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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

aaron4801 Re:if only (308 comments)

A duopoly is really not much better than a monopoly. The FCC has rejected cell phone company mergers with the justification that less than four main competitors in the market is not enough to keep pro-consumer pressure on them.
Most people in the country have one option for Cable TV+Internet and one for Phone+Internet (DSL). These are local government sponsored monopolies for each segment. In dense urban areas, there may be a wireless entrant or two in the market, but very few people have a choice of four+ Internet providers.

about a month ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

aaron4801 Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

The only kind of "electronic voting" that I would support would be one that allowed the voter to fill in his ballot on the computer terminal and then PRINT the ballot. The voter then reviews the PRINTED ballot, and then drops it into the ballot box.

This is almost exactly what we use in Utah. Fill out the electronic ballot on the machine, then at the end, there are two rounds of verification:
The first round shows you what you voted for all on one screen.
The second round prints one section at a time on a paper ballot, which shows through a window. You have the opportunity to accept or reject that section before moving on to the next.

The voter does not physically handle the paper ballot, which may turn off some people, but that would bring with it its own set of problems that other people would complain about. I've voted in three states over the last 18 years, and this is by far the easiest, most confidence-inspiring system I've used.
I just wish there were more realistic choices on each ballot. #Utah

about a month and a half ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

aaron4801 Re:Nope, can't be "Dem policies don't work" (485 comments)

Yeah, putting this all one one guy is pretty stupid.
If it's happening, it's more a function of "Republicans are going to be in power for the next two years, might as well hitch my cart to that horse."
If it's happening.
Yahoo (I know, I know) had a story up just a few weeks ago about just how liberal Silicon Valley is: Here. Check out the slideshow. It would be a MASSIVE turnaround to look even moderate compared to 2010-2013, let alone Republican leaning. Source data here.

about a month and a half ago
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New Crash Test Dummies Reflect Rising American Bodyweight

aaron4801 A prediction (144 comments)

Car companies will purchase a few test units, then realize all their 5-Star Safety cars are now only 3-Star safe for bigger passengers, then go right back to the smaller dummies. Seriously, what's the incentive for car companies to voluntarily take on more difficult metrics to reach? Unless the government mandates an increase in dummy weight, this is nothing more than a publicity stunt by the CTD manufacturer.

about a month and a half ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

aaron4801 Re:Not a chance (631 comments)

Still waiting for a system better than cash for in-person transactions. 1. Only I get to track my purchases. 2. Lost wallet doesn't mean you risk getting your identity stolen. 3. No worrying over data security at any of the dozens of places I might spend money in a month. There's rarely a reason to carry more than $100 to ANY retail establishment, so while there is a risk of that much loss, it's a lot less than my entire bank account/credit line.

about 2 months ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

aaron4801 Re:Politics (384 comments)

That why, even as an 'infectious disease response coordinator,' it's a lawyer and politician who got the call. If they had just stated the truth, that Ebola is hard to spread with proper controls, and can be contained, there would be no panic, there would be little media attention, and there would be no need for a czar. But as you said, there would be no need to concentrate power, so no dice.

about 2 months ago
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Mars Orbiter Beams Back Images of Comet's Surprisingly Tiny Nucleus

aaron4801 Re:The incredible shrinking nucleus (47 comments)

Without a planetary magnetic field to speak of, any atmosphere created by comet or terraforming would be temporary. If humans are to colonize Mars someday, we would need a steady stream of comets to fire at the planet to replenish the atmosphere swept away by the solar winds. Somehow, dropping comets on a planet for the sole purpose of supporting a permanent settlement seems....odd?

about 2 months ago
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GlaxoSmithKline Released 45 Liters of Live Polio Virus

aaron4801 Re:Let's wait 28 days (209 comments)

Don't worry. Europeans are helpless, but the Americans will come in to save the day.

about 3 months ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

aaron4801 Re:I don't think we are giving anything up. (554 comments)

Exactly this. It's not the job of the OS to be the complete suite of everything your computer can do. It's just the platform on which other functions operate. Most of those operations are optional based on the power of the computer. If anything, minimum system requirements are too *high* for Windows. Not because the OS needs to be able to run on ancient hardware, but because every MB of RAM and every clock cycle may be cheap, but no matter how many you have, it's still a limited resource. All else being equal, I'd rather them be allocated to what I'm actually doing with the system rather than being spent on managing a massive database of system settings that are usually irrelevant to what's on the screen at any given moment.

about 3 months ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

aaron4801 Re:Where can I find the except clause? (575 comments)

"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter." "Unless it's politically expedient to change the rules, in which case, fuck you."

about 3 months ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

aaron4801 Re:Yes, reality is a defense (304 comments)

I have never broken a phone. I don't know what it would take to break a phone. Apparently six, or nine, or 50, or however many people...have discovered a point beyond that threshold. I can imagine two most likely scenarios here: a) The users got excited and accidentally abused their new phones beyond what they had ever done before, and broke them. b) they were always playing with fire and subjecting their iPhone 5's to pressures in the range that are now lethal to 6's. If it's A, shame on the users. If it's B, Apple has raised the expectations of their customers and then failed to meet those expectations. As for "1/10th of 55 lbs," remember these particular tests are controlled and not subjecting the phones to all manner of different pressures at different points that may exist in a pocket or purse or other storage medium.

about 3 months ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

aaron4801 Re:Useless (304 comments)

The battery usually extends through the mid-line of the phone as well. Test it where the top of the battery is, that's going to be much nearer to the weakest point.

about 3 months ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

aaron4801 This is a defense of iPhone 6? (304 comments)

Read it again. People are accustomed to treating their iPhones in a certain way (storage-wise), but the 6 bends at nearly HALF the pressure of the 5. That's the crux of the problem. The 6 is a step backwards in strength. The larger size in part of it, since there's more leverage potential, but LG and Samsung seem to have solved that problem. No, it's not made of cheese, as some users seem to have reported, but it will bend under circumstances that the 5 would not.

about 3 months ago
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FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

aaron4801 Re:I get it (50 comments)

Bingo. Innovation X is banned for everybody but Hollywood. Didn't see that coming! /s

about 3 months ago
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BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

aaron4801 Re:Lacking developers. (189 comments)

Blackberry always made the superior hardware. Even in the software, there are functions that Blackberry has had for a decade that iOS and Android still can't duplicate. That said, they walled their garden off far too completely. If they would just make the switch to Android, even a highly modified version like Amazon, I would strongly consider going back.

about 3 months ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

aaron4801 Re:Solution (410 comments)

I have been amenable to a national sales tax in the past, but the more i think it through, the more it becomes undesirable. 1) Sales tax is regressive. Sure, you can rebate up to a certain point, or not tax essentials, but there is no way to solve the fact that at some income, you will be paying a higher percentage than those above you on the scale. 2) Black-markets already exist for many highly-taxed items. In order to replace an income tax, the sales tax would have to be north of 12%, which would just add that much more to an existing problem. 3) It's still ripe for corruption. Politically correct items get tax breaks (green consumer items, etc), while other items have higher taxes. It's just trading one problem for another. 4) You would have to get almost every state on board. Most states have an income tax that just rides along with the federal return. Unless every state moves to sales-tax-only, there would be little difference for most Americans. They would still have to file, and would still be subjected to state revenue departments. Getting every level of government on use-based taxes would push those rates unbearably high, and getting the same return would result in as many losers as winners in the equation. 5) Finally, it wouldn't make any difference. There would be just as much red tape (federal employees) to collect the taxes. There would be just as much deficit spending. There would be just as much politicizing of taxes.

about 3 months ago

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