OldMugwump’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Sep 19th, 2020 @ 12:09pm

    Lawyers: Professional cowards who earn more than you do

    Yellow-bellied candy asses who take your money in exchange for telling you to run from bullies the size of a poodle.

  • Aug 25th, 2020 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Being sacked by the government isn't censors

    I'll reply to you since yours was the last comment - the other comments seem to agree with you.

    Simply put, just because the guy says he's happy about the kid being killed doesn't mean he won't do his job.

    Lots of jobs require people to do things they'd prefer not to.

    As long as he does his job, he's entitled to whatever crazy opinions he likes. And to post them online. It wasn't a threat or statement that he'd refuse aid as an EMT.

    If he were to refuse to do his job, of course that's another matter.

    I think the court got this right.

  • Aug 24th, 2020 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Being sacked by the government isn't censorship

    The court here disagrees with you, AC.

    As do I. When the government punishes you because of your speech, that's censorship.

    Suppose they put him in prison, but let him write letters while in prison. Would you claim "isn't censorship, as they are not stopping him saying horrific things"?

    I hope not.

    Censorship has been popular for a long time, in many (most) places in history. That's not because it's a bad thing, it's because lots of people thought it was a good thing (as you seem to).

    But after much consideration and debate, 18th century intellectuals decided that censorship did more harm than good. (That doesn't mean it doesn't do good.) Thus, the 1st amendment.

    I understand their reasoning, and agree with them. Most people who haven't thought hard about it, don't.

  • Aug 23rd, 2020 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Re: Oh calm down

    Attacking an opponent's values, based on your imagination of what those values are, is a really weak way of convincing your opponent (who almost certainly doesn't have the values you assume based on a few lines of text), or anybody else.

    What's your point, exactly? That you don't care whether the human race survives? That other people shouldn't care? Is it just that I'm today's target for generic negativity?

    Or are you just rhetorically masturbating - spouting text that's meant to put down your imaginary opponent - because it feels good, without having any point of your own to make?

    You aren't the only one who does this. Y'all seem to be a sub-species of troll, who get their kicks from imagining that they make other people feel bad, but fail to accomplish even that, as they attack imaginary strawmen who don't exist. While not putting forward any ideas, criticism, or opinion of their own.

    So, care to enlighten me re the purpose of a comment like yours? I'd really like to know.

  • Aug 21st, 2020 @ 4:18pm

    Oh calm down

    What did you think was going to happen?

    Did you think 1000 years from the sky wasn't going to have hundreds of thousands of orbiting objects in it?

    Unless you want the human race stuck on this one planet until we kill ourselves off (which won't be long if we're only on one planet), soon or later we're going to colonize the galaxy.

    Sooner is better.

    Lights in the sky seem a small price to pay for that.

    120 years ago you people would have been the ones moaning about how these newfangled "airplane" things are going to mess up view of the clouds.

  • Aug 11th, 2020 @ 1:08pm

    Re: what percentage of users

    This.

    It's hardly Microsoft's fault that geneticists chose names that look like dates.

    When you decide what to call things, choose wisely.

    Microsoft isn't my favorite firm, but this is hardly their fault.

  • Aug 5th, 2020 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: China and russia have practice in shooting down Sats

    It's not that simple.

    1) As Douglas Adams said, “Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

    Because space is big, your bucket of rusty nails needs to be in exactly the right place or the nails won't hit a thing. (Don't think of nails scattered around a big parking lot. Think of nails scattered around the Pacific Ocean. If you want a chance of hitting anything, you need a lot more than a bucketful.) In low earth orbit, they'll decay and re-enter within a matter of weeks.

    2) Anybody who can get their bucket of nails in the right place necessarily has highly accurate rockets, and has invested a lot to build that capability.

    3) Even if they get the bucket in the right place, they can get at most of a few (count on your fingers) of the 40,000 spacecraft in the constellation.

    4) Kessler cascades are theoretical and it's far from clear that the necessary density of spacecraft is anywhere close to the critical threshold. If it is, and the ASAT attempt triggers a cascade of destruction, the attacker will end up destroying their own spacecraft in the attempt. Of which they have many because of (2).

    As a practical matter, Starlink is unkillable. Short of intentionally destroying ALL spacecraft of ALL nations, which would be an act of war and is diplomatically untenable. As I said at the start.

  • Aug 4th, 2020 @ 2:05pm

    Re: China and russia have practice in shooting down Sats

    Sorry - you don't get it.

    Starlink is THOUSANDS of spacecraft. TENS of thousands.

    Once the network is fully deployed (> 40,000 sats), so what if somebody shoots down 1000 of them? Users will hardly notice.

    Nobody can shoot down Starlink short of destroying planet Earth. Not only is it economically impossible (they can't afford that many ASAT weapons), it's dipolomatically impossible and anyway SpaceX can replensh with new spacecraft 100x faster than anybody could shoot them down.

    Starlink is unkillable. It's a DoD wet dream - one that they didn't think was economically possible until Musk showed otherwise.

  • Aug 4th, 2020 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Shoot down satellites?

    Not going to happen. SpaceX can launch new ones FAR faster than anybody can shoot them down.

    That's why DoD loves Starlink - with literally thousands of satellites, no enemy can shoot it down. There are too damn many of them.

  • Jul 28th, 2020 @ 6:45pm

    Re: the mighty Trump

    Huh? What does Trump have to do with this?

    Cops have been beating people up, and covering up for each other, for a long time.

    Did I miss the connection to Trump somewhere?

  • Jul 17th, 2020 @ 12:40pm

    At this point I don't trust either of them...

    Scuzzy lawyers have scuzzy clients.

    I hate to generalize, but for some reason "professional" photographers seem particularly likely to engage in unethical copyright suits. Many post their work online, where they know very well that innocent idiots will find it, use it, and get their pants sued off.

    And the idea that this guy Craig (who seemed oh-so-eloquent in the letter to the judge) needs a $300 check - blood squeezed out of his victims - to pay his bills is the opposite of classy.

    If he can't make a legit living off of his photography by getting clients to pay him, probably he should find another line of work.

    I'm all for creatives reaping the rewards of their successful creations. But not by entrapping innocents into a sticky web of lawsuits.

  • Jun 29th, 2020 @ 7:22pm

    Can this guy sue?

    Anybody know how this works?

    If he were to sue for false arrest, would he have a reasonable chance of winning?

  • Jun 22nd, 2020 @ 5:39pm

    Objectification of women - in films!

    I don't get the problem with "objectification" of women in movies.

    They're movies. We're not hiring the actresses to run our businesses, to do our tax returns, to design our airplanes, to cure our diseases, or to teach English literature.

    We are going to LOOK at them on the movie screen.

    If we can't objectify people whose JOB it is to be objectified, things have gone too far.

    (This applies to men, too, of course. Few people want to watch Danny DeVito play a Clint Eastwood role.)

  • Jun 20th, 2020 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: SpaceX knows what they're doing

    Iridium ended up with 66, plus spares on-orbit.

    Yes, SpaceX has plans for de-orbiting failed spacecraft.

    All these details you mention have been publicly discussed by SpaceX - they're a Google search away.

    Iridium (the original generation of spacecraft) offered 2400 bits/second per user.

    SpaceX is offering ~100 Mbps/user. Not at all comparable to Iridium. This necessitates vastly more spacecraft, so each can cover a smaller area on the ground. The number of spacecraft limits the user density on the ground.

  • Jun 19th, 2020 @ 6:14pm

    Re: SpaceX knows what they're doing

    If Pai was any kind of engineer, he'd know this.

    Even if he isn't, the FCC has plenty of competent engineers.

    I can only conclude that Pai is being intentionally disingenuous, to hobble SpaceX's and favor the traditional incumbents.

    That, or total incompetence. I don't think he's that incompetent.

  • Jun 19th, 2020 @ 6:08pm

    SpaceX knows what they're doing

    They delivered two astronauts to the ISS a few days back. (Boeing tried and failed.)

    They can land TWO orbital-class boosters at the same time. (Nobody else in the world can land even one.)

    I'm a communications engineer myself - unaffiliated with SpaceX or any ISP - and their calculations look fine to me.

    I trust their engineering. If they say the latency will be well below 100 mS, it will be.

    Whether or not their business model will work, I can't say.

    But their engineering is sound. The latency will be as promised.

  • Jun 17th, 2020 @ 12:34pm

    Let's not jump to conclusions

    Maybe the outage was related to the layoffs/merger, maybe not.

    We don't know yet. At least some people seem to think it was some kind of DoS attack.

    If it was due to the layoffs or merger, by all means castigate T-Mobile for their incompetence. Let's wait and see.

    Let me remind everyone - all things being equal, layoffs after a merger are a good thing, if service quality doesn't deteriorate.

    Successfully delivering the same service with less people is an indication that efficiency has improved - this is progress.

    Of course it sucks if you're one of the people laid off, but the losses to those people are, in the long run, smaller than the gains to society. (Those who get laid off eventually get other jobs.)

    (To be clear - I'm not defending the lack of competition in the US mobile market - that sucks.)

  • May 11th, 2020 @ 8:39am

    STARLINK IS COMING

  • May 4th, 2020 @ 12:14pm

    Better without video

    Much as I'd enjoy watching, being on video makes people more self-conscious and careful than just being on audio (from personal experience - I was in the videoconferencing industry for almost 20 years).

    At the very least, people would spend a lot of mental effort thinking about how to control their facial expressions.

    I think we're likely to get more thoughtful questions and honest answers with audio-only.

    Tho I agree, a "I want to break in" button that can be silently pressed is probably a good idea, rather than rotating by seniority. I'm told the Supreme Court doesn't have much if any of an IT staff, so unless something simple is available off-the-shelf, doing that is a problem for them.

  • Apr 29th, 2020 @ 4:47pm

    Naturally they're not going after Google

    (I mean, you say "predictive text", I think "Google".)

    ..because Google has the means to fight back.

    So they go after a non-profit. What nice guys.

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