top Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?
Give both access to their current cable network. Watch service improve and prices drop.
This might work. I live in an area where we only had Comcast and the speeds were 10mbps up and 5mbps down with a price around $55 or $99 with triple play package per month. You never received anything close to those speeds and at certain times the service was unusable. Three years ago Verizon FIOS came to the area and we signed up right away to service of 25mbps up and 15mbps down for less than Comcast was charging $89 per month with the triple play package and less fees. Now our rates have not gone up with Verizon and we have 50mbps up and down with Comcast/Xfinity increasing speeds as well and lowering costs.
Now I know this seems normal that speeds got better over time but I know people that live just over the county line that do not have Verizon and their internet service is much slower and prices are higher to the point where I don't see how they can't say Comcast is abusing the monopoly they have in the market except for the fact they must be paid off to not see it.
I think it should be run like the electric company one owns the wires and maintains them and everyone pays that company for the physical connection that is regulated or run by the government. Then have competition in the boxes that compete for your service.
top How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa
OK, if that's really how it works, why do American farmers plant so much agribusiness seed? Are they all wrong, and losing money? Because if there's one thing that a farmer will ask when you suggest a change to his growth protocol, is how is it going to make him more money.
Hybrid vigor is a thing, and the only way to maintain said vigor across generations is to grow inbred plants, and then cross them purposefully. This works without GMOs, and is easy to prove.
Again, for your option to be true, hundreds of thousands of farmers in the US are making terrible choices, season after season. 95% of soybeans planted in America come from agribusiness: The seeds people had just can't compete in yield. How do you explain farmer's behavior?
I think part of the reason for that the farmers not using these GMO seeds can't get the equipment necessary to reseed from your existing crop. I saw an interesting documentary on the GMO business and the big thing to do is take anyone who has a machine that can separate the seeds (typically not the farmer) would be sued for using it on a farm that has GMO seeds (where the farmer agreed not to reuse seeds) until they went bankrupt. This forced the farmers on GMO as they couldn't reclaim seeds from current plants. So the market didn't decide the companies decided for them.
top FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps
Can't we fine them and jail the executives for fraud on not delivering promised product instead? Might put a kick in the pants.
I'm tired of punishments consisting of not paying the corporate robbers any more money but getting to keep all they made so far.
I agree with you it is ridiculous that these Billion dollar companies can take Billions of taxpayer funds and not deliver what they say. Then after all of that they get a huge bonus for ripping us off and making huge profits. These people should be jailed or the company should be forced to pay back all the funds with interest. Doing this will cause changes especially if you hit the shareholders by hitting earnings which should happen.
top Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google
Have you looked into tresorit? I signed up with them when they first came out and have 50GB of storage and found that it works pretty well and they have an application for android (not sure about apple) and can backup photos automatically.
top Google I/O 2014 Begins [updated]
Honda doesn't go "Oh by the way, you can't use your Civic anymore, since we can't be bothered to support it, but to show how nice we are, we'll provide a toolkit to help you port goods from your trunk to another company's vehicle".
Actually Honda has done this with prior electric vehicles and are doing it with the new Honda Fit EVs that is currently available. They are lease only so they don't have to bother with support later.
top Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder
You should go visit an organic farm. It is clearly not what you think it is.
This is true although it depends on the organic farm. I can't remember the name of the documentary I watched but basically the "Organic" label has been taken over by big Agriculture with them changing the definition to fit what they need.
Saying this you can still find true Organic farms where they don't use pesticides and care about the soil's longterm health they are just harder to find.
top USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures
Actually, Amazon claims it was for defensive purposes only.
In that case they only had to publish a blog post to generate prior art. And it would have been a lot cheaper. Or are you suggesting that Amazon don't know how patents work ?
Actually the real problem is the USPTO doesn't seem to know how patents should work anymore. My Father-in-law worked there for years and retired early because he liked to do research and prove patents had prior art. The new guys coming in would approve patents faster without checking for prior art or really checking into the claims. Granted my father-in-law was not a fun guy to work with as he liked invalidating patents with prior art, or not able being able to prove the patent works to the point he is convinced a few of the auto "accidents" he was in were not accidents
top Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?
The summary answers itself:
I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.
This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.
This is part of the reason why I ended up with a Ford Focus Electric. My wife liked the fact it looked similar to the regular car rather then some unique shape that made people look at it.
top Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners
I looked at many EVs before I purchased a Ford Focus Electric. Here are my reasons for going with the Ford:
1) Decent Price (Tesla was too expensive once options are added)
2) Thermal Battery Management (Battery is heated and cooled like the Volt which helps extend the life of the battery)
3) Good Lease Deal (260 per month with nothing down was cheapest of the Leases)
4) Availability (Unlike the Honda Fit EV it was available at the dealer with no waitlist)
5) Seats 5 (The Volt was my favorite but seating 4 was a no go as my family of 4 takes all the seats)
So far I'm very happy with the Focus EV and would recommend them.
However I will mention the shortcomings:
1) Battery range when it is cold drops to around 45 miles when it is really cold (0 degrees F) as the Thermal system kicks in.
2) The Estimated range can jump around a lot while you are driving
3) I can't find a way to set the car to take cabin air and pass it over the windshield. This means it is taking outside air and heating it which is very inefficient.
4) Battery eats into trunk space although I have found this to not be an issue some will.
Now I really feel for EVs to compete the range needs to be over the 100 mile range as it is a psycological barrier just like pricing something at $99.99 rather than $100.
My hope is still for a vehicle like Via is selling a large 3 row SUV that can go first on electric then switch to gas for any trip.
top Bill Gates Regains the Position of World's Richest Person
Put this into perspective. In 1970 a man earning $35,000 a year could afford to own a home, a car, and afford to have his wife stay at home to raise the kids. If the wife worked too then they probably had a second summer cabin somewhere.
in 2010 a man earning $35,000 is barely living above the poverty line.(depending on location) you can't support a wife to raise the kids, let alone anything else.
The average worker in the USA in 1970 earned $19.20
In 2010 the average worker earned $19.70
In 1970 the average CEO earned $500,000
in 2010 the average CEO earned $5,000,000
Now tell me what is wrong with that picture? Circuit city is my favorite example. in 2008 after a year of bad sales the CEO of circuit city came up with a plan to save $10 million over 3 years. He fired the top 3,000 highest paid non mangers and rehired new people in their place earning minimum wage. Wall street was happy, and he and the board paid themselves $5 million in bonuses immediately.
With in a year Circuit city was gone completely. why? because he fired the top 3000 sales people. He could have saved $10 million dollars immediately that year by cutting his and the rest of the executive boards salaries. They weren't doing anything anyways.
executive and upper level bonuses have gone out of control. Goldman Sachs had to borrow money from he US Government so it could pay bonuses. I always thought that if the company did poorly bonuses were to be cut first not last, but for the rich they payout bonuses and then close the company down.
While this is exaggerated quite a bit it does still have one major point that I see. The people at the bottom that spend all their income and save very little because they can't afford to are being squeezed whereas the people at the top who don't spend all of their income get to save even more. While saving money is good in general this is not true for an economy based on consumption as someone at the bottom will spend the money so another person/company will benefit.
The wealthy take the extra money and while some spend it on lavish things such as houses, cars, Yachts, many invest it and this is the big change that has happened since the 70s, the internet has made it where a wealthy person does not need to pay huge fees anymore for investing in the market. In the past some fees were as high as 15% for investing large amounts of money in the market but in today’s internet they tend to have a fixed low cost. This has made the one fee the wealthy paid (and kept low earners out of the market) disappear. So you have rising incomes at the top with less expenses for investing not to mention less taxes on those investments.
Last point I'll make is that I don't see an issue with high CEO pay but the market has forced CEOs to look at short term gains (month to month) instead of long term gains 5-10 years down the road and this has caused the issues we are seeing today when someone has no real interest in the long term growth of a company but instead focuses on short term gains it can cause a person to do really well at first but implode over the long run.
about a year and a half ago
top How Netflix Eats the Internet
I feel that way about cable.
Too much content I don't want, advertising, and shows are played via some schedule instead of streamed when I want. Sure there are workarounds like DVRs, but that is just a bandaid on a huge gaping wound.
I love the DVR you pay the cable company more each month so you can watch shows when you want because they like money!
This is why I cancelled cable TV and purchased a $40 antenna for my house and now use Amazon Prime for streaming service.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?
I had a Geologist come into my class once and state "We will never run out of oil, but it will become so expensive to extract that no one will pay for it." I think this quote is fairly true eventually oil will become so expensive that we will only use it when necessary and we will never be able to pull it all out of the ground.
Granted this could happen centuries from now but it does not mean we should not be looking to other ways of producing power so we can use oil in other ways after all we are using over 80 million barrels a day (last time I checked) and we can't support that type of production forever.
about a year and a half ago
top Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?
p>What this all means is that if someone were to bring an astronomical amount of computing power to bear on mining bitcoins, the difficulty of mining bitcoins would automatically compensate, and the addition of new bitcoins into the marketplace would proceed at the same rate. Granted, the person at the head of all this computing power would be the recipient of most new bitcoins, but the currency would not be destabilized (at least through computing power alone.) There would be other things said person could do to destabilize bitcoins, though, through either Financial or Technical means. They could hoard all BTC they mine, causing the price of BTC to rise. They could sell BTC they mine at ridiculously low prices, causing the price of BTC to plummet. If they comprise more than 60% or so of all computing directed at bitcoin mining, they could hijack the blockchain, and would be able to spend bitcoins they don't own, or double spend their own bitcoins.
I'm fairly sure that anyone who attempts to hijack bitcoins through raw computing power would end up spending more on said computing power than they would earn from bitcoins. So unless a malicious billionaire or an intrepid hacker organization with a few supercomputers in their botnet decide one day that they
really don't like bitcoins, it doesn't seem likely to happen.
I have to say this is the one thing that does worry me about bitcoins. The way transactions are added is when the block chain is solved which is dependant on computing power and it resets every 2010 blocks (or something like that). Well what would happen if a couple of Governments brought a few supercomputers on to the network and greatly increased the difficulty and then dropped out?
This would make it where the current network would not be able to get to the next link in the chain for say a few months and the blocks would slow to a crawl. I have seen a few other ideas where they should have the network recalculate the chains differently which might help reassure some people.
about a year and a half ago
top Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos
I have to admit I'm curious as to how they bypass certain laws if they do licence these pictures to advertisers.
As an example if I take a photo of a friend I cannot just sell the photo without a model release form. I highly doubt instagram can just bypass this same form and sell a picture of someone I took for advertising purposes If you really want to challenge this take lots of pictures of places whos images are trademarked such as the Flatiron building in NYC and I'm sure one will be used without paying the building which from what I understand cannot be used without the owners permission.
Granted taking a picture of your food would be something that they could use without much issue as long as no person is visible.
top Samsung: Apple Stole the iPad's Design From Univ of Missouri Professor
If Samsung can find all these examples of prior art, how is it that Apple was granted patents in the first place? These are hardly the only examples of Apple being given patents on things that were obviously done by others well before they "innovated" them.
As my father-in-law was a patent clerk he said they stopped checking into prior art when he left in the 90s and they seemed to rubber stamp multiple things. He tended to take pride in searching for prior art as he didn't want a company to get patents on existing things. This was lost as they brought in managers who went with quotas rather then actually vetting everything thoroughly.
top Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck By Light
This has absolutely nothing to do with light, and instead has absolutely incredible implications for power generation. Graphene geothermal probes for more efficiency, graphene cooling tubes for maximum gas/oil/coal electric power generation, nuclear power (bonus: extra radiation protection)... Hell, strap graphene to just about any process that involves waste heat and get power for "free!"
This would be perfect in a car if they could use it to cool the engine as well as generate elecity without a generator.
top Solar Energy Is the Fastest Growing Industry In the US
They did the same thing with oil. Look it up. Government fostering new technology is NOT a bad thing.
What do you mean "did", they give Oil companieslarge tax breaks as well as using the US military to protect interests in the Middle East the cost of which is in the billions.
top Man Tries to Patent His "Godly Powers"
I agree it would show that the people in the USPTO have no idea how to research a patent. This is why some of the people I know in the patent office quit and why some worked till they were medically unable to (afraid patents would get through that have prior work or are unworkable).
top GM Loses Money On Every Volt Built
It stinks that GM is losing money on these, but they're putting the effort into it, and I have to applaud them for it. Then again, didn't the PS3 and Xbox 360 cost more to make at launch time than they were selling for? Maybe GM is on to
Oh, they're on to something, alright. GM is "too big to fail". This makes it easy for them to start risky, costly ventures, because they'll either succeed and make GM rich, or the gov't will bail GM out with more loans until GM is profitable again.
I have to chime in the reason PS3 and Xbox 360 were sold at a loss was to bring in customers as they made money from the games being sold.
GM made this car not for sales but to bring people into the dealerships and hopefully purchase a Cruze which they do make a profit on. This is no different then the Halo cars that some car companies have to get people excited about the brand. It is the same as what Toyota did with the Prius and what Honda failed to do with the Insight.
I'm hoping this works out so people will buy Chevy products that are profitable but only time will tell.
Also for those mad that GM was bailed out you think the economy is bad now imagine how bad it would be with a few million extra people unemployeed and never mind the issues this would have caused with all the other automotive companies with how they all use the same suppliers. Toyota, Ford, BMW,...etc would have all had massive problems as suppliers went under and the development money GM supplied dried up. GM was too big to fail and I do feel they need to shink down. My other thought was that Chrysler should have died and been sold off which would have helped all the other car companies out but I guess you can't pick favorites in the auto world unlike finance.
top When Your Company Remote-Wipes Your Personal Phone
I don't think most folks are shocked at the remote wipe capability - they just expected that it would be confined to the exchange data only, not the MP3's, games, photos, etc.
I agree I know someone this happened to where as soon as she left the company they wiped her phone and removed everything including her personal photos and contacts.
This is a problem as it was her phone on her plan and while I do feel the company should be able to wipe out any email they do not have a right to the entire phone.
My wife just had this setup on her Droid 2 and she didn't see anything about this. The phone was handed to the IT person he set it up and handed it back. No documents or warnings have been given and I'm guessing this can be done on an android phone as well.