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Comment: Submitted (Score 1) 217

Well, I've sent in my complaint .. for what it's worth.

"http://yro.slashdot.org/story/15/01/17/176248/fcc-may-permit-robocalls-to-cell-phones----if-they-are-calling-a-wrong-number Do not, repeat, DO NOT open up cell phones to telemarketing or any other dialing scam. While you're at it, put teeth into the current telemarketing scams, fake caller IDs, and all the rest. You KNOW what's going you; you just need to find the balls to do something about it. "

Comment: Does That Include Email? (Score 1) 435

by Toad-san (#48620109) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

So the very polite and courteous email I received from the Cuban Foreign Office back after Hurricane Katrina will no longer be quite the unique bit of memorabilia after all?

Lest we forget, Cuba offered to send doctors and other medical assistance to help the suffering residents in New Orleans after Katrina did its thing .. and the US State Department was hardly even polite with their refusal.


So I emailed the Cuban Foreign Office to apologize :-) I'm sure I tripped some intelligence tripwires on that little gesture, but meh .. who cares? I, being previously assigned to the 8th Special Forces Group in Panama back in The Day, was probably on a Cuban Intelligence list or two in any event :-) Luckily everyone (Cuban and US) apparently had a sense of humor, or sense enough not to screw with the topic. Or maybe NSA wasn't quite as invasive then as now. I still thought it awfully decent of the Cuban government to respond to my unsolicited email.. startled no doubt by the "SGM, USA SF (Ret)" in my email's signature.

Comment: How Old IS This Chocolate? (Score 1) 323

by Toad-san (#48411791) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

If we're eating more than we produce, that means we're eating stockpiled chocolate, right? Which means old chocolate bars. And we haven't noticed?

I used to wonder about the unique "Tropical Chocolate" bars we used to be issued in Vietnam. They always had a musty smell to them, but I figured it was from their unique properties (NOT to melt in hot climates) .. and of course all military rations are expected to be stored for lengthy periods of time.

The real panic won't begin until the stores (e.g., stored, stockpiled chocolate) run out.

Comment: Makes Sense To Me (Score 1) 308

If AT&T can't be sure they can charge for the additional bandwidth provided by these higher speed links, and if they can't be sure their current users will pay for the higher speed .. how can they pay for the expansion? Sounds like a no-brainer to me, and I don't blame them.

Water company: "We were going to lay a new 8" water line into the neighborhood, but the town wouldn't give us permission to increase the water service charge."
State: "We wanted to add a third lane to the Interstate, but the Feds wouldn't promise to help fund it. And the taxpayers won't let us raise gas taxes for thru-state traffic that doesn't even buy gas!"

Of course don't miss a chance to take a cheap shot at AT&T.

Comment: Comcast May Be Lying Scum ... (Score 1) 258

by Toad-san (#48392121) Attached to: Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

but that doesn't mean they have it wrong. I don't agree with this whole "Open Internet" concept. It's like everyone (and every business) paying a flat rate for highway access. It becomes simple to understand: you and I will be paying for maintaining roads that we hardly use (compared to truckers, taxis, commuters and the like).

Or water: flat rate for every city or town water user? I don't think so: the jerk next door with the sprinklers running 24 hours a day, the car wash up the street, paying the same as me? "There's plenty of water. And the town can just add more wells and water processing plants." Right .. and who pays for that?

Or a flat rate for a telephone number. I use it maybe 4-5 times a week. My wife, a dozen times a day. A teenager a hundred times a day. A commercial phone advertiser continuously. The phone companies apparently have figured out how to do this efficiently with land lines; the cell companies are still juggling the numbers. But I'm not subscribing to a cell company who offers family rates, multiple phones, unlimited texting and data transfers, for the same price they charge me! Just wouldn't be prudent: I KNOW I'm paying for someone else's excessive usage.

If everyone pays according to their usage, it makes a LOT more sense, is a lot fairer, etc. Why should I pay my ISP (and everyone else involved in carrying Internet traffic) so that Netflix and any other high-rate broadband user can make money from their extraordinarily higher usage? Instead, let Netflix pay more for that traffic (along with everyone else), and let Netflix pass on the additional costs to their users.

You cannot convince me that enough investment in Internet links, throwing in more comm links, etc. will magically solve all the problems. I know damned well there will NEVER be enough bandwidth: look how land line phones (and even cell phones) are switching over to Skype and equivalent VOIP services. And who's paying for that? Yeah .. me and thee.

So Comcast is pulling some scummy tricks, no question there. They lie: surprise, surprise. Doesn't change the basic economics.

Comment: Is More Insulin the Answer? (Score 1) 100

by Toad-san (#48112325) Attached to: Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin

I thought one of the problems with diabetes was not having the _right_ amount of insulin, corresponding to the levels of blood sugar?

I've seen the effects of too much insulin, and it ain't pretty. (It's called hypoglycemia, folks.) So just stuffing a bunch of insulin producer cells in a person's system is not going to be the solution.

Comment: Thanks for the Insight (Score 1) 724

by Toad-san (#48056873) Attached to: Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials

I appreciate very much the varying points of view here .. that didn't get TOO paranoid or conspiratorial, thank the godz.

However .. I just went to www.gamasutra.com, expecting to see a hotbed of feminist rages.

Surprise, surprise, surprise - very bad Gomer Pyle imitation

One, uno, ein, 1 blog entry from a female worker at Angry Birds on gender balance, and a very thoughtful article indeed!

So where's the beef? Why the furor? Tempest in a teakettle, eh?

I'm thinking Intel is succumbing to a kneejerk response to a flood of bogus complaints. Tch, shame on them.

Comment: I SPEET On Your Steenking Sportvan! (Score 1) 261

by Toad-san (#48037623) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

My mother-in-law's Mercury Topaz is surely a greater danger! How she gets away with it I'll never know.

What a crappy misuse of statistics. Heh, hardly even statistics. How about balancing those "ticketed" numbers against the number of each model on the road? I don't see a single Porsche, Maserati, Jaguar, not even Corvettes! And they don't get tickets? Come on!

Comment: Check Out Lake Powell (Score 4, Informative) 151

by Toad-san (#48037541) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry


Quite startling, how the water levels change. But read the article to see why this is happening, and where it's going. It seems it doesn't take a "totalitarian government" to do stupid, short-sighted things. But hey, enjoy your golf at Vegas, hear? And the water shows.

The way to make a small fortune in the commodities market is to start with a large fortune.