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Comment Re: nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 631

There are already guidelines and incentives (not really rules, per se) that were supposed to be designed to encourage ISPs to provide broadband in un-profitable areas. The idea being that it is not profitable to lay out lines to rural areas, so the government would kick in millions of dollars in incentives to help pay for this infrastructure layout. And the ISPs did absolutely everything in their power to collect the incentives, while doing as little as possible to actually serve these areas.

The way the incentives were originally laid out, "under-served areas" were defined by county, and ISPs got incentives based on bringing broadband coverage to these counties. I live in Ohio, and Time Warner, for example, set up a service area in a small area at the four-corner intersection of four counties. The area consisted of a few dozen homes and businesses. Then they declared that these four "under-served areas" encompassing over 1200 square miles (less than one square mile of which was actually served) now had access to broadband coverage. Time Warner collected their build-out incentives and moved on, and many of those areas are still not covered to this day.

It's shenanigans like this that make people hate cable companies with a burning passion, and as much as I'm not in favor of government intervention, cable companies had their chances to prove themselves good actors in the free market. They ate the carrots already, it's high-time for the stick.

Comment Re:What whas the problem in the first place? (Score 3, Interesting) 250

I don't think it's unreasonable to conclude that some vague, yet menacing government agency has compromised the code and the developers are unwilling to see what they worked for burned to the ground. I mean, 15 years ago, this would have sounded like the rantings of a paranoid schizophrenic, but with all that's come out about the U.S. government recently, I think it's perfectly rational. Given the level of security TrueCrypt has the potential to provide, and the level of oversight the U.S. Government wants over both foreigners and citizens alike, I would honestly be surprised if TrueCrypt wasn't compromised long ago.

Maybe the goals of this vague, yet menacing government agency are pure and wholesome. After all, TrueCrypt would absolutely benefit those organizations trying to keep their activities secret from authority. But we'll never know because of the veil of secrecy behind it.

Comment Re:XBOX? (Score 3, Insightful) 616

It's part of their long-term strategy to get into the living room, which has been very successful. I know many people who have an Xbox for the sole purpose of accessing movie rentals, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and play an occasional game or two. Yes, there are devices (such as the Roku) that do this, but they don't play games.

I'm not saying Microsoft is full of geniuses or anything. They've definitely made a lot of dumb errors over the years. They are most definitely chasing Apple in terms of innovation in consumer market. But I'm also saying that it's a mis-characterization that they're just burning piles of money for no reason. I actually respect that they're at least trying to work on a long-term strategy rather than just trying to shore up their numbers for next quarter by cutting costs. You can't build long-term market dominance by worrying about what happens next quarter. If you try, you end up like US car companies in the 1980's. They're still digging themselves out of the hole they dug by their shortsightedness, and none of them would even exist if it weren't for government bailouts.

For all the grief that the Surface Pro has gotten, it's actually not a bad piece of hardware. I'm using one right now. The Surface RT is a steaming pile of dogshit, but the Pro makes an acceptable lightweight laptop that can also run touch-friendly apps. Nobody will buy a tablet that doesn't have any apps, and nobody will develop apps for a tablet that nobody owns. I don't use it for "Modern" apps very much, but Microsoft is trying to create a bridge between the desktop and the tablet. Windows 8 actually does this well, and paired with well-designed, reasonably powerful hardware, it's very usable, even for a power-user.

Comment Re:Sometimes the easy way is the better way (Score 2) 111

Terrific idea, but you'd have a pretty hard time getting that setup into a laptop bezel. Video-conferencing didn't really seem to catch on en masse until the cameras came built into every piece of hardware sold. As a dedicated device, I could see this idea working really well, but I don't think people are willing to sacrifice price and portability just to be able to see someone they're talking to. Of course, there could be exceptions, such as when people are doing high-value business transactions, where eye contact can make or break a deal.

Comment Re:Gun Makers (Score 1) 1111

There are a lot of things in your life that serve no practical purpose. Should the government outlaw all of the ones I don't like? Should everything in your house be evaluated to make sure it has a "proper" use? Nearly all guns purchased in the United States are used for hunting and target practice. I understand you don't like to do those things. That's cool, I probably don't like all your hobbies, either. But to say that guns should be outlawed because they have no "proper" use is pretty shortsighted. Do R/C planes have any "proper" use? After all, I could use one to fly a bomb into a building, and they don't open locks, close doors or fix cars. What about my kid's kites? What purpose do they serve? Can they open a soda can? Can they dig post holes for a fence? My neighbor has an accordion, which could clearly be used to bludgeon someone to death. I'd love for the police to take that from him.

It's unwise to go around calling people stupid when your own argument lacks substance.

Comment Re: Nice! (Score 1) 240

Jeez, mate. You're admitting to helping at least SEVEN PEOPLE defraud the federal government? Why would you do that? I don't work hard and pay taxes so that people like you choose to look the other way while crimes are being committed! If you witness a crime and fail to report it, you are part of the problem.

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