top Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power
I'll start this off by stating I'm non-partisan and have no particular party affiliation. That said, the AC above is being disingenuous at best.
Domestic surveillance of the American populace by the NSA as almost certainly been in place since its inception, but it didn't really come into full-force until Bush signed the order to begin domestic spying on Oct.4, 2001. (see
https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying... say that its reached "new and unimagined levels" under the current administration is true, but only because the program has grown and expanded steadily since 2001.
But all of that is history to be rewritten by those with the motivation to do so, and relearned by those with short memories. As Americans, our forefathers built a nation upon the idea that we could create and maintain a country free of political tyranny; that those with power could not subjugate those without; that as humans, we have the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that its laws will provide justice and protection for all its citizenry; and that those citizens will be brave in the face of those who would try to take those ideas from us, and fight to preserve what we have built.
The Senate had the chance to take a stand to honor the sacrifices made by so many, and everything that we've fought and bled for 238 years; but they did not. Perhaps that is fine. Perhaps ISIS, and Al-Qaeda before them, have shown us that the idea of America is a false one. That all it takes to shake our country to its foundation is to sneak in and blow up some buildings. Maybe we were delusional in thinking that we could really ever be free? Maybe it's all been romanticized through movies, literature, and rewritten history books; and that we never really were a "land of the free and home of the brave". Maybe that's just song lyrics. Maybe it is the best form of government on the planet, or maybe that doesn't matter because it's government of and by an animal driven by greed and fear. And maybe it's always been that way since we came out of the caves.
That's what I take away from this vote, and all the other votes on all the other measures that either erode our freedoms, or prevent that erosion from happening. That it doesn't matter what we do, no form of government can overcome our failings as species.
top Amazon Goes After Oracle (Again) With New Aurora Database
No, WAT is "which after typically". WTF is something else entirely.
top President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility
I know he's lying because he's a politician, and his lips are moving. This isn't a dems/reps thing...they're all liars, crooks, and cheats. I'm not exactly sure what he's lying about; intentions, outcomes, agenda are all possibilities/probabilities. I'm just pretty sure he's lying about something.
top "Car Talk" Co-Host Tom Magliozzi Dies At Age 77
One of mine was when a kid called to ask how he can make washing his parents' cars easier. Tom joked and replied, mix sand and iron filings into the bucket with the wash water...they'll never ask you to wash their cars again.
top Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare
I disagree with the premise that "ObamaCare" and the ACA are the same thing. When Obama introduced his framework for health care reform, it included, among other things, a single-payer system. Controversial to be sure, but a key part of the plan. The republicans focused on that and the individual mandate as their two key talking points of opposition. The former was framed as a government takeover of healthcare, and the latter as unconstitutional. The democrats dropped the former to make it more palatable, presumably thinking something is better than nothing and perhaps it will be added in time. The republicans were quick to jump on board with that probably thinking without the single-payer element, the whole thing was dead. The latter was deemed constitutional by the supreme court, breathing new life into the legislation.
While the republicans termed the whole notion of healthcare reform as "ObamaCare" as a pejorative, in my mind the ACA is actually more of an inadvertent compromise between the democrats and the republicans. It wasn't the intention of the republicans to add things in and take things out as a means of compromise. What they did, they did to kill the legislation; but it didn't work out that way. In the end, the ACA is a democrat-led effort for healthcare reform with many compromises made to please, and at the behest of, republicans.
While the republicans didn't vote for the legislation; the legislation that passed has their fingerprints all over it.
But all of this is just political theater and bullshit. If any of you think your party is "right" or fighting for and representing your interests, you are deluded and probably of only average intelligence.
top 20 More Cities Want To Join the Fight Against Big Telecom's Broadband Monopolies
I don't see how a government takeover will...
Sorry, I think you mistook slashdot for some Fox News forum?
I expect we'll probably see and hear the phrase "government takeover" quite a bit from the Fox News crowd on this issue. It's obviously incendiary; designed to spread fear and disinformation to the public. It's also totally baseless. As if municipal broadband is some kind of coup? As if the "gobmint" is going to prevent ISPs from doing business in this country? As if they are going to seize the assets of ISPs in order to control the information sent to the masses? As if they needed to and haven't already been doing that since the invention of the printing press?
Oh yeah, it's a government takeover. It couldn't possibly be people fed up with high rates, poor service, and no market forces present to correct this; willing to spend their tax dollars for a different system, possibly a better system, or simply to light a fire under those in control of the current system.
top Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales
Money != speech. In fact, the United States was formed, in part, as a means of getting away from rule by monarchy/aristocracy. Our founders went to war to prevent it. But I suppose that's where we are. Maybe it's an inevitable failing of humanity that greed, not love, conquers all. After all, you get as much justice as you can afford, why should speech be any different?
But you did say "the public doesn't like what they have to say", and as we know from the article summary "The bill was modified without any opportunity for public comment." It's not like that was an accident, you know. They know full-well what the public comment would be. From the auto dealers, those they employ, and their lobbyists; we'd get: "This is bad for America!", "Think of the children!", and "This is pro-ebola!" From everyone else we'd hear "Please don't tell me how I can buy the products I want to use."
Really, this is just furthering the nail in Michigan's coffin. If Michigan residents can't buy Tesla's in their home state, they'll buy them in another. Purchasing a Tesla is statement, and a lifestyle choice. It's not a purchase of convenience. I'd fly to California and drive a Tesla back if I had to and was in the market for one. That's me taking the money I earn in Michigan and giving the sales tax on a high-dollar item to CA.
top Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales
We live in an Oligarchy.
If the majority of wealthy car dealers don't want Tesla ruining their state-sponsored, protectionist, big-government, corporate-welfare free ride; they'll send an army of lobbyists to make sure none of them have to compete against one.
top Millions of Voiceprints Quietly Being Harvested
Don't mind the young haters. I came to type the same thing. Would that I had karma to give.
please - verify - me
about a month and a half ago
top Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk
As a species, we've advanced pretty well and can use technology to reproduce all kinds of natural processes. It's easy to be lulled into thinking we can do just about anything. So it's kind of nice to see we still have some tricks to learn. I mean, no one is surprised we can't yet dial-in desired genetic traits a la Gattaca, but engineering spider silk seems fairly simple by comparison. I suppose once we have total control over the individual placement of atoms, at scale, anything really will be possible.
about a month and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: How Would You Build a Home Network To Fully Utilize Google Fiber?
I have a traditional 2-story colonial home. There are four bedrooms, all on the second floor. I got a small spool of cat-6 "Siamese" cable; it's got coax and cat-6 separately jacketed, but heat-glued together. I recommend that even if Google Fiber doesn't use coax (does it?). You never know what the future may hold, and you're only going to want to do this once.
I went into the attic and liberally measured off cable for each bedroom. I think I did something like 15' for the drop down the wall to the outlet (9' ceilings), plus the length to the sewage stack, plus another 12' per floor (12 for the first floor and 12 for the basement), then tacked on another 10' to run from the sewage stack to the networking wall. So each run ended up something like 60-65 feet. I had to use a hole-saw to drill a 3" hole next to the sewage stack on the second floor. It was behind a section of wall that had an air vent in it. I had to take the vent off and push the duct work out of the way. That was a little scary, and I wasn't able to get it back together perfectly, but it was worth it in the end. Once I was able to drop a weighted string to from attic to the basement, I taped up all the BR cables at one end, tied that to the string, and lowered them down along the sewage stack. I then did the runs down to the bedroom wallplates and terminated those. Then did the same for the basement. I used an 8-post coax line conditioner to terminate all the coax lines in the basement. All the cat-6 went into a wireless router and a switch:
I did separate runs for the family room on the first floor and three runs in the basement. In the end, I'm very happy with how it all turned out, and I would definitely do it again should I ever move.
about a month and a half ago
top Tesla Is Starting a Certified Preowned Program
It depends on the car and where you take it to be serviced. Even basic maintenance like oil changes can be expensive on luxury vehicles at the dealer or specialty shop. The mid-tier service plan on the Tesla is $500/year. I could get half-way to that just on oil changes alone...if I were dumb enough to take it to a dealer. The local foreign auto shop is a bit less, but I don't think $500/year is crazy. Certainly not any crazier than spending $80k on a car when you can buy other brands and models for $20k. You buy the car (and service) that fits in your budget and meets the needs you set above basic locomotion.
top Ask Slashdot: Designing a Telecom Configuration Center?
I understand where you are coming from, but I have to disagree...publicly.
If we took that attitude, why bother coming here at all? I come to slashdot to learn from those who have expertise in a given field, and lend my expertise in return. It's how we grow; individually and as a species. What purpose do sites like Stackoverflow serve in your world? We should all be working to help each other, not protect our meager little slice of the pie. What you know isn't a secret. You and you alone have not figured out the one, true, pure, and non-reproducible way of designing a perfect telecom system. Putting that information out there isn't taking food off of your table. It's how you do it that makes you valuable; the service you provide. There's also the years of work you put in that allow you to fix unforeseen problems on the fly and with ease. I could probably teach someone to do what I do in a week, but that does not make them an adequately suitable replacement for me. It gives them a little, but not a lot, of my knowledge; and none of my wisdom.
top Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job
Smells like a mermaid's asshole to me!
But I'm not talking about Conal's story. After actually RTFA, I think Comcast went WAY out of bounds on this. It sounds to me like he pissed in petunias of someone in Comcast's accounting department, and they didn't like having threats of the PCAOB lobbed their way. So in a knee-jerk, you're swimming in deep waters young man fashion; they contacted Conal's employer. It could also be that they really do have something to fear from the PCAOB, and discrediting the accuser is the first step of the defense.
If someone billed me for $2000 worth of gear I didn't order, and then sent me to collections for not paying it, I'd be making legal threats too. I guess if anything, that's where Conal went wrong. He tried to work within the Comcast system to get it resolved. I probably would have just contacted the state attorney general, particularly if I had expertise in the field in question.
top Conservative Groups Accuse FCC of Helping Net Neutrality Advocates File Comments
I agree that the lack of consumer choice is definitely to blame for this. I also think declaring ISPs as common carriers would keep the net neutrality we always had for years without government stating ISPs must treat packets equally regardless of sender.
This was my letter to the FCC during the net neutrality public comment period:
As long as telecommunication companies have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the return on the investment entrusted to them by their shareholders, they have no choice but to shape the direction of the internet in ways that will do so. Market forces that can often help keep that responsibility in check with the best interests of the public at large are absent in telecommunications, as most of these companies, and certainly the largest of them, enjoy little to no competition in the areas they serve. Even in markets that have more than two telecommunication providers to choose from, there is very little in the way of competitive behavior. While this may smack of collusion, the obvious truth is that none of these incumbent providers wish to engage in an expensive price war that races to the bottom, and a services war that races to the top. They are able to avoid competitive practices in the absence of pressure from start-ups or municipally-operated internet service.
Access to the internet is now a part of modern life in the United States of America. It is used to find a job, get an education, select and consume goods and services, and above all...communicate with others and our government. The fact that this very letter is available to those members of the FCC who are inclined to read it, along with countless other U.S. citizens, is made possible by the internet.
And that internet, which has created jobs and wealth from within our borders and without, has succeeded and thrived under the unspoken principle that all data regardless of its nature or point of origin will be delivered uninhibited to its intended recipient. This unspoken principle is of course, Net Neutrality. Some of our members of congress, well-meaning though they may be, are under the mistaken belief that Net Neutrality is a new idea. In fact, the internet has been neutral since its inception. Given its unprecedented and inarguable success, supporters of Net Neutrality simply wish to keep the internet the way it is and always has been.
Internet service providers state that senders of large amounts of data, like Netflix, place an undue burden on their systems and the only way to recoup the cost to deliver that data is to charge a higher amount for what they call an “internet fast-lane”. Pricing structures are already in place though to deal with the sending and consumption of large amounts of data however, without the need to discriminate. Netflix pays for the data it uploads on a megabit per second (Mbps or bitrate) basis during peak times, and even distributes video at lower quality for those ISPs unable to deliver video at the higher bitrates. Consumers also have the option pay extra to the internet service providers to deliver data at higher bitrates, and often do. These are marketed and sold under package names like Blast, Turbo, or simply High Speed. So Netflix and the like already pay more for higher bitrates, and consumers already pay more for higher bitrates. What the telecommunications industry is doing with “internet fast-lanes” is clearly double-dipping.
Reclassifying internet service providers as common-carriers solves these problems. It will increase competition by lowering the bar to entry for newcomers looking to focus on delivering the best service at lowest price. It will make internet access more affordable to more Americans for their daily basic needs, and bringing the speed and price of that service on par with other nations of the world. It engenders the long-held principle that data should not be discriminated against based on content or sender by creating a barrier between the creator of that data and the transport and delivery of that data. This allows for the continued growth in the technology sector, and fosters innovation by small businesses that may one day become the next Facebook, Google, or Netflix.
top Conservative Groups Accuse FCC of Helping Net Neutrality Advocates File Comments
then we must be against it! Fire up the astroturfing machine!!!
Like many things based in science or technology, I think the conservatives simply do not understand the call for net neutrality. But they do understand that many people with liberal tendencies are for it, therefore, they must oppose it. I'm (somewhat) convinced that there are people at Fox News or similar conservative outlets that stir up and create controversy where there is none, just to get their base frothing at the mouth...which equals more ad revenue.
top Satellites Reveal Hidden Features At the Bottom of Earth's Seas
Of course they aren't going to find it. It's all the way over in the Pegasus galaxy.
top The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
A thousand times yes. I won't buy these any more as they simply do not last; at least not in my house. I might get year out of them. Maybe a little more, but not appreciably more than a normal incandescent bulb which are considerably less expensive. I'll continue to purchase incandescent bulbs until they are regulated out of existence, or newer technologies come down to a sane price where the value (lifetime/cost) is on par with older technologies.
top Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State
I highly recommend to everyone reading this discussion to listen to this 16-minute NPR Money Matters story:
Them if you have some time, This American Life tells the dealer's side of the story:
I'll warm you now that your blood may boil, and you may turn into a rage monster thinking about the sheer absurdity and stupidity of the car-buying process.
top London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data
The "machine learning algorithm" is a euphemism for three hairless teenagers floating in pools of milk.
Watch out for the spiders.