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Comment I call the BS (Score 1) 222

OK, sure, I don't need Unlimited Data. So that means it doesn't cost Verizon anything to offer it to me.
Likewise, I don't need unlimited voice call minutes... and it doesn't cost cell providers anything for giving it to me.
Almost every single cell provider, excepting the lowest tier pre-paid options (and even there declining),
does provide unlimited voice, despite nobody actually using/"needing" unlimited voice calls.
(nobody can actually use "unlimited" anything, if only because the length of a day is limited)

Obviously, people who use very little data will tend to seek out limited plans if they save $$$ that way.
Plenty of people do use alot of data though, and any limit just means a potential threat of getting hit with big charges/impinging on their usage.
The benefit/attraction of unlimited plans is essentially similar to insurance, in that even if your normal usage fits into X data limit 95% of the time,
an unlimited plan means you aren't hit for charges that extra 5% of the time.

In the end, it really just seems like Verizon is trying to avoid discounting their limited plans, because logically
if people are going to give up the protection of the "insurance" of unlimited plans, they will want a tangible benefit for doing so.

Comment Re:What IS the proper procedure? (Score 1) 282

Somebody needs to set up a site that will automate the process of sending an email inquiry to the EU about the copyright legality of every single web page they own, all you have to do is input your name and email address and click once, and it will generate a separate inquiry for each unique web page. I mean, that's what they want, right? I'm sure the ~500 million citizens of EU would want to be sure of the legality of things before they link to any given web page. Differences in basic legal philosophy (e.g. english common law vs. napoleonic) doesn't seem to be the problem here, as shown by above posters' example of open Wifi being ruled an invitation to connect and one must secure or not publicize content/access which one does not wish to share (i.e. in conflict with premise of this ruling), which was produced by the same legal system... So the issue seems more that the EU has abandoned it's own legal philosophy to achieve ad-hoc goals desirable to interested parties. And what is sillier is that many of them could be achieved by other means, i.e. enforcing ad revenue tax which is distributed to media producers etc. But the connecting line seems to be that these interests don't care, and view things simply as "our interests were hurt, and somebody must pay" (as a previous poster put it).

Comment What IS the proper procedure? (Score 1) 282

Does the court even say? I mean, are you supposed to email the sysadmin and ask do you own copyright or have approval to use it? And if they say "yes" (let's say, thru automated bot response), is that sufficient? What else is one supposed to do? There isn't a unified copyright management authority, copyright is supposed to be implemented by owners bringing infringers to court. So how is a 3rd party supposed to know whether a given party is legally licencing/owning the copyright? I mean, wouldn't it be plausible for their licenced usage to be under NDA i.e. a secret agreement? How then could you ascertain legality if the coyright owner doesn't want to admit licencing it to that party? Further, I don't see the difference here in images vs. text, both are subject to copyright protection... Which would mean "if you are operating for profit", that EVERY outlink would need to follow this court-mandated procedure, and verify copyright whether for text or images. In other words, the entire WWW has been a massive criminal enterprise from the very start. Do these judges verify copyright when favoriting/linking to other people's facebooks, blogs, etc?

Comment B-B-B-But... (Score 2) 302

Isn't that profit rightly produced in Ireland? Or was that in the Bermuda Triangle? At least Ireland will get their cut of the imaginary Irish profits (when forced by EU to assess legal tax rate on Apple's Irish subsidiary.) Longer term, countries where profits are made will want to see their rightful tax, e.g. as Austria'a position. Curious though, what these tax scams, offshore domiciling etc, imply when assessing trade treaties etc. I mean, by the "supposed" numbers, Ireland has a certain benefit of trade, even though that is untaxed Apple money. If those anomalies are removed, wouldn't that substantially change the over-all picture of trade benefits? (trade treaties are conventionally concluded on basis of mutual benefit) Bigger picture, is the number of "high tech" companies etc, benefitting from tax avoidance, and the distortion effect that creates, effectively subsidizing them vs. other businesses who would otherwise compete for investments, never mind "high tech" products which wouldn't be viable at all if not avoiding taxes.

Comment Re:Why not just show the driver gender? (Score 1) 584

great idea. it'd also be easy to filter for driver race, religion, ethnicity/surname... who could possibly object? and hey, if pesky employment non-discrimination law kicks in... just pull an Uber and call it independent subcontracting. who needs legal community standards, when the future beckons, of atomized piece-work slaves subject to irrational hatreds and fears? maybe serve up some waterboarding with that, since "safety" trumps all, right? or you know, if women are just walking victims-in-becoming, and every male is critical threat that must be avoided, perhaps we can just prevent women from mingling with unknown men completely, outside of the protection of a male family member? just makes sense, right? because safety.

Comment Re:Rest of Worlds is messed up Cuba looks fine (Score 1) 64

Or, to clarify what "censorship" is at play here, the reason behind the download bottleneck here is US government siege/sanctions policy vs. Cuba preventing construction of Florida-Cuba cable. And apparently an unwillingness of US networks/ Google to peer with and route thru Venezuelan networks. All in all, the easiest most direct improvements to the situation are not in Cuban hands here, it would seem.

Comment Re:Russia is dumb (Score 1) 126

running over tons of cheese with a tank to make a political statement, rather than distributing it to the needy.

Dial back the political hysteria, and consider this as application of standard import substitution policy. If Russia gave it away free to "the needy", Russian producers' sales would be reduced, sales which are needed to justify investments in local production. The EU and US use similar practices themselves, between actual destruction and paying farmers to keep lands fallow.

Comment Re:Common core manufactures them (Score 1) 509

None of current US Representatives or Senators were educated under "Common Core" standards, and I would hazard that a large number were educated in private schools to begin with. BTW, I believe the poster "amightywind" meant to refer to "collectivist", not "collectionist" state democrats. :-O ...Might want to back that claim up with comparative statistics for scientific literacy in Democratic vs. Republican controlled states....

Comment Forest, not Trees (Score 2) 509

This article is just missing the point. There is nothing shocking that such people exist, or that some of them may even be elected to the national legislature. What is shocking is that they are crucial to the balance of power in that legislature. And that comes down not to them or their co-believers, but much broader aspects of American political structure. Normally one would expect the US House of Representatives to be MORE representative than the US Senate, as the Senate is all elected by the plurality winner takes all vote of entire states, while the House is elected by smaller numbers of citizens. That is in fact exactly the opposite of the case, with the US House of Representatives returning strong Republican majorities despite Democrats winning the popular vote in House races over-all. That is due to gerry-mandering of districts, which creates electoral 'ghettos' with super-concentration of support for one political party, which ends up being "wasted votes" (since having more than a majority or plurality in a district doesn't gain any more representation in Congress): In many states, one party needs from 1.2 to 1.6 times as many votes to get the same number of representatives in Congress, again reflecting the "wasted vote" phenomenon, even while the official paradigm is "one person one vote". Each state is allowed to re-district as it pleases, de facto according to the balance of power in that state), in other words tending to serve the majoritarian group in that state... i.e. exactly counter to the apparent purpose for having a larger number of more granular smaller-population districts vs. state-wide votes for Senators. Now one can expect Republican-majority states to gerrymander to their own favor, and Democrat-majority states to do likewise (and they both do so), but that doesn't account for all of the discrepancy. In fact there are 6 states that return Democratic majorities on Presidential votes, and over-all popular vote for House seats, yet return majority Republican House Representatives. One of these, Pennsylvania, in fact depended on Democratic votes in their State Congress to achieve the majority needed to confirm the gerrymandering. If you Google that topic, you will see the rationale given by those Democratic State Congressmen to be about as coherent as these Anti-Science Representatives quoted in the article. If ONLY those 6 states returned Representatives in line with their over-all popular vote, there would basically be a permanent US House Democratic majority. Not even all 6 of those states would be needed to switch in order to achieve that majority. Several of those states allow for citizen referendum, so there is no impediment to a popular referendum changing the representation/districting formula, yet that is not done. There is even the possibility to impose a nationwide change having consistent standards to avoid wasted votes, via Article V nationwide constitutional convention, whose requirements to convene have already been met, so such a Convention should go ahead to create Amendments which 3/4 of states then need to approve, by popular vote or their legislature. Yet that is not done. There are nutsos and science deniers all over the world. They are not the problem with the US' political system, the US' political system is the problem. So to blame this narrow sect of ignorants is absolving the larger body politic of it's responsibility for allowing such a system to persist. This system makes many votes simply not count in terms of final outcome, not to mention side-lining any parties outside the "2 parties of power". A system of Open-List Mixed Member Proportional Representation retains the link to local district which all members chosen because of their popularity in that district (either by plurality/majority, or as the highest level of support that party received), and can accomodate independent (non-party) local candidates and splitting support for parties at local and over-all levels (to avoid supporting a hated local candidate whose party over-all is attractive). The path is open to change that system, such a process is exactly allowed for in the US Constitution, and by using a national convention expressly called for the purpose, can side-line the 2-party representatives who are married to the existing system.

Comment Corporate Rent-Sucker Double Think (Score 1) 466

[Net Neutrality is] not how the Internet, or telecommunication for that matter, has ever worked,' writes AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs, James Cicconi.

Last I checked, Netflix has never paid such fees before, nor has anybody else. I.e. net neutrality has being how it has always worked. This latest racket targetting Netflix happened just months after an FCC Net Neutrality rule was over-turned by courts on a technicality. I.e. said rule was in force previously, and ISPs were following said rule. Fuck these rent-sucking vampires. Does this sort of thing happen in non-US jurisiction at all? Or is this just the US' latest gift to the world after software patents?

Comment Re:The group's Board of Directors (Score 3, Interesting) 93

The listing terms that the HKEx finds objectionable are centered around the proposed structure of the company, which would allow their 28 partners to control a majority of the board [] - even though they only own around 13 percent of the company. Apparently, the HKEx regulators still cling to the quaint notion that small investors are important. I guess those HK guys have a thing or two left to learn about how real capitalism works.

Non-voting shares are pretty standard in public stock corporations world-wide. Indeed HKEx itself runs such schemes, namely it's OTC Clearing subsidiary:

OTC Clearing Hong Kong Limited (OTC Clear) was incorporated as a subsidiary of HKEx in May 2012 for the purpose of acting as the clearing house for OTC derivatives in Hong Kong. Subsequently, HKEx, under the founding member programme, invited 12 financial institutions as founding members of OTC Clear, who in total hold 25 per cent of issued share capital in OTC Clear (in the form of non-voting ordinary shares) whilst HKEx holds the remaining 75 per cent. HKEx continues to hold 100 per cent of the voting ordinary shares of OTC Clear.

Many publicly traded companies listed in HK in fact have 75%+ of shares owned or controlled by one entity, which has the same net effect as non-voting shares, since such an ownership majority can impose it's will regardless. HKEx has intimated that their true concerns revolve around mainland Chinese court procedures not being amenable to minority shareholders, although if they want to push that, that kind of calls into question HKEx's entire raison d'etre. AFAIK, HK courts can still enforce transfers of shares themselves as judgements, and if HKEx is worried about things that go on outside of HK jurisdiction then most companies traded on HKEx shouldn't be listed there. Realistically, HKEx is known for allowing plenty of shady practices that make it a bourse of last resort, and maybe they decided to stand up here just so they have some pretense of respectability.

Comment Lawyer up! (Score 1) 166

The effective solution is suing these PR firms, who directed their employees to do things inherently violating Wiki's terms of service and which can be found liable for civil damages in degrading the quality of Wiki's product, which is supposed to follow the terms of service.

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