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Comment: Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 1) 894

by asaul (#45700815) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

I can walk even in the "most dangerous" areas of my city of over a million at night, and it might be uncomfortable, but at worst, I'd probably have a wino accost me for some change, or a drunk hipster nearly miss me with his Prius. I try that in a city with gun bans, and I'll be dead.

I live in a city of 6 million in a country that has strict gun laws. I have been out plenty at night and dodge the same winos and drunk hipsters. Never yet have I had anything approaching a death threat. I have been mugged, but that was my own stupid fault (wrong place, wrong time, wrong blood alcohol concentration) and that was just an punch or two to the face. Worst case you may run into some wannabe thug that may have a knife, but unless you are in organised crime a gun is completely remote threat here.

You will never remove guns from criminals, but the harder you make them to get the less wannabe gang bangers there are running around with them and the less likely there is to be someone going to use them. In your scenario the only reason you would be dead is because the predisposition to shoot first because you know anyone could be carrying a gun.

Comment: Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 2) 894

by asaul (#45700745) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

I think the NRA is smart enough to realize that, when you spend decades fighting in support of independent firearm ownership, suddenly turning on that population would be a Very Bad Idea.

You are assuming those in power had not subverted the NRA into some form of brown shirts, which is what the original poster implied. You don't think a sufficiently riled up and suitably lied to section of NRA members would not take part in such a thing? The brown shirts were originally just pissed off ex military who wanted a fair go - see what it become with the wrong leadership.

Comment: Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 2) 894

by asaul (#45700389) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

Take a look at the earlier posted list of school shootings on Wikipedia. Something stands out from that to me - the number of "they upset me so I am going back to the school with a gun" shootings - so many petty things which in no way justify the death of someone let along a violent reprisal. Stupid things like unrequited love interests, failing grades or being told to get off school property.

The availability of guns means someone the quick answer to a short temper is to take out a weapon and hurt someone. A gun makes this incredibly easy as opposed to having to stab or "cave someone's head in" because at least in those situations the person has a chance to fight off the attacker, instead of having to dodge (if their are aware of it) a subsonic piece of lead being sprayed at them.

Every gun owner is a law abiding gun owner until they decide not to be, or lose their temper, or have a breakdown, or an have an event of an undiagnosed mental condition. The fact is a gun makes it simple to inflict violence at range rapidly far more than any other weapon. If someone is inclined to do such a thing, the gun is the enabler. Take the guns out of the picture and you still have these problems, but the consequences are far more controllable and less severe.

The argument of having guns to stop guns is nonsense - sure, people might like to think they are John McClane and will stand up to be the hero - but how often does that actually happen? How many times has the would be hero shot someone they mistook for a possible bad guy, or shot a family member mistaken for a prowler. The more guns that are out there, the greater the chance the weapon is the in the hand of someone who will not use it for defence.

I don't blame the guns - I blame the idea that they need to be used for personal defence.

Comment: Re: police arive within 'minutes' (Score 1) 894

by asaul (#45700035) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

And most of the time when it is gun crime, its wannabe gang idiots shooting at each other - and usually that is just spamming the front of a house and driving off.
True, there are hold ups and car jackings with guns, but that is pretty rare and any occurrence usually gets a significant police interest in it.

I think the big difference may be mindset. If everyone is armed, everyone is a threat hence the use of a weapon is going to be more likely especially as a shoot first tactic. In a low gun culture yeah it might suck to have one pointed at you as a threat, but at least there is a low chance of it actually being used.

I am not anti-gun though, a have a small interest in them from a military point of view and I think proper education on handling and usage is perfectly good. But your average civilian should not need them. Military, Police, some security, specialist needs like farmers and professional hunters are all reasonable usage. I just cannot see the use case for having one in the home for "defence" let alone roaming in public like the wild west.

Comment: Re:How about just turn it off (Score 1) 307

by asaul (#45184637) Attached to: How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

The only reason people are being forced to buy insurance is because there is no way in the US model of government that true universal tax payer funded health care would ever get up with Republican opposition. Take a look at Australia or the UK - universal tax payer funded healthcare. None of that is tied into taxing people for abortions and the government would by lynched by the people should such a move ever be attempted. In Australia everyone pays - you can go to a public hospital or see a doctor and it will cost you nothing, many medicines are subsidised, and in general services are decent. You can buy private insurance and go to better hospitals if you wish - if you have high income and don't have private insurance you pay a levy - but most people in that bracket have private cover anyway.

The difference being our elections tend to matter - in Australia (while not perfect) the gerrymandering of representative seats is not easily done. Typically it is managed by the electoral commission so its hard for political influence to simply keep changing seat boundaries to suit the sitting member. That means come election time a poor performing or unpopular government has a real risk of being unseated. Our election cycle reflects that - poor performance is punished so the parties toe enough of the line to stay in power - but once they become to arrogant they get kicked out.

Nothing about universal health cover is about governments taking away freedoms. Its about using the power of numbers to deliver the basic services everyone will need at some point in their life. Sure there are inefficiencies, waste, bun fights over proper funding etc but in the end its something a government should be providing. If you leave it up to the free market well you have the existing US system which from what I understand has costs far in excess of the same services anywhere else in the world simply because there is money to be made.

Comment: Re:open source is easier to fix (Score 1) 307

by asaul (#45184497) Attached to: How To FIx Healthcare.gov: Go Open-Source!

That purely depends on your skills and your available time. Assuming you have an issue on a platform of this size, and assuming you can narrow it down to say an application level component, you then are expected to grab the source and troll through it looking for possible fixes against someone else's code. Never mind the time it takes to get up to speed with the layout and architecture of the product and its source code, you have to understand it enough to the point you can modify it to work. You then need to test it and test it in your application, and then assuming it fixes your issue convince someone upstream that your fix needs to go in, or as typically happens maintain your own patch set against the code for the next time you build it because egos upstream don't agree with you.

In my role I occasionally have to spend time reworking open source tools to fit into our environment. Mostly because I have to spend time weeding linux specific coding and GCC hacks out of code that we would like to use on Solaris. Just because it is open source does not mean it is going to save you time - of course we can fix things, of course we are saving not having to pay extortion to some vendor for something just as frustrating to deal with. But please don't claim open source is a wonderful magically all healing panacea for IT problems - that is actually performed by skills and time.

Comment: Re:What is a 100Mbit connection good for? (Score 2) 327

by asaul (#44469911) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

Why have more than 8Mhz and 640k memory - all it does is drive people to use graphical based pr0n. Won't someone think of the ascii pr0n industry.

Think what a home with say two adults and two teenagers might consume in parallel - each possibly watching their own content - thats just video/streaming. Then you have other applications that benefit from low latency and low jitter connections that can be offered with such fast stable networks (better conferencing, gaming etc). The increased upload capacity can open up options for remote monitoring for medical or security purposes.

Sure, it will take time for the current use of such bandwidth to be consumed but you don't have the use for it until you build it. Go back 15 years and imagine those networks with modern YouTube and Netflix load on them.

Comment: Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (Score 2) 327

by asaul (#44469827) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

Some history. Until around 1991 Australian telecommunications was provided by a single government owned business - Telecom (formerly Post Master General, then later Telstra). Telstra practically owned all the in ground infrastructure including the last mile copper to practically every phone in the country. Any hint of competition was crushed with obstruction, anti-competitive wholesale practices etc. Other players came in and grew some of their own infrastructure, extra long haul fibre mostly, but still practically any Telco wanting to provide services to a customer had to lease a Telstra tail line, generally at prices that made it impossible to offer anything cheaper than Telstra offered. During this period technology that the US long forget (such as ISDN) was as premium as you could get here, and technology like DSL was limited by being only possible where Telstra decided to offer it or where Telstra were forced to provide space in exchanges.

The old copper network crippled any sort of improvement to Australian internet technology - the copper lines were Telstra's cash cow and doing anything modern with them would also mean they would have to share it with the competition, so nothing much changed.

Then a previous conservative government came up with the idea of doing a "National Broadband Network" initiative. It was basically WiMax everywhere, except new places that might get some fibre over time - most likely FTTN (fibre to the node). The problem was to do anything more required buying the copper back from Telstra, and the conservatives screwed the pooch on that because they sold off Telstra as one entity - retail, wholesale and the copper network. As a new deregulated entity with some more gung ho leadership, Telstra were even more anti-competitive and not willing to give up their network. The conservatives also naively believe the free market will bring in the new technology, despite 20 years of proof that Telstra won't let that happen.

When the government they got voted out, the new more socialist government (read that as centre left) plan for the NBN was researched, and the proposal was Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). To do this they gave Telstra the option of selling its copper/access for $11B, or having it bought by compulsory acquisition (a constitutional right of the government) and a long legal fight. A deal was reached (most likely because Telstra delayed long enough and now had a new 4G network that was now its prime market) and the copper was sold, allowing the NBN project to kick off and start rolling out fibre across the country. The basic plan is the NBN Company (NBNCo) build a national fibre network and run it, and service providers sell services on it to customers.

As is natural of opposition government, they say no to everything, and think their way is better. The argument boils down to this:

a). Spend $36B and provide 96% of the population with 100M or 1GB internet over fibre. Most of that cost is covered by selling investment bonds and the eventual income from providing services on this network, so the cost is not necessarily on the taxpayer as much as the opposition would like to go on. Obvious benefit, its long term scalable infrastructure, but is more costly and slower to deploy. This is the socialist (Labour Party) plan.
b) Spend $28B and provide most of the population with 24MB VDSL using FTTN, leaving the copper as the last mile to the premises. Similar business plan, just slightly less cost. Benefit is it is slightly cheaper, and meets current internet needs. This is the conservative (Liberal Party) plan.

So - Murdoch is quite definitely a friend of the Liberals (ironic naming for conservatives), and is using his weight in the media to lay into the NBN plan every chance he gets to attack Labour. Any minor delay, problem, cost increase or simply propaganda he can find to rubbish the Labour government using the NBN is headlines. Also because if the Liberals get their way they will basically stop rolling out the current NBN and go to the lower specification one, just on the basis of slightly cheaper cost at the expense of building actual real infrastructure for the country - and that would be ideal for Murdoch too.

Comment: Re:Fear leads to Hate, Hate leads to Measles (Score 1) 668

by asaul (#44357745) Attached to: Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

Sorry - my facetiousness did not come across in my points. I know doctors are human, I know mistakes are made. What I am putting forward is that the media presentation of medicine sets up so much negative noise that it undermines the trust that is required to put your health/life in the hands of another human being, and people will seek out a solution fits their views, rightly or wrongly.

Comment: Re:IRS Too? (Score 1) 835

Perhaps poorly worded - what I mean is when there are those sorts of people that have to be confronted, its beneficial to have a police office that can respond in kind available. The hope is that the ones with the badge are also the ones who have the correct discretion as to when to use that sort of force.

Comment: Re:IRS Too? (Score 1) 835

No, I just know that from local news the sorts of things Aussie cops get in trouble for, and the way things don't occur the way they say they do, so I take the Aussie shows with a pinch of salt, I don't have that reference for the NZ and US shows.

When I see the Aussie cop shows they tend to do a lot more talking down and use defensive postures a lot more than what you see on COPS - on COPS the thug behaviour comes across a lot clearer and I can see where they escalate something or use heavy force. I don't doubt the Aussie cops do it, but it seems less of it comes across in their shows.

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