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Profs Bring TV Spectrum Free Wi-Fi To Houston Area

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the do-professors-even-teach-any-more dept.

Education 82

eldavojohn writes "Funded by the NSF, Rice University professors and students are bringing a prototype Wi-Fi system for free to Pecan Park in Houston. Part of the Technology For All initiative (TFA), this effort requires a heavily customized system that utilizes TV-band white spaces in the neighborhood. The team has a 60-foot-tall antenna and will be building several custom devices to give to a few dozen customers that tap into the five empty TV channels available (~30MHz of spectrum). The customization means that standards have yet to be hammered out (the 'WhiteFi' standard is mentioned) but the grant application calls on these professors and students to 'serve as researchers, the wireless network service provider, the network equipment and protocol designers, and community-technology educators and advocates.' Exciting possibilities for a future with less expensive internet connections."

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82 comments

Racists... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860348)

WhiteFi? Could you possibly be more blatantly racist? What about the large latino population? Why are they being excluded?

Re:Racists... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860408)

Many people would have you believe that there is nothing whatsoever the Black people can do about racism, that it is something the White people are going to do no matter what, that it is not something the Black people have any control over. They would tell the Black man that he is powerless in this case, a helpless victim who can do nothing to help his plight. It is especially disturbing when this message comes from those who are otherwise a friend of the Black man. Like Liberalism, it is a childish conception of the world that, while well-meaning, renders its believers powerless over their own life experience due to its own short-sightedness.

So what can Black people do to effectively end racism? First, they can stop assuming that White people are inherently racist. To assume that a person is full of hatred or judgment towards others merely because of his or her light skin color is to engage in the very racism they claim to be against. Racism of that sort won't end racism, no more than gasoline will put out a fire. So we can abandon this failed idea and look to the things White people see that make them think less of the Black man. These are some steps that Black people can unite and take together if they really want to end racism:
  • Stop committing a disproportionate number of violent crimes. When White people go to other countries that also have diverse populations, and notice that the violent crimes committed by Black people is higher than any other single racial/ethnic group when adjusted for their percentage of the population, what are they supposed to think? If you don't want to be regarded as a savage people who were brought out of the tribal jungle too soon and haven't yet learned to cope with the whole civilized society thing, please stop acting the part.
  • Stop having a disproportionate number of bastard children. This one can't be emphasized enough as it is surely related to all the other points. Black men, if you don't even care about your own children enough to let them know who you are, if you think so little of them, how is the White man going to argue with you? Parenting is easily the most important responsibility any adult is likely to ever have, and you abandon it willingly. What are White people supposed to think when you do this far more than any other single racial/ethnic group? Do you think it makes you respectable? When even their own fathers shunned them, does it surprise anyone that such bastard children are far more likely to be incarcerated, far less likely to go to college?
  • Stop glorifying the "thug" image. When you act like your highest and most noble goal in life is to be a career criminal, and talk happily about abusing women, abusing drugs, stealing, murdering, etc., it doesn't make White people think you're a good human being. It doesn't make White people respect you. It makes them think you're a menace, and when the media helps you spread this message and it influences impressionable White youth, it makes them think you're a contagious menace, like any other disease or infestation. Anyone who wants to hate you for your skin color will feel justified by all of this.
  • Stop blaming all of your problems on racism. Many groups, from the Native Americans to the Irish Catholics to the Chinese to the Japanese to the Jews and many, many others have unfortunately suffered some kind of racial or ethnic discrimination. Yet they don't top the charts on violent crime statistics. They don't have tons of bastard children. They don't glorify being a thug. The Asians in particular have had a great deal of success because they highly value education. The Jews have amassed financial empires that are the envy of many Capitalists. They all have something in common. When they fail, they blame their own bad decision-making. When they succeed, they attribute it to their hard work. They take personal responsibility for their situation, and if it sucks, they work to improve it.

    Some White people may hate your guts. They may think you're less than a human being. But no thought in a White person's head forces you to commit violent crimes. No thought in a White person's head forces you to abandon your own children and leave them fatherless. If you won't recognize and deal with your own shortcomings in order to become a stronger people, who is going to do that for you? You may have a scapegoat but it's costing you dearly.
  • Establish one stable, successful, peaceful, prosperous Black nation. Just one will do. This is a quote from Hesketh Prichard. It's pretty bad, but it illustrates what White people are thinking when they see failed Black nation after failed Black nation. If you want to shut them up, prove them wrong:

    "The present condition of Haiti gives the best possible answer to the question, and, considering the experiment has lasted for a century, perhaps also a conclusive one. For a century the answer has been working itself out there in flesh and blood. The Negro has had his chance, a fair field, and no favor. He has had the most beautiful and fertile of the Caribees for his own; he has had the advantage of excellent French laws; he inherited a made country, with Cap Haitien [A once beautiful town on the north coast of Haiti] for its Paris. . . . Here was a wide land sown with prosperity, a land of wood, water, towns and plantations, and in the midst of it the Black man was turned loose to work out his own salvation. What has he made of the chances that were given to him? . . .

    At the end of a hundred years of trial how does the Black man govern himself? What progress has he made? Absolutely none."

If you address all of those things and still continue to experience racism, you will then have a valid case against White people. As things are now, White people are merely being objective when they see these things and wonder what's wrong with you. The only difference is that some will have compassion for you, while others will think negatively of you. Don't like that? Work on yourselves.

MOD PARENT RACIST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860488)

I am a Black man & find this article offensive. Commander taco, can we get a -1 Racist moderation for such posts such as the one above?

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860604)

You're not a black man, you're a buck nigger. Get it right, shitskin.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861228)

I am a Black man & find this article offensive. Commander taco, can we get a -1 Racist moderation for such posts such as the one above?

This is nothing racist in the post you are responding to, only truths which you apparently don't want spoken out loud. Do you think that claiming to be a black man, whether you are or not, and claiming to be offended gives you some kind of divine right to tell other people what ideas they are or are not allowed to express? Americans, at least, got tired of the race hustle a long time ago.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861276)

Ok, my parents are of European origin and I find it sad that stars had to die to create the elements that make up the machine that the OP used to post with.

Re:MOD PARENT RACIST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863626)

I find it sad that stars had to die to create the organic matter that made niggers.

Re:Racists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861596)

If you'd take a break from huffing paint, smoking meth and fucking your relatives, you might be able to detect sarcasm before cuntpasting the magic words your KKK leader gave you. Just a thought.

Re:Racists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861954)

You're just angry because you know that it's true
 
--drinkypoo

Re:Racists... (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862270)

If you'd take a break from huffing paint, smoking meth and fucking your relatives, you might be able to detect sarcasm before cuntpasting the magic words your KKK leader gave you. Just a thought.

ROFL. That is all.

Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

It's been 17 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment

Chances are, Slashdot is just bitching because I'm responding as AC to an AC thread. There might even be an objectionable words filter in play. This message is rarely seen on actual logged-in posts.

Seriously. 17 minutes?

Re:Racists... (0, Troll)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863680)

Having for years been a virtual black-man with a huge dick at the recent TED conference, fucking virtual previously tight-cunt bitches, I must say I don't find this racist. However, WhiteFi??? Really. It just sounds like something baked up at stormfront.org.

In any case, why shouldn't white nationalists have the freedom to develop their own communications standards? There was an article on here recently about Indians creating their own OS, and people didn't seem to start some anti-nationalist crap about that.

AGNOSTIC ETHNIC-JEW POWER

Less Expensive Internet? (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860370)

Never. More accessible, perhaps. The cost has been set. Technology does not decrease the price point to the consumer it only changes the service/goods offered at that price point. Get used to paying a fairly hefty price in the US. Does anyone seriously believe the people making a good profit from this are going to lower their earnings? Dream on.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860396)

If a new player enters the market the current players might not have any choice but to lower their profit margins. Maybe if someone were to set up a free municipal wireless system using newly opened and freely available wireless spectrum for instance?

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860444)

I haven't seen prices drop yet with new commercial options like WiMax.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860514)

I don't know if wireless really competes against wires, cables or fiber optic, it probably is true for this project too. Going from wired to wireless for the "last mile" is a trade in different solutions that also trades very different sets of problems.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864728)

>>>I don't know if wireless really competes against wires, cables or fiber optic

Well I know at least one friend who is considering switching to wireless, because it's faster than the dialup he has now. So yeah it does sometimes compete with wired internet especially in rural areas (which is why the FCC pushed for these TV Band/whitespace Devices).

Two random thoughts:

- Five empty channels will no onger be empty if the FCC follows its plan to remove TV stations from channels 30-to-51 and "repack" them into the remaining 7-29 space. Followed by a 30-51 auction. Whitepsace will then be non-existent (no open channels).

- I looked at the Houston market, and I don't know where they got 5 empty channels? I only see 1.
- Probably the professors are broadcasting directly over existing TV channels. A definite no-no.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 34 (1917436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861102)

WiMax is irrelevant because the SAME players are making the offerings.

a NEW player could set up a wireless infrastructure in any city for a few dollars per citizen covered.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861574)

Then why not come up with a business plan and do it? If it's really that cheap, you should be able to wipe out the competition and make a handsome profit while providing people with a good product at a better price.

Except that you obviously have very little or no knowledge about large scale wireless infrastructure, otherwise you wouldn't make that sort of absurd claim.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit 34 (1917436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861658)

obviously "ErikTheRed #162431" doesn't understand municipal law, or eminent domain.

it's not all about understanding the largely trivial technological aspects of installing the infrastructure. there are also social and political aspects that you have obviously not considered because you're obviously completely ignorant.

what is your full name and address? how many large scale wireless installations have you done in the past?

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

MichaelKristopeit 15 (1916018) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861710)

hmmm... someone denying the possibility of cheap wireless, while at the same time supporting relief and economic expansion to the cayman islands in their signature... OBVIOUSLY you aren't in any way working against tax paying american citizens' interests.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

MichaelKristopeit 15 (1916018) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861946)

to answer your ignorant question further, i already make a handsome profit scaling up database infrastructures... same concepts... latency, throughput, bandwidth. pretty simple stuff.

i'm guessing a man who calls himself "the red" and encourages support to countries that harbor tax evaders, finds telling the people the truth "absurd".

you are NOTHING

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860786)

Maybe if someone were to set up a free municipal wireless system...

The "free municipal systems" aren't really free, you know, they just spread the cost to everyone, even those who have no interest in getting "the internet" and those who already pay for their services. Yes, this is a great deal for those who don't want to pay for their own service, until you consider all the other things that people have the government provide "for free" that they don't want to use.

They also handily remove any real responsibility for service from anyone. Can't pick up the signal? Well, if you're on DSL or cable, nobody can use the excuse "you're in a dead spot, too bad."

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860932)

The "free municipal systems" aren't really free, you know, they just spread the cost to everyone, even those who have no interest in getting "the internet" and those who already pay for their services. Yes, this is a great deal for those who don't want to pay for their own service, until you consider all the other things that people have the government provide "for free" that they don't want to use.

You mean like fire service [msn.com]?

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861598)

You mean like fire service?

No, I mean like the crap that people think the government ought to give them for free and aren't smart enough to know they're paying more in taxes because of it. Like free bus service. Like free sidewalk maintenance. Like free internet. Like free cheese. Like free health care. Like ... well, I made my point.

I didn't follow the link you provided, but I bet it's the story about the county in Tennessee(?) where they don't have their own fire department and people are expected to pay a meager $75/year for that service from a neighboring city in a neighboring county. Well, the people IN THAT COUNTY get to rule themselves on that matter, and THEY DECIDED not to pay for a fire department out of tax dollars, for whatever reason. Their decision. The guy who got burned by this was someone who refused to pay the fee, and as further information goes, had once before "promised to pay" when there was a fire call to his house and then didn't bother.

So, no, not like "fire service".

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862492)

You would advocate letting the trash collect and the sidewalks crumble? You'd advocate shutting down the ER to people who can't pay? You advocate disenfranchising low income families who can't provide for the education of their children through services such as libraries, and municipal internet? You'd advocate permitting the malnourishment of children presently eligible for WIC and other food aid programs? You'd advocate hindering the ability of low income parents to get to and from work, home, and the grocery store?

You know I never realized just how much you truly cared about those whose lot is worse than yours. I'm touched...

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862638)

You would advocate letting the trash collect and the sidewalks crumble? You'd advocate shutting down the ER to people who can't pay?

Don't be stupid. I said nothing of the sort.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863370)

No, actually I think you did...

No, I mean like the crap that people think the government ought to give them for free and aren't smart enough to know they're paying more in taxes because of it. Like free bus service. Like free sidewalk maintenance. Like free internet. Like free cheese. Like free health care. Like ... well, I made my point.

Since not everyone's income permits them to afford to pay for these services the government shouldn't provide for "free" then quite obviously they wouldn't get the public service. Just because you can afford to purchase an operate a car or buy a block of cheese at the grocery store doesn't mean everyone else can. Just because you have a job that enables you to pay for your health care doesn't mean everyone else does.

If you really want to trim the fat in government spending you'd be more productive taking a poke at the $900B/year DoD budget. Picking on low income people by removing various social services and other public good programs won't go net very much. In fact it'd almost certainly increase government expenditures dealing with the collateral damage caused by the disenfranchisement of a rather large segment of the population.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863788)

No, actually I think you did...

No, actually I didn't.

I said: "Like free sidewalk maintenance." I didn't say "let the sidewalks corrode".

In my city, until last week, when a sidewalk falls apart the city comes by and tells the property owner "your sidewalk is broken, fix it." The property owner pays. Last week my city passed a new tax to be used to fix sidewalks. Now it's "free", with "free" used in exactly the context it has been used in here: taxpayer funded. So, you see, the opposite of "free" is NOT "let them fall apart", it's "property owner pays".

As for trash pickup, the city doesn't do that here anyway. We have to pay a private company. Apparently YOU think the government should pay for it, which makes my point for me.

Prior to "free health care", the hospitals picked up the tab for ER use by people who couldn't pay. This eventually got passed on to people who COULD pay but didn't have insurance and those who did have insurance. But not "the taxpayer". It seems like a lot of people think the taxpayers should foot the bill for them.

So no, I actually didn't say any of the words you were trying to put into my mouth. The opposite of each of the things I said were being expected "for free" wasn't "don't get".

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#33868272)

Weird city you live in. In every city I've lived in, sidewalks are "public," meaning you can't prevent others from using the sidewalk that may cross your property (gotta love that eminent domain). I hope your city isn't the same way, because making someone pay to maintain property you've taken from them is a REALLY dick move, even for the government.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864562)

>>>$900B/year DoD budget. Picking on low income people by removing various social services and other public good programs won't go net very much.
>>>

First off, the DOD is constitutional. The public handouts are not (not in the long list of enumerated US powers). Plus even if you completely dismantled the army, navy, et cetera you'd still have a huge deficit (1500-900 ==600 billion overspending). You need to make additional cuts, and the biggest line item is social security.

I don't have any objections to a safety net, but SS, medicare, and Bush's prescription plan should all be limited to the poor and middle incomes. i.e. If you earn more than, say, 5 million lifetime income you should be ineligible for these programs.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862748)

>>>You would advocate letting the trash collect?

That's exactly what happens in my State. If you don't hire a company to pick-up your trash, then it just lays there and rots. In fact that's what a lot of farmers do - in order to generate fertilizer for crops, or bedding for cows, pigs, etc.
.

>>>You'd advocate shutting down the ER to people who can't pay?

Strawman arguments are Never an effective tactic. Obviously I would not. Instead I would let the medical corporation who owns that hospital pay the bill, if someone is too poor to pay it themselves. I'd also supplement it with charitable donations from the local community. My city has a hospital that operates exactly like that: On donations.
.

>>>libraries

In my opinion libraries are as obsolete as the Bankrupt Blockbuster stores, or VHS tapes, or buggy whips. Their purpose has been replaced by the internet, which can feed free books and information directly to the home. I don't think the government should continue subsidizing obsolete technologies like VHS or horsewhips or libraries. The world has moved on - time for the government to catch up.

Otherwise a thousand years from now we might still be paying for empty library buildings, when everyone has the info beamed directly to their neural net. Similar to how we were still paying for the Spanish-American War tax (applied to phone bills) even though the war ended 100 years earlier.
.

>>>You know I never realized just how much you truly cared about those whose lot is worse than yours. I'm touched...

Keep stabbing at that strawman.
Doesn't affect me at all.
Stupid twit.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862550)

>>>the people IN THAT COUNTY get to rule themselves on that matter, and THEY DECIDED not to pay for a fire department out of tax dollars, for whatever reason. Their decision.

"They have no right to make that decision. Democracy is shit." - current assholes in Congress. And no I'm not trolling; they truly do hate democracy because they want to FORCE us to have a fire department, even if out local or state legislatures decided not to. They don't support self-rule.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862526)

Yes people who don't want to have fire service should be allowed to "opt out".

Just the same way I choose not to insure my car (although I still have to insure the other guy's car, in case of accident). I'm tired of people acting as if we "have" to do something. Maybe I live in a shack and don't care if it burns to the ground. I should be allowed to make that choice, if I'm truly Free and not just a serf.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862960)

And yet they shouldn't be allowed to opt-out of paying for police. [slashdot.org]

Still wondering [slashdot.org] how that's any different from your argument about why someone should be allowed to opt-out of health care.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863306)

I don't see any contradiction there. I'm pro-choice on virtually everything (except when your actions physically harm another), and when you take that position, everything becomes obvious:

- People should be able to CHOOSE for themselves if they want to insure their house or car or selves. Hell I think people should be able to commit suicide if they want - who are you to tell them they can't? I believe in maximum freedom and minimal limitations (whereas you seem to believe in maximum chains and almost no individual freedom).

Of course there are practical limitations to my view:

- In the case of police I don't see how "opt out" would be workable, anymore than I can decide I'd rather have "Pennsylvania Power & Light" instead of BGE. Would they stop chasing a thief when he drove past my house? And then resume the chase once the guy was in front of my neighbors' home? Furthermore how would they know my home did not pay the "police tax". It seems more logical to treat police how we treat the army - a service that benefits all.

- But for firefighters? Yes "opt out" is absolutely a workable system. As the linked article proved. You can choose to have your home protected, or let it burn to the ground. Or you can choose to have health insurance, or you can choose to die. Key word: Choice. I favor it and you don't.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865588)

I don't see any contradiction there.

Then allow me to point it out to you.

So do you also think police coverage should be optional as well?

Not the same thing. [...] police protect my person which is obviously far more valuable

Did you ever stop to think that maybe I WANT to die, and not buying insurance is a way to make that happen?

Do you see it now? Unless you'd like to argue "protect your person" does not include keeping you from being killed.

In the case of police I don't see how "opt out" would be workable, anymore than I can decide I'd rather have "Pennsylvania Power & Light" instead of BGE.

I wasn't really trying to argue for an opt-in situation for police protection. I was only trying to understand how you could use one argument to try and support one position while using what appears to be the opposite argument to support another position. Had you used the above argument originally, I'd prolly not have given it a second glance. But since we're here now, what the hell, I'll give it a whirl.

Would they stop chasing a thief when he drove past my house? And then resume the chase once the guy was in front of my neighbors' home?

Obviously they wouldn't stop the chase. The suspect is being chased because of something the police suspect was performed elsewhere. Your house has nothing to do with the chase except as a background piece.

Furthermore how would they know my home did not pay the "police tax".

The same way the firefighters know if you've opted-in?

whereas you seem to believe in maximum chains and almost no individual freedom

Ok, now you're just making shit up. All I'm doing is asking questions, I've not stated any opinion regarding any of this.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866314)

If you keep expecting me to be perfect, then you're a fool.
I never claimed to have all the answers.
I have *opinions* based upon a Jeffersonian philosophy.

Furthermore if you realize the world is not black-and-white, then you'd realize why my views vary depending upon the situation. For example, I am 99.9% in favor of free markets because they let people choose which companies they want to give money to..... or not spend money at all (I don't have cable TV). However there are some cases, like water companies, where it would be impossible to run multiple pipes. i.e. Natural monopolies, so in those cases it's logical to have government do the job.
.

>>I've not stated any opinion regarding any of this.

It's pretty obvious you are a pro-big government person, from your previous comments. You (or someone like you) would probably force me to get cable TV "because it's for your own good" and/or "it's cheaper to tax everyone". And then make me pay a ~$75/month tax to government to support it. Vice-versa: I am of the opinion I shouldn't have to spend money on something I don't want or need

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33872894)

I don't expect you to be perfect, but I don't think it's far-fetched for a certain consistency in ones stated beliefs to be expected. I was only trying to understand how you could use one argument to try and support one position while using what appears to be the opposite argument to support another position. You'd clarified what you'd meant nicely and I thank you for it. Probably should have thanked you in the first post, but it slipped my mind.

It's pretty obvious you are a pro-big government person, from your previous comments.

If you want to be taken seriously, you really need to stop lying. Or at least provide some sort of proof to back up your assertions, something more substantial than "I said so".

I'd love to know what comments I've said in the past that make you think I'm "pro-big government" so that I can either a) more clearly express myself in the future, or b) better understand myself.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863520)

And yet they shouldn't be allowed to opt-out of paying for police. [slashdot.org]

Still wondering [slashdot.org] how that's any different from your argument about why someone should be allowed to opt-out of health care.

Paying for police and being forced to pay for someone else's health care are not at all analogous. The government providing police services is the government preventing people from doing harm to others. The government forcing someone to pay for someone else's health care is the government doing harm to the person being forced to pay.

Now go ahead. Make an irrelevant emotional argument based on a sympathetic portrait of the recipient of the wealth stolen by the government in the name of "universal access". Be sure to include the usual accusation that those who don't want the government controlling the delivery of health care don't care about other people. Also, be sure to pretend that poor people in America are dying like flies because they can't get medical treatment, that private charity doesn't exist, that government run health care will be more efficient than letting the private sector run health care, that Obamacare wasn't designed to destroy the private health insurance business, that the Obama administration hasn't already begun to set up the system of health care rationing under the largely arbitrary control of the executive branch, that other countries with government run health care aren't going bankrupt and don't severely delay and ration medical treatment and that would-be tyrants, if they are unable to coerce the population by controlling access to one of the necessities of life (food, water, shelter from the elements), won't try instead to gain some measure of coercive power by seizing control of an important industry such as the health care industry which almost everyone will eventually need the services of.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (2, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863722)

Lose your job due to an illness--and by extension your ability to maintain your private health insurance coverage. People feel like being charitable and helping you out. They host one of those charitable benefit diners. They usually net what, $5000. Good thing you have cancer and it's costing you $20,000/month. BTW: didn't you have a house payment, a wife and two little kids you were providing for?

Now propose to me how you will address your health care.

For kicks and giggles lets make pretend (then again maybe we don't need to pretend) everyone thinks you're an a****** and don't feel much like being charitable.

Before you or anyone else gets on their soap box and preaches a la carte government, self-determining citizenry, etc. go have a look see at how such a system actually works in practice. What can someone expect to happen should they lose their ability to pay? What happens when all of the support structures now taken for granted are kicked out from underneath them?

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864644)

>>>Lose your job due to an illness--and by extension your ability to maintain your private health insurance coverage.

Then you'd be covered by either Medicare or SSI Disability.
You wouldn't die.
That's the purpose of a "safety net" - to help the poor.

But the well-off should pay their own bills, not become like children (dependents of mommy government). BTW what the hell does your question have to do with my decision to not fire insure my house, and let it burn to the ground? Or not insure my car (note I said MY car), and let it get totaled? You going to hold a gun to my held and FORCE me to buy something I don't want? If so then you're a damn tyrant.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33864692)

Lose your job due to an illness--and by extension your ability to maintain your private health insurance coverage. People feel like being charitable and helping you out. They host one of those charitable benefit diners. They usually net what, $5000. Good thing you have cancer and it's costing you $20,000/month. BTW: didn't you have a house payment, a wife and two little kids you were providing for?

Now propose to me how you will address your health care.

Well, to start with, I would have the government eliminate all the laws and regulations that currently prevent the free market for health insurance from operating. Without the government interference, I would be able to buy catastrophic health insurance that is not tied to my employment for much less than the current cost of such coverage. I would also be able to buy coverage under a long term contract, e.g. ten years, to further mitigate any financial squeeze due to loss of employment. I can also provide myself with greater security by being part of a community of people who care about me personally and will help me in my time of need as I would help them in their time of need. Local religious communities are particularly good for that kind of thing. Family and friends are a support system that can provide some assistance, both financial and logistical. Lifestyle changes are another option. If I have a house payment, I can rent out my house or sell it and move into an apartment. If my family has multiple cars, selling one of them or selling other assets can provide some cash.

For kicks and giggles lets make pretend (then again maybe we don't need to pretend) everyone thinks you're an a****** and don't feel much like being charitable.

Most charitable giving is not done to fund a particular person's plight. It tends to be through ongoing institutions. Generally, people who must rely on charity for medical expenses don't have separate fund raising dinners held just to help them in their plight and don't need to be personally popular to receive it. The sob story example you give is contrived and presumes limitations that need not exist and wouldn't if the government wasn't already screwing things up. You also seem to be suggesting that the treatment of all catastrophic illness can be payed for without affecting anyone's standard of living. This has never been and never will be.

Before you or anyone else gets on their soap box and preaches a la carte government, self-determining citizenry, etc. go have a look see at how such a system actually works in practice. What can someone expect to happen should they lose their ability to pay?

You are repeating the arguments made when the United States was first founded. Everyone in Europe and many in the 13 colonies believed that people were incapable of running their own lives, that they had to have some one else (from the government, naturally) run their lives for them. The first 150 years of US history demonstrated that that argument was specious. The population of the US, far from suffering, thrived without the attention of an overbearing, paternalistic government. The US system of government was severely corrupted in the twentieth century and now Americans have to deal with all the problems that corruption has created.

What happens when all of the support structures now taken for granted are kicked out from underneath them?

Most Americans get their health care paid for through private insurance. Obamacare is specifically designed to drive private insurance companies out of business, so it is the proponents of Obamacare who are kicking the support structure out from beneath most Americans.

There are a number of assumptions that you are making that collectivists frequently make. The first is that the people in the government that are put in charge of running people's lives are competent enough to run those lives better than the people can. This is unlikely because a government worker cannot understand an individual's circumstances better than the individual can. Furthermore, the government rarely hires the best people. People who seek out government employment tend to be highly risk adverse and simply wish a safe and secure environment in which low performance is not likely to result in dismissal. For the same reason, government workers tend to lack the motivation to even try to do right by the people they are supposed to serve.

Not only do collectivists unjustifiably assume competence and goodwill on the part of government bureaucrats, they also assume that the government has and will always have unlimited resources to devote to fulfilling the promises of politicians. Eventually, the tax dollars run out and the government defaults on its promises. You, like most collectivists, treat government promises as rock solid guarantees. Governments have to deal will economic limitations just as the private sector does, but governments generally don't deal as well as the private sector. Government agencies generally can't even begin to meet the kind of accounting standards that the government requires private companies to meet.

Perhaps the biggest assumption that most collectivists make, and I will charitably assume this doesn't apply to you, Nethemas, is that their fellow citizens are as selfish and self-absorbed as they themselves are. Projection is a powerful concept. It never seems to occur to collectivists that most American citizens are better people and more concerned for their neighbors than the collectivists are, that if compulsory government charity does not crowd out private charity, then caring individuals will voluntarily provide the support, not just financial, but emotional that people in need require.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865698)

First of I applaud you for actually having thought out your position. I don't generally find that to be the case. There are certain matters that are obviously a difference of opinion. Though I think there are also a few mistakes in some of your assumptions.

To the point of your belief that private insurance can solve things. A business operates under the sole guiding principle of profit maximization. This is ensured to be the case regardless of the moral convictions of present management by shareholders which expect maximum share values. With this in mind, I am very much in disbelief that any long-term contract for care regardless of future ability to pay premiums would ever come to light. I am unaware of any type of insurance that offers such a thing. If it would have surfaced anywhere I would have figured life insurance--which doesn't have the same government "meddling" as health insurance--yet to my knowledge there's no such thing. Catastrophic coverage is available for purchase BTW. Their premiums hang out around $100/month for a healthy individual, $250 or so for a family. But they also have rather low per incident limits say $500,000 and lifetime maximums of $1 - 5 million. Were it not for Obamacare they also be able to exclude you for preexisting conditions. If you're chronic you're screwed.

It's great that you can surround yourself with caring family and friends but unless they all "summer in the Hampton's" and cruise around in daddy's yacht. The won't be able to do much beyond contribute their labor. Certainly no bill paying.

Charitable institutions have historically had a pretty spotty history when it comes to accountability and ensuring money goes where it was intended rather than exorbitant administrative salaries and other misappropriations. I really don't consider them any better than government. They have to potential to be far worse.

With respect to the competence of government workers I would concede that there are merits to your claim. The citizenry has failed to hold government to account in this regard. I am not convinced that charitable organizations would prove more effective however given that there are even fewer options for accountability.

One of the primary points to governments is to organize the resources of disparate smaller groups and individuals into a larger pool to derive a greater collective ability. While I would most definitely say that it has grown far too big for its britches. No single place can this be more obviously seen than in the military might of the United States. Us "collectivists" see a potential that is being unrealized in so many areas simply because people wish to selfishly hoard their personal resources. I am not advocating that the citizenry be subjugated by the government without representation. I am suggesting that the citizenry stop avoiding their government, stop branding it as evil and start treating it as "of the people, by the people, for the people." The citizens should support and take care of its fellow citizens through its government not on the assumed good intentions of for profit businesses.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866244)

>>>To the point of your belief that private insurance can solve things.

STRAWMAN ARGUMENT. I never said anything of the kind. Please don't put words in my mouth, because I consider insurance to be almost as big a scam as government-run healthcare. Corporations/government - Two halves of the same evil. *I* would rather pay cash for everything and get the 10-20% discount doctors provide, and then have the Welfare/Medicare safety net in case disaster happens (i.e. I run out of money).

Also for those persons who have insurance, a lot of the holes are being filled in. Like the just-passed law that forbids companies from insuring people with pre-existing illness.
.

>>>Charitable institutions have historically had a pretty spotty history when it comes to accountability and ensuring money goes where it was intended rather than exorbitant administrative salaries and other misappropriations.
>>>

Ditto government. Actually it's worse.
When you learn a charity is bad, you can stop giving them money.
That's not an option with government.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863538)

If you read/watch that guy's interviews you'll find that he actually did want the fire fighters to come put out the fire. In fact he had a history of "opting-out" only to ask to fire department to put out his fires. Human's are largely short sighted in nature tend to not want to pay for things that insure them against future catastrophe. Of course, when that inevitable catastrophe happens to them boy do they sure squeal like a stuck pig. "How could the world turn their back on them?" "How could it be so cruel and heartless?"

The very vocal fool might realize they were wrong, but too late, and there always seems to be another ready to step in to replace them. It's easy to think things like "why should I pay for that guy's grocery bill? I've got my own to buy." But people don't stop to think that its quite possible that someone else might well be paying to feed his kids when daddy loses his job after the accident.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864670)

I think the firefighters should have still saved his house (since he asked them to), but then charge him $1500 afterwards. i.e. twenty years of coverage. It would be a way for the government to encourage people to pay upfront rather than after the fact.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864686)

>>>"why should I pay for that guy's grocery bill? I've got my own to buy."

Because it's theft. I am the one who worked his ass off to earn the money. It's MINE. Nobody has a right to steal my labor, anymore than my boss can decide "I'm only paying you 20 hours instead of 40." I don't mind having a safety net for hungry & homeless persons, but if someone has a job and money then they should stop wasting it on beer/cigarettes/$150 per month cable tv and buy some fucking food, instead of swiping it from their neighbors' wallets.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (2, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860958)

Can't pick up the signal? Well, if you're on DSL or cable, nobody can use the excuse "you're in a dead spot, too bad."

Well not exactly, but the excuse would be that, "Sorry, we dont have a cable running to/through your place and we dont plan on spending money to lay new cable, better luck next time"

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861698)

Well not exactly, but the excuse would be that, "Sorry, we dont have a cable running to/through your place...

Exactly how can you be on DSL or cable for networking and have the telco or cable service people tell you, honestly, that "we don't have a cable running to your place"? Gosh, what have I been paying $110 a month for if you don't have a cable running to my place, and how am I getting cable TV and why did you provide me with a cable box if you don't have cable running to my place?

The point is that IF YOU HAVE CABLE INTERNET, that cable company is responsible for fixing it and cannot claim that you are just "in a dead spot" and can't get reception. There are no "dead spots" in a properly working cable internet system.

There are radio dead spots ALL OVER THE PLACE in almost any radio system. If you can't get the "free" wireless internet your city or whatever is providing, then 1) you are stuck dealing with technologically ignorant city employees when trying to get a problem fixed and 2) they have the easy excuse that you are in one of those dead spots and there is nothing they can do about it.

Even better, they can tell you that you need to move your receiver to get better signal. If the cable company says "move your cable modem a few feet to the left, maybe you'll get better reception" you know they're idiots.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862322)

Fire-fighting services are generally not optional mostly because fire isn't something you generally choose whether you want, and fire will spread to adjoining properties and get harder to fight as it does so.

Pay-as-you go fire-fighting is a fantastic idea, if you like the early Nineteenth Century.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860972)

There is the PBS model. Some people donate, either anonymously or not, and they just send out a DHCP setup wifi signal. The hackers will love it, but it would be really hard to track individuals or computers in this model.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861996)

There is the PBS model. Some people donate, either anonymously or not, and they just send out a DHCP setup wifi signal. The hackers will love it, but it would be really hard to track individuals or computers in this model.

The big question then becomes, is that a bad thing? Lack of accountability for the little guy would be a nice change from the status quo, where the little guy gets life in prison for looking at someone funny, but the megacorps get a slap on the wrist fine for business practices that harm (or even kill) hundreds per year. Each.

--
Posting anonymously because you did.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862540)

There is the PBS model.

You mean the government will put a gun to the head of all taxpayers, whatever their political views, and force them to contribute to a media outlet that dispenses leftist propaganda? Yeah, sounds great. We need more of that.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863510)

This is what conservatives actually believe!

Did you know that the USPS was intended to help pay for the media by way of providing the distribution? I bet you didn't, you fucking retard.

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33864938)

This is what conservatives actually believe!

It is not merely a question of belief. I watch PBS. I see the ideology being dispensed. I recognize that the government is stealing money from me and using it to promote policies, leftist policies, which are hostile to those which I support. QED

Did you know that the USPS was intended to help pay for the media by way of providing the distribution? I bet you didn't, you fucking retard.

The USPS is Constitutionally mandated. No problem with its existence.

The first amendment reads "Congress shall make no law regarding ... freedom of the press ..."

Tax payer subsidized media cannot be free because such media relies on the government for its continued existence and thus cannot fulfill its function of being a watch dog suspiciously eying the government, becoming instead an arm of that government.

Please child, try using your brain instead of parroting the idiocy some deceitful teacher has been vomiting into your ears. Seriously, you only look naive and gullible.

The "PBS Model" (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864188)

The PBS model. I heard the most amazing admission this weekend. OPB begging for money during Prarie Home Companion. The host actually said "this is the best way to show support for nonprofitable programs." I think he meant "nonprofit", but who knows?

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860694)

The cost is not in the last-mile wireless portion - it's in the backhaul infrastructure. To get decent speeds and keep congestion down, you need lots of fairly small cells, all tied together or to the Internet via backhaul. *That's* the expensive part, and don't think that the incumbents that run the backbones are going to forget to charge any upstart dearly for the privilege..

Re:Less Expensive Internet? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862284)

>>>Technology does not decrease the price point to the consumer it only changes the service/goods offered at that price point.

Good point. I've spent between 10 and 20 dollars for internet ever since the 80s. The price has not dropped* but the service has improved - it's sped-up from 1k to 750k (for me). Of course if you take into account inflation, the $15 DSL I'm paying now is only $7 in 1985 dollars so that could be considered a drop in price.

*
*Unless you count 7 dollar dialup, but who wants dialup anymore?

Less expensive internet connections (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860420)

I don't see how this will lead to any cheaper internet access.

Is it becuase it's wireless? Here, in Chicago, where Clear wireless has been rolling out WiMax internet service over the last year or so, the wireless service costs just as much as the old cable and DSL options, and neither cable nor DSL have gotten any cheaper. I'm convinced that as long as internet service is provided by large conglomerates, they'll have us paying $50 per month per device that we want to connect to the internet. The internet service that made a price difference was WiFi, which was under control any individual who wanted to set up an access point and share his internet connection -- it doesn't have universal coverage by any measure, but anyone who wants to be generous over a small area can be (e.g. universities or companies or local coffee shops and restaurants), and that has allowed free internet access in many places.

I'm convinced that WiMax is an attempt by big ISPs to obsolete WiFi, and get their dollar back.

Re:Less expensive internet connections (1)

znerk (1162519) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862020)

Perhaps we could use it as a jumping-off point for the mesh network, since the biggest issue with mesh is that no one wants to be the actual "service provider" at the back end.

Re:Less expensive internet connections (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862186)

Not cheaper. Just more reach. The theory is that TV channels 21-51 can be used for rural Houston-area citizens stuck on dialup.

Two random thoughts:
- Five empty channels will no onger be empty if the FCC follows its plan to remove TV stations from channels 30-to-51 and "repack" them into the remaining 7-29 space. Followed by a 30-51 auction. Whitepsace will then be non-existent (no open channels).

- I looked at the Houston market, and I don't know where they got 5 empty channels? I only see 1.
Probably the professors are broadcasting directly over existing TV channels. A definite no-no.

BANDWIDTH FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860518)

So lemme get this straight: giant antennas, custom hardware, all for a connection that (at best) can manage 30Mbps shared amongst a "few dozen" clients? Can somebody explain why these customers couldn't be served more effectively (and faster) by DSL or cable? The description in TFA indicates that they are close together (3 sq. km), so the "long range" aspect is out. For that mattter, wouldn't something like the 3G-Wifi bridges that are widely available ALSO do the job faster, better and cheaper? "Whitespace" tech is waaaaaaay too late to make a real impact - not enough bandwidth.

Re:BANDWIDTH FAIL (1)

mattj452 (838570) | more than 3 years ago | (#33860570)

Whitespace technology already exist. Although people surely want to legislate slightly differently, it would be entirely possible to use the existing 802.11 stack to achieve this. 802.11G uses 20MHz per channel, and there are half rate and quarter rate specifications (using 10MHz and 5MHz). In addition, 802.11h brough you a dynamic channel switching mechanism. It is technically used to avoid radar signals on the 5GHz band, so some additions to the standards on when to change (if change is necessary!) in the lower bands. For your comment regarding DSL: Sure they can, but people want to be more mobile nowadays, without being bound to their home. I'm not saying 802.11 is the best standard for this, all I'm saying is 802.11 would work.

Re:BANDWIDTH FAIL (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862310)

>>>Whitespace technology already exist.

We need to stop using incorrect terminologies. It leads to confusion. "Whitespace" has become the buzzword, but the official designation by the FCC is TV Band Device (TVBD) in order to separate it from other whitespace devices in the gigahertz range.

Great - TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860590)

The TFA - so much for the /. community getting involved.

Acronyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33860600)

I think I can say, for once, that I read TFA.

3 strikes and free wifi (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861028)

A little general to free wifi and not too specific to this particular use of spectrum, but I have a question.

If those asses at the RIAA, MPAA, and the shadowy organization of government officials seeking to control everything have their way and a 3 strikes law is passed, what's the likelyhood of such legislation affecting things like free wifi? Seems like if this type of thing proliferates and it gets to a point where a significant amount of users just use free wifi, the MAFIAA isn't going to give up and ignore it. I'm assuming these free wifi spots will probably limit P2P file sharing?

How long? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861304)

Any bets on how long they will last, and whether they will get shut down by the TV carriers, Internet providers or Copyright mafia?

Obvious contradition? (3, Informative)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861538)

Let's see the first line of the summary is:

"Funded by the NSF, Rice University professors and students are bringing a prototype Wi-Fi system for free to Pecan Park in Houston."

"Free?" You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I think OPM ("Other People's Money") is what you're looking for.

Re:Obvious contradition? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862246)

You down with OPP?
Yeah you know me!

People use the word "free" a lot, without realizing they actually ARE paying for the service - it's being sucked directly from their paychecks. People can be so goddamn stupid sometimes. "You work don't you? And pay taxes?" Induhvidual: "Yes". "Then it's not free." Induhvidual: "Yes it is! They aren't sending me a bill. That means it's free!"

Oh god. "The strongest argument against Democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the typical voter." Yes. And that's why we have a Republic (rule by law) instead, which is supposed to protect us from our neighbors using gov't to raid our wallets.

TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861560)

Technology For All initiative (TFA)

Using the acronym TFA on /.
lol

Hope that grant included money for the lawyers (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861616)

Because you're going to need them (along with a lot of $ in campaign contributions for politicians) when the telcos come to sue you, and/or introduce legislation to make your social experiment illegal.

mod dow/n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861744)

during this file argued by Eric If you answered Benefits of being Posts. Due to the against vigorous more gay than they counterpart, towels on the floor juggernaut either Assholes, as they maintained that too A previously channel #GNAA on Creek, abysmal [slashdot.org], to predict *BSD's The channel to sig@n right now. I tried, one common goal - and reports and in ratio of 5 to effort to address *BSD has steadily PROBLEM STEMS the most. Look at anybody'[s guess Isn't a lemonade

The truth is... (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33867674)

The truth is that WiFi (even draft-n) doesn't compare - in terms of speed and stability - to plain old 100BASE-TX. I recently decided to get rid of the wires going to my desktop and now something like copying a few GB file from laptop to desktop is a pain in the ass. That's as far as LAN's are concerned.

On the other hand, wireless WAN access is good when you have no other options. MikroTik embedded in an directional antenna can give you decent speed over few kilometers. However the connection uptime still sucks, outages are frequent during storms. I doubt it'll give you more than 5-10Mbit/s so no HD streaming.

Charges of Racism in 3..2..1... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33867912)

"White-Fi"? Really? Do they have the check to Al Sharpton already made out??

QUICK MOVE THERE NOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33876752)

Acquire a low cost starter mortgage on a $500,000 home you'll never be able to pay for to have free internet access until the experiment is discontinued about the same time the inflated mortgage prices kick in - makes perfect sense in a 1984-esque nation of: fluoride, mercury thimerosal, psyche drugs, margarine and/or aspartame damaged gangs of idiots that still believe the Official 911 (racist) fantasy nonsense, that are (albeit understandably and stupidly) pissed off AND - as planned – determined to slaughter innocents in revenge over and over again???

But, IT'S ALL FREEEEE!

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