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Comment Re:Right Wing Nuts (Score 5, Interesting) 647

What, they have a point. If companies were competing freely, instead of this messed up system of little fiefdoms we have now, you can bet that you'd see Comcast and Time Warner trying to outdo each other, while AT&T and Verizon raced to shove fiber everywhere. Remember - competition is good for the consumer. It forces companies to innovate or die, while keeping prices low.

But as it stands now, you basically have "The cable company" or "The phone company". Even independent DSL providers are still using the copper run by The Phone Company, and often costs more than if you got DSL from them directly.

Even the Economist points out that this stimulus package probably won't have the effect Obama is hoping for because the companies will simply sit back and wait for the government to pay them for the upgrades they would have had to pay for themselves.

The way I see it, the only way things will change is through good old capitalist competition. Someone needs to really step in with a reliable WiMAX solution for about $25/mo, and seriously start sucking business away from the DSL/Cable duopolies. In fact I'm rather surprised the cell phone companies aren't trying to jump into the residential data market. They already have the little notebook dongles, just shove that into an antenna you set on your roof (for better reception) and plug it into your router. Better yet, offer residential phone service over this as well, and really put a dent in the landline and cable telephony companies.

Comment Re:OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minut (Score 1) 133

If you're thinking of porno, that's a different case.

It's perfectly legal for a kid to go buy or rent an R or NC-17 rated movie, or even the book based on that movie. Heck, you now have "Unrated" versions of movies, which go from an R to borderline porno being sold in mainstream stores.

Comment Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (Score 1) 133

In theory...

However, why only video games?

With the exception of outright porno, this bill means a kid could go into a store and buy the unrated (with extra gore, blood and profanity) version of, say, Doom3, but couldn't purchase the game. Does that make sense?

If this bill pushed to have ALL forms of media rated, and withheld from minors, then it MIGHT have a chance in passing. That is until you start talking about the part about deciding what books or newspapers can be sold to minors. Then you're going to run amok of every freedom of speech group in the nation, not to mention having the judge throw the case out faster than you can say "first amendment".

These folks are going about this the wrong way. They shouldn't be wasting their time to make this a LAW - that would require the government to get involved, and they can't. Instead, if these folks feel so strongly, they should go after the stores and convince them to start implementing policies to not sell these games to kids. If anything, this would get the support of the ESRB and the videogame industry. After all, Rock* has always said their games aren't intended for people under 18. Yet, most stores don't enforce this.

Even if all stores had a 100% perfect method of preventing sales to minors, all that would happen is the kids would find someone to buy the game for them. This might be some stranger in the store, a relative or even a parent.

Comment Re:Monkey (Score 1) 133

It goes back further than that, actually. Rap music in the 80s caused people to put those "Explicit Lyrics" stickers on tapes and CDs. This had the unintended benefit of boosting the sales of those tapes/CDs because now the kids knew what stuff they weren't supposed to be listening too!

Then there was the Dungeons&Dragons controversy, that it either made you more violent, a satan worshipper, or a gambler.

Rock music - including the stuff from 50 years ago(!) - was said to induce licentious behavior and, God forbid, DANCING.

It's the same old stupid arguments being made by people who ought to know better. After all, THEY were the ones "fighting the man" by rocking out to the Beatles!

Comment Re:Monkey (Score 1) 133

Name a "think of the children!" type bill that actually gives children credit for not being as moronic as the people supporting the bill are.

Didn't we already go through this? In fact, didn't New York specifically go through several aborted video game bills? How many times does the judge need to say "no, you morons, get out of my court!" before they get a clue? Oh, and I'm sure the loss of several more million dollars in taxpayer money will make everyone happy-happy.

Comment Re:80 hours (Score 2, Insightful) 1055

No but working 16 hrs, 7 days a week, WILL.

I had a few coworkers who were like the OP. They'd willingly work ridiculously long hours just because they liked what they were doing.

Problem was, management came to depend on their crazy schedules. Which meant when crunch time came, they had nothing more to give. A few times we'd come in to work the next morning, only to find one or both of them literally passed out on their keyboards after working 36+ hours straight. It wasn't healthy, and basically anything they did in those last 12 hours wasn't very useful, or even coherent, for that matter.

Comment Re:$400 a month? (Score 3, Insightful) 591

I agree it's not worthless, but people need to understand that the average ROI on a solar panel system is somewhere between 12-15 years. The panels themselves, however, are only rated to last 20 years.

I keep hearing about breakthroughs in solar power that are "just around the corner" that would bring the cost of a home system down from $15k to under $10k, and the ROI down to under 5 years. However, it's been about 5 years since I heard about such things and I'm still waiting.

Meanwhile, I have to wonder why more companies haven't tiled their roofs with solar panels? Google did it to their headquarters, mainly as a publicity stunt, but figures they'll cut their power usage during the day by about 30%. Putting panels on businesses makes more sense because they're in operation when the panels are at their most productive. It probably won't zero out their energy usage, as a home-based system will, but it would be a big help.

Comment Re:$400 a month? (Score 1) 591

I'm surprised no one's pointed this out yet, but the national average for 1kWh of power is about $0.12, but in CA, you're going to pay much, much more. Mainly because most of our power plants are powered by natural gas. This also means that Californians are paying way more for natural gas as well. I think my last bill showed I was paying about $1.40 per cubic foot or whatever the unit for gas is. While I have a gas dryer, water heater, stove and furnace, all of them are very new and energy efficient, my bill for gas was still about $100.

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