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Comment Re:How durable? (Score 1) 160

Our roof runs for about half a foot past the house. So the roof above the house is warm and melts the snow (see my explanation in the next paragraph) and the edge of the roof is cold and freezes it back to ice.

We have an upstairs room that was converted (from a previous owner) from attic space. We think that they insulated the former attic area poorly but redoing it would be highly expensive and time consuming. As is often the case (especially when your home is as old as the one we own), there are other more pressing concerns to deal with. So I keep raking the roof and putting panty-hose filled with ice melt (a certain kind we know won't damage the shingles) to minimize the ice dam problem. Still, melting from our upper roof onto a lower section of the roof causes ice to build up (quicker than any other area of the roof). It's on our list of Things We'd Like To Get Done One Day but finance-wise probably won't get tackled anytime soon.

Comment How durable? (Score 3, Interesting) 160

Here in upstate NY, winters often mean that I need to get out our roof rake to pull snow off our roof. If I don't, ice dams form and then runoff from melting snow gets under our roof shingles and can get into our house. My questions for SolarCity would be: Would these solar shingles hold up to having a roof rake scraped across them? (It would be useless if I had to replace shingles every year due to roof raking damage.) Also, how would they handle snow melt getting under the shingles? Presumably, there will be wiring there. Would moisture under the shingles cause issues?

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 1) 154

Actually I completely agree that there are some arguments for US single country stewardship and you're right, removing that risk scenario is absolutely one of them, my argument was simply that freedom of speech isn't an argument for US stewardship because it already enforces worse censorship on the net than any other country because US censorship is applied to all 7.4 billion people in the world, whereas even Chinese censorship only hits their 1.3 billion own citizens.

Though as I say I personally don't really think that argument wins over even though I agree it's not entirely unreasonable. The reason I think this is because if the US was willing to sacrifice it's veto in a multi-country stewardship environment, what's to stop it doing so now? Can we really guarantee the US wont agree to arrest, deport, and take down the domains of Chinese dissidents in return for, say, China agreeing to actually enforce copyright laws? If we can't trust them to do it in a multi-country stewardship environment, then why would we trust them to do it outside of that? The point being that in a multi-country environment where the whole world is involved you have to convince each and every single country in the world of each and every measure, that in my view, is far less risky than just having to convince one country.

Comment Re:But But But!!! (Score 1) 189

I know you're joking but Blackberry's problem was that they DID rule the world and thought that since they were on top they didn't need to make any changes - that the market would always clamor for what they offered because they ruled. By the time they actually faced reality, it was too late, they were a distant third behind Android and iOS, and were falling further behind. Had they not taken their being #1 for granted, they might have stayed on top, but hubris did them in.

Windows is just an also-ran whose company thought they could rule the mobile OS world because they dominate the desktop OS world.

Comment Re:T-Mobile is even better than you think (Score 1) 193

Pretty much this.

Been using T-mobile for the past 15 years or so (since they were VoiceStream before T-Mobile acquired them).

Stayed with them through some dark days in there because their coverage where I needed it, was okay, and the price was the best out of all the carriers.

Ever since AT&T failed to acquire them, it opened up a huge opportunity for T-mobile to really compete in the marketplace (they walked out of the failed takeover w/3B$ in cash, and access to 1B$ in wireless spectrum AT&T controlled. This gave them the spectrum to upgrade their network to be competitive, and the cash on hand to make it happen.

The results we're seeing now are the fruits of that opportunity when a company wants to cater to and woo customers instead of just pad their bottom line as much as possible.

In short, the competition that AT&T claimed would disappear if they weren't allowed to buy T-mobile instead flourished as a result of that very decision.

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 1) 154

To be clear I wasn't referring to the entire continents - only a handful of European countries engage in holocaust denial censorship for example (the UK doesn't, but it does engage in US style copyright censorship).

My point was simply that there is censorship coming from every corner of the globe, and the number of trustworthy stewards on any continent is small. You're absolutely right, Brasil wouldn't be a bad steward, I was thinking more of nations like Venezuela for what it's worth.

Comment Re:Much rejoicing... (Score 3, Insightful) 154

"Like I said, America isn't perfect, but on this issue I trust the US a hell of a lot more than I do any other country."

But this in itself is just nationalist patriotism, the US has a long history of censorship on the internet via things like ICE domain seizures, which unlike, say, China's censorship, enforce censorship globally to every country, not just the country engaging in censorship (the US).

If you believe in single country stewardship if that country would offer better protections than any other then it's nonsensical to favour the US over many others. If you're going for single country stewardship then why not go for a country that has a much better track record on political neutrality, political transparency, and freedom, such as Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand or similar?

Personally I think single country stewardship is a bad idea though regardless, in Asia there is censorship over blasphemy, Europe it's holocaust denial, in South America it's criticising government, and in North America it's defying the copyright cartels. All-country stewardship where changes can only occur based on 100% consensus is the only way to really protect free speech on the internet because that way you get all the benefits of the US veto you have currently but with the added advantage of countries like Russia and China being willing to block US copyright censorship.

Long story short though, there is no rational reason to prefer US single country stewardship if you believe in freedom and openness of the internet, and if you do so then it's because you're letting nationalism take priority over the things you're professing to want to protect. That is, when you say you trust the US more, what you're saying is "I want our guys to retain control, even if that means a bit of censorship" - you're arguing in favour of US control and NOT freedom from censorship, because the US already engages in that in a manner that effects everyone across the globe, not just those inside it's borders.

Really, if the US were a good steward of internet freedom then rather than engaging in global censorship via domain seizures it would set up it's own Chinese style great firewall and just block it's own citizens from accessing those sites it finds offensive such that it's politics remains only a problem for it's own people, and not censorship for every single person on the planet, including the 7billion+ that live outside of it's borders.

Comment Re:No broadband competition where I live (Score 4, Interesting) 104

They also will pad their cable TV numbers by pricing Internet Only plans above Internet+TV plans. So to save money, you need to be counted as a cable TV subscriber even if you put the box in your closet and never plug it in.

I'm not in Comcast territory, but I'm not much better off. Time Warner Cable... I mean Charter is my only high-speed wired option.

Comment Re:Deceptive at best (Score 1) 209

They have more information, but they don't have ALL of the information. Only when they have all of the information can they tighten their grip, crush down on those who oppose them, and serve you better.

(Anyone remember the Dinosaurs TV show? Fran convinces a store to accept returns and the owner remarks: "This is just the policy that will enable us to crush our competition, become a monopoly, and serve you better!" Basically this only with the government.)

Comment Re:G+: The Social Network for Sociopaths (Score 1) 75

The last time I checked, they got rid of it by allowing a pseudonym but requiring that the person choose a public name that included their real name. So I could be "Jason Levine (Pseudonym)", "Jason (Pseudonym)", "Pseudonym (Jason Levine)", etc. Not really helpful if you didn't want your real name publicized.

(Yes, I realize that there's something odd about me complaining about a real name policy when I use my real name on Slashdot. I signed up for this account years ago when I didn't care if my real name was out there. I don't want to sign up for a new account so this is one of the few accounts I use with my real name and I never directly reference my pseudonym account.)

Comment Traffic Lights Online? (Score 1) 203

The article I read about this mentioned that these 300,000 traffic lights are on the Internet and that's how Audi's going to receive the data. I'm hoping that the article had it wrong and these lights are just on some city intranet that Audi is going to gain access to. It would be very scary to have traffic lights online. How long would it take for someone to hack the traffic system and change all of the lights at random intervals. (Especially bad if those traffic lights happen to be hooked up to red light cameras that automatically issue fines.)

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