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Comment: Re:We need competition, not mergers (Score 1) 60

by Tablizer (#47505447) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet

If the merger is squelched, then maybe Murdoch would decide to form his own ISP to compete with TW, giving us more competition. After all, if you cannot buy X, you have the option of becoming X's competitor. That's what the system should encourage. When you have a fat wallet it's too easy to buy a near monopoly instead of compete head on.

Comment: Re:This is just a repeat (Score 5, Insightful) 224

can die a slow painful death and rid us of their filth forever

Hold on, as much as Microsoft has ticked me off for 3+ decades, I don't want to see Google with a monopoly either. MS kind of keeps them in check.

So let's compromise, and watch MS get punched in the face a few times, okay 50 times, but not knocked out, just wobbly.

Comment: We need competition, not mergers (Score 1, Insightful) 60

by Tablizer (#47504619) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet

Screw big-media mergers. We need more competition as the current oligopolies have some of the worse customer service records there are, and high prices compared to the rest of world, even in denser population areas where the "rural long wire" argument doesn't hold up.

Oligopolies & monopolies almost always result in crappy service/products/prices.

The "economies of scale" argument for defending them is weak. That claim was used to protect the Detroit Big 3, but the Medium 7 from Japan came along and kicked the Big 3 in the ass.

I'll take the downsides of (alleged) lack of "economies of scale" over the sloth of oligopolies.

I have only 2 realistic ISP choices in my area, and it's not rural by any stretch. It's a hefty suburb right next to a major city. And both suck. The pushy sales persons on the phone eventually admit their service sucks when presented with undeniable evidence, but will blatantly make the argument, "Okay, we suck, but we can get you crappy service at a better price than the other crappy guy". Even they know they suck; they just claim they suck for less $ (at least until the "special offer" period runs out).

It's like two satan's arguing, "Okay, yes, we are hot here and your ass will indeed get burned off. BUT, we have better elevator music to listen to while you fry."

Comment: Re:The one good feature of ARM (Score 1) 108

by Tablizer (#47498415) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

NASA's vaunted "Asteroid Redirect Mission" is now widely regarded as crap.

ALL suggested manned missions seem contrived. We don't really need space humans at this point; robots do raw space exploration cheaper.

It's better to think about it as preparing for future colonization when technology catches up someday to make self-sufficient colonies viable. Issues related to astronaut health and emergency rescues are probably the most important lessons to be gained.

Another possibility is an orbital lab, away from Earth. If we bring back Mars samples, we probably don't want to risk contaminating or infecting Earth with Mars "bugs" until we know more. Thus, the sample analysis labs should probably be in a wide orbit.

Comment: 50% Chance (Score 1) 202

by Tablizer (#47497073) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

Armstrong: "I thought we had a 90% chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing on that first attempt. There are so many unknowns on that descent from lunar orbit down to the surface that had not been demonstrated yet by testing and there was a big chance that there was something in there we didn't understand properly and we had to abort and come back to Earth without landing."

Seems like a decent estimate. The landing computer had issues that almost was cause for an abort. I'm surprised NASA decided to ignore the alarm. Who wants to try to land with an active error code? Two even. In hind-site it was the correct decision, but the cause was unknown at the time.

Comment: Inflation? (Score 1) 202

by Tablizer (#47496929) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

some money on the side that's still worth something despite the inflation

Inflation has been relatively mellow. The cost of raw materials has gone up largely due to higher demand by a modernizing Asia and Brazil. But, services have been almost flat due to a jobs recession such that total inflation averages out to a "typical" historical rate, perhaps even a little low.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings