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Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

neminem Been ignoring it for years already (191 comments)

There's technically FiOS in my city already, but that doesn't mean I've actually been able to get it either in my current building or the building I lived in before that, nor do I know anyone who has it, so it was already clear they didn't give one crap about doing anything with FiOS other than advertising the crap out of it. Which I seriously don't get - where's the profit in spending a jillion dollars on something that everyone would be happy to pay you for, but you aren't letting them?

I mean, yes, Verizon is an awful company that would do the world a favor by dying in a fire (or at least it would if the result were competition over the ashes, rather than, as is probably more likely, just giving Comcast even *more* of a stranglehold...), but regardless, FiOS would (probably?) be better than the crap internet we have from them now.

2 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

neminem Re:Noise is a safety feature. (790 comments)

Clearly it needs to be user-customizeable - I would totally take a silent car that could be programmed to go "vroom! vroom!" excitedly when I went fast in it.

3 days ago
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In Paris, Terrorists Kill 2 More, Take At Least 7 Hostages

neminem Re:why? (490 comments)

Second-to-none, as in it's the literally the second option in terms of integrity, with "none" as the better option? :p

about two weeks ago
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Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

neminem Re:Russian Caviar (412 comments)

Wait, what? You want me to put something in the cloud? What possible relevance does that have to this article? :D

about two weeks ago
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The Luxury of a Bottomless Bucket of Bandwidth For Georgia Schools

neminem Re:GFD (117 comments)

Right, it doesn't *come* in buckets... that's just where it goes , duh.

about three weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

neminem Makes sense (448 comments)

It's not like they would have any reason to try to help us save money, since that money would be directly lost by them if they did. We already see that elsewhere - Verizon, for instance, is technically "happy" to let you not pay for phone service if you don't need it: you can pay like 70 bucks for internet by itself, or alternatively, you can pay *50* bucks for the same internet and also a phone line. But it's *technically* an option...

I'm imagining that the same thing would happen here - yes, you can totally only buy one channel. It'll cost you 500 dollars, but it's *technically* an option... according to our website, not according to any actual logic...

Obviously that's not what anyone wants, and wouldn't reasonably be considered "unbundling" by anyone except a cable company, but still.

about three weeks ago
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Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay

neminem Re:Matlab... (242 comments)

Or even CS majors, if they went to schools with a core that required absolutely any engineering course as part of their overall core, as mine did. Everyone hated that class, even the engineers, but I 100% agree with your basic point, that matlab is not even remotely a "little-known programming language". Little-used-professionally-by-non-engineers language, yes. But everyone's at least *heard* of it...

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

neminem 128gb isn't that much FLAC... (391 comments)

So that's sort of silly. If they came out with an mp3 player that actually had a decent storage capacity... ok, I still wouldn't pay $1200 for it, that'd be crazy. I'd be happy to pay like 500, though. I paid that much for my current mp3 player for exactly that reason (500gb hard drive) - which is running, incidentally, no joke, Android 1 point freaking 6. That mp3 player is no longer available for purchase, and nobody's come out with any replacement. :(

about three weeks ago
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Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming

neminem That is dumb (303 comments)

One of my favorite quotes from the Jargon Files, on this exact subject, as relevant now as when it was written:

"At first glance, to anyone who understands how these programs actually work, this seems like an absurdity. As hackers are among the people who know best how these phenomena work, it seems odd that they would use language that seems to ascribe conciousness to them. The mind-set behind this tendency thus demands examination.

The key to understanding this kind of usage is that it isn't done in a naive way; hackers don't personalize their stuff in the sense of feeling empathy with it, nor do they mystically believe that the things they work on every day are `alive'. To the contrary: hackers who anthropomorphize are expressing not a vitalistic view of program behavior but a mechanistic view of human behavior."

Full text here: http://www.well.com/~lonewolf/...

about three weeks ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

neminem Re:They're biting the wrong person here... (349 comments)

That's still against the rules. If you do that and you have a return flight, you're very likely to find your return flight canceled. If you do it often enough, you're likely to have all your frequent flier miles revoked, too. It's not *illegal*, but it *is* generally against airlines' rules, and they're completely within their rights to punish you for doing this.

It is completely back-assward that there's even a reason to do this, but that's the way it is.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

neminem Re:How else would the camera companies make money? (285 comments)

One: they frequently set it so that people who drive through the intersection on yellow because they "can't stop safely" sometimes get tickets, because they've set it for maximum profit rather than for maximum safety.

Two: they sometimes set it so that people who are "turning left and haven't been able to make it through beforehand" also sometimes get tickets, because again, maximum profit.

It is *exactly* the same people bitching about speed limits, for the same reason. Nobody is arguing that there should be no speed limits ever. What we argue is that, if you have a road where it's safe to drive 50, and everyone drives 50, the city shouldn't make the speed limit arbitrarily 25 so they can ticket people driving safely; they should make the speed limit 50, so they only ticket people who are *actually* driving like an "irresponsible jackass".

about a month ago
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Researchers Discover SS7 Flaw, Allowing Total Access To Any Cell Phone, Anywhere

neminem That doesn't sound like total access... (89 comments)

If they can only listen to phone calls and view text messages. That's like saying someone has "total access" to your machine because they installed a keylogger. Is it dangerous and invasive? Yes. But it's not "total access", if they can't actually *control* anything...

about a month ago
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Startup Magic Leap Hires Sci-Fi Writer Neal Stephenson As Chief Futurist

neminem Re:Extra Paycheck (48 comments)

I enjoyed enough of Reamde that I didn't feel like it was a waste reading it. I did feel like it was essentially 3 different novels with 3 very different feels trying to coexist, and I liked two of them a lot more than the third, but overall, I thought it was a fun read. (That said, you chose a good time to stop reading, as the last third contained a higher ratio of the stuff I didn't think was as interesting.)

about a month ago
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A Domain Registrar Is Starting a Fiber ISP To Compete With Comcast

neminem Re:Ah Tucows... (65 comments)

That is extremely incorrect.

This is going to be run by the people that run the Sprint MVNO Ting (which is owned by Tucows). Ting is *awesome*. They pretty much define what customer service and user experience should look like. I've been with them for over a year now, and they are one of a small handful of companies I go out of my way to proselytize to people.

I would switch to this in an *instant* if I could, and if their rates are reasonable, which I expect they will be, given that it will be run by Ting.

I do remember the Tucows of the mid-90s being as you described, but the Tucows of today is nothing like that.

about a month ago
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Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

neminem Re:Stimulation via Content? (88 comments)

Some of us *do* occasionally enjoy, as you say, stimulating the pleasure centers, without feeling the need to do it all the time and never do anything else. That is indeed why I stay away from things like heroin, or for that matter, cigarettes - because I don't *want* to put anything in my body that will cause my body to start rebelling if it doesn't continue to get it at regular intervals. That sounds terrible. (I'm already annoyingly physically addicted to food, water and sleep, I don't need any more...)

On the other hand, alcohol is fun occasionally, but has some unpleasant side effects. I'd *love* to have additional non-addicting psychoactive things to play with occasionally, if they were proven safe, and definitely non-addicting. I wouldn't do it all the time, or even often, because I have other things to do, but I don't understand our culture's general idea that "pure fun = evil", either.

about a month ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

neminem Long live large hard drive mp3 players (269 comments)

Except not, because they're already dead, which is depressing. If mine ever dies, which it will, because hard drives do that, I'm *screwed*.

I will admit that I don't need a large local hard drive when:
  * I can get unlimited data
  * I can get it anywhere on the planet
  * It is *reliable* anywhere on the planet
  * I can get it for free or close to free

Obviously none of those things are even remotely close to true right now, and none of them are likely to become true anytime soon. Until then, I would like all my music with me while I'm driving in the car, without having to pay out the rear for it, without it losing signal, and whether I'm driving around town, or 300 miles out in the middle of nowhere.

But nobody sells them anymore, so I'm kinda screwed when this one dies. (I don't have an iPod - the largest they went up to is 160gb, if I recall correctly. That is *not big enough*.)

about a month ago
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Microsoft To US Gov't: the World's Servers Are Not Yours For the Taking

neminem Yep, they're not the US Government's (192 comments)

Reminds me of a great exchange I had with my crazy grandmother, that I still remember despite being like 7 years old at the time: I was whining because I was bored of sitting in her hotel room and wanted to go play in the pool. She said something like, "don't you know the world doesn't revolve around you? It revolves around *me*!" (She said it jokingly, but if you knew her, you would know that she didn't really mean it as a joke.)

On the same note, Microsoft clearly doesn't believe the world's servers are the US government's for the taking, because they know full well, they're *Microsoft's* for the taking. Remember that incident with no-ip a few months ago, where Microsoft declared no-ip was letting spammers use its domain, snatched like a million domains belonging to no-ip users, and proceeded to completely botch everything up? That was awesome.

about a month and a half ago
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Book Review: Spam Nation

neminem Re:Strunk & White Rolling Over... (82 comments)

Indeed, they *are* two different words, and thus, their connotations are in fact not the same. "Raises the question" just means "brings up", whereas the modern definition of "begs the question" asks that you imagine as though the question were literally (and in this case, I do mean literally, as the "metaphorically" sense is coming from the verb "to imagine") begging you, "PLEASE! *Please* ask this question! I *insist* that you ask this question!", that merely "raising the question" doesn't. As such, I firmly believe that the phrase as it is now commonly used *is* useful.

Furthermore, it is *not* overriding the previous usage - if you want to refer to the logical fallacy of begging the question, you would generally just state, "that is clearly begging the question". If I were to say, "that's clearly begging the question: where did she go?", and you assumed a definition of "assuming the conclusion of an argument" in that sentence, what would that even *mean*? A word or phrase can definitely have two or more meanings without any of them being diluted, as long as it's clear from context, either syntactically or semantically or both, which is meant.

about a month and a half ago
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Book Review: Spam Nation

neminem Re:Strunk & White Rolling Over... (82 comments)

Yes it does. It is literally (ok, fine, metaphorically) begging for you to ask that question. It begs the question. That's a perfectly legitimate shortening, even if it wasn't what the (significantly less clear) original meaning of the phrase was. Give it up.

about a month and a half ago

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