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Comment I live in Nashville... (Score 5, Interesting) 95

AT&T and Comcast have both had 20 years, *two* decades, an *entire generation* to roll out their own fiber, but they didn't, because they're a monopoly and fark you, you miserable customer. And during that 20 years, the only thing they had to worry about was making sure our state lawmakers were given enough bribes, whiskey, hookers, and blow to tow the company line.

Then Google Fiber comes to town, and now that they're doing AT&T/Comcast's job better than AT&T/Comcast ever did, suddenly it's DerpCon 1. They know that as a natural monopoly, there is only going to be *one* broadband utility when the dust settles. And they're doing everything in their power (short of actually getting off their ass and running their own fiber) to stop Google.

If you look in the dictionary under "regulatory capture", it has a photograph of Tennessee's legislature. Our elected fuckwits used their usual Underpants Gnomes logic:

1) Block cities/co-ops from competing with AT&T/Comcast
2) ???
3) Vigorous competition and fiber everywhere!

By a complete coincidence, campaign contributions from ISP's increased by a factor of 100x (not 100%, 100 *TIMES*) that year.

If any of the crew from /r/nashville is here, please share our warm feelings about Comcast and Marsha Blackburn...

Comment Humans, not AI... (Score 5, Funny) 210

Any AI in the foreseeable future will be under control of human beings, either due to laws or financial ownership. I'm not the least worried about AI, but having watched this election, the humans in my country scare the shit out of me.

I had a hard time understanding how 40% of my fellow countrymen could still vote for Trump, until I realized it explained why we have warning labels telling us not to eat soap...

Comment Does it work for copper too? (Score 2) 75

While I'm sure getting a terabit to the home would be wonderful, the real-world situation is most people are going to continue to have copper to the home for years/decades due to regulatory capture.

Is the Probabilistic Constellation Shaping concept also applicable to twisted pair/coax copper? Because being able to get some people decent DSL would be a major advance. My parents still can't get 1990's-vintage 200 kbs DSL because in 20 years, AT&T still hasn't run fiber *to their own fucking cabinets*, much less the home.

I know AT&T already has g.fast, but that's one of those things that's mostly only useful for short distances and "demonstrations", the actual real-world speed isn't much better than DSL after so many hundred feet, and it would have required the same AT&T who has refused to spend money on fiber to spend money to upgrade their existing cabinets.

Comment It's a bold strategy Cotton, but how about... (Score 1) 210

... making phones with replaceable batteries? The 6 year old Evo 4G I gave to my mother has a replaceable battery, and is still in use (with a fresh install of Cyanogen Mod) today.

With Moore's Law rapidly dying, there is less need to upgrade for a "faster" phone, since CPU's aren't getting faster anymore. And I just want to make calls, texts, emails, and occasional FB with my phone. I'm not trying to play Crysis 3 on it.

But that's only half the problem. Apple and Google/Android need to start supporting their phone OS's for longer than 2/3 years. Otherwise, it opens a niche for a competitor who will.

Comment Have they re-enabled Miracast? (Score 3, Interesting) 164

I spent a few hours trying to get Chromecast working on a TV on a subnet at a large university, and it simply cannot do it. Chrome cast will only work on a /24. Miracast will, but Google disabled it on their Nexus line, for no greater reason than trying to push Chromecast.

So Google, do you care about making your customers happy, or some random mid-level MBA at the Googleplex who thought they were Dr. Evil when they came with the idea of reducing functionality?

Comment Re:Depends on your definition of "life" (Score 1) 250

That goes a bit in hand with my #3 theory. I suspect that once a species is capable of interstellar traffic, they may have a different definition of "prime real estate" than a planet orbiting a star. Maybe they start congregating near the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy for abundant energy, materials, and easy gravity slingshots to anyplace/anytime they want.

Comment Re:Depends on your definition of "life" (Score 1) 250

So we only have evidence that life started only one time in earth's 4.5 billion years of existence. To me this is profound.

I don't believe it's as profound as you think. Life probably evolved quickly once it was created, and any subsequently created life was quickly out-competed by earlier lifeforms who had a better foothold.

For all we know, new life may be arising on earth today, but it would have a hard time surviving, let alone dominating, against bacterial and viral species who were survivors of a few billion years of survival of the fittest.

Comment Depends on your definition of "life" (Score 4, Interesting) 250

Bacterial life appeared on this planet basically the instant asteroids stopped bombarding the planet. For all we know, life was created and destroyed several times before the Late Heavy Bombardment ceased. So it appears that simple bacterial/viral life may be commonplace throughout the cosmos. Indeed, there are tantalizing signs that Mars and Titan may harbor some form of life.

On the other hand, complex multicellular life only appeared in the last billion years, which suggests that the leap from single-cell -> multicellular life is somewhat difficult. Our sun won't be conducive to life in another billion years, so complex life "barely" made it here.

I would love to be wrong, but given the fact that planets appear to be commonplace throughout the cosmos, and we have yet to hear from anyone, it starts to shift the odds towards one or more of:

1) Complex life is relatively rare and widely separated in space and time.
2) Complex life doesn't survive long-term (nuclear war, grey goo)
3) Complex life does survive, but for some reason doesn't communicate or colonize other worlds (a "Prime Directive", or perhaps they "sublime" in the Ian Banks/Culture sense)

I actually lean a bit towards 3 myself, but humanity will eventually find out, one way or the other.

Comment Much better nowadays! (Score 3, Informative) 351

I tried my first veggie burger about 20 years ago, and I remember wondering when the FDA started considering sawdust a vegetable...

Now, I eat Gardein teriyaki chick'n and a few others quite regularly. I'm still waiting for the whole "cheaper than meat" part to kick in though.

If you haven't had them yet, give them a try, you'll be surprised, and once they get costs down, it'll change the world.

Comment Demand, not supply... (Score 4, Insightful) 125

Instead of getting the Government to fund computer science education, how about we just require computer companies to pay competitive salary? It doesn't require any tax dollars, and it's just crazy enough to work.

The problem is, the past 30 years have taught MBA's that *they're* the ones who are supposed to get the $200k salary, and the computer engineer is the one who's supposed to have a Masters and 20 years of experience in a 3 year old language and work for $60k until their job gets outsourced to India.

The problem will largely go away once the computer geek's biggest problem is "Do I buy the BMW or the Mercedes", and the MBA's are crying themselves to sleep, praying they can pay their student loans off before they hit 40 and are too old to spreadsheet.

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