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ISP Trying Free (But Limited) Home Broadband Plan

realisticradical So we're back to the AOL model? (213 comments)

How is $10 for 10GB plus $5/GB after that a good deal? A 24GB average user is going to end up paying $80/month.
This sounds extensively like the cable company plans where they want to cap right below the level where someone trying to replace their $150/month cable subscription with $10/month netflix streaming would be.

about a year and a half ago

NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk

realisticradical Re:Overnight battery charge loss (609 comments)

The advice to sit around in the car with the heat running in order to condition the batteries makes the least sense to me. Why wasn't their advice to start driving, either to the charging station they directed him to or toward the Millford supercharging station with an eye out for charging stations on the way. (Note: PlugShare shows a whole bunch of charging stations on the way to and on Route 95.) If using the battery in order to warm it up helps it regain range is whose mind is sitting around in one place for a half hour better than driving for a half hour?

about a year and a half ago

Following FEMA's Zombie Preparedness Plan Could Land You On Terrorist List

realisticradical Pretty general terrorist criteria (527 comments)

With a list like that I'm surprised that the noise level isn't so high it makes the data pretty much useless.

You might be a terrorist if you're buying freeze dried meals, survival equipment, ammo (especially out of season), camouflage gear and night vision equipment, etc (all from the list). Then again you might be preparing for a backpacking trip, a cost conscious hunter, prepping for unlikely events, or any number of things normal people are extremely likely to do.

about 2 years ago

Google Patents Profit-Maximizing Dynamic Pricing

realisticradical Re:Translation: "Milk Your Biggest Fans" (294 comments)

This guy has bought every Madden game ever: No discount on Madden 13 for him. This guy has never bought a Madden game: Give him a $10 discount to incentivize him.

Sounds more like my cable company.

This guy has been a loyal customer for years, lets double what he pays. This guy has doesn't have cable at all: Give him a $150 discount to incentivize him.

about 2 years ago

Intellectual Ventures Tied To 1,300 Shell Companies

realisticradical Re:What happened to the days of hitmen? (140 comments)

Actually, I think this situation is pretty clear evidence against the existence of corporate hit men who take out people who harm the big businesses. I'm sure there are plenty of execs who wish they had the ability to get rid of this guy. But since he's still around it's pretty clear that they don't.

more than 2 years ago

12 Dead, 50 Injured at The Dark Knight Rises Showing In Colorado

realisticradical Re:To those thinking gun control would help: (1706 comments)

This is true, but it doesn't mean that gun control laws aren't helpful or could not be helpful in preventing similar situations.

Would anyone at all disagree that the situation would be far worse if the shooter possessed a fully automatic weapon with a large ammunition capacity? But, in the US, we have bans on automatic weapons so thankfully they aren't in wide circulation. If semi-automatic military-grade rifles were illegal to possess in this situation there would have been one more step in this story where he could have been stopped.

Sure, several people have pointed out that there are many other ways to harm people, but few if any of them are as simple and easy as legally purchasing firearms. Producing explosives is still something that he would have to learn how to do, actually do without blowing himself up, and would put him into several situations where he could be arrested. And honestly, I doubt it's nearly as easy to kill and injure people by driving a car into a crowd. People can much more easily scatter and run from a single car.

about 2 years ago

Cell Carriers Responded Last Year To 1.3M Law Enforcement Data Requests

realisticradical What about me? (155 comments)

Ok, but what I really want to know is what about my phone? I bet a lot of unreasonable surveillance would stop if cell phone companies sent people a notice a few months after the government requested information.

Then again there are 350-million people in the US, if there are that many phones maybe these are all reasonable requests.

more than 2 years ago

Google On-shores Manufacturing of the Nexus Q

realisticradical I have no idea what this thing does... (326 comments)

So I watched google's video introduction of the Q.

I have absolutely no clue what this thing does or is or anything really. Except that apparently it will let people come to your house and play music from their phone. The video feels like dot com boom marketing. It's like

more than 2 years ago

Too Many Biomedical Graduate Students, Not Enough Jobs

realisticradical Re:Not changing anything - NOT TRUE (226 comments)

What we need to do is stop pouring so much money into the military... the monies that all these proposals affect amount to just a few bombs and missles...

Interestingly, just as a side note, the military funds a fair portion of research. DoD has a highly sought after graduate student fellowship award and it provides lots of funding for things like prostate cancer research.

more than 2 years ago

Police Using YouTube To Tell Their Own Stories

realisticradical Predictions (299 comments)

I think this is an entirely reasonable response. Instead of trying to shutdown speech the police are offering another side of the story. Good.

Of course some of the broader implications are pretty interesting. An individual can basically edit a video to show the part where the police are beating the crap out of him and ignore the earlier part where he's spitting and throwing rocks. The police, on the other hand, don't get the luxury of using video simply as a PR mouthpiece. If this sort of response to protesters becomes commonplace it will be interesting to see what happens the first time an edited video comes out from the police. More interesting will be the cases where people start requesting these videos as evidence against the police at their trials.

more than 2 years ago

Police Using YouTube To Tell Their Own Stories

realisticradical Re:Pepper-spraying sitting protesters (299 comments)

They were warned and they made a choice - and the narrative quickly went from "police brutality" to "protester choice".

Just because they were given fair warning doesn't make it even close to a proper use of force. The police could have arrested everyone for trespassing or illegally blocking a walkway (if that's illegal). Any protester who didn't simply allow himself to be arrested could then be charged with resisting arrest. Only if the protesters fought back would the use of force be reasonable.

How far does "they were warned" let an officer go? Get out of my way or I'll hit you with a club? Get out of my way or I'll shoot you with a gun?

more than 2 years ago

Facebook, Zuckerberg Sued Over IPO

realisticradical Which shareholders? (445 comments)

Wait, the current shareholders? Like the guys who bought the company last week? They're already suing the company?

Ok, Clearly we need to get a legion of armchair lawyers on this one. How can you have standing to sue the company if the alleged thing happened before you were a shareholder?

more than 2 years ago

Verizon To Kill All Unlimited Data Plans

realisticradical Re:Rise of the discount carriers (331 comments)

I wouldn't be surprised if one of their desires was to saddle people with ridiculous overage charges. I remember a story a while back about a family whose son used his phone for all of his internet downloading needs. Verizon sent the family a bill for $18,000. Instead of helping their customers stay within the boundaries of their plans they try to rack up as many charges as possible.

more than 2 years ago

Supreme Court Limits Patents Based On Laws of Nature

realisticradical Re:Cool ... (173 comments)

Interestingly Monsanto might have more to gain from the expiration of the RoundupReady patent than from the profits of the patent itself. Remember, Monsanto sells the weed killer Roundup (glyphosate). Once the RoundupReady trait goes off patent farmers will be able to buy the glyphosate resistant seeds from generic sources or save them year to year. If roundup resistant crop use increases so does roundup use.

I sort of think of it the same way as if cigarette companies came up with a pill that gave you the ability to smoke without ever getting cancer. In terms of profit they'd do better to give away the pills and sell more cigarettes.

more than 2 years ago

All Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior, Say Two US Congressmen

realisticradical Seriously, Baca? (483 comments)

Ok, Congressman Wolf is from Virginia, but Joe Baca is the congressman from a district in California just east of LA. We're talking about companies whose workers are probably his constituency. How is it that the fact that video games employ large numbers of people in the state of California not helping keep idiocy like this from happening?

more than 2 years ago

Shmoocon Demo Shows Easy, Wireless Credit Card Fraud

realisticradical Re:Glossing over one problem... (273 comments)


It wouldn't be too hard to come up with a scheme to steal a bunch of cards and use the number immediately. You just hook the scanner up to a device that can make purchases at the same time the scan happens. Heck, build it into some sort of anonymous money scheme paypal account where you pay yourself and you could simply steal money. (Quick note, I don't know if or how anyone would actually do this but there must be ways.)

Beyond that it seems a bit to me like the real reasons there aren't recorded instances of stolen credit cards via RFID is that it's pretty technically complicated and thieves (at least the first world variety) and engineers aren't the same people. Also just because it hasn't been found doesn't mean it hasn't happened. How do you tell that the guy who stole your credit card did it with an RFID scan vs that he was your waiter or gas station attendant or something.

Finally, one time use CVV codes is fine but I would think that the 16-digit number and expiration date is enough to at least get some money off the card.

more than 2 years ago

Carmakers Prepare For Augmented Reality Driving

realisticradical Perhaps helpful things (177 comments)

I don't want info about bridges and stores. How about it shows the speed of the other cars on the road? Or just some sort of indicator that I'm too close to the car in front of me to stop in time if he slams on his brakes. I'm sure there's plenty of other information that could assist my driving as long as it's displayed as unobtrusively as possible. Distracted driving already causes plenty of accidents.

more than 2 years ago

The Challenges of Building a Mars Base

realisticradical Re:Challenge 1: Landing (228 comments)

So it sounds like there are multiple extremely difficult problems to work through. Isn't that kind of the point of this sort of thing?

more than 2 years ago

Do You Have the Right Stuff To Be an Astronaut?

realisticradical So Boring.... (229 comments)

Only US Government speak can make traveling to space sound so incredibly dull.

Astronauts are involved in all aspects of assembly and on-orbit operations of the ISS. This includes extravehicular activities (EVA), robotics operations using the remote manipulator system, experiment operations, and onboard maintenance tasks.

So walking in outer space, fixing satellites, and doing cutting edge science in a zero gravity environment. Heck, "onboard maintenance tasks" makes it sound like they're hiring janitors.

more than 2 years ago

Web Usage-Based Billing On Its Way

realisticradical Where's the usage information? (397 comments)

When my cell phone company charges me for extra minutes over the ones allotted in my plan it's an exorbitant penalty fee. I seem to recall the same thing happening in the modem days. This is one of those things I would support if it was more like the way I get charged for electricity or water where there's just a flat fee for each unit closely tied to the actual cost of that thing. If Time Warner switched to 5c per GB then a pay for what you use fee would be much more reasonable. (I just guessed on that, is 5c/GB even close to reasonable?)

Of course when the story popped up I figured I'd try to find out if I was one of those big data users whose internet fees would go up to $600/month. I took a trip over to Time Warner's website and tried to find the place where they tell me how much data I used this month and last month. As far as I can tell there's no such place. So the take home message is, "Somebody somewhere is using too much of our bandwidth. We want to charge them more." As long as it's 'them' and not 'you' they can get away with stunts like this.

more than 2 years ago


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