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Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1065

by budgenator (#49737643) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

by raising the wages of those under them artificially it does in fact harm them as costs will go up

hilarious

Well,

Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population.[3] He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied. ... Distribution of world GDP, 1989, Richest 20% Quintile of population - 82.70% Income, Second 20% - 11.75%, Third 20% - 2.30%, Poorest 20% - 1.40% Pareto principle

seems what you think is hilarious is the way the world works; if you double the minimum wage, 80% of the benefits will go to the top 20th percentile of income earners.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1065

by budgenator (#49737231) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

My view is that raising the minimum wage will decrease the M.W jobs available, but what's happening in Seattle is being spun in so many ways by third parties with vested interests you can't believe anything. Restaurateurs tend to be whiny sucks, dismal businessman all to ready to blame anyone but themselves for running their businesses into the ground. Resteraunts often run for years on the verge of bankruptcy, putting a few of these out of their misery isn't the end of the world.

Comment: Re:Minimum Wage (Score 1) 1065

by budgenator (#49736509) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

That's almost like saying, "If consuming water is good then drowning to death in it must be better". In short, improvements are generally on a bell curve: there's an optimum level of any given factor. Too much or too little tends to create problems.

Oh no now he's talking that "voodoo Regan era economics", if this keeps up then puppies and kittens will start dying; think of the baby Harp seals!

Comment: Re:Dirty little secret (Score 1) 1065

by budgenator (#49736065) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

The reason is because only a relative few readers are qualified to discuss the latest in astrophysics, let's say, but anyone can jump in and talk about politics.

Therein lies the problem.

Not really, think back to all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those convinced that the LHC was going to vomit out world eating quantum black holes, around here anybody can jump in about anything.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 289

by Moridineas (#49732901) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

I've actually had good experiences with Google Apps (paid) technical support. I've only interacted with them perhaps two times over three years, but they were fast and good both times. Our local DMV is actually not terrible either (ever since they implemented appointments). God help you if you need to call them on the phone, though.

True story about my last visit from the permitting office (we were doing a series of renovations on our office building, so I visited quite a few times). I dropped by the the permits office to just sign my name to a sheet of paper. I arrived around 12:50am on a Wednesday.

The front desk person was sitting there reading a newspaper. I walk up through the cordoned off waiting area (I was the only person in line), and say "Hello, ...". The reception lady points to a sign that says "Out to lunch" and doesn't even look up from her paper. Ok, fine, I go and sit down for 10 minutes, expecting lunch to end at 1pm. At 1pm the lady removed the "Out to lunch" sign and walked away from the desk. She's mysteriously gone for another 10 minutes. Ok...

So, I'm still standing waiting in line and still the only person there when she comes back. She looks around the room and says "Next." I walk up, say hello, and tell her about what I'm picking up. She reaches down into her files and has my form right there. She explains that I need to sign the form. I pick up one of the bank-style chained down pens and start to sign my name on the only signature line on the form. She immediately says "SIR. The front desk is for interacting with customers only. We need to keep the area clear for other customers. Please go and sign this form and return to the permits office when you are done." Again, I am the ONLY other person in the room. I had to leave the office, go bum a pen off someone, and come back.

I literally could have been in and out in about 30 seconds if that person cared one iota about her job or other people. That was an annoying experience, but not really that out of line with my other local government interactions. To be fair, I did meet a few very helpful inspectors, but sheesh... I met my fair share of similar personality types when I worked for the federal government in DC. Governments, more so than corporations, seem to offer people like that tenured positions.

Comment: Re:DHI (Score 1) 10

by mcgrew (#49728813) Attached to: Dice Holdings Inc is now "DHI"

Ever since they changed it so I have a goddamned horizontal scroll (are they on crack?) I've only come by occasionally to look at journals.

Look, Dumbass Holdings Idiots, there's no reason whatever short of GROSS incompetence to introduce a horizontal scroll on a widescreen format notebook!! I'm all for hiring the handicapped, but you don't hire Ray Charles to be a bus driver and you don't hire the educationally handicapped to code...

Although I suspect it may be retarded PHBs than retarded coders. Someone is obviously VERY stupid. The idiotic mistakes I see should NOT happen at a so-called "nerd" site.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 289

by Moridineas (#49723911) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

Sorry, but that doesn't sound like a disaster at all to me. It sounds a lot like the way business actually works. It also sounds like a valuable asset in the making. If you add in the positive effects of having the best internet connectivity in the country in terms of ability to attract businesses, it's not a bad deal at all.

Maybe. The next 20-30 years, over which the debt is scheduled to be repaid (with interest of course), will be the proof in the pudding. You are far more confident than I am.

Best internet in the country? Better than some of the surrounding areas--for now--for sure. Beyond that...? AT&T "Gigapower" is supposed to be the same speed as Google. Having neither, I can't say for sure.

Note that Davidson went in on this with Mooresville, population 32,000 so claiming the debt is held by just 10,000 people is way off the mark. It's not chump change, but it's not exactly a horror. There are many government and private ventures in a lot more debt with a lot less to show for it and unlike the broadband play, little hope to break even one day.

I didn't claim that Davidson was stuck with the entire debt. I said "A small municipality like Davidson, NC (population 10,000) being saddled with even a portion of 100 million debt, is a big deal." I don't know how those portions were...apportioned...but the point remains. 100 million for small tax bases is a big deal.

Cities have certain mandates that nobody else can fulfill. Roads. Public schools. Other transportation and municipal service mandates.

Given the speed of their network, they will beat the pants off of AT&T and will likely be on-par with Google. Now let's talk customer service. We have AT&(your call is important to us, please hold forever)T and Google(Talk to the hand).

That's certainly a valid question. Who would you rather go to for customer support--Amazon or the DMV? The permitting office (you ever been there? it made me want to stab my eyes out) or Apple? From the article about the Davidson fiber it seems they swung the pendulum from awful customer support to good. I don't think there are any guarantees here.

It's also worth considering, if not for the threat of efforts like these, do you really think any of the telcos would actually be trying to up their game?

Yes.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 1) 289

by Moridineas (#49723419) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

LUS Fiber (Lafayette), S&P upgraded their bonds from A to A+ based on strong performance this year. They went cash positive in 2012.

Bond ratings don't necessarily tell you anything about the performance of an entity. They tell you about the ability of the parent entity (corporation, municipality, whatever) to make interest payments.

Here's a different take, opinion site (I tried to stink to links from news sites, rather than opinion sites in my original post.):

http://freestatefoundation.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-gift-that-keeps-on-taking-municipal.html

Your second link indicates that MI-Connection is likewise cash positive and beginning to pay down debt.

Not quiet. From the link I cited (which I viewed, overall, as positive): "The towns borrowed $92.5 million to create the company and, while MI-Connection is now in the black operationally, it doesn’t yet generate enough revenue to also cover the towns’ payment on the debt." The chairman of the company estimated that within 3–5 years, MI-Connection would be able to stop receiving further subsidies.

That's a lot of debt. We're not talking millions of potential customers in this area either, the cities are relatively small.

But here's the biggest problem for Davidson and Mooresville. AT&T fiber is coming to the Triad and Google is coming to Charlotte. AT&T and Google cost the cities nothing (or very little), and in fact they probably make money from permitting and taxes. What will happen to these municipal networks when there's competition? Will municipal fiber be competitive with Google or AT&T?

After having read about a lot of these municipal setups, 100 million debt is not uncommon. This is expected to be paid back over decades. I guess we'll see how often they become--or remain--truly profitable over that time period.

So what your links really say is that (SURPRISE), big projects sometimes take longer to pay off than expected and may not pay off if they are sabotaged by people who would rather see their city take a financial bath than have their sacred cow slaughtered.

That's exactly the point. Governments (and corporations, to be fair! any suitably behemoth organization) are terrible at planning for this kind of project and event. It's really hard to predict the future (no shit, huh). A small municipality like Davidson, NC (population 10,000) being saddled with even a portion of 100 million debt, is a big deal. It doesn't take more than a few bad assumptions to seriously and very negatively affect the entire population of the area. Maybe they will be lucky and succeed, maybe not. It's a risk, and in my view, frequently one that is not worth taking when corporate fiber is in the process of exploding across the country.

Comment: Re:Too Bad For North Carolinians! (Score 1) 289

by Moridineas (#49720463) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

I'm getting the fastest internet service in the country [timescall.com] for $59 a month.

With an initial install cost of 40 million funded by the denizens of Longmont, I hope a lot of you subscribe at $59/mon!

I'm looking forward to getting fiber as well. Funny how back in the day those who played network games from a university were LPB (low ping bastards). 80ms pings?! So unfair to those of us on dialup...

Too bad about all these state legislators who seem to feel the need to protect their constituents from super-fast internet speeds at affordable rates that the private companies never seem to feel the need to deliver. I guess luckily for them, most people have no idea what they're missing, or a lot of those guys would be getting kicked out of office right now.

Actually, North Carolina is one of the most active states in the country in terms of upcoming fiber installs. All of the main populations centers--Charlotte metro area, the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill), and the Triad (Greensboro/Highpoint/Winston-Salem) are currently scheduled to receive AT&T fiber, Google Fiber, or both(!) within the next year or two.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 3, Informative) 289

by Moridineas (#49720297) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

Disclaimer, I live in NC and generally support municipal broadband projects when communities are underserved. I'm a big fan of the Wilson fiber service.

First, there is no concept of a citizen of a city or municipality. People are citizens of a state. Cities, counties, municipalities are all creatures of a state, and thus are under the control of state government, not local or federal government. There's no hypocrisy because the general argument in favor of states rights is not about ultimately devolving power to the smallest possible unit of control, but about maintaining state legal authority from being assumed by the federal government.

The main argument against municipal broadband projects is that they frequently fail and leave the municipality saddled with debt. This becomes the responsibility of the state government. Thus, state governments have the power to regulate what projects municipalities embark on, because the state government is the ultimate guarantor.

The secondary argument against municipal broadband is that municipal projects are typically able to entirely bypass permitting and other planning approval stages (costly stages and costly permits; let's not forget the requisite greasing of the political wheels). They are frequently given rights of way and access that private companies do not have authorization to use. There is a good chance that a municipal broadband network would discourage other companies from making a significant investment facing this kind of unbalanced competition. If the project then goes on to be a significant money loser, the municipality is even worse off than when it began.

Examples of municipal projects that have failed or otherwise had explosive debt:

Provo, UT (saved by Google)
Lafayette, LA http://www.rstreet.org/2014/05/30/muni-broadband-the-gift-that-keeps-on-taking/
Davidson, NC and Mooresville, NC http://www.lakenormancitizen.com/news/news/item/6426-reinventing-mi-connection-an-inside-look.html
Utah UTOPIA alliance http://www.wsj.com/articles/municipal-broadband-is-no-utopia-1403220660

Comment: Re:Not a great idea ... (Score 1) 4

by mcgrew (#49711045) Attached to: A suggestion to mobile browser makers and the W3C

If you do that you have to double the used web space, and that can be expensive. I'm already almost at the upper limit for my site and will have to go to the next tier of hosting soon. As it is, only three of the well over a hundred pages on my site need a special mobile version, and I would imagine a lot of other folks are the same way.

Having it first look for m.sitename, falling back to mobile.html if it exists and m.sitename doesn't, then index.html if there are neither m.sitename or mobile.html might be a good idea, though.

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action (Score 1) 527

by budgenator (#49710347) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Yea, well you were not kept as slaves, killed for learning to read, beaten with inch and a quarter thick poles (often to death). Your families were not sold separately to different owners and broken up. You were not systematically excluded from education, jobs, housing, medical care for generations and eveb lynched for generations (as recently as the 1990s for several of those). The police don't selectively stop you, shoot you, arrest you while letting other races go without an arrest record.

So affirmative not really so much about helping or hurting you or your minority group. It's about trying to correct evils of the past and make things fair enough again that we don't have violent civil unrest, mass rioting and destruction of property.

If you have 2% of the population and 2% representation at harvard, you don't need help from harvard.

Oh fuck that, everybody has ancestors that were kept as slaves; even in the US, Free Black's were proportionately more to be slave owners than whites. The sad truth is Blacks are far more likely to racialy discriminate against Blacks than any other race is.

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