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The Three Branches of Government


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Handful of Gimme

cell phone slaveThere's been a lot of unhappy noise along the inter-tubes lately as various ISP's have announced they're instituting data caps as a way of penalizing the rowdy 20% of users who hog most of the available bandwidth. If you happen to go over your allotted amount you can be charged about $10 or so for each additional 50 gigabytes. People are outraged.

They're also stupid.

The biggest scam in the digital world, which no one seems to care about, is phone texting. As you already know, if you don't have an unlimited plan the telcos will charge you 10-20 cents to send a text message and 10-20 cents to receive one. Know how much it costs them to manage this flow of data?

Nothing. Or as close to nothing as you can statistically get.

You see, the text message you've so tastefully crafted for a loved one, such as "Ur da bmb! LOLROTFL", travels along a sort of buffer called the control channel. This is normal chatter between your phone company and your cell phone and it occurs regularly throughout the day. (It probably includes the GPS data that tracks your location, but that's another rant.)

Years ago some bright spark in the technical department figured out a way to send text messages in this buffer and some even brighter spark in Marketing figured out a way to make money off of it. Lots of money.

My math here is going to be a bit inexact  but 50 gigabytes of texting will cost you about $1.3 million dollars at 20 cents per text. Your thumbs would have fallen off long before you reached 50 megabytes but you get the picture.

In an ideal world the telephone companies should have said "Hey, here's a free texting service. Knock yourselves out. Just remember who makes it all possible at the end of every month when you write the check. Capiche?"

As I'm unabashedly misanthropic you probably won't be surprised to learn that I don't text, and I nicely tell everyone that sends them to me to knock it off. The telephone is a technological marvel and it works perfectly fine as a communication device, much better than a glorified telegraph machine. So do us all a favor and quit lining the pockets of these greedy telco scum, unless you happen to be as ignorant as they think you are.

BTW, you might think I'm being a bit harsh, and I am, but consider this... for the past fifteen years you've been donating a tidy little stipend to the telcos every time you pay your phone bill, money that was supposed to go towards building a national, high-capacity fiber-optic system. It's billions of dollars later and all we got for our money is data caps. Can you hear me now?

=Lefty=

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john boehnerFebruary 10, 2011: "We're going to have a relentless focus on creating jobs." - John Boehner.

So far the list of Republican accomplishments for 2011 is:

(1) Attempted curtailing of abortion rights.
(2) Attempted defunding of Planned Parenthood.
(3) Attempted defunding of NPR.
(4) Investigating Muslims.
(5) Declaring English as America's Official Language.
(6) Reaffirming "In God We Trust".
(7) Challenging AARP's tax-exempt status.
(8) Approved defunct funding for failed religious schools.
(9) Attempt to destroy Medicaid.

Nope. No job creation here. Move along. Move along.

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Fox News Lies!And what lies is Fox News spewing lately? How about misrepesenting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s support for labor rights.


end rant

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What's in Mike's iPod?
"Regrets" by Kenny Rankin


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BUNI

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Today's Google Chow.

Teacher: Billy, can you name the three branches of the U. S. government?

Billy: Sure. Greed, Cronyism and Propaganda.

Teacher: Now, Billy. That's not right.

Billy: Tell me about it.