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Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Provisioning more bandwidth require more natural resources, more time and energy, etc. By that logic, Ferarris aren't scarce either because, if we wanted to, we could divert resources from other (more highly desired) ends and make a virtually limitless supply of Ferraris.

I don't mean to cherry pick, just point out that when people are charged for what they use, they economize their uses better and there is less waste. Some industries choose not to go this route for a variety of reasons, but that's irrelevant. My point still remains: By lumping in those 1% who use 80% of the resources with the other 99% means the 99% must subsidize the 1% and that makes very little sense if you're part of the 99%. I see no reason why the 1% has the right to feel entitlement towards such an arrangement.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Thanks for responding; I thought that is what you meant. I'll defer to my initial reply that price has everything to do with it. Bandwidth is expensive, storage is cheap, relatively speaking. The cheaper something is, as I said, the more limitless it appears. Of course, in physical reality there are tangible limits, no matter how high they may be. I didn't mean to say that some services can't exist that offer "unlimited" of something, just that every such service has its limits. The question is whether or not the users push those limits or not. I suppose alternatively, you could also just get a CEO you decides he or she doesn't like such things and change course altogether, but that's beside the point.

In the case of data, yes the users do push those limits; it would be very unlikely for all of the providers to set arbitrary cutoffs when additional profits could be made my undercutting and stealing customers from their competitors. Some people think that the providers are monopolies / are part of a cartel, etc. But I don't think there's much evidence for that, at least not if you sufficiently broaden your definition of the "market". In the cell phone market in the US, we of course have 4 major providers. Most of them operate very differently, with sometimes very radically different pricing strategies. It's popular to pick on these companies for having no real competition, but I think it's a wholly unjust claim.

Exhibit A: My cell phone bill. My wife and my parents and I are all on a family plan with Sprint. Several years ago, after taxes, our bill was something like $230-$250. Now we pay $145 for 4 lines, all with data. And the service is better than it used to be (although it is still Sprint, so...) That's just $36.25/line. Cheaper than cricket. Granted, there's no longer that allegedly "free upgrade" that we get every two years. But even if you factor in $15/month for that, since none of us have expensive phones, that's still $205/month: $25-$45 less than it used to be.

T-Mobile has made similar changes. Neither company has as highly-regarded service as AT&T or Verizon, but they make up for it by slashing prices. Obviously, they are trying to undercut and steal from their competitors, so we can't assume that they're in some sort of cartel arrangement. Or, if they are, it seems to be a very volatile one.

Exhibit B: Sprint hasn't posted a profitable quarter in quite some time. I actually just read recently that their parent company has ordered cutbacks because Sprint is holding them back. If it were really so easy to setup a cell phone provider and make ridiculous margins, I wouldn't expect to see Sprint in such financial trouble.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Storage is cheap, bandwidth isn't. The cheaper something is the closer the economic condition approaches (seemingly) limitless. That said, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make? In that particular market, you chose a solution by a company that couldn't live up to their word so you switched to another company that could. Are you trying to say that something about this is wrong? Or perhaps you're trying to demonstrate some sort of falsity to my claim that "nothing is unlimited"? Could you clarify?

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

How much data do you need? Last time I checked with my provider, they had tiers all the way up to I think 30 GB. That's a lot of mobile data. My wife and I share 8 GB. We do need to be cautious about streaming Netflix for the kiddos, but that's about it (we can and do stream, just can't do it for an hour a day).

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 2) 622

Clearly it was never actually unlimited; no reasonable person would have ever thought so. Even without throttling, it could never be unlimited: if everyone used a large amount all at the same time, these limits would be revealed. I think the intent was to provide an experience that freed the consumer from the fear of overages; I don't know if you recall or not, but it used to be pretty easy to rack up a massive cell phone bill because of such things. Again, I don't think any reasonable person ever thought "unlimited" meant "I have a dedicated network all to myself to abuse as if I'm the only one on it." Or perhaps I'm in the minority. But I can't possibly be the only one who's not surprised that there are in fact limits and that throttling has occurred.

Coming at it from another angle, it was obviously never unlimited data because you can only transfer a limited amount of data at LTE/3G (whatever the plans were at the time) in any given window of time. If they throttle excessive users down to 1/5 speed or whatever, the data is no further from unlimited than it was before. Such distinctions are arbitrary and I posit that anyone of sound mind was well aware of such realities.

That said, could the providers have been more forward thinking and explicit about what would happen if someone used "excessive" amounts of data and what constitutes excessive? Yeah, probably.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 4, Interesting) 622

I'm not sure why people have been clinging onto these ideals of "unlimited data." The vast majority of us use a very limited amount of data; why would you want to get lumped into a payment pool to help cover those who use excessive amounts? The rest of the world is moving to more finely-grained billing, which helps to more efficiently allocate scarce resources: cloud hosting and car insurance plans come to mind. Yet here we are, begging for a more expensive bill.

Comment Re:Hopefully it can actually kill someone (Score 1) 469

I agree with you that because of the ban on JHP rounds, the 9mm is terrible choice for military. I have done considerable research on the topic as well and I haven't found anything to corroborate that modern 9mm self defense rounds (JHP) are in any way ineffective. In fact, most of the guys who seem to do the research all carry 9mm because it's 1) good enough and 2) allows for carrying substantially more rounds.

But yes, on the battle field, where hollow points are banned, I agree 9mm is likely a poor choice. The question remains, though: Do the alternatives really provide much advantage? Could it be that soldiers are accustomed to the stopping power of their rifles and when forced to use their handguns, think "9mm sucks" because it is woefully inefficient compared to a rifle round?

Comment Re:Kimber (Score 1) 469

Simple anecdote: I can shoot my Sig much better than I ever shot my Glock. The big downside is the whole double/single action which takes more training with. Okay, there are a few other downsides too. I've read that Sigs are more inherently accurate than Glocks but I don't think I'm a good enough shot to tell. :)

Comment Re:I'm using Google Chrome now (Score 1) 116

The notification settings that the GP referenced is simply the UI to configure permissions for the HTML 5 notifications API that you're referring to. What makes things confusing is that Chrome also has a different notification API available to extensions and chrome apps. But I'm pretty sure those can't be configured because permission for those features are granted at install time for the extension/app in question.

What I'm confused about is this: Are they removing the Chrome-specific notifications API and leaving the HTML 5 API intact? I assume that's a yes. And if so, I think that's a good thing.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year