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Comment Re:Wow, just wow. (Score 1, Insightful) 115

Wow. Lots of armchair quarterbacks who have no real concept of what it is to run an ISP from a business (and quite a few comments have no idea on the technical side either.)

I used to be involved in a smaller ISP. Costs are already working against them when competing against larger providers due to the peering arrangements, etc...

Just to list a few things as to why this is a "good" thing, as otherwise it just hastens the demise of the small ISP:

#1 Enterprise level billing systems for internet providers cost a lot of money. The more regulations/rules/requirements the system has, the (likely) more expensive it will need to be. In my past experience we "rolled our own", but, this isn't feasible for most in the arena for many reasons and in hindsight it was a bad idea for liability reasons.

#2 99% of users would save money on a metered plan if fairly priced. 1% of users use 99% of the bandwidth. However, most people would rather have an "unlimited" plan, even if more expensive because they have no real concept of what bandwidth and usage are and how to control that.

#3 Smaller ISP's are unlikely to have peering points at places like MAE East, etc and far more likely to have to purchase their bandwidth from a larger backbone provider. This means that the "cost" for bandwidth is far, far more for a local ISP. It also means they have to oversubscribe more than a larger provider to pay the bills. EVERYONE oversubscribes bandwidth sold vs. what they have, it is just different levels.The economics don't work for smaller internet providers in reselling bandwidth if the oversubscribing rate isn't above a certain percentage.

#4 the 1% of users that use excessive bandwidth can be easily mitigated by rate-shaping certain types of traffic to a lower "speed", or any number of ways that don't impact 99% of the users.

The proper way to handle this is to remove net neutrality, make it so that local cities, etc can't grant a monopoly to certain companies when running cables so anyone can do so (probably cities, which is best esp. if they resell the raw transport.)

Comment Re:What about electrical, plumbing etc? (Score 1) 315

Depends on the jurisdiction. Some major cities that are understaffed you literally have to wait for weeks for an inspection which is very literally why many people don't pull permits in those areas. Generally happens in poor cities with one or two building inspectors for 100,000 people.

Comment Re:There are also jack-holes like you on /. (Score 2) 403

Love the generalizations on both sides of the issue. In short, it's possible (as long as you don't have young children.)

Living with relatives and/or roommates, smart financial decisions (picking where you go to college, what degree you get, what food you eat, etc.) along with student loans allow people below the poverty line to go to college from a financial perspective. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to take the first two years at a community college, but, it is more than feasible. I know, from personal experience.

The issue is, it is "hard". You (potentially) have to sacrifice things like going out, having cable TV, some of your privacy, and eating out for long periods of time. However, for many people it isn't nearly as bad, especially if they have assistance from relatives (living at home, free food, etc.) In my case I didn't have that luxury, but, many do.

The debate shouldn't be whether or not it is possible, but, it should instead be:
* Is it realistic for most people to do that? People tend to take the path of least resistance and it is pointless (from a general perspective) to say "you should do XYZ", if only a small percentage do. Most will see it as too overwhelming and not even try.

* Do we as a society think it is "right" and "just" for someone to have to go through that in order to obtain a better life for themselves, or should society as a whole pay for some or all of it.

My personal opinion is based on my observations is that it really is cultural. Most people either get discouraged (don't think they can do it/get overwhelmed) after starting, or don't start at all.

If you have young children, it is a different story though.. My opinion is, just give free day-care, ensure community colleges and state colleges have a reasonable tuition, then lead by example. Make sure people know it IS possible, and offer some type of support system through the colleges to set people up with roommates, etc.

Comment Re:Replacement Ballots (Score 2) 248

You're assuming most people would take the extra step of asking for a replacement ballot. In a situation where it is the same amount of effort to vote for candidate A vs. B (anonymous voting) people will are more likely to vote for who they wish. This is in contrast to a situation where their boss expects a selfie, and in order for that person to "vote their conscience" and get a replacement ballot requires extra effort (regardless of how small), most people won't take that minor step. The average person tends to gravitate towards the option with the least amount of effort and they also tend to not wish to "cause a stir".

Also, more than likely from a social media standpoint the only reason "ballot selfies" would work in getting people to support your candidate is because few other people do them now. Once it becomes the "norm" it won't matter anyway. Once it is the "norm", simply posting that you voted for a candidate will have the same impact.

Comment Re:Well, there goes the 4th Amendment again... (Score 1) 204

This is one of those issues that "seems" like a good idea at first, but, has some negative implications.

My wife worked as a fundraising coordinator and worked with different vendors to sell (or give away) gift cards to people. Since we share a car, there have been many times that I was driving around with a box of gift cards (100? 200? something like that) in the trunk, etc. I expect this situation happens quite a bit since many vendors work with fundraising coordinators to sell gift cards, etc to raise money for their causes.

If I got stopped for speeding, having the cards be confiscated (so they could later be scanned), with potentially myself being potentially being "held" for 72 hours while that is being done by an outside agency isn't exactly something that I should have to think about. In my case, there would be nothing wrong - however, it would be a serious inconvenience! I should be able to carry large amounts of cash, gift cards, etc without getting interrogated, as there can be legitimate reasons to do so (although, most people aren't likely to do so!)

Realistically, this situation wouldn't happen to someone that didn't have other issues (the people in the article had an outstanding warrant, which made it far more likely those cards weren't legitimate in the LEO's eyes), but that isn't the point. Warrantless searches in my mind should only be for "emergency" situations where there is a clear and present danger (someone locked in a trunk, clear smell of decaying human flesh, etc.)

This is also ignoring the fact that the way the gift cards are designed should be changed to prevent issues like this and the POS system should alert the store so they can call the authorities when people try to use the "stolen" cards.

Comment Re:What's in it for the landlord? (Score 1) 173

Frequently property managers get $X for every sign-up they refer to the provider. I provided wireless internet years ago, and this was somewhat common for larger complexes in Massachusetts. Additionally, many property managers/landlords are wary of having anyone new offer services, because realistically it is a lot less "risk" to say no in most cases than to say "yes" and have someone destroy your wiring closet, put a phone tap in, etc.

Remember, in most states there is no license for providing internet service and outside of major cities most broadband is provided under resold infrastructure from the telephone company. Meaning, that other than wireless internet, most of the time the actual installer that needs access to a wiring closet (which is the only time this is even an issue) is going to be from the "local telephone company" anyway. Outside of major cities, this "kickback" issue is mainly a problem for smaller telecoms and wireless internet providers that are less likely to be known to the property managers.

Comment The study/pilot is flawed (Score 1) 1052

I'm undecided on the premise of a "basic income", I can see the positives and negatives..

However, the study/pilot is flawed, since the participants know that the program will stop within 6 months to a year. That means if they quit their jobs they will just have to find a new one in a year (which likely will be difficult for many families), or at the very least they would spend/save their money differently. Few people will live off the basic income itself and stop working due to "laziness", simply because it is unclear of when the money would stop.

For the study to be representative of what would happen in reality, it would need to be for a longer period of time (so participants get comfortable thinking it won't go away), and there couldn't be an "end date" (or the end date would be hidden from the participants.) Lots of ethical issues with a study conducted that way, but, doing the study in the way they are is worse than otherwise as it will be misleading.

Further, I seriously doubt that the "randomly selected families" will be representative of the population as a whole. Most people would think that "basic income" is a scam if approached out of the blue, and the ones that are likely to take part (either by responding to something out of the blue, or by volunteering to take part without being contacted first) are going to skew the study.

Comment Mandating Vaccination is Tyranny (Score 5, Insightful) 499

First, I want to be clear that I am pro-vaccination.

Any vaccine has a certain number of people that are permanently injured by that vaccine (that's why there is a vaccine injury fund in the US), but, the overall number of people it saves (including immune compromised individuals) outweighs that very, very small risk that you could be hurt or killed by that vaccine.

Certain specific vaccines likely killed more people than they saved because the threat of the illness was overestimated (deaths due to specific outbreaks of certain flu strains vs. deaths/injuries due to the vaccine.)
Other vaccines have had safety issues with certain batches and were recalled after injuring/killing various people.

Again, it's very, very rare. But that brings me to my next point:
I see no reason to not vaccinate myself and my children. I support herd immunity, and that it helps the greater good. However, I want the choice to be able to vaccinate as there could be a case where I don't feel a particular vaccine is safe. Simply being told to "trust" someone else that something is safe and being forced to have something put into my body and my children's body is not OK. Certain jobs or institutions can mandate vaccinations before being part of them - that's my choice for using them. However, there is a big difference between making a conscious decision to do something vs. being told you must do it.

When you're told that you must put something in your body, no matter if it is for the "greater good", then you are not truly free. Mandating general vaccination is tyranny.

Not to mention it, once the precedent is set, what is to stop mandatory gene therapy, genetic modification techniques, etc to "prevent" potential problems? Just because you approve of the situation today for mandatory vaccinations, would you be OK with how things are tomorrow? What if there are unintended consequences?

The only way to solve the "anti-vaxxer" problem is by education, so I don't disagree with having people attending a science class before opting out, but, I don't think it will resolve the issues. The problem is greater than one science class can resolve.


Comment Re:Illustrates the real problem with life extensio (Score 1) 837

Castro is still alive. I think maybe you mean Stalin.

Anyway, it goes both ways. Many would argue that people who were born at the beginning of the 20th century were harder working, didn't believe they were "entitled" to various benefits and supported many of the ideals that this generation has forgotten.

Comment Apply uniformly (Score 1) 374

There are a number of training classes and "bootcamps" for various things which are based in California. Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert certification bootcamps and various others come to mind. Those bootcamps (and many others) can be many thousands of dollars.. So the question becomes, at what point do you start considering regulation for a group? When the amount of money they collect is over $X? Or when the duration of the course is over X weeks? If they are going to regulate courses at all, these need to be clearly defined and enforced uniformly. The issue here is that when it is defined too vaguely, there are a very large number of classes that should be regulated, which aren't. Cooking classes, professional certification training programs and many other classes should fall under this. Regulatory authorities in state are likely not equipped with experts in the field to be able to define what methods/requirements are "best" for every type of organization.

With that said, I think the drawbacks of regulating classes like these, is far more than the "help" it will provide to consumers.

* If someone is willing to drop $15,000 on a bootcamp without fully vetting it via research, references, reviews and the like, that's not very smart of them and they are partially at fault for signing up for something that didn't provide what they need/want.

* However, if the bootcamp doesn't provide on what it promises, then they have every right to complain to the state and/or sue to get their money back (although, I expect most would complain to the state due to resource related issues.)

In short, California either needs to clearly define exactly who should be regulated, and they should apply that uniformly, not just on a specific group of companies.


Comment Re:Goverment coersion is wrong. (Score 1) 228

I believe employers are legally required to inform you of monitoring your actions, usually in an employee handbook of some kind. The issue is that in general it is "your actions / calls / etc are subject to monitoring", versus naming specific ways they are monitoring you.

In general, if you're on the company clock and/or using company equipment - you should always assume you're being monitored. If you're doing something wrong and it is caught by you being monitored, then tough luck. If the results of monitoring are being misinterpreted and you weren't doing anything wrong, explain it to your boss and there should be no issues, and if there are you have a crappy boss (and the same situation would likely eventually happen without monitoring.)

The issue is if companies are monitoring you on your personal time, when you're not using company equipment. That's another issue entirely and IMHO wrong.

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