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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

StikyPad Re:But scarcity! (388 comments)

It's not a sentiment; it's a responsibility as monopoly holders, as I mentioned .

3 days ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

StikyPad Re:But scarcity! (388 comments)

Apples to oranges. Level3 and Cogent aren't last-mile providers; they're Tier 1 backbone providers. Tier 1 providers have things like peering agreements -- last mile providers do not. Last mile providers are (and sell) unbalanced connections, so it's impossible for them to ever have "peers."

A better way of thinking of it is that Verizon should be representing the interests of its customers, because Verizon is the gateway between the customers, and the rest of the internet. It's not doing that job -- it's trying to play both sides against each other. This is what middlemen do, of course, and they're entitled to do it, but as long as they have a monopoly (which they do), then there should be limits, oversight, and accountability.

3 days ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

StikyPad Re:But scarcity! (388 comments)

Verizonâ(TM)s Accidental Mea Culpa
Mark Taylor / 18 hours ago
David Young, Vice President, Verizon Regulatory Affairs recently published a blog post suggesting that Netflix themselves are responsible for the streaming slowdowns Netflixâ(TM)s customers have been seeing. But his attempt at deception has backfired. He has clearly admitted that Verizon is deliberately constraining capacity from network providers like Level 3 who were chosen by Netflix to deliver video content requested by Verizonâ(TM)s own paying broadband consumers.

His explanation for Netflixâ(TM)s on-screen congestion messages contains a nice little diagram. The diagram shows a lovely uncongested Verizon network, conveniently color-coded in green. It shows a network that has lots of unused capacity at the most busy time of the day. Think about that for a moment: Lots of unused capacity. So point number one is that Verizon has freely admitted that is has the ability to deliver lots of Netflix streams to broadband customers requesting them, at no extra cost. But, for some reason, Verizon has decided that it prefers not to deliver these streams, even though its subscribers have paid it to do so.

The diagram then shows this one little bar, suggestively color-coded in red so you know itâ(TM)s bad. And that is meant to be Level 3 and several other network operators. That bar actually represents a very large global network, and it should be shown in green, since, as we will discuss in a moment, our network has plenty of available capacity as well. In my last blog post, I gave details about how much fiber and how much equipment we deployed to build that network and how many cities around the globe it connects. If the Verizon diagram was to scale, our little red bar is probably bigger than their green network.

But hereâ(TM)s the thing. The utilization of all of those thousands of links across the Level 3 network is much the same as Verizonâ(TM)s depiction of their own network. We engineer it that way. We have to maintain adequate headroom because thatâ(TM)s what we sell to customers. They buy high quality uncongested bandwidth. And in fact, Verizon admits as much because they conveniently show one direction across our network with a peak utilization of 34%; almost exactly what I explained in my last blog post. I can confirm once again that all of those thousands of links on the Level 3 network are managed carefully so that the peak utilizations look very similar to those Verizon show for their own network â" IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.

So why does Verizon show this red bar? And why do they blame Level 3 and the other network operators contracted by Netflix?

Well, as I explained in my last blog post, the bit that is congested is the place where the Level 3 and Verizon networks interconnect. Level 3â(TM)s network interconnects with Verizonâ(TM)s in ten cities; three in Europe and seven in the United States. The aggregate utilization of those interconnections in Europe on July 8, 2014 was 18% (a region where Verizon does NOT sell broadband to its customers). The utilization of those interconnections in the United States (where Verizon sells broadband to its customers and sees Level 3 and online video providers such as Netflix as competitors to its own CDN and pay TV businesses) was about 100%. And to be more specific, as Mr. Young pointed out, that was 100% utilization in the direction of flow from the Level 3 network to the Verizon network.

So letâ(TM)s look at what that means in one of those locations. The one Verizon picked in its diagram: Los Angeles. All of the Verizon FiOS customers in Southern California likely get some of their content through this interconnection location. It is in a single building. And boils down to a router Level 3 owns, a router Verizon owns and four 10Gbps Ethernet ports on each router. A small cable runs between each of those ports to connect them together. This diagram is far simpler than the Verizon diagram and shows exactly where the congestion exists.


Verizon has confirmed that everything between that router in their network and their subscribers is uncongested â" in fact has plenty of capacity sitting there waiting to be used. Above, I confirmed exactly the same thing for the Level 3 network. So in fact, we could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers. Simple. Something weâ(TM)ve been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused. So Verizon, not Level 3 or Netflix, causes the congestion. Why is that? Maybe they canâ(TM)t afford a new port card because theyâ(TM)ve run out â" even though these cards are very cheap, just a few thousand dollars for each 10 Gbps card which could support 5,000 streams or more. If thatâ(TM)s the case, weâ(TM)ll buy one for them. Maybe they canâ(TM)t afford the small piece of cable between our two ports. If thatâ(TM)s the case, weâ(TM)ll provide it. Heck, weâ(TM)ll even install it.

But, hereâ(TM)s the other interesting thing also shown in the Verizon diagram. This congestion only takes place between Verizon and network providers chosen by Netflix. The providers that Netflix does not use do not experience the same problem. Why is that? Could it be that Verizon does not want its customers to actually use the higher-speed services it sells to them? Could it be that Verizon wants to extract a pound of flesh from its competitors, using the monopoly it has over the only connection to its end-users to raise its competitorsâ(TM) costs?

To summarize: All of the networks have ample capacity and congestion only occurs in a small number of locations, locations where networks interconnect with some last mile ISPs like Verizon. The cost of removing that congestion is absolutely trivial. It takes two parties to remove congestion at an interconnect point. I can confirm that Level 3 is not the party refusing to add that capacity. In fact, Level 3 has asked Verizon for a long time to add interconnection capacity and to deliver the traffic its customers are requesting from our customers, but Verizon refuses.

Why might that be? Maybe we should ask David Young.


3 days ago

Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

StikyPad But scarcity! (388 comments)

If people don't think bandwidth is a scarce commodity, how will we get them to pay through the nose for it?!?

3 days ago

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

StikyPad Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (443 comments)

A) Police can't initiate a high speed chase without someone that's already fleeing at high speed.
B) The police stopped chasing him.
C) He kept fleeing!

"Approaching" 100MPH is what many people do on the way to work every day where the speed limits are 75, and Tesla's should easily be able to handle that speed. Definitely operator error all the way in this case.

about two weeks ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

StikyPad Re:No. (499 comments)

To be fair, it's much harder to see the difference on a monochrome o'scope. Once you get a color scope, you can clearly see that one signal is yellow and the other is red.

about two weeks ago

Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

StikyPad Re:sounds like North Korea news (109 comments)

In that case:

Bad News! Google to stop showing bad news!

In a terrible decision that requires a call-to-arms, Google has decided to censor anything bad. Stop everything you are doing and take to the streets while coordinating through social media, and let your voices and/or rioting be heard! Only when Google mentions the protests in their news feed will can claim success!

about two weeks ago

Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

StikyPad News? (125 comments)

The more shocking part of this article isn't that the patient wasn't cured of a disease for which we have no cure, but that anyone thought she was in the first place.

about two weeks ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

StikyPad Re:Already happened? (285 comments)

I think you're mischaracterizing both philosophy and science. If we accept the definition of philosophy as "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" then most sciences are a subset of philosophy. And simply because there is a hierarchal structure to their categorization or origins does not give one authority over the other, any more than the first mammal has authority over lions. Neither do we say that lions have "far exceeded" the limits of mammals. Arguments that pit philosophy against science are just as nonsensical.

about two weeks ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

StikyPad Re:Most humans couldn't pass that test (285 comments)

To be fair to the GP, the output of any human is predictable and explainable if we accept determinism. The only way the Lovelace Test can be valid is if we accept that people have souls (or some other attribute not subject to physical law) that in some way affect natural brain function, and find a way to reproduce that artificially.

Indeed, the whole idea of "unpredictable, unexplainable output" seems contradictory. When people do not behave somewhat predictably, when we cannot explain their actions, we typically label them as crazy. Intelligent actions are not inexplicable after analysis, even if they appear to be in the moment. The only way to satisfy that condition is to generate random output, which is the opposite of intelligence.

about two weeks ago

Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

StikyPad Re:Moron Judge (135 comments)

Fortunately we have laws that define those pieces of paper as legal tender, which differentiates them from little bits of hash solutions and things that people define in internet forums.

about two weeks ago

Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

StikyPad Re:Moron Judge (135 comments)

Except the IRS has declared that bitcoin is property, not currency.

Q-1: How is virtual currency treated for federal tax purposes?
A-1: For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property. General tax
principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual


The money laundering statute applies to the below:

(4) the term âoefinancial transactionâ means
(A) a transaction which in any way or degree affects interstate or foreign commerce involving
(i) the movement of funds by wire or other means or
(ii) one or more monetary instruments, or
(iii) the transfer of title to any real property, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, or
(B) a transaction involving the use of a financial institution...

Note that "real property," is real estate, not any personal property whatsoever, and the term "monetary instrument" is likewise defined by the FDIC:

Monetary instruments.
(1) Monetary instruments include:
(i) Currency;
(ii) Traveler's checks in any form;
(iii) All negotiable instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) that are either in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee (for the purposes of Sec. 1010.340), or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery;
(iv) Incomplete instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) signed but with the payee's name omitted; and
(v) Securities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery.

So yes, there are very different regulations depending on whether bitcoin is or is not currency. Absent legislation specifically addressing "virtual currency," the courts will have to hash out this disagreement, which is what will happen here, I'm sure, but I think it's regrettable that someone can be punished for law that isn't yet decided. If I drive 55, should I be punished for skirting speeding laws? Are racetracks circumventing legislation against street racing? The problem with calling this money laundering isn't that this guy is punished (if he's guilty of running the Silk Road); it's that it opens up a whole other class of individuals for prosecution just because they were using bitcoin to conduct transactions -- namely everyone who conducts transactions in bitcoin.

about two weeks ago

The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

StikyPad Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (200 comments)

Because a) most US cities have ordinances prohibiting arial fireworks (and some prohibit all fireworks) without a permit/license, and b) Many states prohibit the sale of arial fireworks, or limit the size to a few grams, or less than N feet (meters) off the ground, or all of those things.

The better question would be to ask why these regulations exist, and the answer is to prevent this:

Also Iceland in mid-winter carries a much lower fire risk than much of the US in mid-summer.

I like setting off my own, but there are upsides to municipal displays as well:

* They're usually choreographed.
* They're cheaper (free).
* Less running away from lit fuses and more sitting back and enjoying.

about two weeks ago

New Snowden Leak: of 160000 Intercepted Messages, Only 10% From Official Targets

StikyPad Re:How big is the problem really? (201 comments)

If Snowdenâ(TM)s sample is representative, the population under scrutiny in the PRISM and Upstream programs is far larger than the government has suggested. In a June 26 âoetransparency report,â the Office of the Director of National Intelligence disclosed that 89,138 people were targets of last yearâ(TM)s collection under FISA Section 702. At the 9-to-1 ratio of incidental collection in Snowdenâ(TM)s sample, the officeâ(TM)s figure would correspond to nearly 900,000 accounts, targeted or not, under surveillance.

900k, not 10k.

about two weeks ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

StikyPad Re:Well (564 comments)

Do you think a salmon is 1,000,000 times smarter than an ant? Because that's the consequence of applying a linear timeline to exponential growth.

How smart is an ant anyway? Or a salmon? Or a dog? How do you quantify it? Are they 3 smart? Maybe 11?

But to indulge your arbitrary metrics for "smartness," we can simulate entire colonies of ants already:

So maybe the future is closer than you think. Six or seven closer.

about two weeks ago

Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

StikyPad Re:Amazoing (415 comments)

Let my preface this by saying that I believe all parallel construction should be illegal, and I hope/believe that it will eventually be ruled accordingly. Partial truths are still deceit, and dishonesty in the legal system opens it up to (further) abuse. It's either illegal to lie under oath, or it is not, and the government should hold itself to the same standard that we expect of citizens.

That said, parallel construction is precisely about concealing the impetus. The classic example is a traffic stop that appears to be random, but is actually targeting a vehicle. The targeted vehicle could well have been stopped solely for whatever reason police used, and so that's the "parallel construction," even though police knew exactly which vehicle they wanted to stop.

"You'd be told only, âBe at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.

Bringing a canine unit to the storage facility would allow the officer to tell the partial truth that he got a hit on a storage unit during a walk-through, even if the impetus for bringing the dog and doing a walk-through was because of a CI (and even if the hit was prompted). The deceit isn't in saying how the contraband was actually discovered/acquired, but in what the impetus was for using that (perfectly legal) method in the first place. That part is the "parallel construction."

Now you might have been saying that GP's speculation that it was parallel construction is wrong, but we're all just speculating on what the officer might have been doing anyway. Maybe it was just a recreation for the camera and they forgot to edit that part out.

about two weeks ago

Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

StikyPad Re:Consciousness (284 comments)

I know that the evidence supporting the existence of souls is about as compelling as the evidence for mermaids. Maybe slightly lower actually, since people have actually claimed to see mermaids.

about two weeks ago

Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

StikyPad Re:Very interesting (284 comments)

Also, don't forget to blink. You wouldn't want your eyes to dry up!

about two weeks ago

Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

StikyPad Re:Let's not jump to conclusions. (284 comments)

And since there seem to be lots of "off" switches, this is really just adding to the list. (Unless stimulating it can actually bring someone out of a coma?)

about two weeks ago



Comcast to remove data cap, implement tiered pricing

StikyPad StikyPad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

StikyPad (445176) writes "Comcast is reportedly removing its oft-maligned 250GB data cap, but don't get too excited. In what appears to be an effort to capitalize on Nielsen's Law, the Internet's version of Moore's Law, Comcast is introducing tiered data pricing. The plan is to include 300GB with the existing price of service, and charge $10 for every 50GB over that limit. As with current policy, Xfinity On Demand traffic will not count against data usage, which Comcast asserts is because the traffic is internal, not from the larger Internet. There has, however, been no indication that the same exemption would apply to any other internal traffic. AT&T and Time Warner have tried unsuccessfully to implement tiered pricing in the past, meeting with strong push back from customers and lawmakers alike. With people now accustomed to, if not comfortable with, tiered data plans on their smartphones, will the public be more receptive to tiered pricing on their wired Internet connections as well, or will they once again balk at a perceived bilking?"

How often do you clean your computer case?

StikyPad StikyPad writes  |  more than 2 years ago

StikyPad (445176) writes "2+ times/week; Weekly; Monthly; Biennially; Yearly; Only when I install new components; What's this cleaning you speak of?; Just fin... oh wait, there's another spec of dust!"

Sony Lawsuits Targeting PS3 Jailbreak Authors

StikyPad StikyPad writes  |  more than 3 years ago

StikyPad (445176) writes "PS3News is reporting that Sony's latest legal salvo is targeting the creators of PS JailBreak, PSFreedom and PSGroove related PS3 hacks, citing numerous court documents (login required) for those interested.

From one of the documents: 'Having considered the Motion for Expedited Discovery of Plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (oeSCEA) [...] the Court hereby grants SCEA’s Motion. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that [...] SCEA has leave to serve similarly targeted subpoenas or deposition notices to any other third party who SCEA learns may be involved in the distribution or sale of the oePS Jailbreak software, known as, for example, "PSGroove," "OpenPSJailbreak," and "PSFreedom," or who may have knowledge of the distribution or sale of this software.'"

Link to Original Source

The Once and Future Clone

StikyPad StikyPad writes  |  more than 5 years ago

StikyPad (445176) writes "CNET has news that Mac clone maker Psystar is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company apparently has over $250,000US in debt, and states that it cannot turn a profit in the current economy. According to Cnet, "The Chapter 11 filing will temporarily suspend Apple's copyright infringement suit against Psystar, which is currently before the U.S. District Court of Northern California. But once the bankruptcy protection is sorted out, the copyright case will resume." Meanwhile PC Mag reports that, on the other side of the Atlantic two new clone companies are just getting started. Like PsyStar, FreedomPC and RussianMac promise to deliver PCs with the OS X preloaded. Unique to RussianMac is the MiniBook. The MiniBook is "guaranteed to 'correct work,' although the company notes that features like multitouch won't work.""


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