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Comment: Europe vs. US (Score 1) 537

by Palal (#35985238) Attached to: On Monday, AT&T Customers Enter Era of Broadband Caps
After deregulation, In all EU countries there is an "infrastructure manager" (IM) They are responsible for maintaining and expanding the telecom infrastructure. They charge ISPs for using their infrastructure. The ISPs buy this capacity and resell to individual consumers.

Why does this work? The IM is ONLY responsible for infrastructure and it's in their interest to fulfill the market need for more capacity if such a demand exists. Thus it's in their interest to EXPAND coverage and infrastructure because that's how they make money. They're a regulated monopoly.

In the US...

The monopolies (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon) are responsible for both expanding infrastructure AND selling access to end-users. This means that it's in their interest to sell as much end-user service as they can, using the least amount of investment possible. It's not in their interest to expand capacity, unless someone kicks them in the ass because of a lack of capacity.

NB. In the EU, the IM can be an old state telecom that has been privatized. Sometimes a part of the company is also an ISP, but the accounting books must be separated. This type of deregulation works a lot better in some countries than others. The system is not perfect, but IMO it's a lot better than the one in the US.

Comment: Re:Eheh, managers (Score 2) 333

by Palal (#35935376) Attached to: Computer Opens Unmanned Store For Holiday
Petrol is not taxed (as heavily) in the US as it is in Germany, it's not subsidized. This, however, does give an advantage to the automobile. Oh yea, the USofA also goes to war over petrol while Germany and some other EU members try to stop using petrol. But I digress.

This is more of a cultural issue. I bet in Germany the % of those paying would be a lot higher, unlike in the anglo-saxon counterpart countries.

Comment: Old soviet jokes (Score 2) 276

by Palal (#35850820) Attached to: China Space Official Confounded By SpaceX Price
Old Soviet Jokes about the Chinese Space Program: 1. There is a knock on the door in the MIR space station. The cosmonauts open the door and see a Chinese guy. They ask him: "How did you get here". He responds: "Simple you see. We built a human pyramid" 2. TV Bulletin: "Yesterday, the Chinese launched their first satellite into space. During the launch, 2.45 million Chinese suffered a hernia."
Data Storage

+ - Sony says no to porn on Blu-ray Disc

Submitted by jcatcw
jcatcw (1000875) writes "Sony Corp. says it will not allow its disc-replicating subsidiary, Sony DADC Global, to handle adult film titles. The decision could have wide implications for Blu-ray Disc. Some analysts say it could eventually mean that Blu-ray loses out to HD-DVD in the battle to become the next-generation DVD format, in a repeat performance of the Betamax vs VHS competition. Nonetheless, a sequel to the classic Deb Does Dallas should be out on both Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD this spring."
The Almighty Buck

+ - 'You're hired. Don't forget to bring a chair'

Submitted by
netbuzz writes "You just landed a job at an exciting new Silicon Valley company and the boss asks you to ... bring your own chair? Guess this really isn't the '90s anymore. Yankee parsimony has replaced conspicuous consumption, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. One exec even said "no" to T-shirts. ... Tell me foosball's still OK.

Blog: 9

SF Chron story: a/2007/01/21/MNG0JNMFQE1.DTL"
Operating Systems

+ - UN Univ. Report Confirms Open Source Superior

Submitted by
Edoko writes "Open source software is a viable, and economic alternative to Microsoft, according to a report published by United Nations University."

The report is here: 06_01.pdf

Among the many recommendations is that "All Member States and other stakeholders should have the right to access public information made available in electronic format by the organizations and no one should be obliged to acquire a particular type of software in order to exercise such a right"

Also: "The Secretary- General should take the necessary measures to establish a data repository of UNESCO Free & Open Source Software Portal"

A summary is reported by the BBC here: http://http// 7.stm"

Google Checkout Sees Poor Customer Satisfaction 191

Posted by Zonk
from the do-better dept.
Aryabhata writes "Ars Technica reports on a survey by investment firm J.P. Morgan Securities, stating that Google Checkout has had a relatively quick and modest market penetration of six percent since its launch in June of 2006, but lags behind in customer satisfaction vs PayPal. On the customer satisfaction front, only 18.8 percent reported having a 'good' or 'very good' experience with Google Checkout, while 81.2 percent indicated a fair to poor experience customer experience compared to PayPal's 44.2 percent reporting good experiences. Some users have reported anecdotally that Google Checkout mistakenly canceled sales without warning or that the checkout process took too long."

+ - Windows 386 Promo Video

Submitted by
jordanlund writes "Back in the late 80s I found myself selling hardware and software. Microsoft sent out a promotional video explaining the benefits of Windows 386.

A buddy of mine spared the tape from destruction and digitized it, I down sampled it to a form that could be posted online and the rest, as they say, is history.

Be warned, once you watch it you can't un-watch it. Around the 7 minute mark the production goes from stale corporate Mission Impossible knock off to something... else entirely.

Link to full video: 930836239

Link to the 7 minute mark for the impatient: 930836239#0h7m"

+ - Windows tax now optional at HP

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I've read alot lately about the lack of pre-installed Linux on new machines, and the virtually mandatory Windows tax that customers must pay with most new computers. I haven't found anything WRT the former, but apparently it is possible to opt-out of the latter (up to $100 in some cases) when customizing the options for small and medium business level notebooks from HP's online store. I'll likely take advantage of that option (if it's still available) if/when I'm ready to buy a new notebook."

+ - World Safecracking Champion Takes Down Bank Vault

Submitted by
Bob Slidell
Bob Slidell writes " afecracking-champion-takes-down-bank-vault-in-5-mi nutes-19-seconds-video/ Keep in mind that he's doing this entirely BY TOUCH-no drilling, no x-ray machines, no thermic lance, just his fingers. Jeff Sitar is, essentially, the world's greatest living safecracker. He has won the Lockmaster's International Safecracking Competition SEVEN times. In this video from the Discovery Channel show 'More Than Human', they have Jeff set up with 3 safe dials, each of which has a certain object attached to the ends of them (their spindles) which barely touches a post at a specific number on the dial: one dial, the easiest one, has a toothpick attached to it, another dial has a post-it note attached to it, and the third, and most difficult one, has a feather attached to it. The next thing they do is have him try cracking a locked gun safe, which he does in 4 minutes and 57 seconds, and lastly they set him up at a real bank in New Jersey (they won't say which one) to see if he can crack their vault: 5 minutes and 19 seconds. Cool"

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.