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Comment Re:Can't have everything for free forever. (Score 1) 98

Citation is my experience, and yes, YMMV, but back when I lived up north my options for internet was Comcast and Charter. Both offered similar service, and when I found Comcast throttling my speeds down to .5 kbps, I switched to Charter. Using both Comcast and Charter, I downloaded quite a bit, wouldn't shock me if it was over 1tb a month on each. I was never charged any overages for a datacap.

I later moved to the south. When looking at internet options, the choice was Charter and AT&T, and T's speeds sucked. So I'd figure I'd give them a try again. After a month or so I found I was getting billed overages for a datacap. I checked AT&T and found they had a lower cap... Now I know cell phone companies charge for a datacap and it's staggered with your bill. The reason is a lack of spectrum so they throttle people by use of a datacap... But a land-line? I started searching around and I found that they had the datacap in place for years, and the reason why I wasn't getting charged was because Charter doesn't have a datacap... AT&T does. So both companies have a cap, and the only reason why they charge is because the other guy is. Once the competitor drops the datacap, the other will as well.

And why is there a datacap? Well as I mentioned, With cell companies, they have an issue that if they let everybody loose, service will suffer, but that is not the case with Comcast... Their cap resets on the 1st of the month. For everybody. So everybody can download with out issue for the first few days of the month. If there was an issue with bandwidth, they would stagger everybody's date so that some people's reset time would be the middle of the month, and others at the end. The reason they have the cap is.... Netflix. Netflix at it's best quality chews up data like crazy and Comcast (who makes money with video), is losing customer share... Their Pay-Per-View income has dropped like a rock. Right now we are getting Google Fiber soon, and already both competitors are trying to sell gigabit service, and from what I can tell from others in Fiber markets, Comcast/ATT won't enforce the datacap...

As for having 5 different cables running to my house... Why? I have one cable to the pole. Now 5 cable companies can have lines down the pole. 5 Telcoms can have phone line going down the pole. When I get my connection hooked up, they can swap the line on the pole to the right feed.

Comment Re:Can't have everything for free forever. (Score 3, Informative) 98

Do you have more than 1 or 2 options when it comes to your internet service?

Here in the US, we have normally 1 or 2 options for high-speed internet. One cable company offering cable internet, and one phone company offering DSL. Most in the cities will have both options, but some will only have one (outside of service area). Often these companies work together in agreeing to a data cap and price.

These Cable\Tel-Coms worked out a deal with the local government to be the sole supplier of their services... making them a legal monopoly. The lack of competition is my theory on why the prices and speeds are not up to par with the rest of the world. Back when I worked at a Dial-up ISP, we offered DSL as well but we had to rent the hardware (lines) from the Tel-Com, and our rental price as $5/mo cheaper than the Tel-Com's DSL price (We made $5/mo gross profit on DSL). Dial-up made use more money. The Tel-Com's lines sucked to boot. When it rained, the service would drop... and why fix it? If they leave use, they go straight to the Tel-Com and they make more money.

So I'd be real interested to know what options non US folks have for internet? Do you have 5 companies competing for your service?

Comment Re:The problem with the all robotic workforce idea (Score 1) 304

Where did Person A get food? With a 100% automated farm, likely from a robot. Does the robot want food? No.

With automation, the cost of a product drops... and if everything is automated, even making automation, then the cost drops to the point of being free. If Person A wants something and Person (er, object) B doesn't value that item at all, then that object is free. Only when Person/Object B values something is when they demand something of equal value for exchange.

What if somebody could try to horde all the food, but when nobody pays for it... what has been gained? 1 person has a million loafs of bread, and 99 doesn't have any food, or anything the bread-man wants... All the bread-man will have is moldy bread. Does he want moldy bread?

Years back there was a show (long forgot the name), but a kid was granted a wish, and he wished he had all the money in the world. He soon was sitting on a pile of cash, but when he tried to spend it, as soon as it was out of his hands, it would fly out of seller's hand, and back into his. He couldn't spend it. He quickly found out that money that can't be spent has no value. Same is true with any commodity.

Having a fully automated world, would be a step towards a "Star Trek" world, where we don't seek money, and world hunger, and world want is no longer an issue. Now that may have a some people very happy, but for me, that is the terrifying side of this. If I can get anything I want for free because there is zero human labor involved... Why would I do anything really productive? Why not sit on the couch/computer/holodeck everyday and just get fat? Why should kids go to school to learn and grow? Computers will give them everything they want. A few will want to learn, but the depth of education will drop even further. The future would be more like Wall-E's fat-chair society, than Star Trek...

People complain about greed. People talk about how greed is bad, and we need to put "people before profits". But really, Greed is good. It's very good. It is one of the primary forces that pushed our society out of a basic hunter tribes to the modern society it is today. Wanting to have more has driven us to learn, to expand, to grow in whole. It's what makes us human. Our greed makes us want to things easier and faster so we have more time, so we can earn more. We want to earn enough so we have "free time" (ironic name, because it's the time we value the most).

Comment Re:I really have no choice... (Score 1) 170

It would be nice if there was a free market. If there was, there would be no need for net neutrality.

But instead of a free market, we have a heavily regulated, crony-capitalism controlled market, where cable companies work deals with metro areas to be the only providers in town, then they use their government-approved monopoly to screw over the average person.... and to promote the re-election of those whose efforts promoted their control.

Hmm What was the FCC Chair's previous job....

If we had a free market, we would have a dozen options for broadband internet, and not one would dare try to throttle speed and ask for more just to give you what you paid for.

Comment Re:Minimum wage, a bigger picture (Score 1) 1040

Housing prices are skewed due to an hyper-inflating housing bubble. it isn't a good measure.

Income levels has spiked up, for a good chuck of time, it was averaging around 35K/yr, it is now 51K.. income has been climbing (heck in the 40's and 50's, we made 25Kish).

As for retirement.... Raising minimum wage will drive inflation. As companies have to pay more to their employees, they will raise the prices of their goods to compensate. Know what isn't compensated? Your 401K. Any money you have sitting aside in a savings account. Of the cost of living goes up, the money you saved for retirement doesn't. The comfortable lifestyle you plan to have tomorrow is really a poor lifestyle due to inflation.

And what do you mean most people working today don't seem to expect the same standard of living as their parents??? are they mad? My parents didn't have computers and cell phones in their day... They were out, but cost thousands. A cell phone was 5K or so? We went out to eat twice a year at most. We went to see 1-2 movies a year... Home movie collection? yeah right! A VHS tape of Star Wars cost hundreds... The only place that could afford them was rental places that made their money back over time. They had one TV with antenna, and on a good day there was 4 channels. And their parents... Well my Dad tells me stories when they got electricity, and his 'rich uncle' had a new fangled 'TV'... for his parent's anniversary, he and his brothers gave them... Indoor plumbing!

And it's not just the cost of things going down, but how we earn more over time (see my note above on average income over time). Income Mobility has been ignored. Check this out: Is there Income Mobility in America?

Comment Re:Minimum wage, a bigger picture (Score 1) 1040

I'm talking more about the hyper-inflation of the bubble than the bursting and recovering.

The change in the banking and loan laws caused under-qualified people to buy a home. That added a huge surge in demand for homes. If there is a huge surge in demand...

1990's through 2008, you can see the rapid growth in prices. The housing prices are skewed due to the bubble... not due to the bubble bursting.

Check out this site:

Check out the average wage (adjusted for inflation) for various years.
2013, the average income was 51K a year. (From )
2003: 40K
1993: 35K
1983: 33K
1973: 37K
1963: 31K
1953: 26K
1943: 22K

Comment Re:Minimum wage, a bigger picture (Score 1) 1040

The housing prices is skewed due to the housing bubble.

Back in the 90's, we passed a lot of laws that permitted people who couldn't afford homes to get loans. As more and more people were approved of loans they couldn't afford, they bought more houses. As the supply of houses dropped, the price went up. until 2008 when the bubble burst as people who couldn't afford the homes went bust.

Comment Re:Minimum wage, a bigger picture (Score 1) 1040

Well the majority of people making minimum wage is 16-24. About 51% of people in that demographic are in the 16-18 year old range, and around 49% are in the 19-24.

Of course, those who want to promote the higher wage will compare ages 16 and 17 to ages 18-70+... guess which one has the most people?

Minimum wage is meant to be a starting point, the minimum. It's for the person who is hiring unskilled, untested labor. Hiring the kid that might be able to show up, and might be able to mop a floor after a being instructed on how to operate a mop bucket... It's not a livable wage on it's own, nor is it meant to be one. Teens and young adults either live at home, or share an apartment/house with friends as they get on their feet. As they work the Min-wage job, the don't only get a wage, but experience... skills. Proof to an employer that they can show up on time and do tasks assigned to them. As they get more experience, they either get raises, or find better paying jobs. A few jobs down the road, they end up at a livable wage.

The average income in the US is 48-53K a year. That's about 24/hr. Almost all people working at the middle, or even the top, started at the bottom.

Comment Re:I can never wrap my head around this. (Score 1) 1040

You are taking about MINIMUM wage.

Does the average no-skill, just entering the work force 18-21 year old have that? No.

Back when I was starting out, I lived in a rented house with 4 friends. I worked minimum wage, and I couldn't buy a house, or afford rent on my own, but I had more than enough to cover 1/5th rent and food, with enough left over to have a very nice lifestyle. My friends bought cars (used), I bough a new computer. We had every game console out at the time. We hit the bars every Friday too boot. Later on I moved to a new apt with my girlfriend and we still had enough.

Minimum wage is not "Liveable" wage by the measure of a 30-something with 3 kids and a mortgage. If you are over 21 and still making minimum wage, something is wrong. Either you aren't looking for better jobs, have a handicap holding you back, or the unemployment level is too high.

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