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Comment Re:If you're a $100k/yr engineer (Score 1) 314

It's pretty well documented. Wealthy and educated people get treatment programs, while poor (and let's face it, black) people get jail. It's because what we're really using our drug policy for is to keep the poors in check.

What's even better documented is the fact poor black people get harsher sentences, because poor black people vote for politicians who advocate tougher sentences in their jurisdictions.

It's unfortunate, but it's caused by sociological factors, NOT a grand conspiracy by white people to keep black people down...

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 223

TV Fools says I would need a 350 ft tower to get any signal

That makes no sense. Except for the dark side of the moon, there's no place on Earth where you'd have ZERO radio signals. TVFool doesn't have a zero value that it would ever show. It might show stations in RED or GREY as a quick hint that the signal isn't strong, but a good antenna can handle very weak signals in those ranges.

So what is TVFool showing as the dBm of your strongest network station? I've got good (but not perfect) reception with ATSC signals as weak as -120 dBm, with just a single good 4-bay UHF antenna and preamp. And mine are all 2Edge reception...

If you really are on the fringes, it's possible touse two or even FOUR antennas, together, to pull-in even weaker signals without a huge tower.

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 223

I watch live events carried only on ESPN. Or a certain few programs only available on cable

There are plenty of people who have become accustomed to the shows they watch on cable, and just refuse to adapt to the near-equivalents available OTA. You're not unique in that aspect, but I'm completely unsympathetic to those who are merely set in their ways. And you really are part of the problem, one of those making it profitable to lock-up content under expensive paid TV service packages.

I have to have the satellite for broadcast channels also because I live in the middle of a pine forest and would need a 100 ft tower to get an antenna over the trees.

OTA TV signals do NOT require line-of-sight. In my case, I've got TWO mountain ranges in my way, but I still get OTA television.

What's your zip code? I looked-up Yosemite, since that was the first (and biggest) "pine forest" which came to mind, and found a good TV antenna 20ft above ground can EASILY receive all the major network stations in the area. Of course you could be in one of the few areas in the country where OTA signals are too far away, but it sounds like you've really never tried, and you've always just assumed the worst.

Comment Re: Isn't this why computers are great (Score 1) 194

It has to do with the internet providing a place where people can discuss what was said by journalists.

You mean like this one? In case you haven't noticed, there is an endless number of places where people can discuss what is said by journalists. It doesn't mean the journalists have to provide one.

The papers can do what they like of course but that doesn't mean their newfound intolerance of criticism is a good thing for free society.

And yet, here you are criticizing the fact that there is intolerance of criticism. You don't see the wee flaw in your argument?

Comment Re: Isn't this why computers are great (Score 1) 194

I would never trust a "journalist" that isn't willing to open themselves up to public feedback.

I understand that. But does it mean that it is the obligation of the journalist to provide and maintain a forum for instant feedback at his own expense? And further, to do so with protection of anonymity?

Technology has given us limitless avenues for speech. Anyone can put up a website, submit a story, be a source. You can feed back to your heart's content. A guarantee of free speech is not the same as a guarantee to be heard by everyone. If it were, I'd have my own cable news network (where everyone would have Scottish accents, by the way, because I find them amusing). Instead, I've got fooking nowt, innit?

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 223

I see 'streaming video on mobile devices' as another tech bubble that will burst sooner than most people think it will. There is only so much bandwidth available, and people keep demanding more and more of it, and all the while wireless providers like AT&T and Verison are literally gouging people for service,

Except "streaming video on mobile devices" does NOT imply that people are using their cellular data plans at all. The linked article even talks about people using free business/municipal WiFi.

I see it either coming to a point where you can't get more people and more bandwidth because it just doesn't exist, or it getting to the point where people are paying so much money that they start backing away from it

I don't see that happening... Spectrum reuse (smaller towers, lower-power antennas, with much shorter range) will allow the existing available cellular frequencies to be utilized many times more efficiently, blanketing small areas (neighborhoods) with much higher speeds, which don't interfere with the big towers covering large geographic areas.

The up-coming FCC incentive auction will give the cellular companies big new swaths of lower frequencies. Meanwhile micro-cells and pico-cells are decreasing in price and increasing in popularity with cellular carriers, and their operation necessarily involves higher spectrum reuse. LTE-U operates just like WiFi, on the same unlicensed frequencies and with a very small radius of service, and those devices should be available very shortly.

Meanwhile there are people like me (and I don't believe I'm anything like alone in this) who have no smartphone and see no reason to ever get one, because of how much wireless companies gouge for 'data plans'

You're not alone, but certainly in a very, very tiny minority. Back in early 2013, the majority of all Americans owned smartphones, and that trend has only increased several percent per year:

Early 2015: "overall smartphone penetration up to 77% of mobile phone owners in the U.S. Among recent phone acquirers, 91% chose smartphones as their mobile handset [...] Overall smartphone penetration continues to rise rapidly, increasing 8 percentage points"

While there's some truth to what you say about the two biggest US cellular carriers, it doesn't apply to T-Mobile/Sprint.

T-Mobile now offers unlimited video streaming (Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, more) that doesn't apply against your data allowance. And that's besides T-Mobile offering "unlimited" data plans for some time.

Sprint doesn't charge overages at all... they prefer to throttle your data connection down to much slower speeds, rather than disconnect your data, or charge you extra fees. And a Sprint service like Boost with several GBytes of data is just $30/mo, including most taxes/fees.

MVNOs can have even better deals. RingPlus, FreedomPop and others offer free plans that include cellular data. Some MVNOs like Republic will allow activating your smartphone for $10 with unlimited calling/sms, but NO DATA PLAN at all. You are tied to WiFi for internet, but that means no overage charges, ever.

Comment Re: Isn't this why computers are great (Score 1) 194

So, journalism did exist before there were online comments sections. It just doesn't anymore.

Of course it does. You just have to look for it. And don't expect to see comments sections when you do find it.

If you're looking for journalism in mass media, you're right. It doesn't exist any more.

Comment Re: Isn't this why computers are great (Score 1) 194

Yup it does. The comments section is where a story can be refuted or additional information that was left out can be found and even have a remote chance of being seen by someone who just read the article.

You can refute stories and add information all you want, on your own platform. Journalists do not owe you a comments section and it's not "censorship" if they decide not to have a comments section.

I mean, where do you get this stuff? Do you think journalism didn't exist before there were online comments sections?

Comment Re: Isn't this why computers are great (Score 2) 194

They have everything to due with free expression, which is ultimately the point of journalism.

Please find me a definition of "journalism" that includes free expression for people who have absolutely nothing to do with journalism.

Using the N-word in a comments section, doesn't make you a journalist. Calling Obama a "muslin" in a comments section doesn't make you a journalist.

Full Definition of JOURNALISM

a : the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media
b : the public press
c : an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium
a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine
b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation
c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest

"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants