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Comment Apparently USA is religion first, then rational. (Score -1, Troll) 903

This whole argument is pathetic. A panel of experts, including Doctors, determined that contraceptive should be part of a rational medical insurance plan. How is possible for a religious order to override that, stating, basically - we believe this is not the case, so we would like to ignore the law and the experts in favor of our belief? Separation of church and state? This is pretty much the exact opposite of that. Apparently we, the USA, are indeed a religious, not rational, country. The forefathers are rolling in their graves..
Insurance isn't a statement of faith - it is a product with stated basic requirements - an employer either offers a package that lives up to these or it should not offer insurance at all (and pay for its employees to use the ACA!)
Disappointed but not particularly surprised..

Comment How I use my RP (Score 4, Informative) 246

Most of the time, my RP, coupled with a 8-Relay board ($20 on ebay,) reports (via SMS) whenever any of my house doors are opened or closed, as well the garage door. Further, it has a web server with a small app that allows me to raise/lower the garage door.
A picture of the board I constructed can be seen at - the board has since been re-arranged a bit to give me better access to the HDMI port. The software is pretty minimal - a shell script to handle periodic polling of the various magnetic reed switches on the doors, it also keeps track of all changes in a mysql database. A php script to handle opening/closing the garage door (and animating the process in an image using data from the switches!)
Also, whenever I have a movie that can't be played back by my old but still working Apple TV 1 running XBMC, I use OpenElec XBMC on my RP - it's not the most responsive XBCM in the world, but it plays back high resolution MKV's whereas the ATV1 can't keep up.
All in all, it's an amazing board and I have other plans for it, grin. I likely will get another one or two at some point.

Comment Check out the novel Existence by David Brin (Score 1) 629

A complex and fun novel with a main theme revolving around this exact question. Stop reading here to avoid spoilers..

Travel in body between star systems is not cost effective or appealing. BUT, what if you could upload your mind into a small holographic computer powered by ambient light and be shot across space towards a planet in another solar system. When there is less ambient light, processing speed and passage of time simply slows down - but the capsule continues on it's trajectory. When it gets near another star, more ambient light speeds up processing and time. Such a computer would be capsule shaped and not very large (a few feet long, less than a foot wide.) These capsules carry not one, but MANY sentient beings, from many races. What if you could create a whole lot of these capsules and send them in every direction. Many will never make it anywhere, or if they do, there may be little to nothing to see there, but a few will make it someplace interesting (specifically in the story, Earth.) In the book, these capsules have been arriving on Earth for many thousands of years, maybe many more, but humanity has never caught on to what they are till now (now being the near future.)

There is so much more to the book, of course, and most of it is interesting and fun. The main plot, though, is well handled and suggests a reasonable technological and science based solution to star travel.

Comment Re:One could ask the same question about Cell serv (Score 1) 351

Our Cell industry IS largely unregulated - we think of the FCC as performing that function - but compared to most other Western countries, they aren't doing much. Same as ISPs (which, in fact, overlap the Cell industry quite a bit.)
Lobbying (and the results it produces) are a capitalist idea, and they result in bad or no regulation..

Comment Re:and yet.... (Score 4, Interesting) 100

Sure they will. Call and ask for global-access or something like that. Assuming you've had the phone for more than 60 days, they will unlock it and you can use a SIM card in it to get GSM/3G access when outside the US - simple and easy. They do "claim" that you can't use the SIM card while in the US - that Verizon CDMA will take preference - this may be true - I didn't test it. I sounds like the iPnone5 doesn't have that (potential) limitation. I think the unlock is permanent, or mostly so, since when I upgraded my iPhone4S to IOS6, the first message to pop up on iTunes was 'congratulations, your phone is unlocked now.'

Comment Ownership of Spectrum is simply wrong.. (Score 4, Insightful) 80

Radio Spectrum starts out as public property - selling it, a limited resource, with unknown but extensive economic effects in the future, is a bad idea. I strongly believe we should nationalize radio spectrum and lease it out, for limited periods (a dozen years? two dozen, tops.) to companies to use as part of their product.. Given how fast technology moves, and how useful (in unknowable ways) Radio Spectrum will be in the future, we are selling away our birthright..

Comment Don't go there (Texas.) (Score 1) 416

Seriously? A weaponized UAV, for the police? Are they insane? Not my problem, for now, since I don't go to Texas .. Ever. It's a dangerous place where the population is drunk and armed and the cops practice more lawlessness than otherwise. Also it's a state that still murders people (Death "penalty".)
Nothing good can or will come of this, for a fact.

Comment I just canceled by Netflix account. (Score 1) 488

For a number of years, as a Netflix customer, I've been watching and thus receiving less and less DVDs a month. Two years ago I cut back to one-at-a-time. Streaming was free. Then the price went up for $2 (apparently, history being re-written, that hike was for the one-at-a-time dvd plan, the cost of the original one-at-a-time dvd plan being directed towards a streaming plan!) $10/mo still felt like a soft cost, I could absorb it, I did. Now it's going up to $16/mo. I like getting a dvd now and then, rarely, maybe 1-2 a month. I stream a movie about as often. I can live without both of those. I'll get my DVDs at the corner store or on demand and live without old movies. Netflix, a company I once thought of as great, is now just another company trying to get as much out of me as they can. Well, the pushed a bit too hard. They now get ZERO out of me and I hold grudges. Netflix: Don't expect me to return to you anytime soon EVEN if you improve your cost structure. It will cost you all the money you lose from me in the meanwhile AND the cost of re-acquiring me as a customer - buying my loyalty back, should you choose to, to get me back.

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