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Comment Re:Jeeze... (Score 1) 70

I'm a member of the post-60 cadre myself, and all I can say is that my memory is indeed failing to some extent. I refuse to state whether or not it is correlated with my sex hormone levels, in part because I possess no good way to measure them. I'm pretty sure, however, that they aren't coming out of my ass.

Comment Re:Why neutrality for only 3 of the 7 OSI layers? (Score 2) 363

Since you are already modded up to 5, I'll reply in verbal support. The OSI stack is more of an abstraction after the first 3.5 layers -- the top three layers are all about the software that uses the network, not the network per se, and honestly I think that the idea of applying "net neutrality" to the application, presentation, and session layers is an absurdity as they have never really been a "networking" issue but more a matter of choice of software design at the two ends of the connection. For example, one way of interpreting "neutrality" would be a requirement that the designers of internet-based games write their games to be playable on any top level windowing system in all operating systems -- something like under Steam on steroids. If I wrote a simple game intended to run only under Linux and function only using one particular graphics stack and library set AND wrote it to run over an ISP-run network, I personally could be held in violation of a 7 layer net neutrality law. Imagine Apple, Microsoft, Linux, BSD, OS/2 all being forced by "net neutrality" to make their presentation layers interoperable. A nightmare, impossible to enforce, and stupid -- it would actually inhibit competition, not support it.

What the poster INTENDED, I think, is that the ISP (which is really the NN rules are all about, because they ARE granted a de facto near-monopoly over network connection in many if not most locales -- very few places have a choice of (say) four or five ISPs all with their own wires, and even those places are forced to move packets over common backbones belonging to many different companies (do a traceroute to a dozen distant places or services that you might use if you don't believe me) -- not differentiate their treatment of the bottom 3-4 layers on the basis of the toplevel application being run, but applying NN rules to the application layers themselves is IMO clearly inappropriate at the level of an FCC action and an open invitation to enforce a "universal standard" for all of these layers that believe me, you Would Not Like if you had it because OBVIOUSLY that "standard" would be set by Micro$oft and/or Apple or maybe Google and guess who would control it and regulate it and manipulate it to literally squash all competition that didn't PAY them for complying with the top layer "standards" they set...

I personally do agree that including TCP/UDP in the NN rules makes some sense, but that is primarily because the application layer INTERFACE and the transport layer ROUTING are heavily intertwined -- TCP is designed to make a network connection "reliable" by handling out of order deliver, transmission timeouts, and so on, and an ISP who wanted to MIGHT be able to screw around with this within some set or rules applied "strictly" only to the first three layers. Hence a need for "3.5" layers -- basically requiring ISPs to remain in the business of selling connections that provide their clients with an IP address, some level of bandwidth, some guarantee of QoS that is not modulated by the particular use the client makes of the network within the bounds of some Acceptable Use Agreement. In other words, holding them responsible as a public utility like a power company not to constantly turn off the power to, say, a predominantly black neighborhood in order to keep the power on in the white neighborhood next door, or worse, not to keep the power reliably on unless you buy all of your light bulbs and electrical appliances from the power company itself.

At the same time, I am sensitive to the practical realities of networking (I've written network applications and managed networks all the way back to twisted pair networks without any surviving name). If you are running a network, even in a single building, with your very own routers and DHCP server(s) and so on, that network is GOING to have a finite bandwidth. If you have power users in your organization, one of the IS going to be perfectly capable of saturating your network and degrading the QoS to all of your other users -- the sort of thing that would routinely happen in my small neighborhood when I still used Verizon and phone-line based internet and would try to (for example) install a few GB of Linux at 10 MB/sec -- I've been both the bad guy saturating the lines and slowing everybody else down and the poor sap that wonders why his internet connection is so slow and it is because everybody in the neighborhood is watching Netflix at once and the entire network is bottlenecked so that everybody's service sucks until a few people give up and go to bed.

There IS no "good" free market solution to this. Nor is there a "good" solution to providing internet services AT ALL to people who live on farms up in the hills where NOBODY -- cable company, phone company, fiber company -- is EVER going to actually make money pulling a wire/fiber to them, the amortization time exceeds the lifetime of the medium. Again, we are thrown back on history -- the rural electrification act: This was the original government-backed "neutrality" plan, and it was successful. At this point we literally cannot imagine a home without electricity, and thanks to the government backed "neutrality" plan, we don't have to. This is the entire concept of the public utility -- in exchange for (near) monopoly markets the company is required by law to provide that service to all that want it at capped/negotiated rates and completely independent of what particular use a consumer puts the service to -- they can use an electrical saw to cut wood -- or the cadavers of their serial-killer victims -- in their basement and the power company doesn't get to sell them the saw or dictate the use they put it to, that is up to somebody else.

Net neutrality therefore HAS a substantial precedent. Indeed, the FCC IS the agency charged with regulating internet, phone, and cable, including wireless versions of the first two. Public utilities have ALWAYS had this sort of oversight, and the US has ALWAYS required that public utility services be provided on an ecumenical, "neutral" basis within the capacity of the provider and provision for them to make a limited/regulated profit when they have a de facto monopoly, and at the same time to compete when there are real alternatives (where they will usually make LESS profit than they might be allowed as a true single provider public utility). We lose absolutely nothing by requiring neutrality at the level of the law, or at the level of FCC control. It is the JOB of the FCC to provide it and to regulate its profit, just as it regulates who gets to use the bandwidth around 700 kHz in the AM spectrum in any given transmission domain.

Would electricity be cheaper if we didn't provide all of those farmers and rural homeowners with long-distance electrical lines that cost more to install than the company will ever make back in power bill profits from those farms and homes? Without any doubt. Indeed, in a pure capitalism, those homes would NEVER get electricity, because there is literally no profit in it for any company that provides it. Which is a really excellent argument for not living in a pure free-market capitalism.

It is more than a bit ironic that a substantial fraction of Trump voters in the last election, who de facto elected the man who appointed a man who is literally owned lock stock and barrel by the major communications utilities to end net neutrality, supported in a vote by a long list of Republican congressmen all of whom received substantial sums of campaign money from these SAME utilities, live in homes in the rural countryside or on farms or even in small communities that would not have electricity or phone service at all if it weren't for the simple fact that we implemented "neutrality" rules for those pubic utilities some 70 or 80 years ago that required companies to act AGAINST their short term bottom line and (frankly) charge urban customers more for electricity in order to subsidize the electricity provided to the rural customers, just as they do today. If these pseudo-libertarians ever woke up to the fact that if their libertarian dream became reality, the very next day their lights would go out and never go on again, perhaps they would change their worldview around and think positively about a net neutrality, a national health service, and all of the other ways where we can "insure" our collective security and comfort by recognizing that there are, in fact, collective "profits" for us to earn as a society by means of DEVIATING from the local optimization process represented by "pure capitalism", especially pure capitalism that is de facto oligarchy in disguise, with businesses essentially regulating who gets to run for public office in the first place by controlling the purse that actually funds election campaigns of politicians of both parties.

Comment Jeeze... (Score 4, Interesting) 70

OK, so they did a study comparing young people and old people, where the young people all had smooth skin and high levels of sex hormones, and the old people all were somewhat wrinkled and had lowered levels of sex hormones. The young people remembered more than the old people. Hence, we can obviously conclude that having a smooth skin and a powerful sex drive improves memory.

What's that latin again? Post hoc ergo propter hoc? Sounds so much better than in English: correlation is not causality!

Sure, sure, they found similar correspondences in young and old people, but they still miss this point. Both could have the same independent cause, and indeed in the case of the young people it is rather likely that they do, since presumably they don't have atrophied brain parts that usually produce deep sleep but just didn't sleep deeply anyway!

About the best one can do from this from the sound of it is: Not getting good sleep is bad for your memory.

Wow. That's sure news. Nobody even suspected! And some people don't get good sleep because they drink too much coffee in the evening. And others don't get good sleep because they are in pain all the time. And still others don't get good sleep because they have obstructive sleep apnea. And whaddya know -- some of them have atrophy in a part of the brain that helps produce good sleep.

I was going to say something else about this, but I dozed off for a moment there and now I forgot.


Comment Re:No radiation risk (Score 1) 344

But if you are a tech-hating Luddite aging flower child who believes that silicon dioxide crystals with various dopings, worn on the body or just kept in a house, affect your health in beneficial ways, you can't even pretend to convince yourself that you "understand" a cell phone the way you do the channeling of crystal energies with sacred symbols. This creates a state of cognitive dissonance -- what you don't understand you fear and you resent in equal parts. The resentment is made even greater when all of the smart people in the Universe make fun of you for believing in magic, so you retaliate by deliberately disbelieving in double blind, placebo controlled evidence because if you ever let yourself accept that it is the only sound basis for justified belief you'd have to admit that all of your beliefs about the healing powers of herbs and crystals and chanting various mantras (or just garden variety praying to Jesus) are pure bullshit, as they have all failed DBPCStudies, repeatedly, over decades. You also mistrust and resent anyone who actually understands what crystals actually are and how they are put together and knows at least approximately what the word "energy" actually MEANS (as in, knows the dimensions of the quantity and how it is connected to things like fields, interactions, and motion) as they can say things like "cell phones are utterly harmless, except when they catch fire in your pocket or are dropped on your head from a tall building" or "a quartz crystal has no measurable physical field (other than the light reflected from its surface) at length scales much greater than molecular dimensions away, even in the neighborhood of its sharp edges and points, and is utterly incapable of affecting your health (outside of the placebo effect) no matter how many "good intentions" you direct at it or how many mantras you chant".

The really sad thing is that an entire state would incorporate this bullshit into their formal health advice. The only possible basis (assuming actual scientists and physicians were consulted on the matter) for this would have to be some sort of massive conspiracy theory mentality that is convinced that the many studies that have found no link, including studies with a million or so participants:

are the result of a huge government multinational corporation conspiracy intended to conceal negative effects and that the one or two studies that have found some borderline "significant" result as gospel truth that proves that the conspiracy they've always suspected is REAL. Damn that CDC anyway!

But hey, take one or two absolutely marginal results, ignore the fact that these results are scientifically inconsistent and implausible, ignore the absolute certainty that with the p=0.05 standard for "statistical significance" by idiots often in small studies it is a near certainty that you will have opportunities to conclude that:

Green Jelly Beans Cause Acne:

and legislate those evil Green Jelly Beans out of existence. In California, at least.

Comment Re:No radiation risk (Score 2) 344

2W of non-ionizing power, only 1 W MAX of which can be directed towards your body, at frequencies where the energy just doesn't penetrate much into your body. It is about as risky as taking a christmas tree light bulb, putting it in a cell-phone transparent box, and putting that inside your pocket.

I'd sooner believe the connection between high voltage transmission towers and cancer. The power at ground level is again absurdly low, but at least there I can imagine the high voltage arcing into the air at points near the insulators, generating a surplus of ozone, that falls to ground level at some measurable rate and ... no, I don't believe that either...

Comment Interesting.... (Score 1) 139

Murdoch is keeping the entities associated with political control, while unloading all of the apolitical entertainment "fluff". I was very curious to see if he would give up Fox News to the uncertain control of Disney, who (after all) has to be at least a little bit responsive to its entertainment audience and who MIGHT not continue to prop up the POTUS when all others (except for the uber-loyal National Enquirer) actually point it out when he lies or tweets an insulting comment about a member of Congress's personal appearance or how awful it is that THEY (if they are a Democrat) are accused of sexual harassment.

Oh, well. ...

Comment Re:Nobody says that. (Score 5, Informative) 535

I'm curious. When was being a lobbyist treated as treason (a crime defined in the Constitution)?

Quite the contrary:

This is just one of the things that Madison, and the court, have gotten wrong. The forces do not, in fact, tend to balance out in time because Madison had no concept of the degree of accumulation of wealth that would occur over the next two centuries and how much this would lead to a small oligarchy controlling immense resources and correspondingly acting as a superselector for the actual private citizen's choices. Shockingly, the courts have even recognized corporations themselves as having many of the rights of private citizens, in particular the "right" to petition the government via lobbying. In this way, the entire concept of democracy (republican or not) is subverted, as in the actual constitution corporations are NOT recognized as political entities -- all political power ultimately devolves to we, the people, the citizen. A corporation is not a citizen, nor is it a democracy.

Sadly, the only way we can get out of this at this point is EITHER having a congress that passes laws that muzzle lobbying -- personally I'd prohibit ALL lobbying, as the baby drowned long ago and all that is left is the sewer sludge swamp water of extremists on all sides, fueled by the oligarchs who maintain power as long as they keep wethepeople too distracted to care and too stupid to want to. Then we'd have to have a court that would actually consider the point that corporations are NOT citizens and do NOT have a right to "freedom of speech" -- only individual persons (owners or employees alike!) do, and only to the extent that they are willing to expend their own personal resources on it. OR we'd have to pass an amendment to the constitution specifically limiting the power of corporate entities to participate in or influence government decision making. Frankly I'd prefer the latter, but it will probably require the second American revolution to bring it about.

In the meantime, much as I appreciate the sentiment that corporate lobbying SHOULD be, well, not "treason" but a pretty serious crime, the lobbying part per se is the tip of the iceberg. I could even live with it as long as the real problem is repaired.

That is the simple fact illustrated here:
and here:

Scroll down to the graphic detailing PAC contributions. To put that graphic in perspective, one has to look at the numbers:

Opensecrets (among other places) follows this all the way down to the following brutal fact. It costs an average of around 11 million dollars to run for the Senate. It costs almost 2 million dollars to run for the House. It costs well over 100 million dollars to run for President. Actual donations from private citizens making less than $200,000/year constitute about 6 or 7 PERCENT of this. Well over 90% of the cost of running for office comes not from We, The People, but from corporations, filtered through PACs and the parties themselves, and those corporations are controlled by a tiny handful of the world's wealthiest people.

Nothing illustrates the corruption more clearly than the fact that many -- arguably most -- of the PACs contribute roughly equal amounts to Republicans AND Democrats running against each other. They don't care who wins, regardless of their stated position on whatever "issue" the PAC is supposed to give a shit about. What they care about is making sure that the winner OWES THEM, and knows that they money they rely on to stay in office can be withdrawn in the next election cycle if they fail to play ball on the issues that REALLY count, which are generally not the nominal "purpose" of the PAC but the maintenance of oligarchic power by the super-rich who control the corporations that control the PACs. Votes in congress are carefully choreographed to avoid making it too obvious that Congress belongs to the plutarchs heart and soul, and votes against on the issues aren't held against the voters -- as long as the important laws that benefit the controllers of the PACs win in the end and are never actually repealed once they pass.

It's simple. We're not talking "influence", we're talking control. If you cannot run for office without money, if the only source of money is the oligarchs, you can bluster and posture all you want, but the only way you will ever even become a candidate whose name we know and can vote for is if you are ALREADY bought and paid for by the people who have the money you must have to run at all, and the control of that money is not We, The People, but people like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, the Koch brothers, Murdoch. Billionaires many times over who have de facto complete and utter control over who we are PERMITTED to see as candidates. Short of a constitutional amendment or a second American revolution, this isn't going away. Honestly, it is probably what Trump voters where hoping for, although why they thought voting a billionaire into office and taking away the middle-man was going to do any good escapes me.

Comment Re:I've seen a UFO, and it demonstrated science (Score 1) 384

"You are making a LOT of assumptions there using faulty human logic.

Actually, I'm saying: "If you make a lot of assumptions, the probability that your conclusion is correct goes down to the extent that your assumptions themselves are not certain". Which is, I reiterate, Bayes theorem. The assumptions are called "priors", and one problem with argumentation in general is that one rarely has a sound basis for even assigning a probability TO an assumption like "NASA and the government know there are space aliens but they choose not to release the evidence accompanied by an announcement to that effect". Which is basically what you are asserting, and what the entire movie you offer as "evidence" is asserting.

You are also asserting that our understanding of the laws of physics, specifically the ones that make interstellar travel almost infinitely unlikely (if our understanding is correct) is INcorrect, in a relevant way that enables interstellar travel in reasonable times and for reasonable costs. The point you miss there is that you have absolutely no basis for believing them to be wrong in such a way. Nobody does. There is no evidence for it. There is no coherent argument for it. That doesn't mean that it isn't possible that we are wrong -- of course it is -- it just means that it is the height of absurdity to assign a GREATER degree of belief, not even in a THEORY of FTL travel (or hell, slower than light travel that doesn't require the combined GDP of the entire world to be spent for several decades to send a single tiny ship that might arrive at the NEAREST star in a time frame of centuries), but to the notion itself that it is possible and the hell with physics and experiment and common sense.

As for the movie -- ROTFL. Seriously? Complete with patched in clips of rockets taking off, spiral galaxies, and with the bizarre "Ooo-na! Ooo-na-na-na" music played after each clip and sonorous pronouncement. We simply have different standards as to what constitutes "evidence", specifically reliable and reproducible evidence, evidence that verifies actual hypotheses or theories, evidence that permits one to make predictions.

Again, if you add up all of the assumptions required to believe that space aliens are hanging out in orbit all of the time, but are generally invisible and being hidden from us by BOTH the aliens themselves AND by a mind-numbingly vast trans-world-government conspiracy, where miraculously NOBODY IN THE KNOW has ever outed it (miraculous because truly huge numbers of people would have to be in the know) -- its as silly as believing that the moon landing was done in Hollywood. In fact, the hypothesis that the moon landing WAS done in Hollywood and that we've actually never sent anybody into orbit so that your "evidence" is fake of a fake is probably very slightly more reasonable, and no, I don't believe that either and for the same reasons.


Comment Re:I've seen a UFO, and it demonstrated science (Score 3, Insightful) 384

Mine was much better. We were driving west on I40 and passing west of Winston-Salem when we saw -- my wife and I together -- a light that literally rippled in the sky, lights flashing like they were rolling around on some invisible shape. It flew first to the right of the road, then made an impossible turn and came back diagonally across the road in front of is, then rose and zipped back to the right and came directly towards us, parallel to the road, the lights growing brighter and brighter and with the whole thing literally glittering with rippling sparkles of light. I'm a physicist, she's a physician and at no time did we actually believe we were being visited by aliens following I40 in to attack Winston, but we certainly could not identify what we were seeing -- it was absolutely a Unidentified Flying Object!

Then it smoothly passed us on the right about a mile away, and we could see that it was a biplane towing an advertising display, heading back for another pass over some stadium where they were apparently playing football. We were barely too far away to see exactly what they were selling, but damn, that display rippled and sparkled in the night JUST LIKE lights spinning around on a flying disk, one that constantly tumbled or changed shape.

The moral of the story is mixed. Lack of evidence isn't evidence of lack, and one anecdote cannot address every UFO sighting in the history of mankind. However, as I've pointed out to my sons -- who are much more inclined to give credence to the idea that we are constantly being watched by aliens and that their experiences like this one HAVE no natural explanation -- during the 50's through the 80's, the US was more or less constantly under the threat of air attack and ICBM attack from the USSR and to a lesser extent China. SAC had every border lit up with radar that was being watched continuously for "unidentified flying objects" that without question would have been interpreted as an attack by the USSR, not visitation by snoopy space aliens. Every commercial airport was equipped with radar and flight control, (and still is today) and any object not identified by procedure and law would be immediately detected and in all probability investigated, especially post-9/11.

So sure, space aliens could be masters of stealth AND nefariously snoopy AND could be malevolent (spying us out To Serve Man) or constrained by THEIR laws and customs not to interfere while we rush to destroy each other, waiting to see if we survive long enough to build a peaceful global society. Science fiction novels delight in this kind of stuff. But Bayesian assessments of stacked arguments of this sort are never very convincing. Every special explanation required decreases the probability of the truth of the conclusion. Our governments -- all of them -- have to be members of a global conspiracy to hide "area 51" evidence. Reliable sightings have to be suppressed. The alien stealth has to be almost perfect to hide from civilian radar, or civilian radar has to be part of the conspiracy (which by now has grown to include the entire air force, NASA, the top levels of every government, all of the major intelligence and police services -- worldwide). AND we need psychotic aliens because REAL aliens intent on invasion would have crafted a killer virus long before now and collapsed civilization or would have just fired a few nukes at Russia and the US simultaneously and than sat back snacking on popcorn while we collapsed it for ourselves and left them some simply mopping up to do before they took over the rest of the world without credible opposition, and REAL aliens interested in making friend would have made friends long ago. But Bayesian reasoning is a bit difficult for most folks, sadly, and explosion of premises/priors (a.k.a. common sense, withholding a significant degree of belief in the absence of credible evidence AND a credible, evidence supported explanation) is all too rare.

After all, roughly 80% of the people on Earth believe in malevolent and beneficent mostly invisible deities, demons, spirits, angels, devils, and that everything happens for a reason related to plans made long ago by a more or less sentient Universe. They believe that by chanting certain phrases, by asking for a particular future with all of their heart, by performing certain rituals, that the ENTIRE UNIVERSE will rearrange itself so that their wishes are granted, or so that things will all work out for the best, or that even though their life sucks they will get ANOTHER life and THAT one will be absolutely grand, in the complete lack of credible evidence and in violation of all statistical analyses of events and common sense itself. Believing that UFOs are really space ships carrying space aliens that have visited Earth and been mistaken for those deities or that are kidnapping people regularly to probe their various orifices in sexually suggestive ways is comparatively benign in comparison -- it's garden variety crazy, not global conspiracy institutional crazy.

So listen up /. kiddies. If you believe in ANY of the world religions you've got no moral high ground for criticizing the poor idiots who believe that we are being sized up by space aliens. Their beliefs are actually a lot more credible than yours, because they don't QUITE violate the 1st and second laws of thermodynamics, they just require our current knowledge of physics to be valid as far as it goes but incomplete in certain ways, rather than our entire knowledge of physical science to be incorrect because it is subject to constant manipulation by entities who "live" in an entirely different level of super-reality.

Comment Re:Well you know lucky for you there is... (Score 1) 751

Or, install it on a VM under Linux, or on its own disk partition in parallel, or on its own SD disk, or on your OLD computer because if you are a geek worthy of the badge, you have at least two or three obsoleted/backup computers lying around that you no longer use as your primary system (I have, lessee, five immediately operable systems and a sixth and seventh I could use with a small bit of effort).

There are multiple VM alternatives available under linux -- I currently use virtualbox simply because I started with it as the best alternative back when VMware stopped being open and free. Building and installing a VM with an operating system is the work of a couple of hours as long as the OS has an easy network install. SDD is now cheap if your laptop has an open slot. HDD is cheap an enormous, ditto -- room to put four or five OS's in a line-em-up-and-boot them configuration all with 500 GB to TB scale disk allocations at roughly $30 to $50/TB in 4 TB form factors.

I'm avoiding the entire discussion about systemd per se, because while I personally am an Old Guy (tm) and was quite content with init, the various boot files, and so on largely because I understood it and could manage it or hack it armed with nothing but terminal interfaces (xterms) and an editor, I haven't really suffered as Linux moved over to systemd. It isn't as easy to hack down deep, perhaps, but then, Linux doesn't seem to need the down deep hacking it used to just to get it to work. And a lot of the management can still be done with an editor in a terminal, it is just arguably a bit more difficult to figure out what and where to do the editing.

Linux in the old days was enormously stable (once you worked at it a bit on your particular hardware as needed) but it was like all Unices "expert friendly". I was an expert, and for experts the OS and software stack provided and still provides enormous power and flexibility at the lowest possible price -- the cost of becoming expert enough to install and manage it, since "all systems" come preinstalled with WinX or IOS and "no systems" come preinstalled with Linux (I know, not all all, but close enough not to matter). I'm sure BSD would have worked or will work now as well, just like I know I could get by on any of a number of different flavors of linux. The only real problem even now is that for laptops and desktops (ignoring android devices, in other words) installing linux is too much for 95% of all of humanity. Hell, you could make it some sort of complex IQ test -- can you install linux from scratch on a new system, and do you dare to trash the preinstalled OS to find out?

This is unlikely to change, because of agreements between all of the major computer manufacturers and Microsoft, and Apple's agreement with itself. There isn't any significant economic advantage to changing it for the sellers. There isn't any demand for Linux systems, and in the current oligarchy-dominated marketplace, no consumer demand can possibly develop. Those smart enough and/or with a need do it themselves (usually after paying the Windows Tax when they buy their machines because what choice do they have?) and the rest of them are never presented with a floor display in Best Buy with preconfigured Linux systems ready to take home and puzzle over this whole "root" thing and how to create an account and how to get your printer to work with it and how to get your camera and phone to work with it and how to get your $#!)@ bluetooth speakers or headphones to work with it and... even as an "expert" with 30 years experience managing Unixoid systems, I STILL can't get my plantronics cans to work with Fedora.

So my advice -- stop worrying about systemd, as even most expert people just don't care, as long as it installs easily, manages adequately easily, and works. AFAICT, Fedora "just works" with systemd as much as it ever did with init. Fix the stuff that makes running Linux in almost any flavor (still) a PITA. Bluetooth! For gosh' sake, it's 2017! Printers. Installing a printer shouldn't require a Ph.D. and hours of research. Little stuff like screen resolution. Yes, my laptop now has phenomenally high screen resolution, which means that the default boot fonts are these beautiful little letters about three millimeters high that I can barely make out with my reading glasses. Sound. Again, getting sound configured and working with all of the tools or players that use it shouldn't require 30 years of experience working with broken shit and getting it to work because it doesn't come CLOSE to working out of the box.

And for the love of god, dump SELinux. I mean come on, I'm just going to disable it the second I get the new system booted up the first time so that it doesn't start telling me what I can or can't do or bombarding me with useless warnings and messages. As noted elsewhere in the comments, security is a process not an application, and nothing is going to protect you from badly written code but -- fixing the code. Not "big brother".

Comment Re:Tell your senators and representives (Score 1) 296

Yeah, this is going to work really well in a state where telcoms donate roughly twice as much money to its senators' and reps' campaigns as all of the people in the state making less than $200,000 a year put together.

Which is -- wait for it -- most of the states in the US. That's the problem. With net neutrality, the playing field is not level and there are limits on competition that might or might not benefit the consumer. Without net neutrality, the playing field will not be level because there will be no limits on monopoly abuse that will definitely not benefit the consumer because the public utility near-monopolies in question own congress, the president, and will soon own a shit-pile of your money that they will collect as a target specific toll to reach parts of the internet that don't pay them off (and still charge you more to do so).

Comment Re:That's a straw man argument. (Score 1) 588

No arguments from me. As I said and continue to say, Big Corporations (with the capital letters) are currently in control of 3/4 of our four tier government (and have disproportionate influence in the fifth estate as well) by virtue of being the primary funders of all candidates in all elections of significance in the country. They have effective veto power both inside the parties and in the elections because nobody can afford to run for office without the 90% or so of the total cost of running that they contribute, directly and indirectly.

The "freedom" of the market is a secondary issue, and it will be impossible to even begin to untangle things until we pass and enforce legislation outlawing corporate contributions to politicians, PACs, parties, and other things beginning with "P". Outlaw lobbying while we are at it -- paying somebody to advocate for or against a law again introduces a factor into lawmaking not covered in the Constitution and gives disproportionate influence to those wealthy enough to hire a lobbyist (in addition to its demonstrated potential to corrupt politicians by silently lining their pockets or drowning out reasoned opposition) -- and I mean lobbying by the Sierra Foundation as much as lobbying by the Alt-Right. No lobbying at all. Outlaw or stringently limit the amount any private citizen can contribute to a political candidate, political party, or all political parties and candidates put together -- again anything beginning with "P". Level the field for "campaigning" so that it does NOT cost a significant fraction of a billion dollars to run for President and so that third, or even fourth party or no party candidates are not effectively prevented from being a serious political force. Do all of this and wait a decade to vote out all of the rascals who have been sucking on the Oligarchic Plutocratic Tit for decades. Then we'll see what (if anything) we need to do about, or with, the freedom of the market, once it really IS a market and not an extra-constitutional political force that has long since diluted the "republican democracy" intended by the founders to where it is a sick joke.

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