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Comment Re:Why the focus on communication tech? (Score 2) 218

I would like to see one shred of evidence that having so-called backdoors would have prevented the London tragedy.

Maybe if some wacko Eagle Eye supercomputer were monitoring and evaluating all communications at all times in real-time, maybe something could be sniffed out, and on that day we shall all bow down to our robot overlords. Until then, you're talking about creating a mile-high haystack of data, and hiring humans to eaves-drop and search through it day and night for a needle. I mean, politicians really need to think before they speak. Already, London has more cameras than nearly anywhere else on Earth. The problem? If you're intent is to prevent crime, you need eyes watching all those cameras all the time. And there's nothing more boring than looking at security cameras all day.

For catching and prosecuting a guy who's committed a crime, maybe. Go back through the tape, catch him in the act, conviction, sentencing. Done. But for preventing the crime in the first place, particularly where the perp is not planning on walking out alive, backdoors and security cameras don't justify the legions of personnel it takes to watch and listen to everything just in case someone might pick up the perp maybe saying they're gonna do something. And who's to say it's real, or just some dumbass talking shit after drinking too much? An overworked, underpaid government-contracted data grunt, that's who... he's the reason the storm-troopers in riot gear tore your house down, zip-tied your family and shot your goldfish, only to find your 10-year-old pulling pranks on his iPad.

Comment Re:Pricing... (Score 2) 121

You're right and wrong. To be clear, the Concorde was profitable on a day-to-day basis, enough to sustain it for for 27 years.

However, the expense for R&D was not recovered, true, and there just weren't enough of them, nor enough profits, to sustain an industry through Airbus or whoever to manufacture spare parts and replacement Concordes. So, they aged out. Had the problems of ozone depletion and sonic booms been addressed without being sensationalized (e.g., the Anti-Concorde Project), resulting in bans in most major airports, there may have been enough business to justify Airbus or Boeing tooling up to make replacement parts and even new SST's. Instead, the Concorde was orphaned, and doomed to die out when the supply of cannibalized parts from the few spare planes ran dry.

With modern materials, manufacturing, and avionics, there's no reason not to try again, and arrive at a much, much better result. Besides, there's more places to go. Right now, it takes more than 12 hours to fly from NY to Dubai, more than 14 to New Delhi or Seoul. Reducing that down to 6 would be well worth it to some folks with very deep pockets, deep enough perhaps to lobby away some antiquated restrictions, and justify a sustainable fleet of aircraft.

I don't care how much it will cost at first. The road to Ford's cheap, mass manufactured Model T was paved by a lot of unaffordable vehicles. If it gets built and it works, SST will become more affordable, and maybe stop the current race-to-the-bottom for current air travel.

Comment Re:Pricing... (Score 1) 121

This always gets said, and again, it's false. BA did make money, which is why they flew it for as long as they did. It just didn't enough money to pay for spare parts as the planes aged (they cannibalized grounded Concordes until that became unsustainable) and, ultimately, replacement aircraft. Limited to only a few routes, Airbus wouldn't tool up to support a dozen or so planes when there's much more money to be made in fleets of subsonic aircraft. In short, the Concorde died of old age and lack of supporting infrastructure. But make no mistake, for 60's and 70's technology, the Concorde was really really great. Well loved by both passengers and pilots.

Comment Re:CAn I buy one? (Score 1) 174

THIS! Like how GM made a consumer version of the Hum-Vee, sold great until pricey gas squashed them. Now that gas is cheap again, why not a consumer-version of this monster? Bulldozer and water-turret part of the Premium option package, along with the rifle rack (don't go huntin' without one). Can just smell the money. Feel safe and warm in the sketchy part of town when buying drugs. Park it in front of your neighbor with the Prius, just for laughs.

Comment Re:and the Aliens Go Whaaaaaaaa? (Score 1) 166

Let me guess, you love firing lead bullets at firing ranges with your buddies, as much as possible.

Don't need to... got plenty enough lead from breathing car fumes, like tons of other kids.
Great citations, though. In all seriousness, it's truly insane that engineers and, well, everybody, could be so completely careless of what blows out the tail pipe of an engine, like magic nature fairies just clean it all up as soon as it goes in the air. Lead. Fuck. Because it reduces engine knocking, boosts octane ratings, and helps with wear and tear on valve seats. Lead. Why not throw some mercury, asbestos and plutonium into the fuel if it makes cars start more reliably in the cold? I mean, lead in paint and pipes is bad, truly, but literally vaporizing it and blasting it through a pipe to the car behind you, stuck in traffic?
What were these human thinking?

Comment Re:Again like I said! (Score 1) 397

An ISP should rise up and announce they won't sell or collect this data. If that were to happen, the government wouldn't have to do anything.

I would love to see that happen. I really do. But you have to realize that an ISP is a natural monopoly. That's why the telephone industry was so heavily regulated in your grandfather's day, and why most people still have only one land-based option for broadband (their locally franchised cable company), or maybe two where fiber is available, because you can't have a dozen different competing cables or fibers running up to your house or apartment. You just can't. Yeah, the U.S. has 4 wireless carriers right now, but every year there's an effort to merge 'em down to 3, and anyway that's not enough competition for one carrier to be the "good guy" and pledge not sell or collect data, not when there's all that marketing money sitting on the table and there's so much debt to pay back for buying all that spectrum.

It may be a shit sandwich, but sometimes gov't regulation is the only way to level the playing field in favor of the consumer. There's a fine school of thought that competition is always best. But there's another school of thought that competition is for suckers, and if you have the means to simply get rid of the competition, like by locking in markets, spreading lies, or buying the other guy out, then that'll always make you richer much quicker than playing fair. Perhaps in a perfect world, consumers are educated and thoughtful and would boycott such a bad actor out of business. But you know we don't live in that kind of world. We live in a world where there's a sucker born every second, and we all pay the price for it.

Comment Re:Again like I said! (Score 3, Insightful) 397

What happened over the last eight years to stop the NSA and CIA from spying on each and everyone of us? Absolutely nothing. That's (apparently) what you get with Dems in charge.

Correct, and it's not cool. But the GOP hasn't lifted a finger to stop NSA and CIA spying so far on their watch, and I ain't holding my breath that Trump and Co. ever will. Are you?

OTOH, the GOP acted real quick to kill off this little squeak of consumer protection which the Dems managed to keep in place in spite of heavy ISP lobbying.

Besides, the NSA and CIA don't see dollar-signs from selling you out... but ISP's do, and that's the only reason they lobbied the GOP to do it. They will sell your info as many times as they can for whoever's willing to pay. That means a whole lot more people, companies, ad agencies, police departments, polling companies, employment contractors, local governments, anyone willing to pay up (even... the NSA and CIA) can learn what you do from the Internet service that you pay for.

Put this in perspective: to even half-way avoid this you have to dump your ISP, and either stay off the net entirely or only connect using other people's ISP's, like stealing someone's wi-fi or parking outside a McDonald's. Yeah, you can VPN, but your ISP will be aware that you're using a VPN, and they'll be happy to tell that to anyone who's willing to pay.

Comment Re:Again like I said! (Score 4, Interesting) 397

Well, lessee. Under Dem administration, FCC restricts ISP use of consumer info, protects privacy. Three months into a GOP administration, party-line vote takes it away so ISP's can sell you out to anyone willing to pay up. Don't need a math book to figure this one out.
Remember that when the pornpolice break down your door, or sends you a friendly extortion note.

Comment Re:and the Aliens Go Whaaaaaaaa? (Score 1) 166

Good God yes. Detroit used to make a station wagon with a kid's seat in the way-back, and a back-window that would roll down just perfect to suck in all the leaded fumes from the tail pipe... right into the lungs and brains of the "leaders of tomorrow".

Of course, Dad's smoking his pipe in the front seat and Mom's hittin' the Virginia Slims, so there's really no escape. You can have either lead or nicotine with your carbon monoxide. And you wonder why you can't sit still in math class and those SAT's are so hard... maybe I'll just punch this nerdy kid next to me in the mouth!

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1) 129

> install a large panel costing tens of thousands that can generate as little as 45W???

He forgot to mention that it's night, and the only light is coming from the full moon and a street lamp in the parking lot.

The real problem is: 'one of those "this is how much energy you're generating, CO2 you've saved" screens'. Some people just get hopelessly irritated by stuff like that. These panels could be great, making free power, steak dinners, good jobs, curing erectile dysfunction and shitting out Tiffany cufflinks, but if there's a cartoon display of happy trees, spotted owls, and a smiley-face sun, some folks feel a moral duty to hate it.

Comment Re:sunset mode (Score 1) 116

Seriously, why is this a thing?

Because iOS has it? Not because it's like killer-app useful or anything, but just because, wow, that's neat, we oughta do that so that we can say we got that?

Gnome has gone off the rails... rather than work on making it more useful, so people might want to use it and stick with it, they put all this effort into keep-up-with-the-Joneses sugar-coating shit? This has been going on for years! The Gnome project has their priorities fucked, kicking the bugs and non-useability down the road so they can toot about... sunset mode?????

Fuck my grandma and stuff a Twinkie up my ass! It's the year of the Linux Desktop because Gnome's got fucking sunset mode!!!

Comment Re:Yeah, maybe (Score 2, Informative) 171

but who would own this fiber, and will it remain "dark"? There's always rumors and urban legends of tons of installed but unused for one reason or another. Laying more won't help, particularly if its owned by some investor putz intending to charge the Earth to any comm company who'd put it to use.

Anyway, the biggest problem is the last mile, particularly in rural neighborhoods, older neighborhoods, and cities where the roads are already built and too busy and expensive to tear up. That's the excuse Verizon's using for failing to light up New York City.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky