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Comment Re:Happened to me (Score 1) 150

Yes, it was clearly the local office's fault for not entering it into their system that you weren't supposed to get a rental fee...

Except that obviously wasn't the problem, because they did put it into the system, which is why you didn't get charged for the first month. I had similar problems with Time Warner Cable when I bought my own modem. Every once in a while, the fee would get tacked back on and I'd have to call in and complain to get the charge removed. This only makes sense if they have someone or something going through records periodically, adding the fee back on without regard to whether the fee was supposed to be charged.

What was even more frustrating about my experience was, whenever I called for support because my connection was down, they would somehow insist that I needed a TWC modem. Once, they insisted that I couldn't have Internet because I didn't have a modem. A few times they said that they couldn't support me because I didn't have a modem owned by TWC, and they offered to send me out a new one. Once, they told me that outage was because the modem I had was not an approved model, even though it was the exact model they had recommended.

Maybe it's just bad training, but that's not really an excuse.

Comment Re:97% odds against either winning all flips fairl (Score 1) 633

There have been a lot of people who believe that the machinery of the Democratic Party (party officials and such) want Clinton to win, are in cahoots with the Clinton campaign, and have been trying to rig the new coverage, debates, and elections. That may be a crazy conspiracy theory, but it is what some people seem to think is going on.

If you believe that, it doesn't need to be Clinton or her staffers rigging things. The people running the elections are already trying to get her elected.

Comment Re:Open Waters.. (Score 1) 104

I had the same basic question, "What is the benefit here?" Skimming through the linked article, there is a sort of an answer:

Underwater data centers can be cooled by the surrounding water, and could also be powered by wave or tidal energy

I don't know if it's really much more efficient than having normal cooling systems and power generated by an external tidal power system, but it might not be completely pointless and stupid.

Comment Re:Physical media is king (Score 4, Insightful) 105

It seems to me that this is not exactly relevant to the change. Apple had a free broadcast Internet radio service which they've moved to include into a paid subscription steaming service. The issue of "buying" never entered into it.

There have actually been events where your argument would be more applicable. For example, Microsoft ran a service where you could "purchase" DRM-protected music. They then shut down that service and all the music people had "purchased" became useless. That's a good reason to talk about buying CDs rather than subscription services.

What we have here is more comparable to, if a normal free FM radio station decided to move to SiriusXM, and you now had to pay to listen. It's reasonable to be displeased with the change, but it doesn't really make sense to be like, "that's why I purchase all of my radio stations, so that they can never be taken away from me."

Comment In the lab working on a space shuttle simulation (Score 1) 320

I was really into the space shuttle--I used to build models of various proposed space shuttles when I was a teenager into model rocketry. At the time of the disaster, I had found my way into a program in the psych department at the local community college that tried to study the effects of living in enclosed spaces by using a space shuttle mockup built out of plywood, TV monitors, some Atari 800s and electronic hardware from the surplus yard down in Taunton. It was very not realistic, but at the same time not bad--apparently it felt very convincing to the people who were in it.

So needless to say, we were all pretty wrecked. I don't know how many times I watched the explosion on the instant replay, but it was a lot. Lots of crying, very maudlin, but on the other hand the lot of us were able to hang out together and grieve with people who got it. Looking back on it, it's a funny coincidence that we were all there when it happened, but we were.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 276

Or really, just wait a few years

Problem was, Doc was known (from the future) to get shot less than a week later. They didn't have a few years to wait for gas to be available, or even enough time to fix the engine damage from their attempts to manufacture fuel themselves and try that again.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 276

The problem was that they were under time pressure as (knowing the future) Doc was going to be shot (in unknown circumstances) in under a week. They did try making fuel in Doc's lab and blew out the... fuel intake manifold, I think it was, by getting the octane terribly wrong or something. And fixing that would have taken too much time. If it wasn't for the time pressure, yeah, they could have just gotten fuel somewhere somehow and fixed the car and driven back to the future, but there was no time, so they had to take a train.

Now if it had been Bill and Ted instead of Doc and Marty, they could simply have decided to come back with a portable tank of gas once they get the time machine working again, and them bam, future-them would appear with it right there, and they could go back to the future to buy some gas and bring it back to themselves, then get on with their lives.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 276

The flying circuits were also electrically powered by Mr. Fusion, along with the Flux Capacitor, but the engine ran on ordinary gas, and we know that because Doc Brown said so and that was the entire plot obstacle of the third movie: they're stuck in the Old West with no gas (and busted flying circuits), so they can't get up to speed to return Back To The Future.

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

To me, this strikes of a feel-good, circle-jerk law.

More likely, it's the sort of law that makes it so a prosecutor can plausibly accuse innocent people of doing something illegal so that they can have leverage. The idea is that you make all kinds of things illegal. When you want someone to cooperate, you find some law that they technically violated and threaten that, if they don't cooperate, you'll prosecute them for some weird obscure law.

Comment Re:Why retail? (Score 2) 298

In principle they have to maintain less, so it's a win. In practice, it's early days for new generation mechanisms like solar, despite the rather terrifying amount of capacity that we now have. When everybody has panels, we'll have to have some way to pay for the grid, so obviously net metering _by itself_ doesn't scale, and particularly in states with lots of sunny days, this kind of adjustment was inevitable.

Comment Re: Trump just says stuff (Score 1) 875

That is a problem, sure, and I would love to see a greater supply of smaller, less expensive housing so that people get get off the rent treadmill sooner in life.

But the bigger problem I see is the existence of the institute of rent (including interest, which is rent on money) in the first place, leaving generation after generation of those families too poor to escape it paying half their life's earnings with nothing to show for it, nothing to leave to their kids, leaving those kids in the same circumstances generation after generation.

If it weren't possible to rent (which doesn't require banning anything, just render certain contracts unenforceable), so housing had to be sold instead (on terms comparable to rent payments, otherwise nobody would be able to buy it and everyone's real estate investments would become worthless), then the money people are currently paying landlords (and banks, for those wealthy enough to rent money instead) would accumulate as equity in housing that they could leave to their children, even if those children have to continue paying it off, and eventually we'd have a world where the housing people are already living in was owned by the people who live in it.

Who, back on point, could then get by with much lower incomes, and so could accept much lower wages, lowering the greatest cost of business, and consequently the cost of the products of those businesses, in turn further lowering the cost of living for the workers who buy those products, who could then get by with lower incomes, etc. All by just removing the parasitic drain of capital-owners charging usury.

Comment There are issues with this... (Score 2) 247

More memory doesn't necessarily make things faster if you have multiple streams and limited bandwidth. You can wind up with a situation where you have a lot of data queued in the buffer, and this botches TCP congestion control so that you wind up getting really poor throughput. Google "bufferbloat" for details. Using a crappy external wireless AP makes this worse. You really do want the wireless card to be treated as a first-class network interface on your router. Unfortunately, wireless drivers are usually closed-source, often have internal bufferbloat problems and other bugs, and can't be updated.

The article's main point, that a faster CPU in the router is wicked awesome, is completely true, of course. You just want to make sure you're running a recent Linux kernel that does a good job of queuing in the presence of a congested link. :)

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