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Comment Re:Dont do anyone any favors (Score 5, Informative) 644

The kid has two parents, so you could get the mother's partner to pay up rather than the father. The other woman explicitly chose to be a parent, thus the burden should be her responsibility. Why aren't they? Perhaps because this guy has more income so he's the guy they can extract money from, or perhaps they just think the law is written heteronormatively enough that this will work better.

Well, the simple answer to your question of "Why aren't they?" is because Kansas has a constitutional amendment in place that prohibits the state from recognizing the non-biological mother in that relationship as part of that family. She's just a roommate as far as the eyes of the law are concerned. Therefore, the state's only recourse is to go after the biological father despite any contract that he and the biological mother may have signed.

Comment Re:Another Kickstarter failure (Score 1) 160

I will say that having stayed away from most technology related kickstarters that I've actually had really really good luck with the board games and RPG modules. I've backed about 20 projects, and received the items so far from about a third of them. The games I've received have been good quality and generally lots of fun. Of the remaining 2/3 a few are late, but have been very upfront about unexpected delays and what they're doing to resolve problems. The remainder are still being very communicative, but haven't passed their due dates yet.

That's not to say that I haven't funded some technology based projects, but they've all been from reputable companies that I've already known (Double Fine, for example), or people I've been able to research and see that they are reputable.

Would it surprise me if one or two of the projects I've backed failed? No, or perhaps a little, but that's more because I feel the law of averages has to kick in eventually.

But ultimately, you're correct when it comes to hardware or other technology based kickstarters. Most people don't know what it takes to bring a new gadget to market, or build a new video game, or other software. And the people who back them probably know even less. At the end of the experiment, I expect that you're going to find that funding will almost dry up completely for the Next Big Thing In Personal Gadgetry, after so many people get burned repeatedly, but the game, art, clothing, music, etc. projects will continue on. Relatively small projects where the amount of money raised is in the small thousands, if that much. Maybe tens of thousands if it's really popular (board games tend to reach this point if they show well on boardgamegeek.com).

On the other hand... There's a sucker born every minute, and if people keep not doing their research, they're going to end up backing crappy, ill-managed projects.

Comment Re:No persuasion required (Score 1) 510

Fair enough. It's been almost 20 years since I last took a history class and I'll admit that there are things I don't remember, if I was ever taught them. Legitimately, I don't recall any history class in k-12 here in upstate NY ever talking about anything other than very narrow focus attention on various wars the US has been in. And history of anything outside of the US was alluded to, but ultimately not really discussed. I did attend a public school after all.

Both concepts seem equally applicable to the situation, except that I see little chance of it going any other way other than complete corporate ownership of everyone on the planet, or at least in the United States.

Comment Re:No persuasion required (Score 2) 510

I believe you missed the point about the "Guilded Age."

"Gilded" means to be covered with gold, which would make no sense in the context of the post.

He (assuming from a username of "jedidiah") was making a play on words to indicate that we are returning to a time of the medieval guilds, referencing his statement of "corporate feudalism" from the previous statement.

Comment Re:Most likely going to save me money (Score 1) 307

My apologies. I misspoke (it was pre-breakfast for me), and I did not mean "per phone," but an overall average. I was also going off of my own memory, which seems to have inflated the numbers a little.

Looking at last month's bill:

I have two road warriors on my account. They use about 1GB+ per month. I'm on WiFi at home, and on cellular at the office, putting me at about 6-800MB. The other 3 people average somewhere between 200-500MB, usually.

So, our average is about 982.5MB last month. Admittedly the 3.5GB is a higher than normal for that one person, but they usually are somewhere between 1.5-2GB per month. Figure add on some extra for months where people are traveling more than normal, or what-have-you, and 10GB a month is pretty solid for us, and 6GB would be a squeeze leaving us with little headroom.

Regardless, the new pricing structure would save us a not-insignificant amount of money at 10GB, while giving people a little room to breathe over their normal data usage.

Comment Re:Most likely going to save me money (Score 1) 307

The $5/month I would save over AT&T is not worth the hassle of changing carriers, porting numbers, and having to deal with Walmart. I'll take dealing with my corporate account rep at AT&T any day of the week over dealing with anyone associated with Walmart.

I recognize that my opinion is in the minority in that I choose to deal with a company based off the quality of the goods and services that I receive. I will happily pay a few dollars more to deal with a company that gives me good service. I also recognize that many people feel about AT&T the way I feel about Walmart, and I respect their opinion to not do business with them. In 14 years with AT&T, I have been quite happy with the level of service and coverage that I have received for the type of business and areas that I have lived in. I have yet to receive good service, or a quality product, from Walmart. Your experiences may vary.

Comment Re:Most likely going to save me money (Score 1) 307

The AT&T Go Phones weren't around the last time I was looking at prepaid, at least in this area, some 4 or 5 years ago, as far as I recall (I may be wrong).

Taking a quick look at the plans, for smartphones, they require that you obtain a plan with a data package:

From http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html#planlist-ptip_sku5240223 :

Smartphone users must purchase a data package to use data services on eligible plans. Pay-Per-Use data is not available with smartphones.

The $50/month plan is the only one that comes with a data package.

So 6 smartphones * $50/month, I end up paying the same $300/month that I would under the new Mobile Share plans, with the advantage that roaming internationally is a quick phone call to activate a feature, and my father doesn't have to deal with swapping a sim or dealing with having separate phone numbers.

Comment Re:Sharing? (Score 4, Informative) 307

$40/mo bill for services + $45/mo premium for phone ownership = $85/mo (for a single device)

This is to the exclusion of all the excise fees, taxes, and other miscellaneous bullshit telcos charge customers; I foresee a single device costing well over $100/mo on this new plan.

This plan isn't for someone with a single phone. Nowhere has anyone said they're eliminating Individual plans, or existing family talk plans. This is for large groups, with a diverse set of devices.

If you have a single phone, stick with your Individual plan. If you have 2-3 people, stick with a Family Talk plan.

Comment Most likely going to save me money (Score 4, Interesting) 307

This is most likely going to save me money. I can see where someone with only 3 phones on their account potentially wouldn't save any money with this, but I have 6 on mine. Because of existing AT&T rules, I can only have up to 5 phones per voice plan. So I currently end up with 2 voice plans.

By the time I'm done, we have the following structure:
$90/month plan w/ 1 additional $10/month phone (1400 minutes, and yes, the people on this plan regularly get close to that)
$70/month plan w/ 1 additional $10/month phone (700 minutes)
5 $30/month unlimited data plans (the average usage per month over the last year being about 1.2GB per month, per user)
1 $25/month 3GB plan
2 $30/month family unlimited texting/mobile-to-any-mobile plans.

Before taxes and add-ons like phone insurance, and my company discount, I currently pay $415/month.

By switching to the new structure it'd look like this (before taxes, add-ons, and discount):
$120 10GB/month plan (including unlimited voice and texting)
6 $30/month phone connection fee

$300/month. I'm going to save $115/month by switching to these plans, and if 10GB/month isn't enough, I can upgrade to the 15GB/month plan for another $40, and STILL save a bunch.

Is this a good deal for everyone? No. But in my situation, I believe it will be a good deal for my family (yes, everyone on my plan is related to me) of all adults, who are mostly around WiFi, half of whom are power users, and half of whom are normal users.

Also, before anyone pops up with "You should go prepaid!" I looked into going prepaid. While certainly it would work for 1 or 2 of my family members, the coverage for Sprint (which Virgin rides on) is crap in my area, and some of my family regularly travels to Canada, which - the last time i checked - is problematic. Some of that may have changed (certainly not the Sprint coverage - people complain constantly in my office), I admit, but I appear to be one of the few people with AT&T who has never experienced a problem with customer service, coverage, or data speeds.

Comment Re:I'm a little confused... (Score 2) 43

From what I can tell, it's not that they downloaded freely available software; it's that they downloaded software behind a paywall - certain patches, etc, only available via a support contract.

I believe the crux of the issue would be that SAP was downloading and providing those patches to other companies wholesale, in the course of providing a competing service. So, SAP had a support contract with Oracle, and then using the resources of that support contract to provide services that allowed other companies to get all the benefits of the support contract without paying for it.

I can see why Oracle might be a little grumpy about this. It would be different if SAP was making their own patches and support documents and providing those.

The DOJ is also likely involved because of the sheer dollar amount of the support contracts that they allowed customers to circumvent buying.

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