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Comment: Re:Why stop at Broadband? (Score 1) 233

by TubeSteak (#48265675) Attached to: Power and Free Broadband To the People

It's not racist to observe that African Americans are much more likely to be impoverished than whites.

As a percentage of the African American population, this is true.
In absolute numbers, white individuals are poor more often than African Americans.

The poverty figures roughly break down to ~40% white, ~25% black, ~25% hispanic, ~4% asian.
If you want the numbers to add up to 100, you'll have to look up the actual figures.

Poverty is not exclusively a minority problem, yet that perception heavily colors any discussion of the issue.

Comment: Re:COG (Score 1) 140

If not, then why are you sneering at the companies that are actually doing something, rather than nothing?

I'm not sneering at anyone.

What I am, is aware that even free hardware comes with its own costs.
You have to prevent theft, manage software on it, track it, lock down the browser, deal with breakage, and a dozen other details.

Underprivileged schools are the least able to to do all these things, either because of staffing or funding.
And the only way they can manage such requirements is by taking time/money away from other educational goals.

It's very easy for a well intentioned gift to turn into a white elephant.

You don't need a pencil to operate an iPad, and these poor kids will likely benefit more than most from exposure to technology.

If the iPad is a replacement for text books, then I am happy to concede this point.
If it isn't a replacement, yes the students will benefit from exposure to technology, but that exposure won't make up for what's missing.

Comment: Re:competition (Score 1) 106

by TubeSteak (#48257797) Attached to: US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

It shouldn't, that's my point, there shouldn't be any government involvement in our private lives at all, there shouldn't be any government involvement in anything beyond the very basic protection against invasion and that's it.

You are welcome to your ideology, but it's almost completely unsupported by the ideals behind the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

Honestly, it sounds like you're living in the wrong country, but I can't say I know of one that meets your desires.
The countries with no *de facto "involvement in anything beyond the very basic protection against invasion,"
are all so incredibly weak... that they cannot provide even a minimal protection against invasion.

*AFAIK, there's no country with a de jure state of affairs that you'd enjoy.

Comment: Re:competition (Score 2) 106

by TubeSteak (#48256853) Attached to: US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

- precisely. If you live on a farm somewhere you are not entitled to have your services subsidised by people who live in the cities. You shouldn't be subsidised regardless where you live, regardless for what the reasons are, regardless of who you are.

Did you know that the Federal Government's authority to build highways comes exclusively from their enumerated power To establish Post offices and post Roads;

/While we're at it, let's undo rural electrification and telephone programs too

Comment: Re:Think about it (Score 2) 73

by TubeSteak (#48256697) Attached to: Location of Spilled Oil From 2010 Deepwater Horizon Event Found

evaporation leaves behind the heavier components of oil,

This is the portion of the barrel that ends up
1. getting burned in the engines of massive cargo ships
2. turned into asphalt
3. being used as feedstock for industrial chemistry

/Before asphalt, the tar leftover from the pyrolysis of coal was used for the same purposes.

Comment: Re:Make it right... (Score 1) 173

Now seeing the company first fined, then have its stock slide, and then be sued by its shareholders....THAT seems like it would send the right message, don't you think?

The alternative is to pierce the corporate veil and directly go after the executives (and lawyers) who signed off on this.

While it's a fun idea, it would create all kinds of chaos until the loopholes are figured out and everyone goes back to business as normal. So instead we'll be stuck with punishing those poor innocent shareholders whose demands for better profits and larger dividends are a major driver of shitty corporate behavior.

More realistically, at the corporate level, salary/bonus/benefit clawback provisions in executive contracts would go a ways towards disincentivizing criminal behavior. But the odds of that happening are slim to none, and Slim is actually a billionaire businessman, so he's already against it.

Comment: Re:Not a chance (Score 1) 627

by TubeSteak (#48253513) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

It is very illegal for a merchant to store your credit card number for more than the 5 seconds it takes to authorize the transaction, unless they implement fairly strong protection to make sure nobody can steal those numbers later. But even if they do this, it is still very illegal for them to try to share those card numbers and what they purchased, which would be necessary for different merchants to "track" your purchases.

"fairly strong protection" = industry standards.
Those standards are written by the industry, not by anyone that cares about the card holder's interests.

Comment: Re:Who cares (Score 2) 144

by TubeSteak (#48248053) Attached to: OneDrive Delivers Unlimited Cloud Storage To Office 365 Subscribers

So if you have 35 megabits down, now you have 35 megabits up. 75 down, 75 up, etc...

Granted, not everyone has FIOS, or can get it, but it may well provide pressure to others (Comcast we're looking at you) to match it.

Cable's limitations on upstream bandwidth are architectural and not caused by their normal asshole business practices.

Even the latest and greatest DOCSIS 3.0 hardware being rolled out to consumers is limited to bonding 4 upstream channels.
Cisco's literature says it's capable of 120 Mbits upload, but that seems a little optimistic, and I don't know where they pulled 30 Mbit/channel from.

In some markets, Comcast has pulled fiber to the home and offers 505/100 Mbit service, but the rest of their markets only have a maximum 150/20 Mbits option.

The reality is that the vast majority of home users don't require significant upload bandwidth and, other than playing numbers games in markets where they have direct competition, Comcast has no compelling reason to do anything about it.

I recall reading this article in 2012. It talks about ways that cable could upgrade its DOCSIS 3.0 setup to boost upload bandwidth, but concludes nothing will happen until DOCSIS 3.1 show up. That article was written 2 years ago and 3.1 infrastructure isn't expected to be widely rolled out until 2016/2017.

TLDR: Comcast doesn't care about your upload speeds.

Comment: Re:Target, KMart, and WalMart (Score 1) 553

by TubeSteak (#48238241) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Second, Target, KMart, and Walmart are involved with this... KMart and Target are idiots; Walmart has an empire, what are they colluding with them?

From the personal blog of Ron Shevlin, Senior Analyst at a financial industry think tank

At last year's BAI Retail Delivery conference, I hosted a meeting of CMOs from large FIs, which featured Lee Scott, the former CEO of Walmart (who is a member of MCX). I asked Mr. Scott why, in the face of so many failed consortia before it, would MCX succeed?

He said: "I don't know that it will, and I don't care. As long as Visa suffers."

Even if it's not a true story, it's highly indicative of the relationship that many businesses have with the credit card network operators.

It's why many large retail chains have their own store credit card.
Those cards allow them to directly process in-store purchases and skip the middle man's fees.

Never trust a computer you can't repair yourself.