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Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1) 358

by fyngyrz (#49151491) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

When *YOU* take an action *YOU* better be ready for the reaction. Anything less makes you a victim only to yourself.

It is very well documented that the reaction people were told they would have, which was a good one, by those who should have (and did) know otherwise, is not the reaction they actually got, which was deadly.

So while I agree absolutely that we are responsible for the outcomes of choices we make for which we understand the eventual and potential outcome(s), I deny just as absolutely that we are responsible for the outcomes of choices we make when we have been deceived.

I would have no problem whatsoever voting to convict a tobacco company executive of the previous century of premeditated manslaughter by poisoning. However, at this point, we know, or we should know, how utterly stupid smoking tobacco is in the context of our health, and yes, any individual capable of informed consent who is still (or begins) smoking today can't reasonably blame that on anyone other than themselves. And as long as they don't, and don't make non-consenting persons and animals inhale the carcinogenic pollution that results, I'm all for them smoking all they want.

Comment: Re: Oh, please. (Score 1) 590

by fyngyrz (#49150635) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

I would want a policy that only covers major issues with a high deductible.

I'm interested to learn that you think you can tell the future. However, since I know you can't, I will simply point out that you don't understand the actual reason for insurance, a not uncommon failing among the young who have little relevant experience with disaster. This isn't betting, where you "win" if you can guess your disease. It's not supposed to be like a slot machine. This is about risk amelioration.

...if all the young healthy families did that...

... then there would be a lot of really nasty surprises for those "young and healthy families."

See, insurance isn't about what your condition is now. Insurance is about what your condition may become. So, when kid #2 develops a lymphatic tumor under their arm, instead of "parents tried to cheap out because they had a young and healthy family and now kid #2 can't get medical care", it is "off to a cancer specialist you go, #2, because we cared enough to see to it your risks were addressed."

Comment: Re:Oh, please. (Score 1) 590

by fyngyrz (#49150521) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Funny how those who got services/money/product from the ACA legislation are happy about??

Yes, it's really strange that those who needed healthcare are glad they were finally able to get it, isn't it? Weird! Gosh! Huh! How in the world??? (cough)

And the huge fucking mountain of folks that now enjoy $5k deductibles or insurance they did not need or want are not happy about it?

There are various deductibles. You choose the one you want. If you choose a 5k deductible, you're responsible for that choice. As far as insurance that's "not needed" goes, we don't know what we need because we have no way to tell what the future brings. The only way to determine what we probably or may need is via statistics. I trust the actuaries more than I trust my own judgement. Because I'm just that smart.

Are YOU getting other peoples money?

To directly answer your question, no, thus far and at the moment, I have not and am not. I've eroded my deductible a bit, probably won't work my way through it by the end of the year, barring unseen problems. Didn't last year, either. But of course I might very much benefit from "other people's money" at some point in the future.

That said, everyone in any insurance pool anywhere, ever, who makes a claim, is "getting other people's money." That's how insurance works. Similar for taxes. We all pay in, and in the case of the ACA, those who get the subsidies get the advantage of the payout. We do that when the loads are too great and/or too random for individuals to bear: infrastructure, military, healthcare (finally!), fire services, etc.

Why the fucking hell should my doctors have to be in some "POOL" anyway?

Well, for that, you want to look to your insurance company -- not the ACA. You can get plans where the doctor doesn't have to be in a network. The ones where they do use in-network doctors are generally less expensive though, so that may effectively be your answer. But it isn't the ACA that mandates pools. It's the insurance companies, and it's always been the insurance companies.

If you prefer to pay for other peoples medical care, great. Can you help me pay for mine?

If you're in my pool, then yes, I can and do help pay for yours. Again: That's how insurance works. If I'm not paying for you in the pool (different state, or different pool) even so I'm paying for other people's there -- and I have no problem with that. Likewise, in your state, in your pool, other people are paying for you. To the extent that my federal taxes (quite significant) are paying for your subsidy, I'm happy to do that as well. It's sure oodles better than thinking about what I'm paying for WRT various other government programs.

$1400/month with a $1500 yearly deductible for each family member.

The ACA requires that insurance costs are specifically limited for low-income individuals and families and there are tax credits. If you want me on your side here, you'd have to demonstrate that your income was low and your insurance costs were high and that the ACA didn't arrange for a circumstance to reasonably ameliorate your costs. Can you do that? I'd be very interested to learn the details, short of personally identifying data.

So yeah, you are happy about getting my money, and I am an asshole for providing it to you. thanks man.

Insurance is the way that congress decided this was going to operate. Given that, yeah, I'm happy to put the related money into insurance and into taxes as it lets me know that you and yours will be covered if that's needed. I'm sorry you don't feel the same way. I am pleased, however, that your feelings, as you expressed above, do not get to determine if other people get adequate healthcare.

Comment: Re:Oh, please. (Score 1) 590

by fyngyrz (#49149851) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

You're assuming that the government is better at deciding what coverage you need than you are.

They didn't do all that badly. Not surprising, as it wasn't "the government", it was a group of medical and insurance professionals using statistics to determine what the needs generally encompass which congress (not Obama) incorporated into the final law. But you keep rolling with those "the government" and "Obama lied!" memes, they still sound good to the information-poor. And of course they fixed some of the other problems, like making care for pre-existing conditions practical, limiting insurance company profits, and seeing to it that family coverage was a bit more about family and a bit less about "how soon can we shuck the kids off the policies." Single payer would, of course, have been much, much better. That's what Obama wanted, btw -- the ACA is wholly a product of congress. The only sense that it is "Obama's" is in that he wanted to see people get medical care, and congress managed to get some care, to some people, and he accepted the compromise rather than walk away with nothing.

When you want to rant about "your decisions", you should really consider the reality, which was the insurance company deciding for you what would be covered. Oh, you had a migrane headache? Then we'll just slap a rider on your policy that we won't cover anything to do with your neurological system or your circulatory system, how's that for "making your own decisions"? You don't want "the government" making decisions for you, but you're perfectly ok with the for-profit insurance company limiting your care. That doesn't make you a smart insurance consumer. That makes you a tin-plated idiot.

The honest way of saying it is that many people couldn't keep their desired coverage because the government decided it wasn't good enough for them.

The honest way of saying it is if you weren't covered to the ACA minimums, your insurance sucked. There's no putting lipstick on that pig, pal. Now, as to why your insurance sucked, that could be any number of reasons -- but it still boils down to one thing: you needed better coverage. You may not admit it, you may want to gamble with your health and the health of others, but that's why we mandate some things, because people often make really bad choices for themselves, and in this case, as your health impacts others, just as your education does, a minimum has been set. Don't like it? Tough. Doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Just means you don't like it. Wanna change it? Go to congress -- the people who are responsible for it.

Uhh, no, if they aren't in the group of providers that your new insurance company accepts, you don't get to see him anymore. Well, you can, but you pay out of pocket full price.

No, it doesn't mean that at all. First of all, your doctor can apply to the insurance company. Second of all, you can determine which doctors are already in which groups two ways: One, by looking on the insurance company lists, two, by simply asking your doctor (or the office staff, more likely.) You can certainly end up in a situation you don't want by failing to approach this in a reasonable manner, but it's almost certainly to be on you, not the system. I ran into this specific problem -- doctor not in the specific insurance pool I wanted to use -- and it took all of two weeks to fix that, something I sussed out and took care of before I committed to the group. You can probably still fix it, for that matter.

Further, even if you did get to keep your doctor, your waiting time to see him is undoubtedly going to be much longer.

Oh, stuff and nonsense. Out of 310 million citizens, there were about 50 million uninsured. The ACA added about 10 million to the 260 million insured, thereby increasing the load on the system by a "whopping" 3.8%. This did not result in a 33% increase in your appointment times. Something else may well have, but it sure as heck wasn't the load presented by the ACA's action. Now, if we talk about the fuckery the republicans have caused by rejecting the medicare expansion, now that has screwed things up so badly that a number of hospitals have had to close, and so the republicans may have been responsible for a big increase, depending on your area (some states didn't let the republicans screw them in this particular manner.)

My doctor doesn't decide what providers are authorized under my insurance, the insurance company does. It takes a lot more than a doctor asking "pretty please make my practice part of your plan" to get it done.

No. It doesn't. It's butt-simple paperwork. I was in the same situation, and I am well aware of what it takes. And of course it's very likely you could have found out what pools your doctor was already in first and gone with one of those. Assuming they were in some pool, which, if you were already using them with some kind of insurance, they were.

to ignore the large number of people who it didn't work out for and claim that the system is working is pretty selfish. To use your personal situation as proof that Obama didn't lie about ACA issues is just ridiculous.

The thing is, that's all straw man nonsense. I've done neither. I've simply pointed out how the system works, and mentioned my experience -- I pointed to the process, not my experience, to assert that the system isn't nearly as dysfunctional as the right wingers want to paint it. You, in turn, have recited a case of failure (one which almost certainly is entirely your own fault.) They said you can keep your doctor. You say you didn't keep your doctor. That does not, in ANY way, prove that you could not have kept your doctor. I faced exactly the same situation as you did: the insurance I wanted did not have my doctor in the pool. I spoke up, prodded her office manager a couple times, and that was all it took on my part -- now she's with the program. Failing that, I could have simply gone with the insurance that already had her listed, which wouldn't have been the end of the world either. Bottom line, you want to keep your doctor, ask them what insurance they take and get on that insurance, or get them to join the specific pool you want. It's not difficult. Anyone who says it is is simply spreading FUD.

Back to the "Obama lied" bullshit meme: Obama wanted single payer. Congress -- basically the republicans -- turned the whole thing into a payday for the insurance companies. Once that was done, things got a lot more complicated. To turn around and say that Obama is responsible for the complications is a load of right wing horseshit -- agitprop and no more than that. He signed what congress presented him with, and he tried hard to be a spokesperson for what resulted. The intent was good, and yeah, actually, the results haven't been too bad, other than the republicans -- not Obama -- hammering those who would have been covered by the medicare expansion.

For the tiny fraction of people who rant about (and for whom you are ranting) who "lost their insurance", the ACA makes it an absolute certainty that they can get NEW insurance, because they cannot (any longer) be denied (as they could have been previously for any number of reasons. And what about those people before the ACA, who couldn't get insurance at all? What about them? Why aren't you ranting on their behalf? They don't matter? That would be you ranting that my lady, who had the AUDACITY to have breast cancer, should just be kicked to the curb and left uninsurable for any future cancer, in fact for just about anything.

Now, the whole "My premium went up (some huge amount) and I'm PLUMB RUINT!" thing: The ACA mandates that your insurance premium cannot exceed a fairly low percentage of your income unless you intentionally opt for a higher than required coverage plan. That's what the subsidies are for. It also makes sure you can get a plan. If you are so ideologically opposed that you can't, or won't, get a plan, then there are tax penalties, which (a) are pretty light, and (b) 90% of the "I don't have a plan" people don't have to pay at all because of the numerous reasonable exemptions, and (c) aren't actually required to be directly paid anyway, instead, they're taken out of future tax refunds, and (d) nothing else happens at all except, as per usual, you can go to the ER and they'll (probably) stabilize you and refer you to a doctor or a clinic, which you, bless your objectionable little heart, will then almost certainly have to pay for.

Fact: The 900+ page ACA is not the product of an executive order: It's a product of congress. If you have problems with the parts where you might have to be proactive and lift your own little finger, call your congressperson, don't rant about Obama. If you are ineligible because your income is low and your state refused the medicare expansion, call out your state representatives. Not Obama, and for that matter, not congress. (You might want to say a few choice words about SCOTUS, though.) If you don't like the minimum limits set for your insurance, again, that was congress, don't point the finger at Obama.

Between not understanding how the ACA works, not understanding how lawmaking works, and a goodly dose of "I hate that Obama guy because black | democrat | funnyname | iamabirther | whatever", it's a 100% safe bet that anyone ranting about Obama in relation to the ACA has no idea what the heck they are talking about.

Is the ACA perfect? Hell no. Did anyone say it was perfect? Hell no! Is the way to make it better to rant about Obama? HELL NO! Aim your vitriol at congress. Even if it's as misinformed as your post, at least you'd have the right target for once: Congress.

Comment: Re:Kids these days... Re:Slashdot lucks out (Score 1) 301

by fyngyrz (#49143083) Attached to: Reddit Imposes Ban On Sexual Content Posted Without Permission

Brings to mind the Maxell ad where the guy is sitting in the chair, hair blown back by the JBL-L100 in front of him.

Imagine the paper tapes instead of the L100. Except no hair would be blowing back, and I suspect the fellow would be asleep. Other than that, exactly the same.

Comment: SDR details and support (Score 2) 131

by fyngyrz (#49143065) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

To answer your question about connectivity, the device has 10/100 Ethernet with the Linux networking stack built in.

That's excellent. Did you build your own protocol, or did you use the mechanism RFSPACE, Andrus, AFEDRI and the various USB-to-Ethernet servers have established?

I try -- hard -- to support all ethernet based SDRs for which I can obtain protocol information.

It also has USB-OTG, and I already know WiFi and USB Sound Cards work with no additional work.

Sound card I/Q is no problem for SdrDx -- that gets the RF in, and of course I support that. The problem with the rest is controlling the SDR's settings: center frequency, attenuator, sample rate, and so on. This is because of the radical differences in USB interfacing from platform to platform.

Having said that, if you've got a working command line utility that talks to the control systems on your SDR, then SdrDx emits information via TCP that can be used to drive the command line client from a script. We've pulled this off with the Peabody and Softrock SDRs pretty well. Again, though, we run into the issue of which platform(s) the utility is available for, seeing as how they'd have to be radically different from one another.

Comment: Re:Gaming on Linux will matter... (Score 1) 188

by MBGMorden (#49139257) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

Windows still has the problem of spyware. Whether that's due to lack of security or its popularity is a matter of debate, but still, to me at this point using the internet on Windows feels like sex without a condom. Relatively safe if you truly trust what's on the other end, but definitely a risk.

On the other hand I surf the internet without so much as a care on my Linux machine. You still have to not be an idiot (ie, don't type your info into phishing sites), but I have no fear that simply visiting a particular site is going to hose up my machine.

As to the Office competitor - Office is being marginalized. Even in our corporate environment we just implemented Office 365, and when you do that you have an option: an "E1" license which has browser-based office, and "E3" which includes the full MS Office suite. We've put about 80% of our users on the browser based version and they're doing fine. That browser-based MS Office actually works just fine on Linux, and is actually far more limited than LibreOffice - it just is branded MS Office so people will accept it.

Microsoft is being marginalized. My guess is that if PC gaming survives, it'll eventually shift to Linux. I'm just not sure there will be too many people aside from geeks and gamers still using a desktop computer by that time.

Comment: Re:Easy of porting over is the key (Score 5, Interesting) 188

by MBGMorden (#49139135) Attached to: The State of Linux Gaming In the SteamOS Era

They don't require a user have expert knowledge.

This isn't 1998 anymore. Linux doesn't require "expert knowledge" to run and use. My parents in their 50's are using Linux full-time (even though they don't know they are) as is my sister - who knows it but doesn't really regard the fact as more than an interesting piece of trivia.

Linux works just as simply as any other OS these days. You want a program? Go to Software Center and search for it. It installs. The icon appears in your menu.

Yes, you CAN get technical and in depth with the system if you want, but that's no different than Windows having the registry and Powershell available if you want to tweak things.

Right now Linux just isn't popular with gamers because there are no games for it, and there are no games for it because gamers don't use it. It's chicken and egg problem, but it's changing, albeit slowly. I personally use my Linux system for everything EXCEPT games, though I'll admit that I'd be excited to ditch Windows even for the games if I could (I do have a PS4 that I play some stuff on). It is nice though that Pillars of Eternity will be available for Linux and is coming out very soon. I've been waiting for that one for quite a while and it may be the first "real" game I'm able to play there.

Comment: Re:50 Mhz lower limit? Ouch. (Score 3, Interesting) 131

by fyngyrz (#49134185) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

What's the point of a fancy SDR on the lower bands though? At least in the States most of the amateur bands with any kind of useful propagation are so narrow that one of the brain dead simple sound card SDR rigs can cover the majority of your band of choice.

This is going to be long-winded; there's quite a bit to cover. Sorry. :)

Cover, yes. Cover well, no. You need lots of bit depth for adequate dynamic range without filters, bit depth almost no one offers, and if you don't have adequate bit depth, then you really need front end filtering and probably a stepped attenuator as well. You need EM protection because HF antennas tend to be large and prone to large induced voltages. You need good frequency linearity if you want to use the SDR to get accurate measurements (even the s-meter.) For the ham bands, it's also nice if the SDR supports a sample rate of 400 khz or better, which is tough for a sound card SDR. Then there is frequency accuracy and stability, not to mention external reference sources (there all kinds of cool things you can do with a very stable SDR, like this AM graveyard band carrier forest), and then we get into multiple front ends for diversity reception and noise reduction. If you want to remote the SDR for any reason, you really need ethernet, and if you need ethernet, you need some smarts. And you need ethernet anyway, because USB bloody sucks (speaking as a cross-platform developer.) So If you want a good SDR, you just don't end up with a "brain dead simple" SDR.

As to narrow ham bands in the HF range, well, not really. 160 meters is 200 kHz. 80 meters is 500 kHz. 20 meters is 350 KHz. 15 meters is 450 kHz. 10 meters is 1.7 MHz. The WARC bands are all pretty tiny. Also, for SWL, some of those are quite wide, and even more so if you include the out of band regions where the pirates are. Pirates being quite unpredictable, you want them in the spectrum so you can see them when they pop up, so bandwidth is quite relevant if they are of interest (personally, I find them fascinating.) Come to that, if you want to see what overall prop/activity is looking like, you need 30 MHz of bandwidth to do it live.

I will grant you that someday, we may be able to put a 48 bit, multiple Gs/s A/D on a chip with a full ethernet interface cheap enough for anyone to own; but not right now. Until that day, good SDRs will not be "brain dead simple."

More on frequency range: If you want to use the SDR for a panadaptor for an existing receiver (very common use), then it has to cover one of the IF frequencies and associated bandwidth of the receiver, which tends to be in the HF range (not always, though.) Then there are cray-cray folk like myself; among other things, I use my SDR to monitor bats in our attic. To do that, the SDR has to be able to do a good job with the first 100 KHz, also true of experimentation with sonar and other audio ranging and detecting tech.

I'm not saying there isn't stuff up higher than HF; of course there is. Some of the really cool stuff (wifi, for instance) is as high as 5 GHz. Satellites, public utilities, etc. Any motion video needs to be up pretty high (but it also needs very significant bandwidth.) But HF has a huge amount of interest, it's where most hams actually hang out, and as it's a very challenging reception environment, higher end designs are of great interest. So are hackable designs one can get at. For instance, if you built yourself a multi-stage filter bank for the various HF bands, you could have them switch automatically as you tune. Likewise you could control add-on attenuators, RF preamps, and switchable transverters (which can give a nominally lower freq range SDR excellent access to higher bands.)

I have a variety of SDRs, and switching is simply a matter of prodding a menu. I have access from about 1 Hz to 3 GHz across the group, with varying features as described above. In the end, as HF is so very active, that's where I usually end up listening. Although I'm an extra and have a full station, I do a lot more listening than transmitting. In the day, I lurk on 20 meters and up, though again as the sunspot count drops, that'll go back to only 20 meters. In the evening, 40 through 160 come alive, as well as many of the SW bands, and it's DX time, trying to catch the low power African and South American stations.

I think it's fair to say that most hams are, to coin a usage, "HF hams" first, and "VHF and above hams" second, if at all. VHF never offered much in terms of DX contacts or reliable prop events, so it was always about just communicating. With cellphones, that hook went away, and I'm guessing that's what accounts for the dead 2m and 70cm bands. But the HF bands are busy, and the number of hams keeps growing... so that leads me to think that an SDR aimed at hams can really use low band capability.

PS - I have VHF and UHF in the car and several units at home, plus an HT I carry in my man-bag (ie, purse.) I have a 14 element 2m beam. I can hit about eight repeaters from here, covering thousands of square miles. I hear *nothing* at home. I'm not hearing any VHF packet any longer, either. My lonely packet BBS beacon squirts out there by itself, no visitors and no digipeating and it has been that way for I don't even know how long. Trips to the cities nearest me result in dead silence on the calling frequencies and local repeaters, though I have to admit I don't make any calls myself -- I'm just curious so I listen.

Anyway, it's just one guy's opinion / anecdote, it isn't data, you have to listen to your own area and draw your own conclusions. Perhaps it's just Montana and surrounds. It certainly won't hurt anyone if I don't use a particular SDR. It'll have an effect if I don't support it, though, so hopefully, frequency range of 50-1000 or not, it has a protocol-compliant ethernet interface or some kindhearted person writes a USB-to-ethernet server on at least one platform so I can do so. :)

Comment: Re:Fuck it - everyone for themselves. (Score 1) 356

by LynnwoodRooster (#49134041) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt
Wait, so they pay you when you give them 10 kW, then don't charge you when you take those 10 kW back? You make double, effectively? That's a "heads I win / tails you lose" kind of deal... So who pays to keep the grid in place that allows you to do that?

Too much is not enough.