We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
UK mobile phone company charging structure is quite different from here or from most other parts of Europe -- each call in or out is charged in addition to the contract, each SMS text in or out is in addition to the contract, and data is a separate thing entirely. There is even an additional charge to a land-line phone for calling a mobile, over and above what it costs to call a land-line.
Part of the popularity of SMS text for simple messages is that each text is cheaper than the first unit of a voice call for both sender and receiver. So young heavy phone users tend to do a lot of communication by text (my nieces and nephews over there averaged in the hundreds per day).
n.b., the UK charging structure is probably a good part of the reason for the decline:
- would you rather that your parents see an itemized list of every text that you made, along with the monthly cost of the sum?
- or would you rather they just get a bill that said "you used x-amount of data this month"
typical European plan would have say €20 value, with voice costing say 10 cents a minute, SMS 8 cents each, and data 1 Euro per megabyte.
There are still plans that sell x minutes of voice, y SMS messages, and z MB of data but they're getting scarce.
Hybrid plans do exist, offering a base value plus a "bonus 1000 SMS per month" for example.
On Iran, our 'leaders' seem to think that just the right words will bring people around but the predicate is that there must be some common ground - even if it is self preservation. There is none with Iran (or Palestine, Hezbollah, Hamas, et al for that matter).
Lt. Lorance's ordeal (on the face of it) is a travesty. There was a time when I would tend to give the benefit of the doubt to military courts but now with the political intrusion into our armed forces (generals being purged, religious restrictions, etc.), I have a much more jaundiced eye.
It bodes ill for us if we are not ready to go to war when it is needed and also if we refuse to prosecute it when we are in one. Our allies as well as our enemies will take note of that and we could end up with fewer of the former and more of the latter.
I like the marine's motto, "no better friend, no worse enemy". Good motto for a country too, I think.
Someone in Christie's administration is guilty of closing the on ramps to the GWB just to inconvenience the citizens. The media is allover this. During the federal shutdown Obama's administration shut down everythingthey could shut down just to inconvenience the citizens and the media was all over Cruz. I'm not suprised but shouldn't we be suprised? I would like to see some people go to jail for shutting down the many federal monuments and parks. Where is the outrage?
About this texting thing. I just watched a police dash cam video of drivers crashing while texting. Where is the outrage by all the folks who are always outraged by such things? Should we not have an organization of concerned mothers at least? Mothers are impressive when they chirp and cluck in unison. And what about our vaunted politicians and their undying concern for your children? I'm sure children are involved somehow. People, this is a very serious matter. The phone companies should be held responsible for inventing texting and sued for billions of dollars. [Meaningless but impressive disclaimer that this post is not an advertisement. Nor is it intended to advocate on behalf of any particular lawyers or law firms] However, if you read between the lines, you can see how desperate I am to get lots of lawyers working on this outrageous texting problem. Lawyers are so good at problem solving.
Net neutrality is dead only so far as the court found that the way the FCC tried to enforce it was illegally outside their remit. The court in the majority opinion also helpfully gave a step-by-step tutorial on how the FCC could implement net neutrality legally and within its remit.
This new method has the additional advantage (from the perspective of net neutrality advocates) that it would apply equally to wireline and wireless providers of data.
I find it strange that leftish sources are decrying this as the end of the world, and experienced legal analysists (such as at the Volokh blog) are saying "in the long run Verizon is going to wish that they never brought this case..."