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Comment: Re:Yay :D (Score 1) 312

by cmarkn (#48192545) Attached to: If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data
I believe you are forgetting who the customers of Google are. Hint, they're not you. The people who give money to Google are their customers - the advertisers. The "customers/users" you mention are not customers at all, they are the product Google delivers to its paying customers. The searching they do for you is how they produce their product.

Comment: Re:Great for India (Score 1) 85

by cmarkn (#47372587) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

Power is under control of the state and each state's power board subsidizes electricity prices thoroughly and always runs in losses, without a care for better infrastructure or future planning.

This is simply not true at all. There is at least one state, Texas, where electricity prices are set by the companies that generate power and the companies that deliver it. Remarkably, those companies have built capacity as it is needed including wind and hydro sources, and all the while made a profit. Sorry to hear how inefficiently your state is run.

Comment: Re:Manned mission please... (Score 1) 85

by cmarkn (#47372517) Attached to: India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

The reason you need people in space is that people adapt, improvise and overcome obstacles when things go wrong, and Murphy rides on every mission. Look at Apollo 13. Because there were people on that spacecraft, they were able to complete the minimum mission, getting themselves home alive. Of course if this had it been two robotic vehicles, we could have just said they're only robots and let them fly away like the Voyagers. The point is that people adapt. Look at the Mars Exploration Rovers. They are running down as they collect dust on their solar cells. If there were people driving around there, they'd tear the cover off one of their procedures manual and tape it together to make fenders to keep the dust from being thrown up by the wheels, and they'd simply brush off what did collect.

And there's another reason people must go into space. Look at what Ender was able to do to the Formics in the movie because they put all their eggs in one basket, never leaving their homeworld. All it takes is one massive collision or one alien invasion and we're done.

Comment: Re:Is this really going to happen? (Score 2) 42

I don't think it's apathy, it's that the video format is so worthless for this, and perhaps that the plan Lessig is apparently describing doesn't even begin to address the problem he claims it solves. A voucher system doesn't take money out of the campaign process, it only gives the government control of who gets the money - which means government controls who gets elected. That's far worse than the system we have now.

These other countries that he points to have something that we don't have in the US, and that is state-run television. You can't just go giving away stuff, like tv commercials, that don't belong to you even if you are the government. He suggests that it would only involve $3 or $4 Billion a year.

I hope this drive of his fails. It only creates a system infinitely worse than what we have now. The 2012 elections cost a total of $6,285,557,223. Now Lessig claims that spending two or three times that much is taking money out of the process. He is wrong. All he is doing is creating a new bureaucracy to suck up a good chunk of that money for themselves and decide who gets to divide up their leavings.

Comment: Re:Makes News Media Even More Powerful (Score 1) 308

by cmarkn (#47311345) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

I wasn't really thinking about debates, although that is one of the most obvious examples of bias in media in our current system. I mean more subtle things, such as who gets their picture on the covers of the news magazines, and the way some candidates get their every speech mentioned in the news, while others are ignored. Inviting candidates to the Sunday morning talk shows is an implicit endorsement. Newspapers interview, and publish press releases from, the people they deem important; they ignore those they don't, though they may be willing to sell them ad space if they have the money.

The problem with plans to take money out of politics is that it gives media control of the process. Of course they are all for these reforms.

Comment: Makes News Media Even More Powerful (Score 4, Interesting) 308

by cmarkn (#47298565) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Lawrence Lessig About His Mayday PAC

The two major parties have done everything in their power to make sure that minority candidates have virtually insurmountable obstacles to their getting onto a ballot in the first place, and even then these candidates are rarely given serious coverage by the media. If you were to actually succeed in taking the money out of political campaigning, then how do you keep the news media from completely controlling who gets elected by their control of who is able to get their message out?

Don't suggest that a "Fairness Doctrine" will provide equal coverage to all candidates, because there would certainly be a test for "viability" of candidates before they get any taxpayer-provided funding, and only major-party candidates would ever pass that test.

Comment: Re:And also... (Score 1) 315

by cmarkn (#42038133) Attached to: GIF Becomes Word of the Year 2012
No, not pedantic, simply wrong. What separates acronyms, like GIF, from initialisms, like FS and HDD, is that they are pronounced as words while initialisms are spelled out (eg, eff-ess, aitch-dee-dee). There wouldn't be this distinction if the words were always to be "elongated" as you propose. The only people who would write out the full term are lawyers, who historically got paid by the word and therefore developed the silly, pretentious language of their trade (Lawyer language).

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