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Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 437

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49598215) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

Good. Now we've gone from "they're all scum" to "some of them (possibly including Rand Paul") are good and trying but the Repubican machine and its operators will block them."

At this point we're mostly on the same page.

Ron Paul is clearly one of those good guys. And the Neocons controlling the R party machine (one of the four major factions) steamrollered him and his supporters (sometimes violently), and changed the rules to make it even harder for a grass roots uprising to displace them.

Two debates are going on right now. One is between working through the R party (is it salvagable?) or coming in with a "third" party - either an existing one or a new one (is that doable or do the big two have too much of a lock?)

The other is whether Rand is a sellout to the Neocons or if he's just more savvy than his dad and trying to look non-threatening to them in order to get the nomination. Andrew Napolitano, who knows him personally, says he knows him to be a genuine liberty advocate, and I trust A. N. on this subject.

Comment: Re:inventor? (Score 1) 471

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596369) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

If nobody knows how it works, how did the guy invent it?

LOTS of stuff gets invented without the inventor knowing HOW it works, underlying physics wise. All that's necessary is to notice THAT it works, work out some details of "if you do this much of this you get that much of that", and engineer a practical gadget.

As they say, most fundamental discoveries don't go "Eureka!", they go "That's odd ..."

Comment: I'm not holding my breath waiting for superluminal (Score 1) 471

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49596323) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

this gem ... hidden in the article:

"... whether it is possible for a spacecraft traveling at conventional speeds to achieve effective superluminal speed by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it. ..."

They've been playing at that for a while. It would allegedly work by creating a condition of cosmic expansion behind the craft and its converse in front of it, so the spacecraft is in a bubble where it's running slower than lightspeed (i.e. stopped) but the cosmic expansion and contraction regions behind and ahead of it each total to the opposite sides retreating or advancing faster than light (which is allowable).

I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to fall out of this - or anything. Effective superluminal translates to "Sending messaages into the past." and "Violating causality." if you pick your reference frames correctly. So I expect flies to appear in this ointment at some point: Like something broken about what happens at the sides, needing big-bang energy levels (and not being able to transfer them between the front and back so they're free), or not being able to set up the condition in front because the agency making it happen must involve actual superluminal signal propagation.

Nevertheless, an "electric motor" that works by pushing against virtual particle-antiparticle pairs (or the total mass of the matter in the universe, or of an inverse-square weighting-by-distance of it so it's mostly the local stuff, or dark matter, or the neutrino background, or whatever), instead of ejected exhaust, is just DANDY! Let's see if they can make it work for real at human-palpable, nontrivial, efficiencies and power levels.

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 437

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49590605) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

When the rubber meets the road, people like Rand Paul are not actually in favor of downsizing the government. They just want to eliminate restrictions on business and aid to the poor.

You have the liberty movement confused with their arch enimies the neocons.

Comment: Re:FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 437

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49590235) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

A) The rules are already there and need no new legislation. They just need willpower in the agencies involved.

B) Though not as idealistic as his father, Rand has substantial libertarian leanings - and is a major figure in the Liberty Movement. As such his main goals are to downsize the government and free the people

Downsizing the government means you DON'T add new restrictions to "fix" every new manifestation of a political issue. Doing that keeps the government growing. Instead you:
  1) Oppose ANY INCREASE in the government's power and limitations on what people can do.
  2) Look for ways to "solve" problems by REMOVING government power and meddling where possible, or just use the EXISTING powers in the ways they were intended when a "solve by downsizing" isn't feasible.

Comment: FCC shouldn't regulate this - it's FTC's job. (Score 1) 437

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49586567) Attached to: Rand Paul Moves To Block New "Net Neutrality" Rules

In theory, the FCC shouldn't need to regulate the internet at all, but because other government has created a wholly fucked up system, I agree that it's necessary at this point for them to step in.

If any branch of government should step into this, it's the FTC and the Justice Department, not the FCC.

Network Neutrality conflates two issues: Traffic management and anticompetitive behavior. Some packets SHOULD be treated differently than others, in order to make diverse services "play well together". (Example: Streaming vs. File Download.)

The problem arises when an ISP uses the tools to penalize the competition to its own company's and partners' services, extort extra fees, and otherwise engage in non-technical nastiness through technical means.

The proper regulatory regimes are antitrust and consumer fraud. These are the province of the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, not the FCC.

The FCC is using this as a power-grab on the Internet, in direct contravention of Congress' authorization. THAT is what Rand Paul is opposing.

Comment: How does that argument play versus Linux? (Score 1) 218

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49569815) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

CustomerP are generally too cash poor to be good customers. They are going to nickel and dime you for any project that you do for them because they are either too cheap to invest in newer technology or too poor to do so.

Latest statistics indicate that Internet Explorer has less then 15-20% of market share, with versions older then IE 10 being just 2.5% of the market. Looks like IE 6 is under 1% now.

It was similar arguments that massively hampered the adoption of Linux, Netscape/Firefox, .... Too few users, too cheap, expecting too much frree stuff. No money to spend.

It's one of the reasons general adoption took - and is still taking - so long.

It's also one of the reasons that companies that DID support them ended up with an edge on their competition, becoming some of the big-name companies in their markets.

Becoming market-dominant and ubiquitus includes not dropping substantial chunks of customers because you perceive them as "marginal". If you support 90+ percent of the market and your competition supports 70%, you keep getting little extra advantages. The outcome of competition is driven by tiny margins.

Comment: Ungrounded Lightning (Rod) to Stop Using DietPepsi (Score 1) 629

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49564133) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Aspartame has problems for some people (like my wife and brother-in-law) and not for others (like me).

Sucralose has problems for some people (like me) and not for others (like my wife).

Seems to me the thing for Pepsi to do is to bring out another formula - with a different name - using Sucralose, put them in the stores side-by-side (they get a LOT of shelf space to play with), and let the customers decide.

Changing the formula of an existing brand strikes me as a stupid move. I suspect Pepsi is about to have it's "New Coke!" moment...

Comment: problems with making stuff invisible to drivers (Score 1) 125

The bit you're apparently not grasping is something called a spatial light modulator. ... Couple it with a microwave radar or ultrasound sonar, and you can track individual raindrops and then cast shadows on them.

Then construct an object that appears to the system to be raindrops and you can put an invisible obstacle in the road. B-b

Comment: Don't forget legacy BROWSERS. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49563663) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

A site may wish to continue using JQuery because some of its clients are using older browsers that don't support the new features that allegedly obsolete JQuery code.

Drop the JQuery code and you drop those customers. Develop future code without it and the pages with the new features won't perform with people using legacy browsers. And so on.

I've seen similar things happen over several generations of web technology. Use care, grasshopper!

Comment: Re:Perverse incentives (Score 1) 408

The obvious problem is that we pay them so much more for drug busts than for traffic citations./i?

The problem is that we pay them EXTRA for drug busts: They're allowed to seize property that is "associated" with it (like the car it was in, or the money in the driver's and passengers' pockets, ...), convert the non-cash to cash at an auction, and split the swag among the officers, department, and other branches of government.

That's the same incentive structure that powered the Spanish Inquisition, and look how THAT turned out.

This has been snowballing since the passage of the RICO laws.

Comment: Old as Arcnet. (Score 1) 96

I am almost certain I saw this kind of thing in a Radio Shack catalog in the 80's ...

It's as old as infrared LEDs and networking.

Datapoint did it with Arcnet in the late '70s: Both infrared office networking patches (though I don't know if those were productized or just experimental) and the "Arclight" building-to-building cross-town infrared link (which had a pair of lenses each about the diameter of a coffee can.).

Arcnet was still a going technology when the first portable ("luggable") computer - the Osborne-1 - came out in '81. (But I don't know if any of them were ever hooked to Arcnet, let alone the office-infrared flavor.) With the machines being desktop devices requiring power, running coax to the desk wasn't a big deal. So I don't think the office I.R. link got much deployment (even if it WAS productized.)

The Arcnet's token-passing logical ring was self-healing, which was a decent match for intermittent connections. When a rainstorm blocked the building-to-building link the net would automatically partition itself into two working nets and when it cleared they'd heal back into one. Similarly, walking between an infrared-linked machine and its hub would cut the machine off only until you walked away and leave the net running (with a quick hiccup) meanwhile.

Comment: Asphalt is only used because it's cheap. (Score 1) 365

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49473389) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Asphalt gets worn down by [all sorts of stuff] ...

Like fossil fuels in general, Asphalt is used for road surfaces currently solely because it's overall cheaper (better price-performance) than many alternatives that we know damn well how to use. Restart a crashed civilization without cheap oil and one or more of these other alternatives will be used.

Asphalt is cheap because it's one of the side-effects of oil refining - a product that is valuable enough as a paving material that it's more profitable to sell it as-is than to "crack" it into lighter stuff and boost the fuel output (or other products) by a couple percent.

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.