#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, November 18th, 2013 17:13
#2 By: daneel, November 18th, 2013 17:49
Well, this blows.
I'm really struggling with how backwards the US cellphone system seems to be even in comparison to the already pretty awful UK one.
I can't believe how much power the networks have here to screw around with phones; Nokia seem to be held hostage by AT&T and are only allowed to sell gimped versions of their products that are substantially inferior to the international versions (e.g. 1520 without the Qi charging, and half the normal amount of storage). Or the 2520 tablet, seemingly tailor made for T-Mobile's new "free" LTE data plan - but only available through AT&T and Verizon - I don't know if the contract-free ones you can buy from those two will work on T-Mobile - not sure if the radios will be compatible even if the devices are (as they should be) unlocked.
Even the "non-contract" deals are awful in comparison to UK pay-as-you-go ones - they still have monthly charges and the credits all expire each month. Even the network with the most consumer friendly deals (T-Mob) doesn't offer a true PAYG deal (i.e. no monthly charges, just pay per use). I really can't believe there isn't a market to sell tablet data in non-expiring amounts ($x per GB?) - just this bullshit deal where you have to pay $10 a month to add another device to your plan without getting any extra allowances - how can that possibly cost the network anything even close to $10 a month? It's like they want you to tether instead. I don't get it.
There should be legislation forcing the decoupling of cellphones/tablets from the networks they run on. They're just a pipeline, nothing more. They should have to state what amount of the monthly contract payment is handset subsidy, and be forced to offer a price for just the line rental alone if you BYOD. I'd like to see carrier exclusives banned - they're anti-competitive and bad for consumers and hardware manufacturers; See how being locked into AT&T (again) has really messed up the Moto X's sales.
I am definitely jumping ship to T-Mobile once my contract with the evil empire expires. Their options are still pretty expensive and not all that great, but definitely a step in the right direction. Of course, their handset selection blows. As much as I don't like Google, something like an unlocked Nexus looks to be a better deal every day (although, of course, as with Google/Amazon subsidized tablets, if hardware is always sold at cost/at a loss by companies who make their money elsewhere, the pure hardware manufacturers are all stuffed).
#3 By: Rindan, November 18th, 2013 20:46
Transparent governing my ass. Obama is such a worthless asshole. What an utter disappointment he has been. I don't have even a sliver of "hope" left, and I am disgusted that Hilary is going to be selected to carry on Bush's fifth term. Obama is better than Romney for sure, but that is like stating you would rather live under Stalin than Pol Pot; it isn't an endorsement.
#4 By: Marty Ross, November 18th, 2013 20:52
I expected to be disappointed by Obama, but not this disappointed.
#5 By: The Grey Man, November 18th, 2013 23:45
"If you like your cell phone, you can keep it. Period." Riiiight.
#6 By: euansmith, November 19th, 2013 06:29
It amazing, its almost as if the President is a powerless figurehead whose every action is directed by big business interests; but that can't be right, can it? Surely America is the greatest democracy in history?
#7 By: nonfer, November 19th, 2013 10:05
true it isn't as transparent as an obviously ignorant idiot. how is obama useless? this country is beginning to see what actually happens in a different way from any other time in american history.
take your jingoistic freedom fry to the hoop. brick.
#8 By: Ben Nortier, November 20th, 2013 09:08
I think you mean "corpocracy"
#9 By: Rindan, November 20th, 2013 18:05
I am having a very hard time parsing out WTF you are trying to say in that entire post, but I can assure you that "jingoistic" doesn't mean anything even vaguely close to what you think it means. You understand that my complaint is that Obama has had an abysmal track on transparency in government and that I don't want him slamming a nasty secret American treaty down the world's throat, right? If complaining that a lack of transparency in government and forcing nasty and unequal treaties on the world using our massive economic leverage is "jingoistic freedom fry" stuff, then I apparently have horribly misunderstood what the "freedom fry" crowd wants and both me and the Webster dictionary have been terribly confused what what the word "jingoistic" means because neither one of us thought it meant "liberal hippy non-interventionist".
#10 By: nonfer, November 21st, 2013 18:33
you may have misunderstood me. the current administration is unable to function. "obamacare" as a label is jingoism, not sense. it was drafted by congress. the same congress that has not adhered to the constitution. the same congress that drafted the bill. the bill that the supreme court edited after it was voted on, not anything but unusable precedent. the fisa court was established by congress. it is being used as an attempt to usurp the executive branch's authority for enforcement. this topic is possibly referring to that lack of transparency to which you rudely referred: is it corruption within the executive branch, or is it congress?
as to you being political, it figures. i kinda guessed that. pol pot in your post was a jingoist reference?
#11 By: Rindan, November 21st, 2013 20:22
Again, that word doesn't mean what you think it means. Pol Pot presided over roughly 15% of his population getting killed through mass executions and induced famine. If saying that I wouldn't want to live under Pol Pot is jingoistic, basically everyone human in existence is "jingoistic". Again dude, that word REALLY doesn't mean what you think it means.
Again dude, you keep using the word jingoism, but that word really doesn't mean what you think it means. Jingoism is specifically related to foreign policy with other nation, but ignoring that for a moment, I never mentioned "Obamacare". While I don't think ACA was a perfect piece of legislation, it certainly was better than what we had before. I have no real beef with ACA.
Congress certainly gets its fair share of blame, but the president gets more. The president is the executive. He is literally the boss of everyone at the NSA. They report to him. He doesn't need to ask congress for permission to shut down mass warrantless spying. He can just issue an executive order and it happens. The FISA court was created specifically because presidents were pissing all over the constitution. The FISA court is (in theory at least) a check on the power of the NSA. The FISA court doesn't tell the NSA to do something. The FISA court tells the NSA to NOT do something. Without the shitty and pathetic protection of the FISA court, the NSA would be even worse.
When it comes to domestic spying and the running of the federal agencies, congress is nearly powerless. They can only tell federal agencies to NOT do something or they can make it legal for them to do something. What they actually do is a power solely held by the president. If the president said tomorrow to the NSA "stop all warrantless domestic spying" the NSA would have to comply and there is fuck all congress could do about it.
However, lets pretend for a moment that federal agencies get their orders from congress. They don't, but lets pretend for a moment they do. The president could still merrily declare his opposition to the horrible domestic spying. He didn't. He defended the domestic spying. The president unquestionably has the power to pardon Snowden. He hasn't and he won't. The president has the power to order agencies to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests, he has refused to. Obama isn't being strong armed into being a pro-domestic spying piece of shit. He IS a pro-domestic spying piece of shit. He has said this publicly and defended the NSA.
Obama could end this all tomorrow and congress can do fuck all to stop him. It is actually one of the few things he can do that congress do a god damn thing about. Congress can kill the Affordable Care Act through a number of methods, but if Obama told the NSA to cease being a bag of dicks tomorrow, they would have to comply and congress could do nothing to stop them. Face it. Obama is asshole. He might be less of an asshole than Romney, but that isn't saying much.
#15 By: Mark Frauenfelder, November 23rd, 2013 17:14
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