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Comment Idiocy, not betrayal (Score 1) 222

As I noted in the OP Comcast's Incompetence, Lack of Broadband May Force Developer To Sell Home The guy failed to do due diligence in checking the physical ( is there a cable box anywhere nearby?), talking to neighbors or any other neutral observer. He put his faith in two organizations no one trusts. He got what we all expect: lousy service. I looked at moving out that way myself, but bandwidth limitations have kept me on this side of the Sound. This is a story of how not to buy a house. If bandwidth is THIS important, don't leave it to sales, or tech sales, staff to tell you there's bandwidth. He wanted to be convinced, he became convinced, he felt betrayed when he should have felt stupid for not acknowledging the obvious: there's no bandwidth in the countryside.

Comment No Moral Standing Here (Score 1, Informative) 1160

So Germany will stop selling medicines to the the US because of our nation's democratic choice to continue capital punishment. Meanwhile, they happily sell medicines to Iran which has a oligarchically imposed practice of capital punishment for such crimes as being raped and being homosexual.

If the EU position were a principled one, they would not be sending the same drugs to Iran. In fact, the policy remains popular among citizens in Europe.

Comment missing the point (Score 1) 554

What I don't understand is why so many ppl on /. think there's no justification for ever listening in on a overseas phone calls to known terrorists, or shutting down websites distributing copyrighted material, but are just hunky dorey with having the government rummage through our children's lunches and judging how we raise our kids. What ever you think of the family of the next kid over, there's no need, no justification for the government to interfere this way.

Moreover, the smoke screen about 'low income program' and 'opt-in' is irrelevant. The mother was obviously able to send the kid in with a decent lunch ( better than I usually took to school ), and at no time was she asked to 'opt-in' on this program, the school had to. The mother repeatedly asked the school not to intervene. Why was it necessary to overrule her?

It's a DAY CARE program. All of the rest is state meddling. Sure it's subsidized, the mom would be paying for it with her tax dollars even if her kids wasn't enrolled. She was lucky enough to get access to cheap day care, that doesn't mean she should expect the government to rummage through the lunch and materials prepared. Hell, if the school said they were looking for drugs /. would immediately detect the Fourth Amendment violation this 'program' courts.

The fundamental line from the Carolina Journal story: "There are no clear restrictions about what additional items - like potato chips - can be included in preschoolers' lunch boxes." Where the hell does the government come off 'prohibiting' what a parent sends in. If Mom thinks a 'coke and a twinkie' is okay, that's her damned business. I would disagree, but it's supposed to be a free country not a nanny state.

Comment Re:Perfectly sound legal arguments (Score 1) 949

Yes it is. And surely Amazon pays for whatever business fees and taxes ( in Seattle we have a Busines and Occupancy tax levied against businesses regardless of whether they do any business or even exist within Seattle's city limits ) that are levied against it. The 'need for revenue' should never be the operative reason to levy a tax. Taxes should be levied against people who use the services offered by the state. Business taxes, B&O, etc all pay to provide the environment needed to exist. Why should Amazon subsidize the sidewalk maintenance in Sacramento when their customers never need to step outside?

Comment Netgear who? (Score 1) 500

I had to ditch my netgear wlan router after a year because it all but melted down. The interface when it worked was a study in how not to write a UI. I found quickly that Netgear was not my friend as a user, so I find it more than mildly amusing that the founder is complaining about Apple. Apple's wlan router interface has issues, but for plane jane uses, it's superb by comparison. Apple's focus on 'closed' began as a focus on 'easy to use' which it was and always has been. The fact that it's also /lucrative/ is due to the failure of Apple's competitors to offer an acceptably simple 'open' alternative.

Comment Re:/. has many Corporate Propagandist.... (Score 1) 427

Government control over how people can sell services or manage their property is clearly less a product of constitutional law than private control of private property. Being a corporate propagandist is a clearly protected realm of free speech, so is being a government propagandist.

I'm against net neutrality not because I like paying more for less, but because I'm against it. Net neutrality is more likely, in my opinion, to raise the bar for entry into the telecom market, not lower it. As a result we would see fewer services, at a higher cost, than we would if we left the market alone.

If we want to bring bandwidth to the masses, stop treating the internet as a funky telegraph system, stop treating consumers as children, and let people sort out for themselves the optimal arrangement of services and financial arrangements.

Comment Re:Still too vague and too poorly defined (Score 1) 705

Speaking of delusional, can you imagine or recall how well web video worked "when [the internet] was almost entirely a government-funded project"? It's the commercial internet that provides with WiFi hot spots, multi-megabit internet, cloud computing, World of Warcraft and internet video. If you'd prefer to go back to text mode MUDs, fine, don't ask the rest of us to go back.

Any time you don't want AT&T or Comcast involved in your life, drop them. You don't have that choice at all when it comes to federal regulation.

Comment Re:Why do they need to do traffic shaping? (Score 1) 705

Bingo! In practice regulating markets limits competition by making the barrier for entry higher. Look at car manufacturing, by constantly raising standards for safety and efficiency they make it impossible for new companies to break in. When Toyota first entered the US market, they're product was drek, but soon customers began looking for the one thing that Toyota was better at: efficiency. Then came consumer interest in safety and Volvos became popular.
With ever increasing mandates, new manufacturers must be incredibly good at all things to get in. It's not a matter of having cheap cars kill people, even Toyota has problems, but by allowing the market to choose the winner consumers get a larger voice in who is allowed to make a car.

Comment Re:Actually... (Score 1) 705

You have a very broken idea of what 'free market' means.

A free market allows private entities enter into any consensual agreement between parties to accomplish their goals. If they need to run cable across someone's property, they arrange, or lease, access. If they don't have the infrastructure, they lease resources from another party. ( See 'roaming cell service' )

What prevents a free market for broadband in the fullest sense is government regulation preventing carriers from running cable the last mile or under the sidewalk, etc. If a carrier can lease access from the city to put cables under the sidewalk, that's still the free market at work.

Comment Re:Why do they need to do traffic shaping? (Score 1) 705

I'm sorry you live out in the boonies, but don't ask me to subsidize your youtube.

I've never known anyone who lived within ten miles of a POP unable to choose their internet provider. Since most of the country lives in cities or their suburbs rather than out in the country, I doubt your situation is common. My mom lives in a very rural area of Oregon, she has at least three choices for broadband.

Comment Re:Still too vague and too poorly defined (Score 1) 705

That's like saying it's okay for the government to regulate the highways but not the cars. Because, you know, THAT way the government can't control where the on-ramps and off-ramps are. This is not a realistic description of how the internet works.

Once the government can tell service providers how to operate their private property, the pipes, and how to manage traffic flows in order to protect consumers, we will have accepted the premise that allows the government to restrict or block traffic to destinations that the government considers 'dangerous' to consumers.

Imagine a federal black list of websites and domains. Imagine the No Labels crowd have the power to block web traffic to MSNBC and FNC. Imagine the government requiring all service providers to block traffic to known wikileaks sites. The government doesn't need to regulate the content anymore if it can block the destination. It won't happen today, but invariably regulation grows increasingly restrictive once in place.

The FCC has just arrogated itself the authority to create a Great Firewall of America, and THAT is what concerns net neutrality opponents.

Comment Re:No competition or no cheap competition? (Score 1) 705

Regulation invariable helps big business, more than consumers. They can afford to sustain the costs of handling the overhead costs incurred by regulation while smaller outfits cannot.

I have only one cable provider in my area, and Verizon gave up expanding FIOS in my state, but I have two sat companies who are aggressively asking for my business, both partnering with the telco.

It's not that competition has gone away, it just doesn't look like it did fifteen years ago. That's normal.

I'm surprised that people trust the government "a series of tubes" to regulate something as complicated as the internet after they make obvious, repeatedly, they don't know what they're doing. The latest example? The FCC said they would have imposed stricter regulations, but they recognized Android was 'open'...

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