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Comment Don't let the NSA decide the rules (Score 1) 197

Me too, with your own boys vetting you at least you understand the culture and the values. A concern with the current way of working is that as a European the NSA could decide that you're an enemy of the state and you'd be picked up at boarder control when trying to enter the USA; then you're over there with an almost impossible task of getting out. Nobody would know you've been picked up, you'd just disappear.

Comment Well I'm pleased to say that Europe's got it right (Score 1) 479

Despite the often criticised regulation in the EU we seem to have got this one right. I live in the UK, pay c. $24 per month for 80Mbs broadband (20Mbs upload) with unlimited download/upload. I regularly use over 120Gb/month as I usually watch my TV via the internet. Although the UK is at the lower priced end in the EU there's not a broad spectrum of prices across the whole area. In the EU, regulation took the interests of the end user as the paramount factor when setting out infrastructure build targets and pricing levels, anyone that can work within that envelope can enter the business, if you can't then you can't. A free mark has developed within the envelope which delivers acceptable returns for shareholders and acceptable performance for end users. As a result, the UK has hundreds of broadband suppliers, each with their own niche and package and each offering comparatively great value for money. Giving a completely free hand to businesses will only ever result in a cartel developing, that's clearly the case in the UK for the power industry where each is providing power at an independently set extortionate rate, no cap on prices and no incentive to reduce costs. The same can be seen in Australia and the USA with broadband products, not particularly impressive service and high prices - very impressive senior management returns I dare say.

Comment Re:Ah So (Score 1) 155

Agreed. I think the subtext of the racism is the fear on the part of our american cousins that they are about to be usurped on the world's stage by our other cousins from China, it's a form of nervous laughter and also displays the atrociously poor reporting of non american news in the home country.

Comment Re: Telco oligopoly (Score 1) 569

The argument that the USA being much larger than European countries and thus is a different model is misleading, fibre in Europe comes under European regulation with some relatively minor local, or country, adjustments possible. Therefore the comparison between Europe and the USA is entirely reasonable. We have a free market model but if that doesn't appear to be working in favour of the consumer the regulator, state or European, steps in to redress the position. The focus of broadband within Europe is primarily social benefit and not company profit so controls focus on areas that will promote this. I'm living in the UK and pay c. $25/month for 80mb broadband with calls and on-demand TV thrown in, this same package is available to over 93% of the population by law.

Comment We have that in the UK (Score 1) 135

We have a system that does that in the UK, I think the police fund it, it may even be possible for overseas people to use. You enter as much info as you have on the bike including a full component list, photos, and distinguishing features etc. not all bikes over here have a serial number so you need other info to keep a record.

Comment Just had a thought, a worrying one (Score 1) 416

Now what would happen if a stream of methane developed which was ignited by, say, a lightening strike, there would be a rapidly growing forward feedback loop which would release more methane and generate more heat, and more methane, etc. How much oxygen would this methane use up and how much heat would be dumped into the atmosphere? Would this be shrugged off by the earth or would it spell a species killing catastrophe?

Comment Copper will stay - at least in parts (Score 1) 347

The decision will be made on commercial grounds. Copper is already there in many parts of the world and it's cheap - for the time being. It won't be replaced with copper so when maintenance costs increase it will be replaced with fibre, also where copper can't meet increasing demand then fibre overlays will be put in and gradually take over. Bandwidth demand will continue to increase for some customers but not all so we'll have a mix of technologies for the forseeable future. Wireless technologies will play their part but as bandwidth demand increases so cell size will reduce, which means some new fibre and piggy-backing on existing copper - there's a fair chance that your home router will be managing some traffic for your SP - mine does, but then again when I'm travelling I'm using someone else's. ISDN will of course disappear, but it's hanging in there longer than anyone thought it would, mainly because of the end user refusing to change what they know and love.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen