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Comment People didn't choose this (Score 1) 58

What people chose was free and easy

Google, fb, ad-supported websites etc just provide the content and transactions people want, easy and free (as in beer).

People en masse just weren't particularly insightful or wary about what they were selling to get all that free and easy stuff. i.e. a comprehensive profile of themself.

If there was a free, equally easy to get and use (also includes fast, and content-organized) decentralized mesh alternative, people would probably migrate to it. But there isn't. The alternatives all currently fall down in one way or another.

Comment Now it's like telco selling me to advertisers (Score 1) 58

by capturing and voice analysing the words that I express in all my phone calls.

Ok so I know the NSA already has all that stuff, but selling it corporations for profit is over the line.

The bright side is this will spur end-to-end encryption universal adoption like nothing else would.

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 13

Amazing that with a majority in both houses and control of the presidency, he's STILL blaming democrats.

Democrats played the same blame game against the republicans when they had the power in 2009-2010.

This little episode only further confirms the similarities between the two factions. So unfortunate they continue to win elections despite all this "resistance".

Comment Re:Fait Acompli? (Score 1) 202

If you wanted to really restore the consumer-manufacturer balance the first thing you should do is create a "Digital Sales Act" that basically says if it walks, talks and quacks like a duck it's a duck. Once you start invalidating most shrinkwrap and clickwrap licenses then you can start talking consumer rights.

Microsoft is showing us what that future looks like, though, and it involves ads in your apps whether you paid for them or not. And if you don't own the software, then guess what? You're going to lose any and all rights to modify it. In fact, it might even become a crime to block those advertisements.

Then there's just one small step away to force everyone to use these adware/spyware systems: declare that only approved operating systems will be permitted to connect to the internet for "security" reasons. At first that will include numerous Linux and *BSD distributions, but it's easy enough to manufacture a crisis or simply pass legislation with no basis in reality and plug that hole later.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 202

But if printers were designed to be maintainable, with modular heads that could be snapped out and replaced, this wouldn't be a problem....

They used to be available. I'm blanking on the PN... but one of my housemates used to have a tabloid-format HP deskjet which had ink cartridges which snapped into a head cartridge which snapped into a carrier. It had a little bit of banding so it wasn't exactly spectacular, but it did have a separately replaceable head. You could buy a fully-loaded head package, the head alone, a full ink package, or any ink tank alone.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 202

What printer company sells me a printer and OFFERS me cartridges instead of doing the printer equivalent of a dealer doing his "first one is free" pitch?

Unless things have changed recently, that's Canon. They not only have long been the easiest to refill, but actually are known for working well with third party ink. Continuous inking systems are not very expensive either, and make it trivial to dump in as much third-party ink as you like.

I don't print color, though, so I have an old HP laser, a LJ2300DN with some DIMM upgrades and an additional tray. It has toner cart DRM, but I have a stick-on PCB which you attach with double-sided tape to make a home-refilled toner cart work again. The fix was two bucks. Ethernet, Duplex, feeds 500 sheets before it needs attention. There's even a 500 sheet tray for it which improves that by half again, but I ordered one and they sent me a 250 tray instead so I got that for free and called it good.

Comment Re:If I had my way... (Score 1) 202

Laws got made because of that, and now auto companies must allow those manufactures to make parts right away.

That is a great benefit, but the fight there is not yet over. What's needed now is to make illegal any agreements that the suppliers who actually make these parts won't be able to sell them to consumers directly right away. It's not until that happens that it really becomes affordable to maintain a vehicle, and so there's a period in between the end of the warranty and the time when the suppliers start selling their parts into the non-dealer channels where it's prohibitively expensive to maintain vehicles.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 202

Well, they are an IBM company.

Yes. I used to work for the MIS department of the Health and Human Services agency at Emeline St. in Santa Cruz, back in the day when it was all PS/2s on star-wired token ring, and we had HPLJ2s and HPLJ3s, and whatever printer was their contemporary from Lexmark. And the Lexmark printers even then caused ten times more problems.

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