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Comment Re:SETI is a waste of time and money (Score 1) 98

SETI's cost is minimal. Not minimal in the governmental "a billion here, a billion there" sense, but in the "operating budget of a moderately successful mcdonalds" sense. We spend tens of billions on all the other things on your list, so saying "that SETI money could be better used over here" is simply not a credible statement.

Comment Re:Wow, Commiefornia! (Score 2) 224

My company opened another office in the Houston metro, and when we were looking for locations, one of our candidates was in a new industrial park that was literally across the street from a group of multi-million dollar homes (and not in the California sense where an 800sqft shithole sells for half a mil, but in the rural US sense of a 5k sqft mcmansion on 5 acres). I had someone explain the zoning laws (or lack thereof) to me and had my mind blown. NIMBY definitely does NOT seem to be a thing down there.

It's rather mind boggling to me, but it seems to work for them.

Comment Re:Why would you want tech companies in the downto (Score 1) 224

> Wall street is downtown.

I wouldn't consider anything past Canal as 'downtown', that's financial district.

Manhattan has three basic divisions, "uptown," "midtown," and "downtown." The financial district is contained within the geographic area of "downtown" (which starts at the Battery and has a nebulous northern border somewhere between the Village and 34th St).

You're essentially claiming that "Times Square" is not located in midtown, it's in the theater district, or that Harlem is not "uptown."

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 531

You're making a fundamental error, here.

You can't simply offset those billions of dollars against the number of jobs. You need to look at what would have happened had Ireland not made this deal to begin with. It's fair to say that Apple would never have funneled their profits through the Irish tax haven had this deal not been in place, so the question is really "Are the 6500 jobs, plus however much actual tax revenue was collected, a greater return for Ireland than not having Apple's money in the country at all?"

I don't know the answer to that question, and I won't speculate on the matter, but that's the calculation in play here. Claiming otherwise is either ignorance or bias.

Comment Re:I hate Apple, but no (Score 1) 531

Tax avoidance "schemes" must be registered?

For what it's worth, the use of "scheme" there is not pejorative (which is why I assume you have it in scare quotes), it's just a synonym for "plan" that is in common usage in British English (as opposed to American English, where it typically implies that something underhanded is occurring).

Comment Re:December 30th (Score 1) 308

It was also the "done thing" to lurk for a while before posting. Well, that was the case before Eternal September, anyway...

This. If I would have made an account when I started using /., I'd have a 3 or low 4 digit uid, and given that both of us made accounts around the same time, I'd wager you would as well. There's something to be said for actually learning about a community before you join it.

Comment Re: They're not capable of mind control... (Score 1) 148

TL;DR.

Your fine rant, though, ignores the fact that the Iraq war is the one without an actual reason. The war in Afghanistan started because they were harboring Osama bin Laden, and we demanded they turn him over to answer for what al-Qaeda had done. It certainly went off the rails from there, with many people believing the Taliban had something to do with 9/11, but the original reason for the war was good enough to pass muster with a large coalition, including multiple nations that have had a significant aversion to military action since the mid 20th century sending troops as well.

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

Your points are persuasive, but most people* would likely parse the phrases "twice as fast" and "two times faster" as meaning the same thing which throws your entire point into disarray. Percentages are obvious, "as fast/faster" appears to be a personal stylistic choice.

*: "most people" definitely falls afoul of the "no true scotsman" fallacy, but it's not like I'm going to go out and conduct a survey on the issue.

Comment Re:Laissez Faire Capitalist Here... (Score 1) 204

Remember that not all municipal utilities are not government owned. Most rural and semirural areas get their water and power from coops (where the residents are members, and (nominally) owners of the utility). The biggest problems involved are startup costs (this is where government can play a role in the form of USF grants from fedgov or loans/bonds from states and towns) and the 800lb gorillas (AT&T, Comcast, etc) who will do everything in their power to ensure these projects fail or are outlawed.

That second part is also where government needs to step in, but I'm not exactly optimistic about that.

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

I appear to have had a reading comprehension malfunction, and I thought OP was stating that "330% faster = 3.3x speed" which is definitely not what he was stating. With regard to your formula, I'll admit ignorance. I did some quick research and have found nothing definitive other than people arguing on the internet. I will not press my point (we've already proven that I am not responding to what people are actually saying, much less correct) but I'm unconvinced as to the accuracy of what you're saying. Can you link to something authoritative so I can cure my ignorance?

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

“increase [...] by 330 percent” means 4.3 faster."

Sorry, but "330% faster" is indeed 3.3 times faster, or 4.3 times as fast. "4.3 [times] faster" is actually 5.3 times as fast. You're off by one, and GP is correct.

Let's try it this way: "100% faster" and "1 times faster." Do you see how your statement is provably false, now?

Comment Re:Or... (Score 3, Informative) 82

I'm afraid that your "pre-1940s" view of the US is either rose tinted or just plain incorrect. While Teddy Roosevelt spoke of the need to speak softly and carry a big stick, the foreign policy of the United States has been largely the opposite of the isolationist position that many people seem to think is our norm. There's a reason the USMC's Battle Hymn starts with "from the Hallf of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." We've invaded both Canada and Mexico in our history, and (prior to the 1940 date you remember fondly) had been at war on every continent save Australia and Antartica. We took the vast majority of our nation away from the people who already lived there. I'm reasonably certain that every single US extraterritorial possession (i.e. Guam, etc) was in our possession prior to the second world war, except for a bunch of tiny atolls in the Pacific we built bases on during the war and maybe kept afterward.

I personally think that, on the whole, we've been a stronger force for "good" (however you want to define that) than "evil" but I do have my biases.

Comment Re:Six million soon-to-be-unhappy Comcast customer (Score 1) 141

I think you missed the point. In this context, customers refers to individual people and families. Corporations are more important than people, and so, by definition, get better service. It does not contradict the GP who says that a happy Comcast customer is a myth.

I'm the guy who deals with the sales guys, tech guys, field guys and manages the circuits on a day to day basis. To suggest that I'm not a customer is an absurdity. With regard to your schtick that corporte customers are more important because they're "not people" I think it has more to do with the fact that the check we cut Comcast every month probably equals what everyone else in a quarter-mile radius pays, combined.

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