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Comment: Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

by yenot (#43098699) Attached to: Orson Scott Card's Superman Story Shelved After Homophobia Controversy
I think people are missing the obvious. DC hired Card for the status his name would have given to the publication, not because he's the best possible writer for Superman. It's just like Hollywood hiring famous actors for their name recognition. Card succeeded in lowering the value of his personal brand amongst DC's target readership, so DC stepped in to protect the value of the Superman brand. Card is free to write about another superhero that isn't trademarked by DC if he wants.

Comment: Re:"In-browser popups?" (Score 1) 273

by yenot (#43055787) Attached to: What a 'Six Strikes' Copyright Notice Looks Like

They could easily redirect your requests to Google DNS to their DNS.

I stayed at a hotel, whose Internet service was run by Comcast, which did exactly that (continuously, not just for login). If you want to detect hijacked DNS, I added a feature to my Device Fingerprint website to help. Loading the page triggers a unique DNS query. You can view information on the outbound IP of the DNS server that performed the lookup in the "DNS Data" section.

Comment: Re:I can't join the free speech religion. (Score 1) 70

by yenot (#42883823) Attached to: Philippine Cybercrime Law Put On Indefinite Hold

We have no proof that legal porn/cybersex leads to a better way of life.

You have the burden of proof backwards. In a free society, you don't regulate everything and then make exceptions. If you're going to limit the freedoms of others, you need proof that the actions being limited create negative externalities (negative consequences for 3rd parties).

We also have zero proof that banning it leads to banning of actual speech, i.e. political/social commentary.

There's plenty of historical proof that people in power will use available resources to maintain power. The infrastructure needed to censor porn on the Internet is the same infrastructure needed to censor political commentary.

The sacred might emphasize a purpose in life beyond freedom/porn/cybersex, and it seems most people fear that, even if in non-religious form.

Freedom is "sacred" in that it allows people to find their own individual purpose in life. The freedom to succeed where others didn't believe, and the freedom to fail (i.e. the consequences you said you want people to have).

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 132

by yenot (#42661055) Attached to: Cuba Turns On Submarine Internet Cable

Exercising that right does not make them a bully. What next, calling a woman a bully because she refuses to have sex with you?

That's the wrong analogy. The correct one is: An adult American and an adult Cuban want to engage in consensual sex, but the American's parents stop the transaction by threat of force. In real life, Americans want to buy cheap sugar cane from Cuba free from protective tariffs. We can't, so we end up consuming a lot of high fructose corn syrup instead.

Comment: Re:What's good for the goose... (Score 1) 768

by yenot (#42263379) Attached to: Outrage At Microsoft Offshoring Tax In the UK, Google Caught Avoiding US Taxes

The kind of plans some of receive from our employers that they now want to tax as income (at upwards of $5000/year in some cases).

It *is* income and should be taxed. I'm all for lowering income tax, but not with market distorting exclusions. Because of this subsidy you have:

  1. A) Much higher cost of health care and lack of price innovation on procedures that would otherwise be cheap. People use health "insurance" to pay for everything instead of using indemnity plans for high-cost, unexpected procedures. As soon as you disassociate the buyer from payment, you don't have a market system (even if it's private).
  2. B) It ties your access to affordable health care to your current employer.
  3. C) An increasing rift between rich and poor. Like the mortgage tax deduction, health insurance deductions are regressive. Higher income people get more benefit, because on average they buy nicer houses and have fatter health insurance policies.

Comment: Re:What people really want (Score 1) 198

by yenot (#41926739) Attached to: The Privacy Illusion

Really simple example - do you have health insurance? If you do, then there is a large insurance company out there that has your entire medical record. You gave up your right to medical privacy (between just you & your doctor) when you agreed to purchase health insurance.

The above-mentioned problem only exists due to government meddling in markets. If employer provided health benefits were taxed as income, almost everyone would purchase indemnity plans, not plans that cover glasses, birth control and routine dental visits. We would actually have a free market and lower prices in non-catastrophic health care. We would also have more medical privacy.

Comment: Re:three words, one hyphen: (Score 1) 549

by yenot (#41798851) Attached to: Why Can't Industry Design an Affordable Hearing Aid?

There is no "law of supply and demand". It's a fiction.

You're ignoring quality/functionality as a variable. If a product or service has a perceived (utility) value significantly higher than its dollar value, the consumer is usually prepared to pay significantly more for small improvements in quality/performance. If my employer provided medical insurance is paying the first $1500 of the cost of my hearing aid, but my perceived value of a hearing aid is $2000, I buy the high end hearing aid for $3000 and feel like I got a good deal (since I only spent $1500 out of pocket, but would be willing to spend $2000).

Comment: Re:yeah and? (Score 1) 144

by yenot (#41452873) Attached to: Russian Opposition Figure Thinks Anti-Putin Movement Has Faltered
I think you're confusing lawlessness with what you refer to as unbridled capitalism. You can't have property rights and competitive markets, both of which are central to capitalism, without rule of law. To be clearer, you should also write "interests of the people in power" instead of "interests of the state". When you write "interests of the state", people might mistakenly think that you care about the interests of the population at large, which you clearly don't.

Comment: Re:A 1984 device ? (Score 1) 232

by yenot (#41415619) Attached to: Apple's Secret Plan To Join iPhones With Airport Security
You missed the point. Health insurance is tied to your employer in the United States because of the harmful tax code that subsidizes health insurance. Most people would not choose employer provided health plans if health-insurance income was taxed as regular income on the full dollar value. Insurance is for catastrophic things, not regular doctor visits. Your insurance company could require you to visit a dentist once a year, but it *shouldn't* be paying for it. Once individuals are paying for for non-catastrophic health care in large numbers (i.e. people have the incentive to shop around and question the validity of unnecessary procedures), costs will come down.

Comment: Re:A 1984 device ? (Score 1) 232

by yenot (#41401945) Attached to: Apple's Secret Plan To Join iPhones With Airport Security

why was healthcare so expensive compared to the rest of the world.

In order for *price* competition to work in a free market, the party paying for the service needs to be the same as the party receiving the service. In order to restore price competition, health benefits provided by employers need to be taxed as regular income. In the US, we've created a demand side subsidy that distances consumers from payment (a double whammy for increasing prices). The tax subsidies go much deeper than people realize, as health benefits are free from payroll taxes as well as income taxes. The current system is regressive (subsidizes the rich more), as wealthy people have better insurance and spend more on health care. Health benefits are income. If they were taxed as such, most people would choose catastrophic (high-deductible) plans, and routine medical care would deliver much more value per dollar spent.

Comment: Re:Jail Time? (Score 1) 175

by yenot (#40638857) Attached to: FTC Reportedly Fining Google $22.5 Million Over Safari Privacy Abuse
I don't think anyone needs jail time, but if you need a head on a stake, throw apple engineers in jail for making a buggy browser. Google's JavaScript was running in an iframe element. Iframe elements from a non-origin server (i.e. not the page URL) were prevented from writing cookies using JavaScript, but when Google's code made ajax calls for setting the +1 button, the HTTP POST operation was sending/receiving cookies with Google's servers in the HTTP headers. This was a browser bug that borders on gross negligence, not a subtle problem that Google "hacked" around. "Hacking" would have been required to make the browser behave the way it was supposed to, not the other way around.

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