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Comment Re:Gouge the middle class to make them poor (Score 2) 130

It sounds more fair when you say charge less in poorer countries. However when you turn it around, it is gouge the people in less poor countries.

Especially given that GDP is not evenly distributed among the population. The bulk of the added revenue from technology driven productivity improvements (at least in the US) has gone to the denizens of the C suites and the government, not to the workers. GDP has soared while real-inflation adjusted after-tax income has stagnated or dropped for decades.

That's much of why a nuclear family in the '50s got along fine on a single income and a two-parent family now involves both parents working and the kids in child care, and the bulk of kids are in "non-traditional" family arrangements and/or on some form of public assistance.

So "gouge the developed world's middle class" is indeed what such a GDP-based scheme would accomplish.

Comment Re:more open (Score 3, Interesting) 105

Yeah, last few devices I've bought had something very close to AOSP with only a minimum of extra apps installed, apps that aren't causing me any problems. Android itself doesn't vary a lot between versions any more, the chances are the version you have varies little - from a user's point of view - from the latest greatest. This is a far cry from the early days of Android where:

1. Every phone had a heavily customized version of Android, in part because stock Android wasn't very pretty, but those customizations were usually horrible and bug ridden. As an example, my T-Mobile Slide 3G's dialer would crash if you changed from portrait to landscape.

2. Android itself was barely feature complete. Third party tools were needed to provide a decent launcher, decent keyboard, and so on, as well as tethering and other features carriers were nervous about.

It just isn't as important any more.

Comment Re:Wyoming = big coal country (Score 3, Insightful) 409

Wind power in particular could also be a great way to ensure that grazing rights on lands are maintained, since there's no reason why a wind farm and ranching would have to be incompatible, and with the land already being several stages away from being pristine, no reason not to continue to leave grazing rights.

Comment Re:i/o ports and support (Score 1) 105

The Pie has FreeBSD and other Linux distro support and lots of i/O to hook up other peripherals.

And I was running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a Beagle Bone Black in April of '04 (although its userland was running on a somewhat back-versioned kernel for a couple months until the guy doing the kernel ports got the proper one fully ported).

The Black is not the first Beagle Bone version, either, and it was running Debian Linux from the first time I encountered it. It has lots of I/O hookup opportunities - including onboard USB, Ethernet, video, and lots of GPIOs that can be configured to provide several serial ports and a number of buses, in addition to lots of wiggle wires. And you can stack peripheral boards on it, as well.

Plug in a wall wart, USB hub, keyboard, mouse, monitor, (and, if 4 or 8 Gigabytes of file systems feels too cramped, a USB drive or mount a filesystem from a fileserver). Bingo: a full-blown desktop system with about the power of a cellphone and smaller than a pack of cigarettes (excluding all the stuff you plugged into it, of course).

Which is not to say it's the best choice. it's just one I happen to be familiar with. There are a number of single-board machines out there. Cellphone processor technology is too powerful, cheap, and available to NOT be plowshared.

Comment Re:That's no moon... (Score 1) 293

It would take a lot more material than that for a Dyson Sphere. It would take far more material than we have in the entire Solar System.

If you compare to the fictional Ringworld in Larry Niven's N-space universe, a strip that's 1,600,000 km wide, fans have estimated the mass to be the mass of Jupiter, which is just over 2/3 of the mass of the Solar System sans the Sun itself, without respect for composition of the Solar System.

To look at something more practical, in David Weber's Honor Harrington universe, a superdreadnought starship weighs a little under 9,000,000 metric tons. If the entire mass of 16 Psyche is usable then one could build over two trillion of those fictional starships, asteroids like that would make for a sound basis as natural resources for a space-based economy, assuming that one could manage to perform the materials refining needed without landing the mined ore on a planet's surface.

Your Deathstar example would probably also work.

Comment Re:May I suggest ... (Score 1) 65

That's pretty expensive. There may be some prepaid plans that are worse ($30 for 1Gb+unlimited V&T is probably hard to beat), but once you get to the regular subscriptions from the big four, especially family plans, it's really poor value.

I was always surprised Google structured Fi that way, it struck me that building a phone service around a price schedule is doomed to failure. Sooner or later everyone else changes their prices (or what you get for those prices) and suddenly your innovative pricing doesn't look so great any more.

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