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Comment: Re:Americans (Score 1) 631

by WatertonMan (#38216042) Attached to: Why America Doesn't Need More Tech Giants Like Apple
Note though that American productivity is quite high which means that a factory is highly automated and requires far fewer workers. The US has some great manufacturing but those looking to it for jobs are doomed to be disappointed as competition comes precisely from that extremely high productivity. (i.e. fewer employees needed to do the same thing compared to say 30 years ago)

Comment: Re:Nike shoes (Score 2) 631

by WatertonMan (#38216014) Attached to: Why America Doesn't Need More Tech Giants Like Apple
This isn't really an American thing but rather certain states or cities. I can assure you out here you wouldn't have fees that high. The problem is people look at over-regulation and regulative capture at the Federal level when typically the real problems are at the state, municipality and city level. Unfortunately while people become very riled up over national politics most people are completely ignorant at what happens at the local level. Yet arguably that sort of thing has a much bigger effect on peoples day to day lives.

Comment: Breaking the 100,000 foot Limit .... (Score 1) 148

by WatertonMan (#37681884) Attached to: Ask Derek Deville About High-Altitude Amateur Rocketry
From the reports, your rocket was not launched from a designated space port, insured, or cleared by the U.S. State Department. (Which all launches above 100,00 feet are supposed to be subject to.) Were you able to get a waiver to break the 100,000 foot limit imposed by the Federal Government? If so, what loops did you have to jump through to get all the powers-that-be happy?

Comment: Re:How do I install RPMs in Debian? (Score 1) 831

by WatertonMan (#35648332) Attached to: Why Mac OS X Is Unsuitable For Web Development
I've never found a package I've needed that's not in either Fink or MacPorts. I prefer MacPorts and stopped using Fink. But I'm pretty skeptical that what the typical web development requires isn't available in Fink. Some weird edge cases I can see as a unique situation, mind you. So I'm not sure that's a good reason to reject OSX. I have to agree with the earlier critique that "too many choices" is a pretty silly objection. Pick one and use it - they aren't hard to use.

Comment: Re:No one looks at the real problem... (Score 1) 367

by WatertonMan (#35565666) Attached to: Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

After a bit of Googling over the issue of how "ridiculous levels of regulation" and "red tape" are obstructing needed AT&T tower expansion - all I can find is that local communities, where the towers are physically placed, insist on public feedback and local government approval - which indeed can take significant time to work through.

Yes and if you have that significant process then you end up with the incentives that produce the current situation.

I guess if corporations could build what they want where they want without having to consider what local communities want they (the corporations) would be much happier.

That's not the issue. The problem is that for basically any construction you have the years of effort to go through. That's fine if the communities want that. But then they have to live with the results which is bad coverage in most major metro areas and this sort of amalgamation.

It's not at all clear to me why it has to take years to build a simple tower on top of a sky scraper in order to allow local communities control. Why don't the local communities just make a standard criteria for building towers that takes a few months at most.

How would you feel if every time you wanted to paint your house you had to spend all that time on paperwork and then open it up to the community such that it took years to paint your house? (There are actually property associations where that is the case)

Once again the issue isn't if people want that. That's fine if they do. But they have to realize that situations like we have are what results.

Comment: Re:No one looks at the real problem... (Score 1) 367

by WatertonMan (#35564644) Attached to: Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers
Why not ask why that is? Do you think they might be charging for tethering and trying to limit unauthorized tethering because of the state of their network? And do you think the state of their network might be due to the reasons I outlined? Look, I've no love for AT&T. But they are behaving in a rational fashion given the incentives they are working within. What we ought to do is try and figure out what those incentives are and see if we can change them. By the same measure do you think the very nice services T-Mobile was supplying might be tied to why they are losing money and thus desire to sell?

Comment: Re:No one looks at the real problem... (Score 1) 367

by WatertonMan (#35564310) Attached to: Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers
You really think AT&T would have gone to the trouble of buying T-Mobile just to get towers were there an other solution? How about looking into the difficulties of setting up towers and bandwidth in places like New York, San Francisco and elsewhere. It's been in the news a lot...

Comment: Re:Stating the obvious (Score 2) 367

by WatertonMan (#35564246) Attached to: Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

How about asking why there are only four major carriers and why the smaller ones never get big?

Everyone's griping about AT&T (which I do as well) but no one wants to focus on what the real problem is. AT&T's problems are due to not being able to get enough bandwidth and towers to support their customers. People gripe about this even with the other carriers. (Honestly in my area AT&T is much better than Verizon). Simultaneously most people want not just local coverage but national coverage.

So what's the problem?

Hey, how about the problem is the difficulty in putting up towers! You think AT&T wouldn't have tons more towers up if they could? Do you really think their first choice is to have to buy a competitor just to get the damn space to have towers?

And why can't they put up towers? Have any of you seen how difficult it is in places like New York, San Francisco, or other major metro areas to put up towers? If you manage to get permission to even be able to do it (and good luck getting that) the process takes years.

So we have the requirement demanded by consumers to (1) be national (2) have tons of coverage and bandwidth (3) support the latest technologies and (4) be unable to create the infrastructure to do this. Yet no one wants to look at why this is a problem. HEY! It's all the damn local regulations keeping carriers from being able to go national and become real competitors to AT&T and from AT&T, T-Mobile and others to put in the infrastructure to supply the services customers are demanding.

It's just like alternative energy. Everyone wants to move away from oil but no one wants the wind and solar plants near them and doesn't want to expedite the power lines necessary to carry the power from remote areas. People just engage in far too much magical thinking.

Comment: No one looks at the real problem... (Score 1, Insightful) 367

by WatertonMan (#35564088) Attached to: Why the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Is Bad For Consumers

Let's see. Everyone yells at AT&T because they can't provide the coverage and bandwidth iPhone users need. AT&T tries to install more towers but ridiculous levels of regulation and red tape either limit their ability or make it take such a long time it's the same thing. AT&T sees a competitor with towers who is losing money and wants to sell. AT&T buys said competitor as the only way to provide the support customers demand.

Customers immediately become furious with AT&T rather than the ridiculous government regulations keeping AT&T from providing desired services and demand (wait for it) more government regulation to ensure we all have crappy coverage within the United States.

People then step in and blame all the problems not on too much regulation but on deregulation. (And yes, I agree it's not just an issue of deregulation or regulation but smart regulation - however let's be honest. How often do politicians pass laws with smart regulations?)

Comment: Re:Bad Bill (Score 1) 161

by WatertonMan (#35495428) Attached to: Utah Governor 'Honored' With Blackhole Award
I don't agree with the law but from what I understand the main issue was the cost of storing all the data and accessing it. The governor signed the bill to deal with the cost cutting but then promised a few months of public hearings before June in order to modify it. But the way it has been defended is as a budget issue. I admit I'm skeptical but then I'm surprised it got so much support which makes me think there was a lot of hassle to the prior bill but that politicians hadn't thought through this bill. So I hope the public hearings lead to a lot of revision.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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