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Comment: Re:Automatic presumption of govt incompetence... (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49786013) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable
And you sir are painting with a wide brush. Bad people do BAD things, one cannot deny that, but in China, the government selectively chooses not to enforce its laws and allows bad people to do bad things. So you now claim that ALL people do bad things because a few have in the past? Or, to put it another way, capitalism is bad because it is abused in China? Capitalism has its problems, but as a method for generating wealth and lifting the standard of living for the majority, it cannot be beat. And it certainly cannot be beat by a government program...

Comment: Re:Governments contract private companies. (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49784661) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

You have more than one choice... Perhaps one wired choice is all you have, but there are other providers out there. I'm guessing they are more expensive and likely lower bandwidth, but you have choices.

Now, if you where *really* in the boonies, 10 miles from anywhere like where I grew up in South West Missouri, THEN, we had 2 viable broadband choices. A marginal Cell Phone based provider using a cell tower about 10 miles away or the Hughes satellite option which has broadband bandwidth and really long latency.

But I'm saying that for the VAST majority of people in the USA, broadband is available, usually from multiple vendors. I don't think we really have a huge broad band problem. Yea, there are places you won't get wired service, but the number of people who live in these areas is pretty limited.

Comment: Re:Automatic presumption of govt incompetence... (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49782697) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

Really? Are we thinking about the same country?

China may be an emerging capitalistic economy, but they are very much un-capitalistic in their governance. That they choose to ignore the environment and don't care about the health and safety of their workforce is NOT what we have here in the USA and we never will.

But China is NOT an argument for government control, because China's government has absolute control, they simply do not care. China's quest is for power, economic and military, and they will use any means to improve their position, including allowing the worst abuse and environmental harm as long as it gets them what they want. You see, China is literally at war already, so lives and environment don't matter.

China's problems stem from government, not capitalism.... Capitalism is just one of the tools they are using to further their goals, but you can bet they will stop it as soon as it doesn't do that for them anymore.

Comment: Re:I think they mean.... (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49782621) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

"but offer varying rate plans and terms"

Really? What is the point of that? I need 240V @ 60Hz, 24/7, about 200 amps worth at any given time. Exactly that; nothing else.

Quite so, however in the "free market" of Texas retail electric providers there are multiple rate plans to choose from. Do you wan electricity from windmills? They have a rate for that.. Do you want to pay for "time of use rates" so you can get nights and weekends nearly free? They have rates for that. How about a fixed rate for a known term or one monthly bill that never changes.... Yep, they have rates for that. How it gets delivered? Never going to change.

"broadband infrastructure development"

Is that still actually going on? I thought we sort of standardized on gigabit fiber. That should hold everyone for a long time, no?

Maybe, maybe not, but how will you finance getting fiber put into houses where the nearest infrastructure is 10 miles away?

Look, I have two current options for a wired internet connection where I live. There is a cable system and a fiber system. Then there are the multitude of wireless options. Seems to me that broadband (i.e. 1 Mbps or more) is pretty much ubiquitous for the bulk of the population of the united states. It is available NOW for the vast majority. How this is somehow twisted into a "problem" is beyond me...

However, we solved this kind of problem for rural electricity and telephone within the last 100 years without having government own the infrastructure or controlling it's development directly, and I suggest that if we insist on "fixing" this problem that we use the same techniques. They worked before.

Comment: Re:Governments contract private companies. (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49782467) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

Why change it now... Seems to be working fairly well to me...

Oh? You don't think so?

Well, I have TWO separate options for 100Mbps internet connections at my home, one from Time Warner Cable and the other from Verizon FIOS. PLUS, I have at least four wireless carriers that offer 1Mbps service (or better) if I choose to use them (and a whole host of WiFi based ISP's if my memory is correct). I seem to have a LOT of choices actually...

So what problem are you thinking we have?

Comment: Re:Automatic presumption of govt incompetence... (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49782393) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

If you think the government is cheaper, you are sadly mistaken. Even with profit built into the equation, government is never going to be cheaper, better, faster. Now, you might be able to make your internet bill cheaper, but overall it will cost more for government to run this than a private company. The difference between what you pay and the actual cost will just come out of some other place, parks, roads, garbage pickup, police, fire or it will drive up your taxes.

There ARE some things that only government can do, but providing infrastructure for internet connections is not on that list in my book. Hiring police and fire departments, maintaining parks and roads IS on that list, but building and management of telecommunications infrastructure is not.

Comment: Re:I think they mean.... (Score 1) 177

by bobbied (#49782271) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

Right.... Look, I have a 25/25Mbps connection to my ISP and it comes over a connection that is fully capable of doing 10 Gig if Verizon really wanted it too. As it is, they offer 250Mbps using the existing hardware, which is more capacity that the bulk of the world has available. Not to mention that the local cable company ALSO offers service, up to 100Mbps which would enter my home on a different bit of infrastructure. I have two choices which offer service up to 100Mbps. This doesn't sound too shabby to me.

I also have mobile internet service which covers the majority of the USA and gives me 1Mbps service (usually) just about anyplace I've been, except perhaps on some camping trips where internet wasn't necessary...

So you somehow think the USA is second rate on internet connectivity? Perhaps, but what we do have isn't that bad..

Comment: Re:Let me get this straight... (Score 3, Insightful) 278

by bobbied (#49778317) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

I don't here many saying it's not *possible* only that it is not practical and cost effective.

Sure, you want automated trains, we can do that, but remember that our rail road system is a patch work of private and public companies which runs on a regulation scheme that was largely fleshed out before the turn of the 20th century (over 100 years ago). Plus, the incentive for automation by the rail roads would be largely cost, unless the regulations are forcing them into it. The salaries of the engineer and conductor on a train are a pittance compared to the total operating costs of the train, so there is little incentive to automate. Just keep the human in the loop, it's cheaper in the short term. Rail Roads run on razor thin margins... So profit today is very important.

The reason we are having this "camera" discussion is more about political points than actually trying to help the system get safer. Cameras won't help anything, except the political fortunes of those suggesting them. The vast majority of fatal accidents involving trains will never be prevented by cameras OR automation because they have to do with vehicles being on the tracks at crossings when the train arrives. You might have great video of the accident, or get the breaks applied a few milliseconds sooner with automation, but neither will prevent people getting killed..

Comment: Re:Computerize them. (Score 1) 278

by bobbied (#49778243) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

A light rail system is a whole different ball game from the common rail system. Sure, if you could build a whole new system that only had automated trains on it, automation would be easy because you could purpose build the automation systems into your infrastructure.

However, in this case, the problem is pretty complex and where I think it *could* be automated with sufficient effort and cost, I seriously doubt it's going to be cost effective. Railroads run on razor thin margins as it is, with huge equipment and infrastructure maintenance costs, so I don't think they want to fund this. Paying some guy to "drive" is not a huge cost overall, and if it lets them keep their existing infrastructure and limp along for now, that's what they will do.

SO.. Unless they mandate this by regulation, the railroads won't step up and do it on their own. It's not like the transition from steam to diesel where there was a huge gain in operating costs and efficiency and a huge drop in manpower needed. When it was real profit, they couldn't build locomotives fast enough.

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