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Comment: Re:Slaves of Dubai (Score 1) 265

by lgw (#47436033) Attached to: Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

So lets say that's your unavoidable future. Do you want air conditioning in the desert, or no? Let's say you'll spend the next 5 years cleaning toilets - do you prefer they be the kind where you can flush the toilet paper, or the kind where you make the used toilet paper the maid's problem?

Incremental improvements remain better than no improvements. Do you know much about working and living conditions during the American industrial revolution? Living in 7-story walk-ups, heavy industry with child labor and no thought to safety at all, company stores, etc? And still people flocked to those jobs because it was better than rural America for most. It gets better, one increment at a time.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 294

Fixing the problem starts with popular acceptance of the idea that one can say we're sending too much without being some extremist calling for the end of government. Less does not mean none - spread the word!

If you want zero taxes, go to Somalia.

Fuck you very much sir troll; fuck you very much.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 294

It's worth noting that the more we depend on income taxes on high earners, the more federal revenue will suffer in bad economic times (the very times when the left would argue we need to spend most). Changes to the sum total of income of the bottom 95% in bad times are pretty small: maybe unemployment goes from 5% to 8%, so how much does that affect the total tax base? But top-tier incomes are really unstable, they go down fast in a downturn and up fast in an upturn, so federal revenue takes it on the chin from that group during times like 2008-2011.

That's probably the dominant factor in changes federal revenue as a percentage of GOP these days, now that 1% of tax payers pay about 1/3 of all income taxes, and that noise drowns out any signal we might get from changes in top marginal rate.

Comment: Re: Probe requests should be manual (Score 1) 112

by cbiltcliffe (#47435359) Attached to: Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

GPS is completely passive (unless you use AGPS, but even then it doesn't leak a lot of information).

I know that.

You can use GPS without any network connection, and nobody will know.

This thread/discussion is about using GPS to figure out which network connection(s) to look for and connect to, so this statement, while true, is not even remotely applicable to the topic.

If you record and leak location information, that is not particular to GPS and can only be avoided by not using any location service at all.

Also true. However, most people have apps installed on their Android phone. Too many Android apps request fine location permission for no legitimate reason. I assume a lot of the free ones that display ads want location so they only display ads for brick and mortar businesses that are geographically relevant. Even for this, though, the coarse, network-based location service would be much more accurate than necessary.

See my response to your sibling post, as well.

Comment: Re: Probe requests should be manual (Score 1) 112

by cbiltcliffe (#47435019) Attached to: Android Leaks Location Data Via Wi-Fi

The article is about eavesdropping on probe requests that a device sends. In my proposal, a device would first listen for signals from GPS satellites to narrow the list of hidden SSIDs before determining which probe requests to send. Could you explain how using a GPS receiver to narrow down these probe requests would be "potentially even more intrusive"?

Because way too many programs on Android request fine location permission. Yes, this is a problem with the programs themselves, but that's why I said "potentially." However, every time your phone turned on the GPS momentarily to determine location and therefore which probes to send, any or all of these programs, if installed, would be able to snag your exact location, and send it off to the developer on the next network connection.

Comment: Re:Tell me how this is suppposed to work. (Score 1) 142

by ScentCone (#47433853) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

It's difficult to see the market for this service as anything other than single family residence, upper class suburban.

Or to the rooftop mail room chute in a large office building that might contain hundreds of Amazon business customers. If you're picturing suburban doorstep delivery to un-prepared recipients, you're imagining the wrong scenario.

Comment: Re:2-year CFLs (Score 1) 205

by operagost (#47431329) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

"equivalent to 100W" really means "almost equivalent to 50W" thanks to the usual practice of industry-written standards and regulations.

Agreed-- I'm not sure why companies think it's OK to claim a 600 lumen bulb is "60W equivalent". That's why you look for the lumens on the packaging. No lumen rating? Don't buy. No government intervention needed.

Comment: Re:because: Republicans (Score 1, Insightful) 80

Sure, let's ignore the two years when the Ds controlled both houses and the Presidency, yet nothing changed.

Sure, let's ignore the fact that the Senate is still controlled by Ds.

Sure, let's ignore the fact that the White House is still occupied by a D, who has executive power on the regulatory department capable of making some of the changes.

I'm sure it's all because of one party, and if we just eliminate that party, the Democrats will fix everything. Don't think of it as one-party rule, think of it as one fewer party.

Comment: Re:Go Aereo! (Score 2) 132

Yeah, this could lead to the demise of the cable companies as we know them. For a long time I've said cable TV/Internet needs to be regulated as a utility. With a utility like gas or electricity, the utility company owns the pipes but is prohibited from selling the content that's carried over the pipes. They can set up a subsidiary to sell the content, but they must also allow other gas/electric suppliers to sell to customers at the same transport rates they charge their subsidiary. Those transport rates are set by a public utilities commission. Effectively, the utility company has a monopoly on the pipes (it makes no sense to install multiple gas or electric lines to each house), but due to the monopoly its transport pricing is subject to government approval and it must offer the same pricing to all sellers. Thus maintaining a free competitive market for gas and electricity.

In the U.S., cable TV/Internet has been the big exception. Because it doesn't make sense to install multiple cable lines, most municipalities only grant access to a single cable company. Yet that artificial monopoly is not regulated like a utility - the cable company completely controls the pipes and the content that's sent over those pipes. (This is a necessary step when an industry is first developing. Different companies have to be allowed to try different ways to lay down pipe and offer content over those pipes for the market to determine the most efficient way to distribute that content. But once the best method is determined, the industry is essentially a utility. At this point I think we all know TV/Internet delivery is headed towards fiber to the home.)

If Aereo can get themselves classified as a cable company, that does to cable TV what VoIP did to phone service. Right now the cable companies sell you TV, and oh by the way you can get Internet access too. With Aereo's model, you only need to get Internet from the cable company, and you can get your TV from Aereo. The cable company essentially becomes a utility giving you only Internet service. Companies like Aereo could then sell you TV service delivererd over the Internet.

Unfortunately, this means Aereo is going to have both the broadcasters and cable companies arguing against them to the FCC and the courts. While I hope they succeed like VoIP did, the influence of money in politics makes me think their chances are slim.

Comment: Re:Simplified summary (Score 3, Insightful) 132

Close, but what's happening here is similar to what happened with Pandora and online music broadcasters. They tried to get by by paying the same royalty rates as radio stations, which are negotiated between the RIAA and all radio broadcasters en masse. The RIAA smelled an opportunity and finangled the courts so Internet radio got defined as something new and different, and thus they could negotiate rates against a much smaller and less established entity. Consequently, Internet radio pays much higher royalties than broadcast radio.

I suspect the TV stations are trying for a similar play here. It's completely illogical (like saying you're not buying the movie, you're just buying a license to view it; but then saying you need to buy a new one at full price if you're upgrading from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray), but logic is secondary to them if there's an opportunity to extract more money from people. I think that's my biggest gripe with Copyright law - since it's a completely artificial monopoly I think the rules governing it must make logical sense in order for supply and demand to work as with natural property. But instead the copyright holders are twisting that artificiality to completely illogical means that break how markets naturally work.

Comment: Re:2-year CFLs (Score 1) 205

by operagost (#47430843) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...
My experience is that GE makes, or at least MADE as of two years ago, the worst CFLs. They die within a year, especially if installed upside-down. I had a Sylvania that I bought 7 years ago that went through two moves and three light fixtures finally die after about three years in an open can fixture. The GE that replaced it died in six months. Well, sometimes it works if you fiddle with it.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer