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Comment Re:What a Waste (Score 1) 798

Well... Okay, but actually I meant that lobbyists do exactly this. Lobbyists are interested in influencing public policy and one way they do that is to go directly to the legislators, but that isn't the only way. Convincing constituents of the need to give lots of money to industry X is another part of that.

Comment Re:Really? Why? (Score 5, Insightful) 798

Well I'm not the grandparent, and I don't agree with the grandparent, but I'll respond anyway:

Your first question is flamebait. The non-trollish way to phrase that would be something like: "How is this qualitatively different from other campaign propaganda?" And the answer would be something along the lines of: It's true that campaign ads and other tactics can be flat-out deceitful, but there is some measure of difference between deceptive ads and astroturfing. Neither are good, both are working against us, but one exploits our trust in the honesty of our peers and in doing so sabotages our basic ability to communicate with one another.

For your second question: I don't think it is worse. It's not better either, it's basically the same - lobbyists are doing exactly this, constantly. They deceive constituents and organize campaign contributions all in an effort to get their legislation passed. What is this doing? Deceiving constituents in an effort to get someone elected, who will then go on to pass legislation. No difference.

Your last question though, "Why should this be of any concern to anyone?" is... what? This should be of tremendous concern to everyone. The fact that it isn't is part of the problem.

Comment Re:Single payer system would avoid this problem (Score 1) 324

The only way to do that is to go to a single payer health care system. Has worked well for a lot of countries so it's not a bad idea.

This isn't the only way, it can be done through collective bargaining - in principle, this is part of what health insurance companies is for. This came up back in the early 2000s when there was a big $200 billion pharmaceutical bill intended (originally) to alleviate some of the high cost of drugs. The problem is that certain legislators got an amendment passed which explicitly prevented medicare from doing any kind of bargaining, which meant that the drug companies just raised their prices by exactly the same amount which the bill had reduced. So most people didn't even know about it, and the drug companies wound up $200 billion richer.

However, the point is that single payer isn't the only way to control the cost of drugs.

Comment Re:Hypocrites (Score 1) 99

What's your point? The GOP launched an investigation into the FCC rule making. This necessitated the creation of an investigatory committee and, as with any such committee, the committee members are bipartisan. The GOP FCC commissioners have failed to provide documents as instructed, and the Democratic committee members have called them on it.

Is that confusing? I said that the GOP have launched an investigation, I did not say that the congressmen demanding the documents were GOP.

Comment Re:I use it all the time (Score 2) 495

Apple refuses to support CUDA in favor of OpenCL.

It's not hard to see why they would do that, OpenCL is the open standard while CUDA is Nvidia's proprietary crap. "Why doesn't Apple support Glide?" you ask, well CUDA is the same thing. (That's almost literally true, Nvidia hired a lot of 3DFx employees when that company went under.)

But, all right, I'm complaining about one little thing, the rest of your point is well made. The real reason is because Apple has abandoned the idea that computers should be functional devices, rather than magic boxes which generate revenue.

Comment Re:Seems A Little Alarmist (Score 1) 395

It's rather invasive for Google to demand that if you're willing to trust someone with your location than it must be them. Still, you're right, the title is alarmist: if you switch off location services for all apps then there's no need to remove Google Play or Google Maps. Since there are no apps that I trust with that information, this is a non-issue for me.

Comment Re:Cut the bullshit, facebook. (Score 1) 196

I'm not sure that blaming Facebook is the right call for this particular censorship. The picture was removed for containing underage nudity, which is accurate. The fact that society and the law has become so very intolerant of anything even remotely related to sex and children is the root of this, and napalm girl isn't the first time it has come up.

Comment Re:What's with the quotes? (Score 1) 305

Well maybe. I suppose you could say that your friend was speaking in a sort of sign language, which was different from the Chinese that you were speaking, and his sign language was better than your Chinese. I'm not sure that just being able to communicate is quite the right definition for language, but in this case maybe that applies.

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