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Comment Re:Gouge the middle class to make them poor (Score 0) 183

Of course, the nuclear family of the 1950s had:
a 1200 (not 2200) sqft house,
formica (not granite) counters, ...

But the house was owned - with a mortgage affordable on a single income and substantial equity in place.

The car was also either owned or being purchased on an auto loan (rather than leased), again with substantial equity from the down payment, and again paid for out of that single income - which was also feeding and clothing the 2.3 children and taking a nontrivial vacation once a year or so.

And I have no idea where you are getting those square footage numbers. Our family's houses (we moved a couple times once Dad got done with his degree and was buying rather than living in a student ghetto) were substantially larger than you describe, and were typical of the neighborhoods around them.

Yes, Formica: It was the big deal of the time. Granite is a recent vanity - and a REALLY STUPID idea if you actually USE the kitchen to prepare food on a regular basis. Drop a ceramic or glass utensil on a granite counter and it breaks. Drop it on Formica-over-plywood-or-hardwood and it usually bounces.

stainless steel appliances,
automatic dishwasher,
automatic dryer,
*might* have had a TV (not a 54" LCD),

Yeah we had all those boxes (though the appliances were be enamel rather than stainless). Also a console sound system - pre "Hi Fi" - AM, FM, and four-speed record changeer with diamond needle in the pickup.

The non-electronic appliances lasted for decades, too. (Even the electronics lasted a long time with occasional maintenance - which was required for vacuum tube based equipment - and was AVAILABLE.) Quite unlike the modern stuff. (My own family has been in our townhouse for about 17 years now and is on its third set of "stainless steel appliances", thanks to the rotten construction of post-outsourcing equipment by formerly high-end manufacturers. We're even on our third WATER HEATER: The brain of the new, governent mandated, eco-friendly, replacement flaked out after less than a year - and the manufacturer sent TWO MORE defective replacement brains and one defective gas sensor before lemon-replacing it.)

Comment Re:Gouge the middle class to make them poor (Score 4, Insightful) 183

It sounds more fair when you say charge less in poorer countries. However when you turn it around, it is gouge the people in less poor countries.

Especially given that GDP is not evenly distributed among the population. The bulk of the added revenue from technology driven productivity improvements (at least in the US) has gone to the denizens of the C suites and the government, not to the workers. GDP has soared while real-inflation adjusted after-tax income has stagnated or dropped for decades.

That's much of why a nuclear family in the '50s got along fine on a single income and a two-parent family now involves both parents working and the kids in child care, and the bulk of kids are in "non-traditional" family arrangements and/or on some form of public assistance.

So "gouge the developed world's middle class" is indeed what such a GDP-based scheme would accomplish.

Comment Re:i/o ports and support (Score 1) 108

The Pie has FreeBSD and other Linux distro support and lots of i/O to hook up other peripherals.

And I was running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a Beagle Bone Black in April of '04 (although its userland was running on a somewhat back-versioned kernel for a couple months until the guy doing the kernel ports got the proper one fully ported).

The Black is not the first Beagle Bone version, either, and it was running Debian Linux from the first time I encountered it. It has lots of I/O hookup opportunities - including onboard USB, Ethernet, video, and lots of GPIOs that can be configured to provide several serial ports and a number of buses, in addition to lots of wiggle wires. And you can stack peripheral boards on it, as well.

Plug in a wall wart, USB hub, keyboard, mouse, monitor, (and, if 4 or 8 Gigabytes of file systems feels too cramped, a USB drive or mount a filesystem from a fileserver). Bingo: a full-blown desktop system with about the power of a cellphone and smaller than a pack of cigarettes (excluding all the stuff you plugged into it, of course).

Which is not to say it's the best choice. it's just one I happen to be familiar with. There are a number of single-board machines out there. Cellphone processor technology is too powerful, cheap, and available to NOT be plowshared.

Comment I'll probably keep it (Score 2) 25

We canceled our cable subscription about a year ago, and while I was OK with it my wife hated not having certain live TV channels. We'd tried Sling, but it was hit-and-miss on the stuff we wanted. Some channels, like BTN, aren't available at all on Sling. DirecTV is only a little more and actually covers the live programming we want.

Make no mistake, the launch was rough. I don't think they allocated enough hardware or bandwidth to handle their initial demand, so streaming cut out constantly. It's finally getting to be pretty solid, though, and I'd much rather pay Sling a few bucks than have anything to do with Comcast.

Comment Re:already exceeding expectations (Score 1) 1501

Explain to me again why this is more reassuring than someone who is an old hand at foreign policy and a known commodity?

Because while he is thin-skinned, he doesn't have Hillary Clinton's decades of history of corruptly exploiting public office to enrich her and her family while baldly lying to your face about it. She's made herself rich - not by building hotels or other constructive things, but by selling political access to people like overseas dictators who don't mind things like throwing gay guys off of rooftops to please Allah.

So we don't like his manners, but we do like her serial lying, corruption, and incompetence ... because she's been doing it for a long time and we're used to it? No thanks.

Comment Uber caught lying? (Score 4, Interesting) 76

Why should we not be surprised? This is the same company which claims it's a "ride sharing" company, not a taxi company, yet as far as I know, not a single one of their drivers is picking up people who want to go the same direction as the driver.

Instead, the people contact some random Uber driver to pick them up at a specific location then be driven to the location of their choice, all for a fee.

That certainly is an interesting definition of "ride sharing" especially in one of the more recent incidents where an Uber driver drove someone from Virginia to New York and back. I highly doubt the driver was already going that route.

That Uber should now be found guilty of duping people into believing they could make X dollars a year by driving for them (isn't that the way a cab driver works, they drive for a company?), or that Uber was deliberately fudging numbers on the costs involved to lease a vehicle from them shouldn't surprise anyone, especially when this company, despite all the money they're bilking from people, still can't turn a profit.

Comment Re:WHat I said on ars: (Score 3, Informative) 556

There is a difference between a pardon and commutation.

...which doesn't matter, of course, because the Wikipedia specifically said "clemency" (which is explicitly defined as including commutation). There is also a difference between jeans and grapefruit, but that's also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Comment Re:End of the glaciation was ten thousand years ag (Score 1) 266

1) The Earth is usually a lot hotter than it is right now. We are climbing out of an ice age.

We "climbed out of an ice age" (that is, came out of the glaciation) ten thousand years ago.

You didn't look at the graphs in the referenced article, did you?

By those graphs we STARTED climbing out of an ice age back then but we still have a long way to go. So they support the poster's claim, not yours.

Comment Re:EVEN TILLERSON says it's real. (Score 2) 266

The issue is settled, mankind's massive emissions affect mankind's environment, Earth.

a: If it's "settled", it's not science.

The only question now is what the fuck are we going to do about it, and who can we trust not to line their pocket on both sides of that line?

"Only" question? There are a HELL of a lot of steps between "mankind's activity affects the planet's temperature" and "It's a disaster that must immediately be fixed by crippling the economy and instituting totalitarian control on human activity by governments".

Comment Re:Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? (Score 1) 61

Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? I haven't heard much from it during the past few decades.

The entire FTC's budget for 2016 was only about $307 million. They only asked for $342 million for 2017.

If they're going to be given more responsibility and actually exercise it effectively (which involves bringing, and winning or settling, suits against multibillion dollar conglomerates) I expect they'll need some more.

Comment Re:Soon, the FTC will only handle spectrum licensi (Score 1) 61

That wasn't what the media reports said. What it said was that he wants to limit the FCC to spectrum control, and move the other functions to the FTC.

I've been advocating that for years - at least for the "Network Neutrality" issue.

The problems that network neutrality is trying to address are mainly anticompetitive behavior and consumer fraud, where ISPs selectively degrade service either to extort additional fees or limit users who make heavy use of their contracted bandwidth (consumer fraud - giving less than what was advertised or what "internet service" commonly means) or give a competitive advantage to their own "value added" or "content provision" services, those of other divisions of a media conglomerate, or of partners, (anticompetitive "tying", vertical integration, and cartel formation).

As the major federal-level consumer protection agency, charged with enforcing consumer fraud and antitrust law, the FTC is well qualified to handle this sort of thing. It also has a track record of doing so. Their antitrust actions, for instance, include the historic breakups of Standard Oil and AT&T, the opening of IBM's eased mainframe computers to peripheral built by other manufacturers, and the Windows Browser tie-in suit decision against Microsoft.

Among the things you might see from a move of such regulation from FCC to FTC might be media conglomerates forced to divest themselves of ISPs, ISPs forbidden to sell preferential fast-lane service, and bans on cuting off or degrading the service of heavy users.

After the way he was treated by the mainstream media - owned by these same conglomerates - I'd expect Trump's administration to be more than happy to penalize them by breaking up these conglomerates.
  - We get more network neutrality - by separating the ISPs from the media conglomerates that incentivize NON-neutrality.
  - The Trump administration gets to spank the media conglomerates that were completely in bed with the Democrats during the election - in the name (and actuality!) of consumer protection.

Win-win B-)

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