, or non-existent depending on the rate at which individuals interbreed with populations not under pressure.

The bottom line: it depends.

Comment: Re: Non-story? (Score 1) 101

by Em Adespoton (#48230359) Attached to: AT&T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

AT & T have no business locking anything I purchase. I buy a car, it's not locked by the dealership, I buy a Skil-saw and I don't have to call to change blades.
No , it's not a good business practice, it's not nice and it is intrusive, invasive and rude. It would be no different than getting married to a hottie, then finding her breeding rights belong to another guy and you can't even touch her cunt unless she gets a new one.
No, just piss on AT&T and their ilk.

If you buy a car these days, the computer is indeed locked by the dealership, although the manufacturer has the keys. Independent mechanics have been up in arms over this for years -- they have to purchase the keys needed to tune the vehicles, even though they're running on a somewhat open system.

That doesn't make either a reasonable course of action though, even with the security arguments.

Comment: Re:The US tech industry (Score 1) 158

by dgatwood (#48230087) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

As many folks have already pointed out in other threads on the subject, Intel screwed up the Haswell line by using an entirely different pinout on the i7 than on the i5. The result is that any motherboard with soldered-on chips has to be specifically designed for one or the other.

Apple chose the i5, presumably because that's the hardware grade where most of the Mini's sales came from, rather than doubling their R&D cost by building two very different motherboards.

Here's hoping Intel doesn't screw up Broadwell in the same way.

Comment: Re:The US tech industry (Score 1) 158

by wiredlogic (#48229995) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

It's worth noting that direct comparison to P4s high clock speeds can't be made because that family had a longer pipeline and a crippled FP implementation. It was a bad idea driven by marketing to fight in the MHz wars. We are better off that those days are long gone. Modern devices are faster in real terms disregarding clock speeds.

Comment: Re:As expected from google (Score 1) 113

by PopeRatzo (#48228847) Attached to: BBC Takes a Stand For the Public's Right To Remember Redacted Links

it is stupid that a small error without much consequence ruin your life.

Come on. Tell us. What did you do?

Seriously though. I'm not sure how you think life works, but small errors without consequence ruin lives all the time. "I only had three beers" or "I forgot to wear a rubber" are small errors.

The only question I have about this law is how in the world could it NOT end up being abused? This law is designed to be abused.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"