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Comment: Re: Meh, vote left. (Score 1) 410

by spike hay (#46838441) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

Actually running fiber costs huge amounts of money. For a normal city it's easily hundreds of millions or more. The rule of thumb is that you need 30% adoption for it to be worthwhile in an area, which is a significant risk, and is mathematically impossible for more than 3 companies.

Comment: Re: Meh, vote left. (Score 3, Insightful) 410

by spike hay (#46829861) Attached to: F.C.C., In Net Neutrality Turnaround, Plans To Allow Fast Lane

The problem with the internet, especially cable, is that it is a natural monopoly. It's like most utitilities that require infrastructure to the home. It would be stupid to have 10 competing water companies, right? That's because there would be large amounts of redundant infrastructure. Therefore, it is better to have a highly regulated monopoly with pricing set to prevent monopolistic rents.

The current situation is that each cable company has a monopoly in most areas, with DSL providing a duopoly in some places. Obviously, monopolistic pricing occurs, with prices far above the free market rate for inferior service. But that isn't illegal! You have to show that they are acting in an anticompetitive manner, which is very difficult.

Even in the case of oligopilies, price fixing is legal as long as it is implicit: A company can signal to another by unilaterally raising prices in a way that would be irrational if non-cooperative behavior is assumed. Then the other company will raise their prices as well, to acheive a cooperative outcome with both companies making more money. Again, this isn't illegal, unless there is an explicitly communicated price-fixing agreement.

Thus, FTC antitrust stuff means fuck-all.

Comment: Re:i don't understand (Score 0) 564

by spike hay (#46670265) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

Limbaugh especially, and Paula Deen are on quite a different plane of bigotry compared to this guy.

Also, how has Limbaugh been hurting? He's still on the radio in just about every market in the US despite being a complete blowhard humanoid gastropod. Sure, most people really, really hate him, but that's not his market.

Comment: Re:i don't understand (Score 2, Informative) 564

by spike hay (#46669929) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

What is happening now with gay rights is what happened with racism in the 60's. It used to be perfectly acceptable to espouse racist views. Then, it became very unnacceptable. Do you think most companies would appoint a CEO who openly thinks blacks are mentally inferior to whites? Now the same thing is happening with homophobia. This is a fast change that many are having problems with. You can still be a private homophobe with friends, but you've got to not let it get out if you are a public figure.

Now, I think if Eich simply apologized for his Prop 8 support, it would have been quite different. But it is clear that his views have not changed.

Comment: Re:The new Hitlers (Score 2, Insightful) 564

by spike hay (#46669859) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

Hypocrites .. that's what I think those that support gay marriage are. They don't give a flip about equality, they only want to force their moral beliefs on those that disagree, and enable a very small group of select people to get benefits. If they truly wanted equality, they would fight to ELIMINATE all benefits tied to being married.

Interesting that you seem to be directing all of this hate to "gay hypocrites" instead of people who support straight marriage. Do you hold the same opinion about civil rights activists who fought to repeal mycegination laws? I don't think there should be special benefits to getting married, but given that civil marriage exists, there is no rational reason to restrict it to straights. Extending it to more people is a good thing, right?

Also, let's get real. Marriage-like benefits will not be extended to anything other than romantic pairings anytime soon, or ever. It's just how it is.

Comment: Re: And it still has the GIL (Score 1) 196

by spike hay (#46526121) Attached to: Python 3.4 Released

actual language speed = the time it takes the program to run + the time it takes the program to be written.

Sure Python might be 100x or more slower than C, but the total time is usually faster. For people that need speed, they should check out Julia. It's a scripting language designed mainly for technical computing (although it is perfectly general-purpose) that is fast due to good type inference and JIT. Usually within 2x of C. It also can call Python libraries as easily as within Python.

Comment: Re:Bike helmet? (Score 1, Troll) 317

by spike hay (#45936257) Attached to: Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

I should expand on this: Helmets are styrofoam (with holes in it!), and a thin plastic cover. Next time you buy a thing packed in a big box, try breaking the styrofoam. Turns out it's not very strong.

The only way the deceleration (which causes the brain damage) is reduced is if the helmet crushes in. And this will only help in a low speed crash, otherwises your head will still be decelerating after the foam crushes.

I think people tend to assign more of a protective benefit to helmets because of the psychological benefit of something over your head. In reality, brain injuries are caused by de(acceleration) which induces your brain to slosh in your skill, which styrofoam is not so awesome at preventing. It's even worse if it's torsion, which may be exacerbated by helmets.

Comment: Re:Bike helmet? (Score 2) 317

by spike hay (#45936211) Attached to: Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

Cycling in Australia dropped 1/3 overnight when the helmet law was passed. This makes it more risky for existing cyclists, as there is safety in numbers.

The overriding public health effect is that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks in expected life by something like 30x. Thus, the 1/3 drop in cyclists results in many more premature deaths from lack of exercists.

Helmets may provide a small benefit in some crashes, but helmet laws are absolutely indefensible from a rational public health standpoint.

Comment: Re:Bike helmet? (Score 4, Interesting) 317

by spike hay (#45936183) Attached to: Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

Hitting something going downhill at high speed is going to cause brain damage or worse whether you have a helmet or not. Crashing on descents is very, very bad news.

Styrofoam will only protect you in low speed collisions. Somebody was killed in the Giro d'Italia last year descending from hitting his head on a siderail. He was wearing a helmet, of course.

This is the problem with these kind of anecdotes: If somebody crashes wearing a helmet, and is OK, it's just assumed that the helmet saved him. If somebody is hurt and was not wearing a helmet, it's assumed that he would have been ok if he was. In reality, this is a completely fallacious assumption, and is not borne out by the data.

Helmets probably have a positive impact on low speed crashes, but it is small. Motorists would have significantly reduced fatalities if they wore motorcycle helmets (which are much more effective but impractical for bicycles), like race car drivers do, but they don't. Pedestrians have higher fatalities per kilometer than cyclists (and pedestrian fatalities are often due to brain damage), but they don't wear helmets. Why is this one activity singled out to wear a bulky safety yarmulke?

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun