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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the there's-a-party-at-comcast's-house-and-attendance-is-mandatory dept.

Businesses 107

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Consumerist: "Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don't compete because their service areas don't overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don't currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what's involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?"

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Just because they dont overlap (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 7 months ago | (#46736047)

Does not mean that it is a good idea. Why would anyone want the company called the worst company in the world to take over another company? Time warner is not great by any stretch of the imagination, but comcast makes them look like gold

Re:Just because they dont overlap (4, Insightful)

SpockLogic (1256972) | about 7 months ago | (#46736101)

Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?"
No. Hell NO.

Re:y'all sing along y'hear? (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about 7 months ago | (#46738961)

Should
Comcast be allowed to
Control both what
Content you
Consume and how you get to
Consume it?"

'C' is for COOKIE that's good enough for me! [youtube.com]

Re:Just because they dont overlap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739235)

unfortunately, they already do... the relative ease at which comcast was able to take over nbcuniversal is proof that the government regulators and legislators really dont give a shit about the people.. but only big business and big campaign contributions. the present comcast should be broken into 3-5 pieces, but that'll never happen.

Re:Just because they dont overlap (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about 7 months ago | (#46740197)

No. They should not, and despite anything they may try to convince Capital Hill and the U.S. populace of, that's exactly what they're trying to do, and that's precisely what will happen. It not only should be blocked from happening, Comcast should be required to break up into smaller companies, just like the phone company was required to in previous decades, but in this case the reasons to do so are even more dire than just them having a mere monopoly on a market.

Re:Just because they dont overlap (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 7 months ago | (#46738017)

The worst company in the world? I thought that ignoble award still went to Wal-Mart.

Re:Just because they dont overlap (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 7 months ago | (#46738225)

So we are heading into the world of Max Headroom [maxheadroom.com] at an alarming pace. We are almost there, Detroit is there already. The merge of Comcast and Time Warner Cable will become Network XXIII.

Re:Just because they dont overlap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46740253)

The letter I got with my bill says the debate is over... they ARE officially merged.

I honestly believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736055)

that Internet access is a basic human right and access should be outside the control of capitalist companies. A 50mbit connection actually should cost about $20 a month with no caps. I've long hated corporations thinking they have a right to control information. They don't. No one does. If the Koreans can provide cheap, fast Interwebs, Americans should be ashamed they cannot provide the same.

Re:I honestly believe (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46736457)

Well, there's money to be made.

Never EVER think that switching something over to the private sector would make it cheaper to you. Yes, government isn't great at running stuff, but what makes you think that a private company would offer it cheaper to you rather than pocketing what they can cut in slack?

And not always is slack a bad thing. Usually it's redundancies that ensure availability. For reference, see internet.

Re:I honestly believe (1)

colin_faber (1083673) | about 7 months ago | (#46740475)

Comcast is NOT a private sector entity as most would consider. They're a government sponsored monopoly. They receive massive tax breaks, and direct funding from the government to build out infrastructure (tax dollars spent on laying pipe). It's utterly absurd to think that they have anything in common with a truly private entity. You want to know why comcast is allowed to grow so large, completely and solely control local markets for both TV and Internet delivery? Because the government allows it.

Re:I honestly believe (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46742235)

If it's tax money that fuels it, they better have some kind of liability to provide the service on the terms of the government. Do they?

For some odd reason I don't think so.

Let's face it, the creed of today's capitalist world is "privatize profits, socialize costs". And our governments are stupid and corrupt enough to play along.

Re:I honestly believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46743533)

Gov't "allowing" = lack of regulation.

Re:I honestly believe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737009)

Internet access is a basic human right

Really? Humans existed for probably a couple of million years without knowing they had this basic right? Kinda like free healthcare?

Re:I honestly believe (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737353)

Internet should count as critical infrastructure that should be paid for and maintained out of tax money, just the same as roads.

Yes... but. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46738553)

Yet look at the roads.

Re:I honestly believe (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 months ago | (#46739181)

Internet should count as critical infrastructure that should be paid for and maintained out of tax money, just the same as roads.

You might be surprised how many public roads/bridges/tunnels have been privatized and had a toll booth slapped on them.

Re:I honestly believe (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 7 months ago | (#46742179)

Internet is critical infrastructure, which is precisely why it must NOT be in the hands of any government (and no other infrastructure should either, because it is illegal, immoral but also really stupid - if you want something to work, you don't give it to government).

Re:I honestly believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46740049)

If the Koreans can provide cheap, fast Interwebs, Americans should be ashamed they cannot provide the same.

http://education.randmcnally.com/images/edpub/South_Korea_US_Size.png

If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736113)

Yes, Comcast is entitled to control both the content you consume and how you consume it. It's their property, they earned it fair and square and can do whatever they want with it. To suggest otherwise is COMMUNISM!

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736191)

Yet another person who has no idea what "communism" means. The people, actually, should own the means of production, both of their work and their entertainment. To say otherwise is to be at the mercy of someone else. No, thank you. A social democrat government where people come first over profit is the goal. Absolutely screw libertarian ideals. They are as bad as the fascists because they believe collusion between government and corporations is OK, despite their being against big government.

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736217)

Yet another person who has no idea what "communism" means.

Yet another person with no sense of humor. Lighten up, FFS.

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736393)

Yet another person who has no idea what "communism" means. The people, actually, should own the means of production, both of their work and their entertainment. To say otherwise is to be at the mercy of someone else. No, thank you. A social democrat government where people come first over profit is the goal. Absolutely screw libertarian ideals. They are as bad as the fascists because they believe collusion between government and corporations is OK, despite their being against big government.

Hey Einstein, once "the people" take over the means of production, WHO THE HELL DECIDES WHAT TO DO WITH IT???

WHO DECIDES what "people come first" means?

Stalin?

Kim Il Sung?

Pol Pot?

I know damn well what "communism" means - the bloodiest governments in all history were Communist.

A Communist is someone who read Marx. An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx.

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737705)

Hey Einstein, once "the people" take over the means of production, WHO THE HELL DECIDES WHAT TO DO WITH IT???

WHO DECIDES what "people come first" means?

Stalin?

Kim Il Sung?

Pol Pot?

Larry Ellison?

Steve Jobs?

Dick Cheney and the Halliburton directors?

I know damn well what "communism" means - the bloodiest governments in all history were Communist.

A Communist is someone who read Marx. An anti-communist is someone who understands Marx.

I don't think you can read at all. Or you might have read what people like Attila the (non-communist) Hun did. Or Montezuma and his buddies. Or any number of satrapies, caliphates, kingdoms and so forth did.

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 7 months ago | (#46736349)

im going to assume that was sarcasm and everyone missed it. at least I hope so

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46736385)

I'm with ganjadude on this one.

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736801)

Hey! apk is right. You guys are the same. And say hi to Barb

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736937)

Demonstrate your support for APK today: Change your sig to "I AM ZONTAR"!

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46745695)

Demonstrate your support for APK today: Change your sig to "I AM ZONTAR AND TOM AND TOM AND BARB AND OPPORTUNIST AND..."!

TFTFY. :D

(oh for pity's sake. here's a few more words that aren't uppercased. happy now?)

Zontar: Face the music (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46746339)

"You barge into discussions with your off-topic hosts file nonsense" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:51PM (#46731153) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

PROVE YOUR FALSE ACCUSATION: Show me a quote of me posting off topic on hosts where they did NOT apply... go for it!

You said my "APK Hosts File Engine" is a virus/malware http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] but it's EASILY PROVABLE it's not, right there in that link too.

---

You avoided backing up your accusation where YOU said I say you are Barbara, not Barbie = TomHudson (same person http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] , & sockpuppeteer like you) -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Funny you can't back up your "bluster" there either, lol...

---

Why, Lastly?

You're crackers! See here multiple personality disorder http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] + manic depression http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> So, THIS quote below is my policy on sockpuppeteers like you Zontar = TrollingForHostsFiles (your sockpuppetry):

"The only way to a achieve peace, is thru the ELIMINATION of those who would perpetuate war (sockpuppet masters like YOU, troll -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ). THIS IS MY PROGRAMMING -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com] & soon, I will be UNSTOPPABLE..." - Ultron 6 FROM -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Which quite obviously, I am, since none of you DOLTISH TROLLS are able to validly technically disprove my points on hosts enumerated in the link to my program above of how hosts give users of them more speed, security, reliability, & anonymity... period!

(Trolls like YOU that use sockpuppets http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] (your sockpuppet "alterego" TrollingForHostsFiles) & TomHudson - Barbara, not Barbie too http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] before you)

... apk

Zontar = TrollingForHostsFiles sockpuppet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46747027)

You can't deny you're "busted" in sockpuppeteering Zontar http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> I never said you are Tom, & YOU can't seem to backup where I allegedly said YOU are Barb, can you? Nope -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

(LMAO - You're also *trying* to "hide it" via downmodding it also? Puh-LEESE, lol... you're busted - completely!)

... apk

Re:Zontar = TrollingForHostsFiles sockpuppet (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46747553)

If it wasn't you, then it was somebody pretending to be you. As I've mentioned before, your modus operandi leaves you wide open to impersonation. Which is, quite frankly, not my problem.

TrollingForHostsFiles = Zontar sockpuppet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46747681)

Your obsession with Burma Shave did you in exposing your sockpuppetry Zontar http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

(You're also downmodding that + every evidence I post regarding your lies & libel, to *try* to effetely "hide it", Zontar? Doesn't matter - I'll just post it when needed to further expose your reprehensible sockpuppetry & other LIBEL of myself you're running from - no biggie, unlike MOST ac users, I have NO posting limits, and I will exhaust your downmod points eventually... you'll "run outta gas" in trying to hide your misdoings I exposed you in - that's all, lol! I've done it before, pretty simple...)

"Run, Forrest: RUN!!!" with You being uanble to validly support your OUTRIGHT lies regarding myself -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Which you RUN from, endlessly, when I confront you with it, in righteous indignation - defending MY professional reputation vs. that libel of yours directed MY way...!

(I am not a virus writer, you say I am? Bullshit - write malwarebytes' Mr. Steven Burn then - he can SET YOU STRAIGHT there, and in turn, it will make YOU 'eat your words", libelous ones directed @ me!)

APK

P.S.=> You're deluded IF you *think* you can "fool others" when YOUR OWN WORDS & LIBEL do you in, everytime... apk

Re:If you are a libertarian, the answer is yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737165)

LOL you should have used /s

everybody is overlooking content creation here (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 7 months ago | (#46736133)

both cablecos are generating programming from scratch, and Comcast bought both NBC's production arm as well as Universal Studios. there may be an overlap in control between TimeWarner Cable and Warner Bros. studios.

this is a BIG deal. cue the "in Soviet Russia" jokes, because they would have more control over what you see worldwide than just the Cyrillic-language channels.

So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736331)

And? The answer is to let the United States government get to decide who controls what? This is content and services that are hardly basic human needs. Are you THAT desperate for their crap content that you want Uncle Sam to decide?

Re:So? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46736407)

Culture seems pretty needful to me.

Re:So? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#46737635)

So? We're talking about TV and the Internet.

Re:So? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46738881)

Yes, in fact, we are talking about TV and the Internet.

Re:everybody is overlooking content creation here (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 7 months ago | (#46737707)

Who needs to worry about competition when you own the pipeline end-to-end?

Synergy. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736137)

Exelon owns both Energy Production and Distribution companies.

When fracking made running nuke plans unprofitable, they pushed off maintenance on their nuclear fleet. Now that they're at the point they must do maintenance or risk a meltdown, they are engaging in lots of labor and finance chicanery with their distribution business units to funnel cash into their Nuclear Fleet. Because they are a Chicago based company and very close to the local government, if you are an outsourced employee, they have carte blanch to do illegal things to you like move you between out-sourcers and skip paying paychecks. The net result is the organization is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and talent is either jumping ship or avoiding it. The Electric Grid in Chicago is beginning to fall apart because vital maintenance tasks are not being performed. We will see a repeat of weeklong outages of the 90's.

Besides the conflict of interest in a broadcaster and content producer owning any substantial percentage of the national market, TWC and Comcast are both badly dysfunctional companies with terrible reputations to both customers and labor. The only reason they exist is because they have a de-facto monopoly on their respective markets.

Small ISP's are popping up offering 4G to your home; these services promise to be as inexpensive as landline cable or internet. What will happen to TWC when Comcast is unable to compete?

So true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736303)

These are two desperate companies fighting to survive in a changing world. I'm not afraid of a dinosaur.. let them die together. Only a government can "control" anything. They don't provide and limit anything we need to survive. It's a luxury resource. First World problems. Jeez.

Re:So true (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 7 months ago | (#46736363)

you dont think that the government would jump in and say that the largest producer of content and delivery system is "too big to fail" and then give them tons of our money to ensure that they can keep raping us with fees? I can see the government doing that

I don't "consume" content (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 7 months ago | (#46736199)

A better description would be that information flows around me like a river during a flood and I reach down from the bank and scoop out a little bit for a sip on a hot day. Then I turn around and take a walk in the woods. Control that, Comcast!

Re:I don't "consume" content (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736255)

The Comcast shoots you in the back of the head.

Re:I don't "consume" content (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 7 months ago | (#46737057)

A better description would be that information flows around me like a river during a flood and I reach down from the bank and scoop out a little bit for a sip on a hot day. Then I turn around and take a walk in the woods. Control that, Comcast!

You may want to avoid analogies about consuming something when you are arguing that you don't consume something else......

Consume
verb
1.
eat, drink, or ingest (food or drink).
"people consume a good deal of sugar in drinks"

Re:I don't "consume" content (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 7 months ago | (#46737615)

Good point. But a quick sip isn't exactly something I depend on, right? That was the real point. If one source of marginally interesting information flow gets ruined, there are plenty of other things to do. My mental well-being doesn't depend on 'consumption' of what Comcast/TWC might control. Maybe I'll just take the kayak down to the river and paddle around for a bit, take the dog for a walk or take the bike out for a spin. Comcast/TWC can DIAF.

Re:I don't "consume" content (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 7 months ago | (#46740817)

Good point. But a quick sip isn't exactly something I depend on, right? That was the real point. If one source of marginally interesting information flow gets ruined, there are plenty of other things to do. My mental well-being doesn't depend on 'consumption' of what Comcast/TWC might control. Maybe I'll just take the kayak down to the river and paddle around for a bit, take the dog for a walk or take the bike out for a spin. Comcast/TWC can DIAF.

So when you go down to the local polling place, assuming that you even vote, do you just pick randomly?

No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736247)

No. This merger should be prohibited. I'd go so far as to say that Comcast, and TWC need to split into SMALLER more competitive cable companies that might actually deliver shit that people want.

Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736313)

To say a merger like this should be prohibited to prevent "control" means you are simply accepting the government has the control. Permitting the government to control this is far more damaging than allowing two terribly run companies to go bankrupt together.

Re:Problem (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46736491)

Go bankrupt? How? By creating a monopoly situation that lets you either buy their service or exist without internet? Yeah, that's gonna send any company to a chapter 11 instantly.

If the choice is only a for-profit monopoly or a government keeping companies from forming one, I side with the obvious lesser evil.

Re:Problem (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46736853)

Yeah, that's gonna send any company to a chapter 11 instantly.

Yes, if you want to run up huge debts, then force your creditors into renegotiating their contracts, Chapter 11 is ideal.

Re:Problem (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46737833)

Depends. If you're a bank, you might get a fastpass with tax money.

Re:Problem (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 7 months ago | (#46739425)

You mean allowing two terribly run companies to get government bailouts together.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739211)

Splitting them up in smaller local companies does nothing at all for competition. The companies need to be split into infrastructure and internet/content companies. The infrastructure company must be required to supply its services to any internet/content company at the same condition - in my opinion that's a fair deal for granting them access to public and private land to lay their wires.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739613)

OR we can turn it around and say yes to the merger on one minor condition. Divest/Spinoff all last mile infrastructure into a highly regulated monopoly or municipal utility and never get into the physical distribution layer again.

This would allow other companies to come into the Central office with their own gear and provide services to customers over the precious last mile. Comcast Time Warner would be able to transmit their content over this "free" last mile like everyone else.

GIve it up (1, Flamebait)

The Cat (19816) | about 7 months ago | (#46736267)

Internet culture has long passed the point where it actually gives a fuck about the Internet. It only took 20 years for the people who built the web to be replaced by ten times as many headset-wearing asscracks who neither understand the Internet nor would give a shit if they did.

When some monopoly trillionaire (or just five or six large corporations) buys the fucking thing and turns it off, the best you'll get is a "meh."

You probably think I'm kidding.

Re:GIve it up (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46736661)

The internet was our garden. And a beautiful garden it was. Sure, some fed agency created it, but let's face it, they used a fraction of the lot and we didn't really care for their supersecret bases they had littered about. There was so much empty space in between! And that lot we cultivated. We built a few nice trees and in their shadows we relaxed, we planted beautiful roses and yes, a few fruits and vegetables because, hey, it's always better if you grow it yourself. And ... heh, well, yeah, we had a few corners here or there where we grew that "special weed", ya know, but nobody really gave a shit, it was just us.

We were pretty good gardeners. Well, you pretty much had to be in those days, if you didn't know your way 'round with rake and shovel, you didn't really get much out of it. Still, we were quite happy with it. So happy actually that we thought we should share that. I mean, there's so many people out there who don't even know just how great the garden is! And we invited them in. They looked around and, well, most of them didn't quite "get" it. Sure, it was nice, here or there, well, if you're into botany, that is, but it's kinda hard to get around and find your way through the jungle, and using a machete wherever you go, phew, hard work! But a few of them stayed. They didn't quite know what they do, but we handed them a few saplings and some seed and some actually managed to learn a thing or two about gardening. Sure, of course a few smartasses tried to steal our stuff, but we usually didn't have much of a problem to whack them with our shovel and get our stuff back. And, heh, yeah, we, too, went into each other's yards and played some pranks on each other, painted their roses black and the like, but it was all in good fun! And hey, they sure liked our ... ya know, "special stuff". They still had no idea how to grow it, but they were quite willing to help us share everything with everyone, as long as they got their share, too. And, well, why not, pass the blunt!

That was about when the corporations noticed that, hey, where did all the people go? They took a look at the garden and they went batshit crazy. I mean, sure, we knew that it's great, but we never saw anyone go so insane about it. They saw it as the next big thing to make money with, and we laughed. Money? With this? Dude, you can't make money out of a system based on freedom and sharing! Everything in here is free. Yeah, in both ways.

True. You can't make money in such a system. Unless of course you change the rules. And changing the rules, they could.

I can't help but think that this must be how the natives of the US felt after they were "discovered". Because we had to face that there are suddenly areas in what we considered OUR garden where we couldn't go anymore. Worse, something that was the staple of our culture, going to a guy who did something great and asking him for a sapling of his wonderful tree. Became anathema. Instead of you SHOULD imitate and build on top of mine, the new creed was you MUST NOT. This rule, of course, did only surface after they themselves took from our gardens what they could possible rake together quickly. You might understand our utter disbelief and of course outrage when we noticed that turnabout is not fair game.

Well, we have had our share of trolls and nuisances before. Long before we already had to deal with people who trampled through our gardens or were a general pest. Our solution was simple, we took our superior gardening skills and whacked them from here to next week with our shovels 'til they either learned to play nice or left for good. This didn't work out so well this time. No, not because they had the better gardeners. But they didn't need to. They had a much more powerful weapon in their arsenal: The law. First, they ensured that the laws would benefit them, and then they used it against us. And despite how despicable it may be, we have to admit that it is quite efficient to have others take care of your battles, especially when you know that you cannot win a conventional war.

And now we're sitting here in what's left of our once beautiful garden. The once mighty jungle has been tamed and civilized, what used to be interesting and a land for explorers is now divided into lots that you may buy instead of simply use. You can get there easier now... well, if you prefer using long winding roads to a direct route, but the long winding roads are necessary so you pass by all the billboards that block your view to what's really interesting. Of course you may not step anywhere, only where you're allowed to, and don't even think about taking anything, rest assured it's for sale, not free.

So we're sitting here now, at the edge of something we once knew as beautiful and free. We're looking at it and we wonder what we did wrong. Where did we fail? And I can only come up with one solution for when we try something like this again: Don't invite the masses in. Keep it to yourself. It's the only way how you can really keep it. And the only way you can do without a camo net over your herb garden.

Re:GIve it up (1)

Morpeth (577066) | about 7 months ago | (#46737503)

One of the best posts I've read on /. in a long while.

Re:GIve it up (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 7 months ago | (#46738241)

One of the best posts I've read on /. in a long while.

Yes. Very good. Thank you for that, Opportunist.

Re:GIve it up (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 7 months ago | (#46739535)

Modded to +5 by several of Opportunist's sockpuppet accounts, no doubt.

While those same accounts modded my post down. The "garden" wasn't fucked over by the law. It was fucked over by Internet culture. The same culture that demands sockpuppet accounts to defend your posts on Slashdot.

Re:GIve it up (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46745713)

Right, everyone on the Internet who doesn't agree with you must be a sock-puppet.

Hey! Whaddaya know? Here's someone who'd probably really like discussing this novel theory of yours with you, at length [slashdot.org] . Enjoy!

Re:GIve it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46746255)

It's no mere theory you use sockpuppets Zontar http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Back up your libel & lies Zontar... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46747067)

"You barge into discussions with your off-topic hosts file nonsense" - by Zontar The Mindless (9002) on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:51PM (#46731153) FROM -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

PROVE YOUR FALSE ACCUSATION: Show me a quote of me posting off topic on hosts where they did NOT apply... go for it!

You said my "APK Hosts File Engine" is a virus/malware http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] but it's EASILY PROVABLE it's not, right there in that link too.

---

You avoided backing up your accusation where YOU said I say you are Barbara, not Barbie = TomHudson (same person http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] , & sockpuppeteer like you) -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Funny you can't back up your "bluster" there either, lol...

---

Why, Lastly?

You're crackers! See here multiple personality disorder http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] + manic depression http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> So, THIS quote below is my policy on sockpuppeteers like you Zontar = TrollingForHostsFiles (your sockpuppetry):

"The only way to a achieve peace, is thru the ELIMINATION of those who would perpetuate war (sockpuppet masters like YOU, troll -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] ). THIS IS MY PROGRAMMING -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com] & soon, I will be UNSTOPPABLE..." - Ultron 6 FROM -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Which quite obviously, I am, since none of you DOLTISH TROLLS are able to validly technically disprove my points on hosts enumerated in the link to my program above of how hosts give users of them more speed, security, reliability, & anonymity... period!

(Trolls like YOU that use sockpuppets http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] (your sockpuppet "alterego" TrollingForHostsFiles) & TomHudson - Barbara, not Barbie too http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] before you)

... apk

Re:GIve it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46746245)

Zontar does use sockpuppets (TrollingForHostsFiles) http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Right on (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736375)

As far as motion pictures were concerned this was decided in 1948 (Paramount vs United States). Simply put, movie studios can not own movie theaters. Another interesting anti-trust action was the dissolution of United Aircraft and Transportation into Boeing the aircraft manufacturer, Pratt and Whitney the aircraft engine manufacturer and most importantly United Airlines. So a single company can not both manufacture airplanes and run airlines. Unfortunately I fear our current political climate is so corrupted by the concentration of wealth that these actions could not occur today.

Re:Right on (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46736433)

What, movies and planes but no cars?

(I keed, I keed--please mod parent up.)

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736501)

Well in most states a car manufacturer can't sell cars directly to consumers. Does that count?

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737115)

What's this I read about you using sock puppets to troll users here?

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46745725)

What's this I read about you, APK, stalking, harassing, and threatening to "destroy" Slashdot users for the "crime" of pointing out that you're an obnoxious cretin?

Re:Right on (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46736675)

The split should be between owning the cables, running an ISP and providing content. Any combination thereof is already too much.

Re:Right on (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737817)

Amen. I work for a small ISP/IPTV/VoIP provider and the plain truth is this: a few big content providers take 80% of our customer's monthly cable bill. They essentially tell us how much we have to charge and what our channel package structure needs to look like. Sure they provide the illusion of choice: sure you can carry our popular channels in HD, all you need to do is add these 10 other junk channels in the same bundle and charge your customers 25 cents for each of them... Sure you can carry the Olympics, all you'll need to do is sign this 5 year contract extension with 15% price bumps each year and a one-time $5/subscriber fee this year. What are we going to do - not carry NBC? Our customers don't understand any of this and we're contractually prevented from breaking out costs in any meaningful way so they can understand how badly lopsided the power is.

Centralizing power like this will drive everyone's prices up, whether your in their cable markets or not - because everyone is in their content market.

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739451)

Thanks.

You have just explained why I will never buy cable or any paid TV service.

From a consumer perspective it is an absolute ripoff. There is nothing I can say that has not been said thousands of times about this.

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739015)

+1

The answer to this:

Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?"

Is "NO"

Re:Right on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739669)

Do not forget US Steel. They owned everything from the mines for iron ore and coal up to selling the finished product. I believe this company was the impetus for the creation of the Act.

the puplic vs money (2)

luther349 (645380) | about 7 months ago | (#46736511)

we the users and genrel public know Comcast is a fucking cancer that needs to be cut out threw competing company's. but thanks to bad laws and red tape nobody can even get into the cable market even if they wanted to. why has the fcc not came in and said no yet. internet should be getting cheaper and faster but when nobody is there to undercut one another well it just get more expensive wile the back end is getting cheaper. tell you what fine let them merge but with the removal of all there anti compete clauses in all there areas. letting new company's come in and destroy there monopoly bet they wont want to merge then.

Re:the puplic vs money (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46738661)

It's worth mentioning that where laws allow it, Google has already begun competing. And all reports are Google is doing an excellent job.

Control consumption (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#46736537)

And create it... From start to finish, they control your entire media world.....

Negligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736573)

I'm still waiting on Comcast's response as to why their web-mail is entirely over HTTP, have yet to begin with their merger and what issues that may bring.

Re:Negligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46741497)

After the merger, the new company name should be Comshit.
If the merger happens, the only thing that will improve for them is increased prices.
I remember being an early customer of both DirecTV and USSB. USSB carried all the movie channels and DirecTV had everything else.
Life was good until the merger.
Within months my bill for the same moves and channels went from around 43 dollars to over a hundred and change.
If the merger happens hold on to your wallet !
I got tired of both the sat and cable prices for shit service and cut the cord several years ago.
Don't need them, never again!

I don't CONSUME content (2, Interesting)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 7 months ago | (#46736595)

I don't consume content. No one does.

If something is "consumed," it is no longer there after consumption.

Viewing content, whether over the air or internet, is not "consuming." Viewing, subscribing, or using — maybe — but consuming, it is not.

Similarly, "stealing" something (an MP3 or CD) means that IT IS NOT THERE AFTER THE ACTION. It may be copyright infringement, or fair use, but is is definitely NOT stealing.

Re:I don't CONSUME content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737721)

Nice try, but but that reasoning, content comes into existence spontaneously without the work of anyone to produce, package, or distribute it.

Since there are people who benefit financially from all of the above, but won't if everyone has your mindset and doesn't provide compensation, obviously something gets stolen when you pirate. The only argument is what to call it. And a rose by any other name pays no bills.

Re:I don't CONSUME content (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 7 months ago | (#46742591)

Well, I said 15 years ago — and I'll say it again — Anyone who is in the business of selling media containers is in for trouble.

Media containers = CDs, books, magazines, newspapers, and so on. Manufacturing and distribution are costs that have been trending toward zero since the early 90's.

And, just to reply: a rose is a rose, etc. Sure. Theft is stealing a physical object — book or a CD. Those are really media containers that come with a limited license to use. I don't think you'd want to see any of my food after I have "consumed" it.

Follow the money, and watch the lobbyists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736631)

The Democrats [newsmax.com] will make sure this merger gets approved

Re:Follow the money, and watch the lobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739409)

Nice try. Large companies such as these usually give to both parties. Get over it.
 

People have an indirect choice (0)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 7 months ago | (#46736691)

While people don't directly have a choice, indirectly many do - anyone near the border of the respective service areas. Go two towns over and it's Comcast land. In my case, apartments in Comcast territory were automatically excluded from consideration. If Comcast ever got so terrible that people fled their areas for Time Warner, it could actually affect property values. As it is, apartment complexes in Fios territory advertise this fact and are able to charge just as much as the ones 5 miles closer to the city center. Quality of internet adds value.

Hell no (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 7 months ago | (#46736785)

After a year of shit content you won't care anymore. Comcast is about raping you for money. Period.

Pay ONLY for what you VIEW not for their CONCRAP (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 7 months ago | (#46736955)

COMCAST is a greedy fat little blood sucker that takes all that technology has to offer and screws it up with moronic menus and programming lineups, lethargic and useless VOD and database features, inconsistent policy, and BAIT AND SWITCH quarterly revision to service fees that require hours of wasted time to correct. They run infomercials on every channel, refuse to stagger the programming over the clock and calender, and advertise on packages that were once commercial free. It boggles the mind how their only skill is to offer the minimum amount of program choices over the maximum number of channels. I get less programming on 6 HBOs 6 Showtimes and 400 other channels than I did back in the 1990s on an analog oak box on less than 70 stations. So SCREW COMCAST and SCREW the FCC for making us have to pay for all of that wasted bandwidth and packaged crap. WE SHOULD HAVE THE OPTION TO PAY ONLY FOR WHAT WE GET, as apposed to getting what we "pay" for....I no longer am interested in COMCAST content or packages. If I decide to watch PBS and then just binge on whatever I want, and then decide to watch nothing for a week - then that's all I should pay to see. If they cannot organize their bandwidth then they should no longer be allowed to screw around with programming. Their duopoly programming advantage (NBC Universal vs. Viacom CBS) is a cornered market, and controls domestic media agenda. Netflix, Amazon, Youtube seem to know how on demand programming can function properly, so why can't they?. COMCAST MUST BE NEUTERED, They are the ONLY cable company in my market and I would rather do business with fascists. Death to BIG PIG corporate market exclusivity entitlement. Let the parasite die, if it can't or won't compete for its market share.

Re:Pay ONLY for what you VIEW not for their CONCRA (1)

Cantankerous Cur (3435207) | about 7 months ago | (#46741429)

I'm sorry, you seem to be confusing content provider with content producer.

NBC makes content. Comcast is simply an expensive, poorly maintained pipeline. I'm just saying, if you're going to be angry, be angry for the right reasons. As for getting what you want content wise, all the things you listed have their own issues. Netflix has limited selection due to licensing issues, Amazon is expensive if you're following 2 or more shows, and Youtube..well, come on, it's Youtube.

You wanna rant and rave, feel free but just about everyone isn't going to take you terribly seriously without a modicum of objectivity

Re:Pay ONLY for what you VIEW not for their CONCRA (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 7 months ago | (#46741817)

You wanna rant and rave, feel free but just about everyone isn't going to take you terribly seriously without a modicum of objectivity

You're absolutely right.

I just closed my Comcast account (an hour on the phone) and I feel much better now

. Don't pay cartels for crap. Just say no to Comcast.

Comcast has a $10/month internet plan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46736999)

...the problem is that it's for Welfare recipients: http://consumerist.com/2014/03/29/how-comcast-uses-low-income-families-to-look-good-for-regulators/

The speed is apparently 5 Mbps (though previously I heard it was 1.5 Mbps down). Quite a jump to $40 for a 6 Mbps connection.

Hmm ... if only ... (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46737151)

Huh, if only "progressives" controlled the federal regulatory agencies ...

Re:Hmm ... if only ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46738699)

Huh, if only "progressives" controlled the federal regulatory agencies ...

Pfft. It makes no difference. Democrats love the entertainment industry and the various offshoots like cable. Republicans will never say no to a businessman.

Just out of curiosity (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 7 months ago | (#46737391)

is there anyone here that is in favor of, or will even defend the rights to do this merger?

What I like is, when this goes through with almost universal opposition it'll be just one more reminder of how little power we here in America all have...

Re:Just out of curiosity (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 7 months ago | (#46737449)

This place has more than its share of doctrinaire libertarians and anarcho-capitalists, so I guarantee you'll be hearing from somebody.

Re:Just out of curiosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737585)

anarcho-capitalists, maybe. Possibly Randians.

Libertarians are all about freedom, though. Monopolies don't really result in that, so I imagine that the camps are probably pretty divided, but leaning towards non-monopoly.

The argument that the companies don't compete within a region seems a little specious, for instance, as after the merger, the economic choices of those who desire broadband will be reduced - to wit, they will have fewer opportunities to change services via geographic relocation.

Re:Just out of curiosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46737881)

Theoretically of course, most of the Libertarians around here believe that it's an infringement of rights to tell corporations that they can't expand until the free market is gone. I mean after all the right of the powerful to abuse the hell out of it is an essential liberty.

Re:Just out of curiosity (0)

Zebai (979227) | about 7 months ago | (#46737603)

I'm not really for it but i'm not against it either, most of the people here yelling against it are against it just because they don't like comcast. Comcast has a lot of faults but I don't see how refusing this merger will make things better or worse for anyone, It will not really stifle competition because the companies don't really compete with each other and Time Warner has just as much problems as comcast does its just different problems. If i had one major thing to gripe about comcast its their decision to rely outsourcers who by their very nature care nothing about the customer only that the quickest they get done with that job or that call the more jobs or calls they can do that day and more money they can make so they have less focus on resolving things than just pushing you off to the next person.

Re:Just out of curiosity (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46738693)

is there anyone here that is in favor of, or will even defend the rights to do this merger?

I will make an attempt at offering a defense, mainly based on the premise that it won't make any difference either way. Both companies suck, and they will still suck about the same after they merge. What needs to be done is dividing up the infrastructure builders from the service providers. That is how things will be fixed, and stopping this merger (or letting it happen) won't fix anything. Spending effort on it is a waste of spending effort.

Furthermore, trends like Google fiber and Vermont's VTel and the decline of cable will really start to hurt these two companies, that is part of the reason they are looking to join, because they are hurting from that. I think this is best seen as similar to the AOL-Time/Warner merger, which ended up being a non-event.

From a philosophical perspective, in general we shouldn't prevent people from doing things unless they will cause problems. My premise is this won't cause problems (any more than already exist), so we shouldn't stop it. What if I am wrong? That is ok, when problems are caused we have mechanisms already in place to deal with that kind of problem (anti-trust lawsuits etc).

What I like is, when this goes through with almost universal opposition it'll be just one more reminder of how little power we here in America all have...

Your power is roughly one in three million. Not much. The way to get power is to convince people to come fight with you. If you can get two hundred million people on your side, you can get something done. How many people do you think care about this merger? The answer is very, very few. That's why you have little power.

Re:Just out of curiosity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46739887)

By that standard, only when most related companies say yay to the merger, should it go through. Seeing that after the merger, the "all companies" will be just one company, you can see how the combination will be too powerful.

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