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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 145

I honestly don't remember a promise of no commercials from Cable, only certain channels one could receive from cable.

That's because cable companies could not promise "no commercials" for any channel EVER*. Cable began as a way of retransmitting broadcast stations to people who could not put up their own antennas (CATV is "community antenna TV"), and broadcast stations have ALWAYS had ads.

It wasn't until cable had enough market saturation and satellite services matured to the point that satellite-delivered content networks like HBO became available, and it was HBO's promise of "no ads", not the cable TV company.

* with the exception of the PEG channels or other local origination services. Otherwise, cable is retransmission of other people's content, and those other people decide if there are ads or not.

Comment Re:End of the glaciation was ten thousand years ag (Score 1) 266

1) The Earth is usually a lot hotter than it is right now. We are climbing out of an ice age.

We "climbed out of an ice age" (that is, came out of the glaciation) ten thousand years ago.

You didn't look at the graphs in the referenced article, did you?

By those graphs we STARTED climbing out of an ice age back then but we still have a long way to go. So they support the poster's claim, not yours.

Comment Re:EVEN TILLERSON says it's real. (Score 2) 266

The issue is settled, mankind's massive emissions affect mankind's environment, Earth.

a: If it's "settled", it's not science.

The only question now is what the fuck are we going to do about it, and who can we trust not to line their pocket on both sides of that line?

"Only" question? There are a HELL of a lot of steps between "mankind's activity affects the planet's temperature" and "It's a disaster that must immediately be fixed by crippling the economy and instituting totalitarian control on human activity by governments".

Comment Re:Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? (Score 1) 60

Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? I haven't heard much from it during the past few decades.

The entire FTC's budget for 2016 was only about $307 million. They only asked for $342 million for 2017.

If they're going to be given more responsibility and actually exercise it effectively (which involves bringing, and winning or settling, suits against multibillion dollar conglomerates) I expect they'll need some more.

Comment Re:Soon, the FTC will only handle spectrum licensi (Score 1) 60

That wasn't what the media reports said. What it said was that he wants to limit the FCC to spectrum control, and move the other functions to the FTC.

I've been advocating that for years - at least for the "Network Neutrality" issue.

The problems that network neutrality is trying to address are mainly anticompetitive behavior and consumer fraud, where ISPs selectively degrade service either to extort additional fees or limit users who make heavy use of their contracted bandwidth (consumer fraud - giving less than what was advertised or what "internet service" commonly means) or give a competitive advantage to their own "value added" or "content provision" services, those of other divisions of a media conglomerate, or of partners, (anticompetitive "tying", vertical integration, and cartel formation).

As the major federal-level consumer protection agency, charged with enforcing consumer fraud and antitrust law, the FTC is well qualified to handle this sort of thing. It also has a track record of doing so. Their antitrust actions, for instance, include the historic breakups of Standard Oil and AT&T, the opening of IBM's eased mainframe computers to peripheral built by other manufacturers, and the Windows Browser tie-in suit decision against Microsoft.

Among the things you might see from a move of such regulation from FCC to FTC might be media conglomerates forced to divest themselves of ISPs, ISPs forbidden to sell preferential fast-lane service, and bans on cuting off or degrading the service of heavy users.

After the way he was treated by the mainstream media - owned by these same conglomerates - I'd expect Trump's administration to be more than happy to penalize them by breaking up these conglomerates.
  - We get more network neutrality - by separating the ISPs from the media conglomerates that incentivize NON-neutrality.
  - The Trump administration gets to spank the media conglomerates that were completely in bed with the Democrats during the election - in the name (and actuality!) of consumer protection.

Win-win B-)

Comment 330 KILOwatt? (Score 2) 59

... 330 kilowatt sub-station ...

That's either a typo or the Ukraine has a VERY wimpy power grid, to have a "substation" that small.

330 kW is 440 HP, in the moderate-low range for a big rig's semitractor engine. In the US a typical household averages over a kilowatt 24/7, with peak hours higher. So a "substation" that small would serve a neighborhood of maybe a hundred houses or a bit more.

In my Silicon Valley townhouse's neighborhood, built back in the '50s or so, we have over a hundred houses served by a single-phase "bank" - a parallel connection of three "pole pigs" spread out around the neighborhood, with their primaries and secondaries tied. It doesn't even rate an independent switch. (When a goose shorted and dropped a primary line they just disconnected the primaries to the segment containing the bank until it was fixed.) Several banks on each phase are tied together before you have enough load to rate actually installing a switch on the feed, several of those before it rates a remote-controlled switch, and several small towns (or a substantial factory) before it rates a "substation" - a fenced-off chunk of land with big box equipment.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 538

What complete and utter shite are you spewing?

Actual experience of my wife with H1-B employees (including the "chagrined when discovering the forged credentials" case).

When getting your H1-B you need to provide documentation from your university as proof of your degree. The university must be on a list recognized by the US government. They validate the information with the university rather than just rubberstamping it.

Any of the following would explain that:
  - The agency faked the references, too.
  - The government didn't do the validation you claim it does in every case.
  - The government doesn't do the validation you claim and you're talking through your hat.

Please put your flamage aside for the moment and give us a reference to documentation showing that the government officials actually check credentials, rather than doing spot-checks or taking the applicant's word for them (or bribes).

Comment Needed environment for me is 7, 7pro, 8, 8.1 only (Score 1) 500

Meanwhile Win 3.11... Is still running fine on test equipment. The manufacturer says do not upgrade to any other version of Windows.

I have a gang-programming-and-testing production tool from one of the top three (or so) manufacturers of BLE systems-on-a-chip. Our startup needs this (or a suitable alternative) to go into volume production of our initial products.

It comes with an application - in source in a build environment. This allows it to be customized, to add tests for the peripherals added to make the final assembly, and to integrate into production processes and databases.

But the build environment is only supported in Windows 7, 7 Pro, 8, and 8.1, using Visual Studio 2012. The executables and DLLs produced run only on those or XP.

The executable/DLLs use .NET, too, and the way they use it breaks the GUI under wine, even with genuine Microsoft .NET installed. They run correctly, but the status display is corrupted in a way that makes it unusable. So at the production site it needs to run on genuine Windows at one of those levels. B-b

As of the last time I checked (a couple months ago), the manufacturer is unwilling to port to another OS or version - even though all of them (except maybe 7 Pro) have been end-of-lifed by Microsoft.

Comment So you'd deny the benefits to all but big cities? (Score 1) 538

I would restrict H-1Bs to only areas of the country where residential rents (per sq. foot) are in the lower 50 percentile.

So you'd give all the jobs-for-locals benefits to residents of a few big cities and leave the rest of the population in competition for high-value jobs with underpriced H1-Bs?

Looks to me like you completely missed the point of the Trump Win. He was elected by exactly those people you propose to leave out in the jobless cold, over a set of issues of which loss of jobs to foreigners by H1-B visas, illegal immigration, and outsourcing topped the list.

This election - not just the Presidential, but all down the ticket - was largely a revolt by the rural and the downtrodden against the urban elites. Trying to fix the problem only for those living in pricey cities and leave it in full force for these voters is a recipe for more extreme shakeups.

If the soapbox and the ballot box both don't work, and the jury box is unavailable, the only one they've go left is the ammo box.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 2) 538

... do a skill assessment of their foreign contractors. The number that turn out to be "exceptional talents" with hard to find degrees or special training/experience is actually rather small.

And the number who ACTUALLY HAVE the hard to find degrees is even smaller. The middlemen who bring in the H1-Bs sometimes pad their resumes with non-existent credentials in order to get the necessary approvals from the government (or the employer to do the hire). often to the chagrin of the employee in question shoud he or she eventually find out about it.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 200

I wasn't talking about Sandy, OR,

I was, and the person I replied to was, and the comments I made were in the context of a municipal ISP. You're arguing about something completely different.

I can see you're ideologically opposed to municipal networks and I'm unlikely to change that so I'll quit trying.

So far, the only attempts you have made are trying to convince me that municipal infrastructure without municipal ISP service isn't bad, and I've not been talking about that. So yes, your arguments about a different situation are unlikely to change my mind about the actual topic of discussion. Hmmm.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 200

You seem to have a very poor understanding of how democracies work. My understanding is they are operating at break-even, so people that don't use it aren't really paying anything.

Except the backing of the general fund when there is a loss. And the loss of competition when a for-profit company cannot compete and pulls out.

In fact, it's saved the city government money that they were spending on very expensive commercial Internet access.

If the city government didn't have internet access written into the cable franchise then they are fools. In any case, to HAVE internet service, the city is paying someone for it, and it is now being funded by the taxpayers -- just like it was before the city became it's own ISP. Those taxpayers are either "customers" of the city ISP or just plain old taxpayers who don't care about internet access.

Yes, being able to sell cheap municipal bonds helps.

Interest from the bonds comes from taxes, and the principle is guaranteed by the taxpayers. If the city ISP fails after the city issues bonds to build it, guess who gets to pay back the bond holders?

After all, a tiny city government just kicked their asses because they thought their customers had no other options.

No, the city just kicked their asses because the city doesn't have to make a profit or break even on the deal, and doesn't have to live by any of the franchise agreements they make commercial vendors live by. It's amazing how much cheaper you can sell something if you don't have to make a profit and can rely on shareholders to cover any losses.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 200

There's no reason why you couldn't structure the municipal broadband such that it has to break even over some suitable period.

There's no reason it couldn't be structured to require that the prices be higher than any competing commercial ISP, too. But if you think that any city would do that, or that the people who are pushing the city to provide cheap broadband would accept that, you're naive at best. The whole purpose of a municipal ISP is to have lower rates than the commercial providers.

No, any city agency that can charge low prices and hide the losses by dipping into the general fund will do so.

Where I live one of the main local telcos is owned by the province, and rather than being subsidized it consistently provides a profit back to the provincial government, while simultaneously being highly competitive with the big national telcos.

So you actually live someplace where there are multiple phone companies all serving the same area with multiple sets of wires? Fascinating. Otherwise, they can't be competitive with "big national telcos" if the big national telcos don't actually serve your area. And since any franchise fees are simply moved from one pocket to the other for the provincial telco and are a profit for the provincial government when paid by the "big national telcos", the provincial telco has a big step up on showing a profit.

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