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Comment An Odd Endorsement... (Score 1) 2044

It appears that the majority of /. endorses a solution that has not been subjected to a thorough code review, which they will have little personal ability to modify for their own use, be required to use in specific ways, will appropriate their system resources even if it is not running, has not been subjected to testing, without any readily available ability to rollback.

Comment My Experience (Score 1) 2044

I have a genetic disorder that requires metabolic and orthopedic treatment, AKA a pre-existing condition. I've never been denied insurance. I've never been denied care. My costs are reasonable, about $600/year for my portion of the plan my employer provides. My out of pocket for my first hip replacement will be about $4000. I have no fear that the current system will provide me with access to additional replacements as these wear out. I'm optimistic that new technology will come about under the current system that will continue to improve on the quality of my care. I have access to specialist care as I desire. I use the current system. It works for me. It works for me with my pre-existing condition. It worked for me when I was in a car accident. It works for my friend with high blood pressure. It worked for my nephew who had a complicated birth, and for his mother. It works for my wife's grandfather who is alive due to heart surgery. My grandfather fell off a roof and broke his back at 70, then lived another spry 15 years in good health because the current system worked.
Heart surgery, childbirth complications, broken backs, hip replacements...none of these have bankrupted us. We are not weighed down by the burden of the cost of our insurance. So, adjust things incrementally if you like. Let a state or two try it out and see what happens. However, you will pardon me if a sweeping comprehensive rewrite of the current health care system is something I do not embrace. The government has undertaken to radically change the system that has provided good care and life saving medicine to myself and my family. I remain unconvinced. I do not need this. I do not want this.

Comment Re:Surgical Removal (Score 1) 199

Apparently, after doctors told him that having a ragged partially corroded bit of plastic, semi-conductor, and metal taking a tour of his digestive track would be a "Bad Thing", the man agreed to have it removed.

Seems that going to jail for destroying evidence in a Federal investigation and having loose chips clinging and tearing their way down your intestines was worse than having to stand trial for the other crimes.

Comment The Real Threat (Score 1) 385

I think we should examine the real threat here. Tritium poisoning, while a vital and serious problem affecting everyone, is actually so uncommon that I can't find any death per year figures. Toyota seems to be much more dangerous, with a few hundred of break failures when it sells about 2,000,000 cars a year in the US (and the break failures are in a range of years, so several million cars).

It is time we look at the real threat...showers. Far more lethal than Toyota brakes and tritium combined - many times over, the shills for Corporate America have been manufacturing these death chambers for years while keeping the sheeple ignorant of the danger. Just ask any of their CEO's and they'll lie, telling you that its safe to take a shower, when they KNOW thousands of people die each year in these menaces. It's high time we spoke out aganist the threat and shut down the companies that make these lethal contraptions.

Comment Re:Are we making viable power plants? (Score 1) 622

Unfortunately, you're almost right. Government insured funding doesn't change the underlying reasons people don't make these investments. Most people have come to the conclusion that in the US, nuclear plants are vaporware, and are unwilling to risk their own money. The administration's hope is, if we are generous with intent, that people will be willing to risk federal dollars instead. This does nothing to fix the key problem, namely the plant will still probably never overcome the existing hurdles to being built and coming online.

Comment Good Political Move (Score 1) 622

This is an excellent political move on behalf of the administration. They can take this step to appear in favor of clean, safe, nuclear power, with very little risk of being responsible for the creation of a new nuclear power plant. It removes none of the real obstacles to actually building and bringing a plant on-line. It almost doesn't matter what the funding sources are or how secure they are, attempts to build a plant will still take place in an environment that is very highly regulated, with regulations that frequently shift, and numerous avenues of legal delay available to people who wish to block the effort.

Certainly, encouraging the building of new, practical, energy production is a good thing. However, the reasons many previous plans have defaulted, and the plants they were to fund never brought on-line, are not resolved. Addressing the obstacles created by our legal and regulatory environment would have done far more to actually create a new, producing, plant.

In other words, there are reasons people aren't willing to risk their own money to build these plants. While loan guarantees do encourage people to loan money, it's easy to convince people to risk someone else's money and does nothing to correct the reasons they weren't willing to risk their own funds.

Comment Without Clear Communication... (Score 1) 1142

Without the ability to communicate with each other clearly, none of these posts would be possible. Much of the work of computers, and all the math, science and logic behind them, is to enable communication. Many of the trend setting applications of these fields have been aimed at encapsulating and delivering ideas from one person to another. Logic is a lever for the mind. Applied science is a lever for the physical world. Communication is a lever for people.

Comment Re:Homeschooling =/= fundamentalist schooling (Score 2, Insightful) 1324

There's a strong vein of "system administrator" in the /. community. The same sorts of attitudes you get in threads on managing network permissions are applied as life lessons. Systems administered by experts are prefered to individuals determining their own course of action. The sysadmin is more trusting of logs than of user feedback, with reason. It isn't that far to assume that if I'm a responsible and skilled administrator with sensable values/priorities, others will be responsible, skilled and share my values/priorities. There's a near total failure to recognise that many systems are simply collections of those same unreliable people. There's a reflexive desire to defend the systems, and it only seems to vanish when the presumption of common cause is removed.

What I find particularly funny is that /.'ers tend to rail when a software manufacturer installs something they don't want, claiming all manner of property and rights violations, but at the same time have zero understanding of the concerns of parrents when it comes to public education. They assume shared values and similarity of expertise with the administrators and teachers of schooling systems, and that makes it okay. After all, if we changed the word "Germany" to "Utah" in the article, suddenly the presumption of shared values evaporates, as do many of the arguments presented.

Comment Re:Yay Democrats (Score 1) 303

I appreciate your faith in the American people and their ability to, not only be informed and concerned, but actually distract the political class from their current objectives, which have nothing to do with NN or the FCC. You could be right that this will happen, and I aplaud your optimism. However, when it comes to government exercise and abuse of power, I prefer pesimism as a default. My concern is in the quasi-law making powers of the regulatory organs of the state combined with the historical propensity for growth.

Comment Re:We told you. (Score 2, Informative) 303

Elections are a valid mechanism for acting against politicians. Unfortunately, most of the Net Neutrality action is taking place within the administrative areas of government. There is no law being written. The law allowing the FCC to regulate was passed long ago. No new votes in Congress are needed for the FCC to create rules that people must follow and punishments that can be used against them if they fail to comply. At this point, you would need to pass a law to restrict the agency. Like all such things, it will grow until it is limitted.

Comment Viruses (Score 1) 313

It's interesting that infectious viruses may form an essential foundation for our own evolution. It may even be that viruses are a developed strategy for "importing tallent" from competitors or neighbors. It has interesting things to say about inerconnection between organisms in a species and between species. Infectability may be a long term strategy for development.

Then again, it could be exactly the other way. Advanced organisms are just diverse platforms which viruses have evolved as elaborate tools and development shops for their survival and propagation.

Comment Re:Responsible dissent. (Score 2, Informative) 689

In answer to your question, it would probably be the Supreme Court. This sort of First Amendment issue has been explored fairly thoroughly, so the cases would likely be predictable with regard to the censure of a person related to their speech.

You're more likely to find the interesting bits surrounding the various press offices of government orginizations. They have a responsibility to engage and inform the people regarding their work and to clarify matters that are widely misunderstood. I'm not aware of any legal obstacle to an agent of the government logging on to a website under a nom-de-plume and posting the agency's party line. I'm sure /.ers have heard of software companies doing this sort of thing to advance their products.
We expect our leaders and institutions to engage the public on matters of concern. They take polls, review focus groups and consult experts. The President is expected to speak on behalf of his policies and party, as are other political figures. I expect the Surgeon General to put forth informaiton on the latest health buzz.
The first difference in this case is that you could be speaking to an agent of the government online, and not be aware. This starts to get pretty creepy. You think it's bad not knowing if KittenPrincess22 is a dude or not, imagine wondering if she's actually an EPA plant. It's the sort of thing people mean when they talk about a "chilling effect on public discourse".
The second worrisome point is that an individual citizen or group could be targetted by federal agencies for their speech. Again, we expect the FBI to keep an ear to the ground when an orginization has violent history or current criminal connections, but those investigations should be driven by criminal concerns, not concerns of disruptive speech. Sending a federal employee to monitor someone's communications because they say something you don't like is not a good thing. It would be hard to prevent monitornig of communications in a public space (like /. boards), but the reasoning for why an individual's communications should be monitored is the place of real concern.
We want our government to be where we can see it. We want to be able to keep an eye on it. We want to know if it's keeping an eye on us as individuals.

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