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Comment Re:Why government intervention all the time? (Score 2) 164

Here's the issue

1) Good luck doing this. It currently is tricky as is.

2) Here's the REALLY fun one. You identify the entity with the device, they live in another country. You now lack any legal power to influence them whatsoever, unless you have the money to file an international complaint/lawsuit, assuming it is even possible.

2a) Assume you suit goes through, it gets promptly ignored. Random hacked Chinese/Russian/Australian/German is not going to care what some person in another country thinks.

Comment Re:Easy to fix (Score 2) 39

As far as I'm aware, the main thing WhatsApp has going for it, in a similar way Skype did, is that it allows international texting on the cheap.

I believe here in the US it isn't much to add on to a wireless plan to get international texting, but in other parts of the world, they charge by the text and gouge pretty hard on it. I would be interested to know how much Deutsche Telekom (or other major wireless operators) charge for international texts.

So WhatApp is the perfect mix of ease of use (no login needed), cheap (was 1 USD a year after the first year, now its free), and by passes the expensive text charges.

As an anecdote, I regularly text a small group, with one person in the UK, another in Singapore, and another in Thailand. Last I looked, if I didn't have unlimited international texting in my wireless plan, it would be like 25 cents PER TEXT. So a small conversation of rapid fire texts would rack up pretty fast.

Comment Re:Another way to look at this is.. (Score 1) 400

"Let the market, as cold and harsh as it is, sort things out."

And then the markets are reminded there there is thing called emotions and will to live, which results in the introduction of the free market of violence, where I take what I need to live, damm the consequences. No human being is going to stand by and let free markets work, if it means watching their child die, for any reason,.

Comment Re:Engineering Failure (Score 1) 254

I believe that by having drones, a large number of things that are required on an airplane as safety measures for the pilot and passengers go away. Things like parachutes, oxygen, seats, visible warnings, windows, life vests, and so forth.

A pilot on the ground doesn't risk depressurization, having to bail out, doing as extensive of a checklist (since a drone is much simpler then a plane in a lot of way, since many systems simply exist to keep the pilot aware, or keep the people in the plane alive).

This leaves a pilot with only the most core parts of their job, piloting and maintaining communication/awareness of their airspace. But even that is reduced when flying as low as drones do, and especially if you are doing this away from air bases/airstrips. I imagine the risks of flying and colliding drop quite a bit if you are sticking pretty low (under 1000 feet) and many miles from major air centers.

Comment Re:Not popular in Europe??? (Score 1) 166

WhatApp has 2 reasons it is popular, especially outside the US

1) It is incredibly convenient, no pass words, no logins,

2) It is CHEAP. Ever seen what most carriers charge for international texting? Unless you specifically are paying the extra in the plan for international texting, its like 20 cents a text. I have 2 people I do game modding with, one in the UK and one in Singapore. So I would either have to sign up for a more expensive plan for international texting or pay 40 cents every time I sent them both a message, and 20 cents to receive from them. So either way, I would be paying a lot more compared to the previous 1 dollar a year.

WhatApp is basically the Skype of texting, breaking the traditional carrier setup and undercutting it hugely by going over data instead of the the approved communication channel. As far as I'm aware, Skype grew big to begin with because of its NAT punching (making it brain dead easy to use and no firewall fiddiling) and being able to do international calls cheaply

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 729


Pretty well known that housing values move quite a bit. As the old saying goes in real estate "Location, Location, Location". Land is something you can't import/create, and geography controls where housing can realisitcally be placed. 2008 was a housing bubble, and the US has had almost predictable speculation on land values every 20-30 years of its existance, that leads to a bubble and bust. Used to be cheap western land as the country expanded westward, but now speculation occurs on the current land.

My understanding is a fair number of people got in trouble by refinancing their mortgage on the growing equity of their property, and then getting caught flat footed when the bubble inevitably burst. Also, some states (California in particular comes to mind) have incentives for people to stay in their own homes, which directly lowers the supply of housing, making the remaining properties swing more in value. So if you are not living in the property, you can simply hold it, flip for an even more expensive and better located property, let appreciation/demand drive that price higher, and repeat. Or sell the appreciated property, use the difference to buy two properties (one of value equal to the property just sold, at its original acquisition price, and a second even cheaper property). Basically comes down to land being exclusive use, and non movable.

Comment Re:environmental impact (Score 2) 161

The same impact as the last 3 centuries. The US used to be composed of mostly farmers and agricultural workers (slaves), something like 90% of the population

Today, agriculture employs less then 3% of the populace. Now, in absolute terms, the number of farmers has gone up, but the population they support has gone far higher.

Comment Re:Still sucks (Score 1) 467

Seriously this. I still do not understand why people thought it was ridiculous that Finn almost beat Kylo, after the movie amply demonstrates

1) Chewies Bowcaster hits like a truck. Repeatedly shows Stormtroopers being throw off their feet from a single shot
2) Kylo hammers on his wound prior to the fight and the movie shows a pool of blood on the snow, showing how badly Kylo is bleeding out

The fact that Kylo nearly beats both Finn and Rey is a testament to his hatred/dedication.

Comment Re:Weights and Measures! (Score 5, Insightful) 124

Seriously this. Weights and Measures are the ones who keep honest people honest, by auditing and randomly testing anything that relies on metering. They are one making sure out of town people are not being cheated at the gas pump. If Comcast wants to measure and meter data usage, then they should be compelled to install a tested and sealed device that spits out the data usage to customer on premise.

Comment Re:Greatly prefer Netflix model anyway (Score 2) 71

What you speak of when it comes to siding with the consumers and breaking bundling is great in theory, but this is an example of prisoners dilemma. Any one cable company knows they can't take on Disney/Turner/etc in forcing unbundling because Disney can just smile, drop ESPN, and watch the cable/satTV customers go racing to one of the satellite TV providers or back to cable, and leaving the cable/satTV company screwed. Disney is the worst of the bundlers because they have ESPN, so they force all the other shit down the cable/sat companies throats.

Until the FCC rules such bundling to be illegal, the content companies can continue to play the various cable companies and sat TV companies against each other. This is the main idea behind the various mergers in providers, to reduce the number of entities that can played against each other. In terms of customer choice, it is awful, and is bullshit. But from a content negotiation point of view, the bigger you are, the bigger the club you can wield, and the content providers are effectively a cartel, so the transport providers are bulking up as well.

For this reason, Netflix and other streamers, once they overtake cable/satTV in terms of viewers, will get the harsh end of this same stick. Mind you, they know this, hence both Netflix and Amazon are becoming content creators themselves, to avoid the same fate of being held over the barrel. Disney could easily play Netflix against Amazon, and force bundling on both of them.

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