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Comment: Re:I think the bigger issue (Score 4, Informative) 31

by MillionthMonkey (#48676831) Attached to: Net Neutrality Comments Overtaxed FCC's System
See link: Half of the petitions were anti-NN, and mostly came from a Koch-backed organization's form letter:

Dear Mr. Wheeler, As an American citizen, I wanted to voice my opposition to the FCC's crippling new regulations that would put federal bureaucrats in charge of internet freedom, and urge you to stop these regulations before they're enacted. If the federal government goes through these plans to regulate the internet, I know that the internet will change -- and not for the better. [ INSERT VARIANT PARAGRAPH COMMENT HERE ] Like many Americans, I believe that the internet should remain free of government control and unnecessary regulation -- just as it has for the last twenty years of unprecedented growth. Please stop the FCC's dangerous new regulations, and protect the future of internet freedom here in America. Sincerely, [APPLICANT NAME] [APPLICANT HOME ADDRESS]

As for the "VARIANT PARAGRAPH COMMENT", apparently you were given several selections to choose from, including the following:

The Internet is the biggest economic, intellectual, and artistic success story of the century, and it rose up because of free people, not stifling government. The federal government needs to keep its hands off the Internet. It is not broken, and it does not need to be fixed. It is the federal government, not the Internet, that is broken, and in need of fixing.

One can make an appeal to justice for persecuted cable companies:

Before our government can handcuff a citizen, it must have some reasonable evidence that they have done something wrong. Before the FCC places regulatory handcuffs on Internet providers, shouldn't the government present evidence that they have actually done something wrong?

Or maybe this is your style:

The ideological leader of the angry liberals calling for you to reduce the Internet to a public utility is Robert McChesney, the avowed Marxist founder of the socialist group Free Press. In an interview with, McChesney said: âoeWhat we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility...At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.â In a country of over 300 million people, even an extremist like McChesney can find, perhaps, millions of followers. But you should know better than to listen to them.

Comment: Re:The great lie of the market. (Score 2) 34

So a diamond is essentially worthless, but good upselling makes it worth a lot. This values pays for the processing and marketing of the stone. In the US, for instance, 50 years of brainwashing has made couples forgo homes and food to buy a rock. In the case of the apparently paid link, they are a delivery service. The problem is that it is hard to create enough value for delivery. Overhead, profits, and minimum wage means that someone is not going to pay a large delivery fee, the value is not going to create a viable business. Of course you could do what Uber and Lyft does, which is essentially externalize all real costs to contractors, but even in that case profit is apparently not possible without surge pricing which tricks customers into paying multiples of the expected price.

Comment: Re:How ghey (Score 1) 43

by MillionthMonkey (#48667375) Attached to: NuSTAR Takes Beautiful X-ray Image of Sol

If we start doing major exploration of deep space we're gonna need to use less ambiguous names for the sun and moon, as other planets may have a sun and moon.

We will never do major exploration of deep space where we get closer to another star than to this one. If we do, humanity can define two constants in file headers.

Comment: Re:Not all bad, some middling to good-ish reviews (Score 1) 347

by fermion (#48664067) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
My take on it is that there are higher expectations for movies, not just in terms of the production values but in terms of the actors. This was the sixth middle earth movie, and everyone is showing a bit of fatigue. The cameras angles, thankfully sparingly used, to make hobbits seem small are getting increasingly passe. There were few landscapes which though also getting a bit old were at least entertaining. The actual battle could have used a some lesson from TV on how to shoot on a budget.

In fact the entire movie reminded me of an elevator episode from a TV series. These episodes are made when on has blown one's budget for the season, but still need to get 24 in the can. So you have everyone stuck on an elevator, or locked in a room, or the like, and have some dramatic events happening. Of course it is hard to carry an entire movie on this premise, but when one has promised a mini series, one has to deliver.

Comment: Re:from the what-until-they-get-a-load-of-this dep (Score 1) 291

by MillionthMonkey (#48655023) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
My "Brainfuck for Dummies" book will have a lot of buggy sample code now that Amazon has decided I can only make 1 decrement per 10000 instructions. So I have to implement Brainfuck unit tests... and I just finished the chapter on how to write the code delinter and the JIT compiler!

Comment: Re:The Future is Surreal (Score 3, Insightful) 285

by Zak3056 (#48629047) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

A few years ago I looked at the numbers and realized I've been officially a woman for the majority of
my life. OK, yeah, I'm one of those. One of those who is very good with Linux kernels, MySQL, VoIP, and
various other technologies. Deal with it. I'm me, I like being me, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

You're 53 years old, posting as AC, and feel the need to announce that you're a transsexual and dare anyone to have a problem with you? FWIW, I don't think it's the world that has a problem with you--it seems like you have a problem with the world.

Comment: Yes, idiocy (Score 1) 580

by fermion (#48625779) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
We are not talking about the risk of an attack on the level of 9/11. We are talking about a risk of an attack like Newtown, or Littleton, or the Holocaust Museum, or the Knoxville church, or, to be apropos, Aurora.

We are talking a movie that has a lot of hype, but may not last past the first weekend. A lot of people were planning on seeing it, but are people going to make a statement and risk some lone gun nut coming in and killing several people

Is it commercially responsible to pay for the distribution of a film when people may be afraid of the consequences of seeing it? Might it be more commercially responsible to release it when the heat dies down. Are parents going to allow their kids to see this movie know a lone gun nut might kill them?

Again, we really don't know what is going on here. Team America already killed this guy in the movies, and made fun of him in the most racist of ways(I so ronery). But this is just a movie. It's purpose is to generate revenue for sony. It is not an 'film' so it's sole purpose is to generate revenue for Sony. It has some hype, but it also has some risk. Again, not of movie theaters being bombed, but of someone, who does not necessarily have and national backing, coming in with tactical shotguns and 100 round rifles and killing several people. This is not that hard to imagine as it happens with some regularity.

Comment: Re:what an embrace means. (Score 3, Insightful) 217

by Zak3056 (#48621789) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

Back in the day, Microsoft viewed open source and Linux as a threat and did its best to retaliate with FUD and patent threats.

then in 2013 Microsoft suffered a loss of more than US$32 billion

MS had an after-tax income of over 21 billion dollars in 2013. No idea where you're coming up with a $32B loss. Ballmer was a horrible CEO, but the biggest problem was that MS continued to make money--LOTS of money--while he was destroying the company's value, which made him look absolutely great on paper.

Comment: Re:Zoning laws are tyranny (Score 1) 604

by Zak3056 (#48604799) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Zoning laws prevent you from doing what you want with your property... They are evil and, obviously, a magnet for graft and other corruption.

Houston, for example, is not any worse without them...

That actually answers something I was wondering about the other day. My company was looking at a facility in Houston and it's in a brand new industrial park that is literally across the street from some of multi-million dollar homes I was amazed that the homeowners didn't manage to kill the project, and now I understand why they couldn't.

FWIW, I think zoning is like any other form of government intervention: a necessary evil. Some is absolutely required, a little more is ok, and it's only when those in power have an axe to grind, or engage in mission creep that the problems start. I'd honestly hate to live somewhere without at least rudimentary zoning, lest someone come along and build a sewage treatment next door, or put in heavy industry across the street from your $5M house like the example above.

Comment: good will (Score -1, Offtopic) 190

by fermion (#48601151) Attached to: Why Didn't Sidecar's Flex Pricing Work?
There is also a surcharge of good will in economics. When one company buys another, there is good will. When people pya $1000 for a MS license instead of much less for Google docs, some of that is good will.

The taxi service in my area has had tracking of the cabs for a while and the ability to get a cab with an app for a very long while. The wait on the phone is not long at all. I am not in an area where cabs are used a lot, but sometimes a cab is better than a bus or driving.

I specifically use cabs because of lack of surge pricing. There have been times when I have had to get home at midnight, and it good that i can just take a cab and not get gouged. If one want to show appreciation, tip better.

In some ways I see these ride buying service as Walmart. Come in, chage less to drive out others, then raise the prices and the consumer is at the mercy of an unregulated monopoly.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.