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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

KermodeBear Re:I never thought I'd say this... (283 comments)

I also thought I'd never say this... But I don't know if this is the right thing to do. It sounds all fancy and wonderful and all, but think about this:

Which ISPs can afford to upgrade their infrastructure to provide this speed to all their users? The large ones, the powerful ones, that ones that already have the money. This means that the smaller ISPs, the ones that are already struggling, will have an even more difficult time since they're no longer receiving your tax dollars.

My question is this: Why should there be subsidies at all? If there must be subsidies, why are they slanted to help the already-successful, larger companies?


Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

KermodeBear Re:Ya, but... (391 comments)

Exactly what I wanted to say. In fact, to get a STEM degree, you are required to have critical thinking and problem solving skills. A Liberal Arts degree just means you took a bunch of classes that didn't amount to much of anything else, but you wanted a piece of paper so that's the one you get. That implies a lack of critical thinking, not an abundance of it.

2 days ago

Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

KermodeBear Re:Ads (326 comments)

Microtransactions, coming to a Minecraft release near you.

3 days ago

To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

KermodeBear General Emergency Preparation (151 comments)

I don't do anything specifically for a mass ejection from the Sun, but I do have six months of food, three wells on the property with potable water, plenty of fire wood, a few thousand rounds of ammunition (not expecting a war or anything, I've just come across some good deals so why not), etc., etc. Six months isn't a super long time but it's better than nothing at all.

I haven't done anything to protect my electronics against a mass EMP type of deal, but if the whole electrical grid and everything else is all fried, a working computer won't do me a whole lot of good anyway. So, whatever.

about a week ago

Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance

KermodeBear Re:Does it matter? (65 comments)

I don't know about you, but I would rather have the USA, despite all of its faults (and we have many), in control of these things instead of countries like Iran or North Korea.

about 1 month ago

Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

KermodeBear Re:Great (175 comments)

This kind of functionality would be enough for me to switch mail providers.

Yes, yes, it can always be done manually, but I have a lot of friends that aren't as tech savvy as I am. Generating a key, keeping the private one somewhere safe, copying text from the PGP application, pasting it correctly, copying incoming text, pasting, decrypting, etc., etc., it's all a pain in the butt for the typical computer user.

If Yahoo can manage to implement this correctly so that it is safe AND easy to use that's a big deal.

about a month ago

Larry Page: Healthcare Data Mining Could Save 100,000 Lives a Year

KermodeBear Re:Ridiculous fear factor (186 comments)

Why not give people the choice?

They can choose to expose all of their personal medical information to the world for public consumption and sale, or they can keep their information private. Better yet, allow people to sell their medical information to companies.

That way people who enjoy their privacy can keep their privacy. People like you who care more about data can have their data. Everyone wins.

The major problem here is the brokering of private data, not only without consent, but also without any knowledge that it is happening.

As a side note, since you're so fascinated with the transparency and the data-driven-without-consent thing...

We should also have access to all of your financial transactions, too. After all, bad financial situations can cause lower standards of living which also affects health. We should also have access to all of your communications - email, instant messages, phone calls - so that we can use that to evaluate your mental health and build a graph of your relationships. We should also keep tabs on where you are at all times in case you are making bad decisions like visiting "the wrong part of town".

After all, just think about how all that data can help!

If that is how you want to live your life don't let me stop you from living it. You can do whatever you want. Just don't force me to live it as well.

about 3 months ago

What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

KermodeBear It's Worth Very Little (148 comments)

It gives me a paycheck every two weeks but the work is utterly devoid of personal fulfillment. If I had known fifteen years ago what to expect from a career in software I would have spent my time getting a completely different degree.

about 3 months ago

Former FCC Head: "We Should Be Ashamed of Ourselves" For State of Broadband

KermodeBear Re:What's the point? (118 comments)

Do you remember the days when a politician would do something slightly out of line, he'd get caught, and then he'd resign? Well, I'm only a touch over 30, so I don't remember that happening but I know that it used to happen. Modern politicians seem to have no shame, no honor, no integrity; they will say whatever is required to get elected, do whatever they want while in office, and tell you, "Yeah? What are YOU going to do about it?" if you call them out on it.

The worst part - the absolute worst part - is that they're allowed to do this. Too many people look at the ballot and like zombies pick the 'D' or the 'R' after the name instead of looking at what that person has done or considering the person's character.

Character and principles matter. If you're a scumbag then you're a scumbag no matter what party you're in. Stop circling he damn wagons around some slimeball just because he has the same R or D that you do. If someone is scum toss them out. If you're stuck in the tribal mentality then it is even more important to do this so that YOUR tribe isn't the tribe of scum.

(You != the person I'm replying to; You = the public in general )

about 2 months ago

Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

KermodeBear Just Maybe... (435 comments)

Just maybe this has nothing to do with race or sexism and they just hired the best people they could find.

Like a lot of people at Slashdot, I work in the IT industry too. Most of our people are male, and either Caucasian or Indian. Does that mean that the company I work for is part of some evil conspiracy to keep aphroditic purple martians out of the IT work force? Nope. We'd hire my dog if she was good at what needed to be done. Nobody cares what your body looks like as long as you're Nice and Competent. We simply don't get a lot of female, Chinese, Norwegian, Mexican, Brazilian, etc., people applying.

Is that a problem? I don't think so. Maybe certain demographics - gasp - have a majority of their interests in other areas. There's far more female nurses in hospitals than male nurses and although I see it mentioned from time to time, I never see hospitals being excoriated and dragged over the coals because they don't have a 50% male nursing force. Basketball is dominated by people with dark skin and I don't see people complaining that the white guys are under-represented.

This isn't any different. The opportunities are there. The education is available. Maybe certain demographics just aren't as interested in IT.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

about 3 months ago

New Evidence For Oceans of Water Deep In the Earth

KermodeBear Re:Genesis 7:11 (190 comments)

Many other ancient cultures have Great Flood stories as well.

It is my opinion that when so many different people, from so many different parts of the world, with vastly different systems of beliefs and cultures, agree on an old historic event there just may be a kernel of truth to it all.

about 3 months ago

In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

KermodeBear Does it really matter? (248 comments)

Anything I do on a network connected device is vulnerable to the NSA or other alphabet soup in some way. At the very least, the data is. As we have seen there is no real expectation of privacy; these guys are too deeply connected to everything that happens, they have too much data, and they sure as hell have enough smarts and computing power to decrypt whatever they want.

I still use cash when possible, when given the choice I use very long keys, anything important is encrypted, but to be realistic if "da gub'mint" wants to get me there's little I can do. Heck, unplugging entirely and living in an isolated cabin out in the far reaches of Alaska probably means I'm automatically labeled a terrorist which would draw even more attention. And if for some reason someone wants to create false records, who is to stop them? They will wave their "state secret" flag around and you won't even be able to question them.

So, realistically, there's not much one can do. Big Brother won. There's no way it will ever go away, either. Even if they say they will stop, or that they cannot defeat X, will you really believe them?

about 3 months ago

Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

KermodeBear Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (208 comments)

I dunno... I ordered something by 2 day mail and it was shipped via USPS. It was shipped Thursday of last week. It's still not here. This is not uncommon. FedEx and UPS don't seem to have these problems.

I know, I know - anecdotal, one person - but it's is annoying to have people scream that USPS is the pinnacle of efficiency when 2 day shipping regularly turns into 4 and 5 days.

about 4 months ago

Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

KermodeBear Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (208 comments)

#1 is critically important. It is my understanding that getting land rights to put up poles and lay cable is the largest hurdle for many potential providers, to the point of making it cost prohibitive. And who is lobbying to keep it that way? The one provider already in the area. This must be fixed. I agree with you that a free-er (as opposed to completely free) market solution is the best. We just need some ground rules to ensure that competition can be made fair.

Too many people are looking to strong-arm the companies with strict regulation instead of looking at the situation and providing an environment in which the free market can work. We haven't really had a chance for the free market to work, and #1 is a great example of why, so we haven't seen what the free market can do in this sector.

Let's try the less-government solution first. If that doesn't work, then we can go to the more-government later. We can ALWAYS get more government later. It's excruciatingly difficult to go the other direction.

about 4 months ago

California Legislation Affirms Privacy Rights Against NSA Spying Methods

KermodeBear Re:So... (96 comments)

I'm not, because that would make you just as bad as the NSA.

Maybe that person has a good reason for voting against it. The article itself is very scant on details, but it does have near the bottom:

It was opposed by the California District Attorneys Association, which said the bill was too vague.

So maybe the intent of the law is quite good; I think we can all agree with that. However, it is possible that the law is poorly written.

This would not be the first well intentioned yet poorly written law in history.

about 4 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

KermodeBear Re:Next target, please (626 comments)

1. Destruction of property (smash your car).
2. Physical harm (smash your head).
3. Psychological harm (stalking someone).

We already have laws that cover this stuff. We have plenty of settled cases that show what is and what isn't harmful. There's always going to be room in the law for some wiggle room - and that, I think, is okay. Every situation is going to be different (which is why mandatory sentencing laws are so terrible).

If someone wants to rot their brain with a kilo of coke, well, I don't approve but I'm not going to stop that person as long as they don't present a danger to life, liberty, or property. Want to squirt some krokodil into your veins? Have at it. Enjoy your short life. Just don't dick with me.

That actually may sound cruel; after all, we know that these drugs do serious damage to a person, and we could prevent that person from hurting themselves... but, little by little, as we have seen, it becomes, "drinking that beer is harmful, you can't do it" and "reading that book is harmful, you can't do it."

The best solution is somewhere between "go snort yourself to death" and "obscene nanny state"; you can tell which side I lean towards, obviously. (o:

about 4 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

KermodeBear Re:Law enforcement budgets are shams (626 comments)

Paying $250k to an administrator that sits in an office all day is very likely paying far too much.

Paying $60k to some guy who has to walk up to a car, not know who is inside, not know if that person is a criminal, and not know if that person has a firearm ready to shoot once the cop approaches the window... Well. I don't think it is nearly enough.

about 4 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

KermodeBear Re:Or properly fund the police force (626 comments)

I agree; law enforcement should be funded through standard taxes just like everything else.

If you want to fix schools, though, well. Maybe you should think twice about money being the answer to your woes. It isn't. We spend more on our schools than any other developed nation. Money, on the whole, is not the problem. The problem lies elsewhere.

about 4 months ago

Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

KermodeBear Re:Translation: (626 comments)

This must be a city thing.

I've always lived in semi-rural areas. Out here, people in general seem to appreciate the police. We're not afraid of them. We trust them. If they're talking to you it is for a good reason - and it's usually to make sure that you're alright. Every single time I've interacted with law enforcement out here it's been a positive experience. The officers really are interested in helping and just want to make sure everyone is safe.

People from the suburbs and the metro areas seem to come from a completely different section of reality. The distrust of the police is pervasive. I don't know what is wrong with urban areas - maybe it's just the population density and our brains aren't built to deal with it well - but "city folk" tend to be far more mistrustful, conspiratorial, on edge, and willing to steal/lie/try to pull one over on someone else.

Keep your cities away from me, please.

about 4 months ago

Meet Canada's Goosebuster Drone

KermodeBear What about the Geese? (74 comments)

The Geese need somewhere to live, too. This stinks of homocentrism and speciesist thinking.

about 4 months ago



How Cattle Estrogens Persist in Waste Water

KermodeBear KermodeBear writes  |  more than 2 years ago

KermodeBear (738243) writes "In the absence of oxygen, estrogens from cattle gradually change from one form to another which stalls the bio-degradation process. These estrogens end up in waste water used to fertilize fields. This causes the overall free estrogen levels to rise in the soil and rain run-off, which affects nearby wildlife. Government regulations cover other contaminants, but there is no regulation for animal hormones."
Link to Original Source

Dungeons and Dragons Links to Gang Violence

KermodeBear KermodeBear writes  |  more than 3 years ago

KermodeBear (738243) writes "Dungeons and Dragons — originally Satan's Game — has now been found to encourage gang-like behavior. In a finding by a three judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, D&D "can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof." From the ruling:

"during D&D games, one player is denoted the 'Dungeon Master.' The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang."


Link to Original Source


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