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Comment: Re:Spoilers (Score 1) 131

by JoelKatz (#47919597) Attached to: The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

It must be nice to see the world in such black and white terms. Every business is forced to adapt to its customer's demands.

But if you care about ISP's being a monopoly, you should strongly oppose net neutrality. It makes ISPs less profitable, discouraging competition. It makes ISPs unable to distinguish themselves by requiring them to provide a uniform service, also discouraging competition.

Comment: Re:Spoilers (Score 1) 131

by JoelKatz (#47919427) Attached to: The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

That's what VPNs are for. If there's a consumer demand, someone will find a way to supply it. Sure, if you don't believe that, you can justify all kinds of government intervention. Make no mistake, that's what net neutrality is -- it's a demand on behalf of those who seek low cost access to an expensive market to get the government to force others to pay their costs of reaching their market.

Comment: Re:Freeze (Score 1) 134

by JoelKatz (#47874369) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

Only in the vacuous sense that I know that it's because PayPal claimed that I violated their terms. To know why I was banned, what I'd need to know is what they think I did and why they think I dd it. I do not know either of these things.

I do, however, know enough to know that they are incorrect. I know for a fact that I never used that email address. I offered to provide a signed and notarized statement to that effect to PayPal, but they simply said that their decision was final.

Comment: Re:Freeze (Score 1) 134

by JoelKatz (#47864157) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

Your position is equivalent to saying, "anyone who says they saw a UFO is lying because there's no evidence UFOs exist".

Well, I'll tell you what I do know. They claim I had another PayPal account with a different email address. They did give me that email address (after many, many rounds of back and forth and repeatedly insisting that they couldn't reveal it for security reasons). It's not an email address I've ever used, and it's at a domain I've never used or ever had any association with.

Of course, I have no way to see the transaction history of this other PayPal account. It's entirely possible that by looking at the transaction history, it will be entirely obvious why they would want to ban the owner of that account. But why they think that's me -- I can't see how that would be obvious from looking at a transaction history.

Comment: Re:Freeze (Score 1) 134

by JoelKatz (#47863287) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

Another huge difference is that PayPal can freeze more than just accounts, they can freeze *people* such that they can't even create a new account. Not only does Bitcoin not have a central authority that can freeze any account, but you don't need anyone's permission to have a Bitcoin account. A number of people, including myself, have lifetime PayPal bans and PayPal won't even tell them why.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 419

by JoelKatz (#47567739) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Why should the merchant be liable for not agreeing to do that and telling the customer "I don't trust you. Go settle this with your bank, and if you do and your bank offers me credit I will be happy to take it"?

Because that's not what the merchant does in this case. In this case, the bank has offered the credit and the merchant refuses to process it on the grounds that they don't trust the customer. But that's exactly the decision merchants are prohibited from making. They don't get to decide whether to trust the customer or not, that's the bank's decision. Once the merchant makes a request, if the bank has decided to extend the credit, the merchant has to process it. "Our system isn't set up to do that" is not going to cut it.

If the bank says "process the transaction", the merchant can't stick their hands in their ears and say "lalalalala, I am not listening, I don't trust this customer".

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 419

by JoelKatz (#47566951) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

You don't legally have to accept any form of credit. However, you cannot selectively refuse to accept credit if the bank accepts the transaction. *You* aren't issuing the credit, so there is nothing for you to accept or refuse. If you run the transaction, you are agreeing to accept it if the bank does. You can't say, "well, the bank agreed to accept credit, but nevertheless, I won't accept it." You used to be able to, but this was horribly abused by businesses who would reject credit cards from young people, people who looked poor, and so on.

I'm not sure the fact that the bank initially rejected the transaction would help here. If the bank accepted the transaction, you then have a legal obligation to do so. "We have no way to do that" doesn't seem like a reasonable argument unless you actually do have no way. But here you clearly could run the transaction again. So it seems, at least to me, like this policy doesn't comply with the law and creates exactly the situation the law was trying to prevent -- people who have credit transactions accepted by their bank still have them refused by businesses that have no legal authority to accept or decline the offer of credit.

Comment: Re: Grade is on the curve (Score 1) 110

by JoelKatz (#47410935) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

"Connecting directly to the destination network is typically free ... you may not get access to another network's entire network."

Exactly. When the costs naturally split fairly evenly, there's no reason for anyone to pay anyone else. If both networks do their fair share, and we presume the traffic benefits both parties roughly equally, there's no reason for anyone to pay anyone else. Any argument that X should pay Y equally argues that Y should pay X. Senders pay to send, recipients pay to receive. This is a pretty typical case, and it's the justification for settlement-free peering.

So why don't you get access to their entire network? Because for some parts of the network, bringing the traffic to the destination network is *not* anywhere close to half the work. When the work doesn't naturally divide equally, settlement-based peering is used. This is how it's been for decades.

In the case of traffic from someone like YouTube or Netflix to a customer of an ISP like AT&T or Comcast, the costs don't naturally divide evenly. YouTube and Netflix use a small number of sources located wherever the cost is least. AT&T and Comcast have a large number of destinations located wherever they happen to be. This is a direct and inevitable result of the business model companies like Netflix and YouTube have chosen. We presume the traffic benefits both sides equally and so each side should pay half the cost.

In the vast majority of cases, the sender should bear roughly half the cost of delivering their traffic and the recipient should bear half. The result of this kind of imbalance has always been settlement-based peering.

Comment: Re: Grade is on the curve (Score 1) 110

by JoelKatz (#47408723) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

It's a lot easier to mock an argument than to address it.

It has been the norm on the Internet for decades to use settlement-based peering when the costs fall unequally on the parties. It is much cheaper for Netflix to generate high-volumes of traffic from a small number of sources placed specifically where the costs are lowest than it is for Comcast to deliver high-volumes of traffic to a large number of sources placed in their customers' homes. The argument that it's fair for Comcast's customers to pay much more than half the cost of delivering Netflix's traffic to them is the one that should be mocked.

Comment: Re: Grade is on the curve (Score 1) 110

by JoelKatz (#47408689) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

Perhaps you're imagining some alternate universe with an alternate Internet that works some other way. But in this world, for decades, settlement-based peering has been used when costs fall unequally on the parties.

Are you arguing that everyone should be able to run a line to the nearest IXP, pay only that IXP, and have Internet access to everyone and everything? Are you aware of the many, many reasons that can't possibly work? Who would pay to carry traffic across the Atlantic?

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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