Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Why what you think Net Neutrality is, is wrong (Score 1) 132 132

Consider it infrastructure. If you were to start building a new city from scratch in the last 20 years, you would know to leave plenty of room for multiple carriers to drop fiber and copper all over the place. Now come back to reality, where you have 100 year old copper in places where there may or may not be physical access to run fiber to replace it, may or may not be a place to put equipment to support your ideal high speed infrastructure (you can go further with an analog electrical signal, than with a digital one, hence DSL limits), and frankly, rolling out 30 cities worth of fiber infrastructure to cover a good percentage of the population is harder, more expensive, and takes longer than building out 1 city and 2 population centers that are barely 100 miles apart.

The difference boils down to engineering and scaling problems. I would compare the two like this: lets say 'small country' is using a pickup truck to move his family across the street, while 'big country' has to use 100 tractor trailer rigs to move an office building worth of people 2000 miles. I'm sure the folks in the office look to have terrible performance from their moving company, if you decide to just compare how long it takes to move. Doesn't really capture the whole 'heft' of the project though, does it.
what WOULD be interesting, would be to show how much each country 'lifts' with it's access, and create a consumption based metric for internet quality.

Comment Re:Why what you think Net Neutrality is, is wrong (Score 1) 132 132

But it's not a 'sunk' cost. Facilities have to be maintained, and upgraded. Right of ways have to be paid for and maintained. and municipalities expect more and more every year/contract cycle for the access to those rights of way. Bandwidth on the edge provider's network isn't the MAIN problem. it's getting it OFF that network to someplace useful that is.

Comment Re:the best evidence (Score 1) 132 132

Thats because the uplink isn't public shared bandwidth. TDS gets a private handoff for all the DSL customers, at a tariffed rate, and then it's TDS's problem to put them on their OWN network (not AT&Ts). Netflix bandwidth is in no danger of collapsing anyone's backbone. The issue has always been how it gets handed off between carriers. When you have huge amounts of high speed eyeballs on your network, (netflix's target audience), you should be asking 'why isn't netflix buying bandwidth from networks with a high amount of my target cutomer?' instead they just go with the cheapest carrier they can cut a deal with, without taking into consideration the realities of 'why things work on the network', and stomp their feet about how unfair those evil carriers are. until you can show some widespread example of carriers who have streaming video services with the same library at netflix, and are actively redirecting people's browsers to netflix, there isn't any predatory practice going on here.

Comment Why what you think Net Neutrality is, is wrong (Score 2) 132 132

I have spent a lot of time on this. I will share where the rabble rousing going on here is _off_, and let you decide.
1) Net Neutrality is...
A new buzzword hijacking 'Open Internet', which is the philosophy carriers and network operators have been using since day one to guide their decisions on how to make the network work. It is based on the idea of fairness, openness, and equal access for everyone as an ideal, but allows for the reality of private ownership of infrastructure, and business drivers that dictate how the network infrastructure is managed and operated.

2) Net Neutrality is NOT..
a) a fight to ensure you 'get what you paid for'. If you believe this, you have been mislead as to what you paid for. You did not pay for 100Mb/s to netflix. You did not pay for 5Mb/s to netflix. You paid for shared public access to the rest of the networks your carrier has connections with, subject to availability of common shared resources, with NO guarantees of uptime, packet delivery or even that it will work when you switch it on. The mentality that 'I'm not getting what I paid for' is promoted by content providers in order to make you feel cheated. it is not reality.

Since people like using roads as an example, I will just point out, your road taxes are small, because you share the roads with everyone in your city. When you all try to go someplace at once, you end up creating congestion. Why are you not out protesting that 'I paid for my lane, the city just needs to build more roads so I don't have to wait'? Because it's a ridiculous statement, thats why. a large percentage of the time, those roads simply aren't over-used, so it would be a poor use of time and materials to make it larger to absorb a short window of time when it's running at capacity.

For those who like to point out how much America sucks for Internet speeds, Whip out your calculator, and tell me how the hell you expect to connect 300 million people spread out over an area of nearly 4 MILLION square miles, for a comparable cost to connecting 25 million people over 38,000 square miles. and 10 million of those people live in one relatively small metro area. Distance covered increases costs, and it's not only unfair but profoundly unrealistic to expect costs to be anywhere close to similar comparing such vastly different infrastructure requirements.

b) a gimmick for your ISP to shake you down for more money to get what you want. If this were true, you would already be paying for access by country or site or anything else. You don't. You won't. The technical challenges alone make this a non-profitable exercise. Anyone remember when some LD companies figured out that billing in 5 minute increments instead of 1 minute increments meant they actually made MORE profit, because they saved on the time and effort it took to do all the accounting?

c) some way to force content providers to choose a slow lane or pay extra for a fast lane. I wouldn't call this 'force'. I would call it the same option that has always been present in the design of the network. I would also observe that the reality of 'fast lane/slow lane' is based on our freeway example, not on some kind of toll road vs HOV lane example. The fact is, the way things work now, the 'fast lane' is dedicated bandwidth a company buys to improve it's performance when transferring larger amounts of data than the shared best effort peering infrastructure is willing to invest in supporting. Throw a little math at the problem. If you have a shared exchange interface with 20 other networks, and ONE network is consuming > 50% of the bandwidth, that is UNFAIR to all the other networks, if that also means the total bandwidth begins to regularly exceed the available bandwidth. To further simplify matters, lets say 95% of that bandwidth is coming from ONE customer on that other network. The network engineers all look at each other and say 'this isn't natural growth of the network, this is someone ass-raping the infrastructure, and we can't justify improving it on our side, because _that isn't what that link is for_. It's supposed to be used fairly evenly by everyone.

So, forget about 'fast lane/slow lane'. We are talking about endless lines of 5 tractor trailer long conveys trying to run through downtown during rush hour. If the city says "we can't justify freeway upgrades because shipping company X has decided to build just outside our tax base, in an area that doesn't have enough road infrastructure, and isn't willing to help us upgrade, they are just going to have to suffer until we come up with a better plan', the company doesn't get to sue the city for not providing them with free additional resources so they can line their pockets without giving something back. The obvious answer is, either move to someplace where you have the infrastructure (Buy transit from a bigger/better ISP) or whip out your checkbook, and build better infrastructure on your own (Buy a bunch of private data lines that ONLY go to each ISP with a critical number of eyeballs for your service).

It's worth noting, every single RESPONSIBLE content provider on the planet understands this business model. They recognize that Internet Infrastructure is not unlimited, not freely available, and has performance limitations subject to the reality of the business relationships between network providers. The ONLY content provider with enough muscle to try and avoid this responsibility is Netflix. They have enough money to make this a media circus, complete with pet politicians, to try and convince everyone that 'Internet' is some common pool of unlimited bandwidth that is SUPPOSED to provide you with vast amounts of high quality connectivity between you and them. and anyone that says otherwise is "anti-competitive" or "pro-big business' (what the hell is netflix, if not big?) or some how 'anti-freedom'...

d) about being fair. The proposed demands the crowd is throwing out are not about making the network 'fair'. The nonsense of 'every packet should be treated equally' highlights the vast amount of ignorance on the subject, in favor of making people feel like they are somehow loosing their freedom if we don't impose some authority behind the rules that are currently mutually beneficial and mutually self-policing. NO ONE WINS WHEN ISPS MESS WITH EACH OTHER. They all know it. it's a recipe for mutually assured destruction, and bad for business. Demanding that every packet gets treated equally, simply means taking the day to day management of the network, the thing that keeps it up and running, and subjecting it to a non-technical, idealistic, and harmful review. What you end up with is a long list of 'exemptions' , which will take the teeth out of such 'equality' rules, and enable the carriers to just shrug their shoulders and say 'sorry, we are in compliance with the FCC, we can't do anything about whats going on, unless we want to get fined. your just going to have to deal with the huge DDOS attack coming from my 5 million virus infected cable users... every packet is equal!' What prevents that now? Simple. without out a rulebook full of exemptions, the operators are free to use their own judgment, and work together to ensure the network remains stable and viable. And they all remember who helped them out when 'we had a bug in BGP and told the entire planet we were the default gateway for everything'...

e) ISPs want to 'double dip'... This is simply Bullshyt. The story is that ISPs want to charge content providers for 'better' access to their customers, 'forcing' said ISPs to get paid twice, once from the end user and once from the content provider. This is generally how it works. Everyone pays for their own connection. So, there is no 'double dip' going on here. The reality is, content providers seem to be ignoring the reality of how the network is built and maintained. if you want best effort access, you go through the peering points with everyone else. which means your going to be subject to the whims of every operator who's interfaces you route through. If they don't like the fact that their 'equal peering to 30 carriers' interface now looks like '90% from one AS number' (which is probably a violation of the peering arrangements in the first place), you can expect a call from said carrier asking that you buy a dedicated line (at a steep discount) into their network so they can offload the peering, and everyone wins. Content provider gets better access and actual service guarantees, ISP is able to offload a public infrastructure, customers have an 'end to end' managed experience. The ONLY person who has a problem with this scenario, is the accounting department at the content provider, who screams they are already paying for 'internet' from a different carrier, and they shouldn't HAVE to buy more bandwidth from a different carrier! I really blame all this 'double dipping' nonsense on AT&T from about 6-7 years ago. They were talking about this exact issue, but chose to make it sound like they were some how 'entitled' to get paid from both the content provider and the end user, without providing any services to the content provider. I believe he actually said they were getting cheated by content providers who were relying on AT&T to just mindlessly upgrade their public facilities to accommodate them, at no charge.

Bottom Line: The folks who actually deal with these issues in a live and real setting have been discussing the nuances of what open internet _is_, and they have been AGAINST the mischaracterization netflix has chosen to use, in order to attempt to drive some commercial benefit for themselves at EVERYONE elses' expense. Netflix is not a 'victim' of evil ISPs business practices, they are the reason ISPs created the peering and transit rules that exist now. It's only since netflix was able to swing so MUCH raw data across the network, that it has become a problem, and they believe this has enabled them to dictate to the network operators, that their business plan (buying the cheapest bandwidth they can from the lowest cost provider) is more important than the realities of supporting the network.

Comment Re:This is the problem (Score 1) 378 378

nothing is wrong with it. but if you can't communicate well, how are the rest of us supposed to know of your awesomeness?
the answer is, we won't, because someone with the same skill set, and better communications skills will drown you out. furthermore, why do you suppose ANY job outside of a code sweatshop does NOT require communications skills. either step up, or set your expectations lower.

Comment get over yourselves... (Score 1) 378 378

how one sided. Every hostile IT shop I have ever encountered is always run by insecure, almost talented wanna-be s, who believe they are so good at what they do, no one would ever understand what it is they do. and 100% of the time so far, they have been completely wrong. as an old boss of mine said "never believe your own press" the best IT shops go out of their way to show the rest of the company the value they bring to the company, in terms everyone understands, and can respect. The one thing these shops have in common is an understanding that what they do is just as an important as what others in the company do, and take an active interest in understanding what it is the COMPANY does. In other words, IT is one of a very few professions where you can be an insecure ass, and still keep a job. So, keep feeding your sense of entitlement. Keep feeling like IT is the most important thing in your company. I promise you, unless your company makes 'it expertise", you are just overhead to the real job being done there. and it may be painful to replace you, but the smarter managers are learning, they don't have to put up with your attitude to get your so-called expertise, when there are plenty of more well adjusted people out there to take your place.

Comment What in the hell? (Score 1) 177 177

After reading the article, it is quite clear that these folks are getting caught up in their own metaphors. The only reason you need more power is if you need to defend your self from more powerful forces. On the internet, power, while not equally distributed, is far less disparate than in the 'real world'. Why do I need an Army? In case another tribe decides they want to secure a resource I want, or decides to infringe on my territory. What is the equivalent online? Who is this 'defense' supposed to be against? This reminds me of the 'the poor don't have enough on ramps to the internet' argument. Politicians hear that are start crying how we need 'more money for on ramps to the internet for the poor! we need to build more on ramps!' [facepalm] The Internet community does not need an organization to take responsibility for access security. Where would you draw 'the border'? are we gong to build Great Firewall 2.0 for the US? Maybe we are going to start including commercial data as 'in the national interest' and start sending out fighter planes and smart bombs when someone steals a few million credit cards from a data base in the states? The net result of such policies would mean a lot of money for a few people, less flexibility for the day to day users, and less freedom to do as one sees fit online.

Submission + - ARRL VS FCC over BPL!->

Brew Bird writes: "From the 'Power Lines are not for Data' department —
This has been going on for years, but it's finally made it to the courts! The ARRL (Ham radio guys for the unknowing) has managed to drag the FCC into court over their 'waiver' that allows noisy BPL operators to pollute the radio spectrum with impunity. Some Broad Band Power Line systems create annoying radio frequency noise that interferes with existing radio gear. The FCC is SUPPOSED to have these systems shut down until they can be repaired, but has been loath to do so. So, After all the proper 'legal' avenues have been exhausted, the FCC has been hauled in front of a judge to explain just why it's 'ok' for the power company to jam radio systems, but no one else can."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - DVD Player Application for Wii Released->

twistedsymphony writes: "Nintendo-Scene has a report up of a Homebrew DVD player application released for the Nintendo Wii. The Application requires the use of a modchip with Dual Layer Disc support. It's basically a stripped down version of GameCube Linux with a DVD player application so you'll also need a Gamecube controller to control the DVD playback.

While this might not be the DVD playback feature everyone was waiting for Nintendo to deliver it certainly proves that it's technically possible to do with the Wii."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - MPAA sues Peekvid, YouTVPC

BingCherriesYum writes: The MPAA has decided that Peekvid and YouTVPC are its next legal targets, accusing the sites of attempting to prosper from illegal material. The problem is that both sites only link to where you can find "free" streaming TV and movies; they don't host it themselves. But the MPAA doesn't care, since they are both still making money from the mere existence of illegal videos. The main focus of the lawsuit could come down to how they are financed, according to Ars Technica:

It's no secret in the industry that ads provided by reputable companies like Google and Yahoo commonly earn revenue for sites like Peekvid, and in fact the two sites targeted in the lawsuit both rely on advertising to pay the bills. In a statement, the MPAA noted that the web sites "profit handsomely from a seemingly endless stream of third-party advertising pitches."
If the MPAA wins, then sites like Google and Yahoo might have to more carefully scrutinize each and every site that uses their advertising engines.

Submission + - So how long before eating is a patented process?

dwarfking writes: The subject line is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the article about a lawsuite of the IP of a salad recipe is either funny or scary, depending on the outcome.

From the article:

But the legal action, one of the first in which a restaurant owner has gone to court over intellectual property, has opened up a veritable can of lobster tails over when culinary influences stray into imitation.

What seems to have upset Ms Charles in particular is Ed's Caesar, a $7 (£3.50) salad that she alleges in the legal action was taken from her own recipe. But Ms Charles acquired the recipe from her mother, who, in turn, wheedled it out of a chef in Los Angeles.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.