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Comment The Free Market Works (Score 0) 551

Those citing California (and other) "deregulation" attempts as evidence of a need for more regulation are entirely full of it! I live in California and do recall what occurred however this was a result of BAD regulation not DEregulation. In a free market consumers MUST have the choice to say NO. If you install a third party who buys on behalf power of the grid (ISO) and then give them a mandate to buy AT ANY PRICE when conditions warrant then that is NOT A FREE MARKET! And.... it can never work,

Consumers should have had access to whatever power was being produced by their chosen supplier at whatever rates THEY had negotiated with the supplier. If their supplier was not providing sufficient power to service all of their customers then those consumers could take their dollars elsewhere or pay high rates to keep their power on. Either way at each point the consumer must have the choice to say no I will not pay $1000 for this kwh (and who the hell would other than the ISO?)

When deregulation "failed" California threw out the baby with the bathwater. Admittedly the bath water was a fetid stinking slurry of disgust created by the legislature for their energy industry cronies, but the idea of deregulation was a good one.

To say that deregulation did not work is to completely misunderstand what was actually done and how an actual free market actually works.

Comment What Happened??? (Score 1) 286

I've been waiting for this for ages. Found it stunningly stupid that Skype had cut a deal with Verizon which meant that no generic Android based devices (think Archos) could work since Skype wifi was disabled.

At any rate... It worked great this morning, but now:

"We're sorry, but we couldn't sign you in. Please try again later."


Comment Re:So how much was for actual medical care? (Score 1) 651

Right On! You have hit the nail on the head.

I had a situation in which my insurance had recently lapsed. They requested this absurd amount of money from me. I said "Well, how much would this bill be under my former insurance's negotiated rates?" they quoted me an amount that was less than one third. I said "OK, I'll pay that amount right now, if you agree to waive the remainder". They agreed, and I paid.

I am not saying that this approach will work all the time, but I think that everyone should demand to receive the same "discounts" as the insurance company's are getting. The fact of the matter is that the hospitals never really expect to get the "list" price. It's really just a scam.

These ridiculous bills handed out to uninsured patients are not just high, they are fraudulent!


Submission + - Blueprint For A Quantum Electric Motor

TechReviewAl writes: "Alexey Ponomarev from the University of Augsburg in Germany and colleagues have revealed the blueprints for an electric motor built with just two atom.The motor would have one neutral atom and one charged atom trapped in a ring-shaped optical lattice. The atoms jump from one site in the lattice to the next as they travel around the ring and placing this ring in an alternating magnetic field creates the conditions necessary to keep the charged atom moving round the the ring. A team from the University of Glasgow in the UK in fact built one of these quantum motors back in 2007, which they called an optical ferris wheel for ultracold atoms. The next step, say Ponomarev and co, is to attach the motor to a nanoscopic resonator, such as a spring board or nanomushroom, and make it vibrate. If you can do that, they say, you'd be powering a classical object using a quantum motor. Now there's a trick."

Comment Goodbye DIVX! (Score 1) 600

I, and I suspect many others, vowed to never shop at Circuit City again when they decided that besides selling electronic gear they should wade into the waters of digital content protection and forcefully impose their unwanted formats on their customers and the industry as a whole.

As retailers of entertainment gadgetry I think they would have endeared themselves to their customers by advocating on their behalves.

A company focused on its core business would have been smart enough to see that getting into bed with Hollywood and a bunch of attorneys was going to cost a ton of money and not contribute to the bottom line.

No I don't believe that the DIVX effort on its own is what killed the company but I do believe that it was symptomatic of the company's core problems which were a total cluelessness about its customer base, and a lack of focus.

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