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Comment Re:Criminal behavior (Score 1) 84

What is wrong with that? Surely you don't expect every politician to, without help, personally draft every word of legislation that they propose? No politician can be an expert on the details of computer security, warfare, welfare, medicine, nuclear power, geology, oil drilling, education, global finance, genetics, food safety, space exploration, micro economics, the penal system, economics of healthcare, religion, etc... Of course they seek the assistance of others in crafting the details.

However, at the end of the day, they have to vote for/against legislation and they are accountable to the voters there -- what's the problem?

THIS. I lived in Washington DC for 8 years and, while drafting legislation/regulation was not my job, I worked and was acquainted with many who did. What happened in TFA is what happens at the Federal level and -- surely -- lower levels of Government. One friend of mine worked as a staffer to a Congressman who sat on a forestry committee during the Bush years. The logging industry would give the Congressman's office draft legislation that, with some changes, was submitted in the queue to become law. My friend's defense was "They know more about the industry than we do."

While I can't say this way of running rule making makes me comfortable, I'm just telling you that is the way it is. So, when you vote in this county one of your main considerations (IMHO) should be: is my candidate pro-business or pro-consumer?

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 153

I posted this a little while ago and didn't know I wasn't logged in show it shows up from an AC, but anyhow... This is ME! I have an old farm property 25 miles south of Milwaukee, just 3 miles west of I-94. Not "out there" by any means. Cable terminates 1 mile down the road; no DSL; no U-verse; HughesNet has strict caps; and the one microwave internet provider in the area, I don't have line of sight to their towers. So, I have no access to broadband via wire. I *do* have an unlimited data plan with good LTE signal, so I use in excess of 100GB per month due to streaming video. Am **I** the bad guy because I was sold unlimited data and actually use it?

Comment AMA: Blackberry User (Score 1) 189

My workplace is BlackBerry only, and thus I have had various iterations since 2003. I had a Bold 9900 until June of this year when it was switched out for a Z10. As a mobile professional, I must disagree with OP's comment about the Bold being "the best" in that the Bold's major failing was the web browser and email attachment handling. Both were pitiful (I had the BB OS 5, not the later OS 7 models) and hampered my ability to work mobile, not helped. I often had to tell customers and colleagues "you'll have to wait until I get back to the office so I can see that/look at that link." Now with the Z10, it is WORLDS better. The browser and attachment handling apps are equal to the competition.

Personally, I have an iPhone 5 and as it is now starting to suffer hardware problems (my model has both the "lock" button failure and the premature battery death problems) I had considered using the BB exclusively. On the plus side, the Z10 battery lasts all day -- ALL DAY -- the UI is very modern and usable, and the capability to use up to a 128 GB SD card is nice compared to my iPhone's locked in 16 GB which I constantly have full.

The downside which keeps me from going to BB is still apps. I don't have many iOS apps but what I realized I do have that I cannot replace on BB OS are: native Gmail client, Amtrak (I do a lot of train travel), online banking, Netflix, PBS Kids (for the little ones to use at restaurants and such), and iTunes (seamless sync of music collection). I know some of those apps have substitutes or workarounds, but I will be frank: I don't want to have to f*ck around for it to just work. That is why I left Android after having one from 2010 - 2012 for the iPhone, it was too much crapware and hassle with my music collection.

That's my story, so feel free to "Ask a BlackBerry User Anything" and I will give you my two cents.

Comment Re:Save blackberry? (Score 2) 76

When your market share in the consumer market is approximately 0% "saving" is not good, what you need to do is grow market share. So the question is whether an appstore which is as good as your competitors will grow market share for blackberry in the consumer market. And I think the answer it takes more than just being as good as your competitors in one area to gain market share. Perhaps if they just put out some decent android phones that had the old (patented) blackberry keyboard then they could regain some market share from the texters that hate on screen keyboards. That is the one feature they can offer consumers that will be better than the competition. "Saving" market share only applies to the corporate and government markets where they still have market share to lose.

I'm not sure how much an app store "saves" market share in government, but I do know cost is a factor. I am in government and just received a Z10 after having a 9900 for a few years. Our agency was looking to go iPhone, but AT&T literally gave us the devices FOR FREE and then a credit of about $32 per old device for recycling, so the net cost of going iPhone would have been $40,000 (400 devices at about $100 per) and the net cost of Blackberry was -$12,800 (technically -$52,800 if you count the "saved" $100 per device). IT described it to me as "status quo with better hardware, and we can kick the can of moving platforms down the line or until BB goes out of business."

Comment (Score 1) 158

The proposed AT&T+T-Mobile merger made sense, because they both use GSM over similar wavelengths. But how would Sprint and T-Mobile combine their network services? Their voice data at least is on completely different infrastructure.

Hopefully better than Nextel + Sprint did!! As I recall the iDEN to CDMA transition was a clusterf***.

Comment Effective Tax Rate (Score 2) 386

I can luckily use a family member who is an accountant. She charges us a flat $50 fee and it's worth it because in 2013 we had: two kid deductions, cashed out some (very) small investments, sold a rental property short at a horrendous loss, got a tax bill for the "forgiven" debt on the short sale, and other hijinks.

In the press a lot has been made of the Romney's and Obama's "effective" tax rate: that is, "Adjusted Gross Income/Total Tax = Effective tax rate". Romney's was something like 14.1% and Obama's was 20.4%. Populist rage ensued over both "not paying their fair share." I felt that same rage but then looked: my effective rate was 9.53%!!!! That sure surprised me.

So /.ers: look at your effective tax rate - are you higher or lower than these "greedy bastards"?

Comment Re:Hero ? (Score 1) 236

The names of everyone involved are going to come out anyways....I'm *guessing* GM's goal is to scapegoat a few responsible parties as early as possible, so that when the management failures are unmasked, there won't be as much heat and vitriol.

**bump** **bump***

The sound the bus makes running over the engineers thrown under.

Comment Funny Money (Score 1) 32

Not debating the merits of the NTIS' services, but let's look at the argument that they "cost the taxpayer's money" for an agency to buy from them.

If Agency X purchases $50 worth of product from NTIS, $50 of taxpayer money is simply moved from Agency X's budget to the NTIS budget. No taxpayer money was "spent" it was just a Funny Money transaction. If Agency X spends $50 at then $50 was SPENT (i.e. left the Federal government for the private sector).

Now if Agency X somehow finds the needed document for free and gets it, avoiding "spending" $50, does the taxpayer save money? I say no. Agency X will "use it or lose it" when it comes to their budget and will simply spend that $50 somewhere else. So is there any real benefit to such a bill?

Comment What Twitter IS Good For (Score 2) 121

Since I am the nerd of the family (I'm sure many of you can appreciate that), family always asks me: should I get on Twitter? My answer is "probably not" because it is really terrible as a person-to-person communication platform. 140 char limit will do that to you.

I use Twitter and it does have some uses, and I tell the family and friends that it's useful for...

* Breaking news (it's like a wire-service for the masses);

* Closely following a product/celebrity/athlete/event/sport;

* Posting a short question on a specific topic via #;

* Posting or finding witticisms and satire;

* Posting or finding a status report (not viable to foster a discussion by any means); and

* Finding spam, click-bait, impersonators of real people, bots, pr0n, and completely inaccurate information.

I mainly use Twitter myself to follow athletes in the NFL (primarily my team, Green Bay) and the three forms of motorsport I watch: NASCAR, Formula 1, and IndyCar. I really like Twitter during one of these sporting events because posters can give you more detail/insight into the event or people involved than just the TV or radio broadcasters (Example: sideline/pit reporters or members of a team participating in the event who can tweet during the event.)

IMHO though, the spam/bots/clickbait is out of control and detracts from the platform.

Comment Re:But I thought nuclear power was cheap (Score 1) 179

Oh, you mean they cannot just throw the highly poisonous nuclear waste into the sea anymore?

To be fair, it IS still legal to have a man in blue and red underwear gather nuclear waste into a gigantic net, fly it into space, and hurtle it into the Sun.

It's not a method that is popular with the public nor critically acclaimed, but it is still legal.

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