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Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

Comcast themselves have even admitted



Why are you trialing usage-based billing?

The Internet ecosystem is changing constantly and we decided back in May 2012 to replace our static 250GB usage threshold with more flexible data usage management approaches that offer more choice, flexibility and fairness for all customers. Customers can choose to use as much Internet as they want, and those who choose to use more pay more, while those who use less can pay less. The vast majority of ISPs, large and small, have some version of data usage plans in place.

You are right, when everyone is using the pipe at the same time, there will be degradation. So why not charge for internet access like electricity? Make it cheaper during non-peak hours and convert to fully usage-based billing. No flat fee for access, or at most a very small one.

To answer my own question here with part of your comment: it would be really confusing to customers.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

That is a poor comparison in my opinion.

Preparing and delivering the food actually costs a relatively high amount of money (price paid compared to cost to prepare and deliver). For an ISP, once they have all of their infrastructure in place, it costs them pennies per customer per GB to deliver that data and the data itself doesn't cost anything since they are just the conduit.

A better comparison is that the ISP is a company that manages the piping for you to get water. You pay a arbitrarily high price dependent on the size of that pipe. Now, this company doesn't create or manage the water (as much as they might want to), they just manage the infrastructure for getting it to you.They then decide to also start charging you for the amount of water that flows through that pipe.

Does that make sense to you?

Don't forget that this company receives millions in federal funding and they also wanted to charge the water making companies for being able to use the pipes.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

You are giving into the propaganda put out by ISPs!
There is a big difference between consuming a large amount of an 'unlimited' or 'free' finite resource and consuming a large amount of data on your internet connection. It costs ISPs pennies per GB to get you that data and guess what? Comcast will never run out of 1s and 0s to send you, unless the whole internet collapses or some such catastrophic event.
Comcast themselves have even admitted that there is no business reason to charge for circumventing the data cap beyond making more money for them. Which, now that I think about it, could likely be considered a business reason.

Comment Maybe its time for autonomous planes? (Score 1) 385

I'm not talking just the auto pilot function, but the ability to autonomously react to a variety of conditions much in the same way that the self driving cars do. Though I realize that driving and flying are completely different and getting the FAA to actually approve something like that may take decades, but something like this should at least raise autonomous plans as a viable option for the future.

Systems That Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe 76

cold fjord writes with this story about the proliferation of companies willing to sell tracking information and systems. Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent. The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their customers to deliver calls and other services to them. Surveillance systems are secretly collecting these records to map people's travels over days, weeks or longer ... It is unclear which governments have acquired these tracking systems, but one industry official ... said that dozens of countries have bought or leased such technology in recent years. This rapid spread underscores how the burgeoning, multibillion-dollar surveillance industry makes advanced spying technology available worldwide. "Any tin-pot dictator with enough money to buy the system could spy on people anywhere in the world," said Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International.

Comment Re:Should be objective, not biased... (Score 1) 452

FTS: "About ten boxes here are still running Windows XP and would be too old to upgrade to any newer version of Windows."

Suggesting that they have other boxes that are not running XP and not too old to upgrade.

Counting his own machine, that brings the sure total to at least "About" 11.

Though the EULA doesn't actually define how big a "small business" can be.. So if he's just at about 11, or slightly more, then yeah, he can use it, but if his company is too big to be considered a "small business" then it is a no go for even those 10. How big is too big? Who knows. (Bring on the phallus jokes...)