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Minecraft Creator Halts Plans For Oculus Version Following Facebook Acquisition

bennomatic Re:Unsurprising ... (300 comments)

My reaction when Google buys something is, "Ewww, now Google will know how I [whatever]." Example: I had been strongly considering a Nest thermostat, but there is NO WAY I want Google to have heuristic information about the goings-on in my house.

about three weeks ago
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Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

bennomatic Re:Wealth Pooling (187 comments)

Yes, there is definitely a divide between the most ideal definition of Libertarian and the more common implementation. You're clearly a thinker, and I'd trust proposals made by you to be worthy of debate.

Most of the folks I've met who claim to be Libertarian are either more of the greedy sort, or are at least ideological purists, even to their own detriment. To go back to the garbage example, there are self-proclaimed Libertarians I've spoken with who would rather buy their own can and haul their own trash at a cost of X (plus their time) than be "forced" to be complicit with a government program for hauling trash, even though it only costs .5*X.

Even if the goals are lofty, idealogical purism is typically more destructive than not. See RMS for a fine example.

about a month ago
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Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

bennomatic Re:Wealth Pooling (187 comments)

Oh, and their back-up plan, had they not won that debate, was to push for full privatization of the garbage system, i.e. 5 or 6 private companies running trucks every week, crisscrossing each others' routes. Wonderful.

about a month ago
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Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

bennomatic Re:Wealth Pooling (187 comments)

You make a good point, but I'm not sure we're quite to a place where remote-piloted garbage trucks will be considered safe, except maybe in the dead of night when there's few other vehicles on the road.

Even then, though, in my locality, they don't force everyone to use a uniform (i.e. easily lifted by a robotic arm) garbage can. There's a strong libertarian bent in Oregon, so forcing everyone to pay $2/month or buy outright the type of can that'll interface with the truck isn't going to happen. As a result, probably 2/3 of my neighborhood uses their own, cheap cylinder cans, requiring that the garbage guy gets out and lifts.

It's my understanding that the garbage utility wanted to simply give everyone the cans and bury the cost because of the savings through efficiency. However, that was greeted with scorn; people who, on principle, didn't want to pay for other people's cans nor be forced to pay for their own, rallied to ensure that they would continue to be allowed to use whatever can they wanted, damn the cost to everyone else.

about a month ago
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Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

bennomatic Re:You keep using that word (479 comments)

LOL, I hope we've never had an argument before, because I think this is awesome. Absolutely the best /. post I've read all day.

about a month ago
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Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

bennomatic Re:Also time to stop (479 comments)

Let's stop glorifying the AC.

about a month ago
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Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

bennomatic Wealth Pooling (187 comments)

If you look at places like San Francisco and the way wealth is pooling there, it's easy to understand why traffic congestion is growing faster than the economy.

If you put a bunch of rich-ass people together in one highly-concentrated place, even if all of them are working from home or taking Google busses to work, they're going to need services. Grocery stores, plumbers, babysitters, teachers, restaurant workers, you name it. Many of those sorts of jobs are not ones which are compatible with telecommuting--if my garbage man starts working from home, I'm going to be pissed!--and most of them are not of an income level which would allow a comfortable residence within the city where the job is. If you're making $30,000 a year as a teacher, spending $2,000 a month on a 400 sq ft studio apartment so you can walk or bike to work doesn't leave much left over for food and the like.

So inevitably, thousands upon thousands of workers need to commute various distances to keep their jobs and live in some level of comfort.

I realize that SF, as a peninsula, is a fairly unique scenario: it provides a high-value destination with severely constrained access points. Maybe not the actual logical conclusion of all similar circumstances, but a useful indicator of how things might play out in areas where money is aggregated into smaller and smaller groups who then take over relatively small and very desirable locations.

about a month and a half ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

bennomatic Re:Amazing how times change. (444 comments)

Interesting. I could swear I remembered reading a similar article where it was specifically Seagate that was called out, but I guess memory is an imperfect thing.

On another note, I like your handle!

about 3 months ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

bennomatic Re:100% write? (444 comments)

I was working on a project with a large bank, and during one of my calls, the bank's project manager told me a comical story about their back-up procedures. They had switched from tapes to hard drives, and every day, when the truck drove up for that office's data back-ups (not actual banking data, but backups of all the administrative systems in that office), due to contracts which were still in force after years, it was a huge trailer truck with nothing to put into it but a single 3.5" hard drive. The contracts apparently specified a vehicle that could handle peak data activity with old-school tapes, and hadn't been amended.

Beyond cost, it just amazed me that they were putting a huge empty truck on the streets of Manhattan every day, and I wondered how many times that got repeated each day.

about 3 months ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

bennomatic Re:Ignorant to their own research (444 comments)

Or one seagate and a subscription to Backblaze!

Note: I subscribe to Backblaze, having had two back-up drives fail for me in the last two years. Luckily, it was just the back-up drives...

about 3 months ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

bennomatic Re:Amazing how times change. (444 comments)

I'm just kind of amazed that Seagate is still around. I remember some years back, there was a huge fraud scandal where they were claiming huge volumes of unsold inventory to be sold in order to keep their stock price up. They were storing the drives in 18-wheelers and, at night, they were backing the trucks up against each other so that if an investigator wanted to break in, they had to physically move the truck, giving them time to respond. It was crazy.

about 3 months ago
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The FBI's Giant Bitcoin Wallet

bennomatic Ugh... (177 comments)

Cue the paranoid right wing "Obama wants to take your Bitcoins" brigade.

about 4 months ago
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Japanese Aircraft-Carrying Super Submarine From WWII Located Off Hawaii

bennomatic Re:Captured at the end of the War (123 comments)

They do call it "scuttled" if the vessel had been taken over and was under full control of the people who sank it. It was not sunk in battle, but after a surrender.

I saw a pretty cool show about these subs. They tooled around to multiple targets, only to be called to the next just as the current target was removed from their objectives. Not a single attack was launched from these amazing machines. If the timing had been a little different, history would include at least a few very interesting twists.

about 4 months ago
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Art Makes Students Smart

bennomatic Re:Holy Crap!!! (187 comments)

There's a rare subset of kids who are smart, driven, and interested particularly because they see what a sad waste of energy their parents are.

I have a friend like that. She is so different from her siblings in her intellect and drive, and while she's a lot like her mother in some ways, as much as she loves her father, she's nothing like him. He's 6'4" and skinny as a rail, she's 5' and round. He's uneducated, extremely conservative and a bible thumper, and she's college educated, heavily invested in the sciences, and herself an educator. He...

Well, about five years ago, her mother confided to her that for a couple of years before she (my friend) was born, she was having an affair with the the husband from another couple that she (the mother) and the father had been playing bridge with. I saw a picture of the biological father, and he's the spitting image of my friend's first son. It's crazy.

And guess what? He's educated, a successful entrepreneur, politically liberal, involved in his religious community but not a bible thumper. I'm sure there's some nurture in there, but nature seems to be pretty important, at least in her case...

about 5 months ago
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BBC: Amazon Workers Face "Increased Risk of Mental Illness"

bennomatic Re:Amazon brutal, but not a convenient liberal cau (321 comments)

Liberals are so awesomely hypocritical.

I can't decide whether to respond, "...says the AC" or, "...how the heck did this turn into a liberal vs. conservative issue?"

about 5 months ago
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Reports: Apple To Buy Israeli 3D Sensing Company PrimeSense

bennomatic Re:Patents (81 comments)

Nice. Let's play six degrees of politicization of a thread!

about 4 months ago
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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

bennomatic Re:Obligatory note: the USPS is intentionally brok (258 comments)

Well, another way to think about it is that the bulk mail is there to smooth out the cost and revenue for the delivery process. You might get real mail 2-3 times per week, but I'd be willing to wager that there are individuals and even whole neighborhoods who don't get first class mail more than once a week. Without something to deliver daily, it might make sense to reduce schedules in certain areas even more, which would reduce the overall value of the service because then even sending out mail would take longer. Incremental cost of delivery would go up, overall value would go down. Without heavy subsidies, getting rid of bulk/DMA delivery would likely further the divide between haves and have-nots.

Don't get me wrong; I despise bulk mail, and it inevitably goes right in the recycling bin for me. However, to suggest that it's a pure subsidy for the businesses that use it, without also showing the benefit that the USPS and the people who send and receive mail through it is not entirely fair.

My personal view is not a popular one: I think it is OK for a service like the USPS to be heavily subsidized in locations and during times when it is losing money. Not all things of value necessarily produce enough revenue to reflect that value. Destroying the mail infrastructure would, in my humble opinion, injure our democracy and lead to problems that we have yet to imagine.

That being said, there are other ways to skin this cat. If the folks on the Hill were to amend the Constitution to indicate that Internet access is a human right, and provide funding such that even the poorest of the poor had basic access via, say, smart phones at a rate which is affordable to all, I'd be OK with gutting the USPS. But I don't see that happening any time soon.

Of course, now that I think about it, T-Mobile is sort of doing that. If you just want to pay your bills, send a few emails a week, their free 200 MB for life for tablet owners is actually pretty good...

about 5 months ago
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

bennomatic Re:It's true. (214 comments)

Under current law, my understanding is that this is not possible. Occasionally, some enterprising congress critter suggests a new law requiring providers of services to maintain all sorts of logs, but the folks on the left typically attack it as being an unacceptable privacy invasion, and the folks on the right attack it as being an unsustainable burden on business.

But it's possible that some day, a law will pass requiring all companies to keep exhaustive, indexed laws of all electronic communication, both by internal parties and clients. It's not likely, and it'd be expensive to implement and difficult to enforce, but it's not impossible.

about 5 months ago

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