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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

uncqual Re:So. (125 comments)

If enough people agree with you, they will vote for the Green Party candidate, the Socialist Party candidate, or the Libertarian Party candidate. However, it seems they don't. (I, personally, haven't voted for a "major party" candidate for President for decades and I've voted in every Presidential election since I was 18).

Rinse and repeat for your Senate and House candidate(s).

yesterday
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

uncqual Re:So. (125 comments)

Did you vote for the right guy? Maybe not. But, that's on YOU. Remember, Obama was re-elected after it was clear that "hope and change" was just that - "unfulfilled hope for change". Representative democracy is messy and inefficient. The alternative, based on various experiments over the past couple hundred years, is worse.

yesterday
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

uncqual Re:So. (125 comments)

No, it is NOT necessarily representative. Those who feel strongly about an issue are more likely to comment. If 95% of the people believe in X, but it's not their primary goal in life (more worried about their kids, jobs, families), they won't even be aware of the offer to comment, let alone comment. So, the fact that 5% comment for ~X is NOT even remotely representative. It is a self-selecting sample and is, basically, completely irrelevant. In a (representative) democracy, we each get a vote and the fact I feel more strongly about X than you do should not give me more influence when counting votes.

For the record, I am in favor of a version of "net neutrality", but with technical understanding. The notion that "every packet must be routed without regard to what either end paid or even wanted or what the endpoints are is absurd. Yes (and I hope /. readers understand how absurd this position is), in the masses of people who don't know a router from a switch, or Level 3 from Comcast, or latency from bandwidth, or a packet from a session, "net neutrality" may sound good -- until they discover that it actually requires removing Netflix servers from Comcast data centers (and, increasing their monthly charges to pay for the unnecessary costs both Netflix and Comcast incur by instead both routing the packets through Level 3 et al). It's a return to the old days of monopoly telephone service where the FCC controls every innovation and the incumbent players are insulated from innovation.

Ideally, the subscriber pays (perhaps via Netflix et al) for the service they want. However, the network protocols to do this effectively don't exist yet end-to-end across all levels. We should work on this. Just as if I pay more for 200mbps than my neighbor who pays for 15mbps, I am happy deciding if I should pay more to route my Skype or Netflix or ??? packets with high QoS. However, I sure as hell don't want to pay for that for my BT traffic.

yesterday
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

uncqual Re:So. (125 comments)

Allowing caching servers on an ISP networks is NOT "net neutrality" (for example, Uncqual Streaming Svcs Inc is unlikely to be offered that because I offer, well, a byte a month to my zero subscribers). The point is,"every packet is identical" and "no packet is treated differently" and "no deals between ISPs and providers" -- all benchmarks of "net neutrality" zealots, PREVENT such deals which save EVERYBODY money and result in a much more efficient delivery system.

yesterday
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

uncqual Re:So. (125 comments)

3.7 million comments, even if all were rabidly in favor of "net neutrality", is a small fraction of registered voters in the US. Therefore, one can't draw the conclusion that the majority of the voters agree, or disagree, with net neutrality.

For example, many people may be fine with allowing Netflix to partner with their ISP to put Netflix servers in their ISP's datacenters to feed content directly onto the ISP's network - esp. if that would save money for everyone and increase service quality at the same time.

We vote for our representatives (including our President who can exert a lot of control over the FCC) and they manage and direct the organizations that make these decisions. That voting process gives everyone an opportunity to make their opinion heard and their vote counted. It also allows only those who have the right to vote to do so. It also prohibits one person from casting multiple votes w/fake addresses etc. None of that can be said of the FCC comment process.

In the next Presidential election, vote for the a candidate who will push for net neutrality if that's important to you.

yesterday
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

uncqual Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (585 comments)

Or, you can just drop a brick in the tank.

However, make sure to shut the water off and empty the tank first so you don't make a mess from splashing water.

This can dramatically reduce water usage - at least for a couple of days.

3 days ago
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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

uncqual Re:So in the future ... (144 comments)

Yes, I believe I will see the day when I can go in, and print myself a new car, with tires and the fuel cell.

And I believe you must be posting from the far distant future (and, apparently humans have evolved to handle very high temperatures or our current projections on the lifecycle of the Sun are very wrong).

Cars have many different materials in them and even the same materials get processed differently (with heat treating, chemical baths, etching etc). Stocking all these materials efficiently and being able to handle the different processes in on demand 3D printing seems to be a very distant dream - esp. if the result is not 30,000 parts produced on different machines that then need assembly. Imagine the complexity and cost of 3D printing the following in one facility where you "can go in and print yourself a new car":

  1. "Bag" part of an airbag
  2. "Explosive" charge to deploy the airbag
  3. The circuitry for the ECU, airbag control, et al
  4. Tires
  5. Cabin Air Filters
  6. Specialized glass for windshield/side windows/rear windows
  7. LCD panel for driver control
  8. Bearings (motor, wheel, etc)
  9. Brake pads
  10. Lubricants and fluids (brake etc).
  11. Tires
  12. Etc...

There would have to be an amazing advances in material science and engineering way beyond 3D printing technology to make this work.

You might be able to "design" your car's body panels and have them 3D printed along with various decorative elements, but not the core of the car from the ground up for a very long time (and, by that time it's possible/feasible, the notion of a "car" will likely be a long forgotten quaint historical reference).

about a week ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

uncqual Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (391 comments)

And, that's a problem with our laws that should be fixed. If a competent PCP would not have referred the person to an ER, the ER doctor/PA/NP should be able to tell the person that their condition is not a medical emergency and advise them to see their primary care provider and the ER should suffer no more risk than the PCP would have. It should also be a crime to misrepresent your medical condition at an ER in order to get preferred or priority treatment (yes, this would rarely be prosecuted, but the occasional prosecution would deter people from doing it).

There is a good social reason for NOT completing treatment and diagnosis after evaluation determines the problem not to be an emergency -- the next time that person (and their friends and family) probably will not clog up the ER with what is obviously a cold or minor sprain that can be dealt with during normal business hours by their primary care provider.

The system, expectations, and culture is broken -- requiring ERs to act as PCPs is not the answer and the liability laws should reflect that.

about a week ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

uncqual Re: This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (391 comments)

This is rare. However, if that's a concern for enough women in the market for insurance, insurance companies could offer, if it were not for PPACA rules, pregnancy coverage for women who have had a (potentially unsuccessful) tubal litigation at a vastly reduced rate (a few dollars a year would cover it given how rare such pregnancies are).

This is not unlike, for some strange reason, PPACA rules allow charging a additional premium for smokers - or put another way, a discount for not smoking. Why can't insurance companies offer similar discounts for those who take steps to avoid other conditions such as pregnancy by having a tubal litigation? Note that non-smokers still get lung cancer (much more likely I suspect than women who have undergone a tubal litigation getting pregnant).

Why not allow insurance companies to charge more for people who engage in "extreme" sports - their odds of getting expensive injuries at a young age are much higher than someone who doesn't engage in them.

about a week ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

uncqual Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (391 comments)

So, they'd be using the very expensive ER visits rather than the much less expensive office visits.

And that is simply a problem with the law or hospitals not being willing to say "no". When someone presents with the types of problems that result in "very expensive ER visits rather than the much less expensive office visits", the ER should simply tell them to leave (and have them arrested for trespassing if they refuse) because they are not emergencies - if I call 911 because I want a pizza, they won't deliver it and I may well get in trouble if I keep calling with that request.

about two weeks ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

uncqual Re: This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (391 comments)

I don't know what the AC's situation is, but some plans that were once available are not. Some people can afford to have what Obama considered "junk plans" but can no longer get them and must pay higher rates for plans they don't want or including coverage for events that can't happen to them. What does a woman who has had her tubes tied (and would happily have an abortion if somehow the operation wasn't really successful) or a post-menopausal woman want with coverage for pregnancy?

It is almost always better to self insure portions of risk if you can reasonable do do -- why pay middlemen? Do you buy the "extended warranty" on every USB cable you buy from BestBuy or NewEgg? No, because you can easily absorb the cost of replacing it OR, perhaps, you only expect to be using it a few weeks by which time you are pretty sure you will accidentally leave it in a rental car or at a Starbucks by accident so you just don need long term protection.

about two weeks ago
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Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout

uncqual Re:This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their (391 comments)

Americans who purchased coverage are paying for it

vs.

Americans who could not previously afford any health insurance and therefore were essentially locked out from most health care are now being subsidized

In standard usage, "paying for X" means "paying in full" (try telling your mortgage company that you are "paying your monthly payment" when you are only paying 50% of the required payment and see if the agree with your assessment that you are "paying your monthly payment").

People do love free stuff of course and most don't care if some other person is forced to pay for what they get for free. We could, for example, increase homeownership (something that some think is good) simply by buying a house for everyone and only making them pay 20% (or whatever) of their income on mortgage, insurance and taxes while the American taxpayers pick up the remainder.

about two weeks ago
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Steps Down

uncqual Re:One of the most overpaid execs in history (142 comments)

Since he personally owns over $45B of Oracle stock (and billions in other assets), a 0.01% increase in Oracle's stock price results in his net worth increasing by (in current dollars) about what a "typical" software engineer will make during their entire career.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re: I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

Fabulous. But note that the FCC didn't need to tax someone in the Bronx for the needs of a business in Minnesota since Minnesota residents seem to have decided it's in their best interests, due to their demographics, to pay taxes (I assume taxes are involved here given how you worded it) for infrastructure to give their businesses a competitive advantage over businesses in other states. A family in the Bronx might feel that the money is better spent on local schools (and, they would probably be right) and can choose to tax themselves for that.

(Of course, if Minnesota's premise is correct, these lines should probably be paid for via a revenue bond that the farmers pay -- if it increases sales enough to be worthwhile, the cost of paying of the bonds would be more than offset by increased profits).

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re:I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

I'm curious how much of a premium individuals are willing to pay for 1gbs vs. 100mbs. I have slightly greater than 100mbs down and I don't think I would pay $5 a month more for 1gbs down although I only have about 20 mbs up and would pay $5 a month to increase that to 100mbs (it would make my online backups faster).

I suspect few households would pay much extra for 1gbs which suggests it's not that important. The primary use for 1gbs seems to be entertainment in large households who want multiple concurrent high quality video streams -- that doesn't strike me as a national priority (and, if it is, shouldn't we be subsidizing 55" 4K TVs and Hulu and Netflix for everyone as well?).

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re:I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

Yes, but the small businesses get other breaks -- such as SBA loans and exemptions from the requirement to offer medical insurance to their employees or pay a fine.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re: I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

If these rural areas need broadband to prosper and they pay for it themselves, then the cost of minerals or timber from that area may go up infinitesimally. If that pushes mineral or timber costs higher than somewhere else (including transport costs), then harvesting minerals or timber wasn't really a viable business there anyway. Mining and timber companies don't need more government subsidies and I don't see why a telephone user in an inner city two thousand miles away should subsidize building mansions for Larry Ellison or Bill Gates via keeping timber or concrete artificially cheap.

Comparing federal level taxes/subsidies to regional is comparing apples to BMWs. If voters in a regional area decide they want to subsidize the outlying areas for some reason, that's much more acceptable as residents in those areas are best able to judge what their needs are. They may decide a new hospital is more important than broadband for every cabin in the woods and if they decide the broadband is more important, they can set rules for the subsidies that make sense for their geography and demographics.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re: I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

there's no good reason not to have broadband everywhere as well.

Hmm... there must be, because it's not everywhere.

There are areas in the US that have still have little more than dirt and gravel roads. The residents of those areas don't seem to think it's worth their money to upgrade to "Interstate Highway" grade pavement while in other areas, they have. The same is true of residential broadband, if there is sufficient demand, it will become available.

There's always satellite for those who want modest internet access beyond dialup but don't want to pay to upgrade the infrastructure to reach their low (internet user) density environment. In many areas of the country, people rely on personal wells to provide their water -- it's far from as ideal a solution as municipal water, but it's often more cost effective in those areas than building and maintaining a municipal water system. Why should broadband be treated any differently than something critical to life itself - water. There are plots of land that are considered, basically, inhabitable and have virtually no market value due to lack of water service or the ability to tap ground water - should we also insure those plots of land have inexpensive broadband access if someone decides to buy one and truck water in?

People move all the time as the area they live in no longer matches their needs - such as when unemployment rises due to coal mining or logging being reduced due to environmental laws. If you need high speed internet and you've chosen to live in an area where the number of users who are willing to pay for it per square mile is insufficient, move -- or convince your neighbors that they too want to watch (and are willing to pay to do so) every cat video in stunning uncompressed 4K the moment it's released.

If businesses want to woo customers who have low speed (dialup for example) internet access, they will offer low bandwidth versions of their web sites but one doesn't see much of this so it seems unlikely that there is a lot of unmet demand there.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

uncqual Re: I never thought I'd say this... (348 comments)

True food security is being able to grow and raise your own food. If food security became a problem in the US (which it is not -- there's more than enough food to go around, income security is another issue), people would flock to these rural areas where they could afford some land to farm -- independent of if 1Gb internet access was available. To my knowledge, migrant farmworkers are not demanding high speed internet access yet and when/if they do, there will then be a market for it in these rural areas.

about two weeks ago

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