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Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 56

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment It's a bad idea anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 39

Let's all hope that this ends up not happening. It'd be an extremely minor improvement which only prevents any serious improvement from ever happening.

If the government is going to use force here, then it should be that any interstate commerce in TV must use standards. Why demand a free-as-in-beer app when you can just demand free-as-in-speech specs? That would get us all plenty of free-as-in-beer apps anyway, except that you get as many are needed, until everyone agrees it's competitive enough. Don't like Company X's TV player? Try Company Y's, or this one on githib, or write your own. A week after specs are published, you're going to have way better stuff available than any app Comcast is ever going to make for your Roku, which will be the next thing for you to be constantly bitching about (assuming you're still using the Roku when the app comes out).

If you're not going to force the use of standards, then don't bother using force at all. Why go to so much trouble just to do it wrong? You're setting us up so that when we tire of this next failure, the cable companies will be able to say "but we did what you want! It's not fair to make us change again!"

Protocols and interoperability are what have value. Stop stressing implementations so much. Doing things is fucking trivial, compared to figuring out what to do and being allowed to do it. Freedom gets you diversity, which gets you performance. Does anyone really still pretend to not know this?

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1) 234

What's UPS going to charge you for a letter? $10?

Let's suppose we lived in that world. It's 2036, and sending a letter costs $10. Are you better off than you were in 1996 (when it cost 32 cents), or worse off?

We might be better off. Sure, it costs thirty times as much, but you might be having to do it less than a thirtieth as often. I'll admit my memory is foggy, but I'm pretty sure that every damn month I was having to mail multiple bill payments. That crap is over, and we're all happier for it, aren't we? Nowdays, I'm snailmailing infrequently enough that I don't even know if it's something I do twice a year, or once every two years, or what. It's getting hard to measure, but one thing's for sure: it ain't much.

$10 for a letter would be ok, if you almost never had to use it. And aren't we heading that way? Isn't nearly every instance (I'm trying to be open to there being some exceptions, though I'm actually drawing a blank right now) where you can't use email, a situation where you view the requirement as being a consequence of someone else's fuckup, incompetence, anachronism, etc? (e.g. this AC's idea that "my financial records where I need physical copies for tax audit purposes" is a feature of snailmail, rather than a defect in government's information-provenance-verification procedures.)

I'm not even necessarily advocating the death of USPS. Maybe they'll "rightsize" to fit the country's communications needs, such that they are the ones charging $10 to deliver a letter. It wouldn't be so bad, if overall, we still end up spending less.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 466

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 466

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

Comment Re:Everybody should be prepared to die. (Score 4, Funny) 466

Out of several tens of billions of humans, only a fraction have not yet died, and of those who died, only a small percent of disputed cases indicate recovery.

On the contrary, I have never died before and rumors that I would do so are spread by fact-checkers of the liberal press and corrupt global warming scientists.

Comment Some Artistic License (Score 1) 466

I like the part in the SpaceX video where the rocket lands, and the door opens on magnificent desolation. This is artistic license. Obviously the material for a habitat would precede the arrival of people.

But yes, a first-try planetary colony won't necessarily work. Getting there is dangerous, and once you're there being able to continue to provide the population with air, water, food, shelter, and energy is going to have significant risks of lethal failures.

Comment Re:Consumers (Score 1) 308

Try bandcamp.

Here, I'll start you off with some premium grade-A smokey music. Nope, that's not marijuana (though if that's your thing, it should still work out for you). Inhale again and you'll realize it's mesquite. I suppose the two are similar, because smelling this music gives me the munchies, except I don't wanna settle for anything less than slow-fuckin'-cooked brisket.

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