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Comment: Re:Millionare panhandlers (Score 2) 153

by evilviper (#47537293) Attached to: Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Directing them to a shelter doesn't mean they have to live there. Instead, it's a central location where they will have resources to find out about government programs and other local charities.

  Giving out money to panhandlers is a BAD THING, whether you empathize with them or not. You're enabling drug and alcohol habits for those who already have their needs taken care-of. Centuries of ad-hoc charitable donations never improved the lot of the destitute, while modest social safety net programs have made huge strides in a very short time, to nearly eradicate the problem.

Comment: Re:and stupid. Giving stupid people what they ask (Score 1) 72

by evilviper (#47536933) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Boost is $35. Sprint is $85 or whatever with a "free" $150 phone. People have the choice, and they choose to pay an extra $50 / month for 36 months = $1,800 for that phone.

Actually, with proper Sprint service, I believe you get unlimited and uncapped data, instead of throttled at 2.5GBytes/month, and more than that, you can roam onto Verizon's network when Sprint towers aren't in-range.

It's been reported a number of times that Sprint earns more money, per customer, on cheaper prepaid plans like Boost, than they do from contract customers on proper Sprint.

Also, Boost is actually $40 with any smartphone, and even that's only after 18 months of service and on-time payments, so in your first 2-year period, it averages out to $47.50/month, PLUS the cost of the cell phone, which could increase that monthly average by 10-50%.

If you act like most customers, and switch phones and possibly providers every two years, chasing the latest slightly-better deal, you won't come out ahead on a prepaid plan. It's only if you want a cheap phone, and/or are willing to keep it for more than 2 years when it's long obsolete, and/or are willing to stay with your provider long-term, that prepaid really works out for you. I'm happy with it, but I'm not a gadget junkie like many people, so YMMV.

Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 1) 72

by evilviper (#47536893) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Most people aren't set up to lay down a few hundred dollars for a phone at time of purchase. Getting a phone for free and paying for a couple years makes more sense.

T-Mobile allows financing your cell phone purchase over 2-years, with no interest.

Most pre-paid providers have extremely cheap Android smartphones, some as little as $30.

Comment: Re:Sure they care about competion (Score 1) 72

by evilviper (#47536879) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

That's why almost everywhere in the US there is a monopoly on Cable TV and Telephone

The Fed doesn't have a thing to do with local franchise agreements.

Since the late 90s, technology has allowed telephone companies to provide TV, and cable companies to provide telephone service, so it's a duopoly all the way. Then you can throw in satellite providers of TV and internet, and cellular providers of phone and internet, and let's not forget the superior option of OTA TV antennas, and most everyone has several choices for all of the above, thanks to technology more than any regulation.

Comment: Re:Millionare panhandlers (Score 2) 153

by evilviper (#47536859) Attached to: Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

You mean complete imaginary bullshit made up by and propagated by greedy sociopaths eager to rationalize their abandonment of their fellow man?

"Greedy sociopaths" like EVERY charitable organization on earth, which tells you NOT to EVER give money to panhandlers?

A huge number of those begging for money, are quite comfortable and not hungry homeless people. Direct them to the nearest shelter, instead of giving them a dollar.

Comment: Fear-mongering bullshit (Score 1) 70

by evilviper (#47536839) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

these events happen every few centuries, and in our age of electronics, would now create a legitimate disaster.

Bullshit. The biggest problem with solar flares was its negative effect on shortwave communications. Before satellites and numerous transatlantic fiber-optic cables, that was the dominant form of military and civilian communications across large distances.

If WiFi was 30MHz, then yeah, solar flares would seriously disrupt modern communications. Since it's 2.4 or 5GHz, you'll barely notice.

The effects on the electric grid are serious and notable, but we all have to be prepared for power outages that are far more frequent, from far more mundane causes, anyhow, so one extra blackout every century and a half, isn't a good reason to ring the alarm bells.

you are literally taking your life into your hands if you do not shut down and unplug all of your electronic devicesâS

Yeah, that *might* be a risk, if nobody, anywhere, had surge protectors on their critical electronic devices.

Most consumers don't have super long runs of wire, and those who do overwhelmingly have them properly grounded, due to the much more common risk of lightning, rather than specifically for solar flares.

Comment: Re:I wonder who is doing the actual posting. (Score 2) 157

by aardvarkjoe (#47532285) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

I hope this is coming from some over zealot unpaid interns, working for the congress. Not from the actual congressmen themselves.

I hope this is coming from the congressmen themselves. They're much less likely to cause damage trolling Wikipedia rather than if they're attempting to pass legislation.

The Internet

Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the fighting-the-man dept.
Jason Koebler writes Two cities—Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina—have officially asked the federal government to help them bypass state laws banning them from expanding their community owned, gigabit fiber internet connections. In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage. The FCC will decide if its able to circumvent state laws that have been put in place restricting the practice.

Comet To Make Close Call With Mars 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the skin-of-your-teeth dept.
sciencehabit writes In mid-October, a comet sweeping through our inner solar system for the first time will pass near Mars—so close, in fact, that if it were buzzing Earth at the same distance it would fly by well inside our moon's orbit. While material spewing from the icy visitor probably won't trigger the colossal meteor showers on the Red Planet that some scientists predicted, dust and water vapor may still slam into Mars, briefly heating up its atmosphere and threatening orbiting spacecraft. However it affects the planet, the comet should give scientists their closest view yet of a near-pristine visitor from the outer edges of our solar system.

Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples? 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the slicing-down-the-highway dept.
cartechboy writes Golfing and cars, not much in common there. But that's about to change thanks to a new technology from a research lab at MIT called Smorphs. The idea is simple: put a set of dynamic dimples on the exterior of a car to improve its surface aerodynamics and make it slipperier, and therefore faster. Pedro Reis is the mechanical engineering and research spearheading this project. A while ago Mythbusters proved the validity of the dimpled car form in a much more low-tech way. The concept uses a hollow core surrounded by a thick, deformable layer, and a smoother outer skin. When vacuum is applied, the outer layers suck in to form the dimples. The technology is only in its very earliest stages, but we could see this applied to future vehicles in an effort to make them faster and more fuel efficient.

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