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Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 3, Insightful) 508

Remove those laws and the free market would push Comcast right out the door.

Unfortunately, infrastructure doesn't work the same way as other businesses. Those laws are an impediment, but they're definitely not the thing that when removed will create a surge of new providers.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 1, Insightful) 1080

by blackraven14250 (#49259533) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

And that nobody is willing to supply the Propofol should tell you that some nation is stuck in the deep and dark past on this issue (and apparently has some problems with manufacturing some medical drugs...).

It's the EU saying "we don't agree with your stance on the death penalty, therefore we're going to do whatever we can to stop you". Meanwhile, they're ignoring the fact that all the other methods that were used in the past are just going to come back, since they're the second best option, and cause shortages in hospitals.

That's not even getting into the arguments about life vs. death, or reformation of prisoners. If I were guilty of some horrific crime with no chance of ever being free again, I'd sure as hell rather be put to death than be locked in a cell until I gradually die of more natural causes. Life in prison vs. death isn't even the right framing for the argument - it's a slow, confined, drawn out death vs an expedited death. I've never seen a logical reason for holding someone for a life sentence without parole besides the inaccuracy of the justice system. That's a problem, for sure, but is in no way affected by whether the death penalty exists or not.

Comment: Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 39

I think it's just so great to see such a stereotypically 3rd world country supporting people learning engineering in that manner.

On the other hand, I think it's disturbing that 3rd world engineers are making the more developed areas of DRC, like the ones with giant robotic cops, look like they're living in a futuristic dystopian police state. The concept of having a towering robotic overlord giving me instructions and watching my every move doesn't sit that well, and I'm not from bumfuck nowhere, DRC, where substantial portions of the population believe in sorcery and animism. They just added a cop lookalike shell to things we'd consider normal, like traffic lights and roadway monitoring cameras, but in the process made those concepts far more disturbing.

Comment: Re:Science vs Belief. (Score 1) 517

by blackraven14250 (#49187111) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

Just because your personal identifiers were collected does not mean they constitute data used to draw conclusions. I don't understand why you would amplify such untruthful, misleading statements on this matter; are you motivated by partisanship?

They don't really have a bearing on the study. They would, however, absolutely be covered by the proposed law (HR 1030), which is the problem here. If your SSN, DOB, or anything else is collected, it's required to be publicly accessible online. It is, for the purposes of the law, a "recorded factual material" that needs to be "specifically identified" if it's "scientific and technical information" used to support any "covered action" (which is almost everything the EPA does). There is no exception for personally identifiable data in this section.

IANAL, however, I am unable to find a (legal) definition for the term "scientific and technical information" (or "technical information", or "scientific information") in Title 42. If there's no definition somewhere in there, or somewhere else applicable that I'm not looking, this bill is a Supreme Court case waiting to happen, and the EPA will lose multiple years of being able to do nearly anything beyond their current capabilities thanks to litigation. Once that's over, the EPA may still have to provide personally identifiable information, depending on how the court rules.

It looks like simple legislation, since it's only 2 pages, but it leaves open a ton of questions that need to be resolved through litigation if it is passed.

Comment: Re:Here's what happened (Score 1) 153

by blackraven14250 (#49116507) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

They're also the only 3D Sonic titles that didn't suck. Panzer Dragoon didn't get a Dreamcast game either, IIRC.

As for the other games you mention, there's quite a few that weren't really "Dreamcast" games, but rather arcade ports - that's basically what kept the DC from having effectively zero third-party support, since they got amazing, accurate ports of what could be argued as the best arcade games out there at the time. Specifically, that relationship between NAOMI and Dreamcast also garnered them Capcom's support, and Capcom was churning out an incredible number of hits and absolutely in their prime years around that time. MvC2, SoulCalibur, Resident Evil, Power Stone, Street Fighter. Two of those were in the over-a-million group for DC (which is only 7 games), the third is one of the most popular fighting game series of all time, if not the most popular, and the fourth is one of the other contenders for that title.

Without Capcom, Dreamcast would have been truly dead to quality, exclusive third party mass-market development. There were other quality titles out there, like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Tony Hawk, but they weren't exclusive (both were ported from PSX) and as a result didn't bring enough to the Dreamcast to make it THE console to own.

Comment: Re: About right (Score 2) 246

There really has to be some sanity here: the weapon must be able to cause grievous bodily harm in order to justify heavy sentences. A BB gun doesn't qualify unless a butter knife, Bic pen, and flexible drinking straw count as well.

Stab someone with a butter knife or Bic pen, and you'd still be charged with the same "assault with a deadly weapon".

Comment: Re:Fuck the playstation (Score 1) 188

by blackraven14250 (#49098481) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation
I've posted this elsewhere in more detail, but Blockbuster, due to the spinoff from Viacom, was saddled with about a billion in debt. That debt didn't exactly help when Icahn ended up ousting Antioco, who was trying to modernize the brand, and replaced him with Keyes, who was trying to be the brick and mortar shop of the past. That's just two examples of times Blockbuster the brand got completely fucked by outside interests. There's plenty of others in the chain's history, like Bill Fields being fired.

Comment: Re:thanks (Score 1) 211

by blackraven14250 (#49098119) Attached to: 800,000 Using HealthCare.gov Were Sent Incorrect Tax Data

What's weird to me is that insurance companies aren't at all incentivized to reduce costs. In fact, they're blatantly incentivized towards raising costs. It really doesn't matter whether they're capped at 20% profit - their profit scales with larger overall numbers, so they're incentivized to keep costs high and push them higher in all situations. If healthcare costs rise 10%, they can push their insurance prices up 10%, and have a 10% increase in profit, even under the same percentage cap. Doctors like it too, since they'd make an extra 10% on the same procedure. Even the patients, in most cases, care far more about quality care than about the cost of care.

Auto insurance and repair has plain old economics going for it - as spare parts become more available later in a car's production run, the costs drop. Home/flood insurance seems like it would be subject to the same upward incentive in home prices as health insurance, with the caveat that housing prices usually remain relatively stagnant outside of a bubble and there's not much the insurance companies can do to affect pricing anyway.

Healthcare, though, becomes a problematic outlier relative to other types of insurance - how do you lower costs when almost all the players have a tangible incentive to help costs rise and the ability to do so, and even the consumer has an ambivalence to cost as long as quality is maintained/improved and the cost burden doesn't reach a certain (unknown) untenable threshold for a large enough percentage?

That's the problem the US is attempting to deal with in healthcare, at its' core. It's probably the most complicated economic and policy problem possible - how do you regulate a market that has almost nothing providing natural balancing factors? Supply and demand are effectively nonexistent, healthcare isn't optional (and never really was, even before the ACA), and all the players are rewarded for pushing on the same side of the scale.

Comment: Re:Env is hacked, story is wrong (Score 1) 449

by blackraven14250 (#49084691) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Meanwhile merchants lost the ability to contest fraud and had to pay for card readers.

Seems like a regulatory problem, more than a problem with chip-and-pin. You can always just legislate away credit card issuers' responsibility, regardless as to whether they use chip-and-pin or not.

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