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Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 3, Informative) 464

Telephone and electricity wires cost money to run as well. We mandated that the utilities provide service to all and they used to simply spread the cost over the entire customer base. As long as you're profitable in the large it doesn't really matter if each customer turns a profit. However, if a company is not required to do so, they will, of course, focus only on profitable customers.

We chose to subsidize services that were viewed as vital, such as phone and electricity. Cable TV is not a necessity but internet access may be.

Comment: Re:Was SCO really that bad? (Score 1) 169

by NormalVisual (#49283997) Attached to: Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah
Furthermore most of the squabbling over systemd seems to be about the fact that some people do not like that systemd gives you more control and flexibility over the startup process.

You appear to have misinterpreted what "most of the squabbling" is actually about.

who if they wanted to could simply tailor Debian to use their own init system, so if they dont like systemd, why dont they just put in their own init program after they install debian?

...and after they remove all of the dependencies on systemd from all of the non-init-related packages that are using it.

Comment: I don't always agree with him... (Score 1) 214

by NormalVisual (#49281985) Attached to: The GNU Manifesto Turns Thirty
...but you have to give him points for consistency and not giving the first damn what *anyone* thinks of him. It can sometimes be a little grating, but generally it's quite refreshing to interact with people that lay all their cards out, whom you don't have to second-guess or wonder whether they have ulterior motives.

Comment: Re:Of course! (Score 1) 305

by NormalVisual (#49262627) Attached to: Prison Program Aims To Turn Criminals Into Coders
I never pressed him for the details of the fight, but my personal experience was that he's one of the most laid-back and funniest people I've ever known, and I've never seen him even come close to losing his temper. I wasn't making any kind of judgment regarding his conviction, just saying that having a felony on one's record doesn't mean one doesn't have legitimately marketable skills.

Comment: Re:Ron Wyden Edward Snowden (Score 3) 107

We need someone in authority to step up, tell the American people what is going on, and take the heat for it.

So Wyden spills the beans, goes to jail, and then we're left with no one on the inside that will let us know that the intelligence community is still overstepping their bounds. As a bonus, after Wyden tells everyone what's going on, the executive branch refuses to take any action and continues to cow the legislature into letting them do what they want because the rest of the Intelligence Committee is largely a stunning exercise in uselessness.

As long as he remains in office and on the Committee, Wyden is doing more good being on the inside - certainly more good than those like Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Mikulski, or my own state's elected dickhead Marco Rubio. Only in the event Wyden loses his place on the Committee or fails to get re-elected would coming out and telling everything he knows be potentially useful.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 305

by NormalVisual (#49262069) Attached to: Prison Program Aims To Turn Criminals Into Coders
Remember - by law, you can't discriminate against them.

True in some cases, but not as a blanket statement. The EEOC says an employer's policies regarding one's criminal history cannot be used as an employment criteria if:

They significantly disadvantage Title VII-protected individuals such as African Americans and Hispanics; AND
They do not help the employer accurately decide if the person is likely to be a responsible, reliable, or safe employee.

I had a former co-worker that was convicted of felony battery years prior to the current job. The employer would have been well within their rights to deny him a job based solely on the second criteria.

Comment: Re:Of course! (Score 4, Insightful) 305

by NormalVisual (#49261955) Attached to: Prison Program Aims To Turn Criminals Into Coders
There is only one reason to hire a criminal, and that is planning to do something criminal.

Well, there's also the situation where the ex-con is actually good at what he does. Back in 2010 I did some contract work for a large and established company (big/old enough to have a pre-ARIN /16 netblock), and I shared a cubicle with a guy that had a third-degree felony battery conviction after putting a guy in the hospital during a bar fight years earlier, and happened to be a wicked sharp Java coder with great customer interaction skills. Even with the clearly disclosed felony on his record, he was eventually extended quite a nice offer to go onboard as a permanent employee.

Comment: Re:LOL damage broadband investment (Score 1) 347

by NormalVisual (#49247769) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
Who knows. In any event, it's kind of silly for AT&T to complain about regulation cutting into their profits when they aren't offering the kinds of services that people might actually want. Especially when I've had two outages over the last 18 months that were the result of them accidentally cancelling the authorization for the MAC address of the outside DSL hardware and taking four days to figure that out the first time it happened.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"