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Comment: Find the closest nuke plant (Score 1) 728

by witherstaff (#46738813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
Food - make a solar cooker. Super easy with some tinfoil and cardboard - or anything shiny you can direct to one spot. Boil water in a pot in minutes and can do crockpot style cooking simply.
If it's a no electricity apocalypse I'd find a local Amish community to fill any gaps in the skill pool. Sure they don't necessarily trust outsiders but they do trade. Although I have 2 nuke plants within 100 miles of me. Depending on why there is no electricity I may not be around to bother. If it's simply a catastrophe then it could be like lucifer's hammer and a nuke plant would be the place to bootstrap civilization - it has power, weapons, tools.

Now zombies...that's another matter. Although a nuke plant may be a good idea there also. They've been made very secure since 911 and electrified fences may help.

Comment: Re:Ah, Crony-Capitalism! (Score 1) 223

by witherstaff (#46683269) Attached to: Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.
  • I am part of a power Co-op. There are a number around the country. Profit is given back to the members at the end of the year... in theory. Our co-op seems to keep rolling out into other industries like propane, water heater programs, alternative energy. However normal power companies have to get permission from the state regulators to raise rates. There has been various talk to deregulate electric and natural gas so you can use anyone for the billing company.
  • Telcos (copper) USED to be required to share their lines with the '96 telco reform act. This forced deregulation and let competition into the industry. Startup telcos sold lines to ISPs who popped up all over. Under Bush Jr. and Colin Powell's son appointed to head the FCC this was all rolled back. No more independent telco companies, no more independent ISPs.
  • Part of the problem are the no competition clauses the cable companies get with each city they serve. This prevents any other cable company from even moving into an area. Even if a startup could have the funds the access isn't there.
  • Going forward I hope the solar powered airships / drones get good enough to have circling in a known path far overhead to give us a faster than satellite route to anywhere.

Comment: Already paid for (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by witherstaff (#46683151) Attached to: Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.
We've already paid for high speed internet using the existing infrastructure. The telcos and cable cos have to get the permission of various entities from state and federal agencies, sometimes they got huge tax breaks to improvements. New Jersey was supposed to have fiber to the home of everyone by 2010 if I recall. currently it's up to 300 billion that taxpayers have paid and hasn't been delivered. We want better internet speed start calling your congress critters and ask them where our money has gone.

Comment: Exchanges with interest (Score 1) 134

there are a number of exchanges that pay interest on your holdings on the exchange. They take a percentage of fees the exchange earns and give it to people with coins held there. The rationale is they want your coins sitting on the exchange as it'll encourage you to trade only on that exchange. One exchange, mcxnow, even posts a current interest rate based on the last 6 hour of fees.

Comment: So who is liable for our $300 billion refund? (Score 4, Interesting) 449

by witherstaff (#46613431) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever
With carriers having overcharged over 300 billion who is then on the hook if there are no more landline companies? Of course telcom giants want people only on wireless, Verizon has been selling off their landline business for years.

I haven't kept up with the laws the last decade but the ILECs - incumbent local exchange carrier - were the equivalent of government mandated monopolies. Telco reform act of '96 forced the ILECs to share the publicly paid for infrastructure with startup phone companies. The Internet exploded with thousands of ISPs popping up. This was rolled back under Bush Jr when Powell's son was running the FCC. I wonder if this means other companies can move into these abandoned areas without the ILEC screaming like crazy?

Comment: Re:such bs (Score 1) 671

by witherstaff (#44998445) Attached to: Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

you speak common sense and that's why it will go overlooked. Health care is pricey and the way the medical industry wrote the law ("We'll televise the health care meetings on CSPAN" never did happen since it would have looked bad with the insurance and medical companies writing everything) there is no chance it will get cheaper. I've been seeing my local area have lots of people hired under 30 hours for awhile now. I know people who work at places like Walmart, other retail and Casinos who can not get 30 hours.

The law also doesn't require coverage for employees unless the company has more than 50 employees. The small businesses out there are already stretched and if they haven't been offering health insurance they sure won't start now. Means more out of pocket for the working schmuck,a new tax with the IRS in charge of enforcement.

Comment: Re:What this means to others... (Score 1) 425

by witherstaff (#44515123) Attached to: Federal Judge Declares Bitcoin a Currency
That was my first thought in reading the ruling.The ideas behind bitcoins - or any digital currency - have to annoy the established banking industry so the best way to destroy a new disruptive technology is to regulate it with regulators that are from the industry or will become part of the industry once their government stint is over. Corporate banking is working hard to destroy bitcoin or anything that bypasses banks.

Comment: Re:So, the state is imprisoning people for fraud? (Score 1) 217

by witherstaff (#44281123) Attached to: The Little Bomb-Detecting Device That Couldn't
It's all about scale. HSBC money laundered trillions of dollars and had to pay a few billion bucks in a fine with no criminal charges. Liberty Reserve laundered a few billion and the guys running it got arrested. If this guy had charged more so it was 380 million then perhaps he'd be better off? Wasn't there just a story about the pentagon paying 1 billion for rewriting a payroll system that they didn't use? I doubt anyone went to jail for that one (Yes, different country, but scale is important)

Comment: Re:What!? (Score 1) 298

There are very few free market lovers in politics. There are maybe a half dozen on the federal level that have any sort of real free market / libertarian leaning beliefs and voting records. My local congressman was R and head of the house subcommittee on telecommunications. His largest donors were in the telco industry. He also was in favor of allowing the telcos to regain their monopoly position after the 1996 telco act forced them to allow competition. As various reliable studies show the US really is in the pits for broadband speed even in large metro areas compared to western countries.

I agree with the single owner method. As the universal access fee was a tax the citizens paid to roll out telco infrastructure, and the "200 billion broadband scandal" showed we all overpaid for nothing, I'd be alright with that being spun off into a USPS style entity. At that point anyone could tie into the infrastructure. Won't happen but it'd be nice.

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