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Comment: Re:if only (Score 1) 308

A duopoly is really not much better than a monopoly. The FCC has rejected cell phone company mergers with the justification that less than four main competitors in the market is not enough to keep pro-consumer pressure on them.
Most people in the country have one option for Cable TV+Internet and one for Phone+Internet (DSL). These are local government sponsored monopolies for each segment. In dense urban areas, there may be a wireless entrant or two in the market, but very few people have a choice of four+ Internet providers.

Comment: Re:Yeah right (Score 2) 308

No link to the actual announcement, but Techdirt says AT&T, "announced yet another $3 billion fixed-line CAPEX investment cut just last Friday."
In other words, they cut investment, then hear from the President, then blame the cut on the President's plan.
Typical AT&T bullshit.

Comment: Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (Score 1) 388

by aaron4801 (#48318933) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

The only kind of "electronic voting" that I would support would be one that allowed the voter to fill in his ballot on the computer terminal and then PRINT the ballot. The voter then reviews the PRINTED ballot, and then drops it into the ballot box.

This is almost exactly what we use in Utah. Fill out the electronic ballot on the machine, then at the end, there are two rounds of verification:
The first round shows you what you voted for all on one screen.
The second round prints one section at a time on a paper ballot, which shows through a window. You have the opportunity to accept or reject that section before moving on to the next.

The voter does not physically handle the paper ballot, which may turn off some people, but that would bring with it its own set of problems that other people would complain about. I've voted in three states over the last 18 years, and this is by far the easiest, most confidence-inspiring system I've used.
I just wish there were more realistic choices on each ballot. #Utah

Comment: Re:Nope, can't be "Dem policies don't work" (Score 1) 485

by aaron4801 (#48302101) Attached to: Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans
Yeah, putting this all one one guy is pretty stupid.
If it's happening, it's more a function of "Republicans are going to be in power for the next two years, might as well hitch my cart to that horse."
If it's happening.
Yahoo (I know, I know) had a story up just a few weeks ago about just how liberal Silicon Valley is: Here. Check out the slideshow. It would be a MASSIVE turnaround to look even moderate compared to 2010-2013, let alone Republican leaning. Source data here.

Comment: A prediction (Score 4, Insightful) 144

by aaron4801 (#48269349) Attached to: New Crash Test Dummies Reflect Rising American Bodyweight
Car companies will purchase a few test units, then realize all their 5-Star Safety cars are now only 3-Star safe for bigger passengers, then go right back to the smaller dummies. Seriously, what's the incentive for car companies to voluntarily take on more difficult metrics to reach? Unless the government mandates an increase in dummy weight, this is nothing more than a publicity stunt by the CTD manufacturer.

Comment: Re:Not a chance (Score 2) 631

by aaron4801 (#48252475) Attached to: Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay
Still waiting for a system better than cash for in-person transactions. 1. Only I get to track my purchases. 2. Lost wallet doesn't mean you risk getting your identity stolen. 3. No worrying over data security at any of the dozens of places I might spend money in a month. There's rarely a reason to carry more than $100 to ANY retail establishment, so while there is a risk of that much loss, it's a lot less than my entire bank account/credit line.

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 384

That why, even as an 'infectious disease response coordinator,' it's a lawyer and politician who got the call. If they had just stated the truth, that Ebola is hard to spread with proper controls, and can be contained, there would be no panic, there would be little media attention, and there would be no need for a czar. But as you said, there would be no need to concentrate power, so no dice.

Comment: Re:The incredible shrinking nucleus (Score 3, Informative) 47

by aaron4801 (#48196289) Attached to: Mars Orbiter Beams Back Images of Comet's Surprisingly Tiny Nucleus
Without a planetary magnetic field to speak of, any atmosphere created by comet or terraforming would be temporary. If humans are to colonize Mars someday, we would need a steady stream of comets to fire at the planet to replenish the atmosphere swept away by the solar winds. Somehow, dropping comets on a planet for the sole purpose of supporting a permanent settlement seems....odd?

Comment: Re:I don't think we are giving anything up. (Score 1) 554

Exactly this. It's not the job of the OS to be the complete suite of everything your computer can do. It's just the platform on which other functions operate. Most of those operations are optional based on the power of the computer. If anything, minimum system requirements are too *high* for Windows. Not because the OS needs to be able to run on ancient hardware, but because every MB of RAM and every clock cycle may be cheap, but no matter how many you have, it's still a limited resource. All else being equal, I'd rather them be allocated to what I'm actually doing with the system rather than being spent on managing a massive database of system settings that are usually irrelevant to what's on the screen at any given moment.

Comment: Re:Where can I find the except clause? (Score 5, Interesting) 575

by aaron4801 (#48040339) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics
"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter." "Unless it's politically expedient to change the rules, in which case, fuck you."

Comment: Re:Yes, reality is a defense (Score 1) 304

by aaron4801 (#48011377) Attached to: Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed
I have never broken a phone. I don't know what it would take to break a phone. Apparently six, or nine, or 50, or however many people...have discovered a point beyond that threshold. I can imagine two most likely scenarios here: a) The users got excited and accidentally abused their new phones beyond what they had ever done before, and broke them. b) they were always playing with fire and subjecting their iPhone 5's to pressures in the range that are now lethal to 6's. If it's A, shame on the users. If it's B, Apple has raised the expectations of their customers and then failed to meet those expectations. As for "1/10th of 55 lbs," remember these particular tests are controlled and not subjecting the phones to all manner of different pressures at different points that may exist in a pocket or purse or other storage medium.

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce