Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 807

by Obfuscant (#49341785) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Refusing to do business with someone is refusing to act. Rights are not being violated, even if the law is, even if morality is.

When we get to the level that "civil rights" include "the right to force someone to sell us a wedding cake with two male figures on top", then we've watered down the concept of "rights" so far that they are meaningless, and we've trivialized any truly serious breaches of individual rights. Rights such as "freedom of religion", a more basic and enumerated right.

I think the founders would be laughing their asses off at the idea that the local baker should be forced to make products his religious beliefs don't support. Or maybe they'd not laugh so much.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 3, Interesting) 480

I think that we should lobby to break the cable(and other incumbent monopolistic ISPs) companies.

The Kitsap County cable franchise ordinance is online. "Any franchise granted pursuant to this chapter shall be nonexclusive ...". That means that all it takes to "break the monopoly" Comcast has on Kitsap County is ... have a second company get a franchise and enter the market. And the franchise is for cable TV, not ISP service, so all another ISP would need is ... to enter the market.

But they're already there. The maps site says there are a lot of internet services. All but two are "too expensive", but the map site doesn't rate service by cost, just availability.

According to the franchise ordinance, "14.32.350 Extraordinary installation":

In the event a request is made for service and the residence is more than three hundred feet from an existing cable distribution line, such installation shall be completed on a time and material cost basis for that portion of the service line extending beyond three hundred feet.

This applies to cable television service (ISP service is not covered by the franchise). So, if he's ordered cable TV and they don't honor this section of the ordinance, it becomes a legal issue reportable to the franchise authority.

I don't see where he's reported Comcast to the franchise authority for failure to comply. If existing laws aren't being used to try to resolve problems, then why are new laws the right solution? (I used my local franchise authority to beat Comcast about the head and shoulders regarding cableCard service -- Comcast responded and I got what I wanted, in less than a week.)

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 0) 480

in my area, at least, comcast is a per month basis; so if a house sale was hinging on this, I guess I could -install- comcast, verify it in the empty house (sigh) and then move forward with the purchase.

Trust but verify. If wired broadband internet is a critical feature of any house you buy, verify before you buy. If a basement is a critical feature, either look at the basement or get the soil tests done to see if one can be added before you buy. Don't trust the seller to know when he doesn't care.

Comment: Re:Same Thing Almost Happened to Me (Score 1) 480

I was already a customer and I told them I wasn't even going to move to that house, if I couldn't get internet.

I don't understand what you thought that threat was going to accomplish, or even why that would be a threat to Comcast. You are already a customer and you won't move to a new house if they won't sell you broadband? Ok. They'll take your money while you live at your current address. It goes into the same pocket eventually and they don't have to spend money doing an install.

Yeah, Comcast lies. I went through that process when I got my cableCard. I complained to the local franchise authority and Comcast called me to work out an acceptable answer. But Qwest (now CenturyLink) lies, too, and they lied to the PUC when I filed a complaint. And even wireless services lie. "Absolutely Free 500Mb/month" that costs $10 if you go past 400, for example.

The moral to the story is that not everywhere in the US has wired broadband simply because there are places where the costs are too high. You may have to settle for wireless.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 807

by Obfuscant (#49340715) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

In fact, you are quite free to discriminate in your shopping habits based solely on the religious beliefs of the shopkeepers you choose not to visit.

No, you're an idiot.

What, you think you aren't free to decide not to shop at a business when the owner's religious beliefs are not the same as yours? My goodness, someone should tell all those people who thought they should boycott Chik-Fil-A they are wrong.

It's one thing to say "get out of my store you Christian moron". Because that would be illegal.

And rather impolite. You saying that to a shopkeeper is sufficient grounds for them to ask you to leave. You don't have the right to be abusive to the staff no matter what your religion is. Oh, wait, you've switched from trying to prove that my statement about your right not to patronize a business based on the religious beliefs of the owner is wrong and are talking about something else, right?

It is entirely different level of bullshit to say that in retaliation these people are free not to patronize the businesses of someone who reserves the right to say "we don't serve you black/gay/Chinese/fat people".

I'm sorry, but it is a fact that people are free not to patronize any store they feel like staying away from. I guess that means it rates a "zero" level of bullshit, as you so quaintly quantify it.

That's a bit lopsided, don't you think? The Christians can discriminate legally, the rest of us can choose not to patronize your business?

That sounds quite fair. You can discriminate against the business owners based on their religion (it is not a Christian specific right, by the way, so you bringing up just one religion is specious), they should be able to return the favor. I assure you, despite your proclamation to the contrary, YOU are quite free to stay out of any business you want to. The argument that says if they can discriminate so can you is both childish and meaningless, since you have always been free to discriminate in such a way.

And despite your assertion to the contrary, it is quite legal for a Muslim food store to refuse to sell pork to a Jewish customer based solely on the Muslim religious beliefs. And that Jewish customer is free to choose to shop elsewhere.

And there isn't a damned religious person who is going to accept themselves being discriminated against.

And yet it happens, and is legal. You don't discriminate against "religious person(s)"? You use this same kind of abusive language with everyone, even your friends?

If religion wants an exemption to discriminate, there is absolutely no defensible position for not discriminating against religion.

I'm sorry, but your premise that it is "religion" that wants to discriminate is laughable. There are people who feel that certain things are wrong and that the law should not force them to do those things in order to continue making a living. There are also people who think it is quite fair that if you can discriminate against "religion", then religion gets the same rights you do.

But don't act like not going to the business of someone who wants the legal right to refuse to serve you is even remotely the same fucking thing unless you could legally refuse to serve them.

It is discrimination based on religion. Goose, meet gander. Here's your sauce.

Simple question, polite answer sans personal insult please: do you believe it is legal for a Muslim shopkeeper to refuse to sell porkchops?

Comment: Re:Only Republicans are stupid enough... (Score 1) 309

by Obfuscant (#49339813) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

That's not true, go ahead and google "cable monopolies" or something like that. If you live in an area where you have more than one cable company, you are in an unusual situation.

That is not a dejure monopoly, which is what we are talking about for the telco. It is a monopoly based on market forces, not government intervention. AND it doesn't say anything about the cable company being a monopoly ISP. They simply are not, and there is no law that says otherwise. Nor does the market show them to be a defacto monopoly, either.

If you want just one example: Comcast in Maryland. They are a monopoly.

You're telling me there is a statewide exclusive franchise agreement for "Comcast of Maryland" covering the entire state of Maryland, for both cable service and ISP (or either one)? I don't believe it. Provide a citation where I can see this franchise agreement.

In fact, a simple google of "Baltimore cable franchise" (Baltimore, MD, a large city in Maryland) shows that the franchise is 1) between the City of Baltimore (not the state of Maryland) and "Comcast of Baltimore" (not "Comcast of Maryland"), and is 2) non-exclusive. Non-exclusive means exactly what it says: other people can get the same franchise for the same thing. It isn't exclusive of any other company.

Your map link does not show what you purport it to show.

Why do you think that law needed to be written?

It doesn't matter why it needed to be written, the fact that it exists is sufficient proof that no monopoly for the ISP service was granted to Verizon or any other telco. But actually, why it was written proves the point, too. Verizon tried to use their telephone service monopoly status as a monopoly for ISP service, and the government told them in no uncertain terms they weren't an ISP monopoly. Trying to use a law that is explicit in stopping a company from acting as a monopoly as proof that the monopoly was granted to them is, well, an interesting interpretation of the words "monopoly" and "government".

The law that mandates access to the telco hardware for other ISPs isn't granting them the monopoly: it is trying to prevent the monopoly.

It prevents them from ACTING like they had a monopoly, which it a clear sign that they do NOT have such a monopoly -- either in fact or in law. Explicitly NOT in law, and in fact not in fact.

Especially since the law didn't work.

I'm sorry, what? I can name at least one ISP in this town that will sell me their services using the local telco wires. If the law didn't work they wouldn't be able to do that. The only reason I can name only one off the top of my head is because I deal with them already and their existence proves the point so wasting time to look up more would be a waste of time. Especially since their existence would apparently prove somehow that the telco was an ISP monopoly.

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 807

by Obfuscant (#49339605) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Sorry, but if you think your religion should allow you to discriminate, you should be subject to the same thing.

Everyone discriminates. Some discrimination is called "illegal", most is not. Discrimination based on religion is already common. It will be for a very long time, no matter how much you want to diss the people who hold those views. In fact, you are quite free to discriminate in your shopping habits based solely on the religious beliefs of the shopkeepers you choose not to visit.

As you put it, if someone expects the right to discriminate others should have that right in reverse, too. Including the shopkeepers who don't want to do business with you.

"Asshole" is universal, no matter what you believe in.

Yes, we know.

Comment: GenCon (Score 1) 807

by jsepeta (#49338897) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

The demand for rooms during GenCon allows Indianapolis hotels to charge $600-$800/night for a lousy $100/night room. I hope GenCon does leave, because Indiana is a shitty backwards state that's stuck in the 80's -- the 1880's. While Chicago is far more expensive than Indy, it's a lot friendlier city for people from different orientations or religious beliefs.

Comment: Re:He's just in a hurry to get to the future (Score 1) 78

by mcgrew (#49338655) Attached to: The Kevlar Kandidate Wants A 7-Day Workweek, No Days Off

I don't vote party, except that I avoid both D and R whenever there's a candidate who doesn't want to put half the people I know in prison for smoking pot.

If anyone but Bruce Rauner had run against Quinn I would have voted for the Republican, becuase Quinn just wasn't a good governor. I think Rauner will be even worse, maybe even as bad as Ryan(R) or Blago(D), both were crooks. I don't know if Rauner is a crook but his policies are terrible. There were only two named on the ballot, so it was indeed a choice between two evils.

Look, Republicans are against the Social Security I paid into all my life and am now enjoying, against unions, without which I would have no pension, against the single payer health care system which has countries with it in place enjoying half the costs we face with far less infant mortality and longer life spans (Obamacare is really Romneycare in disguise); against the Medicare I again paid into and will get in a couple of years; against food stamps (that's simply un-Christian, yet they claim to be Christians?); against taxes (again, an un-Christian stance). Tell me, what Democrat views that the Republicans don't share are detrimental to me, a middle class retired guy?

But both parties are against pot legalization, for our insanely long copyrights, and quite a few more where there really isn't a valid choice.

You can be replaced by this computer.