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Comcast Takes 2014 Prize For Worst Company In America

Medievalist Not everyone can have an antenna, sorry. (195 comments)

I live in the bottom of a little valley, and I'd need a hundred foot tower to get more than two TV stations.

In my state, it's illegal to have a tower so tall that it could fall outside your property line. My property isn't two hundred feet wide, so no go.

But I ditched Comcast anyway and got Verizon instead. Verizon sucks too, but marginally less, and the FIOS technology is nice, at least, even if the provider isn't.

about a week ago
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Microsoft To Allow Code Contributions To F#

Medievalist Re:Wow ... just why? (100 comments)

.NET is really what Java wishes it was.

Uh... difficult to read regardless of your milk tongue?

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Medievalist Bingo, we have a winner. (179 comments)

So yeah, Vermont Yankee going offline will change things, but we'll manage. Indeed, losing a source of subsidized power will create more opportunities for expansion of renewables.

And that is almost certainly the whole and entire real reason for opposition to the plant closing.

Remember, Green is the New Red.

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Medievalist Re:and yet even more (179 comments)

Automobile waste has a half-life longer than nuclear waste.

And the sun is radioactive! Oh double noes!

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Medievalist Re:and yet even more (179 comments)

Well, let me know when automobile waste has a half-life equivalent to that of nuclear waste, then.

It's a false equivalency. Yes, coal and oil subsidies are bad, but that doesn't mean the Bush/Cheney nuclear subsidies aren't substantially worse.

Nuclear was on the way out until Cheney stepped in and threw regulated capitalism out the window in favor of Soviet-style centralized economic decisionmaking.

about two weeks ago
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Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

Medievalist Yep, you pegged it. (179 comments)

Well, that is how they stay competitive with all the other subsidized industries.

In theory, the government subsidies are intended to further social goals that the free market cannot adequately address without regulation.

In practice, the government subsidies are treats that the political powers (such as congressmen) hand out to economic powers (such as favored contributors).

Since our economic powers have evolved into multinational corporations that actively oppose our social goals and purposely subvert our cultural values, this means that the government subsidies are quite often doing the exact opposite of what they are nominally intended to do.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

Medievalist Give the people what they want, eh? (314 comments)

More like a human-guided scythe, cutting through damn near every obstacle during an accident - especially human bodies that are outside of the precious Tesla cockpit.

I think you might have written the best advertising material for the car so far.

about three weeks ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist Re:Let me know if you find it (712 comments)

It's amazing how ineffective American greens are, really. Look at what environmentalist lobbies accomplish in places like Germany and the Netherlands and then look at our flock of self-sabotaging knuckleheads.

Not only do our loudest greens never accomplish anything politically, they also somehow manage to get themselves blamed for everything their enemies do, whether it's relicensing obsolete and soon-to-fail nuclear plants or blocking needed pipelines. Total knuckleheads! Well, except for Elon Musk's crew, those guys do seem to have a clue, I'll admit.

about a month ago
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Nate Silver's New Site Stirs Climate Controversy

Medievalist <sigh> Fox News has mod points today. (335 comments)

Naturally the pro-we-ignore-the-earths-climate-has-changed-over-millions-of-years crowd cry foul. I cannot ever recall a group of scientists like these folks be so opposed and go to the lengths they do to squelch any and all dissenting views. That is not science but fanaticism.

I do see a group of fanatics at work, but I'm afraid they aren't scientists. Science is carrying on with business as usual, and squabbling over who is right or wrong is a normal part of the process. The scientific method thrives on criticism and dissent, and insisting that a conclusion must proceed from valid premises and data is not "squelching dissent". Some climatologists are raising objections to both Pielke's methodology and his data cherrypicking - and that's what science does, it hones reasoning through criticism. No conspiracies required.

But if you like conspiracies, remember this is slashdot, where there's no lack of right-wing astroturfers standing by to mod any anti-science or pro-nuclear diatribe as "insightful". That conspiracy is a lot more credible.

about a month ago
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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

Medievalist OK, guys, I got this one. (358 comments)

Why do they think this is a matter for governments to decide?

Ooh, talking points! Let me try! Wait. OK, I've got it!

Every one of the world's mysteries can be explained by proper understanding of the Elvis Factor.

Man, there's a lot of unexplained phenomenon
out there in the world.
Lot of things people say
What the heck's going on?

Let me tell ya!

Who built the pyramids?
ELVIS!
Who built Stonehenge?
ELVIS!

Yeah, man you see guys
walking down the street
pushing shopping carts
and you think they're talking to Allah,
they're talking to themself.
Man, no they're talking to ELVIS!
ELVIS! ELVIS!

You know whats going on in that Bermuda Triangle?
Down in the Bermuda Traingle
Elvis needs boats.
Elvis needs boats.
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis Elvis Elvis
Elvis needs boats!

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist Re:Let me know if you find it (712 comments)

Again, works for me!

I liked the fact that George W. Bush drove the price of petroleum up to suit his corporate puppeteers, even though I didn't really like the way he went about it (far too much torture and sadism).

We need the price of dirty energy to be high enough that clean energy can get the capital investments it needs to reach infrastructure parity (and plutocrat parity). When T. Boone Pickens starts building windfarms, you know you're on the right track. So I'll be happy to help you make a killing in dirty energy market bubbles, my friend, and I hope you have fun spending it, too.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist Re:That won't work. (712 comments)

Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's a smugapocalypse!

Funny that you assume I have habits that need changing, though. Nobody's burnt coal on my behalf in more than 20 years.

"Doin' right ain't got no end, Fletcher."

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask Jonathan Coulton What You Will

Medievalist Will you be at PAX? (48 comments)

My teenage son got PAX tickets before the acts were announced and he's kind of bummed that you're not on the show list.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist Re:Let me know if you find it (712 comments)

Works for me!

Sometimes cynicism is a comfort, I guess.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist That won't work. (712 comments)

No need to donate, just stop using electricity altogether - that should offset the use of coal more than the amount you might donate would. Not only would doing so show that you're really serious about the environment, it's a far more reasonable and realistic proposal than shutting down the sole power source for a vast majority of the global population.

I already don't use any coal-generated electricity, thanks. Took that step a dozen or more years ago.

Somehow it has not resulted in the shutdown of any coal mines. Go figure! Something about supply and demand and cost interrelationships.

Or, to put it another way, infinitesimally reducing demand isn't really in any way equivalent to infinitesimally contributing to a blockade of supply.

about a month ago
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Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"

Medievalist Jefferson said judge people by their acts (294 comments)

We can't say for sure, of course; lacking mind-reading prowess we'll have to judge the regulatory powers-that-be by what they do and say.

But currently the government is trying to clamp down even harder on the distribution of the painkillers that some of us actually require (in my case, only occasionally, thank God). Their stated reason is that when patients are prescribed narcotic painkillers, and the government makes it harder to get narcotics, many of these patients then turn to heroin, because it is more readily and cheaply obtained. Then, many of these sufferers become heroin addicts, which in turn causes harm to their families, their communities, and themselves.

The government regulators bluntly state that this process means there should be more restrictions on prescription painkillers. Try, for example, this google search.

So, they know that as they restrict access to painkillers, and make use of heavy doses of painkillers more dangerous and harmful, they are actively driving pain sufferers towards illegal heroin use. They know this, and they say so. So the response is to increase restrictions on painkillers? Judging them by their actions, these people have a strong desire to do harm, specifically by pushing people suffering extreme pain into the heroin trade.

Either that, or they are incredibly, dangerously stupid.

about a month ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Medievalist Re:No Need for Backup (983 comments)

I know you were kidding, but that's what my backup is.

I have five large crates of CDs sitting in a cellar - and that's my backup of my music collection. Of course, my music collection is only about 250 GB of FLAC files, not 2 TB... if the guy's not generating his own video, it's hard to imagine where he'd get 2 TB of legally owned content without any sort of initial distribution media.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

Medievalist I'm in. (712 comments)

Where's the damn kickstarter?

about a month ago
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How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

Medievalist Re:Give us men of ability (147 comments)

Right - so whats the systemic problem? Under-educated politicians? A culture which dismisses individual achievement and hard science?

We have a political system beholden to an economic system that rewards and empowers sociopaths. New Jersey just outlawed direct sale of Tesla automobiles, to give just one example.

...and no power on Earth could tell whether their blankly indifferent eyes were shutters protecting hidden treasures at the bottom of shafts no longer to be mined, or were merely gaping holes of the parasites's emptiness never to be filled...

about a month ago
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Doctors Say New Pain Pill Is "Genuinely Frightening"

Medievalist You can thank Ronald Reagan for that. (294 comments)

The focus of prisons (from my limited observation) is rarely to rehabilitate.

In the United States, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 explicitly states that imprisonment is not an appropriate means of promoting correction and rehabilitation. In other words, according to both Congress and the Supreme Court, prison is useless for rehabilitation, and judges are legally barred from considering prison as a rehabilitative measure. Our official incarceration policy exists solely to punish behavior, never to correct it or prevent future crimes. This has always seemed to me like the keystone of the "Reagan Revolution", with Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan allying to fundamentally derail the American Dream of an optimally free society, so it seems very appropriate that it was passed in 1984.

about 1 month ago

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