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Level 3 Shaken Down By Comcast Over Video Streaming

dcmoebius Re:Alternate viewpoint (548 comments)

What amounts to poaching other people's resources works well right up until you drive that other party into the wall and force them to spend a crapload of money for which they receive nothing in return. That is, they don't receive any renumeration for the additional expense - but you do!

This is the base problem with all overcommitted services where the business model is predicated on fractional use of maximum possible resource consumption. When that model is violated costs go up dramatically. This is ok provided the person who has the cost also gets the revenue that is occasioned by the violation of the original model.

The entire argument hinges on the idea that Comcast's model of over-subscribing is falling down in the face of increased traffic.

But who in their right mind didn't realize that internet traffic was going to continue to grow? Frankly, I'm sure Comcast saw this coming. They had ample opportunity (and money) to make appropriate upgrades to their infrastructure; instead, they figured that they could simply keep the money, and then blame the users and other content providers for using "too much" bandwidth, passing the costs along to them.

Long story short, they COULD have kept the old model going (as other ISPs have, so far), but why would they? This strategy is more profitable, and no one is telling them they can't do it.

more than 3 years ago

Hacked iRobot Uses XBox Kinect To See World

dcmoebius YES! (124 comments)

This. Is. Awesome. I'm really hoping that this becomes a reasonable DIY project...

more than 3 years ago

Motorcyclist Wins Taping Case Against State Police

dcmoebius Re:It's a Pyrrhic victory (485 comments)

He'll spend a lifetime in that county getting pulled over for crossing the yellow line and not signaling on lane changes.

Which still seems a helluva lot better than being convicted of a felony.

more than 3 years ago

You Are Not Mark Zuckerberg, So Stay In School

dcmoebius Humanities != Engineering (438 comments)

I have a hard time lending much credence to the "college is a bad investment half the time" school of thought, if only because it only looks at college graduates in aggregate, not by field of study.

I can pretty much guarantee that the person walking out of college with a degree in electrical engineering will probably have a MUCH better chance of a satisfactory return on investment than the person that leaves with a BA in English Lit.

However, this isn't to say that the english degree is necessarily a bad decision. To echo some of the posts above, the value of a college education isn't exclusively monetary, and as such, shouldn't be viewed merely as an "investment".

more than 3 years ago

Scientists Using Lasers To Cool Molecules

dcmoebius Fahrenheit? Really? (169 comments)

Come on. Just say 0 K.

Acknowledging the appropriate SI units only stings for a little while.

more than 3 years ago

Is SSD Density About To Hit a Wall?

dcmoebius So... (208 comments)

Improving upon current SSDs will require new technology! Isn't that sort of implied in the whole concept of, you know, progress?

more than 3 years ago

Should Professors Be Required To Teach With Tech?

dcmoebius Re:No!! (319 comments)

I can't agree with this more strongly.

Technology can be a useful addition to a lecture, but it doesn't ALWAYS add value.

The most engaging, informative CS courses I ever took involved nothing more than the instructor using a blackboard. Some of the worst on the other hand, came as a result of poorly applied tech.

more than 4 years ago

Harry Reid Pushes Nevada As "Saudi Arabia of Geothermal Energy"

dcmoebius Stop the presses! (369 comments)

'conditional commitment' to provide a partial guarantee for a rumored $98.5 million loan

News, huh?

more than 4 years ago

How To Destroy a Black Hole

dcmoebius Re:Would the event horizon retreat if you approach (364 comments)


Suppose you were falling into a black hole, and you didn't get turned into spaghetti (as might be possible if you're approaching the event horizon of a supermassive black hole). Would the event horizon seem to retreat before you? I mean, light can't escape a black hole's event horizon as we see it, but if you're falling in, wouldn't you be able to see further into the black hole as you fall?


Well, since sight depends on light reflecting off of objects to work... No, as you approached the event horizon, you still wouldn't be able to see into the black hole, as no light would be escaping (hence no visual information conveyed).

As to other point, no, the event horizon would not appear to be receding. You would seem to be approaching it normally (from your perspective), however due to time dilation, the rest of the universe would seem to be aging quite rapidly compared to you.

more than 4 years ago

Australian Schools To Teach Intelligent Design

dcmoebius Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (714 comments)

Unfortunately, high school is the highest education the majority receive.

Sorry, but that doesn't mean that high school is the appropriate venue for that sort of discussion. In a high school science course, the aim of the curriculum is to provide a foundational education. Unfortunately, this does not include advanced evolutionary theory.

Right, but I don't hear anyone complaining when teachers say that we don't have a complete understanding of it either. Unfortunately, if a teacher were to say that there are things we don't understand about evolution, everyone gets in a tizzy and accuses the teacher of proselytizing impressionable young minds.

If this was all that teachers were required to say, then I'm perfectly comfortable with this. I am not comfortable, however, with the undue focus on evolution theory as flawed. It inaccurately characterizes evolution as a theory that is fundamentally contested, when in reality it is supported by a wealth of evidence from a variety of fields.

more than 4 years ago

Australian Schools To Teach Intelligent Design

dcmoebius Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (714 comments)

Ideas should NEVER be off the discussion table when it comes to science. Nor should any theory or even law be above challenge.

No one is say that evolution shouldn't be held up to the full rigor of scientific scrutiny. But there's a huge difference between criticizing hypothesized evolutionary mechanisms and criticizing the underlying theory.

In the scientific community, the fundamental principles of evolution have held up for a LONG time. This is what should be taught to school children. The extreme emphasis by certain groups on the "weaknesses" of evolutionary theory are meant to sow doubt in an otherwise uneducated audience (which kids are).

Should kids know that the specific details of evolution haven't been 100% sorted out yet? Yes. Should we go out of our way to spend time discussing these open questions? Sure. In an advanced setting. Not grade school. Not high school.

Frankly, we don't have a perfect understanding of how gravity works either. Yet somehow, I can't hear anyone screaming that our children must be educated on the "weaknesses" of that particular subject. I wonder why?

more than 4 years ago

Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades

dcmoebius Business as usual (427 comments)

Cue the unending stream of lobbyists, please. They're on next.

Seriously, how many people ACTUALLY think that this was anything more than Congress muscling the FCC aside to better suckle at the corporate teat?

Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I don't see Congress getting territorial over any issue that isn't backed by multi-billion dollar industries.

more than 4 years ago

Patents On Synthetic Life "Extremely Damaging"

dcmoebius Re:Time to go.. (171 comments)

Don't bother, I have prior art for you.

..... I patented your mom last night.

more than 4 years ago

Open Source Utilities For Facebook Privacy

dcmoebius Re:Open Source Warning (154 comments)

they can only work with data you give them.

Not true, actually. They can also work with the information your "friends" give them.

more than 4 years ago

Chrome Private Mode Not Quite Private

dcmoebius Tried it... (234 comments)

And like many of the comments in TFA, it didn't work for me (using once I completely closed out chrome.

It seems that the issue only affects certain versions of Chrome... I'm guessing this is an honest bug, but since it's google, everyone freaks the hell out.

more than 4 years ago

Google Defends Privacy Policies

dcmoebius Re:It's like dejavu all over again! (114 comments)

Here is the first distinction that we have to make:

a) Services that publish private information
b) Services that do not publish private information

The problem is that there is little to stop companies from transitioning from group b) to group a).

I'm reasonably confident that Google won't actively screw me over right now. But ten years down the road? Who knows?

Frankly, the only reason I trust Google NOW is that they have an incentive to keep me happy. If at any point I get pissed off, I can pack up and move to Bing or some other competitor with a minimum of fuss.

However with Facebook, they have a locked-in market. Sure, you can quit and move to a new site. But Facebook's value is in its membership, which no other company is offering at the moment.

As it stands now, the relationship between the user and Google is much more balanced, which makes Google at least marginally interested in their customers. Facebook, barring a massive decline in membership, simply doesn't care.

So long as Google is being kept honest by the legitimate possibility of losing revenue, they'll stay in group b).

more than 4 years ago

Obama Outlines Bold Space Policy ... But No Moon

dcmoebius Re:The purpose of government research (455 comments)

This is slashdot sir. The odds of you successfully convincing a human female to accompany you to a beach at night are slim to none.

more than 4 years ago

Disposable Toilet To Change the World

dcmoebius Peepoo? (413 comments)

It's a bit on the nose, isn't it?

more than 4 years ago

First Room-Temperature Germanium Laser Completed

dcmoebius Re:Make mine from Ruritanium (80 comments)

And it sucks to be Cambridge. There is no such thing as Englandium.

England could use noble gases, perhaps?

more than 4 years ago

First Room-Temperature Germanium Laser Completed

dcmoebius Yawn (80 comments)

let me know when these can be surgically attached to sharks.

more than 4 years ago


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