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Comment: Re:Something in this? (Score 1) 53

by sexconker (#47716227) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

It's more than just the cover image and text though. A book has an individual feel. It's page size, thickness, weight, the extent to which the spine opens, the colour and texture of the paper, even the smell.

A simplistic attitude is that these things don't matter.

I love paper! The look of it! The smell of it! The taste of it! The texture! I love paper so much that I lost my genitalia in an unfortunate pulping accident. Hence the name... Papermember.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 88

by Obfuscant (#47715511) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

BTW, this would not be an issue or illegal if it was still private security at the airport.

So it is perfectly acceptable to you if a large corporation wants to search you and your effects prior to letting you buy their product (which you need to buy to be able to exercise other rights you have), but is not acceptable if a government does it for the very same reasons?

I pointed out the "need to buy" part because so much of the argument about TSA searches includes the idea that travel by air is an essential part of the freedom to travel and that taking other modes is not sufficient to provide "choice" in the matter. I.e., one needs to travel, and travel by other-than-air is not a reasonable mode to accomplish that.

Would you be comfortable with Comcast, e.g., assuming the right to search your computer to make sure you did not use or had not used their internet service for illegal activity? By the way, part of the contract you sign with them includes a section prohibiting use of their service for illegal activities.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 88

by Obfuscant (#47715427) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

No. The government absolutely does not have the power to force people to surrender their constitutional liberties (either implicitly or explicitly) just because someone wants to do something completely innocuous.

You've now substituted the word "innocuous" for the fourth's "unreasonable" and are applying your own subjective definition to it. Nineteen people taking out 3500 was not an innocuous act.

If you feel the government should have unlimited power,

I don't believe any rational person could read what I wrote and come away with the idea I think the government should have unlimited power. I pointed out that the claim that rights were being waived "implicitly" was wrong, and even went so far as to specifically say I was not talking about "right or wrong".

The implicit part is because they technically haven't explicitly said that they want to.

It is quite explicit, if you can read simple English when you pass by the sign. They've said "they want to" search you before you ever reach a point where they actually search you.

Instead, it's said to be implicit in the fact that they want to get on a plane.

I can "want to get on a plane" all day long and I'll never be subject to a search, UNTIL I walk past that sign that says explicitly that by passing this point I am subject to search. There is no "implicit" involved. There may be "inherent" (i.e., "as a part of"), but "implicit" ("not specifically stated"), nope.

Comment: Re:Well, here's the solution... (Score 1) 151

by Obfuscant (#47715113) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Why is the "I" in there?

Because it is almost a certainty that were Netflix to manage to provide the fiber to send their data to their subs, it would be based on internet technologies and protocols. You know there is a small-i internet and large-I Internet, and you can have one that is limited in access while the other one is the worldwide interconnect of all the small-i versions, don't you? (And before you point out that ISP has a capital 'I', that's because it is an acronym, not necessarily because it is only talking about large-I internet services.)

The point is, anything that connects a million users together is not a "dedicated point-to-point link". It is more like an internet, and when one provides service over that internet, one is for all intents and purposes and ISP, or very much like one. Especially if one is doing all the last-mile connections and other companies want to get their data on your fiber. That is, after all, what people are trying to get cable companies to do -- open their pipes to other providers.

By your logic, a cable TV network (with no data services) is an ISP because they are running a backbone and providing content.

Yes, if a company is providing a service based on internet protocols and technology then they look very much like an ISP. You plug your internet connection into their hardware, access their servers, ditto.

Unfortunately for your argument here, cable TV networks are not distributing their standard video content using internet protocols, and one does not connect to a cable TV video server to get it. They use ATV standards to distribute their legacy products, which removes them from the ISP look-alike competition. Even for on-demand services where there may be an internet-based upstream connection to make the request for video, it is still delivered using ATV. At least that's how Comcast does it.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 2) 88

by Obfuscant (#47714741) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

The government has no power to make you implicitly surrender your constitutional liberties merely because you wish to do something.

It's not implicit, it is pretty explicit. There are signs in every security checkpoint line I've been through that clearly say that by entering this line your person and property are subject to search. I've also seen those signs at the exit of the checkpoint telling people that by being in the secured area they are subject to search. Right or wrong, it isn't implicit.

I don't know about you, but I am not upset that those who "wish to do something", when "something" means "enter a jail or prison to visit a prisoner", are forced to waive their fourth amendment rights in order to do so. Ditto those who want to enter a military facility.

Now, you might have a very strong argument when "something" means "mandatory appearance for jury duty" and you are instructed to put your bags and property through an x-ray machine while passing through a metal detector. You are being ordered under threat of force to appear and then searched when you do.

Comment: Opposite (Score 1) 184

by SuperKendall (#47714573) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

My town has a thriving downtown - also has services like Car2Go. That's how I know they can at times be scarce or distant. We also have a city bike rental program that works pretty well.

Since there are no links with real info I have to assume the Helsinki plan is like ZipCar/Car2Go, where you just can collect a car somewhere and use it for some period of time to go wherever - but instead of just the one kind of car, it would include bikes and larger trucks too. I just figure if you do go for that and lean on such a program instead of leasing or owning a car, the vehicles (like all rental cars) may not be treated well.

Being in Helsinki though, it's not as likely as if you tried such a thing in NYC. Even where I live the rental bikes take quite a beating and some of them show it (not hard to find at least one flat tire in a rack of bikes).

Comment: Question of Reliability (Score 3, Insightful) 184

by SuperKendall (#47714053) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

To me the plan sounds like you end up with every car you use giving you the reliability of a rental, with the "oops no cars are available now" factor of services like ZipCar...

But perhaps in a more isolated culture where people do not abuse things they do not own, the cars will be treated well and availability will work out well.

Comment: Re:Real problem is not understanding customers (Score 1) 370

by Rich0 (#47713763) Attached to: Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

Agree 100%. I recall buying software licenses and doing the dog an pony show about a decade ago. We had four vendors come in. Most sent a team with one sales guy and one technical guy. One vendor had the sales guy get sick at the last minute and they just sent a technical rep. We ended up selecting that vendor, and even our local management commented vocally during the meeting that they appreciated that we were digging into the meat of the discussions and not spending two hours talking about how great their company was.

I also know somebody else who was doing technical sales support in a completely different industry, but again involving the sales of fairly technical equipment primarily to engineers. They basically clinched a sale but then their VP found out and got involved, and then they nearly lost the sale.

Comment: Re:Let us redefine "progress" (Score 3, Insightful) 83

by meta-monkey (#47713411) Attached to: World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

About half the cost of building a house is labor. They say in the article that aside from the guy running the printer, there are no labor costs here. I don't believe that's necessarily true, because there's still got to be somebody wiring the electrical and installing windows, but regardless, it could dramatically decrease the cost of building a home. It could also be a lot faster. Imagine that, just rolling up two trucks to a construction site: one carrying the printer, another with all the crushed rock, setting it up and letting it go. A week later, a finished home ready for a family to move into at half the cost. That brings the dream of home ownership within the reach of a lot of people who wouldn't have been able to afford it before. We live in exciting times.

Comment: Re:We need ...... Solar? (Score 1) 259

by meta-monkey (#47712567) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

We are going to be stuck in this era for a very long time, unless someone outside of the corrupt energy group can step in and start the ball rolling.

That's what Elon Musk is doing with SolarCity. Combine his cheap solar panels with his cheap batteries from the gigafactory they're building and you've got your fantasy.

Comment: Re:How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (Score 2, Insightful) 95

by Begemot (#47710861) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

Patents are a monopoly on ideas

That's also a propaganda term. The patent system is flawed but not as much as you imply. You can only patent an idea that's not obvious and novel, which means you need to invest a significant amount of talent, time and money in order to develop this idea. Many people expect some protection of their investment in developing their ideas.

The question is in what would incentivize inventors more, the patent system or the lack of it. I don't see a clear answer to this question.

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