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FCC Rural Phone Subsidies Reach As High As $3,000 Per Line

aaronl Re:Please explain... (372 comments)

Sure, then those of us that live in more rural areas should also not have to contribute anything to your public transit costs, sanitation, or emergency services. Also, you can buy the reservoir water for your municipal water systems off of us, instead of having free use of these rural water supplies. Merchandise should also have to cost more, since the warehouses are in more rural areas where the land is cheap, too. And you don't get any benefit from the highways that run through the rural areas between cities, so you won't mind if you can't use them anymore, right? After all, if you needed water, you should just move to the rural area where it is. Right? Same with moving to where the food is, to where the warehouse is, etc?

It's foolish logic - we all benefit from spreading things around so that everyone gets to have them. We are better as a society when everyone has access to roads, electricity, food, water, and telephone. For all the things that are available and cheap to you in a city that you want to deny to the rural area, the rural area could turn around and deny the city things. Would you prefer gunpoint subsidies where the rural area refused to let the city have water unless the city paid for the rural telephone service?

1 year,17 days

Will Your Car Tell You To Put Down the Phone?

aaronl Re:How about this? (349 comments)

What about near the motorway? On the shoulder of one, calling for help? Calls that are data only? (Those are still normal cellphones underneath, with a number and everything.) Should passengers be allowed to use the phone? What of people who live in buildings adjacent to them?

Of course, this is all assuming that you can even tell that someone is on a roadway with any amount of certainty.

Deliberately breaking a class of technology isn't going to stop people from being distracted while driving a car. I would wager that someone on an animated phone call is still safer than all the people that read while driving.

Your scenario is more likely to end up like the annoying GPS systems that lock the screen out from changes while moving: disabled.

more than 3 years ago

Senate Votes To Replace Aviation Radar With GPS

aaronl Re:Maybe Americans just fly too much? (457 comments)

Sure, if you force private air travel to be only affordable to the super rich, then they will only be affordable to the super rich. However, *you* would be creating that situation artificially.

Small aircraft are the only reasonable way to get to an awful lot of places, unless you were prefer things taking weeks to get places because everything has to travel by car to a port, and then boat to another one, and then back on yet another car.

Personally, I would rather not artificially distort markets just because I decided I don't like something. Just because Europe decided to make fuel an order of magnitude more expensive than places that don't tax it doesn't make them right.

more than 4 years ago

India First To Build a Supersonic Cruise Missile

aaronl Re:Really!? (319 comments)

They used an unshielded reactor as the heat source for a ramjet engine. The thing launched off a rail track using booster rockets to get it up to speed so that the ramjet could take over.

more than 4 years ago

Our Low-Tech Tax Code

aaronl Re:There's more to this story (691 comments)

No, MA just makes you pay big tax penalties for not having health care. They don't provide you health coverage, though.

They set up group plans through private insurers, but you buy a plan through the state. They also expanded state aid for paying for the premiums. This means you can't be denied coverage or have to deal with pre-existing condition BS. The rates are also cheaper than normal open-market pricing.

more than 4 years ago

In AU, Film Studios Issue Ultimatum To ISPs

aaronl Action when it is appropriate (227 comments)

The problem with this is that it really should never be the responsibility of an ISP to conduct an investigation just because some other privacy entity said so.

I shouldn't be able to get a landlord to provide me with tenant information because I decided one was looking at me out of their window. I shouldn't be able to get a purchase history from a merchant because I decided a customer was going to build a deck and their condo association forbids it. I shouldn't be able to get subscriber information from an ISP just because I decided that someone downloaded something that I think they shouldn't have.

If the movie industry wants this kind of information, then they should have to file suit, and get a court order for that information. Then they will have to prove that something unlawful actually happened, convince a judge that there was damage, and that an order for discovery needs to be created.

It is inappropriate to allow some private group to have the power to compel anything from anyone.

more than 4 years ago

Comcast Intercepts and Redirects Port 53 Traffic

aaronl No problems in central MA (527 comments)

I'm a Comcast user in Lancaster, MA. I had no problems connecting to anything, and my DNS was not being tampered with. The only blocked services were Windows networking ports (135, 139, 445).

more than 5 years ago

Phenom IIs, Core I7-920 Win Out In Value Analysis

aaronl Re:Let's stop making reviews for gamers (214 comments)

I took my i7 920 from 2.66GHz to 3.32GHz by upping my base clock from 133MHz to 166Mhz. This changes the QPI bus accordingly, making system transactions much faster as well. It cost me nothing over the original system cost to do this, and I didn't have to change voltages to make it work.

This makes all single core bound tasks (which are frequent) substantially faster, and I spend far less money to do it.

more than 5 years ago

Suspect Freed After Exposing Cop's Facebook Status

aaronl Re:What the hell? (653 comments)

>I've been pulled over at least a dozen times in the 11 years I've been driving, and only come away with a ticket once. Half the time I was definitely over the limit.

Why is a cop pulling you over when you weren't doing something? How is that okay? What are you doing that they keep deciding to pull you over? I certainly am not starting out respectful of someone falsely accusing me of something, especially when there is a high probably that they know they are lying about it.

I've been pulled over for being young in a car, young at night, young with other people in the car, "too young" for the car I was driving. I've been pulled over at various times for my hair being long. I've also been pulled over for doing something that I knew was against the laws of the area.

The people that have pulled me over for doing something worthy of a citation have tended approach me, ask what I was doing, tell me why they pulled me over, and let me respond. I don't fight with someone when I know I'm in the wrong.

BY FAR, the most offensive, lowest form of life I have ever encountered has been the cops that pulled me over for the far more frequent problem of being young. These cops endanger everyone around them, they will openly lie to you, on their reports, and to judges. They will fly down the road and tailgate you to pull you over. They will get in your face and call you a liar. This type is the kind that I have encountered more than anyone positive with a badge.

And the worst part, is that many of the ones that aren't like the above, still cover for them. That doesn't make them particularly good people, either.

I've spent a lot of miles on the road, and while minivans and vehicles like Buicks and such are most likely to be not paying attention... police cruisers are the mostly likely to do something dangerous. I've seen marked cruisers tailgating people with only feet of room on the highway, I've been nearly rear-ended, broadsided, and t-boned by them, because they think they own the road, and just expect people will throw their cars into ditches because there's something with a lightbar behind them, even when it's turned off. Hell, I've had one of these assholes shine a spotlight on me *while driving down a highway*.

As someone that has been driving for well over 10 years, and has worked with police for years, I wish I had something more positive to say about them. The ones worth giving a badge to seem to have a high tendency to change jobs or retire.

more than 5 years ago

In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta

aaronl Re:HATRED BOOTLOADER (785 comments)

That sucks! I found that usually the problem was that I forgot to install GRUB onto the Linux partition instead of the MBR. Messed up a few Windows installs that way before I managed to remember it for good.

more than 5 years ago

In-Depth With the Windows 7 Public Beta

aaronl Re:HATRED BOOTLOADER (785 comments)

Google for EasyBCD. It can fix the bootloader problems for you, if you're still on Vista/7.

more than 5 years ago

32bit Win7 Vs. Vista Vs. XP

aaronl Re:Still making 32 bit? (641 comments)

Actually, just below the graph you mention it says that Snow Leopard is shipping both 32bit and 64bit version of the kernel and all bundled applications. Apple is doing exactly what MS has been, but shipping a combined OSX product on one DVD, rather than selling two separated editions.

I would say that the Apple way of shipping is far better than MS, but it is certainly not the first away from 32-bit. They are still maintaining a 32bit *and* a 64bit version of their OS.

more than 5 years ago

Oregon Governor Proposes Vehicle Mileage Tax

aaronl Re:WTF do they need GPS for? (713 comments)

Definitely not likely to get cheap enough. Perhaps it is possible to build something half-assed that would be just good enough to offset south-east by 500 miles or something.

I don't know how the timing and tracking works on GPS, if you couldn't tell. ;-) I thought it had to do with knowing the expected positions and an exact time. If there isn't encryption, it would certainly be easier.

more than 5 years ago

Oregon Governor Proposes Vehicle Mileage Tax

aaronl Re:WTF do they need GPS for? (713 comments)

Do you know how much GPS simulators cost?

The better question is "How much will they cost if this nightmare were to become law?"

more than 5 years ago

New York State Budget Relies On Entertainment Tax

aaronl Re:Less Government for Less Money (655 comments)

Actually health care is NYS' largest item, then education, then the STAR program.

Health care = Medicaid and public health ($3.5b)
Education ($2.0b)
STAR = exemptions from school tax ($1.7b)

What they *actually* are trying to do is increase their tax revenue by $3.1b this year. They're doing the typical lying about what they'll cut if you don't give them more money.

As a former local government employee that dealt with budgets, let me tell you that there isn't a year that goes by that your government doesn't lie to you about what they'll actually cut if you turn down the budget. They might do something stupid just to scare the hell out of you into paying, but they'll always find somewhere to cut that they didn't tell you before. For example, you can guarantee that sports will always somehow find its way back, even when they claim that they'll have to fire dozens of teachers.

They'll claim to have to cut the most visible and scary programs every time. If you don't agree to pay more, then "you must be a terrorist, after all".

more than 5 years ago

Study Confirms Mobile Phones Distract Drivers

aaronl Re:Solution: driving w/ phone = lose your license (439 comments)

Mostly because we have enough arbitrary laws, and we should be working to get rid of them instead of adding more.

So we ban cellular phones in the car. What do you do if people then start using ham radio or CB? Do you ban that, too? What if people then start using data channel voice chat? If you ban things like that, then you also risk banning voice activated functions and systems like OnStar. Then maybe we ban communicating with someone outside the vehicle. Well, what if your passenger is on the phone and puts it on speaker? Does that count? Or do we ban having a phone in the car?

We already have laws about "endangering those around". We don't need "endangering those around [when using a mobile telephone]" any more than "beating someone [who happens to be gay]". We shouldn't even have "endangering those around [while driving a car]". Laws written like these are not just unnecessary, but they are almost guaranteed to be abused, and are simply wrong. You make the behavior have legal repercussions and apply it uniformly and fairly.

FWIW, I also am very strongly opposed to sentencing restrictions (mandatory minimums), three-strikes laws, and "zero tolerance". We have judges for a reason, and they should be able to do their jobs. Instead if these stupid minimums aren't warranted by what the crime really is, then any sane person has to acquit rather than convict, even when guilt is assured.

The same is true with doing this with cell phones. If your only "crime" was being unfortunate enough to be noticed talking on the phone by some guy in a police car, how does that warrant taking away your license? The punishment does not fit the crime. Driving already has enough lunacy in its punishments and laws, I certainly don't want even more.

more than 5 years ago

Study Confirms Mobile Phones Distract Drivers

aaronl Re:Solution: driving w/ phone = lose your license (439 comments)

I think we might get better results from vastly improved driver training.

Telling people they aren't allowed to drive because they were on the phone isn't the right way. Part of my point is that there is always going to be another distraction. For example, speed traps don't really make people drive slower, it just makes them slow down rapidly when they see a cruiser, and then speed right back up again when they pass it.

I agree with you on this, the phone is a distraction, and it's one of many. People need to learn to deal with them, rather than pushing to have a nearly sound proofed box around the driver's seat, with no comforts or conveniences inside.

A big reason that drivers are better in other countries is that they are forced to have much more training and strict testing. This is my preference for where we should start in the US. Education comes first, and prohibitions to follow.

more than 5 years ago

Study Confirms Mobile Phones Distract Drivers

aaronl Re:Cost of Convenience? (439 comments)

It costs money, though the brief is still useful.

Basically the leading cause of accidents would seem to be bad road design. Additionally most accidents happen on roads with lower-than-highway limits. Also, the German autobahns, with no speed limits, have consistently been safer than US low limit roads.

"Speed limits were found to have minimal effect on the traffic accidents. "

more than 5 years ago

Study Confirms Mobile Phones Distract Drivers

aaronl Re:Solution: driving w/ phone = lose your license (439 comments)

Looks like you were being humorous, but seriously, pulling licenses doesn't ever work. Driving is essential to function in the United States, and no amount of complaining is going to make it different. This means that to start taking away licenses for even more reasons than today is not likely to be a good move.

People require a way to travel. Putting infrastructure in place to make it otherwise would take a huge investment and many years. Look at how poorly the existing infrastructure is maintained in many places, and then tell me seriously that full scale public transit would be a good idea, without sweeping changing in other places.

The result is that if a person isn't in a place where there is good public transit, and they don't have friends that can cart them around for months on end, then you force them to drive anyway.

Taking away people's licenses just means that they are now an uninsured/unlicensed driver.

Hopefully some day people will learn that you don't punish people for things you don't like. You already have a system in place to deal with driving to endanger, and you already have a system to fine irresponsible drivers. What you advocate can be just as easily applied to talking in the car, the radio, GPS, trip computers, and on and on.

more than 5 years ago


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