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Comment Re:Batshit Crazy! (Score 1) 680

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Marxist ideals are anti-religion. Marx believed that religion was a shackle on the people that provided illusory happiness and that needed to be thrown off to achieve real happiness. If you want to argue that states founded on Marxist ideals were not true to those ideals, but cynically used them as an excuse to dominate their citizens (a stance that I don't necessarily disagree with), that's fine. It's just that such arguments sound awfully similar to arguments made by religious apologists for the evils of their institutions.

Comment Re:Batshit Crazy! (Score 1) 680

Atheism is a core tenet of Marxism, and you should be able to find many quotes from Marx and Lenin on the evils of religion and how religion is antithetical to the establishment of a Marxist state. If you want to argue that religious persecution in states founded on these principles is merely about maintaining power over the masses, what's to keep a religious person from arguing the same thing about the Inquisition?

Comment Re:Batshit Crazy! (Score 5, Insightful) 680

When has an atheist ever committed an act of terrorism in the name of atheism? Or murdered?

I think you'd be hard pressed to dispute that religious persecution (including state sponsored terrorism and murder) occurred in atheist states governed by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, etc.

Comment Re:there are signs (Score 1) 627

I have no direct knowledge, but I was a grad student at U of T when Professor Mann first arrived in the department, and attended a talk or two about his research (also had friends who worked in his group). As I understood it, part of his research involves using himself as a test subject for his wearable computing devices. At that time, he was living most of the hours of the day with these devices on, and I recall from one of his talks that the visual input had become such a part of his daily experience that it was extremely disorienting to remove his glasses (and by disorienting, I don't mean just psychologically disorienting, but extreme physical disorientation etc.). Again, I have no direct knowledge, but I would suspect that his medical documentation says that he essentially needs his glasses in order to function normally.

Comment Re:"Throttling" services (Score 1) 118

Billing based upon the Mb/s a data service provides is about as meaningful as billing based upon the A an electrical service provides.

Which is to say that it doesn't make sense at all. You need to provide way too much capacity for peak consumption so the cost of providing service skyrockets.

Canadian ISPs tried to fix that with UBB.

The recent flap over UBB had nothing to do with fixing this problem you describe. Rogers and Bell have had UBB on their own customers for years now. What Bell tried to do recently was to force third party ISPs to adopt UBB on their own customers to remove that competition from the marketplace. Third party ISPs like Teksavvy already pay Bell based on the peak bandwidth that their customers use, i.e., on the Bell-to-Teksavvy network link, Teksavvy pays for enough bandwidth to accomodate their peak consumption. What Bell tried to imposed was a further tariff on Teksavvy data that would force Teksavvy to pass on this type of billing to its customers. This tariff would have such a small wholesale discount (I think it was something like 10 or 15% compared to what Bell customers are paying at retail) that Teksavvy would essentially be forced to charge its customers the same rates that Bell does.

As for the "morality" of being against UBB, all I know is that Teksavvy provides a good service using their flat-price billing model and they apparently make money off of it. If the time comes that they decide they can no longer provide a decent service using this business model, I'll lament the loss of my flat-pricing, but I won't begrudge them the need to change their pricing model if they can no longer make money under flat-pricing (just like I don't begrudge Bell their right to charge their customers how they please). But I certainly do object to Bell leveraging their last-mile monopoly to force competition out of the marketplace.

Comment Re:Don't listen to Beatles shit (Score 1) 536

Where are you getting the idea that acts like The Beatles don't generate significant sales? Try googling "Beatles back catalog sales" or "AC/DC back catalog sales" and you'll see that each of those acts have been averaging around 3-4 million albums sold per year for the last 30 years, with almost all of that revenue being pure profit.

Comment Re:Possibly correct (Score 4, Insightful) 643

It's hardly a controversial stance to take that tablets are a triumph of form over function, something that (in many people's minds) Apple excels at, and Microsoft does not. If they charged full force into the tablet market, we'd probably all be talking about their hubris in thinking they could avoid Zune the sequel. Publicly downplaying the importance of the tablet market may not be a case of shortsightedness so much as a recognition that they don't have the chops to beat Apple and Google in the tablet market and are merely saving face. As far as Kinect, the article makes it look like Microsoft is still quite bullish on that technology. Focusing on things like Kinect while letting Apple and Google fight over tablets doesn't strike me as being an unreasonable corporate strategy.

Comment Re:Boycott rogers.. (Score 2) 252

Calling the non-Bell/Rogers ISPs "resellers" is a bit of a misnomer, implying that these ISPs are merely a rebranding of service provided by Bell and Rogers. That kind of mischaracterization is what lets Bell and Rogers paint third party ISPs as leeches who are screwing Bell/Rogers customers with their high bandwidth use. In fact, what is being resold is last mile bandwidth. Third party ISP traffic is quickly switched over to a separate network (paid for and maintained by the third party) after the last mile.

Submission + - US Alarmed Over Japan's Nuclear Crisis

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Washington Post reports that the US is urging Americans who live within 50 miles of Japan’s earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to evacuate as Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said that no water remains in a deep pool used to cool spent fuel at the plant and that radiation levels there are thought to be “extremely high.” Jaczko’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee suggests that damage to the plant is worse than the Japanese government and the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has acknowledged. On Tuesday, the company said water levels in the three of the site’s seven fuel pools were dropping, but did not say that the fuel rods themselves had been exposed. Left exposed to the air, the fuel rods will start to decay and release radioactivity into the air and lack of water in at least one spent-fuel pool sparked fears of a worst-case scenario: the fuel could combust. “If there’s no water in there, the spent fuel can start a fire,” says Eric Moore, a consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on nuclear plant design and safety issues. “Once you have that fire, there’s a high risk of radiation getting out, spewed by the fire.” The power company says a reduced crew of 50 to 70 employees — far fewer than the 1,400 or more at the plant during normal operations — had been working in shifts to keep seawater flowing to the three reactors now in trouble. Their withdrawal on Wednesday temporarily left the plant with nobody to continue cooling operations."

Submission + - Atom Smasher: World's First Time Machine? (

Bala4361 writes: "The world’s largest atom smasher the Large Hadron Collider could be used as a time machine, researchers propose in their "long shot" theory. If their theory is right, Vanderbilt University researchers say the collider — a particle accelerator to study the smallest known particles — could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backwards in time. This approach to time travel could be used to send messages to the past or the future, they say."

Submission + - Fukushima Reactor Design Questioned Since 1972

anagama writes: "The NY Times is reporting that as early as 1972, the design of the containment system used in the Fukushima plant's reactors was questioned by the US Atomic Energy Commission. The article includes a link to the original 1972 memo, which pointed out that the boiling water design with the pressure suppression system below the reactor, was a method of building containment more cheaply by reducing pressure reduction within the reactor, but that if the pressure reduction system failed, breach of the containment was more likely than in simpler and stronger dry containment systems. In other words, the BWR design was a cost-cutting measure. Thankfully though, Josef Oehmen has assured us that absolutely nothing bad can happen with this design and everyone should just relax."

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 1) 364

>>>Bell pockets the fees

I just checked Bell-Canada's profit. They were LOSING money for almost two years (2009-10), which basically disproves your claim that they are rolling-around in cash.

Where are you getting your numbers? According to the shareholder reports, going back to the beginning of 2007, BCE has posted a profit in 14 out of 15 quarters (and they barely posted a loss in Q4 2008).

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 1) 364

The "strain" on the infrastructure is a self-inflicted problem. Bell keeps adding users and charging "activation fees" per new user, but instead of building out their infrastructure to handle the increased activity with this money, they pocket it and throttle their users. You may say that that's their prerogative to run their business how they see fit, but without competitors (which is what this ruling essentially removed from the marketplace), what's a consumer supposed to do?

Comment Re:Right on! (Score 2) 364

There is nothing wrong with you personally deciding that you prefer the idea of UBB, or even with an ISP like Bell deciding that it's in their best interest to charge their customers in that manner. What was wrong with the ruling is that it essentially shut out competitors from offering differentiated pricing schemes, meaning there would be no competition in the market other than cable internet providers (who were in line to get their own similar ruling later this year).

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