"Rather than distribute more proprietary services,"... Do not confuse CyanogenMod (CM) with Cyanogen Inc.. The later is a 1B$ valuated company, not an NPO. CM is to Inc. much what AOSP stands for Android: an open-source project backed by a for-profit organization that takes the helm.
Android itself is nothing more than a Google certified AOSP+GApps package. Gapps (market, big data collection, and so on) and OEM support/certification is the way Google monetizes the free AOSP. If Cyanogen Inc. is to succeed as a company, they must have a proven Mobile market exit strategy that should be similar to this. That strategy can be good, bad, or so-so for the stereotypical user:
- If Cyanogen Inc. decides to collaborate with Microsoft in ways that the Microsoft services are provided with low to no strings attached, and under some form of source openness, there is a clear benefit to the user, and Microsoft will certainly benefit from AOSP divergence in the market in favour of Windows Mobile (so there should be small financial incentive flow to Cyanogen Inc.).
- If CM starts dropping Gapps integration in favour of focusing efforts on an "MSApps" solution, that is a clear step back but it will probably provide more financial incentives to both parties, since Microsoft will totally hijack Google's model.
I predict a third option (the so-so one) is what's cooking, as Microsoft/Cyanogen Inc both need to take a stand for their financial goals, yet Inc surely wants to steer clear from total dependency on a third-party, and keep up their FOSS/XDA-community driven popularity - they are, after all, the ones who freely do all the heavy lifting on CM, and Cyanogen Inc, much like a RedHat or an Oracle, is reaping gains from an open environment needing professional supervision. They would be shooting themselves in the foot otherwise.
The fact John Oliver seemed a bit biased against Snowden's "method of delivery", and the complexity of the information he decided to make public being out of his "jurisdiction", were clearly outbalanced by his concise, honest and morally sound answers. Snowden proved in more than enough ways his intentions were good, and the only place where it's still up for debate if the consequences paid off is in closed-minded, nationalist-following individual opinion.
And criticizing the childish tone the conversation took afterwards... Well I can only guess you grew a tolerance to comedy. Or maybe I didn't get the memo that satire is démodé. It's not about fueling anything to the bottom: awareness only comes from public interest, and public interest only comes from mindless, charismatic acceptance, especially when the environment lends a helping hand ("your rights online" is a slashdot section these days after all, up there with science) . That's the reason a certain mustachio-bearing douche started WW2, and the same reason Mandela killed the apartheid. Double-edges my friend, you have to abuse them. Comedy works that way and so does all media/political influence. Good or bad.
There's a reason me and the original article used percentages instead of gross values: they actually mean something. You would have made an amazing point if normalization wasn't a factor in ANY statistical comparison... What you said is pretty much like comparing the amount of food in weight an ant (body weight: 1-5mg) and a lion (body weight: 120-250kg) consume throughout their life spans. You just used gross energy output to compare a 10M people country to a 40M people state.
"Sounds like what we need to do in CA is to stop being so power hungry.." - yeah, because that MacBook's power efficiency must be the real problem... Or your fridge's A+ rating not being as good as A+++. Single individuals won't change their behavior patterns to suit electric consumption, at least not to a level it has much effect. And you should know better: going back to the stone age isn't progress. What you would make up in saved energy you lose in scientific, cultural, and financial development.
But in your defense, that pattern of confusing people through big gross numbers is a tactic often used by politicians and bankers to fool the common folk, and I see a reason why you would feel compelled to use such arguments (because you're so used to being fooled by them). In this case you would best let yourself use "before and after" type of pictures since those, even when mostly staged by different actors, actually have a logical reasoning that goes beyond stating words like billions or megawatts: showing IMPROVEMENTS.