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Comment: Help me understand (Score 1) 390

by Mycroft-X (#47482197) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

So maybe someone can explain this to me because I don't entirely get it.

Right now Level 3 doesn't pay Verizon any additional money for the data being sent its way (yes, requested by Verizon customers, but transport is usually paid by the shipper -- when I order a physical product I pay for shipping to the vendor, who pays the transporter).

The reason Level 3 doesn't pay any more is because they are using settlement-free links established to provide basic bi-directional communication between the two networks. Because of the way they are using them, these links (which are set up to provide balanced access) are saturated in one direction while only 30-60% utilized in the other direction.

The point made by both companies is that fixing the congestion is a simple matter of hooking up a couple ports (which would increase the utilization of Verizon's network).

Level 3 wants Verizon to agree to expand the settlement free ports to allow for the imbalance of traffic. Verizon says "our settlement free ports are sufficient for normal traffic, and if you want to avoid congestion for the additional traffic you are charging Netflix to carry then you're going to need to purchase additional ports and pay for that traffic."

Neither wants to budge and so they fight a PR war about it. Level 3 says "It's just a couple ports and a little cable" while disregarding the downstream impact on Verizon's network. Verizon says "Level 3 is taking undue advantage of our mutually beneficial arrangement and wants us to help them do it for free."

Is this accurate?

Comment: Re:Democrats voted (Score 1) 932

by Mycroft-X (#47215705) Attached to: House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Agreed -- any citizen should be able to vote in any publicly funded election. If political parties want to organize their own private elections to determine who they will have run in a public election, then they are free to do so and limit voting to whomever they please. But if my tax dollars are paying for it, I want to be able to vote in it.

Comment: Already here? (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by Mycroft-X (#47116951) Attached to: Comcast-Time Warner Deal May Hinge On Low-Cost Internet Plan

Time Warner Cable already offers 2MBps service for $14.99 across its footprint.

It isn't hard to find, it's right next to all the other speed options on their web site.

Customers can buy their own modem from Best Buy or wherever or they can lease a TWC modem for $6 a month.

I have a feeling that most customers who need a $9.99 or $14.99 internet plan probably aren't going to front $300 for Google Fiber to be installed, or even own the place they would be paying for it to be installed in.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 202

by Mycroft-X (#46931349) Attached to: Police Departments Using Car Tracking Database Sworn To Secrecy

Could someone subpoena their data, if say they were charged with crime? Or as part of a civil suit? I would think not since they really aren't a part of the issue unless perhaps the cops used the data to locate someone or in an investigation, in which case this layman's view is the accused would have a right to see the data and challenge its use.

Yes, if it was relied on as evidence in court. However, it wouldn't be -- see "parallel construction."

Police, having determined something via illegal or inadmissible methods, use that information to know exactly where to look to back into an admissible method. It's the second one that gets introduced in court, the first tactic never sees the light of day (or public inquiry).

Comment: Wha? (Score 1) 338

by Mycroft-X (#46866837) Attached to: To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution

Let me get this straight --- you want to either nationalize or purchase (Verizon, Comcast, etc. are already publicly owned -- about $50 gets you a vote in what they do) the infrastructure so that governments can treat it like they treat roads?

You want them to be able to extend the network into new areas with the promise that once the infrastructure is paid for the higher rates they are charging those new areas will go away?

You want them to supposedly spend use fees on maintaining the infrastructure, but through slight of hand actually use it to pad underfunded pension programs?

You want your internet service to be as smooth and reliable as the average downtown public road?

Comment: Re:Bad suggestion (Score 1) 1633

by Mycroft-X (#46768697) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

To a European, used to being able to walk down the street without being threatened by guns

Most places in America are exactly like this as well, and while there are a few that aren't, it isn't because of guns, it's because of the people who view you as a target and mean you harm. You wouldn't want to wander around their European equivalents either.

Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1633

by Mycroft-X (#46768567) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

The US Military has spent ten years wearing out its combat troops trying to pacify a country the size of Texas, opposed by goat herders and drug smugglers. You think that a military that is fractured by domestic conflict would be able to control an area 14x as large if there was a widely distributed insurgency sparked by some egregious violation of the constitution? Dream on.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1633

by Mycroft-X (#46768265) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

When the constitution was ratified, the militia was the only defense that the United States had, and all able bodied men were expected to be ready to serve.

Only because they had just kicked out the standing army that had been there 15 years prior to that.

The intent of the second amendment is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity by ensuring that the descendants of the people who did so retain the ability to do so again.

The fact that we have a standing army again today does nothing to take away from that intent.

Comment: Re:A win? (Score 1) 328

by Mycroft-X (#46761361) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Except your analogy is wrong. And it's why most people don't understand Net Neutrality. Netflix's packets don't weigh any more than Crackle's or Hulu's.

Just as a truck's molecules don't weigh any more than those which comprise a motorcycle, but in aggregate streaming video is a much greater contributor to network congestion than browsing a web site or accessing gopher. If you are saying that streaming video should be treated the same much the same way as all trucks pay the same toll, then I do agree with that.

There is no congestion at the moment Comcast is just exercising their right of non neutrality.

Well, unlike most internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, or TWC they actually don't have that right -- they gave it up as part of the NBC Universal purchase and acquiring TWC will expand their required net neutrality over those customers as well.

Comcast approaches Netflix and tells them "You wouldn't want something bad to happen to your packets now would you? We can protect your packets from harm on our network if you just pay the protection fee." Netflix resists but finally caves and pays the fee. All of the sudden your video flies faster than you've ever seen it before but Comcast hasn't upgraded anything on their network.

Nice story. How about this:

Netflix pays InterCo, a backbone provider, for access to the internet, including Comcast's network. InterCo doesn't give a crap about Netflix's traffic or their customer experience -- InterCo doesn't serve end users -- and sees Netflix, which consumes 70% of internet traffic, as a network killer that negatively impacts their ability to sell mostly empty fat pipes to the rest of their customers. Comcast and InterCo have a peering arrangement where neither charges the other for access to their networks -- InterCo gets access to Comcast customers, Comcast gets access to the rest of the internet.

So Netflix says, "Why are we paying all this money to a company that doesn't even really want our traffic?" and so they go talk to Comcast directly about connecting directly to the Comcast network. They work out a deal, and now they don't need to pay as much to InterCo because it's only running traffic for non-Comcast customers, and they are able to give Comcast customers a much better, more controlled experience.

Who is losing out on this deal? InterCo gets to better manage their traffic. Netflix gets to better serve their customers, and Comcast gets to trumpet that Netflix is better on their service than it is on Verizon, AT&T, or other competitors.

Comment: Re:Consumers pay (Score 1) 328

by Mycroft-X (#46757819) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

From an engineer's point of view it's all baffling (Netflix and their customers are both paying for a certain amount of bandwidth)

You're paying your cable ISP for a certain amount of bandwidth from your home or business to their CMTS. Netflix is paying for a certain size pipe from their facility to their provider's data center. Everything beyond that (and, to a more controllable extent, before) is subject to capacity limitations that may or may not be within the control of your ISP.

If you think that buying 50Mb cable modem service guarantees you a 50Mb connection to every portion of the internet, or even a 50Mb connection between any two points that have a >50Mb connection to their own ISPs, then you must be a different kind of engineer than most on this site.

Netflix made a deal with Comcast that makes sure that ALL of the traffic between Netflix and Comcast customers is within the control of either Netflix or Comcast, which allows minimum standards to be set and adhered to.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"