Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re: Why is it even a discussion? (Score 1) 441

by stealth.c (#49468933) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality
You're taking for granted that the FCC's new rules are antynomous with "protecting commercial interests." The ISPs will be fine either way, they already had government-granted monopolies. The rules were added at the behest of companies like Netflix, who felt they needed a regulatory cudgel to strengthen their position in price negotiations. Except what the FCC has also done is drop a lot of uncertainty and fear onto the ISP industry. That alone will stifle expansion. Far better would have been to end the idiotic local laws and regs that made monopolies of whichever broadband provider was first to a given market. Google Fiber only rolled out in places where city governments could be coaxed into liberalizing, and behold, Comcast is upgrading speed in those areas for free. Competition works. The market has not failed. The FCC "fixed" the wrong problem.

Comment: Re: Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347

by stealth.c (#49246929) Attached to: FCC Posts Its 400-Page Net Neutrality Order
I think your explanation falls very short when you refer to municipal limitations on the number of competitors as a "natural" monopoly. There's nothing natural about it if it's a situation directly caused by limits imposed by government. Prospective ISPs should have been able to negotiate with property owners at all levels to build lines of any sort wherever it made sense. Capping local markets at one or two providers is where the Internet got off track, not when the beneficiaries of this corporate welfare started doing the only thing that made sense given their unassailable, government-granted position. So now we pile the FCC on top of a problem that never needed to exist. Like Harry Browne used to say: government will break your knees, then hand you a pair of crutches and say "See? Without us you couldn't walk!"

Comment: License vs. Education (Score 1) 362

by stealth.c (#49187577) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?
People seem to be conflating licenses and training, which is cute considering y'all just got done beating up on tech certifications in another thread. Should you need government permission to travel in your automated car? Hell no. Should you know what you are doing when climbing into one? Ideally, yes.

Comment: Re: I would *hope* he got paid a lot! (Score 0) 448

by stealth.c (#49108803) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
There is another reason to do so: The sincere belief that the alarmists are a threat to human survival. Their unconditional animosity against much-needed energy sources, if acted out in the political sphere to the degree that they wish, would doom billions to poverty and death. There is no doubt some risk in continuing to use fossil fuels the way we do, but governments are not who I would trust to quantify and hedge against that risk. They are much more likely to overreact or underreact for political reasons, costing the world countless lives. This is an unpopular opinion I'm sure. The technocratic idealists here who align with the alarmists are positive they know better how the world should run than those SUV-driving rubes out there, but such paternalistic hubris has gotten mankind into huge trouble before.

Comment: Isn't this just shooting the messenger? (Score 1) 448

by stealth.c (#49108689) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Whenever scientists publish a controversial new cosmological theory there is no gossiping over who paid them. Because it doesn't matter. If their interpretation of the data is wrong, or if their model is wrong, all someone has to do is correct their work. Yet when it comes to "climate science" much ink is spilled disparaging the motives and character of anyone who challenges the orthodoxy. If he's wrong, show how he's wrong. I don't give a rat's behind who paid for what. The work either contributes to our understanding or it doesn't.

Comment: Re: Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 825

by stealth.c (#48954147) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
How exactly is risking capital to produce products people willfully buy "leaching off society"? Which government service exactly are they skipping out on paying for? Why not send them a bill for that instead of stabbing in the dark at arbitrary sums? When did it become "greedy" to keep your own money, and "justice" to take someone else's?

Comment: Re: Double Irish (Score 2) 825

by stealth.c (#48953785) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas
Do you mean to say my taxes only pay for the desirable things my government does, and at the best possible price at all times? And that without this small group having a unilateral right to help themselves to other people's money -- so long as they honor bureaucratic protocols of course -- civilization would collapse into a Mad Max dytopia?

Comment: It's the same problem no matter who you blame. (Score 1) 200

by stealth.c (#48608877) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower
Whether you want to blame NASA bureaucrats for covering their asses or Congresscritters for their warped priorities, this failure can be explained the same way. Government and its agencies are total strangers to the economic incentives of profit and loss. The only profits and losses they directly experience are the rise and fall of their bureaucratic clout. As a result, success and failure are defined on completely different terms versus a private endeavor. For an operation like SpaceX, success is getting the customer into space with the greatest practical efficiency. For NASA, success is whatever curries favor with the people in Congress deciding next year's budget. Congressmen don't care about what goes into space or how. They care that federal money gets back to their clients at home. The bickering in this thread over whether to blame NASA leadership or Congress misses the larger point: Both are culpable because of the incentives they operate under. This is just the economics of nationalized space exploration taking its inevitable course.

Comment: I would say no (Score 1) 167

by stealth.c (#48513649) Attached to: Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?
The first hurdle is the Western obsession with "objective" reporting. No such thing exists. But in the pursuit of the appearance of objectivity, you get slanted news constantly disguising itself as authoritative truth. Sometimes you get the same phenomenon on Wikipedia but at least there, interpretation of data is kept to a minimum. There is so much to report on, and so much information to curate, one has to employ a particular world view to decide what part of the story is important to tell. When it comes to news, there is no way to avoid ideological siloing. A single 'wikipedia of news" is not possible, but maybe several of them, each devoted to a certain way of understanding events, is possible.

Comment: Reminds me of the movie Brazil (Score 1) 169

by stealth.c (#48418775) Attached to: City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber
...and the crime of unlicensed duct work. People are taking money in exchange for giving car rides. Look, if the Toronto city government is willing to let any old moron DRIVE a car (and they are), I think those same people can be trusted to delegate to a hired driver without risking a carpocalypse.

Comment: Re:How did your senator vote? (Score 1) 445

by stealth.c (#48418675) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power
I'm afraid the Republican Party has always been the party of empire. Recall that the first Republican President waged the country's bloodiest war to prevent the central government's domain from shrinking. The war turned a federation of sovereign states into a compulsory chain of provinces. There is no "smaller government" party in the US, because Americans would never vote for one.

The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.