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Comment: 5 gb? (Score 1) 479

by Stanislav_J (#46012193) Attached to: An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?
Most people use 5 gb/mo.? Really? Hell, I do just basic web browsing, no gaming, no streaming movies (just the odd YouTube vid now and then) and I still chew up a good 20-25 gb. Somebody just checking e-mail, Facebook and a few blogs and news sites several times a day probably tops 5 gb before the month is up.

Comment: No surprise (Score 2) 331

by Stanislav_J (#44757955) Attached to: Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update
I have almost never viewed any major site's overhaul as an improvement. It usually ends up just complicating (or even rendering impossible) the things I use it for. Invariably, there was nothing "wrong" with the site's functionality as it was that needed "fixing," but they decided to mess with it anyway. Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but when something works fine as it is, I'm a firm advocate for leaving well enough alone.

Comment: Amazing man (Score 4, Interesting) 220

by Stanislav_J (#40540729) Attached to: Thomas Jefferson: Scientist, Inventor, Gadgeteer

It was not quite hyperbole when JFK jokingly addressed a group of Nobel winners at the White House: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Man, he accomplished so much, yet still found time to regularly impregnate the help!

Comment: Re:False sense of security (Score 3, Insightful) 754

by Stanislav_J (#34447486) Attached to: Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

Newsflash - the camera has a limited field of view.

Not to mention a 2-dimensional image (depth of field is important when driving) that is of a considerably reduced size compared to reality.

She couldn't back up to save her ass, since she spent more time looking at the camera's feed then actually turning her head to look behind her.

Many drivers will likely start to rely solely on the camera image, instead of using it as an adjunct to a brief walkaround check and the normal "real life" turn-your-head field of view. It may save some lives, but I fear other preventable backup accidents will happen due to overreliance on the camera. In general, I feel that a lot of safety technology, including things like airbags and ABS, lull some drivers into a false sense of security that leads them to be more careless, inattentive, or even reckless. These devices are all well-intentioned, and undoubtedly have saved some lives, but are counterproductive if the most critical part of the vehicle -- the driver -- relies on them to the exclusion of good old-fashioned common sense and care.

Comment: Re:We need to man up (Score 2, Insightful) 890

by Stanislav_J (#34333842) Attached to: Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems

Actually, I'm not sure their audience is capable of cognitive dissonance.

cognitive, adj. \käg-n-tiv\ : of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, or remembering).

Lessee...thinking, reasoning, remembering. Strikes one, two, and three. Fox News aficianados don't think or reason -- they are sponges soaking up their pundits' mots du jour and regurgitating them. There's about as much cognitive activity involved their as there is in a trained parrot.

Dissonance, plenty. "Cognitive." not so much.

Comment: Gaaaaa! (Score 1) 202

by Stanislav_J (#34323862) Attached to: The DIY Car Computer vs. the iPad out your car stereo and replace it with a do-it-yourself touchscreen PC, complete with DVD, GPS, TV, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, MP3, and Internet surfing.

How 'bout ripping out the driver and replacing him/her with someone who will pay attention to THE ROAD and not video, chitchat, texting or surfing the Web? That would be a worthwhile modification.

Please, folks, stop this incessant and increasingly ridiculous "multi-tasking" behind the wheel. 99% of those who say they can do it safely, can't. They just think they can (primarily because their definition of "safe" is "I haven't had an accident.....yet"). Save the rest of that shit for when you get to your destination. If you can't live without being connected to the hive for the length of your commute, stay home.

Comment: Re:akin to.. (Score 1) 186

by Stanislav_J (#33890860) Attached to: Big Media Wants More Piracy Busting From Google

Its more like asking the publishers of the phone book to determine whether any individuals or businesses listed are engaged in illegal activity. Or asking the cab company to do the same for every address they are asked to deliver a passenger to.

There's no perfect analogy, but in every example, applying the same "logic" to a physical world parallel results in something ludicrous and impractical, and definitely something that a third party shouldn't be expected to do for free, or really at all.

Comment: Re:Obvious consequence (Score 1) 774

by Stanislav_J (#33166282) Attached to: Child Porn As a Weapon

Law Enforcement should be spending its efforts going after the perverts that create kiddie porn, where it would actually do the poor kids some good.

But they are much harder to find, and might require, I don't know, some effort? Going after the low-hanging fruit is always preferable: it pads your conviction rate; takes less time, money and detective work; and looks great to the "think of the children crowd" at election time (for D.A.s and prosecutors) or budget time (for law enforcement agencies).

Comment: Re:So what you're saying... (Score 1) 388

by Stanislav_J (#33041890) Attached to: A New Take On the Fermi Paradox

Total agreement here. Look at the much more irreligious Euro and Scandinavian countries -- crime isn't running rampant in the streets there, and they have a much lower crime and incarceration rate than the good ol' God-fearing U.S. of A. The fallacy is the notion that morality can only be imbued into a society by appealing to some higher power dictating commandments to the poor, sinful mortals, and threatening fire and brimstone upon those who disobey. In the long run, a more just and peaceful society can be realized when citizens have legitimate, intelligent, logical reasons for restricting or outlawing certain acts and behaviors, not just "God says it's wrong, so don't do it." But it takes a wholesale shift in attitude that cannot be easily achieved when most kids grow up with some degree of religious belief pounded into them, when even politicians and lawmakers appeal to the unseen old man in the sky, and the techniques of reason and critical thinking are not only not taught from an early age, but actively discouraged by the educational system.

Comment: Nothing new here... (Score 1) 961

by Stanislav_J (#32903040) Attached to: Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

Nothing new or earth-shattering here. People tend to invest themselves emotionally in their beliefs. They will often cling to a discredited belief because it fits with their general worldview, and gives them a feeling of comfort, power, or righteousness. Plus, few people enjoy being proven wrong.

When you attack someone's preciously held beliefs, no matter how graciously or tactfully, the reaction is often the same as if you took an axe, went into their house, and started destroying their furniture. The natural reaction is to both defend and counter-attack.

Until and unless critical thinking is taught and instilled in people from a very young age, this will continue to be the norm. And, believe me, the powers that be do NOT want kids learning how to question and examine things critically -- by and large, they want moderately-educated clones who will quietly fall into line and do the bidding of the corporate interests that really run things.

Comment: Re:Customer Service (Score 1) 370

by Stanislav_J (#32633296) Attached to: Verizon Makes Offering Service Blocks a Fireable Offense

Generally, the bigger the corporation and the larger the customer base, the less emphasis that is placed on customer service. Fact is, most customers never complain, and of those who do, most will eventually give up and either suck it up and write it off as a lesson learned, or just take their business elsewhere. IF there IS an "elsewhere." If there is no comparably-priced alternative that provides everything you need, then you pretty much resign yourself to being screwed and live with it.

Look at Wal-Mart. In many, many communities, they are THE one and only big-box, cheap prices, we carry most everything store. If your alternatives are shopping at a smaller store and paying 15-25% more, or driving an hour to another town, or staying in town but spending all day running around to 5 or 6 stores to get what you can get in one stop at Wal-Mart, then Wal-Mart it is. And if the aisles aren't clean, or the clerks and manager are surly, or they keep refusing your coupons, or whatever...well, you're probably going to curse them and wish nasty consequences upon them...but you'll still shop there.

The Big Boys know this, so they don't even concern themselves with customer service. They know that the really persistent complainers, the "hotheads" (in their eyes) who will make a federal case out of their problem make up maybe 0.5% of their customer base. If your annual profit is in the mega-millions, you're probably not going to give a rat's ass about that half a percent.

Comment: So, let's see..... (Score 2, Interesting) 615

by Stanislav_J (#32369036) Attached to: Proposed Law Would Require ID To Buy Prepaid Phones

So, we have a proposed law that will do nothing to stop criminals from:

-- Using a fake ID to purchase the phone

-- Forcing, coercing, or paying some sap to buy the phone for them

-- Stealing phones, either from a store or an individual

On the latter (and expect such thefts to multiply several-fold if this passes), if they steal from an individual, they often think they've just misplaced or lost it, and it may be some time before they contact their provider and have the service suspended. Even a store theft can go undetected for several hours, add on a few more to determine which phones (numbers) have been stolen, a few more for the bureaucracy to get those numbers blocked, etc. In either case, a thief could easily have 24-48 hours of use before the phone is disabled or monitored. Considering many crooks go through prepaid phones like candy anyway, this won't slow them down too much. That only leaves the dumber crooks, and if they're stupid enough to buy a phone with their real ID, they're probably stupid enough to get caught pretty quickly even without this law.

On the other hand, this law would enable law-abiding users to be more easily tracked and identified by criminals, private eyes, general snoops, bill collectors, stalkers, blackmailers, and so on. Not to mention the guvmint, should you happen to hold ideas or engage in activities that, while not necessarily unlawful, are considered a "threat" by whomever is in power.

So, all in all, we have a law that would (a) do nothing to reduce crime and, indeed, likely increase it (the aforementioned assumed rise in phone thefts), while (b) inconveniencing, harrassing, and possibly endangering law-abiding citizens.

In other words....typical.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.