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How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Obfuscant Re:This Just In! (105 comments)

I would love a free market for broadband Internet. The big companies that offer broadband Internet, though, don't want one and will use all of their power and influence to keep one from emerging.

You're really trying to argue that government run competition is how you create a "free market"? Really?

yesterday
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How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Obfuscant Re:This Just In! (105 comments)

It also destroys their argument that they can't provide good Internet in the US because of the low population density.

No, it just shows that when you remove the requirement for prices to cover costs and yield a profit, governments can do what private companies cannot. If the existing telecom could cover any operating losses by just dipping into the taxpayer general fund, you'd see prices go way down -- covered by taxes, of course.

And that is what makes government competing with existing private companies wrong. It isn't fair in any sense of the word, and the private companies, even if the courts say they are free to compete if they want to, have no way they'll make any return on their investment. I mean, existing markets are already defacto monopolies (not dejure) because even in major markets the density of consumers is too low to support two systems in direct head to head competition. If both TW and Comcast could make a profit operating in the same markets, they would. They'd both get franchises and both run physical plant and you'd have a choice.

yesterday
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Obfuscant Re:Send in the drones! (810 comments)

Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie,

Those gullible Canadians, buying 550 metric tons of non-existant yellow cake.

there were no WMDs,

Ok.

and the country you did invade is falling into civil war.

That's what happens when you announce to the world the date that you're going to pull your troops out of a country where you're trying to help the government restore some semblance of order. All the opponents have to do is go into hiding, planning for the day when you leave. They have no reason to surrender if they know they're going to win on a certain preset day.

2 days ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

Obfuscant Re:Her work (1196 comments)

You do realize that "politically correct, professionally offended people" is a stereotype, right?

Actually, no it isn't. It is a description for a group of people that actually defines group membership.

A stereotype would be to say that liberals are all politically correct, professionally offended people. You see how that works? A group defined by some other property is claimed to have another potentially unrelated property assigned to it.

For another example, there is a group of people who play online or video games, called "gamers". To then say that "gamers are misogynists" would be stereotyping.

2 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Obfuscant Re:The Separation of Church and State (519 comments)

The historical record tells us the primary supporters of the separation of church and state were Protestant Christians. Why? Because they hated Catholics.

Hardly. It was because they saw what the Church of England had done to non COE people and wanted to prevent that here. They knew their history a lot better than you because it was much fresher in the memory of those who fled England to get away from it.

As long as you're only teaching the children your personal faith, it's not government respecting an "establishment" of religion.

Right. If you're only teaching children of your "personal faith" then you are running a private school, and private schools are not a government establishment of religion. Kinda like the Catholic schools that are also not a government establishment of religion.

2 days ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Obfuscant Re:Irreversible? (513 comments)

Leaving it alone is accomplished through the demise of our decedents.....

No, "leaving it alone" is accomplished by doing nothing. Decedents will have nothing to do with it. How can they? They're already dead.

You claimed the OP was looking for the death of all humans. That's just false, and I corrected you on it. Leaving it alone means not forcing the system we don't fully understand to try to change to our whim, unlike those who would whip the waves to stop the tide.

Those who don't use the decades we have to adapt, well, they're standing on the shore whipping the waves or floating out to sea in the house they expected the government to protect. But to claim that expecting people to adapt is calling for the death of all humans is just patently absurd. Kind of like blaming something on the demise of decedents.

2 days ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Obfuscant Re:Irreversible? (513 comments)

Read the parent.

I read the parent. He said that those who are around today won' t be around long enough to see the recovery. As in, the recovery will take longer than a human lifetime.

Also read you, where you changed that to "kill all the humans" and asked who would be around. I told you: anyone who isn't stupid enough to stand still and expect the government to solve their problems for them.

3 days ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Obfuscant Re:Irreversible? (513 comments)

Ah, you one of those kill all the humans types: "just by leaving it alone and waiting long enough." So, who is going to do the waiting around?

All the people who are smart enough to move away from the coast when the sea level takes a couple of decades to rise based on the couple of decades it will take for Greenland to melt.

The ones who won't be waiting around are the ones who are washed out to sea while standing in their houses surrounded by the incoming tide wondering when the government is going to do something about this problem. I.e., the true Darwin Award winners.

3 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Obfuscant Re:just because the dept of ed.... (519 comments)

Also, fun fact: the republicans opposed the creation of the US DoED as well. Apparently they were of the opinion that federal control of education is unconstitutional because federal control of education is not in the constitution...

FTFY. Maybe you don't realize that opposition to the creation of a federal government department to control something isn't defacto opposition to whatever that something is, so you make your flamebait accusation...

3 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Obfuscant Re:Be careful with those assumptions. (281 comments)

Natural selection means some get left behind. Humans work very hard to avoid that.

And you believe that none are? When did the death rate for those under 80 reach zero?

When you can read "work very hard at" and a later comment about there still being infant mortality, and come up with thinking that I said that nobody ever dies, well, I know you're not here to discuss this honestly.

Bye.

3 days ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

Obfuscant Re:How to make a telephone solicitor mad (247 comments)

Last century, I worked for a magazine sales company that did telephone soliciting.

I'm fascinated by this concept of "magazine" to which you refer. Do you have a newsletter I might subscribe to that explains it in more detail?

Then I set the phone down and go about what I was doing.

In other words, you pay for a phone line that you can't use because the guy hung up thirty minutes ago and you haven't gotten back to hang yours up yet.

4 days ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Obfuscant Re:Not surprising (503 comments)

I'd be willing to bet that said data will show that the gross majority of accidents happen just after the driver takes control, and are a direct result of driver actions.

Just like the majority of aircraft incidents are caused by "pilot error" because, well, there was a pilot on board and he didn't stop whatever bad thing it was from happening. Autopilot went south, drove the elevator trim full nose up, and the pilot couldn't get the nose back down before the plane went into a stall/spin/crash/die? That was his error. Or he failed to cancel his flight because he didn't detect the problem before taking off. That's "pilot error", too, just worded as "improper preflight".

So from what you say, as a potential driver of an autonomous vehicle, whenever it barfs and tries to hand control over to me, I should refuse. Otherwise, when I can't fix whatever situation the car has gotten me into it will be my fault ("accidents happen just after the driver takes control"). To keep from being sued for the accident, I'll have to take the position that "hey, I was never in control, it was Google that failed, sue them."

Of COURSE a large number, even majority, of accidents in autonomous vehicles will happen "just after" the vehicle has bailed out on the driver and said "tag, you're it". Especially to those drivers who want to abandon their responsibility for their own safety and sleep instead of drive. "I said WAKE UP human, I can't deal with thi.... (sound of bending metal) oh never mind."

4 days ago
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Obfuscant Re:Short term (503 comments)

Because the cost to purchase a feature is not necessarily reflective of the cost to implement that feature. The difference between the two is called profit.

Which includes profit for lawyers, because you can take it as a fact that there will be lawsuits every time an autonomous vehicle kills or injures someone. That's a natural side-effect of outrageous promises that would be called "false advertising" were the same kind of claims applied to a toaster or television.

4 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Obfuscant Re:Be careful with those assumptions. (281 comments)

However, to assume that natural selection cannot accomplish in 4000 years, what we've done through selective breeding in ~40 years is odd to me. In humans there isn't some intelligence applying the selection,

Yes, there is. It is humans themselves. Natural selection means some get left behind. Humans work very hard to avoid that. Premies get intensive care, diabetics get insulin, and there are any number of other juvenile (and adult) diseases that don't "cull the herd" anymore. And even before modern medical miracles, humans went out of their way to deal with childhood diseases as an intelligent process. It has been a very long time since the wolves or other predators were allowed to pick off the weakest humans in the pack.

No, humans are not less robust, at least in an evolutionary sense, because evolution is all about survival in the environment as it is at the moment.

Diabetes, cancers, gastric disorders (Celiac, e.g.), endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and any number of other increasingly common disorders would contradict that. Even the now almost ubiquitous eye glasses show a declining trend in physical abilities. The increase in IVF for women who are otherwise unable to have children naturally only tends to continue the genes that create that problem.

There are no "bad" genes.

Of course there are, and you know what I meant was not "misbehaving" or any other sentient meaning to "bad", I meant genes that were involved in genetic disorders. Whether that's a gene that results in sickle cell or juvenile diabetes or whatever, that's what I mean by a "bad gene".

All traits are trade offs and to assume any trait is inherently "Bad" is to fall into the same faulty reasoning that led to eugenics in the first place.

Not all traits are trade-offs. Tell a child with leukemia or diabetes that his "trait" is actually beneficial in some way. Tell someone who is badly nearsighted and can't see anything without glasses that his trait is beneficial in some way. Tell the child who is born with a cleft palate that you aren't going to do cosmetic surgery because his trait is actually beneficial. Let the Down Syndrome kids use their beneficial trait to make good lives on their own.

You're bending so far over backwards to be politically correct that you're making ridiculous statements.

Evolution is not directional. There is not De-Evolution as a counter to Evolution.

I really don't care what name you want to apply to it, when you remove natural selection from the process of evolution, evolution no longer works. Humans have not been subject to natural selection for most negative traits for a very long time. No, we haven't managed to remove it completely and there is still infant mortality, but we're working as hard as we can to keep natural selection, and thus evolution, from working for us. By keeping natural selection from working for us, we're being "compassionate" and "social" and all those good things, but we're also allowing the non-beneficial changes to propagate and reducing the benefit from the beneficial ones.

Shortly after humans evolved tricolor vision we started loosing the ability to detect most pheromones.

I really have to figure out how the human fossil record gives you that information. No, I really don't care, because that's so far in the past that it was before existing civilizations and thus before current efforts to defeat natural selection that it is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

4 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Obfuscant Re: Free market (257 comments)

Having been born in Texas, the only union members I ran across

How many times do I have to say "I didn't say 'in every case'?" before you get the clue?

Just because everyone's an asshole to you (wonder why)

And now you've turned the discussion into ad hominem as you usually do.

Where are you where everyone's in a union?

I didn't say everyone was in a union, you fucking moron. I said "in many cases", which should make it clear that it isn't everyone. Sheesh, are you this dense deliberately, or do you come by it naturally?

4 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Obfuscant Re:There's something to it (281 comments)

I'm very sorry but your approach does not lend itself to a book (or better yet, a series of books), supplements,...

But it would make a dandy newsletter, which I would be happy to subscribe to.

5 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Obfuscant Re: Free market (257 comments)

New company owner is all about money and efficiency and shut that down almost immediately.

And I'll bet a large part of the decision to shut that down was based on the idea that every job should provide a "living wage" that could support a family and a house and ... we now have people arguing that the minimum wage must be radically increased to provide that living wage. It's harder for any employer to have jobs like that anymore, with minimum wage and taxes and health insurance mandates.

5 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Obfuscant Re: Free market (257 comments)

Unionized secretary? What's the secretary's union?

SIEU, for one. AFSCME for another. OPEIU.

Or if you have problems thinking in terms of secretaries, try asking an electrician (IBEW) or auto worker (UAW), or dock worker (ILWU), or retail sales clerk (RWDSU), or actor (SAG, AFTRA, AEA), or bus driver (ATU), or grip (IATSE) to go get your dry cleaning just because they work for you. These are all workers who are bound to work for their pittance and are essentially, according to the OP, slaves. One big difference is, of course, that slaves don't have a contract or a union rep or grievance procedures and can't say "no" when you ask them to do something they aren't paid to do. (Try asking a set electrician to help move a prop like a chair and see how much of a slave these guys are. If they like you, and there isn't anyone to catch them infringing on the grip's job, they might do it. If they say 'no', you've got no right to complain. If you get the grips mad at you for having other people do their job, they MIGHT push you out of the way when a lighting instrument is about to fall on you, but they might also say "that's the electrician's job" and you go to the hospital.)

Like I said, I didn't say "in every case", so if you've never come across a secretary who belongs to a union, that's nice. Where I work they all do, as well as the electricians, plumbers, HVAC, painters, and a lot of other trades. Even the grad teaching assistants have a union here.

5 days ago
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The Evolution of Diet

Obfuscant Re:Be careful with those assumptions. (281 comments)

The idea that we have not had time to evolve to farmed food is just stupid. We've managed to completely revamp the modern pig phenotype from a slow growing lard producing machine,

By active gene manipulation through selective breeding. We do the same to our crops and produce. I think the term when applied to humans is "eugenics". We could create a super race of humans IF we kept the inferior humans from producing and encouraged the superior, just as we do with pigs. Maybe some day when the aliens with the book "To Serve Humans" show up and cart a bunch of us off to their planet we'll see a demonstration of that.

What we HAVE been able to do by avoiding eugenics with humans while applying modern medicine is to make less robust humans. In the "good old days", if you couldn't see the sabre tooth tiger coming to eat you, your bad eye genes didn't propagate into the rest of the population. Now that eye glasses are common, weak eyes are not selected against on a regular basis, and the genes that lead to them are spread.

The same goes for many medical conditions where our compassion has kept people with bad genes alive long enough to procreate. That's the basis for genetics and evolution, so you can't really say that it isn't happening.

We've seen human populations with distinct difference in their ability to handle different components of foodstuffs (lactose, gluten, fat, etc). Explain to me how that ISN'T evidence of evolution!

Because we've not allowed the driving mechanism for evolution to act when it comes to humans. What you are seeing is the survival of detrimental mutations or maladaptations, not natural selection against them. For example, an inability to handle HFCS in part of the population has not driven evolution to make humans more able to handle them in our processed foods, because we don't let the people who are maladapted die, we give them medicines to keep them alive and having children.

We fight to the death to keep evolution from adapting us, while using it on a regular basis to make our animals and foods better.

5 days ago
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Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

Obfuscant Re:I forced myself to watch it (300 comments)

The people who HAVE seen it and are commenting about the effect it had on them. Well, the world doesn't revolve around them, and how profound it makes them feel to watch a snuff video.

"Yes, the most important thing IS my ego-centrism." -- Clara Oswald, "Deep Breath".

5 days ago

Submissions

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Comcast encrypting basic digital cable

Obfuscant Obfuscant writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Obfuscant (592200) writes "Comcast of Oregon, the friendly cable company that once allowed people with ClearQAM-equipped TVs to eavesdrop on other people's On-Demand programs, has decided to encrypt even the Digital Starter channels it was carrying in the clear. These are the channels that anyone paying for digital service gets. The reason: to prevent signal theft.

They're claiming that they cannot simply trap out the digital channels from those getting the analog Basic service, even though the digital goodies start way up at channel 64 and the analog tops out at 30. "Traps don't work", according to customer service. (Someone please explain why RF traps care what modulation is on the frequencies they filter out, or how a trap that makes analog signals undetectable will provide a viewable digital signal when even an unfiltered digital signal drops out on a regular basis.) This is the same cable company that used to be able to trap out channels 31 and above if you didn't have Expanded Basic.

They point the finger at the program providers — like ESPN and SyFy. "It's a contractual requirement" for people who are paying for the programs to be prevented from using their own DVRs to record them for later use. "Of course we'll rent you a Comcast DVR..."

Perhaps it's time to dust of those old copies of the Cable Consumer Protection Act of 1992, which deals specifically with this issue."

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