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Comment Re:Well, this seems subpar. (Score 1) 452

Just because the government does a few things well, does not mean that anything the government does will work.

Considering your three examples.

FDA - Been around since the early 20th century in one form or another

OSHA - Dates from the early 70s

NHTSA - Dates also from the early 70s

None actually sells anything or provides anything other than regulation.

The FDA is an organization that regulates food. It does not nationalize food production to ensure quality standards.

OSHA does not make ladders or build warehouses. It simply regulates how these things are constructed.

NHTSA does not make cars. It simply regulates the standards to which cars are built.

Nationalized healthcare would not be concerned with regulating insurance. It is concerned with providing insurance, or paying for insurance (I don't know what the cockup plan of the day is today). If the great and glorious leader wishes to create an agency to deal with regulating insurance, well that's a whole other ball of wax. The healthcare system in America is a mess, no doubt about it. But why does an already existing system need to suddenly be run by the government. I might understand if there was NO form of insurance, and all healthcare was paid for out of pocket, but the truth is that unless I get cancer or some other kind of long wasting disease that is not immediately lethal, I will not be denied care.

In fact, the government services that we rely on daily have been running in one form or another for years. Mainly because they were recognized as necessary when the country was founded. Mail, Military, Police, Fire, etc... I don't see what services the federal government needs to provide above these.

I can't find any reference to OSHA, NHTSA, or the FDA replacing similar and already functioning industries when they were created, which is why it was deemed necessary for the government to step in.

Please do not make the mistake of assuming that because politicians in previous years were able to create legislation that was beneficial and helpful to all that the current crop will do the same.

Do not assume that because there exists government organizations that do their job efficiently and are necessary that all government organizations and programs will be this way. People love to talk about the post office and OSHA, but nobody ever talks about the miserably failed programs that no longer exist.

Comment The Future is Here (Score 1) 568

The technology exists to either completely destroy, or at least severely reduce, the mobile paradigm that exists today. Eventually wireless internet will be ubiquitous, or near enough for most purposes. The actual bandwidth needed to send a voice communication is not all that extreme (Ass-pulled number: 200kbs?). As advances in technology lead us to faster and more widespread coverage, is it not conceivable that all phones could simply use a VOIP system for communication?

Such a system will never happen, or will be many many years in the future though, despite the fact that the knowledge and tech is already there (maybe the infrastructure isn't). The mobile carriers in the US are too focused on charging for set amounts of minutes and will be loathe to give up their cash cow. I can never see Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or anybody voluntarily releasing any kind of phone that will allow you to make all the calls you want as long as you have internet access. Tethering technology for phones has been here for years and yet such things are not commonplace. I owned a Razr v3 way back when they were the new hot thing, and Sprint wanted me to pay some ridiculous monthly fee to tether it, despite selling me unlimited data for 15 bucks a month. The phone could do it, my laptop could do it, but sprint had some lock on the actual software of the phone preventing me from doing it and wanted to sell me the ability to do something with my own stuff. Imagine if you bought a monitor and half of it was blank unless you paid the manufacturer a monthly fee. Its money grabbing extortion, nothing more.

Its always fun to be surrounded by the most amazing things ever seen on earth and know that the buggy whip manufacturers of the world are standing in the way of progress. Imagine where we could be in a world where technology is used to its fullest extent and people were less focused on the convenience of doing business as usual for profit.

People love their money too much and do not want progress. This is why change is almost always due to a revolutionary technology brought in by a newcomer, not motivated by an already established giant of industry.

Comment This is a great idea! (Score 1) 211

I also support other such measures like:

Stripping people of their cars for speeding.

Banning certain people from owning hammers after being sued in civil court for a case only tangentially involving a hammer.

Chopping the dicks off of sex offenders.

Taking aspirin to pretend I don't have cancer.

Making razor blades illegal to stop cocaine abuse.

Comment What? (Score 1) 162

Now that the rock formation is gone, its just another chunk of rock... why not find something equally iconic instead of lamenting the loss of something of vague importance...

QUICK! We have to shellac the grand canyon so it doesn't eventually decay into something not so awesome...

Time will make dust of us all anyway. I'm hearing wonderful things about photography these days.

Comment Ski Resorts (Score 1) 252

I run lifts at a ski resort. The actual "work" (ie shoveling, pushing buttons) is only about 1-2 hours a day. On the other hand I have to be alert and paying attention to what's going on for about 7-8 hours a day to keep people from killing themselves with a 3 million dollar machine. I certainly can't be browsing slashdot every 10 minutes :P

Ski breaks are just as good though.

Comment So what.... (Score 1) 258

we all drive around with ethernet cables hooked to rollers on the side of the freeway?

Or maybe it'll use the cellular network, but I don't see many people paying mobile phone prices to access the internet...

Someone more observant than I maybe want to point out the technical details?


Submission + - UK's Blair Responds to Car Tracking Petition

Garrett Fox writes: The response by British PM Tony Blair to the online petition against universal surveillance of every car in Britain has been released. Slashdot covered the tracking proposal itself here, and recently covered Blair's rejection of a petition against national biometric ID cards. The anti-tracking petition gathered over 1.7 million supporters before its pre-arranged deadline Tuesday. Blair's reaction? This is purely about "road pricing" and fighting congestion, not surveillance... "But there may also be opportunities presented by developments in new technology." This claim is inconsistent with old reports like this that the system was designed to fight crime.

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