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Comment: Debian GNOME needs some attention (Score 3, Interesting) 395

by Bruce Perens (#47979731) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

After something like 20 years I finally found a system that won't run Debian unstable right now. My Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 magnesium tablet + iKey Jumpseat magnesium keyboard. Systemd and GDM break. Bought (for less than full price) because I am a frequent traveler and speaker and really do need something you can drop from 6 feet and pour coffee over have it keep working.

But because of this bug I have ubuntu at the moment, and am not having fun and am eager to return to Debian.

Comment: Re:The end for me (Score 1) 937

by evilviper (#47930673) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

...scratch that. SoylentNews turns out to be just as bad as /. in this regard. They posted this same damn story, too, and the head of the site has stated they don't want to be a tech site at all.

Instead, my last hope rests with pipedot, which is much more like an old-fashioned /. with a focus on sci/tech instead of flamebait crap. Hell, the sci/tech stories even get more comments on pipedot than they do on SoylentNews, which says a lot about the community.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 981

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 981

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:Translation-"eh, can we talk this over...?" (Score 1) 243

by j-turkey (#47921141) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

That is a very astute summary of the issues.

I would love to see residential ISP's make an honest case explaining why the existing system is broken. (Where end-users purchase internet service from their residential ISP and online businesses purchase internet service from their ISP's - both with the understanding that packets will flow between the two, unrestricted. When demand exceeds capacity at peering points, each end will make a reasonable effort to add capacity at peering points providing customers at each end what they have paid for).

I'm not against the idea of residential ISP's turning an honest buck. After all, they really did invest significant dollars in infrastructure, including negotiation for rights-of-way in municipalities. Further, they need to maintain that network, and upgrade the network as demand increases. I think that they deserve a fair chance for an honest return on their investments. However, the idea that residential ISP's should be allowed to double-dip on selling access seems quite insane to me, and is counter to the open principles employed since the foundation of the internet. We can thank Ed Whitacre Jr, former CEO of SBC for coming up with the idea in 2005/2006 (as far as I can tell) that the residential ISP's customers are both customers and products to be resold to content providers. The Internet doesn't work that way, and never has. The idea that content providers are getting some sort of free lunch on the residential ISP's dime is laughable; it's just a shameful distortion of the facts. The residential ISP's bandwidth has already been paid for by their customers, and the content providers have already paid for their own bandwidth. I have yet to hear a compelling argument from any ISP's about how the existing system is broken (other than, to paraphrase, "because we can").

As a freedom junkie and pseudo-Libertarian - part of me believes that government regulation of the internet opens up a can of worms. However, residential ISP's demonstrating their willingness to distort facts and abuse monopoly powers that they have in many markets. Is there any reason why residential ISP's should not be regulated accordingly?

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 326

by j-turkey (#47903741) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

We have them to generate income for the government, specifically local and state government, to the tune of $6.2 billion last year.

While some towns and small municipalities are notorious speed traps, who abuse the law to generate revenue - applying this to all speed enforcement is an outright over generalization.

The fact of the matter is that speed limit enforcement costs our governments more than it takes in. Your assertion only accounts for revenues, and does not take into account the cost of enforcement; such as police, equipment, court costs, collections, and incarceration (states like Virginia criminalize speeding and actually mandate jail time for exceeding the speed limit by greater than 20 MPH).

I posted this reply in another forum in response to a similar claim where I did some quick back-of-a-napkin math in my own county where traffic laws are very aggressively enforced. I'm not trying to pass my post off as especially scientific and of course my statements aren't universal. However, what I wrote does include sources, and I did the same math in another county deeper in the thread. But it does shed significant doubt on the broad generalization that speed enforcement is motivated (either partially or entirely) by governmental revenue enhancement. Here are a few excerpts if you don't feel like reading the whole thread:

Let's take this out of the theoretical and use my own county as a case-study, just to put things in to perspective. (Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert, just a geek who can type things into Google.) Here is my county's revenue's report from 2011. See page 2. Fines and forfeitures came in at $16M in 2011 compared to $2B in real estate taxes. That $16M is a drop in the bucket for state revenues (0.8%). Not a lot of money made, but how does this stack up against what we spend on it?

I'm glad that you asked - here are some more recent examples: In 2014, my county government estimated fines and forfeitures at $14.8M or 0.4% of annual revenues. However, when you look at where the money goes - judicial administration is 0.9% ($33.2M) of the budget and public safety is 12.3% ($442.8M) of the budget...a combined 13.2% of our annual fiscal budget. If you do the math, it simply doesn't add up to a money-making racket for the state. The facts seem to point to a different conclusion - and I don't claim to have the answer as to why and how (although I could probably google for this).

Anyway, hopefully this will shed a bit of doubt on the blanket assumption about speed enforcement for revenue enhancement. That's not to say that speed limits are always correct, or that speed enforcement is usually done with the best of intentions (e.g. to prove that the police are actually doing something - or perhaps for entirely political reasons)...but it should shed reasonable doubt.

Comment: Re:Multi-family units (Score 1) 80

by evilviper (#47898859) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

an apartment where she does share the building with up to 15 other families.

That doesn't preclude installing an antenna, it just reduces your options. Multi-floor apartment balconies and/or windows usually get pretty good TV reception. If previous occupants had DBS dishes mounted, you can stick an antenna on that J-channel. And landlords are usually reasonable. You can always ask for permission to install an antenna, explaining the non-destructive mounting option (chimney straps, non-penetrating root mount, etc.) you'd like to use, and promise it'll be less unsightly than what you'll do if they refuse.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.