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Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 192

by Tom (#48640631) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

identified as belonging to the house.

This is not how property works in any western country. Someone dug up the street years ago, bought the copper, and paid to have it put into the ground. They own that cable. You cannot just go around and declare someone else is owner of it, without compensating the current owner, and probably even that would be challenged in court as the "give to the house owner" doesn't even fall into eminent domain.

And then switching from one provider to another would mean going to the gray box and unplugging a wire from provider "A" and plugging it into the box for provider "B".

Which would be a step back from the current system, where most provider changes are done by switching, not by mechanically unplugging wires. If someone needs to actually drive to a gray box and change wires every time someone changes ISPs, the costs for doing so would go up considerably.

ou're trying to prove me wrong instead of trying to understand the issue. It isn't helpful.

You're painting a picture of a fantasy world, ignoring the status quo. Yes, in a perfect world, if we would start from scratch on empty fields, maybe it would be better to do it that way this time around. But we don't start, we inherit a world where certain things are the way they are, like it or not. If you want to change something, you can't just paint a fantasy utopia, you need to show how to get there from where we are now.

So you want to change ownership of the last mile? Might be a good idea, show how to do it. Explain how to buy all the cables and grant or sell them to house owners. Come up with solutions for all the situations in the real world, with multi-story houses, houses with multiple outgoing connections, office buildings and private homes. A solution that works both for dense cities and isolated farms. That will not die trying due to resistence by the ISPs, the old cable owners, the house owners or the two dozen laws involved.

It's easy to say "this ought to be so". Everyone can do 10 of those in one minute. Cars ought to be pollution free. Ebola ought to be defeated. World peace should be achieved. Any of these statements just make you one of seven billion people with a vision. Being able to show step-by-step how to actually get there is the hard part.

Comment: Re: Life form? (Score 1) 335

by ceoyoyo (#48639855) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

I didn't say it was a collection of particular matter and energy. "Pattern" sounds all cool and science fictiony, but it's not really particularly necessary to the definition. A chocolate bar is also constantly swapping it's matter and energy with its surroundings, yet most of us remain comfortable with calling it a hunk of matter called a "chocolate bar."

People, including ones who study these things, disagree on whether a virus is alive or not. You're clearly from the former camp. I'm from the latter. A virus requires a living host to perform *any* of the functions normally associated with life, including both active entropy reduction, energy use, and replication. Classifying viruses as non-life also neatly deals with the question of whether prions are alive. By your reasoning, based on the information contained in DNA, if I wrote down the genetic sequence of a virus then that book (or the computer I stored it in), plus some appropriate host (or another book containing the bits of that hosts's DNA necessary to encode ribosomes and whatever else the virus needed to replicate), would be alive. Also computer viruses. And my note to the secretary asking her to photocopy my note.

Your reasoning about fire is just my definition with a lot more words.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 300

So inside a retail store are thousands and thousands of tiny little cost centers? Does that mean that the retail store is also thousands and thousands of tiny little profit centers?

Or would a rational person perhaps look at the store as a profit center because it makes money, despite having overhead costs like ... the screws that hold the front door to its hinges? Or is each of those screws a cost center, in your view?

Comment: Re:$32 million of greed. (Score 1) 116

by hey! (#48639471) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I have a friend who was a medical entomologist and journal editor before he retired. I ran into him while I was browsing a book table at a conference, and mentioned that I'd like to buy one of the medical entomology textbooks but the $250 price tag was a bit steep.

"Just wait," he said. "I'm about to change that. I'm writing a new textbook that will be a lot cheaper. I want students and public health departments to be able to afford a solid medical entomology reference."

When his book came out the publisher set the priced at $500. It was twice as expensive any of its competitors. Now something like this is never going to sell like a basic calculus book, but it has a considerably larger market than you'd think. His idea was that it would find its way into the syllabus in medical, veterinary and public health schools; and that hospitals and public health agencies would buy copies for their libraries. But his strategy to make that happen by making the book affordable and sell in (relatively) high numbers; the publisher had other plans.

So don't blame authors for high textbook prices. It's publishers who set the price.

Comment: board and cardgames (Score 1) 93

by Tom (#48639335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Forget programming. Sit down with him and make a few board and card games.

Too many game designers these days look at the technology and the graphics and the monetarization and all the other crap and forget that first and foremost, there needs to be a game.

When you limit yourself to the bare essentials, you see the game for what it is, and learn to make games by focussing on what makes a game.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 192

Cable between the street and the house might have be redone.

Yes. But the cable doesn't connect to the street, that's just how we say it. It connects to that grey box on the corner, which means after the garden it runs underneath the street and/or sidewalk for typically a few hundred meters.

What is more, the cabling between the house and the street might be owned by the home owner.

Can't say for other countries, in my country almost never.

We could set up a junction box at the street that links into the home's network./quote

We not only could, this is what we do right now. But those boxes serve an entire block, not one house. Theoretically we could change the whole network layout and install such a box at the edge of every property and terminate there, but there are reasons why the system is the way it is, and changing it would require changes in the system, maybe even a partial redesign of the local loop.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 192

Your experience has clearly made myopic and unable to think creatively about the issue.

Of course. If you disagree with someone, it must be that the someone is an idiot. It's not possible that maybe you are wrong.

There's no point having a discussion on this level. People who have arguments don't need to use personal insults.

Comment: Re:Actually... (Score 1) 93

by stephanruby (#48638917) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

If I was the parent, I'd encourage the kid to create games out of cardboard and paper, and possibly out of other physical materials. And of course, I'd play with him at those games. Also, if creating a game from scratch sounds like it's too hard, I'd ask him to take existing games, modify them little by little, and test how fun they are, among family and friends, after each time he makes a change.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm opposed to video games. I just felt I needed to add my two cents regarding non-video games, since the video game creation angle is pretty much well covered on Slashdot already.

Comment: Re:if there is no evidence presented in how they.. (Score 2) 45

No, what happened to you was odd.

It's actually quite normal for the Supreme Court to pick cases where the lower courts normally can't agree on. In this case, the Supreme Court ruling was given on December 15th, 2014. So today, being December 19th, 2014, implies that there wasn't a definitive answer on this question until four days ago.

It's always been the case that if the cop had probable cause for conducting the search the results are admissible.

You're extrapolating. In the case of the Supreme Court case, the driver (allegedly) gave the cops consent to search his car. In the case of the parent poster, he doesn't say whether he consented to the search, or not.

Granted, "consent" can mean very little these days, just take a look on Youtube. To some police officers, even leaving your car door closed -- but unlocked, when stepping out of your car on the command of the police officer, implies that you've given them consent to search your car.

"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?" -- Peter Oakley