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Comments

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Seattle Police Want More Drones, Even While Two Sit Unused

jcombel Re:Helicopters (144 comments)

opening line of argument is incorrect: police helicopters do fly patrol, for uses as mundane as targetting highway speeding, and are profitable in that respect.

about 2 years ago
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Confidentiality Expires For 1940 Census Records

jcombel Re:correlation != causation (311 comments)

WHOA WHOA WHOA

look here, pal, when i make a counterpoint around on the internet, i expect a stiffly ideological rebuttal, not any of this earnest bullshit

srs though, i agree with you on this to a certain point. i also think that every business should be allowed to do most any retarded thing with their budgets that they want to, for their own reward and their own risks.

where we diverge, i think, from reading your other posts, is that you might believe that businesses should be able to get as large as they want, and then also fail. there is truth to the phrase, "too large to fail." the truth is, that if these banks had failed, this would have (directly) lead to the banks and other institutions that they owed money, to also fail. this would have meant that the institutions that held most of america's money (both businesses and private citizens) would fail, and not have enough money to pay out to citizens withdrawing their funds. then a run on the banks, which leads to many more banks failing as all of their capital is being withdrawn by scared citizens, increasing the problem to the point of, well, great depression.

this isn't an exaggeration. in two days in sept 2008, WaMu (largest savings and loan), and wachovia (4th largest financial institution) had a combined $21 billion bank run: businesses and citizens withdrawing their money and stashing it. if the government hadn't taken swift action, we'd be having a very different conversation right now. there aren't many things i thank the bush administration for, but this is one of them. since i'm made of point of my distaste for bush just now, i should make very clear i don't blame his admin for the crisis. the 2008 situation was the result of very hard work by banking execs, and nearly thirty years of hodgepodge financial regulations by every congress and president that sat.

i'm not saying the bailout was a good thing all over. i wished that the concept of the economy being strong enough to withstand a run on the banks without a lost decade (or three) was a realistic one, but it wasn't.

i think i'm getting chatty and off-topic. where i think you're right: the bailout laid the framework for businesses to repeat the same mistakes with the notion that they can forever get away with it, profiting when their luck is good, bailed out by the taxpayer when it isn't.

the solution, though, wasn't to deny a bailout, instead, it was to use regulation to limit the size of businesses in an industry (in this case, finance industry) to stop them from growing so large that their failure could destabilize the national economy. to catchphrase it, "don't say there isn't too large to fail, prevent there from being too large to fail.

more than 2 years ago
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Confidentiality Expires For 1940 Census Records

jcombel Re:correlation != causation (311 comments)

not sure if trolling, or just revisionist

fannie+freddie were not forced by law to to give subprime loans. they were compelled by the market forces, as propelled by de/unregulated banks (2004 lowered Debt Capital Rule, unregulated derivatives and CDO market, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, DIDMCA, adjustable-rate mortages), which allowed the major institutions to over-leverage themselves while dealing out predatory ARMs.

if fannie+freddie had not existed the 2008 FC would have still happened in the private sector alone. northern rock, countrywide, bear stearns, lehman brothers, merril lynch would have still all collapsed/required government takeover. the (de)regulatory framework simply allowed them astronomic profits at substantial risk, with the knowledge that any failure would cause systemic collapse, thus requiring government action, thus mitigating any risk to the personal wealth of the execs and traders.

yes, fannie+freddie were headed by some fuckups that made decisions very similar to the large banks. but they were the decisions of private executives; these organizations were not compelled by law to seek inappropriate mortgages and then leverage them on the CDO market. they were compelled by high profits and low effective risk, just like the other speculative lenders.

more than 2 years ago
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Canada's Internet Among Best, Report Says

jcombel Re:Bandwidth caps (186 comments)

what? no.

in any areas where population density is a problem, the cable has already been laid for decades now. any equipment upgrades that needed done were also completed many years ago.

in areas where population density is not a problem, "laying cable" is incredibly cheap work, and often subsidized.

the "expense" is that the large telecoms have lobbied their way into regional monopolies, and legally prevent competitors from supplying better products (unlimited packages).

more than 2 years ago
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Canada's Internet Among Best, Report Says

jcombel Re:Bandwidth caps (186 comments)

in louisiana, i was getting Cox's 8Mbps connection with no cap for $55 a month. i typically used about 170GB/month

in quebec, Videotron's 8Mbps connection cost $45 a month, but only had a 50GB cap. unusable.
Videotron's 60Mbps connection costs $83 a month with a 150GB cap. unreasonable price for the cap, still, and absurd speed - what kind of residence would need that? i can't find any slowdowns in anything i do with 15Mbps

i settled for videotron's 15Mbps connection: $55 a month, 90GB cap. toe the line every month and am getting sick of watching the (6-12 hours behind) meter on their website. hunted for an alternative two weeks ago, came up short considering the home phone/basic cable bundle.

getting fed up with this.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

jcombel Re:What about... (290 comments)

right, that is what the website is. slashcode.com isn't a statement, it's consistency.

yes, i agree, slashdot did (and to a lesser extent, does) have an agenda, which is why we read the "news" here we do.

in the vein of this conversation as the GP phrased it, though, slashdot does not participate in movements at large, a la the GP's question, "What about... SLASHDOT?

What the hell guys? Do we not care about these bills to even change the color scheme?"

the answer to that is, slashdot is not a site that participates in these sort of editorial statements. i'm not saying that the editors should, or that it would be a better thing to do. i'm just saying that they don't do anything to progress the causes they believe in. if you have some links that tell me otherwise, i will be glad to read.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

jcombel Re:What about... (290 comments)

did they do anything to express this, besides linking to echo-chamber articles that (actual) journalists write?

i'm not saying they didn't favor linking that type of news and coverage, of course they did (still mostly do). i'm saying they didn't do anything about it.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

jcombel Re:What about... (290 comments)

similar to what i replied to xtracto, you're talking about users talking about things they themselves believed in, in relation to the news articles of the day. slashdot as a website, business, and editorial platform doesn't seem to take stands on topics or causes.

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

jcombel Re:What about... (290 comments)

i think we're talking about two different things.

slashdot mods just posted echo-chamber news articles from different websites, and the users patted each other's backs with long posts and +5 scores to everything that agreed with their outrage

slashdot, as a website or a platform, hasn't done anything (i can think of) participating in any cause, like the event being held today on sites like wikipedia, reddit, etc).

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA/PIPA Would Directly Affect...

jcombel Re:What about... (290 comments)

i haven't been reading slashdot consistently forever, but i've never known the site at large to get behind a cause

around here, editorializing is for timothy's article summaries, only BOOM

more than 2 years ago
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Homeless Student Is Intel Talent Search Semifinalist

jcombel Re:I don't get it (464 comments)

The summary does not say this.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?

jcombel Re:"Magic" is the province of Keynesianism (792 comments)

it might be that i didn't get the point of your comments (assuming you are also the grandparent AC) in relation to the commentary about idle reserves created by corporate tax cuts.

to recap the conversation i think we're having so far: Aighearach says "corporate tax cuts are not keynesian as they create wealth for large businesses that isn't being used."
AC says "that money isn't just sitting around doing nothing."
i say "these companies do have all this cash, and are doing nothing with it but hoarding, certainly not stimulating economy. citations provided, mothafucka."
AC says "(assumed: the money is actually in the banks) the banks don't actually have this money on hand, most is tied up in financial instruments and loans." i can't tell if your point is a semantic one (the money is not in GE's big cash room, it is being used by banks!) or an economic one (the money in use by the banks is therefore stimulating the economy).

am i on the same page as you, now? if your point was the latter...

if so, i would reply that this money is doing very little positive for the economy as a whole; financial instruments favored by banks produce nothing of actual value, though they do create bubbles which have the short-term appearance of value, until the eventual pop. loans are being given to non-major industry players even more rarely than before, and the large profitable businesses (as noted by their 1s and 0s) have little need for the leverage. this leaves national bonds, which is not unlike stuffing the cash in the mattress.

none of these would produce anywhere near the good, services, and wages that there would have been if the large companies had spent the money, by a long shot.

if your point was just the semantic "the money isn't just sitting in Microsoft's money warehouse," goddamnit for making me type all that.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?

jcombel Re:"Magic" is the province of Keynesianism (792 comments)

let's be honest. no keynesian thinks the stimulus was enough, nor spent in the correct places, regardless of economic growth rate. it was certainly stimulus (and mostly ineffective), but not keynesian stimulus.

more than 2 years ago
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California State Senator Proposes Funding Open-Source Textbooks

jcombel Re:Tuition (193 comments)

these policies are at the university or state level. most university policies of this sort are not enforced (cost:benefit prohibitive, as exemplified here), have loop-holes (cannot collect royalties on books they require for their own classes, so professors collude and require each other's book). i haven't heard of (and couldn't find) a state prosecuting a professor who broke a relevant law.

more than 2 years ago
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California State Senator Proposes Funding Open-Source Textbooks

jcombel Re:Tuition (193 comments)

all of my classes that i felt required a textbook to get an A, the book happened to have been (co)authored by the professor.

academic instruction as an avenue for royalties hooooo

more than 2 years ago
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Time's Person of the Year Is "The Protester"

jcombel What about RTFA? (543 comments)

Or are not all attention spans created equal?

more than 2 years ago
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Google Donating $11.5M To Fight Modern Slavery

jcombel Re:Chinese Political Prisoners too? (302 comments)

chinese political prisoners are already rich chinese citizens (if they weren't rich, they'd be dead instead of in prison). tax-deduction money wouldn't effect any change here.

this is about funding organizations to assist governments in disrupting human trading.

YOUR UNINFORMED PET CAUSE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS

more than 2 years ago
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Answers.com Now Only With Facebook and Own Login

jcombel well, damnit (127 comments)

now i have to use that site with zero logins instead of my usual zero.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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HP to open source WebOS

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "The article quotes new CEO Meg Whitman, "“WebOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable,” said Meg Whitman, the newly crowned president of HP. “By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.”

The Wired writer, on the other hand, calls this the death of WebOS — as if it couldn't possibly go anywhere in the hands of the FOSS community."

Link to Original Source
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Two New Fed GPS Trackers Found on SUV

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral arguments in a case Tuesday that could determine if authorities can track U.S. citizens with GPS vehicle trackers without a warrant, a young man in California has come forward to Wired to reveal that he found not one but two different devices on his vehicle recently."
Link to Original Source
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VIA Sues Apple for Patent Infringement

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "The patent wars raged on today with chipmaker VIA Technologies filing suit against Apple for infringing on its patents with its iDevices.

VIA Technologies Inc., a Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer, filed suit on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. VIA’s complaint has to do with three U.S. patents allegedly infringed upon by Apple’s microprocessors, which include the in-house designed A4 and A5 that power the iPhone 4, iPod touch and iPad.

That seems to cast a fairly wide net, but since the core tech behind products made by VIA and Apple are based on completely different architecture, it could be that its issues are mainly to do with the modifications Apple has made to the basic ARM design in order to makes its A-series processors more power efficient."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft: No Windows 8 ARM support for x86 apps

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "It turns out Microsoft's app compatibility will be limited to one architecture or another. Yes, your Windows 8 will run you your ARM tablet, but your x86 Office 2003 will not.

In his explanation, Steven Sinofsky reasoned, “If we allow the world of x86 application support like that, or based on what we call desktop apps in our start yesterday, then there are real challenges in some of the value proposition for system on a chip," he said. "You know, will battery life be as good, for example? Well, those applications aren't written to be really great in the face of limited battery constraints, which is a value proposition of the Metro style apps.”"

Link to Original Source
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Sony confirms PS Vita battery life

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "Sony has let slip a few more details regarding its upcoming PlayStation Portable successor the PlayStation Vita, and it's not good news for anyone who would like to use the device away from the home: it's going to have a mere five hour battery life.

Also mentioned is a new flavor of Sony MemoryStick that will cost double for the same capacity. Expensive, non-mobile, 'portable' gaming platform?"

Link to Original Source
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50 year-old crocodile captured in Phillipines

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "A one-tonne crocodile which may be the biggest ever caught alive has been captured in the Philippines, and officials say they are now hunting for an even bigger beast.

Villagers and veteran hunters ensnared a 6.1-metre (20ft) saltwater crocodile over the weekend after a three-week hunt in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province, where terrified villagers have reported at least one deadly attack."

Link to Original Source
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The First Plastic Computer Processor

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "Lot of talk lately about developing replacements for silicon; how about a nearly-transparent film of plastic, woven into clothing or affixed directly to equipment? From the article, 'Silicon may underpin the computers that surround us, but the rigid inflexibility of the semiconductor means it cannot reach everywhere. The first computer processor and memory chips made out of plastic semiconductors suggest that, someday, nowhere will be out of bounds for computer power.'"
Link to Original Source
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Why don’t journalists link to primary source

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "Too often lately I look at the Slashdot blurb, then read then article, then groan. The article submitted was a copy/pasta of another article, which was itself a copy/pasta of a press release. It often takes two or three clicks to get to the original information, or maybe even a web search on the topic because none of the articles actually linked the study. With enough digging, you find why the source was omitted: it is inconvenient for one reason or another, maybe a policy agenda, or maybe just the truth didn't make as sensational a headline.

Ben Goldacre (if there was a thing called a slashdot favorite, he'd be it) writes about how this is getting out of hand, and proposes a mindset for discerning facts on the internet: "I've detected myself using a new rule of thumb: if you don't link to primary sources, I just don't trust you.""

Link to Original Source
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FBI raids Texas ISP for Anonymous info

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "As part of an international criminal probe into computer attacks launched this month against perceived corporate enemies of WikiLeaks, the FBI has raided a Texas business and seized a computer server that investigators believe was used to launch a massive electronic attack on PayPal"
Link to Original Source
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Google challenges Facebook over user address books

jcombel jcombel writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jcombel (1557059) writes "When you sign in to Facebook, you had the option of importing your email contacts, to "friend" them all on the social network. Importing the other way — easily copying your Facebook contacts to Gmail — required jumping through considerable copy/paste hoops or third-party scripts. Google said enough is enough, and they're no longer helping sites that don't allow two-way contact merging. The stated intention is standing their ground to budge other sites into allowing users have control of where their data goes — but will this just lead to more sites putting up "data walls"?"
Link to Original Source

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