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Comment: Idiots in passenger vehicles (Score 4, Insightful) 206

by sjbe (#49629159) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I have personally encountered truck drivers weaving side to side, tailgating and making sudden lane changes (the worst one was also in heavy rain just as I was about to pass a truck) - and I don't even drive that much.

Having driven a large rig before I can assure you that usually the problem is NOT the big rig driver. It is the idiots in passenger vehicles who cut them off and do all kinds of stupid driving around big vehicles. You cannot really appreciate how little regard many people have for the risks they take until you've driven one of these.

Comment: Re:Teamsters (Score 1) 206

by sjbe (#49628871) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I thought the Teamsters were more into the loading and unloading, and the drivers were often owner/operators.

Teamsters are significantly though not exclusively truckers, including drivers but also warehouse workers and various other blue collar workers. Companies like UPS are commonly organized by the Teamsters. Some drivers are owner/operators but plenty drive for large companies like Con-Way, etc.

Never heard of more than one person operating a truck at a time.

Long distance hauling often has teams of two drivers (often husband/wife) though obviously they don't operate the vehicle at exactly the same moment.

Comment: Some secrecy is necessary to permit negotiation (Score 1, Troll) 160

by sjbe (#49628721) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

Laws that need to be made in secret are bad laws. Period. I am hard pressed to think of an exception.

Then you haven't thought about it very hard. There sometimes are very good reasons for negotiating positions to be secret prior to the final version of a law. The most important one is that what needs to happen isn't always popular. If politicians and negotiators have no room to offer deals because everything is public then it becomes impossible to reach any sort of compromise. That said, you can take the secrecy thing too far. Room to float ideas and propose compromises is one thing. Negotiating deals that are nothing but ghost writing for special interests and lobbies is something else entirely.

If negotiating positions are always public, politicians frequently have to harden their position to match their political rhetoric or party positions even if that results in a worse deal at the end of the day. Lots of our most important laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were negotiated significantly in secret because, let's face it - racism was hardly disguised back then and in many cases it could be hard for a politician to support something that he knew was right but that many of his constituents opposed. Sometimes what is best isn't popular and a limited amount ability to conduct back channel negotiations is actually far more important than most people realize. Read a biography of LBJ sometime if you want to see a real world example of some of what I'm talking about.

Comment: Price of bottled water (Score 2) 314

The oil industry wont stop until they can sell us water for $3 a gallon.

That would be a discount from what people already are paying for water. People are voluntarily buying bottled tap water at $7.57 per gallon right now. Approximately 2000X what it would cost from the tap.

Comment: Stream what? (Score 1) 136

by sjbe (#49620239) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

Just stream, Cable tv is anacronistic scam.

I don't disagree but stream what? The options for streaming content are still pretty sad though I do see progress. Cable TV is generally a rip off but the alternatives don't provide any better value for money to me. I had a Netflix subscription and I dropped it because I wasn't using it enough. Most streaming services don't have enough original content or it's too hard to find something worth watching to be worth the trouble. I'm optimistic that will change but right now it just doesn't work for me.

Comment: SlingTV (Score 1) 136

by sjbe (#49620201) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

SlingTV (from Dish Network)

Looked at it but not really quite there. As far as I can tell it doesn't work with my DVR or provide equivalent functionality and the channel list is worse than what I already have for not much less money. Some channels prohibit you from pausing, rewinding or skipping commercials. Not really a great deal to me though I do see the appeal to some.

Comment: Lucky for you (Score 1) 136

by sjbe (#49620117) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

Well that fortunate for you but there aren't any realistic alternatives where I live. So what do you suggest I do about it? I'm perfectly well aware that some places have better service and/or better prices than I do at my residence.

The only competition to Comcast in my town is Frontier Communications DSL service which is much slower and not any cheaper for similar speeds. I think their fastest service where I live is 20Mb down/3Mb up. And that's it for landlines. I could go cellular but that is very expensive, slower and has small bandwidth caps. Satellite? Yeah... no.

That said, I'm ok with the price though not thrilled about it. I can afford it, it's fast enough for my needs (up and down), the price hasn't changed and the service has been very reliable. Would I like to pay less? Sure. Do I think Comcast is making a healthier than strictly necessary profit? I'm sure of it. But given the scenario I'm in it's not bad and it's an amount within my willingness to pay. I don't think I'd be willing to pay any more than I am but I use it enough to get decent value for money.

Comment: Separate infrastructure and content (Score 1) 136

by sjbe (#49619559) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

I want service and infrastructure to be separated.

Agreed. I think we (as a society) should be dropping big money on rolling out fast connections everywhere we can and those connections should be independent from the content providers. Companies should be allowed to do infrastructure or content but not both.

Basically I should be able to choose my data pipe and choose my content and switch either without it mattering. If I get unhappy with Comcast I should be able to switch pipes to AT&T or Verizon without anyone knowing or caring aside from a few routers.

Comment: Re:No suprise. Comcast TV is poor value for money (Score 1) 136

by sjbe (#49619537) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

What is your UPLOAD speed and DATA CAP?

My service is 100 down 20 up. There might be a cap but I've never run into it even when I used services like Netflix. I don't do stuff like torrents or running servers, etc. Your mileage may vary but it's fast enough for my needs in both directions and the price is manageable at ~$90/month. Not cheap but reasonable value to me given my needs and lifestyle.

The TV on the other hand is a terrible value to me. For $30/month I get maybe 2-4 hours of entertainment per week out of 30-40 channels. I could pay more and get more channels but I wouldn't watch more so there is no point in paying more as far as I'm concerned. My life will go on if I don't get the National Geographic channel or ESPN.

Comment: No suprise. Comcast TV is poor value for money (Score 5, Insightful) 136

by sjbe (#49616777) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

I'm a Comcast customer. Despite the horror stories they've largely been fine for me and I haven't had any major issues. I have their 100Mb service and consider it on the high end of being a reasonable value. I only subscribe to one of their low end TV packages (costs about $35/month) because their TV offering are WAY overpriced for what you get. There are about 10-15 channels I give a crap about and I'm not willing to pay more than I am now. I've thought about dropping the TV altogether but I do like to watch some TV now and then. TiVo makes it bearable to do so. A package with more channels would double the price I pay and I'd get maybe 3-5 extra channels I might watch. Just not good value.

Basically I'm waiting for ala-carte TV or a service through our network connection that provides basically the same thing. (No Netflix, Hulu, etc aren't there yet) I consider TV a frivolous luxury and I'm not about to drop $200/month for a bunch of channels I'll never watch.

Comment: Sealed connectors (Score 5, Informative) 112

Right now the watch can survive in relatively shallow depths for short amounts of time, but I wonder if it'll even survive getting dripped on with the diagnostic port exposed.

You are aware that sealed connectors are a thing, yes? I run a company that makes wire harnesses and it is a pretty straight forward exercise to make a water tight sealed connector good to reasonable depths. (It's very easy if you don't care about bulk) I don't know if this is the case here but I suspect it wouldn't be terribly hard for Apple to make a port water tight when open or connected. You could have corrosion of the pins over time, particularly with salt water but it would have to be pretty bad to compromise the seal.

Comment: Actual facts about experience (Score 4, Informative) 549

by sjbe (#49613069) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

1) So did Palin (vs Obama) but that didn't stop the criticism there

Kind of stupid to post things that are so easily refuted.

Obama was a US Senator longer (3-Jan-2005 to 16-Nov-2008) that Palin was Governor of Alaska (4-Dec-2006 to 26-July-2009). Plus Obama was a member of the Illinois senate for 8 years. Palin was mayor of Wasilla (population 7,800) and served as Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission for less than a year. All other jobs held by either one were nothing on a national stage or significant enough to count as meaningful experience. So no, Palin did not at any time have more experience in public office than Obama.

2) Most of Hilary's experience is being the wife of Monica Lewinsky's ex-boyfriend

You mean except for being a US Senator and Secretary of State?

Given the choice between Hilary and Carly, I'd take Carly. Which isn't actually saying much. Personally, I can't stand either of them.

Based on what? You clearly have your facts wrong so any opinions you might have based on your incorrect assertions are based on false premises.

Comment: Starting a shootout in Texas? (Score 1) 1059

by sjbe (#49610335) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Killing terrorists, especially like this where people are deliberately setting up a situation where they draw out people with these views, is a brilliant way to make more terrorists.

It's also a brilliant way to make less terrorists a short time later. Can't say that I approve of baiting people like this but I also can't say I'm overly sad that the world has a few less lunatics in it.

Seriously, Texas has to be pretty close to the top of the list of stupid places to go in guns-ablaze over a perceived insult. These are people who have been known to put gun racks on golf carts. Even if they survive the attack Texas has the death penalty and isn't afraid to use it.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos