Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:The issue is not title 2 (Score 1) 46 46

Yep. Exactly. The sad thing is that people's eyes glaze over when they see that and instead just say "hey ISP, I give you dictatorial control over the communication system of the entire community... because this is complicated and I don't want to deal with it."...

And the thing is that isn't that complicated really. What the City should be offering is conduits. A pipe in the ground where people can run cable. That's it.

I think politicians can manage empty pipes. If they can't... then gargling sulfuric acid mixed with hydrogen peroxide is probably the best use of their time.

Comment Re:The issue is not title 2 (Score 1) 46 46

The cell towers buy internet bandwidth from wired networks and thus the cost of a cell tower is the cost of their share of land line bandwidth PLUS the cost of the tower.

Keep in mind further that the links that connect cities together either are not or REALLY should not be anything but fiber. If you're replacing cobber lines with more cobber lines... then you're dumb. Fiber is just cheaper. It should be what is run everywhere.

And while people will say "but we can't afford it"... I think they'd find the money damn quickly if competitors could run fiber along the same towers or in the same conduits to compete against them for customers.

They lethargy we see from the ISPs comes from the fact that people are legally forbidden on pain of getting their brains blown out from competing with them.

You cannot run competing cable. And that is why they fuck us.

As to cell phones being more expensive... this is a false comparison because you're not comparing the cost of JUST the cellphone telephone service. You're including the cost of text messaging and mostly the cellphone data services which are the bulk of those fees.

You can easily buy unlimited cellphone and texting plans for 25 USD. That's UNLIMITED. And if you want a metered plan then you can pay as little as 6 dollars a month if you're not using the system very much.

I'm personally paying about 18 dollars a month for my cell phone and I have a smartphone. I have a moto X second generation.

Now here people will say "but don't you miss anywhere wireless data"... about as much as you miss that on your laptop. Which is to say you care if you care but I think most people use wireless data because they basically get forced into it, dont' know how to turn it off, and then just get lazy about doing certain things.

A big one I hear all the time is "what about google maps, you need that right"... I have a lot of storage space on my phone and I use about 2 gigs of it for stored maps which gives me a comprehensive map of my own state and the four adjoining states. No data connection required. I turn on my GPS... that associates the GPS with the stored maps... and I can navigate just fine.

Here someone will say "what about email! Surely you need access to email at all times don't you!?"... no. Anyone that needs to get ahold of me right fucking now will call or text. I also have an email client set up on my home system that forwards alerts based on some message rules to my text message. Aka... I have some systems that will send me an email when something goes wrong with a system. That email is then forwarded to the text messaging gateway. I have a few of those set up for when some people email me. It doesn't send the whole email. It sends the name of the person and the subject line. Enough information for me to know whether I should turn on my data radio in my phone or not. I generally don't. I also find that wifi networks are pretty much ubiquitous at this point and all free. So what the fuck is the point? I spend 80 percent of my time inside one wifi hotspot or another. And in the remaining 20 percent... if you actually need me right MEOW... then fucking call or text you filthy barbarian.

Comment The issue is not title 2 (Score 1) 46 46

The issue is the franchise licenses that give cable companies last mile monopolies on internet service.

Open up last mile delivery of service to more providers... or you're handing ISPs a government backed monopoly contract.

Fiber optic cable is CHEAP. I could run cable from where I live to the trunk line for at most a couple grand... And that would service about 10 gigabit internet connections.

This whole issue is like the stupid debates we always have about entrenched government backed monopolies versus just "anyone"...

Look at what is happening with cellphones versus the land line providers. Land line prices are collapsing and that is because people are ditching them for cellphones which is a "less" monopolistic market.

Look, anyone that knows anything will tell you... give one company the ability to dictate prices and they're going to exploit it.

Period.

And the government really isn't any better here. You give the government the ability to dictate prices or control the service and they're going to do the same thing where they'll either slack off because you're not going to fire them if they're lazy... or they'll just bill you more through your taxes... and you can't even fire the fucks.

So look... if you want service that isn't shitty... you need some competition. You need people to be able to vote with their feet and their wallets. They have to be able to say "this service is shitty so I shall give it ZERO dollars and this service is superior so I shall give it whatever seems reasonable to me."

And that controls prices.

In any market or industry or situation where that is not happening market forces cannot control prices. Consumers have to have choices. And the choice between DSL and Cable is bullshit.

We shouldn't even be maintaining the copper lines anymore. Its fucking dumb. Fiber or choke on yak semen.

Comment Profits are generally relative to risk (Score 1) 95 95

Sure things have low profit margins. Things that could turn you into a billionaire or whatever are going to be long shots.

Ideally what you want to do is hedge. This is not really possible in employment because time is time. But with investments you want to have the bulk of your capital in a sure thing and a reasonable amount in speculative investments.

As regards employment in a start up the way to manage this is with the ratio of pay versus stock options.

To the extent that you judge your start up to be a sure thing or a risky proposition... you are going to want to adjust the balance of stock options versus salary. Riskier jobs should have more upfront salary where as more certain enterprises can have more stock options. Obviously it is in the interest of either organization to sell you the opposite.

A risky venture's interests are in selling you options because if everything goes wrong they paid you with monopoly money. And the reliable entity is effectively paying you more with stock options than with salary so they're going to be inclined to pay you with just straight money instead.

Part of negotiating for pay is understanding what is in your interests and leveraging your value to get what you want.

A company that is going down in flames should pay you in cash... even checks bounce. This was something that was going on with General Motors before their last default. They were paying their suppliers with IOUs. That's entirely unacceptable. A company with shaky financials hands you an IOU and you respond with "no sale".

If the company has solid financials then you say "I'll give this to you on credit"... and then set the interest rate to whatever the banks say is correct... have the bank finance it on the other company's credit rating.

Anyway... point is... if you're being paid mostly in stock options in a start up in SV... the only companies you want to accept that from are sure things.

Sure sure... you can win the lottery. Just know that's what you're doing.

Comment The title is terrible (Score 3, Insightful) 211 211

The napster situation and the driverless cars are not analogous.

As to falling revenue... the mistake here is conflating the fees with "Profit"... that's revenue.

Technically I can make more money selling you something for 1 dollar as a percentage of expenditure than I can for something I sell for a million dollars.

Companies that sell seemingly cheap shit are often very profitable. Why? Because it easier to over bill someone for something really cheap then it is to over bill them for something really expensive.

If I sell you a candy for a dollar and it costs me 10 cents to make that candy then I'm making 90 cents profit on every dollar of revenue. Could I do that if I were selling you something for a million dollars? Much less likely. This is why for high ticket items the profit margins tend to shrink.

On the point of insurance, the profit is the revenue they take in minus the cost of paying out claims. Now they increase the fees based on two things.

1. What they estimate their claims are going to be.

2. What they think you're willing to pay which relates to what your competitors are offering, market conditions, etc.

Now if the autonomous cars crash less that means the estimated claims are going to go down. And that means costs go down. And that means that due to competition, your competitors are going to lower fees for that insurance because they can get a competitive advantage by doing that. This forces you to lower your own fees until the set price hovers somewhere above costs based on market conditions.

Now for a business to be profitable it has to make a certain percentage profit on capital expenditure. Otherwise your business doesn't make sense. Even making a tiny profit doesn't make sense because there are more profitable things to do with the same amount of capital and you'd be better off closing your business down and doing that other thing instead.

So you need a certain percentage profit. And that means since its on a percentage basis that reducing revenue doesn't actually mean you lose profitability so long as the percentage holds.

Lets say the insurance business goes from collecting 100 billion in fees to 50 billion. Okay... but if the percentage of the fee that goes to profits remains the same then the business while smaller will remain as profitable as ever.

You can't say the same for the music business. What has killed them is that the percentage profits has collapsed ALONG with the revenue. Both collapsed at once. AND the whole thing poses an existential threat to the record industry itself.

That would be a napster moment.

What is more, if anything, I could expect percentage profits to go UP as revenue declines due to cheaper policies in auto insurance. That is, I believe people will get less price conscious as the absolute fees go down. So lets say it costs me 20 dollars per person to offer this insurance to you. Could I get away with charging your 30 dollars for the policy? I could do that much more easily than if the costs were 200 dollars and I wanted to charge you 300 dollars for the policy.

See?

If anything insurance should get more profitable as costs go down. The actual percentage profits of high ticket businesses is often anemic. I've seen lots of businesses get by year after year on 2 to 5 percent profit margins and that is a TOUGH business.

Just think about that... servicing customer after customer and making 5 cents for every 95 cents you spend servicing them. But that's not uncommon.

Ideally where you want to be as a business is having as high a profit margin as you can possibly get your greedy fingers on.

50 percent... 100 percent... 500 percent. You want big fat margins. Even a little renvenue at those margins is gold because it gives you lots of wiggle room to absorb unexpected losses or shifts in market conditions.

If you're making 2 percent per transaction and things change... you could easily be LOSING 20 percent per transaction. *snaps fingers* in a heart beat.

And a lot of businesses operate in those environments. They survive by being very very competent and by having 'ways' of adjusting their expenses either by reducing quality or by putting cost pressures back on suppliers so their costs actually go down when market conditions hit their bottom line.

Anyway... the title is stupid and I question the premise.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 362 362

This has been talked about before... the legal reality is that if they can get their slimy hands around your neck... then you're probably fucked... and not for money.

A court could very easily rule that your various jurisdictional shenanigans were put in place to evade local laws... which... honestly they are/were... and thus they could just nullify all that, declare you a UK company, and bring out their large collection of judicial dildos to proceed.

The whole thing you have to keep in mind is de jure and de facto law. What the law says is "de jure" how things are actually going to play out is "de facto".

All that is going to matter to you in the end is what ACTUALLY happens to you. And that means de facto.

Now here you might say "but but... the LAAAAAW"... to which the legal system will say:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

here is the problem with being a porn company... you have no political pull. None. No one likes you or will admit to jerking off to you furiously. So politicians will shit all over you because it gets the family values and female vote on your side. And defending you... will be fucking no one.

All things being equal, the porn people can only rely on the law to defend them and that's a terrible place to be because the legal systems of pretty much every country I've ever looked at are highly susceptible to politics, money, influence. None of them that I've ever seen actually just execute the law.

Basically what you want to be is adorable, wholesome, attractive, rich, popular, and somehow a victim.

Now what do the porn people have?

Adorable? Nope.

Wholesome? Not even remotely.

Attractive... I've never seen they try that angle in these cases but maybe that is a mistake on their part. Have the porn stars front for you in the most provocative clothing possible. Couldn't possibly hurt given points 1 and 2.

Rich? Not really. The porn industry is so competitive and so full of freebies that this is more of a "job" than anything.

Popular? Only matters if people will admit to jerking off furiously to you and they won't.

And somehow the victim... anyone that claims to be the victim against children always loses. Even if the kids skinned alive the other people and ate them. Children are always innocent... even when they're not. So the porn people lose again.

See the problem? Sure... de jure they might be able to play those games but the courts can make that up as they go along especially if the politicians and the jury cooperate with it.

Comment Re:$805M budget Why US Health Care is BROKEN (Score 1) 231 231

If you're going to keep citing the daily fucking kos... then I'm going to punish you by citing the most shamelessly biased sites from the right just to show you how f'ing stupid it is that you're citing the kos:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-g...

http://www.teaparty.org/obamac...

What do you think you're doing?

Either cite something moderate or you open the door for people to cite anything.

Comment Re:Think like a soldier in the next war for a mome (Score 1) 297 297

""No I didn't, I was doing it in the context of the Iraq war where they're understood to be excess deaths.""
excess deaths?

First, we're not talking about Iraq. I told you that.

Second, we're talking about Afghanistan.

Third, "excess deaths" what does that mean?

Fourth, your cited kill number did not include context, it did not separate out people that would have died if there were no war, the actual causality figures are actually highly estimated and no one really knows what they are, you conflated people killed by the enemy with people killed by the US, you conflated soldier deaths with civilians, deaths caused by famine or disease were conflated with deaths from weapons, etc etc etc.

So whatever you "intentions" were that is what you did.

"As to standard methodology"
In what way is that standard anything? No one does that. Do you think the US was sitting there doing WW2 running those numbers for Germany?

Anyway, we've come to the part of the discussion where I have to start looking things up.

In regards to the Afghan war, wikipedia puts the number at:
26 thousand.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

And often as not that is because the terrorists like to use civilians as human shields.

""NATO was an alliance formed to counter Russia, it's easy to see why inviting former Warsaw pact members into NATO would be viewed as a hostile act.""
Counter the USSR's attempt to conquer europe and the world actually.

We did what we could to make the Russians feel comfortable. We gave them money. We gave them technology. We invited them to all the clubs and parties and meetings. We tried to get foreign investment to help them. We did exchange programs to get them knowledge. We did the whole international space station purely to try and form some sort of post cold war peace.

We tried very hard to make the Russians see that there was another way.

Now, for a moment, try and see things from our side. We've just fought the cold war. We've been fighting the Russians for generations. My grand fathers fought them. My fathers fought them... and they thought I would fight the russians as well.

And in this context the Russians get agitated every time some previously subject power is given enough security to make it hard for them to be reconquered. This was taken as a sign of bad faith on the part of the Russians against the US and the free world. The opposition to the anti ICBM technology was also taken as bad faith. Why does Russia want the US to stop developing it unless Russia wants to intimidate the first world with nuclear weapons? The UK doesn't have a problem with US anti ICBM tech. The first world is comfortable with it because they have no intention of using their nukes in a threatening manner.

The Russians clearly do and always did. And that's fine. But it means this notion you're peddling that the Russians were going to be peaceful until the US did X or Y is bullshit. They've been planning to cause trouble from the start.

""It's not just the conflict itself but the internal dialogue. You don't think other countries are listening when presidential candidates talk about invading other countries like it's no big deal?""
You don't know what the internal dialog is... you just know what is in the media. Furthermore, when has the US ever talked about invading a country like it was no big deal?

You keep saying these things that are opinions or feelings... there's no empiricism in it. You've built a house of cards out of bias and prejudice.

""I didn't say it was illegitimate, I said that its creation was a legitimate target for criticism as a very ugly form of colonialism (lets treat the land owned by these brown people like they're not even there and let some white Europeans settle it). And their current settlement policy is so indefensible I don't know that I've actually seen anyone ever defend it.""
That's how EVERY country in the middle east got its current territory. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, etc. Not one of them got it any other way.

So again... if you want to question the legitimacy of Israel, then you have to question the legitimacy of all those countries.

""canada""
Good to know. All I'd say in regards to that, is that Canada is basically the US from a strategic stand point. You're inseparable. If the US stands you'll stand... if the US falls... you'll fall.

""In WWII the axis powers inflicted a 3-1 civilian-military death ratio, and that includes the holocaust.

The 10-1 ratios in drone strikes that I cited, which are the only decent estimate I could find, are not something to brag about.

And even if they were lower than usual they're only acceptable if the acts themselves are necessary, I find it dubious that these actors in other countries are particularly legitimate terrorist threats.""
Citation. That's complete bullshit.

""Re-read what I said, I wasn't 'm not appealing to your heart strings, I was talking about the bigger picture.

The drone strikes are counterproductive because of the ill-will they inflict by causing mass collateral damage.""
Citation needed.

""You're still missing the point I'm talking about... which is kind of my point in arguing against the drones and autonomous weapons.

It's not just US dead vs enemy dead. It's US dead vs all the different categories of people who are killed or harmed by military action. Because you dehumanize the enemy (not a criticism, just human nature) you don't really give those other people the proper weight and are way too eager to deploy military force.

The point of having US military personnel in harms way isn't to have them harmed, it's to have people realize their at risk and so give some consideration as to whether the conflict is actually worth it.""
Its not even human nature. It is a requirement of war itself.

You cannot wage war without not only accepting the death of the enemy but methodically planning it and executing the action without hesitation.

You say I don't care about the enemy? This is incorrect. I actively want them dead.

You say I don't care about civilians? This is incorrect, my people spend more money and energy trying to avoid civilian causalities than any other power in history.

As to your desire to have some sort of philosophical revelation in the middle of a battle... that is not the point of the battle. The point is to kill the enemy, secure the objective, and limit the losses to our own forces either in people or other resources so that we can continue to prosecute the war.

If you want to have a philosophical discussion about war... that is not the place to do it. You can have it with me here and now. This is an appropriate place.

You can also have it in the media or write a letter to a public official or whatever.

But the soldier on the battlefield? He's too busy trying to stay alive to even be afraid. Have you ever read war accounts? How the men fighting would do incredibly dangerous things without thinking about it because that was what had to be done. And then after the battle they'd throw up and shake from the terror of what they'd gone through. But in the middle of the fight... they felt no fear. They did their duty.

And you think in the middle of that that the soldiers are going to go through some sort of philosophical process? It won't happen.

What is more, taking deaths of our own simply makes us hate the enemy. That IS human nature. If the enemy kills our robots we won't feel a sense of loss and we won't hate the enemy as much or at all.

But if you force our soldiers to die... we will hate the enemy. We will not only want them dead... but we'll grow cruel... and will want them to suffer.

This happened to the US in WW2 and it happened in Vietnam. We were not kind of Japanese or German soldiers. We were more kind than the Russians... but then they had suffered far worse at the hands of the Germans that did we.

And that loss you seem to what us to feel... it won't do what you think it will do. You think it will make us not want to fight. Perhaps. But it will also make us cruel and hateful.

I do not want that for my people. I want my people to be kept safe. I want them to maintain their kindness. And i want them to not hate. Your idea will backfire.

Comment In other news... (Score 1) 362 362

... The UK porn industry has relocated to... I went through a list in my head to see if I could come up with a european country that hasn't done batshit crazy things with the internet lately... I'm coming up a blank... they're going to Los Angeles then.

Welcome to the international porn capital of the world!

Now open wide.

Comment Not wireless (Score 1) 156 156

All the wireless solutions are flaky or expensive. Go wired.

HDMI can go up to 45 feet. If you need to go farther than that there are HDMI to Cat6 converter boxes. Run the HDMI over the Cat6, run it through the conduits... easy peasy.

If you tell me "I don't have conduits" or "this sounds like too much work"... You're shit out of luck so far as I understand the issue. That is how I understand that has to work.

Yes... there are wireless options but the most you would want to do with those is maybe a movie. If you do gaming or websites or anything responsive... No.

And even the movies is unreliable. I've been nothing but annoyed with all the high res wireless solutions. They all seem to be shitty.

Wired works.

This if you can manage it with 45 feet:
http://www.amazon.com/High-Spe...

Or this if you need to send it a lot farther:
http://www.amazon.com/AVUE-HDM...

That's 400 feet... but I suspect you could chain them together to send it a lot farther. Fucking miles if you really wanted to...

Its not expensive.

Just run the wire.

Here you might be saying "but how do I use my keyboard, mouse, anal vibrator without close access to the USB on my computer?"... good question... and the same answer:
http://www.amazon.com/Monopric...

that's 150 feet... I'm sure there are ones that transmit farther if you look for it or care. 150 feet is pretty good if you're just trying to go downstairs through the conduits.

I have a server closet in my house. Most of my machines hang out in there. Most of them are just VNCed into or something. But some of them I want a tight hardware interface to and for THOSE... this works.

Keep in mind, you don't want to do more than keyboards and mice over a USB extender. They tend to have shitty bandwidth so plugging in a blueray reader or something is a mistake.

Comment Re:I agree (Score 1) 66 66

Well, that assumes the ships aren't given a proper 3d printer that can print the literal parts you need to milspec. We have printers that can pump out parts of the aerospace industry so they can print parts for your ship.

BUT you need that level of printer. And then you need to do a cost/weight evaluation to make sure you're actually making a good trade.

Only on the largest ships am I guessing this might make sense.

But think of it... a major issue for the ships is having all the repair parts for all the planes AND the ship and various other things.

What if you could print out a lot of the parts from some feedstock material. Print the part out of titanium or whatever works for you.

Comment Why are they printing this? (Score 1) 66 66

Print what you actually need on board ship... repair parts... These ships have big inventories of parts that they know will wear out, parts that could break, and of course... consumable munitions.

These are the things you print aboard ship.

Rather than giving a ship a huge inventory of repair parts, you give them a few printers and the raw materials to print whatever is needed.

This can't work with everything... at least with our current level of technology. But the idea should be to give the Navy more space in the cargo hold for things besides repair parts because they can make them as needed. Or to give them the ability to fabricate things faster than they can be transported to them.

If the printers aren't doing either of these things then they're just taking up space.

These are supposed to be war ships. Its not fing star trek with a little science team on board. They're engines of destruction. Everything has to service that end aboard ship. If you have another agenda... get your own boat and do it there.

Comment Re:Why not have more public restrooms? (Score 1) 209 209

That's a good point. I hadn't thought of self cleaning bathrooms.

Assuming you did that, that would work.

Regardless, the issue with people peeing all over the place is that there isn't any place for them to do it besides the wall. And that's on the city. Every block or so you need to have a little easement for a public restroom with signs that point out where it is... and if you can't be bothered to do that... then have fun with people peeing anywhere.

Comment Why not have more public restrooms? (Score 1) 209 209

This is the real issue in these situations. There really isn't a good place to pee in a lot of places. People often as not rely on restrooms provided by businesses and they only let you go in there if you are a customer. So if you're not... or they're closed because it is late... then where are you going to pee?

The issue with public restrooms is that that is realestate that is valudable and you have to police and maintain them to keep people from selling drugs for blow jobs in them or rubbing shit into the ceiling.

The Solution there is to have them be public but make their maintenance the responsibility of locals rather than some city workers that will be under staffed, unmotivated, and unaccountable when they don't do their jobs. Local businesses will want those facilities to look good and be good and so they'll task someone to deal with it.

Regardless, anyone that thinks they're stopping people from peeing by putting funny paint on the walls is an idiot.

1. You can still pee on the ground.

2. Stand back and pee at an angle and you can pee on the wall.

3. Women are responsible for this far more than you'd realize and they pop a squat and pee.

So... yeah. You're not stopping anything with your paint. Put in more public bathrooms or get used to the smell of urine.

Comment Re:I wish I could buy GMO seeds (Score 1) 292 292

I'm not saying it is a religion. I'm saying that the distinction between a theistic ideology and a non-theistic ideology is exaggerated. And that most of the bad things laid at the feet of theism are more appropriately laid at the feet of ideologies in general.

Did the soviets become nice and reasonable people because they happened to be atheists? Being an atheist doesn't mean you are moral, rational, reasonable, etc.

It just means you have rejected certain definitions of super natural forces. But if you likewise believe in ideologies that you will not compromise then ultimately you're still writing a blank moral check to an ideology.

A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you. -- Ramsey Clark

Working...