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Comment: This doesn't affect anonymity (Score 0) 50 50

If I understand correctly, this attack has a similar effect to a DNS attack : you replace a server for an address with one of your own servers instead, so that users requesting the service will be routed to you.

While this is bad, I'm not sure how it affects anonymity in any way. Obviously, the spoofed service might try to serve some Tor vulnerability to the users to identify them, but this relies on finding an actual weakness in Tor, or in the user's setup, to identify them.

Comment: Java *IS* slow (Score 1) 386 386

I agree with most of the submitter's points, except for the "if Java is slow for your then you aren't using it right". Sure, if all you're doing is a tightly optimized PI calculation simulator, Java can match (or even, in some cases, beat) C/C++ performance. In a real-world user application though, it falls apart. I have never, ever used client-side Java application that wasn't a huge RAM and CPU hog. All you need to do is look at any big client-side Java application to realize that. Practically anything that has a user GUI is a disaster. Case in point : Eclipse, Open/LibreOffice. If it runs on Java, it's on that list.

Java works really well for some server workloads with well-defined inputs, processing, then output. Anyone using Java to develop client GUI apps is using the wrong tool for the job. I'm looking at you, Cisco (ASDM, SDM, Network Assistant, etc).

I used to be a huge java on the desktop proponent, but the end results have since changed my mind. Show me a few large desktop applications that aren't slow and painful to use and maybe I'll change my mind. Until then, please stop using Java on the client side.

Comment: Re: Solar rarely enough for the whole house (Score 1) 299 299

That depends where you're living. Here in Quebec, 90% of homes are heated using electricity, because it's cheap thanks to our huge hydro resources. In the winter, it's usually too cold for heat pumps to work. To give you an idea, here in Montreal, average temp for last february were -19C (-2F). A heat pump can save a bit during fall or spring, but usually the savings aren't worth the purchase & maintenance cost of the pump. It's all resistive heating.

Comment: Re:So lemme get this right: (Score 1) 45 45

That's not quite true. The SPA line is the Cisco small business line, typically used with small Call Manager Express or UC500 series boxes.

At the same time though, if a device on your LAN is compromised enough that it can be used to upload XML files to another host, you have a lot more to worry about than a vulnerable phone. In fact the attacker could also install a SIP gateway on the compromised host with a phone's MAC address and it would work, so having the physical phone itself be vulnerable is not much of an extra threat. Whence the low severity.

Comment: Re:What portion of the memory is usable this time? (Score 3, Informative) 110 110

RAM is very important if you use high resolutions. If you game in 1080p, then yeah this won't tell you much. If you have a 4k monitor though, 3GB isn't enough so you can at least look at the RAM to narrow your selection, then look at benchmarks.

Comment: Re: Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

I'll just paste another reply I made above about natural monopolies.

Natural monopolies are called natural because that's the way the world works. They exist no matter what the government does about it.

Let me give you an example with roads. Let's say all roads are private; people charge a toll to pay for each road section. You have a road from A to B. The entity owning that road has a natural monopoly, even without any regulation. This is because let's say competition adds a second road from A to B. Now, people use either road and traffic on each road drops by half. Suddenly, neither roads can pay for their maintenance because traffic is too low. Competition doesn't work well with infrastructure because reality gets in the way.

For last mile cabling, you have the exact same issue. If you allow 30 companies to have their own infrastructure and run cables to people's home, only 5% of that infrastructure would be in use at the same time, but all the rest still requires maintenance and investment. The end result would make it impossible for any of those 30 companies to turn up a profit.

With hindsight, we should have gone about cabling differently. The city should have owned that last mile cabling to each home, with them terminating in various city NOCs. Then you give access to all the service companies to these NOCs. Voilà, you now have perfect competition. You would only need neutrality laws only for the cities themselves in that scenario so that no preferential treatment is given to any company. It's a bit too late to do it properly now though.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

You're wrong. Natural monopolies are called natural because that's the way the world works. They exist no matter what the government does about it.

Let me give you an example with roads. Let's say all roads are private; people charge a toll to pay for each road section. You have a road from A to B. The entity owning that road has a natural monopoly, even without any regulation. This is because let's say competition adds a second road from A to B. Now, people use either road and traffic on each road drops by half. Suddenly, neither roads can pay for their maintenance because traffic is too low. Competition doesn't work well with infrastructure because reality gets in the way.

For last mile cabling, you have the exact same issue. If you allow 30 companies to have their own infrastructure and run cables to people's home, only 5% of that infrastructure would be in use at the same time, but all the rest still requires maintenance and investment. The end result would make it impossible for any of those 30 companies to turn up a profit.

With hindsight, we should have gone about cabling differently. The city should have owned that last mile cabling to each home, with them terminating in various city NOCs. Then you give access to all the service companies to these NOCs. Voilà, you now have perfect competition. You would only need neutrality laws only for the cities themselves in that scenario so that no preferential treatment is given to any company. It's a bit too late to do it properly now though.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

I'm not sure I understand your point.

When you peer, you add a new link that wasn't there before. Even if there was a financial component to the peer agreement, as long as you're not deliberately routing traffic of other customers through a congested link, I don't see how you're breaking the law. If link1 is congested and you add link2 to offload part of link1's traffic, you're not changing the traffic priority. Now, if link1 and link2 are both to backbone providers and you're sending "paying" traffic through an uncongested link2, while routing everything else through link1, then yeah, you're breaking the law. That second case would be unlike any peering routing I've ever seen though.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

Hum, peering is a term used when an ISP connects to another ISP. That ISP can be a backbone provider or not, it's still peering. I'm Canadian, so I can't give examples for the US, but here a typical ISP might be peered with Peer1 (backbone), Cogent (backbone) and Torix (Toronto Internet Exchange). The big content providers (Google, Akamai, etc.) typically have a direct path on Torix. They're all called peering though, never heard another term for it.

Back to the discussion at hand. Peer links are created to avoid congestion and keep latency low. This is part of normal network management, which the law specifically allows for. Traffic will always be routed through multiple potential links, with routing protocols deciding which link to use based on capacity, congestion, shortest path, etc.

If you look at the law, they actually make a difference between peering (they call it interconnections) and paid prioritization.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 1) 347 347

Peering has nothing to do with prioritization. When you peer, you create a path to a destination, that's it. If your ISP doesn't have a peer link to, say, Slashdot's ISP, then Slashdot won't load for you, period. The law is about preferential treatment of data, which doesn't have anything to do with peering.

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 5, Informative) 347 347

You're wrong. Have you read the document? It boils down to only 3 things, which are exactly about net neutrality :

- No throttling of lawful data, no matter the source or destination.
- No blocking lawful data, no matter the source or destination.
- No paid prioritization, no matter the source or destination.

That's all there's in this law. Nothing else. How exactly is this a bad law?

Comment: Re:Have we handed the government control over it? (Score 5, Informative) 347 347

I'm going to reply to my own comment for the sake of not being disingenuous by omission.

The whole Verizon / Cogent peering issue was a little more complicated that. Initially, peering agreements were made between ISPs and they were fairly simple to manage. If one side was generating an unbalanced amount of traffic, they had to pay the other side.

The problem is that only worked when ISPs had the same profile : some servers, some end-users. Cogent doesn't provide service to end users, only to big businesses. As a consequence, almost all of their traffic is push, with very little flowing the other way. ISPs like Verizon took that as an excuse to claim that the peering was unbalanced, even if all the requests for that bandwidth was coming from their own users. The truth is that Verizon is already charging their users for that bandwidth, so requiring the other side to pay for access to their network is basically extortion.

The only reason they were able to do that at all is because of the natural monopoly that they have regarding the "last mile" cabling into people's home. Regulation is the only way to keep competition healthy when you have these natural monopolies in place. Verizon wanted to have their cake and eat it too. This is why this law was badly needed.

Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules. Corollary: Following the rules will not get the job done.

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