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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.”

Comment: Re:not decentralized! (Score 3, Informative) 144

by witherstaff (#48629555) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?
I assume the submitter was trying to bump the price. The technical crowd here probably won't be rushing to buy some Ripple. Ripple was entirely pre-mined with almost all of the coins still held by the developers. The pump and dump process with alt coin can be very amusing to watch yet almost all other alt-coins involve only coins actually mined and not held by one entity. While I'm a believer in crypto currencies I am not convinced Ripple is worth having any of.

From the wiki page : The founders of Ripple Labs created 100 billion XRP at Ripple's inception. No more can be created according to the rules of the Ripple protocol. Of the 100 billion created, 20 billion XRP were retained by the creators, seeders, venture capital companies and other founders. The remaining 80 billion were given to Ripple Labs. Ripple Labs intends to distribute and sell 55 of that 80 billion XRP to users and strategic partners. Ripple Labs also had a giveaway of under 200 million XRP (0.002% of all XRP) via World Community Grid that was later discontinued.[28] Ripple Labs will retain the remaining 25 billion

Comment: Re:Why virtual currencies are ineffective (Score 1) 144

by witherstaff (#48629419) Attached to: Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?
A government fiat currency that they can arbitrarily 'print' more money? The entire reason bitcoin was started was due to the banking failures which the government still has not addressed. Too big to fail has only grown bigger. Also old government cash is still plenty anonymous, although bitcoin itself isn't really anonymous without some work.

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 1) 589

by witherstaff (#48629337) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release
I have a niece and nephew via adoption, there are a surprising number of kids needing homes. After the first, a year+ boy, they were offered a variety of other children. They wanted to wait a few years until taking on another. Later on a baby girl was delivered to my sister at work - talk about convenience. Total cost was less than 200 bucks a kid for court costs. Good investment.

Comment: Re:they must hate cash, too (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by witherstaff (#48512689) Attached to: MasterCard Rails Against Bitcoin's (Semi-)Anonymity
They already do try to punish businesses for accepting cash. They require merchants to suck up the cost of accepting Credit cards and not allowing a company to charge more to cover the credit card merchant fees. Of course 'cash discounts' can be done but that's uncommon. Most places just suck up the %3 as part of the cost of business so anyone paying cash does essentially pay more.

Comment: Re:After the first five minutes (Score 2) 286

by witherstaff (#48247729) Attached to: The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows
That video link in the article of a panoramic view of just clouds instead of a wall would freak me out. Making it look like the seats were flying through the air like Wonder Woman started doing Commercial Flights is not my idea of comfort. Or if you're sitting sunside and trying to nap - could you please turn off the wall please it's too bright for me

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 4, Interesting) 1007

by witherstaff (#48247677) Attached to: Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease
Having went to Catholic school and having to do something during religion class, I keep a vague list of points to ponder from the Bible.
  • Oral sex is good - Song of Solomon is all for that
  • 10 virgin wives? Sure it's a parable, parables are based on things people understand so again.. 10 virgin wives? - Gospel of Matthew
  • Killing lots of people is expected if people in another city believe in another god - Deuteronomy
  • Wear a hat or go to hell - Leviticus
  • Zombies - Gospel Matthew, more than Jesus rose from the dead
  • Women are subservient to men, shouldn't teach or have any authority over men - 1 Timothy
  • Anything without fins and scales from the waters is unclean to eat. Sorry tasty lobster, shrimp, calimari, catfish, etc - Leviticus
  • So many bad animals to eat. escargot, pig - life without bacon?
  • Slavery is OK as long as they're foreigners. - Leviticus (Bring this up during discussion of border security for fun shock factor)
  • Tats bar you from heaven - Leviticus (Just pick a random passage from that book and you can find something everyone is doing wrong)

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer