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Comment Re:Koch Brothers (Score 1) 65

I read the article and I only saw this:

Q. How about our current president?
A. Well, heâ(TM)s helping us on criminal justice reform, so weâ(TM)re grateful on that. And thereâ(TM)s a sign they may be beginning to realize the inequity and the harm that this occupational licensing does.

...which, uh, doesn't really say a lot. It's not even the starting point of a debate.

Comment Re:Cooling towers (Score 1) 100

I believe these refer to cooling towers used for air conditioning, from context. These are more efficient versions (if I understand it correctly) of the compressor (the box that's usually outside as part of a normal two unit home air conditioning system), that use water evaporation to cool the system.

Comment Re:Integrated vs. interfaced. (Score 1) 90

Sometimes that's a good thing though. It took decades for the *ix community to realize that, actually, yes, email, rules applying to email, address books (both local and LDAP), and calendars go together, and many are still trying to figure out SSO, largely because the latter isn't as relevant to home networks as, say, email.

The problem isn't integration, it's bad integration. Netscape really screwed everyone over by making Communicator some all-in-one master-of-nothing PoC in the 1990s, creating unnecessary bloatware that influenced a generation of geeks to fear attempts to integrate.

Exchange Server is something I reluctantly admit Microsoft got completely 100% right.

Comment Re: hey, CBS doesn't promote Fox, either (Score 1) 222

I'm guessing that's the reason then, Amazon doesn't want to give Apple a cut if someone browses their library via an app and decides to buy the video there, rather than use the website to buy it and then switch to the Apple TV for actual watching.

I'd say both side's positions are wholly understandable under the circumstances.

Comment Re:Dead on Arrival (Score 1) 171

I think the main reason these things fail is because people, upon getting the 3D devices, realize that they're not actually what was wanted in the first place.

What people think about when they hear "VR" is The Matrix (or something similar.) They kinda sorta recognize that a headset or 3DTV isn't going to give you that, but they go with it anyway and get excited because they think it might be a decent compromise between what can be done, and what's wanted.

And then you find out that if "normal", flat, technology is 231 millionths of the way towards VR, that actually 3D goggles (or whatever) is only 237 millionths of the way towards VR. And it's clunky, and makes your eyes bleed.

So they go back to the 2D devices, and we forget about 3D for another 20 years.

Comment Re:Dear Amazon (Score 1) 222

Since when has Google been responsible for producing the apps to access third party content distributors on Chromecast? They publish an API for a reason you know.

I also doubt that Amazon Instant Video has an API that's fully documented. Your Sony plays it because Amazon wrote something for that platform, not because Sony independently wrote an app to play videos from Amazon. If it were as easy as you're suggesting, Android would have a hundred third party Amazon Instant Video apps.

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Comment Re: hey, CBS doesn't promote Fox, either (Score 2) 222

I can't comment on Apple TV, but Chromecast is pretty much open, there's nothing stopping Amazon from writing an app to stream to Chromecast. I'm kinda bewildered to be honest they're blocking it.

(For those who have experience: What is the situation with Apple TV? Is Apple open to any app provider, and do they allow app makers to use their own methods of funding, or do they demand a cut of any payments?)

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 9

I don't credit Obama with any economic recovery we might be beginning to see. His administration has been pretty ineffectual. Its behavior has been incompetent, choosing middling compromises guaranteed to fail. If the economy has recovered faster than it would otherwise have done, that's thanks to Bernanke.

Carter gets the credit for the economic recovery that occurred after Reagan got into power. There really isn't anything anyone can point at that Reagan actually did. Whereas Carter, as I said, started a real program of deregulation, amongst them the three pillars of infrastructure - rail, air, and road, and appointed new blood, in the form of Volcker, to the Federal Reserve. Volcker wasn't perfect, but he was able to leverage monetarism to at least break the stagflation that was killing the economy during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 9

Oh, I don't know, maybe Nixon bugging his political opponents and starting the realpolitik BS that Reagan continued, such as bombing Cambodia (causing the rise of Pol Pot) might have something to do with it.

Reagan was ineffectual in office. What did he do? He's remembered chiefly for appointing Volcker to the Federal Reserve, and deregulating major industries including, most famously, the railroads and airlines.

...which were actually all done by Carter. But they're things right-wingers support, so Reagan gets remembered for them, while Carter is boo, and worst president ever, and so on. Reagan himself didn't really do anything beyond continue Nixon's insane foreign policies. But he took credit when Carter's reforms started to help the economy.

Reagan's worshipers also give him credit for Gorbachev's dismantling of Soviet Communism. I'm struggling to think of a thing he's been given credit for he can call his own. Maybe cheesy folksy sales patter, later used to such great affect by Bush Jr?

It's easy to think of Reagan as a more substantial President than he really was, purely because of the hero worship the right gives Mr Gun Control And Deficits Don't Matter. Don't make that mistake. He was an ineffectual imbecile, held up in hindsight due to events he had little part in.

Comment Re:TFA, TFS (Score 1) 321

Large industrial companies that go "out of business" have a tendency to survive in real terms after the collapse, albeit with some restructuring, if the business was viable before the collapse. Car manufacturers, airlines, and railroads have collapsed on paper, but the same facilities have been doing largely the same things ten years later with the same lower level employees, just with different shareholders and upper management.

I would expect VW to be bought out as a going concern if it went bankrupt due to this scandal. The business itself is very viable, VW makes huge profits, the products are generally good, and this particular scandal was never necessary - a simple $500 modification to the cars affected would have been a legal alternative, and the idea that a $10,000 car will sell but not a $10,500 car, is preposterous.

Comment Re:TFA, TFS (Score 1) 321

So, just to be clear, you're saying that the lawmakers choose the enforcement mechanism that was easier and more likely to win in court because of campaign contributions from the potential losers of the lawsuits?

Remember: VW is facing billions in fines for this. If the Clean Air Act had gone the other way, prosecutors right now would might be able to find something they could pin on a low level, lowly paid, underling, the kind of person the automakers wouldn't care about losing, but would find it increasingly difficult to make charges stick against higher ups who have some nominal "distance" from the decision.

Plus. you know, they'd probably fail even at that because the "crime" would have been committed in a different country, and it would have been difficult to convince a judge and jury that the person's act fell under US law at the time it was made.

The civil system seems very appropriate to this case. It's quick. There's no need to prove particular individuals are liable. And it's going to hurt VW. Economically, it'll hurt VW more than adding the less-than-$500 modifications needed to every engine that left the factory that would have meant they could have been compliant in the first place.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."