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Comment: Re:Government is evil! (Score 1) 135

by _Sharp'r_ (#48407021) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Unregulated last mile wiring looks like this [ggpht.com]. It's a "natural monopoly" because the alternative is a dangerous, unmaintainable eyesore.

Except of course, as best as I can tell, your image appears to be from India, where the companies responsible for those poles are chosen as regional monopolies heavily regulated by the government. That short of undercuts your argument....

I agree that a co-op is a decent middle ground, especially in rural areas where the residents may be more interested in the services than might be otherwise profitable for companies to create the infrastructure. The key for me to that is that the co-op actually be voluntary, not a co-op in name only, but really just another required-by-the-government organization that they decided to name a co-op.

Comment: Re:Government is evil! (Score 1) 135

by _Sharp'r_ (#48397429) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

What stops you from competing with an ISP in the last mile? You could do it right now..open your own competing cable internet/copper wire internet/fiber internet provider to the premises.... except of course that's currently illegal in most parts of the U.S.

Last mile is not a natural monopoly... if it was, the government wouldn't have to make it illegal to try, people just wouldn't be willing to waste their money trying without any possibility of success.

Are there first mover advantages in many of the last mile connectivity markets? Sure there are, but If your city only allows one cable company to lay any cable, it isn't the market nor private enterprise preventing competition. There's only so much crap customers will put up with from the first mover before they're willing to look elsewhere, but when they're not legally allowed to....

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by Bruce Perens (#48298059) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

One of the definitions I found was:

One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.

Comment: Re:Which way are the bits going? (Score 1) 97

by _Sharp'r_ (#48296305) Attached to: Real Net Neutrality Problem: 'Edge Provider' vs 'End User'

I know it's unusual, so I apologize for the shock, but while I was replying to your post, I was actually agreeing with you.

Specifically, "I really hate how cynical I'm getting, but our corporate and government overlords keep taking our freedoms and most people are cheering them on. Good consumers. No need to be a citizen. Just be a good little consumer.", but just expanding on the mechanism a bit.

The FCC will inevitably kowtow to the corporate and other interests and lock in their vision of what the Internet is and is for, discarding the reality of what it can be and what the rest of us would like it to be.

So, carry on...

Comment: Re:Which way are the bits going? (Score 0) 97

by _Sharp'r_ (#48293525) Attached to: Real Net Neutrality Problem: 'Edge Provider' vs 'End User'

Once you invite the FCC into regulating the Internet, you end up with a few appointed non-technical guys whose first loyalty is to a political party (In this case, Democrat, but I'm not saying GOP-controlled FCC would do a much better job of regulating) or to the special interest groups they support defining the various parts of the Internet in ways that make no technical sense, but allow them to accomplish their supporters very financially and power-based objectives.

As a result, the Internet becomes required to stagnate under their defined model, severely restricting the ability of the people who actually run it and use it to innovate in order to serve people better and slowing improvements in technology until they can be made to fit under stupid artificial distinctions like "end user" and "edge provider".

They're not actively trying to mess up the Internet, it's just a known side-effect of allowing them power to do so under public choice economic theory.

So for all of you who kept advocating for the FCC to get involved in regulating the Internet under the naive belief they'd impose your personal vision of Network Neutrality, this is the type of regulations you really get, plus distinctions between land lines and wireless, and all the other crap they're going to keep "refining" the rules to cover over time.

Those who kept pointing out the reality of the FCC regulating anything (that it really just puts Verizon, et al in charge) every time a network neutrality discussion occurred on /. will just quietly think "Toldja so" and hope people remember this the next time they advocate for a government commission which will inevitably suffer regulatory capture to control something else.

In the meantime, you'll eventually wish you could just purchase from a provider the service you actually want to have, but by the time they tell you that sort of service is now illegal, it'll be too late.

Comment: Re:Stop developing 64bit (Score 1) 242

by dougmc (#48251971) Attached to: OEM Windows 7 License Sales End This Friday

Are you trolling or what?

If you have a single process that needs to use more than 1.6 - 2.0 GB of memory ... you need the 64 bit version. And on top of that, if you've got 4 GB of memory the OS can use about 3 GB (total) due to the way Windows handles things.

The vaunted promise that 'things will run better and faster'

Who made that promise? I don't recall ever seeing that.

Comment: Re:...and everybody gets to be right (Score 1) 172

by _Sharp'r_ (#48231539) Attached to: EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

If you are wondering about the impact of carbon dioxide on say, forests, this type of question is easy to research with a quick Google search. In 30 seconds, I found this NSF study by Harvard researchers, for example, not exactly normally a hotbed of pro-GHG folks.

It's actually quite well-established that increased carbon dioxide levels are very good for plant growth. As it turns out, it also enables them to grow while needing less water, for example.

Comment: Re:IBM no longer a tech company? (Score 4, Insightful) 283

by _Sharp'r_ (#48231167) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

Ballmer's grandstanding. I'm pretty sure he understands the numbers in Amazon's 10-K filings.

Amazon made $745 million in income from $74 billion in sales last year, for a net income of $274 million.

That even seems understated, because they're obviously spending way more to expand their capacity than they need for just supporting their current operations. Last year, they have a net cash flow of $5.5 billion from operations, then spent $ 3.4 billion on purchases of property, equipment and software. Even after spending that much geared towards growth, that still leaves $2 billion in free cash flow to spend.

Let me put it another way, Amazon's net worth (assets minus liabilities) has gone from $17 Billion in 2010, to $23 Billion, then $27 Billion, now $33 Billion end of 2013. You don't do that without being profitable each year along the way, regardless of what they decide to do with the profit, which is clearly currently to reinvest the cash in order to expand quickly and grab as much market share as they can.

Ballmer's just jealous that no matter what Microsoft does or who they purchase, they can't convert their windows/office cash cows into a worthy reinvestment, because they're essentially out of new ideas, having mostly missed the ground floor of the Internet revolutions. So Microsoft's best bet is to act like a mature company and pay dividends so their stockholders can use that money to invest in something like Amazon.

Comment: Re:...and everybody gets to be right (Score 0) 172

by _Sharp'r_ (#48231081) Attached to: EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

Because you're assuming the conclusion.

Have you considered the possibility that increased carbon dioxide emissions are good for the environment, because it encourages more plant growth? That it's good for people, because it enables them to live a better lifestyle? Even the possibility that a few fractions of a degree of warming would be a net benefit? I'm not suggesting you accept those positions based on a /. post, but have you actually looked into it yourself, maybe talked to an economist or a agricultural biologist about the tradeoffs? From your post, it seems your assumption is that both sides agree on what would be "better", but they don't.

The "leaders" who supposedly agree that carbon dioxide emissions are bad show by their actions that they really don't think so. If you look at what the global warming/climate change/climate disruption/whatever environmentalists actually advocate for and do personally, it's obvious that their goals have more to do with the means of controlling emissions more than the actual emissions themselves.

Why would anyone who disagrees with them take the position that they should empower that crowd to control their lives, when they don't even agree reducing carbon dioxide emissions is a good goal, let alone agree with the proposed means for reaching the goal?

Comment: Re:New Object (Score 1) 70

by rjh (#48206649) Attached to: Astronomers Find Brightest Pulsar Ever Observed

A neutron star is a gravitationally-bound sphere of neutrons, not plasma, and yet it's still a star.

I would respectfully suggest that a good definition of a star would be, "a gravitationally bound collection of energetic matter engaged in largely Brownian motion." That covers everything from brown dwarfs (D-D fusion requiring substantial energy to initiate) up to hypergiants and neutron stars. (Even a cold, dead neutron star possesses enough energy to dramatically warp spacetime -- there's a lot of energy there to be tapped.)

This definition would also exclude black holes, as a singularity isn't really "matter" per se -- matter requires volume, and a singularity has none of that.

It would also exclude galaxies and accretion discs, as those are not engaged in Brownian motion.

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.

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