Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Well done FCC (Score 2) 234

I agree - all the tax money put those lines in and the baby bells are a government mandated monopoly. A level playing field would be amazing. When the FCC rolled back many of the '96 telco reform act the small ISP could no longer compete. Wholesale rates were higher than the telco was offering retail rates to the end user.

For a good first step how about the telco's having to live up to their $400 billion in broken contracts. One agreement had every house in NJ to be on fiber by mid 2000s.

Comment: Re:Tech isn't the problem... (Score 1) 183

by witherstaff (#49104175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

I've seen many of those 'stupid laws still on the books'. (I see exists, amusing. "A woman isn’t allowed to cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.") Why do those even still exist?

It seems like all laws need some time limit, if no one has been successfully tried for something illegal for X number of years the law becomes void.

I'm not sure about your #3 of Loser pays. That may stop someone bringing a case against a GM or other mega corp if they spend millions on lawyers. I see the intent but it could really shaft the little guy.

Is there any website that actually shows the law including all revisions? Instead of the various further laws that are worded like "change part 2, subsection A, paragraph 3 from 'shall' to 'will'" it'd be nice if any changes showed the actual entire new wording

Comment: Re:Brought to you by the same government (Score 2) 127

by witherstaff (#49092675) Attached to: Fedcoin Rising?
The government has shown they are perfectly happy seizing any asset they can get their grubby hands on. You don't even need to have been charged with a crime with forfeiture laws getting hundreds of millions of dollars. They'd take your cash and fedcoin.

Comment: Re:Biblical Prophecy, Anyone? (Score 1) 127

by witherstaff (#49092649) Attached to: Fedcoin Rising?

Revelation 14 says only 144,000 will be saved, and those 144K were those who were not defiled by women. So unless you're a virgin and one of those incredibly lucky few what's it matter? Well maybe women could not be virgins as it doesn't explicitly exclude them unless they're lesbians?

Of course if there is an exact number for the end times then everything is all pre determination and there is no free will. If the end has already been written, as a guy after you've been 'defiled' why should I bother with religion whatsoever?

As to fedcoin this makes me think of Microsoft's attitude towards Java of embrace to extinguish.

Comment: Re:You can't trust either group of 1%er mentalitie (Score 1) 182

by witherstaff (#48848201) Attached to: Republican Bill Aims To Thwart the FCC's Leaning Towards Title II
My local rep is Fred Upton. A number of years ago he was sitting chair of the house telecommunications subcommittee which includes Internet. At that time he was publically in favor of rolling back the '96 telco reform act provision that forced the LEC - the government mandated local monopolies from the breakup of the Bell system (Verizon, Ameritech, etc) - to share their lines because, as he worded it, the bells have no interest in updating their telco system to faster broadband as they were forced to share their lines with competitors. There was even a nice front page newspaper write up praising his wise leadership in helping speed up the Internet. If the Baby Bells could stop worrying about others using their lines they would gladly make things faster. He got his wish when Powell's son running the FCC did just that. Guess what... the baby bells didn't decide to miraculously speed things up. Upton is still in office, guess who's fully backing the legislative answer to this problem? Biggest contributor? Comcast

Comment: Breaking the telco monopolies (Score 1) 123

I'm not in a metro area and the best I can get right now is 3 Meg DSL. I'd gladly sign up for a home connection if I could get a low ping, higher bandwidth solution that was reasonably priced. Plenty of people in underserved 1st world that would be customers.

Comment: State of Michigan thinks only companies have faxes (Score 1) 790

by witherstaff (#48788779) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

I recently went to renew a company license plate. The insurance for it is handled as part of the bulk yearly insurance package for the company as a whole so this certificate was dated as 'started' a few months ago. The secretary of state denied the renewal saying if the certificate of insurance was dated more than 6 weeks ago they needed a new one, due to a new rule to help stop fraud. The current laws, which the current certificate lists in a large notice about it being illegal to provide a false or canceled certificate must not be enough. However if my insurance company faxed them a copy they'd be fine.

I called my agent and one was faxed over in a few minutes. The fax was accepted and I was given a renewal sticker. The fax was the exact same piece of paper, same date, as the piece of paper I had handed to them. They didn't verify the caller ID, call the insurance agent directly, they just picked it up off their fax machine and accepted it. I guess the state guideline writers never assumed that someone other than a legit company would actually own a fax.

Comment: Re:Ghost Car Alert (Score 1) 421

by witherstaff (#48734699) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?
open source big brother would be great. You'd need something like a video dash cam to do the scanning or a specialized holder for your phone, but I don't believe the typical cell phone would have the processing power to decipher the plate number. (I looked into something along this line a few years ago and OCR wasn't doable for realtime then, maybe new phones have the processing needed) . If they can scan our plates on public roads we should be able to scan back.

Comment: Not just cars (Score 1) 840

It's sadly not just cars. I think every designer should have to prototype a product and then have to try to field repair it before they put things into production. I have done furnace repairs where to change a simple hot surface ignitor or to clean a flame sense you have to dismantle half the furnace. Typically these are held in with one screw to keep in place. Why some furnaces are made so bad I have no idea. Anyone with half a brain should think 'hey, what parts might need changing?' and make it easy to get to.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin != Coins (Score 1) 108

by witherstaff (#48714613) Attached to: Fraud, Not Hackers, Took Most of Mt. Gox's Missing Bitcoins
Bitcoin has been one of the hot button items on here for awhile and I'm not sure why. The blockchain is a very interesting technological creation. The creation of a peer to peer payment system world wide that has no central authority is also neat. The ability for anyone online to give and receive payments, from fractions of a cent to significant amounts, is also pretty cool. The 300+ million in venture funding for bitcoin related projects reminds me of the early dotcom days.

Comment: Ignorance of law is no excuse unless you're a cop (Score 2) 52

The supreme court just found that even if a cop did something not exactly lawful, if the breaking of the law was reasonable then that's fine and forget the 4th amendment.

In a decision issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the police in a case arising from an officer’s “mistake of law.” At issue in Heien v. North Carolina was a 2009 traffic stop for a single busted brake light that led to the discovery of illegal drugs inside the vehicle. According to state law at the time, however, motor vehicles were required only to have “a stop lamp,” meaning that the officer did not have a lawful reason for the initial traffic stop because it was not a crime to drive around with a single busted brake light. Did that stop therefore violate the 4th Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure? Writing today for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts held that it did not. “Because the officer’s mistake about the brake-light law was reasonable,” Roberts declared, “the stop in this case was lawful under the Fourth Amendment.”

Roberts’ opinion was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan. Writing alone in dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized her colleagues for giving the police far too much leeway. “One is left to wonder,” she wrote, “why an innocent citizen should be made to shoulder the burden of being seized whenever the law may be susceptible to an interpretative question.” In Sotomayor's view, “an officer’s mistake of law, no matter how reasonable, cannot support the individualized suspicion necessary to justify a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.”

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky