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Comment: Occam's scissors says maybe not such a conspiracy (Score 1) 1

He spoke with some sales reps told him that he'll get better streaming performance if he buys more bandwidth.

This is in the same class as:

1. You'll see blazing speed if you add more RAM (but only if you are already using what you already have)

2. Get a bigger engine and your commute time will be slashed (but only if you aren't already limited by speed limits and bumper to bumper traffic)

etc. Sounds to me more like folks who don't understand the problem offering what they think is a real solution. If the customer believes the sales rep, buys more bandwidth, and notices that Netflix performance isn't getting any better he can demand a refund. If more customers did this then Verizon might just educate their sales reps properly.

What I find more annoying is that at least in NYC Verizon no longer offers home DSL greater than about 1 Mbps and no more "naked DSL" installations either, even in areas where FiOS is not available.

Comment: Re: And it's not even an election year (Score 5, Informative) 407

Your choice of how the United States saved Jews from the Nazi holocaust by allowing them to immigrate is a poor example:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007652

Beginning in 1940, the United States further restricted immigration by ordering US consuls to delay visa approvals on national security grounds. After the United States entered the World War II in December 1941, the trickle of immigration virtually dried up, just as the Nazi regime began systematically to murder the Jews of Europe. Despite many obstacles, however, more than 200,000 Jews found refuge in the United States from 1933 to 1945, most of them before the end of 1941.

But, yes, we have a massive statue. The words on it may have to be updated though: "Give us your tired, your poor, your low-wage workers."

Comment: Re:Limited power to change working situation... (Score 1) 348

by Swave An deBwoner (#48871491) Attached to: Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

Thank you, that's a very interesting article. The letter of reply is also informative. Lest readers believe that the fact that nicotine is present in some vegetables may somehow compare to the serious dangers of smoking, he indicates that the calculations presented regarding an "environment with minimal smoke" described by the author of the article actually amounts to "the equivalent of 1 percent of the smoke from one puff of a cigarette", hardly what most of us would consider "low amounts of smoke in a room":

Finally, it has been well confirmed that the exposure to tobacco smoke indicated by a plasma concentration of 5 to 10 ng of cotinine per milliliter is of clear toxicologic importance,3 whereas there is no evidence that daily exposure to the equivalent of 1 percent of the smoke from one puff of a cigarette would be of toxicologic importance or could possibly confound assessment of environmental exposure.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199308053290619#t=letters

Comment: Re:Bar fucking barians ... (Score 2) 490

by Swave An deBwoner (#48777287) Attached to: In Paris, Terrorists Kill 2 More, Take At Least 7 Hostages

Well, there's speculation that at least one of the twelve was himself Muslim (based on his name, "Ahmed Merabet"):

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/08/ahmed-merabet-mourned-charlie-hebdo-paris-attack

My point remains: courage is to be found throughout humankind, as is tyranny unfortunately.

Comment: Re:Bar fucking barians ... (Score 5, Insightful) 490

by Swave An deBwoner (#48775653) Attached to: In Paris, Terrorists Kill 2 More, Take At Least 7 Hostages

OK, here's a recent article about a US lawyer who has friends in ISIS and was negotiating with them for the release of a hostage, the American aid worker Peter Kassig who was ultimately murdered by ISIS. The terms of the proposed hostage release:

If consummated, the negotiations in which Cohen was involved would have included an agreement by ISIS to halt all kidnappings and beheadings of civilians; in exchange for this, Maqdisi and Abu Qatada, another widely respected jihadist theologian, would have agreed to cease and desist their scathing public denunciations of ISIS.

Citation:

http://forward.com/articles/211631/stanley-cohens-radical-detour-on-the-way-to-prison/?p=all

So yeah, there are some influential Muslims who speak out, but you know, they can get murdered also for doing so. How many non-Muslim people do you know who will open themselves up to terrorist attack to speak out against injustice?

Courage is in short supply in this world no matter the religious affiliation, ethnic group, skin color, etc.

Comment: Re:No, They Haven't Called Me (Score 1) 246

In fact I received a call from an unknown number (that Google later showed as belonging to a local hospital) and the caller did not leave any message. A few days later someone called again and did leave voicemail telling me that a very good, old, friend was in the hospital and had left my phone number as a contact. He died several hours later.

While responding to the initial call would almost certainly have made no difference to my friend's survival, I wish that I had been alerted sooner. Just a "this is Dr. X calling about Mr. Y" would have been fine (and in fact was the content of the voicemail left in the second call).

Comment: Re:Keep them busy. (Score 1) 246

When I got called, after they had me do some cool shit on my never-before-used Windows VM, the payoff was that they wanted me to purchase their tech support and software via credit card through one of at least a few online payment processors; we burned through three or four of them with my "bad" credit card numbers; finally they caught on to my scam.

So I don't think it's that they are looking for Command and Control nodes but just plain old fast cash. The prices for their tech support varied from around $300 down to around $200 or so after I balked at paying so much to fix my computer instead of just throwing it away and buying another.

Comment: Re:Adblock (Score 1) 285

by Swave An deBwoner (#48569515) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

It would be the same thing only if the postal service derived its revenue from junk mail.

They don't, so it's not the same thing at all.

Ha ha. Joke's on you. The USPS makes its living delivering junk mail.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/business/seeking-revenue-postal-service-plans-to-deliver-more-junk-mail.html

Comment: Re:Ha (Score 1) 341

by Swave An deBwoner (#48535783) Attached to: New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

Comment: Re:good (Score 2) 341

by Swave An deBwoner (#48527995) Attached to: New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

For one thing, Chimps can't offer any definition of "person" at all, let alone explain why they would be included in it.

I wouldn't be so sure about that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washoe_(chimpanzee)

However you might not be able to understand what the chimpanzee was trying to say to you. That could be an inadequacy on your part.

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson

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