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Comment Re:Awaiting next revolution (Score 1) 314

By excessive govt regulation I am talking about the mounds of paperwork required by a variety of different government agencies, none of whom coordinate with each other, in order to get approval to do anything.

Don't take this as being anti-environment, but the example of environmental impact assessments alone is enough to kill most projects that take up only a single location, let alone a rail or road project that will cut through maybe hundreds of different environmental regions. Likewise, other govt agencies will require certification of this or that before the project can move forward. As another example, if the project goes near any sort of school, park, or any area where children may be present, the project will probably need a mountain of documentation proving that the children will not be affected as well as having every employee who may come across children go through a thorough security background check.

By themselves many of these requirements seem like a good idea, but taken together they are a massive barrier to getting anything done at all, due to the federal government trying to babysit and nitpick everything at all times. What happened to the responsibilities of state and local governments to do this stuff? Why is the federal govt putting up so many barriers to any sort of industry or improvements? Under the current regulatory environment, our federal highway system would never have been built, period. It would have taken too long and cost too much just to file the paperwork for approval, and by then the economic situation would have changed enough to make the project impossible to continue.

We're doing it to ourselves. We demand so many restrictions on activities that nothing can ever get done. This restricts YOUR ability to travel just as it restricts the economy as a whole. For more examples, research the phenomena of the "shovel ready" projects and the recent US economic stimulus packages. There were a TON of projects that needed funding, but the paperwork would have taken years to accomplish. So the stimulus money only went to projects that could be started immediately, and some of those projects were frankly pretty stupid compared to the projects that couldn't be funded due to govt red tape. Look it up, since it isn't a problem related to any particular political party even though both major parties try to blame it on the other one. It's a problem with our entire fed govt, especially the non-elected policymakers (cue segue to bitching about the non-elected FCC board that decided to try to regulate the internet against the specific direction of congress and the courts).

Comment Awaiting next revolution (Score 4, Interesting) 314

Peak travel is an interesting concept but it applies only to a given technology level. My own situation is an example. I live in Texas and have family on both the East and West coast of the US. I would also like to vacation in Florida, Maine, and Northern California. But with 2 small children and the TSA increasingly repressive, I simply don't travel much beyond a one-day driving distance.

That would change instantly if fast, harassment-free transportation were available. That used to be the airlines, and it could be fast rail if it weren't for the fact that excessive govt regulation and problems getting right-of-way means that it will never happen. But we're one transportation revolution away from me making coast to coast travel plans fairly often, because that is where I would want to go if there were reasonable transportation options.

I can't be the only one who doesn't go anywhere beyond a 1-day drive anymore, either. If we're at a transportation peak, it is because of artificial suppression of travel due to airport harassment and because of other concerns that could be addressed by the availability of fast and easy transportation. Note that I don't mention cost - I'd be willing to pay quite a bit for quick and hassle free transportation around the country, but it simply can't be done right now.

As a nation, we're quickly heading towards loserville when we can't even manage to use available technology to let people travel freely without harassment. Car, train, and aircraft technology are all available to allow for reasonably rapid transportation, but our car speed limits are where they were 30 years ago, there is still very limited train service in most central and western states, and the govt is doing its best to harass people out of flying commercial air. We suck, and we're doing it to ourselves.

Comment Re:It's not censorship (Score 1) 764

I oppose govt censorship because it is bad and I am happy that the constitution forbids it. Abuse of authority bothers me. But I have absolutely nothing against private citizens or store owners picking and choosing what they view or sell.

Interestingly enough, that also forms the basis of my opposition to various forms of FCC censorship. If people don't want to see nekkid people on TV, turn off the TV or use the ratings filter included on pretty much all tuners nowadays. Don't like listening to Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken? Change the channel. Don't need any govt intervention there, just turn the damn thing off or change the channel. But the US is populated by a bunch of people who want to decide what is good for everyone else and then use the govt's power to force everyone to comply with their own ideas. That's not good and it's why the govt isn't supposed to censor things except in fairly clearly defined circumstances.

The concept of censorship includes the idea that the suppression of a particular bit of information is forceable - ie. there is no way around the suppression and the suppression is enforced by a person or group with the power to effectively enforce the restriction. Amazon simply cannot censor anything that is otherwise legal because there are tons of legitimate and widely available alternatives. The first amendment guarantees the right of free speech but it does NOT guarantee an audience or forum. In London they have a park where people can stand on a box and say whatever they like, but in the US there are no guarantees of a forum or audience. Amazon is simply removing some books from the forum they provide in accordance with usage agreements they can change at their whim. Still don't like it? Feel free to register www.gayincestporn.com (or whatever suitably describes the removed material) and publish yourself.

Comment It's not censorship (Score 1) 764

It isn't censorship, it is a store owner deciding what things he/she wants to sell in their store. If I owned a store and had a magazine and book rack, you bet I'd be picky about what I put on the shelves. No censoring involved, just applying my standards of taste to what I, as a store owner, decide to display and sell in my store.

If Amazon wants to be choosy about what they sell, good for them. They shouldn't be forced to sell stuff that they're not comfortable with.

Now if it was the GOVT pulling it from the store, then yea it would be censoring. But it isn't. There is no constitutional right for a smut author to have their crappy book with a crappy title sold by any particular company... It is a marketplace and the same rules apply to books as do to any other item the store owner decides doesn't fit the store standards or image.

WTG Amazon for doing this.

Comment Cheaper solution to "2 billion" problem (Score 0) 270

For repeat or first-time violent sex offenders, castration seems like a much better solution overall. Either physical or chemical, the positive results for both the offender and society are well proven alternatives to lifelong incarceration, tracking, monitoring, etc. In addition to helping protect society, it would also be less expensive, a nice additional bonus for our society.

2 Billion. That is a lot. It simply boggles the mind that many governments today think it is OK to rigidly restrict mostly harmless activities of law abiding citizens, yet are so resistant to taking effective steps to prevent or moderate one of the worst sorts of human crimes. In the US, politicians find it convenient to ignore constitutional issues when it comes to increasing police powers and controlling basic citizen activities, but they shirk their responsibilities and make all sorts of claims why they can't do something to actually protect society from our worst criminals.

Comment Harsh reality and possible "solution" (Score 1) 178

OP - you need to understand that except for a very few people who fully adapt to nonstandard input devices, most of the other input devices you might try will do nothing but slow down your work rate. Any benefits you might find from using those devices are just as likely due to the reduced work rate as they are from the design of the devices themselves.

You may want to consider a lifestyle and work habit change. Keep using "comfy" standard input devices while you are on the road, with the obvious and relatively easy steps of using a full size keyboard and mouse (or trackball or whatever irritates your injuries the least). But then take the additional step of incorporating a significantly increased number of work breaks into your routine. And go to the gym (or pool, since some swimming can build muscles and endurance with little or no shock and as much or as little resistance as you want) to build up overall physical conditioning, which can help with the causes of the injury as well as help the body heal faster.

In short, use whatever input devices feel ok, don't go all weird with the input devices, since all you're going to do is slow down your work efficiency anyhow, slow yourself down with more (and more effective) work breaks, and add more physical conditioning to your daily routine.

You'll be surprised at how much less your wrists/forearms hurt if you build up the back, shoulder, and chest muscles enough that your wrists aren't taking all of the strain when you type and use the mouse.

Comment Re:Definately an (Score 3, Insightful) 212

And people wonder why I rarely use virus software. The damage caused by the AVS is often worse than the actual virii or spybots. Seeing a "Windows XP can't boot" message is pretty damn annoying. I ended-up having to install KDE Ubuntu Linux instead, and never did recover my lost files (just videos fortunately).

Comment Re:The reality is... (Score 1) 544

Yes, Android is starting to become the mobile OS I'd hoped it was. It's just not quite there yet. I just looking at the different offerings and Apple just has the package that works right out the box, does it smoothly and doesn't seem to have huge problems. Other than the problems they stir up intentionally of course. For a device that gives the average non geeky user that kind of mobile power without inundating them with technicalities I still see it as a great device.
If I could have an iPhone with Android on it and it be really slick nice and have no problems at all I could be happy. Just need a larger app library to choose from. I do like the Apple hardware over the pile of HTC phones out there.

Comment Re:US made laptops? (Score 1) 180

Not sure about the USA, but there are disk manufacturers in Europe, particularly in Poland and the Czech republic. My wife kept a job with such a manufacturer for about 6 months when she and I lived in Poland briefly. Surprised that there was such an operation in Poland, I did some research, finding that many drive manufacturers operate in Europe, not in Asia. Presumably, they can better control the production quality of a device such as a hard disk, while exploiting the low-cost wages of the post-soviet states. Not that I should be surprised, many other companies do the same thing, Dell in particular is well-known for this.

Comment No CalDAV, no sale (Score 2, Informative) 544

I researched long and hard before I bought my iPhone a couple months ago. I had been using some form of Palm device for about 15 years; the last two of which were a model of Treo. The bottom line is that I needed NON-EXCHANGE-TYPE access to calendars on mail servers. Specifically, I have a Zimbra FOSS mail server for my family, and a Zimbra NE server at work (which handles 2 companies). I didn't want either server to be "canonical," so I refuse to use ActiveSync and let it "take over" all of the PIM functions of the phone. For calendars, I use CalDAV, and the iPhone has KILLER CalDAV support. (I use a Funambol server at home to sync contacts, and the Zindus plugin to make them work with Thunderbird, though SyncEvolution works almost as well with Evoltion.)

Neither the new WebOS-based Palm phones, nor any of the Android phones I can find, have any support for CalDAV. At all. How this situation exists, I have no idea, but I don't care. The iPhone has been great. However, I am one of those people who has used Linux on the desktop for about 11 years now, and I'm watching and waiting for an Android phone that will integrate with my collaboration servers as well as an iPhone. When this happens, I'll give the iPhone to my wife. Heck, I'd pay an early-termination fee to switch providers if the Sprint Evo could do it!

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