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Comment: Re:and stupid. Giving stupid people what they ask (Score 1) 57

by evilviper (#47536933) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Boost is $35. Sprint is $85 or whatever with a "free" $150 phone. People have the choice, and they choose to pay an extra $50 / month for 36 months = $1,800 for that phone.

Actually, with proper Sprint service, I believe you get unlimited and uncapped data, instead of throttled at 2.5GBytes/month, and more than that, you can roam onto Verizon's network when Sprint towers aren't in-range.

It's been reported a number of times that Sprint earns more money, per customer, on cheaper prepaid plans like Boost, than they do from contract customers on proper Sprint.

Also, Boost is actually $40 with any smartphone, and even that's only after 18 months of service and on-time payments, so in your first 2-year period, it averages out to $47.50/month, PLUS the cost of the cell phone, which could increase that monthly average by 10-50%.

If you act like most customers, and switch phones and possibly providers every two years, chasing the latest slightly-better deal, you won't come out ahead on a prepaid plan. It's only if you want a cheap phone, and/or are willing to keep it for more than 2 years when it's long obsolete, and/or are willing to stay with your provider long-term, that prepaid really works out for you. I'm happy with it, but I'm not a gadget junkie like many people, so YMMV.

Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 1) 57

by evilviper (#47536893) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Most people aren't set up to lay down a few hundred dollars for a phone at time of purchase. Getting a phone for free and paying for a couple years makes more sense.

T-Mobile allows financing your cell phone purchase over 2-years, with no interest.

Most pre-paid providers have extremely cheap Android smartphones, some as little as $30.

Comment: Re:Sure they care about competion (Score 1) 57

by evilviper (#47536879) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

That's why almost everywhere in the US there is a monopoly on Cable TV and Telephone

The Fed doesn't have a thing to do with local franchise agreements.

Since the late 90s, technology has allowed telephone companies to provide TV, and cable companies to provide telephone service, so it's a duopoly all the way. Then you can throw in satellite providers of TV and internet, and cellular providers of phone and internet, and let's not forget the superior option of OTA TV antennas, and most everyone has several choices for all of the above, thanks to technology more than any regulation.

Comment: Re:Millionare panhandlers (Score 1) 80

by evilviper (#47536859) Attached to: Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

You mean complete imaginary bullshit made up by and propagated by greedy sociopaths eager to rationalize their abandonment of their fellow man?

"Greedy sociopaths" like EVERY charitable organization on earth, which tells you NOT to EVER give money to panhandlers?

A huge number of those begging for money, are quite comfortable and not hungry homeless people. Direct them to the nearest shelter, instead of giving them a dollar.

Comment: Fear-mongering bullshit (Score 1) 51

by evilviper (#47536839) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

these events happen every few centuries, and in our age of electronics, would now create a legitimate disaster.

Bullshit. The biggest problem with solar flares was its negative effect on shortwave communications. Before satellites and numerous transatlantic fiber-optic cables, that was the dominant form of military and civilian communications across large distances.

If WiFi was 30MHz, then yeah, solar flares would seriously disrupt modern communications. Since it's 2.4 or 5GHz, you'll barely notice.

The effects on the electric grid are serious and notable, but we all have to be prepared for power outages that are far more frequent, from far more mundane causes, anyhow, so one extra blackout every century and a half, isn't a good reason to ring the alarm bells.

you are literally taking your life into your hands if you do not shut down and unplug all of your electronic devicesâS

Yeah, that *might* be a risk, if nobody, anywhere, had surge protectors on their critical electronic devices.

Most consumers don't have super long runs of wire, and those who do overwhelmingly have them properly grounded, due to the much more common risk of lightning, rather than specifically for solar flares.

Comment: Re:240V is fairly common (Score 1) 255

by evilviper (#47523635) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

So the voltage drop is so rubbish, the utilities have to overcompensate...

To be clear, the voltage drop is not predominantly from too-small wiring, but from other appliances on the circuit drawing lots of power.

It's all relative. European 230V isn't even quite double the voltage of the US' ~125V, so you still get plenty of voltage drop, yourself. Someone else could come along and say 230V is rubbish, and everyone should have gone with 420V or so, when we both had the chance... Of course the US' lower voltage has the advantage in lesser risk of electrocution, too. The higher 60Hz frequency incidentally gave us better TV...

Even though the common NEMA outlets are 120V, and that's unlikely to ever change, the wall outlets don't need to for big loads... any house built in the past 50 years probably has 240V available at least the electric box, as they get 2 opposing phases of ~130V from the power company. Big appliances like electric stoves, electric water heaters, central air conditioning, and larger split-system heat pumps or large window air conditioning units, ALL are run on 240V here in the US.

Big industrial customers make up 75% of electrical demand, and they're different beasts all together. 277V (single-phase) is pretty common in US industry, particularly for lighting and what not, while big electric motors run on 3-phase 480V or so. Wherever higher voltages are beneficial, they're available.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"