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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

Just because someone is talking about manipulating the voters in a vote that did not go their way does not mean that they are citing merely that outcome as the sole evidence of the manipulation... especially in the comments on a article that is *specifically about the hard evidence of manipulation*.

TFA didn't have hard evidence of manipulation. They reported one survey from well before the referendum. Surveys are not votes. Surveys often, as the article points out, ask questions in a way designed to get the answer the pollster desires. I've yet to hear a survey ask "if the ballot contained the question ... would you vote yes?", it is always biased towards whoever pays for the survey. It is so common there is a term for it: push-polling. The article tells us that the cable company survey asked "should taxpayers fund pornography ...", but they don't tell us what the survey that had a 72% favorable rate asked. How biased was the survey in favor of the referendum?

The result of the vote didn't match the survey data, so yes, the fact that the result didn't go the way they wanted it to is being used as proof that there was manipulation. And it didn't go they way they wanted it to not once, but twice.

By the way, someone else claimed that a municipal internet service would never be sold. TFA talks about one such service that was sold out to a commercial provider when it discusses the systems that the cable companies claim failed. So that BIG consideration isn't valid.

yesterday
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Obfuscant Re:So! The game is rigged! (515 comments)

In order to get approved for debt, you must have debt.

No, to get approved for debt you need one of two things:

1. A credit history. That's not necessarily debt, it is a history of handling small debts that you've paid off.

2. Belong to a demographic that the credit companies are chasing.

When I was in college, the stores were deluging me with offers of credit cards because of my age/college while the credit union followed rule 1 and repeatedly denied me a credit card. In recent years, the largest flood of credit card offers were when I had no debt at all, but had a paid-off car loan.

It's a SCAM! A scheme to make sure that you are constantly in debt,

Nobody can force you to go into debt.

yesterday
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

All that writing and you never covered the fact that no one will buyout a municipal ISP. Or "merge" and that's a BIG consideration.

Why wouldn't anyone ever buy one out? Privatization is not a new buzzword. If an entire country's telecom can be privatized, why couldn't a municipal internet system? I've heard of cities selling off public utitlites before. Our trash collection used to be public, now it isn't.

And it is a BIG consideration for whom?

Why the negativity and 'speaking for us' Slashdotters???

I'm not speaking for /.rs. I'm pointing out that /.rs speaking for the voters (by deciding what is "better", or your "BIG consideration") is the problem.

I think a lot of these responses are from paid employees of the providers, Eh?

Right. If you can't argue facts, argue the person. There's a latin word for this that I cannot ever spell correctly, so I won't try now.

And what are they so afraid of...it failing? No it might be what we actually need for balance.

No government utility exists "for balance". It either uses the general tax fund so it can run cheaper and drive out the competition, is created explicitly as a monopoly, or it is run so incompetently that it becomes a white elephant. But "balance"? No.

And this is not "health care" so why even try to scare people by mentioning it.

I wasn't trying to scare people, and I wasn't talking about "health care". I was pointing to one recent, very glaring example of a failure of government to provide services to the taxpayers that cost a lot of money and did diddly squat, in contrast to the implicit assumption that a government service would be cheaper and better. (And, in fact, providing services for lower cost is a driving force behind privatization of government services. Were government services always cheaper, privatization would have no impetus.)

If your argument is "that was 'health care' and this is internet service so it will be different", I find it to be very very unconvincing. You'd have to come up with so many "that was X and this is different" excuses that Occam's Razor would say that the obvious answer is probably the right one: government management of complex systems is usually inefficient and costly.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

You mean, I did not bother to provide evidence for either one of those in this case.

No, I mean that the term "better" is a subjective term that depends on what weight and value one puts on objective measures, and in many cases, includes subjective measures like "happy with service".

"Better" is not a fact. "Meets specified connection speeds 95% of the time" is a fact. "Costs less than other similar services" is a fact. You assume that "faster and cheaper" (facts) means "better" is a fact, but that's simply not true.

But you didn't provide contrarian evidence either.

I didn't try to show you that something wasn't "better" because "better" is subjective. The point is that the VOTERS who voted down the municipal service can, and do, have their own views of "better" that may not align with yours.

Unlike your example of education, internet service has objective measures of success - uptime, bandwidth, latency, peering.

And those may be called "facts", but then you have to weigh the facts to come up with the subjective evaluation of "better". What is better for me may be a service that isn't as fast but comes with a static IP. Or I may consider it better if the service comes over existing wiring because I don't want installers mucking about my house and property. I may consider it better if I'm not forced as a taxpayer to fund a service for you because in your opinion the existing options are too slow/too expensive/provided by a company you hate.

As opposed to private utilities like Comcast that care? And why can't you vote them out? At least you have some choice there. I pity the person at the mercy of monopolistic private utilites.

1. Comcast has a financial interest in keeping customers, even if it is a small one. A government-run service has no financial interest in keeping subs. Any cost overruns will just be pulled from the general fund.

2. You can't vote out a civil service employee because their position isn't an elected one. I shouldn't have to point that out.

3. If the government is the ISP and has driven the competition out, then you have no choice. If the government has forced the competition to raise prices, then your choice is more expensive. And even if the competition is the same price, you're paying twice for service.

4. I pity more the people who face a true government monopoly on service. They have two choices: use the government service or go without. Why is a government monopoly better than this alleged private one (that really doesn't exist)?

You would never be convinced to vote against your own interests.

This /. attitude that we're all smarter than the average voter and know what is "better" for him, to the point of calling your opinion of "better" an objective fact, is pretty arrogant. The point I'm trying to get across is that the voters have the right to decide what is best for them and what is "better". Saying that they're voting against their own best interests is rather presumptive, since I'm sure that many of the voters simply don't care about internet service or paying taxes so that you can get your downloads faster than you can already get them through any of the existing commercial services. And I expect that many of them do not share the "fuck Comcast" reason that apparently makes "anything else" a better choice.

Because there is a right answer.

In your opinion, there is a right answer. In their opinion, there is a different right answer.

First, they would be in different unions.

Sorry, but no. AFSCME and SEIU are very large unions that cover a very large number of state, county, and municipal employees. It is most likely that all the unionized employees in a municipality are members of one of those two, except perhaps for specialized unions that cover specific occupations. "City employee" is not a specific occupation, and clerical workers in the cop shop are not police union members. In our city it is SEIU, and it was big news a week ago that a contract was finally signed a year after the last one expired. Disgruntled city employees running your internet service? What a great idea. A union slowdown that stops work on the internet service? Great!

Second, there is no way that evidence gained like that could be used in trial.

Of course it could. One employee sees it happening. They tell it to another, who tells it to someone who gets a warrant. Bingo. The law that protects your privacy at an ISP includes exemptions for admins seeing things in the course of their duties (like investigating email problems). Or they just start investigating you based on the word of mouth and come up with other evidence. It doesn't have to be used directly in a trial for it to make your life difficult. Do you really think that one city employee telling another one who works in the cop shop that "I think John Doe is downloading CP" would be ignored because the information came informally? Even if John Doe isn't actually doing that, he's low hanging fruit that can be used to show the community that the cops/prosecutors are tough on crime.

The consequences of misusing that data are so great it would never happen.

You have such great faith in the honesty of the government. Here's a fact that hasn't gotten a lot of press but should put the "consequences" claim in its proper context. The NSA monitoring of cell calls? Ron Wyden, the Senator from Oregon, admits that he was briefed on the program months before it became public BUT HE DID NOTHING. A US Senator who has a reputation for standing up for "the little guy" knew it was going on and said nothing about it and did nothing to stop it.

This is the government you think would consider the "consequences" of handing data about you across the aisle to a co-worker too great for it to ever happen.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

4. Why can't the government just include suitable performance metrics and penalties for failing to meet them when handing out the franchise? Including a regular review cycle?

Every franchise I've seen has them. Because of the changes to the federal laws for local regulation of such companies, the local municipalities have very little stick anymore.

2 days ago
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Obfuscant Re:Trivial observation (133 comments)

The underlying figure of merit once you cut through the bullshit is r / log t. r is the compression ratio (unitless) and log t is log seconds. So yes, the units of the underlying figure of merit are reciprocal log seconds.

The fact that the actual equation is a ratio between a proposed compression implementation and a reference is a hint that it is not a "figure of merit" in absolute terms, but only with respect to some common standard. Yeah, you get to pick your standard, but simply reporting r/log(t) is meaningless. The actual measurement is unitless simply because, as you point out, units of 1/log(s) is meaningless.

It's done that way so things can be repeatable. If I create a compressor and report a Weissman of 3, then you should be able to repeat that on your computer, even if you've got a 3GHz I7 and mine is only 2.7GHz. Here's the data I used, here's the executables for both compressors, you run it. Now you can play with the source and see what happens. But first you need to be able to reproduce my results. That's called "scientific method".

You need learn to cut through the hocus pocus and analyze the actual underlying equation

The underlying equation is a ratio between two compression implementations, not an absolute measure of one.

You can well imagine that those who actually understand programming metrics are holding their sides laughing at those who are taking it seriously.

I'm not here to argue whether the metric is meaningful or not. The value of a metric is in the eye of the beholder. You don't think it has any value, and I really don't care if it does or not. I'm just pointing out that the actual metric is unitless. You can't throw half an equation out and then complain that the units on the result don't mean anything. Sometimes equations are constructed the way they are so that the units DO come out right, and there are many examples of equations that have empirical constants that have meaningless units just so the equation they are used in come out right. That's especially true in physical modeling where someone sees a relationship between the data and tries to create an equation to represent that. If the fit is best with some variable taken to the 8/3 power, that's how it winds up, and the constants get units to make it all come out right. A more common example is R in PV=nRT.

Now, you're correct, the alpha constant is useless because the only purpose it could serve is to correct the units, and since it is unitless it doesn't even do that. So laugh at that part of it, but don't throw out the important parts and laugh at what's left when the units don't work anymore.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

You myopic asshole. The site was contracted out to a private company. The 'gubbmint' didn't do the coding, didn't build the pages, didn't accept $134 million in payment and then deliver a turd pile in return.

No, the government just failed to manage the project to a successful completion, like they would have to manage a municipal internet service.

And let's not forget to mention the crony that ORACLE CORPORATION had in place,

You mean, someone in the government? The same government that would create a perfect internet service?

I'm pointing to repeated examples of government failure to do technological things, you don't see it, and I'M myopic?

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

It's rare to find internet users who think slower speeds and greater congestion are "in their interest."

I would have thought it rare to find a /. user who believes the promises of the government and thinks that the government handling all his data is a good thing, but there sure seem to be a lot of them posting today.

You seem to assume that a government-run ISP would be cheaper and better (e.g. faster and less congested) just because they say it would be. You seem to ignore all the examples of cost overruns and incompetence that government systems demonstrate on a regular basis and think that just this once it will be different. You seem to ignore that it is not just "internet users" who pay for a government-run internet service, and there are those who don't care if you can't download the latest warez or movie torrent as fast as you'd like. Those are the people who have other considerations than just "congestion and download speed" that you limit yourself to.

And you seem to think that reducing competition in an already limited market is a good thing. I find that an interesting shift in the environment here.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

For instance, democracies suck when voting on a question of fact. If something is better and cheaper

Neither of those are fact. "Better" is a purely subjective term, and there is no evidence that a government-run anything will be automatically cheaper. When you say "cheaper", you mean it may cost direct users less. That's not the total cost of the product, however. A "company" that can simply dip its hand into the general fund of a city when revenues don't cover expenses isn't worried too much about keeping costs down and those costs wind up coming from people who have no desire to be subscribers. A government-run anything is typically run by civil servants covered by a union, so they have no reason to care about the service they provide and have a union driving up the costs of their employment. (In our fair town, the largest cost increase in government is the increase in cost of union employees, most specifically for their pension and healthcare.)

The fact that this is all taxpayer supported means you lose choice. If you think having a choice between several commercial ISPs is too little choice, then consider that every taxpayer in that city will be an involuntary subscriber to what will probably become the defacto monopoly. If they don't manage to drive all the other players out by being able to undercut the prices, then the prices for all the others will have to go up to cover the fixed costs spread over fewer subscribers. (Do you see the parallel to the school system here? I do. You want to send your kids to a private school for a better education? You get to pay twice.)

I think less choice and forced participation is not better. I think having to get service from someone who doesn't really care is not better, especially when their supervisor will also be a civil servant who doesn't have to care. Example? I had a water leak. I got my bill and it said I had consumed some ridiculous amount of water. I did the calculations -- the volume of water they said I used would have covered my property to a depth of about a foot. It would have required a ridiculous flow. I got to fill out a report, they came out to calibrate my meter, and I ... heard nothing back ever. That's a government-run utility. Nobody cared because they didn't have to. I can't vote them out, they can't get fired, and I can't get service from anyone else.

Here in Oregon we've just lived through the Cover Oregon fiasco. A government-run website that was supposed to allow people to sign up for health insurance. It cost millions of dollars yet never managed to allow people to sign up for health insurance. You could download the forms, fill them in, then talk to an agent to find out what it would cost, but you couldn't sign up online. They could tell you the "partners" you could talk to -- mine was a three hour drive away in another state! They dumped a lot of money into cute jingles and ads months before the site was supposed to go online, but couldn't manage to get the job done. Better? Cheaper? Right.

Yes, democracy sucks. But as someone once said, it sucks less than everything else. The point I made, however, is that everyone is assuming that the voters were coerced into voting against their best interests, and that is not a fact in evidence.

why shouldn't the government supply it?

Because the voters of those cities said they didn't want the government supplying it.

Here's a point I haven't seen anyone raise. When your ISP is managed by the same government that manages the police department, where do you think your right to privacy winds up? In the hands of someone who likely belongs to the same union that the police clerical staff belong to, and are probably on the same bowling team. And their paychecks come from the same mayor's office.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

When they vote against their interests, they're not being clever.

You mean when they vote against what you think their interests ought to be, you don't think they are "clever".

Not everyone believes that a government run ISP using taxpayer dollars to make up revenue shortfalls and to deliberately undercut the commercial providers is "in their interest".

2 days ago
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A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Obfuscant Re:Trivial observation (133 comments)

And look at the units of the ratio: reciprocal log seconds.

The Weissman score is actually unitless. When one divides "log seconds" by "log seconds" the units cancel.

It also conveniently sidesteps the variability with different architectures.

If one measures the compression ratios and times for the same data on different architectures, one is measuring the score of the different architecture, not "sidestepping" it.

Maybe SSE helps algorithm A much more than it does algorithm B.

Then algorithm A compared to B would have a higher Weissman score on a system with SSE.

Or B outperforms A on AMD, but not on Intel.

Then the score would favor B over A when comparing the two processors. That's what the score is supposed to do. It compares two things.

In real life, for some compression jobs you don't CARE how long it takes, and for other jobs you care very much.

Then for the former you would not care what the Weissman score is, and for the latter you would care.

Or imagine an algorithm that compresses half as fast but decompresses 1000 times faster. That doesn't even register in the score.

That's not what the score measures. It also doesn't measure price (for commercial implementations of code), executable size, or whether the software salesman has BO or not.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Get used to this... (248 comments)

Or it could have been that the referendum would have gone the same way it did without the advertising. Just because a lot of people didn't vote the way you think they should have isn't proof that they were coerced by people who disagree with you.

It's pretty insulting to the democratic process to accuse the winners of being "[expletive deleted] sheeple" when you don't agree with a result.

I have no trouble seeing through corporate fear mongering.

I suspect there are a lot of people who feel the same way. Some of them may have participated in the vote and not voted the way you wanted them to.

2 days ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

Obfuscant Re:Comcast should run for office (248 comments)

If a corporation is a person, can it hold a government office?

Were a corporation a person, it certainly could hold public office.

However, the people who make up corporations and who retain their civil and Constitutional rights despite being part of a corporation can, and sometimes do, hold public office. On our local city council, we've had people who work for the local newspaper, the local university, the local large manufacturer, and other corporations.

2 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Obfuscant Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

We make software for a reason.

"We" make software for many reasons.

Not to just give it away for free as in beer. But to provide freedom.

I was using "free" as in "freedom". How is it "freedom" if you start putting restrictions on who can use the software and for what purposes? And who decides what those disallowed purposes are? The programmer or someone else? Suppose I'm a programmer who doesn't like abortions. Can I say "you can use free software unless you are an abortion clinic" because I've got some patches in some free software packages?

Does "free software" truly represent free software if there are so many limits on who can use it that nobody can use any of it?

For that reason we ask people to release the changes to the code back to our collection of software which provides more freedom.

That is not a restriction on who can use the code and for what purposes. The Army is not changing the code, they are using the code to produce other things. I have a router or two that has FOSS code in them, but that doesn't mean that I have to send hand all the data I send through those routers off to the EFF for their use. I have programs I compile with gcc, but that doesn't mean I have to hand over that code to everyone who asks for it. And IIRC, even the GPL doesn't require release of local modifications to GPL code unless you're trying to distribute that code. I could be wrong, I don't care, the point is irrelevant to this discussion. The Army isn't writing code.

We limit the freedom of people who want to use our code without giving back, so we can ensure a future in which we can access data without having to depend on one company.

I'm sorry, what? The GPL doesn't say that any data that you manage or create using GPL code must be released back to the community. Not even close. You speak very fancy words, but I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

Yet we see that our code is being used for mass surveillance.

Yes. So? Freedom means freedom. Freedom doesn't mean "anyone except YOU can use this code".

I don't want to contribute to such a future.

Then don't do any of those things. But when you create a free tool you give up the right to say "you may not use my tool", because that is in itself a lack of freedom.

Why don't you test your ability to keep people you don't like from using your "tools"? I betcha there are a lot of Apache web servers in use by the military. That's a clear violation of "freedom", isn't it? Why are you not in court today? I know there are linux systems in .mil domains. Get your lawyer busy.

5 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

Obfuscant Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

One could limit the scope of 'evil' to whatever I decide is evil today.

FTFY.

Free software means free. Exactly how many riders and amendments to FOSS licenses do we want to have? "Cannot be used by anyone in Canada." "Cannot be used to make ugly things." "Cannot be used on the Sabbath."

"We make software because of that warm fuzzy feeling.

"We" make software for any number of reasons, and "we" give up the right to tell people how they have to use it when we make it free. And, if I recall correctly, "we" explicitly tell people that what they make with our software is not covered by the license. I.e., code you compile with gcc doesn't have to be licensed under GPL.

5 days ago
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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

Obfuscant Re:How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster (60 comments)

But the companies who produce these things are so criminally incompetent (and greedy) that they don't give two shits about security. They don't even give one shit about security.

It isn't criminal, and it isn't incompetence. It is because the people who want to buy the devices don't care about security. They want to do what they want to do.

I want to listen to online radio stations on my cell phone. AM1710, Antioch Radio, in particular. I started to download some app called "TuneIn" and was shown the list of privileges it wanted. I was flabbergasted. Location, identity, contacts, photos. Why does a streaming audio app need access to my location? Why does it need access to my contacts? (So I can see if any of my friends are using TuneIn and what they're listening to, which means they can see if I'm using it and what I'm listening to.) And this app has 50,000,000 (fifty MILLION) downloads. Apparently, people want to be able to see what their friends listen to and don't care if others see what they are doing. Thus also Facebook.

Don't blame the companies who make the stuff people want for making stuff people want.

about a week ago
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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

Obfuscant Re:Serval Mesh Networking for Android (60 comments)

Very cheap insurance to make sure people have these sorts of devices for an emergency, which these days would not cost much more than a decent US$100 "weather radio"

And yet people won't buy simple FRS radios that cost much less and allow open communications in an emergency. Your description of Serval is interesting, but it is one of the last things you want in a real emergency. During an emergency, phones are good when there is a known phone number to call for help, or for individual communications between pre-arranged parties. That's why there is '911' or '999' or whatever it is in your country. Phones lack something called "interoperability". If you don't know the other guy's number, you ain't talking to him.

Radio, however, allows anyone to talk to anyone else with a simple "I need help" as a call. That's if you don't layer on all kinds of interfering crap like trunking and talkgroups and digital network access codes (NAC) and things designed to KEEP people from talking to each other instead of helping them do it.

That's why I program my emergency services radio with no CTCSS on receive, and put 0xFE (IIRC) as the NAC for 25 on at least one channel so I can at least hear everyone else if I need to. And this interoperability lesson is something the fire service learned in some large California fires, and is why there are a number of federally assigned interoperability channels authorized for anyone in one organization who needs to talk to someone in another. Every public service radio is supposed to have those channels, but many of them still don't even after a decade or more of existence.

about a week ago
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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

Obfuscant Re:Unintended Consequences much? (60 comments)

I mean, I know that it's shocking to think that a technology could be used for something other than the intended purpose, but all I can think of is - We'll be spending most our lives living in a hackers paradise (The Weird Al one, not Coolio)

What's a "Coolio"?

I'm reading these comments wondering, we have an issue with NSA being able to intercept cell calls and various countries supporting cyber attacks against various things today, and we're looking forward to a day when there is ubiquitous, automated, hidden-to-the-user networking connecting and controlling every significant device we bring into our homes and which is configurable by external command to create those networks? That makes our refrigerator a router for emergency messages from one of our next door neighbors out to someone somewhere through another neighbor's air conditioner? And some people here seem to be welcoming our new IoT overlords?

You've got to be joking.

about a week ago
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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

Obfuscant Re:Packet radio (60 comments)

You really have no clue at all.

The mesh network is self assembling and zero maintenance.

Mesh networks are neither self-assembling nor zero maintenance. You really think that people are going to accept a "self-assembling" network that extends anywhere past their own homes into those homes? My God, man, we have people who are opposing wireless gas and electric meters in a neighboring city because they can be used to remotely turn service off, they emit dangerous radio waves, and they will "self-assemble" into a mesh that can be used to spy on people. (And "self" is in scare quotes because they assemble only because the electric utility programs them to, and the electric utility will maintain them.)

But the mesh network skips all that which means your volunteers are doing something effective, not wasting their time on playing radio amateur.

The next time your county infrastructure is taken out by, say, an ice storm, and the only way you can get information into and out of that county is by amateur radio, why don't you walk up to someone providing that service and let them know you think they are just "playing amateur radio", ok? Or ahead of time, make sure you let everyone know that those people who are volunteering their time training to provide emergency communications for your benefit are just "playing". You'll be the hit of the party.

We can afford to allocate a band for "Aiee! Help!" (COSPAS SARSAT) but we can't afford to do much housekeeping by satellite.

Fascinating idea. So that satellite dish we have on our mobile command center vehicle should be used only for "Help" if we get stuck, but we shouldn't use it for "housekeeping" things. We shouldn't, say, pull the vehicle up next to a county building, pop the dish up, run a few phone lines, and supply telephone service to manage a flood to the people who need to do housekeeping things like keeping track of water levels or doctors who need to get to the hospital.

You truly have a lack of clue when it comes to what can and will be done in a disaster, and what will be useful and what won't.

about a week ago
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Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Obfuscant Re:And here I was (260 comments)

So you'd rather lose power in wires instead?

Who cares about the wires when you're going to dissipate at least 160W from that 10 ohm resistor in series with the input, and have a 40V drop to go with it?

And explain again how you keep an input ripple of less than 3% when you will be dropping anywhere from 0 (no load) to 40 (full load) volts on that 450V input?

about a week ago

Submissions

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Comcast encrypting basic digital cable

Obfuscant Obfuscant writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Obfuscant (592200) writes "Comcast of Oregon, the friendly cable company that once allowed people with ClearQAM-equipped TVs to eavesdrop on other people's On-Demand programs, has decided to encrypt even the Digital Starter channels it was carrying in the clear. These are the channels that anyone paying for digital service gets. The reason: to prevent signal theft.

They're claiming that they cannot simply trap out the digital channels from those getting the analog Basic service, even though the digital goodies start way up at channel 64 and the analog tops out at 30. "Traps don't work", according to customer service. (Someone please explain why RF traps care what modulation is on the frequencies they filter out, or how a trap that makes analog signals undetectable will provide a viewable digital signal when even an unfiltered digital signal drops out on a regular basis.) This is the same cable company that used to be able to trap out channels 31 and above if you didn't have Expanded Basic.

They point the finger at the program providers — like ESPN and SyFy. "It's a contractual requirement" for people who are paying for the programs to be prevented from using their own DVRs to record them for later use. "Of course we'll rent you a Comcast DVR..."

Perhaps it's time to dust of those old copies of the Cable Consumer Protection Act of 1992, which deals specifically with this issue."

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