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Comment Re:If you don't pay. (Score 1) 109

...and unsubscribing is an attempt to remove temptation.

This is exactly correct. 40+ years ago I was selling encyclopedias, door-to-door, in western Canada (the BC interior, Alberta "ditto", and the Northwest Territories). I quickly learned the futility of knocking on 100+ doors in an evening, and would cruise the neighborhood, or town, looking for a number of "tells," one of which (my fave) was that little "No peddlers, solicitors, or agents" sticker/sign. Several people I was training one evening were surprised, and asked why I did that, and I told them, "People put those signs up because they're afraid that if a salesman comes to their door they might buy something."

It came in handy, especially given winter climes and the difference between knocking on 100+ doors, and knocking on 3 or 4.

Comment Re:Silicon Valley is all about "What the fuck?!" (Score 1) 359

Strange things happen when you take naive, out-of-touch leftists and then give them huge amounts of money that they didn't really earn in any meaningful way.

Leftists in Silicon Valley? Who are you referring to... the homeless? LOL

Listen up son, most of the owners/investors in Silicon Valley are right-wingers or Libertarians (Sorta the same thing...).

I take it you're from Des Moines, or some other backwater where hasty generalizations blow up in people's faces on a regular basis, yeah?

Comment Re:Stolen Goods (Score 1) 423

The real theft is not copying, but rather copyright itself!

Exactly right.

Copyright and patent protection (both of which have seen their "terms" deepened and lengthened to incredible depths and lengths) are forced on the developing world, right along with the rest of the so-called "first" world, to the detriment of normal, average people, globally. They're one of the chief methods that have been employed, relentlessly, in a successful effort to distribute more and more money toward the 1% from everyone else, again, globally.

This tactic is why cancer drugs, for example, cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, when their "cost" would be a small fraction of that in an actual free market.

In textbook trade theory, if a country has a larger trade surplus for royalties and patent licensing fees, it will have a larger trade deficit in manufactured goods and other areas. (That, courtesy of Dean Baker, in his book, *Rigged*, published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C.)

He goes on: "Of course we have to pay for the research to develop new drugs or any innovation. We also have to compensate creative workers who produce music, movies, and books. But there are efficient alternatives to patents and copyrights, and the efforts by the elites in the United States and other wealthy countries to impose these relics on the developing world is just a mechanism for redistributing income from the world's poor to Pfizer, Microsoft, and Disney. Stronger and longer patent and copyright protection is not a necessary feature of a 21st century economy."

Comment Well, What Did You Expect? (Score 1) 341

TN is yet-another state full of morons who voted in hordes for you-know-who. Not exactly an indicator of having a grasp of their own best interests, right? Come on... this is what happens when the National Interest is the driver for decades, and the Public Interest (which includes education) is given the old heave-ho. Get used to it if you aren't already...

Comment Re:Appeal (Score 1) 215

It's time for Uber to follow the same rules that Taxi companies must follow, or, stop doing business.

As a former taxi driver (who honestly has no dog in this fight, personally) I have to say, "Thank you."

Although nobody is "forced" to drive a cab, for those that choose to do so, it's a tough way to make a living. Uber has been underwritten by a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires in order to operate at a huge loss, for years, in an effort to drive all competitors out of business, at which point Uber will be able to raise rates and dictate to the market, as all monopolies (sanctioned, or not) will do.

This is simply not fair, in the long run, to any of us... drivers or riders.

Comment Re:VPNs aren't all that great (Score 1) 130

Motherboard actually had an interesting article pointing out that VPNs actually aren't all that great for routine browsing

Motherboard.. LOL

They say they got 5% of their normal speed w/PIA... Gee, using an NYC server, how could that happen? /s

I get 85-95% of my cable speed with PIA, and that's while using a crowded Silicon Valley server... Drops to 75% when I use Southampton (UK) for BBC-related. London server would be considerably worse. I think I see a pattern here...

Again... Motherboard? Please.

Comment It's Complicated (Score 1) 155

I cannot imagine why anyone, anywhere, would want to pay for Cable TV if they don't watch sports. I wouldn't, I know that. But unfortunately for me, and fortunately for Comcast in the SF Bay Area, I'm a Giants fan, from way back, and I lived in Montréal for 30 years, and am a huge Habs fan. So, they got me. We pay for Cable (subsidized because my GF is an attorney for an association of cable & telecoms) but I pay an additional amount for a number of months to watch all the home & away games of the Canadiens. It's insane, I know this, and on a number of levels...

I do torrents for all my fave (3 or 4, LOL) network series and films, so, basically, we'd be paying $105/month, plus $44 or so for an additional 5 months, just to watch the Habs, Giants, and Law & Order reruns. Why the torrents? Because I like subtitles, which I re-edit and sync, properly, and can't stand the archaic-looking closed captioning here in the US and Europe.

Cable blows, sports fan or not. we pay for the Cable, which covers the cable co's costs and profit margin, then we get commercials, and these in-program adverts across the bottom of the fucking screen. It's demeaning. I encourage everyone to cut the cord, send a message to these artless, greedy creeps.

When I lived in Quebec I had a pirate digital satellite de-scrambler, and could watch local news, coast-to-coast (nice for a guy like me who was a bit of a nomad, at one time for 20 years) and sports and whatever else i felt like. Think: Live Torrenting! The good old days...

But these days? Absolute robbery.

Oh, and #FuckESPN they're east-coast-centric, and, as everybody knows, loaded down with tiddly-winks and has-beens. Their so-called product is some sick shit... and not the "good" sick, nope.

Comment Re:Sorely needed in the US (Score 1) 234

I'm hourly and required to carry a work cellphone 24/7 despite ...

Man, my GF and I were just talking about exactly that... all the millions of people in your situation... She's a corporate lawyer, well-regarded, and plugged-in to work practically every minute that she's awake. In her late 60s, and it's burden, but she's well-paid, for sure, but... you're right about the war on unions, and I'd add (what you clearly are already aware of...) the scapegoating of unions, etc., being near the root of all of this horrid work "ethic" that is the American "way." It's an outrage, and unions and the return of organized workers, and encouragement of collective bargaining, is way way overdue...

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