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Comment The sink not the source is the problem (Score 2) 324

The key to the success and of fake news and the main determinant of its content is not its sources but its consumers. What social media companies have discovered is that giving people whatever news they personally want to hear, regardless of its accuracy, can be a highly lucrative business. Just set up the algorithms, watch the news sources arise like magic, see the subscribers rack up clicks, and let the ad revenue roll in.

Comment The cost of bandwidth (Score 1) 80

So let me get this straight. I can pay $35 and watch, say, 3 hr of streamed wireless video every day, and AT&T will give me the necessary ~100GB of bandwidth free. But if I just buy an extra unrestricted 10GB of wireless data from Verizon, they charge $45. Makes you really wonder what it actually costs the telco's to provide each GB. Seems like either Verizon's data charges must be ~90% profit at least, or else AT&T is so desperate to stay relevant in the content space that they are willing to endure massive losses by providing bandwidth way below their cost. Maybe a little of both?

Comment Yes Facebook you are the problem (Score 1) 624

At least in the sense, Facebook is sucking all the oxygen, i.e. online ad revenue, out of the room, making billions on news without hiring a single reporter or opening a single news bureau. Even the largest legitimate news organizations, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, are struggling to make a business model in the online world, because people don't need to subscribe to them or look at their ads in order to get news. Instead they get it from Facebook, which selectively feeds readers only the news they want to hear.

Comment I love DSL (Score 1) 141

What's the beef? With modern compression algorithms, DSL is plenty fast enough for video streaming, who needs more than that? If I wanted, I could potentially stream 250 GB a month, imagine what that would cost on a wireless contract. DSL reliability is incredible; in 10 years it's been out maybe 3 or 4 times for a few hours. When the power has gone out for days at a time, DSL still works, as does my landline phone. There are no rental charges; my modem was free and it still works. Best of all, I don't have to deal with Comcast and their incomprehensible rate structure. Even including all the phoney landline charges, it's less than half what I'd pay otherwise. DSL now, DSL tomorrow, DSL forever.

Comment What internet should be (Score 5, Informative) 59

Took a look at their home page https://webpass.net/residentia... Compared to Verizon or Comcast, it's heaven on earth. A flat $550 a year, no asterisks, no teaser rates, no setup charges, no equipment rentals, no bundled content nobody wants, and free installation. I can't even tell what I'd have to pay Verizon to get the same service but I know it's at least twice that.

Comment Now that the shoe's on the other foot (Score 1) 357

Surely GOP politicians, of all people, will recognize that unlike IRS, Facebook is a PRIVATE CORPORATION which can rate trending topics by whatever criteria it chooses, including Political Correctness. If wingnuts don’t “like” it, they can use some other network, or better yet start their own.

Comment Question about Bitcoin (Score 1) 39

We've all read the stories of hackers locking up the data of hospitals and demanding ransom payments in Bitcoin, because it's untraceable. If flagrant criminals can clear payments in Bitcoin, why can't US-designated "rogue" regimes use Bitcoin to get around being shut out of international banking? For example, why couldn't Argentina pay their bondholders in Bitcoin, when international bankers refused to process their payments?

Comment hypocritical cowards (Score 1) 347

Most states already require consumers to report purchases on which the vendor doesn't collect sales tax, and to pay the tax directly, but generally the laws are not enforced, because governors as well as legislators are too cowardly to do so. They want the money but they want vendors to do the dirty work of enforcement for them.

Comment Re:Isn't this a huge mini split? (Score 1) 155

Right, and not a word on why CO2 is any better than conventional refrigerants like R-410A (Puron) that work in the same temperature range and only require a few hundred psi. I would think the only difference would be that you'd need much heavier compressors and other equipment needed to handle 2000 psi. Is it just for the symbolic value of using CO2, and a trivial amount of it, at that??

Comment Typing's better (Score 1) 192

I find typing notes on a laptop much more effective than writing. Because I can type much faster than I write, I find myself putting the ideas in my own words, hence I remember them better, even if I never look at the notes later. I've never tried a tablet, but using pen and paper, I have to keep looking down at the notes, which is very distracting. With a laptop, I can keep my eyes on the speaker and his presentation. Later, often on the plane ride home, I edit out the many, many typos, which I find is an absorbing way to review the material.

Comment RHAT IPO (Score 1) 116

I remember well the Red Hat IPO. It was supposedly open to the public on E*trade and I was at work waiting to buy in, but turns out it was only available for an instant, not sure how long exactly, but anyway I and many others missed the boat and were pretty angry, especially when it rocketed from IPO price of $14 to $300. Some even complained to the SEC. It split 2:1 but then fell below $5 so I bought a bunch then, it's certainly done better than most of the tech bubble stocks.

Comment Not really much new here (Score 1) 191

This debate has been going on for years. Those who decry the cost of publication and try to evade it have all discovered the same thing: even with volunteer reviewers, vetting, formatting, and maintaining papers securely online is expensive. Most of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals, for example, now charge authors $2250-2900 per article. Oxford University Press generally charges even more, and still claims to be losing money. Often, authors are hit with additional "excess" page charges beyond that fee, because their paper has expanded due to additional data demanded by reviewers. If a typical 5-year $200,000/year grant results in 12 papers, that means 3-4% of the funds are devoted just to publishing the papers. As a scientist myself, I was initially excited about the open-access idea, but I'm no longer convinced that it's any better or less expensive than the old system of private publishers. It just means the costs have been shifted from subscribers (mostly university libraries) to scientists and their laboratories, who in general can ill-afford it. "Taxpayers" already have access to all articles through PubMed within a year after publication, and they have access to the abstract (summary) immediately, which is usually as much information as they can use. Still, you wonder who is going to pay $30 just to look at one article and whether the journals wouldn't make more money if they charged $2, or something low enough so that buying it might actually be worthwhile.

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