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Comment Reinvestment ? (Score 1) 361

I'm all for a reasonable tax on corporations, but not by offloading their tax burden onto the rest of us. I'm in the 25% bracket and make no where NEAR what a corporation does. Perhaps as an incentive, allow business to claim a tax deduction for money they put back into the business ? Might even get the big ISP types to upgrade their networks :|

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1) 788

While I am unable to determine your age, unless you just graduated recently then the school you attended is far from what schools are today :D

This is most certainly the case for me. I could bring all manner of electronics to school without worry. Back in the day, kids even kept rifles in the car for shooting club events after school without any issue. I brought my archery setup ( compound bow ) to school for that club on a regular basis. No one even looked my way twice.

Today, if you brought a half assembled Surveillance Barbie, you'll get the local Swat Team showing up, maced, beat down, arrested and probably shot for " resisting arrest " or " looking like he was about to resist arrest " :|

Future generations are going to look back upon us in a similar fashion as to how we look upon the whole " Witch Hunt" era. It's just a really sad time in history.

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 2) 311

I would wager a guess that you've never even been to the United States. If you had, you would realize that the entire " gun " issue is glorified / sensationalized by the media for your viewing pleasure. They love a good tragedy because they can get all sorts of folks riled up on both sides of the debate. I've lived here my entire life ( nearly five decades now ) and have never been witness to a violent act of any sort. With or without firearms.

Lets use recent events in France for a quick example.

Tragic ? Absolutely. Rare ? You bet. But it has done nothing but saturate the news for nearly a week now. Everyone has an opinion on how they think things would be different had X or Y rules been in place, but the fact of the matter is: Bad people will always find a way to hurt other people. It's human nature and always has been.

As long as people exist on this planet, there will always be those who prey on others for a multitude of reasons.

Oh. . . . and about this statement:

"The only people who can't see that are the cannon fodder too poor and/or stupid to have ever left the USA, except maybe to hang out in a military base overseas for a year or so."

There are more than a few folks who understand that the only reason we don't currently answer to the Crown is because of guns. It shows that sometimes, negotiations between two parties just doesn't work and violence becomes the only recourse when your adversary doesn't want to take no for an answer.

In addition, the only person who would make a comment such as yours would also be ( to borrow your phrase ) " too poor and / or stupid " to have ever bothered to visit the US and make their own judgements based on their experiences vs what the media spoon feeds you in order to generate greater ratings :D

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 2) 311

Didja know:

Suppressors, full-auto and even grenades can all still be purchased legally. You simply need to fill out the paperwork, pay your tax stamp and have the BATF sign off on it. ( All subject to State laws of course, and I believe grenades will fall under the Destructive Device category right next to the mini-gun )

If memory serves me correctly, ( sometimes it does ) the reason suppressors were originally added to the NFA was due to poaching.

There is really no reason to regulate / restrict a device which helps dampen a firearms report. ( Notice I said, " dampen " and not silence ) We require them on cars, motorcycles and pretty much anything that is a fuel powered engine for the same purposes. To help quiet them down. If you have ever had a truck drive by sans muffler ( Eg: Straight Pipes ) you know why we require mufflers on all vehicles. Yet, thanks to Hollywood, folks view suppressors as a device designed to help criminals turn into some sort of murderous ninja that can't be caught. :|

It's highly unlikely anyone will use them on their murderous rampage as a suppressor effectively doubles the length of your typical handgun. Making it a bit hard to hide. In addition, firing a few rounds through one will heat it up quite a bit ( it will remove your fingerprints if you touch it level of hot ) so stuffing the whole thing back into your pants after shooting it is right out. Bigger suppressors require taller sights on a pistol to see over, and generally turn an easy to wield pistol into something a bit less easy to carry about.

They dampen the report, but not completely. ( A full power .308 will have a report on par with a .22lr ) They are especially welcome in the larger ear-shattering calibers like .338 Lapua Magnum or a blast wave producing .50bmg. Makes them a bit more tolerable for others nearby. ( Some ranges won't allow those calibers due to the noise they produce because of the proximity of homes in the area. Suppress them and it becomes a non-issue )

Comment Not really a big deal (Score 1) 206

Most cameras will let you shoot both Raw & jpg at the same time. Some pro cameras even have dual memory cards which will allow you to store raw on one ( preferably the bigger / faster one ) and jpg on the other. Grab your shot, submit it quickly via .jpg and use your raw file to impress folks with your post production skills later on :D

The format requirement change really only does two things:

1) It cuts down storage requirements significantly. Full size 14-bit Raw image on my Nikon D4s is almost 20MB. Full size .jpg at the fine setting is 8MB.
( The D4s only has a 16mp sensor. Crank that up a bit and the file sizes get rather ludicrous. )

2) Separates the pros from the amateurs. A pro knows how to get a good shot without resorting to post to fix things they should have got right in the camera.
( like exposure and white balance )

Comment Too little, too late (Score 1) 242

They should have thought of the potential backlash when they were innundating folks with commercials in the first place.

I quit watching television because of my hatred for advertising. It was reaching the point on some networks where, towards the end of a show, it seemed there was more air time for ads than the show itself. It was infuriating and I simply gave up.

Turned in all my hardware and dropped cable TV completely from my life. I haven't missed it.

I don't see myself returning to pay television simply because they plan to cut down the ad time. Everyone knows that is a short term promise anyway.

Considering I can subscribe to Netflix and Amazon for the same monthly price it cost me to lease just the HD-DVR, I think I'll pass on returning to Cable.

Dear Cable / Satellite: The only chance you have to stop the bleeding is to seriously cut your prices and keep them low. ( This in addition to culling at least half of your advertising during programming or move all ads to the beginning or end of the show )

None of this introductory bullsh*t for twelve months. No more " ask your doctor if x is right for you " every 10 GD minutes.

You've enjoyed a duopoly for so long you don't even know HOW to respond when your customers leave you in droves. You have a very small window of time to get your sh*t in order before you cross the event horizon.

Beyond that point, there is no fixing it. You're done.

Comment It's all about the $$$ (Score 1) 622

All the providers who currently enjoy double-dipping the consumers ( once for Internet Access, again for Video Services ) are really starting to feel the sting as more and more folks are dropping traditional Cable and Satellite and moving to competing streaming services.

As a result, they're simply doing everything in their power ( at the cheapest possible cost ) to disrupt, destroy and / or prevent folks from utilizing competing services in the video market. They'll use every trick in the book before they're forced to do the obvious and upgrade their networks. Netflix currently burns about 3GB / hour for HD content and consumes a huge chunk of download bandwidth ( something like ~35% ). This number is only going to go up as more folks drop Cable and Satellite in record numbers, as well as future offerings of even higher resolutions ( 4k, 8k ).

Continuing to allow corporations to dictate the rules is why we're falling behind in Internet Availability and bandwidth offerings vs the rest of the World. While unpopular with the /. crowd, perhaps corporations should be forced to put X percentage of their profits back into the company to improve itself, instead of paying CEO's and execs more money than they could ever possibly spend in a dozen lifetimes. :|

Do ISP's in other countries have these issues or is it just the profits-above-all-else mentality of American corporations that are keeping us in the Internet Stone Age ?

The FCC needs to bring out the biggest hammer they have and use it. They need to split those companies who are both Internet Provider and Content Provider into separate entities. Watch how fast those data caps and grey-area network tricks vanish when their own video streaming services suffer due to the same bandwidth limitations everyone else must endure. The whole " What's good for the Goose " argument as it were.

I'm ( like many others ) personally DONE with paying $$$ for a dozen Jesus channels, another dozen shopping channels, two dozen channels in languages I don't even speak, sports packages I don't care about, extra fees for the privilege of HD, and rental fees for each receiver and / or DVR. I was basically paying ~$100 / month for maybe 3-4 channels that I watched. F*ck that.

Even if they manage to destroy the streaming Video revolution, I'll never return to the Cable / Satellite teat.

Comment Re:It also does away with national sovereigty! (Score 4, Interesting) 247

Well, here's the problem with all of this: this was a treaty America wanted, actively pushed it as being important, and allowed industry to write most of it (like all US laws and treaties are written by industry).

America pushed this on the rest of the world, not the other way around.

If there's a treaty expanding copyright terms and otherwise giving corporations the upper hand, it's being championed by Americans, and pushed on other countries.

Sorry, but this is hardly the first treaty the US has championed which only serves corporate interests. And the rest of the world has no sympathy when Americans suddenly say how bad this treaty is -- because it's your government who pushed for it.

Your government has been so thoroughly coopted to serve the interests of huge multinationals, you should be yelling at your own politicians, instead of acting tough by saying you'll grow a pair and tell the world this is an unfair treaty. We already know this.

Why do Americans keep thinking this is being done to you by other countries? It's your own politicians who drive this crap.

So don't whine about your sovereignty, because this is what the rest of the world has been dealing with for years. And it usually is the US threatening trade sanctions if we don't give up OUR sovereignty for YOUR interests.

Cry us a river, you're not the only ones getting fucked over here. But you have been driving the bus.

  Let's get a few things out in the open:

1) This thing ( as are most things worth knowing ) was kept secret from everyone including those Americans you seem to rather enjoy putting all the blame on. *
2) For non-Americans, does your government listen to you ? Can you talk, call, or email your Representative and actually make a difference ?

Yeah, us either. There are only two ways to get noticed:

A) Extreme Violence will get everyone's attention. Make sure what you need to say is short, because your life is going to be a rather short one as well.
B) Extreme amounts of money to buy any legislation you want

If you wield neither method, you're just another peon in a sea of peons that will never have a voice.

So guess who our Representatives DO listen to ? Yep, the very same corporations who both wrote the draft and will benefit from it.

So, I'm curious. Short of an armed revolution, what would you propose we Americans** do to remedy this situation ? Seeing as how our government doesn't bother listening to anyone other than their Sugar Daddy corporations with unlimited funding, I am truly curious as to what steps you would recommend taking.
I know ! Maybe we should do another Occupy Movement ! Because that worked out so well the last time we tried it :|

Tip: Protests are a laughable waste of time as evidenced by the aforementioned Occupy Movement. Once they tire of your silliness, they'll declare you to be a hazard, terrorist, nun-killer, whatever and remove you and your fellow protesters by force. Resist, and watch them grin ear-to-ear as any restrictions they may have had are removed and their behavior turns lethal.

* The American Government does not represent the will of the people any longer. Hasn't for a long time. Anyone claiming otherwise is naive.

**The extremely small fraction of the populace that even still gives a shit are far outnumbered by those that do not. As their votes are just as powerful as mine, Quantity > Quality. We lose. Every. F*cking. Time.

So, to conclude, make sure you understand where the f*cking blame really sits and that the American Government represents only the American Government in all matters. They could give two shits about what anyone else thinks. ( Including their own citizens )

Comment Cloud Insecurity (Score 1) 220

Cloud insecurity is similar in scope to large corporation security. The more folks have access to your hardware or your network, the less secure it becomes.

Sure it may have stellar PHYSICAL security, but your systems are merely one cash payment to an employee ( that you didn't get to screen ) who has a debt problem away from compromise.

At least if you own the data center and the hardware, you get to pick the employees and what level of access they will have to it.

In " The Cloud ", those choices are no longer made by you or even your company. You just have to hope your Cloud Provider is up to the task.

That said, I think I would keep my hardware and data under my direct control.

Comment Re:drones (Score 1, Insightful) 318


But I'm pretty sure that the majority of folks who voted for Obama the past two elections, did so on his claims that he was going to fix everything that was evil / corrupt / wrong with government and the previous administration. We all know how that turned out :| He was SUPPOSED to be " THE ONE " to set everything straight. Get America back on track. Make it great again. . . . . . wait . . . any of this stuff sound familiar ? From current candidates perhaps ? :|

Yeah, same rhetoric. Every four years. Same lies. Same outcomes. And nothing ever changes for the better. Hasn't for decades.

  That whole " Definition of Insanity " thing comes to mind here . . . .

So basically, all the Obama administration did ( and while I'm picking on Obama because that was the platform he ran on . . . Hope and Change, this applies to pretty much all administrations past, present and future ) was show voters just how naive it is to believe anything that comes out of a politicians / candidates mouth.

( Most of the older voters have given up on the system long ago, so this mostly applies to the younger, inexperienced voting crowd )

The problem is, the way the system is setup, there is an infinite amount of fresh, first time gullible voters to draw upon.

Comment Re:EU Should Mind Their Own Business (Score 3, Insightful) 210

There is no such thing as a fair trial when the prosecution can use any number of trump cards to ensure things go their way.

The big one being the State Secrets Privilege. Since all of the evidence is classified ( and the majority of it at Secret / TS level ) there is no way on the planet the intelligence community is going to allow that material to be presented in a courtroom. If you're unable to use any of the smoking gun evidence you've collected in your defense, I'm curious how you would consider the trial to be a fair one ?

To wit:

The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information which might endanger national security.

Comment Chuckle (Score 3, Insightful) 309

More evidence for the " Wait till it's been out at least a year and it's $20 on Steam before picking it up " argument.

Never, ever pre-order anything. Ever.

I wouldn't even give a new game a serious look until at least six months have passed. For the sole purpose of ensuring the game is playable, the servers aren't overloaded ( if an online game ) and the majority of the game killing bugs are located and remedied.

My life isn't over if I don't get to play a game on release day. In fact, now that I think about it, my life is a whole lot less stressful if I wait and play it later.

Comment Re: Good (Score 4, Insightful) 372

You gain / maintain respect by ensuring those wearing the uniform of a Law Enforcement agency act like professionals instead of thugs.

You solidify that respect by bringing down the hammer on those unfit to wear that uniform and you do it publicly.

You SHOW the people that criminal and thuggish behavior will not be tolerated by those in uniform. A zero tolerance policy to remove the idiots and a better screening process to remove them from the pool before they're even hired.

Yes, they deal with monsters from time to time. Becoming one to deal with them quickly blurs the line between protectors and predators.

That line is already so blurry that most don't trust any police because we can't differentiate between the professional and the thug.

You want your respect, trust and peace back ? Begin by clearing your ranks of those who can't seem to live up to the professional standards of those who wore that uniform back when it meant something.

"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays. How tacky can ya get?" - Post Brothers comics