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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:What does Net Neutrality even mean??? (127 comments)

The real aim is to move the internet under Title II so that it can be heavily regulated. It would also be subjected to the 16.1% universal service fund tax (as spelled out in the telecom act of 1996).

Neither of those assertions are remotely true. There were already periods where Internet access was subject to Common Carrier regulations, and parts of Verizon's FiOS network are still under it to this day because it gave a tax and subsidy benefit to Verizon. If anything, internet access is already HEAVILY regulated, and Title II would simplify things immensely.

The bit about the USF tax is just propaganda from the NCTA.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:First Do No Harm (127 comments)

Let's see - Jesse Jackson, the Urban League, and Comcast don't agree with you. That's quite the diverse collection of people from all over the political and ethnic spectrum

Yes, such a wide spectrum, consisting of Comcast and political activists funded by Comcast...

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

Chibi Merrow Re:First Do No Harm (127 comments)

Thankfully no one is proposing 'strict regulations'. The modest and reasonable regulations (which already apply to not-insignificant chunks of Verizon's FiOS network) being pushed for by Title II advocates would cut off things such as paid prioritization schemes and providers favoring their own paid services by exempting them from technologically unnecessary bandwidth caps, however.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

Chibi Merrow Re:Yes, but you are even worse. (240 comments)

Dude, by your argument, "compatibility" counts as "place your arguments in registers A, B, C..."

The compatibility between C and C++ goes a bit deeper than that.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Chibi Merrow Re:Wait... (341 comments)

Comcast and Verizon have an government-approved agreement to not compete. Comcast sold Verizon spectrum, and in return Verizon has stopped rolling out FIOS. Now you can walk into a Comcast store and buy Verizon Wireless Plans bundled with your cable sub, and buy Comcast subscriptions in Verizon Wireless stores in regions where FIOS isn't available.

about 4 months ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Chibi Merrow Wait... (341 comments)

What competition?

about 4 months ago
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Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Chibi Merrow Re:Gettin All Up In Yo Biznis (419 comments)

So, what you're saying, is you didn't know what anyone was talking about and opened your yap, and now you don't know how to extricate yourself from the thread without admitting you're an idiot and didn't read the post that was being responded to. You know, the one that implied the DoD was funding the development of Call of Duty for propaganda purposes.

about 4 months ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

Chibi Merrow There are new routers that don't work (248 comments)

I actually bought a new router within the last year. A "nice" Buffalo model with DD-WRT built in. Only to find out DD-WRT doesn't support native IPv6 (which my old, faulty NetGear did, go figure). They just support Toredo or other tunneled IPv6 solutions.

Man, was I disappointed.

about 4 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

I always found it amusing that the Author's Guild always seems to enthusiastically back whatever it is the publishers want to happen, even to the detriment of their supposed constituency...

I'd rather hear from authors, personally, than a group that fought against libraries/universities making electronic archives of books for research...

Look, if authors/publishers aren't happy with Amazon, they don't have to do business with them. They can sell their books direct to the customer, even in a format the user can load right onto their Kindle, nothing's stopping them. Saying Amazon is the "only buyer" is B.S. The term 'buyer' doesn't mean anything (in the way you're using it) when you're dealing with purely electronic goods. Amazon doesn't "buy" an inventory of ebooks to sell, there's no supply to monopolize.

about 5 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow I don't buy it. (93 comments)

Excluding (only for the sake of argument) outlier cases like textbooks, with significant expense spent on gathering and checking specialized materials, I don't believe for a moment the "fixed costs" for the average mass-published novel, self-help book, or whatever are anywhere high enough to justify the publishers' objections to Amazon's "maximum" price of $9.99 for an ebook. Let's see some actual numbers to back up these assertions.

And even if (again, for the sake of argument) it's true that traditional publishers' costs are high enough to justify $14.99 for an ebook, then maybe they should consider changing the way they do business to bring those costs down instead of illegally colluding to raise prices.

about 5 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

Yes, it's a serious question. How do you sell something with a reproduction cost of zero below cost?

about 5 months ago
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Apple $450 Million e-Book Settlement Wins Court Approval

Chibi Merrow Re:Very disappointing. (93 comments)

How do you sell an ebook below cost? Do you pay a customer to take it?

about 5 months ago
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Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?

Chibi Merrow Re:A brazilian point of view (432 comments)

The climate on the gulf coast is too stormy, so the cane grown there is more fibrous than the stuff they grown in Brazil. As a result, the amount of sugar per ton of plant is embarrassingly smaller. We shouldn't be growing sugar cane in the U.S., and we should take off any import duties on sugar. Everyone would be better off.

I come from of one of those sugar growing areas. While I'm nostalgic about the cane fields near my home, as an adult I realize the only reason that cane exists is because of crazy tariffs and the state and local governments willing to look the other way on safety regulations.

about 7 months ago
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OnePlus One Revealed: a CyanogenMod Smartphone

Chibi Merrow Re:Too good to be true? (196 comments)

A truly "free" OS would not have a "monopoly" market place for apps

Well good thing I can install alternative app stores on my Android phone, then.

about 8 months ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Chibi Merrow Re:It's been a lot longer than 2007 (218 comments)

You should look at U.S. Law 112-95 Section 336. In particular, it says to be an RC Plane:

In this section, the term ââmodel aircraftâ(TM)â(TM) means an unmanned aircraft that isâ"
(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;
(2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating
the aircraft; and
(3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.

This guy doesn't meet those requirements, hence his aircraft is treated as a UAS, and for those the FAA requires individual certification and a LOA.

about 8 months ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Chibi Merrow Re:It's been a lot longer than 2007 (218 comments)

There is no reason that they need to be incompatible. Just require that all aircraft have a functioning ADS-B transceiver and TCAS, both manned and drones. Require drones to obey resolution advisories. That will eliminate most of the midair collision that exists today, manned or unmanned.

ADS-B is not some sort of magic bullet, despite what they've told you. It *may* increase safety (though studies have shown all the glass we've put in cockpits probably does the opposite), but it's not suddenly going to prevent all collisions.

In addition, STUFF BREAKS. Your UAS that depends on ADS-B for sense-and-avoid isn't going to see that Bonanza with a transponder failure. If all the electrical systems in a manned aircraft go out, the pilot can still at least bring it down where it won't hurt anyone, the same is not true of a UAS. If you really want to be terrified, you should look at some of the FAA's results on simulating GPS system failures in a future, ADS-B only scenario.

And that's all irrelevant anyway, as there is never going to be a requirement (at least probably not in my lifetime) for manned aircraft to have an ADS-B transponder anywhere they don't already need a Mode C transponder. That will never fly, pun intended. The vast majority of private pilots will never need ADS-B out, as they don't fly where it matters. There are huge swaths of airspace you can fly in WITHOUT A RADIO, much less a transponder. This is a matter of philosophy: the airspace of the United States belongs to the people, and they should have free use of it. The FAA is only supposed to provide the minimum amount of regulation and oversight to keep everyone safe.

Finally the reason this stuff costs so much is the certification overhead (and the low production numbers). Sure, we could make it cheaper by cutting out certification requirements, but that goes back to my original statement: We'd have to accept lower safety levels. There is a legitimate argument to be made that the current certification regime may not actually result in increased safety, and that maybe it would be better for more aircraft to be equipped with SOMETHING, even if it's not certified, but that will require years of study to determine.

And as a final aside, the costs aren't quite that bad. The company I work for makes a pretty good ADS-B in/out solution for about $4k. You need a compatible transponder, too, but those aren't that bad. And a compatible display if you want TIS-B/FIS-B. Otherwise we have an ADS-B-in only solution that's battery powered and integrated w/ an iOS or Android device for about $600.

about 8 months ago
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Chibi Merrow It's been a lot longer than 2007 (218 comments)

And they're nowhere near coming up with guidelines, as I'm pretty sure there's honestly no way to do this AND maintain current safety levels. At this point I'm pretty sure that manned and unmanned flight are just fundamentally incompatible.

about 8 months ago
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Did Facebook Buy Oculus To Counter Google Glass?

Chibi Merrow Nevermind Google Glass isn't even AR (108 comments)

It's even dumber than that. Google Glass doesn't 'overlay' anything. It's a screen above your field of view.

How do stories like this get approved?

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Mass Effect 3 Launch Tarnished by Import Bug

Chibi Merrow Chibi Merrow writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Chibi Merrow writes "Already in the running for Developer Troll of the Year for releasing Mass Effect 3 during the Game Developer's Conference, Bioware has earned a little more negative karma with some of their most dedicated fans due to a character import bug.

As of right now, it seems that a player's character's customized appearance in saved games from Mass Effect 2 that were created by importing characters from the original Mass Effect cannot be imported. The bug affects both the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game, and there are unconfirmed reports it also affects the PS3 (even though the Playstation did not have the original Mass Effect). Note that this only affects the character's appearance, not any of the storyline choices made by the character.

What this means is that players who have spent perhaps over 100 hours of playtime with their own, distinctive Commander Shepard are now left with the option of either playing with the default 'Broshep' appearance or trying to recreate their character's appearance again by fiddling with the customization options in ME3. Of course, the differences in customization options between the three titles means that it probably is impossible to use the ME3 customization tools to perfectly recreate "your" Shepard.

Several news sites have picked up the story. Bioware has provided an official response that they are aware of the problem, and offered suggestions (including copying your save game to a thumb drive, loading it on a PC, and editing it in a save game editor to get the 'appearance code' out of it) to try and work around the problem in the mean time.

Honestly, this is all kind of hard to believe as one would assume the most obvious import path to test would be ME1-ME2-ME3, so it's curious that this bug launched."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Signature

Chibi Merrow Chibi Merrow writes  |  more than 11 years ago "You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you."

At work my e-mail signature for the past three years I've been working there has been:

"There are only two things that are infinite, the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

I work tech support for local government, and this was as much a comment on both the stupid beaurocracy I must work within and the idiotic design of the systems and software I must support.

One day, a user called saying she wasn't recieving e-mail. So while I was on the phone, I fired off a test e-mail to her and sure enough she didn't get it. Went over to her building, was a quick thirty second fix. Told her have a nice day and to call me if she needed anything else. She was a slightly elderly lady who had started working with Environmental Quality less than a week before and a self proclaimed computer neophyte. I made special note to check up on her later to make sure she was settling in well. After three years of sending and recieving mail on the city network, my signature had completely left my mind. It hadn't left hers.

The next day I was called into a coworker's office who explained that she'd gotten a call from the head of EQ that one of her employees was hurt by my signature. The user was upset that Tech Support would "call the people they're supposed to support stupid". Of course I'd done no such thing and the head of EQ said she understood that my signature was innocent, but asked me to voluntarily change it, so that her employee wouldn't pursue the matter further.
My coworker told me she couldn't TELL me to change my signature, but she advised me that doing so would probably save a lot of trouble. So for the time being my signature became:

This space for rent.

I spoke w/ a few other coworkers about it as I passed them in the hall (avoiding mentioning specifics, just that a user had complained and I had to change my signature) which led to surprise and shock amongst them, as most people had found the signature funny and incredibly appropriate. I recieved a few suggestions, but none seemed to fit. And then as I was talking to someone I began humming "You're so vain..." Don't really know why I did, but I did.

So when I sat back down at my desk, I rewrote the signature to:

"You're so vain, you probably think this signature's about you." and fired off an e-mail to the first coworker to bring this to my attention. She found it hilariously appropriate and just warned me about sending it to the user who made the initial complaint.

So a few weeks later this obviously superior signature replaced my old Slashdot signature--a lousy attempt and mis-quoting Newton's laws of motio--and the rest is History.

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