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Comment: Re:confused (Score 1) 96

With telephone service, it's fairly simple. In the US, it wasn't a case of the government looking at AT&T and thinking to themselves: "That looks nice, I want it.". AT&T was granted a legal monopoly on telephone service in exchange for being regulated as a public utility, providing universal lifeline service, and all that. Many other nations followed the US's lead and set up similar telephone monopolies.

In the '80s... during the Reagan administration no less... the US government finally realized how stupid a move that was and broke AT&T up into the "Baby Bells". Unfortunately, the government seems to have regressed to 1900's thinking and has been letting AT&T reassemble itself and to allow the other bandwidth companies to follow suit; leading to the sack of crap that our telecom infrastructure is and the reason that net neutrality is even an issue.

That aside, you're right. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest regulating Google or Facebook as though they were utilities. Will they be granted similar legally-mandated search engine and social network monopolies in exchange for having their destinies essentially stolen from them? Either way, it's be the death of both companies. AT&T may have had Bell labs turning out some neat technologies. But the pace of innovation and upgrades of their network was appallingly lethargic. Any tech company forced to labor under the same conditions would just die the second the monopoly was broken, and no longer legally-mandated, under a more enlightened administration. (To be fair, that may be these particular regulators' goal.)

Comment: Re:And so it begins ... (Score 1) 158

Modern datacenters may not necessarily create a great many old-style rank 'em & stack 'em manual labor jobs. But if you know what to do said servers... Well, my year-and-a-half old resume version that's still in some databases from my last job hunt still gets me daily emails and not-infrequent phone calls trying to recruit me.

Also, I have my doubts about that "only one employee" claim. 24/7 on-site security, for example, should count for at least a dozen staffers, probably more. Services like this are probably contracted and don't technically count as "employees". Still, it's misleading at best to make the "only one employee" claim.

There are certianly hundreds, maybe thousands, of jobs in businesses that utilize the gear in that data center. Maybe that one small town in Oregon didn't consider that you can operate computers remotely and got themselves a bad deal. But to say categorically that (many) jobs are not being created is profoundly ignorant.

Comment: Re:Submarines are the undisputed... (Score 1) 439

by SvnLyrBrto (#49058295) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Another wannabe here... in my case I was trying to decide between the Navy and the Air Force when cancer made the decision for me.

There are some really good books coming out now about submarines that are not the usual Tom Clancy-ish rah rah America Fuck Yeah fare; but give insight into what it really was like for the average nuke.

I just finished reading one called Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet. It was written by a mid-level enlisted guy who served at the tail end of the cold war and covers the final deployment of the USS Plunger, one of the old Thresher/Permit class. It's non-fiction, no great adventure or drama, just an account of the author's experiences and feelings during said deployment and naval service. I found it quite good.

Comment: Re:I blame the FDA (Score 2) 365

by SvnLyrBrto (#49055301) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Wrong.

It's not about what drug you care to consume or how much pleasure it gives you. It's about the method of ingestion. The problem with "vaping" is that, like smoking, it is a means of ingesting your drug-of-choice that inflicts it on others as well as yourself.

Swallow a pill. Have a drink. Chew some gum. Have an edible. Slap on a patch. Stick a sugarcube or piece of blotter under your tongue. Use a straw (or $100 bill) to suck some powder up your nose. It's all 100% A-OK hunker-dorey in my book. Smoking "vaping" are not, because in addition to ingesting the for yourself, you are also imposing it on others.

And if you look at the restrictions being put on "vaping" in California, there have been no outright bans on the drug or equipment. It's basically cannon-sence rules pretty much identical to those that are there to protect non-smokers. Restaurants, workplaces, schools, public transit... go outside to "vape" and you're in the clear, just like the smokers.

Comment: Secret Wars? (Score 2) 98

by SvnLyrBrto (#49026729) Attached to: Spider-Man Finally Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

I wonder if the whole Secret Wars move is really Marvel playing hardball with fox and sony. "Start playing nice with the licenses you extracted when we were hard up for money, or we just end the entire universe and make said licenses worthless by default." Battleworld just sounds so contrived that it's difficult to believe that it's not part of some strategic move, rather than any reasonable plot creativity.

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

by SvnLyrBrto (#48881055) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

I wonder if we'll be able to buy "exhaust tones" like we do ringtones? It might actually be amusing if you could download a $1.99 file from the iTunes store to make your Prius have the "exhaust" sounds of a Lamborghini. And by "amusing" I mean "a big steaming pile of suck". FFS people, we've been trying to cut down on noise pollution for decades! We finally have a good way to get rid of a large chunk of it and now we have people whining about it!

I swear... if any car I buy comes with this crap, there'd better be a way to turn it off. Otherwise, I'd be looking to find a way to make the (external) speakers play a non-stop mix of Katy Perry, Rebecca Black, and Hanson; so as to have at least a little bit of revenge against the luddite brigade for making my car more noisy than it properly should be.

Comment: The wars of the future... (Score 1) 208

by SvnLyrBrto (#48862967) Attached to: US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

Sounds familiar:

"The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots.

Thank you."

Comment: Re:Makes sense. (Score 2) 629

by SvnLyrBrto (#48795149) Attached to: Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Thing is... Windows XP's lifespan wasn't short. It was unnaturally long for any OS that doesn't run on IBM big iron. It was absurdly long even my Microsoft's own development cycle.

Just look at what came right before XP from Microsoft. In the same 13 years that XP was around; everyone would previously have gone from Windows 3.1, to 95, to 95 OSR2, to 98, to 98 SE, to NT 4, to 2000, to ME, and then to XP. And even that's actually skipping a few versions that were especially craptacular or never really escaped from some very specialized use cases like 3.11, windows for workgroups, pre-4.0 versions of NT, and that bastard hybrid scheme of Windows running inside Novell Netware.

I may even be missing a few more versions there. I also didn't include the half-dozen service packs for NT 4; any one of which (But especially the odd-numbered ones.) was just as likely to break everything as a full OS upgrade. Plus a decent number of people still ran on various versions of MS-DOS for about half of that time frame.

So when I hear whining about the hassle of finally having to upgrade from XP, or about Linux vendors LTS being "only" five years, I really have to wonder just how the hell did these people manage before Microsoft went stagnant for a decade? Were all of the 1990s basically a solid, continuous, hissy-fit on the part of the world's MCSEs?

Sorry. But for all the other reasons I hate Microsoft, finally taking XP out back and shooting it just isn't one of them. It was one of MS's GOOD moves. And it was long overdue.

Comment: Re:Uber's in a completely different market (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48731367) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

See... if there is a narnia somewhere that the legacy taxi companies don't suck and aren't a bunch of scumbags, and Uber is unnecessary there... why not let it fail on its own merits instead of squashing it at the political level?

No corporation... not YellowCab, not LuxorCab, not Uber or Lyft... is entitled to its profits and whatever profits they bring in should *not* be protected by the law. If the legacy taxi companies really *do* provide better service in some area than Uber, then they should be able to beat Uber in that area without buying off politicians or bullying the public.

Comment: Re: Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48731097) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

Yeah. I know the feeling. The REAL solution here is, of course, to fix and enhance public transportation so that Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, taxis, and owning a car, are all unnecessary in the first place.

I despair of that ever happening in this country though because public transportation is, you know, communism and makes the baby jesus cry and all that.

Comment: Re:Uber's in a completely different market (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48729247) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

In that case, the solution is to simply mandate the appropriate minimum insurance coverage, and be done with it. But that's not what these governments are doing, is it?

Actual restrictions on Uber and the like, rather than your simple insurance requirement, ARE there just to protect the monopolies and cartels that have sleazed their way into their protected positions. Said monopolies and cartels need to be broken. And the politicians supporting them need to be brought low. A pox on all their houses.

Comment: Re:Stick a fork in, Uber is done. (Score 1) 183

by SvnLyrBrto (#48729217) Attached to: Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

Uber may be have some ethical issues compared to Lyft or Sidecar, but they're practically saints compared to the scum of the legacy cab companies.

For all of the bad press that seems to get heaped onto Uber, I really have a hard time understanding why people steadfastly refuse to look at the dirty laundry of the cab companies and their legacy of corruption, bribery, croneyism and nepotism, and sometimes outright violence. And that's before taking into consideration their absolutely appallingly poor service, lack of cleanliness, lack of availability and timeliness, and ripoffs and scams from a customer viewpoint.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say. I use Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar pretty much interchangeably these days. Any one is superior to taxis from every customer service standpoint. And any one... even Uber... is significantly less sleazy than the taxi companies. But I hope never to have to set foot inside a regular taxi again. In fact, here in SF, I'll happily resort to MUNI's owl service before I'll use a cab again.

Comment: Re:As expected... (Score 1) 400

by SvnLyrBrto (#48725949) Attached to: Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

Yeah, but "good enough" isn't good enough now to make going to the theater worth it in the majority of cases. I swear... it just seems sometimes like the theater chains are actively trying to discourage people from coming.

Overpriced tickets that are sometimes twice the cost of the Blu-Ray (Seriously... I bought Prometheus at Best Buy for $7 a few weeks ago.), screaming brats that parents refuse to rein in, sticky floors, uncomfortable chairs, no good place to put my coat, obscenely overpriced food and drinks (And the popcorn is often stale.), and sometimes outright being treated like a criminal (The Metreon in San Francisco actually had hired thugs searching and threatening people last time I was there, when some co-workers and I scored passes to the preview of Jobs.) by the management; all combine to make me just say: "Screw those guys. A pox upon their house."

For Jedi Knights and the Millennium Falcon, the Starship Enterprise, armies of orcs vs elves plus a dragon, or jaegers punching kaiju in the face, it's worth dealing with the theaters' BS to to see it on an Imax screen. But for anything less visual-effects intensive, not so much. The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, for example, will be perfectly cromulent at home on my 50" TV once they hit the iTunes store.

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