Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?
.. or the beating and civil wiretapping lawsuit for the cameras.
Why There Are So Few ISP Start-Ups In the U.S.
My small city of around 200K just had one big wireless player (who also happened to be the cable company) announce they are leaving the market (and selling the spectrum licenses to one of the big guys) and the other three I know of buy their bandwidth from.. well, that same cable company and/or the local telephone company. There's no other place to ultimately buy bandwidth: there are three companies that transport and transit: the big regional telephone company, the local cable company, and Facebook. Everybody else is buying and selling Internet from the big guys.
I can't talk about the health of the small wireless ISPs here, but if you sit down and do the math, they are likely just barely making a profit. This may be why the local cable company has exited the wireless ISP market. (I live in an area with a small urban center surrounded by miles of farms and ranches, the cable company's strategy was to use the wireless to extend their range to these rural subscribers and infill in the few areas their cable network didn't cover). And this small cable company had the first LTE network on in the state, so they had a hell of a head start.
That's pretty much the picture in most places: the little guys are very little and increasingly getting smaller, and the big guys are only getting bigger.
Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
> Indeed, no culture in the history of humanity has done so
Many tribal cultures in the Americas and Africa not only acknowledged the possibility of non-child-bearing unions, many Tribal American cultures even had words for describing people in it.
Surrogate Database Key, Not Bitcoin Protocol Flaw, To Blame For Mt Gox Problems
.. and that's still a pretty accurate description of the contents.
Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
" We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience. "
Have you considered that those two points might be in conflict? That the precise reason for Slashdot's success might be that it speaks to the interests and habits of a fairly specific and narrow audience?
Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up
I will not repeat what others have said about the design itself: I really have nothing to add. I hate it: it's wasteful of screen real-estate and makes the actual content more difficult to navigate.
I will only say this: Slashdot needs to ask who's driving this change. Slashdot was historically supposed to be about the USERS, and if the USERS didn't ask for this change, why are you changing it? Does the Dice "Product Team" just need to justify their existence so they created a new UI for a venerable website?
As far as I can tell, we (the users.. and even some of the editors of Slashdot, if some of the comments on the main site are to be believed) didn't ask for this change and we don't want it. That's enough reason to stop this project dead in its tracks before even more permanent damage to Slashdot's reputation is done.
QuakeNet: Government-Sponsored Attacks On IRC Networks
The fact that's buried in the Slashdot Blog and not prominently featured in either the "you're gonna get beta whether you like it or not!" popup and/or a sticky on the Slashdot front page tells this long-time Slashdot user that your "Product Team" isn't really interested in our honest feedback.
Beta sucks, period. It's a design change the users haven't asked for and don't want.
NASA Pondering Two Public Contests To Build Small Space Exploration Satellites
The argument can (and should) be made that I shouldn't have to use browser tools like NoScript to make a site "readable." And few people will:
This "new look" for Slashdot pretty much guarantees Slashdot continues down the path of irrelevancy, as another wave of people decide the downsides of (say) Reddit now aren't nearly as bad as the Microsoft Windows 8-inspired Slashdot.
Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?
FWIW, while I'm sure Linus is living quite comfortably, and may in fact be a millionaire (which really isn't that much money these days: my parents were paper millionaires and they were a postal carrier and a government clerk.. they only were "millionaires" because the Southern California house they owned wound up being worth $600,000, plus another $400,000 combined in retirement assets), but he's not exactly living the life of a 1%er. From what I understand, he earns a respectable salary from the Linux Foundation, but not anything out-of-line for a talented software engineer in Portland.
He's not exactly shuttling around the West Hills in a limo. Unless you consider TriMet MAX (Portland's light-rail system) a limo.
How Google Broke Itself and Fixed Itself, Automatically
Nagios can be built and designed in such a way that there are no false criticals and few spurious alerts. but it requires dedication, documentation, and attention to detail. Most Nagios installations I've run across are built and maintained by people who often lack one (or more) of these three traits, or are a single-man IT operation that can never devote the time or resources to doing it properly.
I have seen systems of Nagios and Zenoss (and a few others) that are devastatingly precise, accurate, and timely. However, they were typically set up by a highly dediated TEAM of sysadmins who's entire job for the organizations they work for is managing the tactical systems. It's a full-time job in and of itself, and not one that many organizations really devote the manpower to do "right." They do it just "good enough", which is why you are used to seeing the installations you are seeing.
Google's exactly the kind of organization that has the man- and brain-power to do it right. And it's not really that hard, it's mostly just simple attention to detail. And that's a trait I've found is lacking in a lot of the current crop of junior system administrators I've run across.
HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8
While I agree that Microsoft will likely never "go away", to a large degree the statement that "the next generation .. will not be dominated by Microsoft" has already come true. The vast majority of new "screens" that people are viewing content on, surfing the Internet on, and generally "using" in their day-to-day life are smartphones and tablets. And Microsoft is being pummeled by Android and Apple. People are looking at what they used to buy laptops for and deciding "hey, I can do 90% of this with an iPad/GalaxyTab, and the 10% that I need to use a keyboard for my old laptop works just fine."
Behind the scenes HP (and the other manufacturers) would respond to Microsoft by saying "look, Samsung is killing us. Apple is killing us. Let us sell Windows 7 or our next new product is a laptop that runs Android."
HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8
Actually, if the sales numbers are to be believed, people just aren't buying new PCs at all.
Bennett Haselton: Google+ To Gmail Controversy Missing the Point
Spammers didn't typically scan the phone book and use automated bots to email all the people in it.
No, but spammers and scammers do use automated bots to CALL all the people in the phone book.
Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs
Let me make sure I understand this.
Congress is waging war over $2 billion in budget cuts. In a budget that is around $3 trillion. The deficit alone is $680 billion.
Let's frame this in context. This is arguing over a 2 cent line item on a $300 bill.
And we wonder why our government is the laughing stock of the free world.
Swarm Mobile's Offer: Free Wi-Fi In Exchange For Some Privacy
They're still getting valuable data. As I understand it, part of what they're doing is using your physical location in the store triangulated from your phone. While using a VPN does limit SOME of the information they're gathering, it doesn't eliminate all of it.
Bitcoin Thefts Surge, DDoS Hackers Take Millions
> Mt. Gox? Seriously? How do you even pronounce it?
"Magic the Gathering Online Exchange."
That should scare you.
The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?
We have this impression of the reliability and stability of the POTS network partially because it is ubiquitous and invisible. Yet, as someone who has spent most of my adult life working in and around copper twisted pair, I can tell you POTS isn't as "reliable" as you think.
You have the impression that POTS is reliable because there's a small army of men and women maintaining it. AT&T is claiming that it is costing them a fortune to maintain the copper twisted pair infrastructure to the standards dictated by the FCC for a rapidly dwindling number of customers. People are leaving copper-pair services by the thousands every day: some are going wireless, some are going to pure-play VoIP providers, and even the "cable company" (or the telephone company's own fiber).
Copper wire only lasts 20-30 years hanging from the side of a pole, on average, before it will likely need to be replaced. Especially in urban areas, where cable replacement isn't cheap, most of the landline phone companies are staring down the barrel of 50-60 year old copper infrastructure that may have as many as 75% of the pairs condemned.
Let me put it this way. No IT department for a business in a 100-year-old building facing a phone rewire job would replace all that 50-year-old 25-pair with.. more Category 2. The minimum they'd pull is Cat5e or "6", and even more likely they'd pull a significant amount of fiber, if not to the desk at least to a departmental wiring closet. That's the same decision the phone companies want to make.
From a strictly technical/engineering perspective, it's 100% the right choice. Copper loop is functionally obsolete in almost every way.
Musk Lashes Back Over Tesla Fire Controversy
All batteries are DC.
Unless you know of some alien technology even Tesla himself wasn't privvy to.
Sen. Chuck Schumer Seeks To Extend Ban On 'Undetectable' 3D-Printed Guns
It has already had the practical "chilling effect" of making all the large 3D-printable object sites from not having anything that even remotely could be a gun part restrict.. gun parts.
FCC App Lets Android Users Measure Mobile Broadband Speed
This is sort of my pet peeve with this whole thing.
It's not the SPEEDS that suck, dear FCC, it's the stingy caps. I'd be happy with 1-2Mb down if I wasn't hard capped at 1.5GB per month.
faedle hasn't submitted any stories.
TivoToGo Transfers broken.
With all the chatter recently about TiVoToGo coming to Mac users, I'm a bit surprised that nobody mentioned the fact that a significant percentage of TiVo users have not been able to use TiVoToGo since a patch in November broke the functionality on a small (but significant) percentage of Series2 TiVos. This problem was discovered within days of the patch's release, and as of today there has been little official response from TiVo.. save a few messages in the forums when things got downright nasty.
The problem is in the TiVo box, not in the implementations of TiVoToGo, and affects both PC and Mac users. For those considering shelling out the US$100 for Toast 8 Titanium, or any other TiVoToGo solution, you might want to read a few forum posts first to get an idea of the scope of the problem...
Personally, I'm appalled that TiVo could break something this bad and then take two or more months to not fix it. And, what's even worse is, if you read the forums it appears that Tier 1 support isn't completely informed of the problem.
So, I submit (what I think) is a great "Ask Slashdot" about wanting to hear everybody's moving experiences ("Moving Your Geek Cave") on August 15. Here it is, almost a month later, and the submission is still "Pending."
Jeez. Reject it or freaking post it already.
Meanwhile, we get Ask Slashdot "stories" about cleaning pig smells out of equipment. Like, any of us is ever probably going to have to deal with that.
I think I just did a Bad Thing. I posted a link in a slashdot story about Scott McCollum, and I suspect that I'll get a lot of hits. Heck, they're already pouring in.
My poor bandwidth bill...
Ueberroth __NOT__ for Governor
I got spam from the Ueberroth campaign this morning. Ugh. Not that it matters, because I'm still registered to vote in Arizona (not here in California). But, I did send off this little letter to Ueberroth's campaign. Maybe something will come of it. I doubt it.
It's very unfortunate that your campaign has chosen unsolicited E-Mail as a way of promoting your campaign. It now has required me to rethink whether or not Ueberroth is going to be sensitive to the needs of the electronic community.
Unsolicited E-Mail is a huge problem on the Internet. It costs mail operators and ISPs like myself millions annually in costs, clogs our systems with mail that is largely unwanted and discarded by our customers, and is generally used to advertise products and services of questionable legality. One of the issues that will inevitably come up during this governor's term is the "SPAM issue".
By choosing to send spam, you have proven to me that you will not be "tough on spam". We need laws that make spammers responsible for the damages they do to systems, and to allow both consumers and business owners to seek damages; and allow our state government to imprison those who use spam to run scams.
As an aside, not only does this show a resistance towards passing tough anti-spam laws, it also shows that Mr. Ueberroth is out of touch with those of us that the media has labelled the "digerati." Without question, none of us likes spam, and the vast majority of us get so much spam in our mailboxes that we are drowning in a sea of penis-enlargement scams, MLM solicitations, and porn website ads that we go through extensive technical measures to shelter ourselves from such unsolicited crap. It does make me wonder how Mr. Ueberroth will vote on other important issues like UTICA, the use of open-source software (and IT methods) in government, and the abuse of the court systems by "industry groups" like the RIAA and MPAA. It sends a very clear message that Mr. Ueberroth is likely either behind the times, or in active opposition of the online community in these areas.
For the record, at no point did I ever release my E-Mail address for the purpose of solicitation. I do not tolerate spam, and this is "polite" compared to the average spammer message I send. I expect to be removed from your mailing list, and further expect an apology for intruding on my personal space.
Oh, the insanity.
No, really. This is one of the guys who's singlehandedly responsible for TCP/IP over amateur radio. He's part of the ARRL's Future Systems Committee (or, at least he was a number of years ago). Argh.
When even the tech community can't tell the differnece between a troll and somebody who knows how to butter his bread, we're in big trouble.
Journal on /.
I don't ever write much here. Mostly, because I don't comment much on slashdot. Maybe I should start journalling here on things that are /. related.
If you want to read the generic journal, check out http://feedle.livejournal.com.
I've recently started ticking off people who's comments I enjoy as "Friends." If you came to my user account's journal as a result of looking at your "Fans", welcome. You apparently don't suck. *chuckle*