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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:Wow (98 comments)

I'd agree with you almost entirely except for your subtle compassion for Bell. Telecoms love to claim that the infrastructure is theirs because they built it. The only problem is, in the majority of situations, the tax payers have actually subsidized the infrastructure cost.

They have. That's wrong. But you aren't going to fix that by stacking more arbitrary rules on top of already exiting arbitrary rules.

Our system of government, flawed as it may be, is completely broken by monopolized industry. This is why industries like banking and telecoms are so heavily regulated.

No, sorry, you got that backwards. Telecoms and banks are "monopolized industries" only because they are so heavily regulated; it's government regulation that causes these monopolies. The more you regulate, the more monopolies, the more crony capitalism, and the more rent seeking you are going to get.

Note that Bell's history is that it start off as a private company (granted monopolies through patents), then was effectively nationalized, and then was privatized again. The dysfunctions you see today are largely due to that history, and that history is largely a history of government regulation and government-created monopolies.

about half an hour ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

silfen when did you stop beating your wife? (363 comments)

The question presumes facts that haven't been established, and that don't actually hold true.

5 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

How nice that you are such a wealthy and privileged person that you can afford to have a home Internet connection plus a mobile connection. However, for many people, $5/month TV streaming over their mobile means that they can seriously consider dropping their $60/month wired Internet connection altogether.

5 hours ago
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The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

silfen Re:Aliens vs. Religion (214 comments)

Most Christians would say the "in His own image" stuff meant spiritual, not appearance (assuming they look different from us).

Most people who call themselves "Christian" know very little about actual Christian theology or dogma. If they did, they wouldn't be Christians anymore. The "in His own image" part is the least of those problems.

5 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

That should have been: "but if they continue to use proprietary internal protocols for voice, video conferencing, and TV delivery" ...

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

This sort of thing is more easily prevented by prohibiting the provider of the pipes from also selling what's sent through the pipes, and vice versa.

Yes, it's easily prevented, but there is a cost. Let's say I have enough money to buy a car while you don't. As a result, there are lots of business and job opportunities open to me that aren't open to you. Your solution to this "unfair" situation is to prohibit individual car ownership altogether and force everybody to use government-regulated taxi services, available to everybody under the same conditions. Sure that accomplishes what you want. It also makes most people's lives a lot more cumbersome and expensive.

Unfortunately, we're in a funny in-between state right now because phone service is moving from point-to-point to packet-based.

And one side effect of this kind of ruling is that moving to packet-based systems will be slowed down: Bell can't discriminate against IP-based services, but if they use proprietary internal protocols for VoIP, video conferencing, and TV delivery, the net neutrality rulings don't apply.

There is no distinction between pipes and the content in the pipes in this model.

It certainly makes a huge difference to Bell whether IP traffic travels between machines completely within their network and completely under their control, or whether it is piped into their system from a peer. The fact that as an end user or programmer, that difference doesn't concern you doesn't change the fact that it potentially has a huge economic impact. Yes, IP packets aren't all the same, even if to you they look that way.

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

The wireless provider is no longer allowed to treat their own subscription offering as being different from, say, Netflix by pretending data which they're sending you is magically different than any other data

But it is different, and there is no magic about it either: their own data only flows over their own wires, they can cache that data close to the customer that wants it, and they don't have to pay peering costs for it.

Do you think people are well served when a company can undercut competition by rigging the system?

They are no more "rigging the system" than when people use any other private property. I have a right to drive my car, you don't have a right to drive my car even if you don't own a car.

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:Wow (98 comments)

They're forcing Bell to play fair,

I don't see what is "fair" about this. Bell built and owns the infrastructure that those packets run over, Netflix does not. Forcing Bell to do things with that infrastructure against their will is no more "fair" than forcing you by law to let my dog defecate in your yard.

Now, you may counter that Bell got their ownership of the hardware through lobbying and other unfair means, and I would agree. But you can't fix the fact that infrastructure is unfairly regulated and uncompetitive by piling even more unfair regulation on top of it.

In fact, that's how these things spiral out of control: regulators screw up with some regulation, and then rather than fix the original regulation, they pile more regulation on top of it, which causes more problems, and yet more regulation, etc.

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

Apparently, being a buffoon is all you are capable of; rational arguments are evidently beyond your intellectual abilities.

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:Wow (98 comments)

I imagine it's more likely they'll end up charging everyone less in order to make their service actually usable.

I doubt it. Their competitive advantage is that they own the towers; their competitive disadvantage is that they know nothing about the online movie delivery business. If they can't take advantage of their strength, they are just going to get out of the business.

6 hours ago
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:LOL (98 comments)

But doesn't Canada know that Net Neutrality is going to equal government censorship and all the telcos will immediately stop any infrastructure investments?

Nice hyperbole, but the effect of this decision is simple and obvious: wireless providers will continue charge all wireless video towards your data plan. Since that uses data up much too fast, you will effectively not be able to watch movies wirelessly at all. What a great victory for network neutrality. Aren't you proud of yourself.

yesterday
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Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Wireless TV Case

silfen Re:Wow (98 comments)

How is forcing Bell to charge customers more "common sense"?

yesterday
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The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

silfen Re:Aliens vs. Religion (214 comments)

Not Catholicism. Wouldn't make a lick of difference.

And that's why Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for postulating a plurality of worlds and extraterrestrial life?

You're making a classic mistake: confusing science and theology.

No, you are using a classic Catholic debating strategy: dissembling and outright lying. You draw the line between science and theology wherever it happens to be convenient for an argument. You also lie about the history of the Catholic church.

There is no conflict unless you're an American evangelical.

Of course not! First your church tries to suppress views that disagree with its dogma through everything from threats to mass murder; when it can't suppress the truth anymore, it switches positions and says it was on the right side of the argument all along. Finally, you go on accusing anybody who points out the actual sordid history of your church of religious discrimination and irrational hatred.

yesterday
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The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

silfen Re:Aliens vs. Religion (214 comments)

I would think that it would destroy most religions.

No, only the Abrahamic religions.

Most other religions don't have a problem with non-human intelligent creatures and don't postulate that humans are intrinsically special.

yesterday
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The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

silfen Denial (214 comments)

Many scientists and most religions will deny it.

yesterday
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Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

silfen say it ain't so! (103 comments)

Canadians keep telling us how morally and intellectually superior they are! So, this story can't be true!

yesterday
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Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

silfen Re:physical access (357 comments)

The idea of "CTRL+ALT+F1, CTRL+ALT+F2, ..." is that you may get a local vt that DOES have a logged in session.

How is that a problem with X11?

In any case, some systems simply check when X11 is locked and either lock those virtual consoles themselves, or warn you.

yesterday
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Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

silfen Re:physical access (357 comments)

Virtual consoles have nothing to do with X11; they are also safe (you just get a login prompt).

Killing the X server is also safe, it just goes back to the login screen; it's also disabled on many distributions.

The rest are X.org-specific debugging keys; they shouldn't be on by default and they have nothing to do with X11 either.

yesterday
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Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

silfen Re:physical access (357 comments)

Well, some X11 screen locking programs have bugs. Possibly there are subtle bugs in the protocol too. But in principle, X11 screen locking is no different from Windows screen locking.

yesterday
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

silfen Re:Getting Greece to be 99% self-sufficient (325 comments)

Many economic models are possible (including subsistence, gift, exchange, and planned, or a mix). The choice depends what sort of society you want and what your priorities are and what your cultural history is.

"Choice"? Whose "choice" are you talking about? If it's a "choice" that is made for an entire society or nation, then it necessarily tramples on the rights of many people.

If you believe that individuals have the right of self-determination and that majorities don't have a right to oppress minorities, none of those systems are feasible "choices" as economic systems. Some of them are completely inconsistent with individual liberties, and others are consistent with individual liberties in that people may choose such transactions but may not be forced to participate in them (e.g., gift exchanges).

When a country runs out of tear gas, isn't that a hint that it is possible for something to go wrong seriously with a market leaving many people unhappy?

What does anything that's going on in Greece have to do with "markets"? The Greek economy is in the toilet because of the corruption and crony capitalism of the German and Greek governments. Neither Germany nor Greece have anything resembling a free market, and both are vehemently opposed to liberalism.

But the same is true of free markets in practice, given monopolies, wealth centralization, regulatory capture, lobbying and (legal) vote buying by the wealthiest, and a host of other potential problems.

Every single one of those problems is a problem with government, not with free markets. And bad as those problems are in our "regulated markets" and ochlocracy, they get a whole lot worse in all other systems that have ever been implemented.

The one system we have never tried is a liberal government and free markets.

Coupled with improved 3D printing for local on-demand production, this may totally transform our economy,

The example of software is quite apt. You cannot freely gift physical objects in the US today, as you could in a liberal free market. However, the inability of government to regulate such exchanges means that we have taken that power away from government and restored the natural, liberal state of affairs. Techniques like desktop fabrication may do the same for physical objects. Bitcoin tried to undermine the ability of government to interfere with voluntary financial and business transactions; that struggle is still on-going, but government is likely to lose it too.

A "gift economy" isn't an alternative to a clasically liberal free market economy, it is simply part of such an economy. And bit by bit, as technology gives people more control over their lives, we may realize liberal free market economy despite the corruption of our government and the totalitarian aspirations of our neighbors.

yesterday

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