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Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 70

by ScentCone (#49800331) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Bullshit. Unless you can point to real evidence this is true, you're just guessing.

What? How do you think that coupons actually work, anyway?

1) You present a coupon, and you pay less cash at the point of sale than you otherwise would have. This is not a mystery. It's the whole point. If it's the retailer's own coupon, then they are basically putting the item on sale in exchange for having a trackable form of marketing. If it's a manufacturer's coupon, then the retailer is participating in a mechanism wherein the manufacturer and retailer have worked out a back-channel compensation scheme for the retailer having collected less cash during the transaction. This is also not a mystery.

2) When you present the retailer with a bogus retailer coupon, you're getting a discount that's disconnected from one of the key reasons they issued the coupon in the first place: to understand which marketing methods are the most constructive. When you present the retailer with a bogus manufacturer's coupon, one of two things happens: the retailer eats the loss, or the manufacturer does. Again, why are you acting like this is some strange unknown? Or, are you just hoping that someone there's a third magical possibility that makes it just fine to rip off businesses with fake coupons? Yeah, I thought so.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 1) 70

by ScentCone (#49800287) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin

Is short, this "informative" post is nothing but a guess.

What you mean is that you have no idea how retail operations and promotional marketing work, but you vaguely want it to be true that ripping off stuff through the use of bogus discount coupons is a "victimless crime" blah blah blah, so you're going to pretend that basic information is unknowable, as moral cover. Hint: you're not as clever as you think you are.

Comment: Re: other people's money (Score 1) 308

Diverts the already being spent monies from being spent on a landline to a broadband connection

And people claim the US is behind the curve on broadband! Broadband for $9.25 per month. I suspect the $9.25 being spent on broadband (itself a subsidy) is a highly subsidized price to begin with.

But it will be good, get all those people away from cellphones where they can talk to potential employers and onto broadband where they have to buy a computer and then they can skype -- and play WoW all day.

I mean, not perfect, but self-substaining.

Essentially free broadband is hardly self-substaining. Having broadband at home is no more likely to result in someone getting a job than them having a cell phone.

Comment: Re:other people's money (Score 1) 308

My point was that that 1/1000 will pay for the entirety of the 999.

By that argument then, you're also saying that the current "universal access fee" on telecom is 1000 times the actual cost of providing that service. On my $37/month landline I pay something like $3 for the access fee, as I recall. I don't have the bill handy to check. I should really be paying 0.3 cents for that service because my $3 (the "1/1000", which you really meant 1:1000 -- one in a thousand) will pay in entirety for service for 999 other people.

I think not. I think that "one in a thousand" will be paying a huge amount to support the other 999, and the money he has to pay in taxes to do that is a direct and significant impediment to his ability to succeed.

"Penny wise and pound foolish".

Comment: Re:other people's money (Score 1) 308

Did you offer them a well-paying job? Chances are, neither has anybody else.

Who's responsibility is it? Is it the responsibility of the person who has a job opening to personally ask each person on the planet if they want to fill it, or is it the responsibility of the potential employee to look in standard places where such offers are made public?

I bet exactly no employer is driving down to that park and saying "I'm hiring". I bet a lot more employers are putting ads in the newspaper, and a lot more are using the publicly-funded state employment bureau's job listings.

The days when you could tell whether somebody was capable of getting a job ended with the development of automation.

That's absolutely correct, because once a person learns to do a job there is absolutely no way that he could ever learn to do a different one, and anyone who would suggest that he do so is just suppressing the proletariat. Once a specific job at one plant is taken over by automation, everyone who ever did that job is now unemployable in any other job.

You would have a much stronger argument had you said that what prevents someone from knowing is the vast array of medically disabling conditions that allow disability pensions.

Think of the average kid you went to high school with (assuming you went to an average public school as I did). Do you REALLY think they're capable of holding down a job in the modern world?

Yes. They may not be rocket scientists, doctors, or lawyers, but thank goodness those aren't the only jobs available. And I'm even more sure that the average kid who just left high school is capable, because I see a lot of average kids holding down jobs in the modern world today.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 218

by ScentCone (#49798591) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

I think there should be a no carrier in there somewhere.

Which wouldn't matter a bit if the machine is flying waypoints using its own internal flight controller. That's how mine work: you inform the machine of the flight plan using a ground station, and then it does off and does its thing, whether or not you can talk to it along the way. Loss of, say, Verizon's signal wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Comment: Re:Unclear who this hurts (Score 4, Informative) 70

by ScentCone (#49798125) Attached to: Feds Bust a Dark-Web Counterfeit Coupon Kingpin
Both. The retailer takes on the overhead costs of handling the coupon. They are then collecting less money at the register, but never seeing the expected promotional kick-in from the defrauded manufacturer ... unless the manufacturer wants to continue to provide the retailer with promotional money for fake promos that never actually happened. All sorts of back-and-forth with the accounting, tax implications, distorted reporting - just bad for everyone all the way around.

Comment: Re:Seeking Technical Solution to Social Problem? (Score 1) 218

by ScentCone (#49795655) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Meanwhile, in ten years, every tourist in DC will have a selfie drone

Which would be fine, except the DC FRZ (flight restriction zone) is a 30-mile circle around the Capital within which it is illegal to fly ANY remote control device of any kind. Includes "drones" as well as those toy RC helicopters at the mall kiosks, and the sort of RC planes that people have been flying around for many decades. Some tourist flying a quad in DC is in for a very rude awakening, as has already happened.

Comment: Re:The things pump out plenty of RF. (Score 1) 218

by ScentCone (#49795617) Attached to: Why Detecting Drones Is a Tough Gig

Yea, but a cell phone signal flying over the south lawn is a pretty clear indicator that you have an issue

Wouldn't matter. Do you understand how small the White House grounds are, and how fast even a modest quad can fly when it means business? I've got one that can do over 40mph. That would cover the distance from the sidewalk in front of the White House to the middle of the typical speech-giving area of the Rose Garden in well under 8 seconds. A drone flying waypoints - with no need for a human controller nearby or watching - could be moving that fast well before it gets to the White House fence, and be coming in 200' overhead, be above a high-profile press event in seconds, cut power and drop like a stone spewing a mist of cesium or a nice cloud of serin or laden with a nice little brick of C4, and it would be on the ground in the middle of that speech/ceremony so fast you'd have no ability to do something about it. Except maybe light it up with some sort of automated buckshot gatling gun, right in the middle of a busy urban area.

This is going to result in a lot more events being held indoors.

Comment: Heavy vs. light? (Score 5, Funny) 276

by Obfuscant (#49780643) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

Heavy objects will pick up too much speed during the descent, making for one deep impact. ...

I seem to recall hearing some recent developments in science, some wacko claim by some Italian guy that the acceleration due to gravity was actually independent of the mass of the object. That would indicate that both heavy and light objects would accelerate the same way under the influence of gravity on Mars. What a silly notion, I'm sure the Pope will cure him of his heresy.

Comment: Re:But I love it when slides are read to me (Score 1) 321

by Obfuscant (#49780523) Attached to: Why PowerPoint Should Be Banned

But remember, the Daily Show is comedy, so it's just for entertainment.

Comedy is one of the best tools for delivering political or social commentary, so no, just because it is comedy doesn't mean it is "just for entertainment". I think the fact that the Daily Show was carried on CNN International on a regular basis tells us that it wasn't.

As for the original topic: a poor workman blames his tools. PowerPoint is a tool. You can make good presentations with it, but it takes work. It is easy to make bad presentations if you don't know what a good one is.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't be a problem if they gave right of way (Score 1) 187

by Obfuscant (#49778225) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

I'm not arguing whether or not some idiot wrote down something stupid on a piece of paper. I'm arguing that it was a stupid thing to put on the paper.

You think that it is stupid that a local government would define the requirements for a cable system operator to be able to obtain a franchise to use the public rights of way. Fine. That's your opinion. But most folks understand, and understood, that cable companies weren't going to do a lot of things unless they were forced to.

Some people had a view that a system that was intended to replace broadcast TV as an information source for the public should have a requirement to "serve the public interest", just like broadcast TV stations are supposed to. That when an emergency hits the city, there should be a place for cable customers to go to get critical local information since they won't be accessing broadcast media, and what broadcast media there was might be from thirty miles away. And that allowing the public a place to have a voice in general would be a good thing for the community -- which is why PEG channels are a typical requirement for cable systems.

Some people realized that a cable company would build out only what it needed and avoid investments in infrastructure. That's why some governments required cable franchisees to upgrade plant as technical standards and methods improved. For example, our city was smart enough to demand a fiber upgrade long before fiber upgrades were standard practice. We ALL benefited from that, just as we all benefit from having a specialist in the city government that we can call when the cable customer service does get really abusive and fraudulent. That specialist exists only because of the franchise you think is "stupid shit".

it is anti competitive, pro monopolist, anti consumer, it is the reason internet speeds are often shit throughout the country and it is the reason many areas have very poor coverage. You know that.

Please don't tell me what I know. It's arrogant and insulting. What I know is that the local government, who is elected by and responsible to, the local people, created the franchise ordinances to deal with issues they knew would be problems with any incoming cable company, and to include things they thought important for their community. That's local government in action. You don't care that they wrote the requirements, you think it's "stupid shit" to demand technical and customer service standards be met (whether the city then enforces that requirement is a different matter -- if it doesn't cost Comcast anything to meet the customer service standards because they don't, then it won't cost any newcomer.)

Why are you defending something that is objectively bad for pretty much everyone and serves no purpose

Because it isn't and wasn't "objectively bad for pretty much everyone" and did serve a purpose. Your opinion doesn't make it "objective". Your opinion is called "subjective".

besides letting well monied companies basically sit on their asses collecting monthly fees for shitty service?

"Shitty service" is a subjective evaluation. And if you can do so much better, or if anyone can, let them try. All they have to do is meet the same minimum standards that their competition has to meet. You seem to think that any newcomer shouldn't have to meet those standards, they should get to decide what service they'll provide and to whom. That's ridiculous.

You also seem to think it is fair to have a piecemeal playing field. It's ok to demand that the original company do a lot of things to get the right to use the rights of way while allowing newcomers to cherry pick the most profitable out from under the incumbent. How about if I gave you access to the entire city for your taxi company but only if you promised to use Mercedes Benz taxis and you had to demonstrate that you were providing service even to the poorest areas of town -- and then I let another company provide taxi service to the neighborhoods where the 1% lived and they only had to make sure their taxis were serviced properly? You're paying a bundle for taxis and maintenance, having to serve areas where most people can't afford a taxi to start with, and the newcomer gets to save on taxis and cherry pick the rich folks who can afford the service? Fair? Really?

That's why franchise ordinances have clauses that require new franchisees to agree to essentially the same conditions that every other franchisee does. I understand you really hate Comcast or TWC or whatever incumbent serves your house, but that's not justification for undercutting them by force of law.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't be a problem if they gave right of way (Score 1) 187

by Obfuscant (#49778017) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable

As to "Do a bunch of stupid shit we made up to lock small companies out of the conduits or we don't let you run cable in the conduits"... no. Those are often not reasonable.

Interesting use of quotation marks. But what you refer to as "stupid shit" is actually the concerns of the public towards what the cable providers are expected to provide in return for access to their right of way. "Stupid shit" things like customer service quality levels, service area coverage, technical standards for installed plant, PEG channels for public and government information paths, wiring for schools and libraries, money for equipment to do PEG, and other things that are in the public interest.

It's pretty clear you've never read a cable franchise ordinance or agreement.

this is sort of like saying you can't open a sandwich shop unless you agree to open ten locations across town.

No, it's like saying that you cannot use the public rights of way in this city unless you serve all the citizens of this city. That's a perfectly reasonable, and in fact responsible, requirement for a cable franchise. Can you imagine the whining if Comcast would hang all their plant and then serve only a three-square block area of a city? I've lost count of the people who complain that Comcast et. al. don't serve a large enough area where they live (service ends 500 feet from their house, etc.) and you think it's acceptable for them not to be required to serve the entire city.

You think the broadband access in the US is bad now, imagine what it would be like had cities allowed the cable companies to cherry pick only the highest density/richest neighborhoods out of a city, instead of being forced to wire the whole thing. And you call that "stupid shit".

As to local government, we don't let local governments screw with roads.

You have got to be kidding. City governments screw with city roads ALL THE TIME. Rip them up, put them back, and tax everyone for the privilege. You have no clue.

You think it is reasonable for local governments to be systematically bribed

I've said no such thing and I tire of your repeated attempts at putting words in my mouth.

Your schools save a hundred dollars a month on their internet bill and the entire town is locked down by the monopoly for fucking chump change.

If you think wiring a school for internet would be a "hundred dollars a month", you really have no clue. And you know what? If you want to start a company to compete with that "monopoly", do it. I'm sure you're smart enough to figure out a way to make money doing it. You can beat the economy, you just don't have to beat the government, because the government didn't grant a monopoly.

We have a equal opportunity Calculus class -- it's fully integrated.