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Comment $20? (Score 1) 198

You are bitching about $20 a year for a $200 device that does 24/7 monitoring of a million dollar asset?

I'm curious: do you turn off your water heater between showers? Do you power your phone down at night? Do you unplug your TV and microwave between uses? Do you manually power down your wifi router and modem when you're not actively on the internet? Do you unplug all the ac/dc converters when you're not using them? Do you disconnect the positive terminal of your car battery when you're not driving?

All these things take power. All are wasteful. And yet we leave them on because it is inconvenient not to. I realize that you, personally, may be rationing your power in your off-grid bunker, keeping time by counting your prepper stores of jerky and ammo, but the rest of us in the civilized world waste $1.60 a month on far less useful things than keeping a home security camera running 24/7.

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 1) 198

Even more appropriate might be the hot water recirculating loops you can create with a small pump. The hot water is off, but the pump continuously circulates water through the system so that as soon as you turn the water on, the water out of the tap is hot. It's a convenience for which you pay an energy penalty, and the flip side is almost zero startup time.

Comment Re: Good! (Score 1) 359

The only way to fix this problem is by taxing the products when they enter the country.

Except we have treaties that forbid us from doing that. If we violate trade agreements, other countries will retaliate, and the world economy will spiral downward. For an example of this scenario actually happening, Google for "The Great Depression".

It's ridiculous to allow corporations to hide billions overseas.

It is ridiculous for America to tax profits on a product made in England and sold in France. It is ridiculous to have absurd tax laws that encourage companies to move jobs overseas. We should tax domestic sales, or domestic revenue, or domestic payrolls, or even domestic profits. But instead we tax worldwide profits, of only companies domiciled in America, giving them a huge incentive to go elsewhere. No other country has a tax like that. It is economic self-sabotage.

No, that's the price these companies need to pay if they want to enjoy the strongest IP laws in the world. If they want to have HQ in China or India, let them. Viagra is about $25 a pill here in the US, because Pfizer has patents and strong laws to back it up. The same pill is about 30 cents in India. Some of that is due to "what the market will bear" and some is probably due to inflation caused by most patients having no idea what a drug actually costs. But India's policy on drug patents (they don't recognize them as valid) has quite a lot to do with it also.

Comment Re:I have an idea (Score 3, Informative) 562

This a million times over. The three most recent examples being South Korea, Japan and Germany. In all instances we are still there more than half a century later. Well OK I am British so we are not technically in South Korea or Japan these days, but we still have bases in Germany 70 years later.

That only works if the host nation is willing to be your buddy and ally. In the middle east, everybody hates each other. They hate the USA too, to a slightly smaller extent. Any politician in that region can score political points by pot-shotting the US, and bringing the various groups together in their shared distain for the USA. If you're a politician in a country that has serious issues, you'd be foolish to not try deflecting blame and anger at an overseas country. It works 90% of the time. Keep in mind that many of the borders in the middle east were drawn not based on culture or religious differences, or around old and established borders. They were drawn up after the end of WWI by France and the UK with a ruler.

The only reason we got away with it in Japan and Germany was because both countries were completely and utterly destroyed. The remaining leaders could take the carrot and play ball, resign, or refuse to play ball and be forcibly removed and/or accused of war crimes. There was not much choice.

Korea was a completely different situation. The Korean war has not officially ended, so being best buddies with the #1 military power in the world made sense, and still makes sense, no matter the cost.

Given that there are several wealthy countries in the middle east waging proxy wars for their own selfish reasons, sectarian civil wars, the whole "new cold war" dynamic shaping up, plus widespread terrorism against basically any kind of target, civilian or military, a Japan/Germany style occupation can not work in the middle east. It probably never could.

Comment The real reason (Score 1) 562

I will likely be downvoted, even though what I write is absolutely true.

Revolution was predicted at least 6 years ago, a result of public land policy changes made 50 years ago and yet nobody talks about it. In fact, if anybody brings it up, they are immediately dismissed as radical, or simply silly.

Starving people are dramatically more likely to revolt than well fed people. Somehow, mentioning this ridiculously obvious fact is universally dismissed.

Comment Re:Soft Power (Score 2) 359

And when Europe decides to ignore a whole lot of American drug patents in return?

The reason the WTO exists is to try and avoid tit-for-tat trade wars like what you're suggesting. Ultimately they make everyone poorer.

The US has an uncompetitive tax system for corporations. It's not even about the rate, it's about the fact that they're double taxed on worldwide income, something no other country does. Instead of coming up with creative ways to try and "punish" people who develop life saving drugs for getting sick of American tax exceptionalism, why not find ways to make them want to stay?

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 1) 308

To which I ask, what's your point? I accept that risk in the name of freedom. You can have freedom or the illusion of safety, which would you prefer?

The idea that guns lead to freedom is based on a simple assumption: an overly oppressive government could be overthrown through some sort of armed uprising. This is a fantasy. Nobody in America has any chance of overthrowing or resisting their local government through force of arms. If you attempted it alone, you'd be immediately killed by armed police and written off as just another guy with mental problems. If you tried to coordinate a group bigger than 10 people you'd be detected and classified as some sort of domestic terrorists, and most likely end up in a firefight with a much larger, better armed and better armoured group than yourself (US police have access to ex-military equipment from Iraq, right).

But there are literally no scenarios in which a government passes a law, a bunch of people start shooting up police stations or senate buildings, and that government says, "oh ok, I guess that was kind of oppressive, we'll repeal the law" and everything goes back to being peaches and cream.

So it's a false choice. Guns do not equate to freedom and the cultural link between the two is an American-specific phenomenon.

Comment Re:I Bet This Article Will Do As Much Damage... (Score 1) 108

If the author hasn't been played in any way, then the damage is still done: the scammers just got a great idea they'll no doubt literally capitalize on.

If you think that anybody who's written or executed ransomware hasn't already thought about ransoming medical devices, you have an astonishingly low opinion of others. Just how smart do you think you are?

Anybody who's spent the time necessary to write ransomware and attempt to profit from it has had more than enough time to consider the all reasonable possibilities, even if it took somebody as *brilliant* as you 5 minutes to come up with this idea. This isn't some global super-conspiracy; this is as brilliant as banging chips off a rock with another rock.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!