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Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 141

If you'd like to crow about the achievements of the Republican party, be sure to include this one: The decision in Rowe v. Wade was written by a Republican, Harry Blackmun, appointed by Nixon. He was seated on a Republican panel with appointees going back to Roosevelt who all agreed with him, with the exception of Rhenquist. The two Democrats seated nullified each other.

One could rightfully wonder why the Republican party ever turned from that decision.

What radicalized the Republican party? I think the Southern Strategy was the start. Having been so radicalized, what even gives them the right to call themselves "The party of Lincoln" any longer?

Comment Re:Give the conspiracy stuff a rest (Score 1) 140

I think you can go on to the article without arguing with me about the summary. The issue at hand is that 12 states challenged FCC because those states did not approve a set of companies to be lifeline broadband providers, and then FCC went ahead and approved them. Unlike Chairman Pal, I believe this is indeed a Federal responsibility due to the Postal Clause of the Constitution and the Communications Act of 1934.

I am at the moment lacking information regarding what other internet providers those states approved, whether they approved any at all, and what the grounds for not approving a company to provide lifeline service (which can't be a profit-maker) could be except to deny access to the potential customers. In other words, I'm really suspicious of the states in question.

Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 140

The statement I took issue with was about "the people" voting for him. This is a separate issue from the rules of the electoral college and who won the electoral college. The electoral college is used to choose the winner of an election, but is at best a distorted rendering of the will of the people.

What about the people who didn't vote? Are you trying to say that the decision might have been conclusive for Trump except that a lot of presumptive Trump supporters did not vote because they knew their vote would not count? I find it difficult to believe, and can't say I have much sympathy for folks who don't vote anyway.

If you want to be more concrete than "President Cookie Monster", it would be the Bush v. Gore contest of 2000.

Comment Re:Bad summary (Score 1) 140

It seems that not everybody knows about the Communications Act of 1934. That is when Congress gave the regulation of communications to the FCC as a Federal responsibility. In the Constitution, we have Article I, Section 8, Clause 7, the "Postal Clause", empowering Congress to establish post offices and post roads for carriage of mail between post offices. Logically this extends to other forms of communications, and justifies the action of Congress in 1934.

Comment Re:I hope this trend continues. (Score 1) 140

What about your family? This is in theory, because I don't know anything about your family and don't want to insult your family. If you grew up in a bad family situation and achieved all of that, that would be an achievement indeed. If you didn't, you might not have been in the same situation as a lot of the poor.

Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 140

We do have the issue that Congress granted the responsibility to regulate communications to the FCC with the Communications Act of 1934. So, this is not really a state issue at all. I also question that all 50 states are uniformly set up to make this approval, or are interested in taking it on.

Comment Re:Give the conspiracy stuff a rest (Score 1) 140

Uh, I'm not sure you actually got what is going on. FCC is going to cave on it's previously-ongoing legal defense of an extension to include broadband in the lifeline communications subsidy. FCC will stop approving broadband providers who wish to participate in the program and will instead allow states to make this decision. States don't actually have the constitutional responsibility to govern communications, that is given to the Federal government by Congress in the Communications Act of 1934. States are unlikely to have a program to approve broadband lifeline subsidies in place at present because it's a Federal responsibility, and even given the FCC Chairman's odd justification states aren't necessarily going to be eager to take this on.

Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 140

Internet is also necessary for children to do their homework and any sort of research these days. It does seem that broadband has become basic connectivity. Would you like to show me how long you can get along without it?

Where I live, there is an organization that takes old computers, puts Linux and Chrome on them, and gives them to poor people along with continuing technical support. I do hear of such things elsewhere. I don't think it's actually all that difficult for a poor person to get an old laptop.

Comment Re:You may not like this (Score 3, Informative) 140

The problem I'm having with your argument is that I can't come up with a natural reason for this to be a State rather than Federal issue. What I've heard before is reference to intents of the founders or the 10th amendment. The 10th amendment argument generally takes an originalist view of the Constitution. Given originalism, we'd not have women's suffrage or racial equality, so much for originalism.

If we look back to when social policies like this were enacted in the Federal context, it's when we've had the problem that some states have been dragging their feet about racial equality (and essentially any other social issue of the last century). The Federal government thus saw a need to step in.

Comment Re:Background and the real issue (Score 1) 140

Actually, you haven't yet given me any evidence that you're a racist. I haven't looked at your previous postings here or elsewhere on the net, and you didn't say enough in this one. But I certainly would say you were a racist if you convinced me that you were, and the last time I checked the constitution, it gave me the right to do so. This is a Slashdot discussion, and Slashdot is not actually obligated to provide a podium for my first amendment speech, but they generally have done so.

Regarding whether I can tell you that you have to pay the telephone lifeline subsidy fee, the fact is that it's still required, the money is just not going to pay for internet any longer. It still pays for phones for poor people. So, yes, I factually state that you have to pay it.

Now, I understand that you're just trying to express a vague tax-revolt sort of sentiment. I get that, even though I obviously don't agree with it. But IMO you need to put more thought into it. If you can express it better, it might be worth arguing about. That's what democratic discourse is.

Comment Background and the real issue (Score 5, Informative) 141

The lifeline subsidy does not come from your income taxes, but from a fee charged to telephone subscribers. This is used to make sure that poor people can call 911 and can participate in our society sufficiently so that they can get a job, go to school, and make use of government services that were formerly only available by phone or personal visit.

These days, getting a job requires use of the internet and you can't really hang around the library for the entire time you're trying to get work. So, it makes sense to give poor people some basic connectivity.

I believe the actual motivation behind this move is the same one that is behind making it more difficult for poor and disenfranchised people to vote - even though there is no evidence of significant voting fraud in the USA: Poor folks and minorities might vote Democratic. Suppression of the Black vote has historically been an important part of Republican strategy, this is just one of many reports on that issue. Having gerrymandered them into the most odd-shaped electoral districts, it becomes time to make sure they can't get news online or participate in democratic discourse.

Comment Re:Good laws should be technology neutral (Score 1) 357

I really should have rtfa, but there is a difference between mass surveillance and targeted surveillance.

The old school surveillance was targeted, because it just didnt make sense to waste all that manpower. Now that its cheaper to do mass-surveillance.

As a society we have to accept target surveillance (unfortunetly), but software cant be back-doored with any guarantee that it will be only used in targeted surveillance.

Mass surveillance will always be immoral, because its punishing the innocent to try and protect them from the guilty. Principles like that are very human, they dont change with technology.

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