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Comment Here is what I wanted (Score 1) 600

I have a small business consulting/contracting and now upto 3 emplyees. I've been paying my own insurance out of pocket the past 6 years and has run me about $75 to now $87 a month for a decent plan that meets my needs well. (Nothing special, $2500 deductable, $35 doctor vists, prescription drug coverage) But again in the past 6 years I've been to my Doctor 7 times. 6 for annual check ups, free under my coverage, and once for a sinus infecction. I was young in my late 20's and now early 30's and single. I also pay for dental coverage.

The way my Dental works is pretty simple: they pay for twice a year cleanings, once a year x-rays, and then 80% of any non cosmetic proceedures. I don't have the best teeth in the world, and the solution is going to be a few crowns before things get worse. I was able to shop around and actually get prices from different dentists. I wish my health insurance could work much the same way. There would need to be emergancy coverage that is good anywhere: i.e. heart attack, etc.. But for a lot of other proceedures hospitals should have a 1 price policy, not this negioated rate mess where say a bypass is $18,000 for company A, $26000 for company B, and $50,000 if you come off the street. Hospitals should set the price: say $25,000 and then your insurance tell you if they cover 100%, 50%, 80% or whatever. And the prices should be upfront and on their websites in a PDF. An example for me personally is the fact that Carpel Tunnel surgery is in my future. Its not critical but I woud shop at the various hospitals around town to see where I felt I could get the best care for the $.

Comment Re:What's this then? (Score 4, Informative) 296

This issue was addressed a couple thousand years ago by a man name Plato. The work is called The Republic. You might want to consider reading it because it addresses this exact problem with direct democracy: it ends with the tyranny of the majority where minority opinions don't matter.

That's why we're a Constitutional Republic with checks and balances. At least on paper. That was the original intent of the Founders. What we are today is more or less an oligarchy. Politics here are controlled by a couple families, one Republican, one Democrat. One seems to hold one half of the state and federal offices, the other one holds the rest and occasionally job titles change as they reach term limits or get elected to a federal post.

Comment Re:A Cautionary Yay (Score 1) 120

My building has a 5Gbs fibre connection, I spoke with the teleco service guy when they were out replacing the equipment a couple months ago. The limiting factor now is the fact the building was wired about 12 years ago with Cat 5. Overall I can't complain too much other than when it's bad weather out on the weekend and everyone seems to be home streaming Netflix. Usually it's throttling at the server I'm connected to that is my bottleneck.

Comment Re:Ballmer to the rescue! (Score 1) 343

Why? I'm really debating this coming generation of consoles. I'm partial to the PS4 because it's BSD based and I'm still a BSD geek at heart and at the moment the only title I'd miss are the future Halo installments and frankly Halo 4 just didn't seem like "Halo" to me. I don't know why, it's just sat collecting dust most of these past 6 months.

But I wouldn't put it past Sony to launch a patch this time next year that included some kind of "DRM". Hell if they removed OtherOS I don't put it past them to have an "Add DRM" patch.

I've tried BF3 on the PC when it was $5 the other day to compare it to the console versions, which I know multiplayer on console was seriously gimped. And I discovered why I stopped playing WSAD pc games: they hurt my wrist after a couple hours. I guess I'll have to look into an Xbox style controller for the PC if I elect to go that route.

I don't play many games. Last 2 years the regulars have been BF3 and then Battlestar Galactica Online or Star Trek Online. And both of those have seen seriously diminished playing times because of my wrist as well as the boredom of the grinds.

The game I'm looking forward too is Star Citizen presuming it's going to be in the cockpit space combat simulation that I can play with a joystick.

Comment This is getting to be an interesting show... (Score 2, Interesting) 447

If he wanted to blame someone, I'd blame the folks at Wikileaks who advised him to travel from Hong Kong to Russia in the first place. Apparently they told him they'd find him a place for Asylum and it seems they couldn't deliver.

Sorry, but part of civil disobedience is a willingness to suffer the consequences as just or unjust as they maybe. That's what sets people like Gandhi, Mandela and MLKjr apart from this guy. They took their stands and paid the price of their stands.

Some want to lift this guy up as some kind of hero. Others a criminal and traitor. I've held the position that he's both. At least until he begins giving up operational tradecraft information then I start to lean more towards criminal. It's one thing to bring to light what is going on in generalities.

Although I'm getting a laugh at the coming out of the EU being up and arms about our spying on them, especially the French. After all the DGSE is the only intelligence service I know of that publically publishes the fact that 25% of their budget is spent on industrial espionage to help French businesses.

At any rate, glad we can all be focused on this little side drama as opposed to the meat of the story: mainly the spying programs that the NSA have been engaged in. Funny how just a week later that's been pushed from the news headlines. If this wasn't enough to get people into the streets with pitchforks and willing to tar and feather the lot of them in DC I guess nothing will. It was a nice republic, too bad we couldn't keep it.

Comment Re:haven't (Score 1) 248

I've heard this dreck for well over a decade now. Right up there with "year of desktop Linux" which really has never happened. Linux was never a threat to Microsoft and windows on the desktop. Linux killed the Unix venders.

Linux is not a threat to apple. Hell apple now maintains some key components that Linux widely uses (ever check and sees who owns and maintains CUPS these days).

And Linux is not dominating the mobile market. While android may use Linux underneath, when people by a droid phone, they think google and android os.

What keeps people like me using macs and windows are two factors. Ironically the same two factors to why I switched to osx over 10 years ago.

1) Lack of major software packages. For better or worse the business world runs on office. Personally at home I can get away with using OpenOffice or iWork. But for work, I've tried and always end up having to use office for some reason.

2) lack of quality hardware - on the server side Linux has this, not so much on the desktop and laptop side. Even windows now have this problem. I buy MacBook pros because I have yet to have one that has lasted under 4 years. Think pads used to have this level of quality, which you also paid for, but over the past 18 months I know a lot of people we work with are complaining that they are on their second or third think pad in that time.

Maybe as we get more cloud based apps this will change. I'm finding office 360 and skydive increasingly handy as I can now edit office docs online with either an iPad or android tablet easily. But seriously, Linux is still not a threat to either company.

Comment Re:Good (Score 4, Interesting) 433

It's what is happening. I had a professor in college who predicted by 2015 - 2020 the internet as we knew it then would be over. It would be controlled by corporate and governmental interests and that would be achieved through fragmentation and the fact that the backbone of the internet is owned by just a hand full of companies worldwide. While we've not yet seen the fragmentation yet, we've heard grumblings. I think what Iran is trying to do is similar to how the Great Firewall of China proved the internet could be tamed far easier than most around here thought. If Iran is even marginally successful in creating a Jihadnet or whatever, look for other other countries to try and do the same.

Comment DRM is here to stay (Score 1) 433

As long as it remains relatively unobtrusive. That was its problem in the early day, DRM was overly restrictive and made things a PITA for most ordinary users to use it. Apple figured out a way to do it where DRM was there, but was relatively unobtrusive. The studios et. al. learned. So long as it's easy to use and stays out of the way of what most people want to do, i.e. view content online easily, it will remain. When most people go to Netflix, so long as the movie they click on starts to play, they don't care if it has DRM or not.

Comment The Good/Bad of Kickstarter (Score 5, Informative) 113

There was a good article a couple days ago in the WSJ about the backlash against kickstarter. And it's frankly crowd funding I think has reached it's peak and now for the most part there is too much signal to noise ratio. That being said, but it can be used for is someone with a proven track record, or a good solid plan to get the cash they need to create a product.

I've donated to two Kickstarter projects: Star Citizen & Pressgram.

Star Citizen because it's Chris Roberts who created Wing Commander and probably my favourite computer game of all time: Wing Commander Privateer. To me it's what I always wanted, Privateer the MMO (I know there was EVE, but EVE wasn't exactly space combat simulation like WC, X-Wing, or FreeSpace).

Pressgram I donated to because I run a couple sites based on Wordpress including one with several contributors. I can see as we are out at events the allure of being able to post photos easily to the site using an instagram style app, especially for the less technical contributors. That developer had a very well thought out UI/UX model and how he planned to spend the money for development of the app. So i saw the value and chipped in a few dollars.

If you are an established name or have a well thought out plan/product I think Kickstarter can work. But with the deluge of everyone with the "Fund my trendy video/movie/book/whatever" is starting to get annoying. Case in point is a local fashion designer I know wanted to do Kickstarter to raise the funds for production. Even after articles in a couple local magazines and news paper raised $3,000 or $10,000. It was not a well organized campaign and more of a beg-a-thon. And that's what I see with a lot of these projects that have flooded those sites.

Comment Re:Still need to install something (Score 1) 337

Take your own head out the sand and look around, most of the population, the 99.5% of people not on slashdot don't give a shit so long as the solution is unobtrusive. Back with iTunes were all DRMed, so long as they could copy to a couple iPods and burn to CD, people didn't care that there was DRM. It was there, but it didn't get in their way. When DRM was removed from most songs, guess what, none of my non-geek friends even noticed. To them there were no change.

Most people I know who aren't computer geeks really don't care. $8 a month to rent access to movies, TV shows, or Music? They shrug and say it's cheaper than buying it all off iTunes or on optical disc of your choice at the store.

So get used to it, DRM is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Comment Re:What's coming (Score 1) 233

This. I enjoy flying R/C airplanes. Loved them ever since I was a kid as one of our neighbors was real big into it. I've already noticed that model rocketry is about dead, although I admit I've not really looked in the past couple years at a proper hobby shop. Between the whole "Drones" and "Terrorists" things I've wondered how long R/C planes as a hobby would last.

Comment There are AES libraries... (Score 2) 275

We use HTML5/JS in conjunction with Apache Cordova to create Mobile Apps for iOS & Android. For most applications we're hired to do, mainly form apps really, this combo works well, we can build & deploy quickly. But everything we put into localstorage is encrypted using an AES library. User chooses a password as the key and have to reenter the password to retrieve the information. There is an option to wipe the database and clear all storage if you can't remember the password. It's simple and it keeps the data secure enough for our purposes. We're not storing credit card or other data usually. Is it foolproof, probably not, but better than nothing.

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