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Google Strikes Deal With Verizon To Reduce Patent Troll Suits

phizi0n Re:Thus, they fully admit (20 comments)

Why do I always lose mod points just when I want to actually use them...

That patents are hindering innovation.

It only hinders innovation at companies too small to make these deals. Remember that next time you hear we need patents to protect the mythical lone inventor.

This is so true. Large companies cross license all the time just to end silly patent wars between each other and then sue the shit out of all the small guys or buy them up. When companies reach certain sizes they do whatever they want, if they get told it's illegal then they just change the laws but they don't get punished.

3 days ago
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Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware

phizi0n Update way worse than described. (229 comments)

Pretty much anything that needed elevated privileges would fail to run even if you were running on an admin account and gave UAC permission. Even my TV recordings failed while the update was applied and at first I thought it was my video driver update that I did just before manually allowing windows update to install the patch. Because I had manually installed it, I did not automatically get the removal patch and had no idea wtf was going on until I dug through several posts about driver installation problems (that I did not have) to finally find that it was wrecking far more than just driver installation.

about a week ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

phizi0n Re:BPG natively supports 8 to 14 bits per channel (377 comments)

Higher encoded bit depths can actually lower file size at a given quality or increase quality at a given filesize regardless if you are outputting at a lower depth.

http://x264.nl/x264/10bit_02-a...
TLDR: Even though the dit depth is higher, it allows for more of the junk information to be thrown out while keeping more of the important data.

Blocking and banding are very problematic in JPEG and the easiest way to fix it is to just raise the bit depth which is probably why they added 12bit to JPEG 9.1 earlier this year.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

phizi0n Re:What does Net Neutrality even mean??? (127 comments)

It's bad for users but it is neutral to the data as long as you aren't purposely forcing routes to only use that link.

ISPs are forcing Netflix to only use saturated links. Although to be less cynical, it's possible that Netflix is forced there not by explicit policy but because the links haven't been upgraded in ten years.

Peering contracts make it impossible for the public to have any clue what is actually going on with the saturated links since the contracts are secret. Caching servers are a good way to reduce traffic on the backbone links but giving them directly to ISP's is a bad thing for neutrality because the ISP's then get to pick and choose who they accept hardware from or get flooded with hardware from everyone. Competition in Europe has produced a much better ecosystem with many ISP's to choose from and lots of exchanges where they can connect to each other easily and cheaply.

about two weeks ago
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Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

phizi0n What does Net Neutrality even mean??? (127 comments)

It has lost all of the original meaning and has become a buzzword with a generic "don't do things that I don't like" meaning. Look at all the Netflix shakedowns for instance. Is it neutral for ISP's to accept a caching server from Netflix? Not unless they would be willing to take servers from everybody else. Is it neutral to leave a link saturated? It's bad for users but it is neutral to the data as long as you aren't purposely forcing routes to only use that link. Does anyone care what neutrality is in this case? No, they just want Netflix to be faster.

We're never going to get anywhere by trying to put a bandaid on our current ISP clusterfuck in America. If we want real change then we have to break up the monopolies again and split the physical infrastructure from the service providers. We need competition in order to fix the plethora of problems with ISP's which go far beyond whatever version of "net neutrality" you believe in.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Any Certifications Worth Going For?

phizi0n Re:There is a reason for this! (317 comments)

If you don't know what a netmask is, you shouldn't be able to pass CCNA (though could get an MCSE or RHCE). I was just chatting with a server admin here and they don't know the difference between a switch and router (almost all switches are L-3 switches, and almost all routers will bridge ports, so is there a difference?).

The functionality can be very similar and the lines are increasingly blurred but the key difference is that switches have ASIC's to do the majority of the work while routers have general purpose processors that do most of the work.

about two weeks ago
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Make a Kids' Power Wheel Toy Awesome for $500 (Video)

phizi0n Re:A Flash movie on the article page? (39 comments)

It says (video) in the title so that's fair warning but they ought to switch over to html5 video tag so that it could actually load on mobile and other platforms without flash.

I'm just waiting for the day when they figure out how to record sound properly.

about two weeks ago
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YouTube Opens Up 60fps To Everyone

phizi0n Re:Firefox better get their act together (152 comments)

No this is Google favoring new standards before some browsers are quite ready for it. Firefox supports 60fps if the video is encoded in WebM (VP9) which only happens on Youtube if it has enough views to warrant encoding it in additional formats. Mozilla is still working on Media Source Extensions and MPEG-DASH support which is needed to play back h.264@60fps but afaik it should be in FF36 although it's not ready yet in nightly 36 builds.

Google could have added support in the Flash player but why would they put in the effort for a fairly novel feature when they are trying to replace flash with HTML5? In a few months every browser will support the HTML5 features and nobody will remember this story.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

phizi0n Why limit it to the internet... (382 comments)

Would you pay to round up all the trolls into troll internment camps that have no internet access so that nobody could troll you on the internet or IRL anymore?

about 4 months ago
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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

phizi0n Re:you must not have done well in math class (214 comments)

I'm actually a victim of a violent crime and had to have reconstructive surgery on my cheek but way to be completely off the mark. I'm thankful that it was just a punch and not a bullet. I've also been held up at knife-point before by a couple of ~10 year old kids but that was more funny than scary. I'll take my chances against a fist or knife any day over a gun.

about 4 months ago
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Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

phizi0n Re:you must not have done well in math class (214 comments)

In the UK, you're more likely to be stabbed than shot, but that doesn't make it a nice safe place.

Luckily nobody has ever been the victim of a drive-by stabbing or a stray knife flying into their home.

about 4 months ago
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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

phizi0n Re:distance, please (93 comments)

The expenses are around $20k for a typical customer located between 50 and 100m from the node including all equipment and trenching through the premises.

That price is so outrageous that it has to be trenching to 1 single house that has no others around it and hiring a crew for the 1 time job. That's your first problem, trenching is expensive but hanging wires on existing poles isn't. If your municipality doesn't have poles then they should have underground conduits laid for you to just pull the fiber through. If you have neither poles nor conduits then there are micro-trenchers that can carve out ~1cm of road to lay the fiber in that costs much than digging up standard trenches.

Here is a blog post where Dane Jasper says it costs Sonic $500-2500 per home passed to run fiber but he often says under $500 so the $2500 figure is probably on the extreme side for more remote houses.

https://corp.sonic.net/ceo/201...

about 4 months ago
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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

phizi0n Re:distance, please (93 comments)

By "every few years" I mean every new docsis/dsl version. Even the worst monopolies have been adopting the latest docsis/dsl protocols over the years albeit at a slow pace. The cost of staying on copper is lots of maintenance and minor upgrades in the future, the cost of switching to fiber is an initial investment and then smooth sailing for a long time because it's more reliable and such a significant jump in speed that you won't need to upgrade equipment for decades.

about 4 months ago
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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

phizi0n Re:distance, please (93 comments)

The cost of going from the neighborhood to the home is ANYTHING BUT minimal. It's arguably one of the largest expenses.

Rough comparison: cable (or fiber) to the neighborhood from the local station: 2500 feet. Cable from the neighborhood hub to each of 50 homes: 5000 feet. And often the latter has to be underground.

Hint: that's the real "last mile".

Only when you look at it from an immediate perspective. Yes it's a big investment but doing incremental copper equipment upgrades every few years is too, the small upgrades just allows them to pass the cost onto the customers over a long period of time. Monopolies don't have any incentive to change but it is well worth it for an independent ISP like Sonic to rollout fiber because they are able to disrupt the incumbents' marketshare with a superior product at equal or lesser prices and recoup the costs in a short time. Dane Jasper is very open about Sonic's business and is constantly criticizing monopolies, he has shared that it costs them around $500 per home passed. They charge $40/mo for gigabit service or a one time $300-400 charge for 5mbps service for 5 years. ie. if you want 5mbps service then you are paying them about what it cost them to roll the fiber to your house, otherwise they recover the cost after about a year of your service.

about 4 months ago
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Groundwork Laid For Superfast Broadband Over Copper

phizi0n Re:distance, please (93 comments)

But the real solution is FTTN: fiber to the street cabinet, rather than the current status quo of fiber to the Central Office. That will have the effect of moving you to well within a few thousand of feet of a fiber converter.

As Dane has said before, if you're going to the neighborhood you might as well go to the home. The cost difference is minimal and by going to the home it will be easier to upgrade the network later by swapping in better optical equipment. Sonic already has a few FTTH rollouts and collaborated with google before google fiber was ever a thing.

about 4 months ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

phizi0n Can we stop pretending tech cares about diversity (561 comments)

If they really cared about diversity then tech companies wouldn't be asking workers to give up their entire social lives to work egregious hours. Young 20-30 year old men are often willing to go so far as to give up sleep but women and older workers want to be treated like people not machines.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

phizi0n Lots of variety now (427 comments)

There is too much variety of hardware now for there to be any defacto model like the wrt54gl was. Back then practically the only differences were RAM and Flash sizes. Now you have choices of 100mbit vs gigabit ports, USB support or not, 802.11n vs 802.11ac, 2.4GHz only or also 5GHz, single radio vs dual radio, 1-8 MIMO stream support (affects throughput), RAM size, Flash size, lots of different SoC's running at various speeds...

You need to prioritize what features you want and then narrow down the wide variety of router models available. Most models are supported by 3rd party firmwares unless they were recently released but most will become supported eventually.

about 4 months ago
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Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

phizi0n Corporate Contributions to OSS (195 comments)

I don't understand why there's all these comments saying they should just use FreeBSD. There are many reasons to despise Facebook but their desire to improve the Linux networking stack is admirable. We should be encouraging corporations to contribute to OSS, not telling them to just use that other thing that is better in some ways but not others. Kudos to them for contributing back to the projects they use.

about 4 months ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

phizi0n Re:Southwest Boarding Policies (928 comments)

How is any seat decent if you know there is a good chance you will be breaking up families and could have a disgruntled parent or a child next to you that will possibly be leaving their seat or yelling across the plane to communicate?

A good boarding system should allow people to stay together toward the back of the plane by reserving far enough in advance, frequent fliers choose seats at the front/middle and anyone booked with you as well, and the rest up for grab. Load the people reserved in back first since they know exactly where they will be and they will clear the front of the aisle(s) quickly which will allow the frequent fliers on and then after they all settle let the rest on.

about 5 months ago

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