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Comment We need congestion pricing (Score 1) 479

If I use 100GB/month, but only when nobody else is online, I'm not impacting anyone else and I'm only very marginally increasing the ISP's cost. If you want a pricing structure that actually reflects what the market will bear and would adjust buyers habits at the appropriate times, you need congestion based pricing. But I can't think of a good way to implement that, which isn't confusing.

Comment Re:You see! (Score 4, Interesting) 78

Yes. And that's one of the reasons why we need regulated capitalism. It's a means of harnessing sociopaths. In unregulated capitalism, the sociopaths will run rampant with their businesses. In communist societies, lacking other outlets, the sociopaths seem to take power in the government where they tend to do a lot more harm.

Comment Lose, Lose (Score 3, Insightful) 171

When Amazon says that they'd like to sell some books below wholesale, and claims that the agency model prevents that, they are lying their asses off. They could easily get around that restriction. The simplest way being by offering an account credit on certain books. The problem with that approach from Amazon's perspective is that it would reveal how large the subsidy is. Doesn't matter to the consumer, but it is competitive information they wouldn't want public.

On the other hand, if the agency model prevents Amazon from negotiating a different wholesale price than Apple pays, then that is collusion. I'm not sure it rises to the level of needing a government crackdown, but it is slimy none the less.

And the flip side of this is that Amazon of course would be happy to subsidize book sales and Kindles to drive people to the Amazon store to buy other things. Which in turn could have the anti-competitive effect of making tablets from Apple, Samsung, and others over priced by comparison and push them out of the market.

It doesn't matter which way the courts rule on this one, the consumer loses.

Comment Carbon - Currency (Score 1) 595

I've told this to several of my friends, that mining Bitcoins is a mechanism to convert carbon into currency. Where I live, that life cycle looks like coal -> electricity -> Bitcoin. Of course you have to pay for that electricity, which pretty much guarantees that while you're melting the polar caps due to your mining, you're also loosing money at the same time.

Of course, you're probably not paying for the electricity. Your parents, or employer, or some other unwitting person probably is. Which means your shitting on the environment and stealing at the same time. Way to go!

Comment Judge shouldn't have even been in this position (Score 1) 433

I'm a bit of a literalist when it comes to laws, so I don't like this judges ruling. That said, he should have never been put into this position in the first place.

We shouldn't have laws specifying cell phones and driving. Distracted driving laws should be sufficient. If the penalties for distracted driving are two weak, then fix that. There's no need to specify exactly what distracted driving is. I'd rather leave that up to the cop and a jury.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department