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Comment: Re: Could be a different route involved for the VP (Score 1) 394

L3 cannot deliver the data to Verizon since there is not enough connectivity between L3 and Verizon to hand the data over at the interfaces where L3 is attempting to do so.

Verizon does not want to put all their bandwidth eggs in L3's basket just to accommodate Netflix so they want Netflix to either peer directly or force L3 and its other CDNs to re-route traffic through other Verizon peers.

Depending too heavily on a single upstream provider is not sound business practice and Verizon wants to avoid getting tied up in that sort of relationship with L3 mostly due to Netflix.

Comment: No, it isn't and they don't (Score 1) 160

by jd (#47556521) Attached to: OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

The Internet is not powered by experiments on humans. Not even in the DARPA days.

No, websites do NOT experiment on users. Users may experiment on websites, if there's customization, but the rules for good design have not changed either in the past 30 years or the past 3,000. And, to judge from how humans organized carvings and paintings, not the past 30,000 either.

To say that websites experiment on people is tripe. Mouldy tripe. Websites may offer experimental views, surveys on what works, log analysis, etc, but these are statistical experiments on depersonalized aggregate data. Not people.

Experiments on people, especially without consent, is vulgar and wrong. It also doesn't help the website, because knowing what happens doesn't tell you why. Early experiments in AI are littered with extraordinarily bad results for this reason. Assuming you know why, assuming you can casually sketch in the cause merely by knowing one specific effect, is insanity.

Look, I will spell it out to these guys. Stop playing Sherlock Holmes, you only end up looking like Lestrade. Sir Conan Doyle's fictional hero used recursive subdivision, a technique Real Geeks use all the time for everything from decision trees to searching lists. Isolating single factors isn't subdivision because there isn't a single ordered space to subdivide. Scientists mask, yes, but only when dealing with single ordered spaces, and only AFTER producing a hypothesis. And if it involves research on humans, also after filling out a bloody great load of paperwork.

I flat-out refuse to use any website tainted with such puerile nonsense, insofar as I know it to have occurred. No matter how valuable that site may have been, it cannot remain valuable if it is driven by pseudoscience. There's also the matter of respect. If you don't respect me, why should I store any data with you? I can probably do better than most sites out there over a coffee break, so what's in it for me? What's so valuable that I should tolerate being second-class? It had better be damn good.

I'll take a temporary hit on what I can do, if it safeguards my absolute, unconditional control over my virtual persona. And temporary is all it would ever be. There's very little that's truly exclusive and even less that's exclusive and interesting.

The same is true of all users. We don't need any specific website, websites need us. We dictate our own limits, we dictate what safeguards are minimal, we dictate how far a site owner can go. Websites serve their users. They exist only to serve. And unlike with a certain elite class in the Dune series, that's actually true and enforceable.

Comment: Re:COST (Score 1) 529

It would also add ~2mm to thickness and 10-20 grams for the sliding mechanism, the keyboard, stiffening structures and bottom cover.

And there is the sliding mechanism as an additional mechanical and electrical point of failure.

I prefer physical keyboards over on-screen as far as typing goes but the design and cost compromises, not so much.

Comment: Nope. Need 250 plus margin on mountains. (Score 1) 117

But 200 miles certainly covers any and all local in-town and in-area travel possibilities, and nearly everything but very long distance travel.

Nope. You need 250 plus a safety margin - on mountains for part of the trip.

In my case that's half a commute between my Silicon Valley townhouse and my edge-of-Nevada ranch. But that's virtually the same trip as between Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area and many weekend vacation spots: Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Reno gambling, gold country camping, etc.

Make a car that can do 30-mile-one-way commute efficiently and has this 250-and-chage range, and a Northern Californian who works near the coast and blows off steam near the CA/NV interface only needs ONE vehicle. (So it takes four to six hours to charge when you get there and when you get back - so what? It'll be parked longer than that anyhow.) Less and he/she needs TWO, with all the environmental impact of building both. Further, the long-range one is a gas hog by comparison.

Comment: Yes it does. But... (Score 1) 117

Does a loaded F-150 even get 500 miles on a single tank of gas?

Yes, it does.

But it's a 37 galon tank.

I love everything about my F-150 Lariet EXCEPT the gas mileage (and the refusal to pan the weather map except when the vehicle is stopped). Unfortunately, when you have to haul several tons up and down a mountain or across an unpaved desert from time to time, it's hard to avoid a tradeoff in that department.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 2) 153

by jabuzz (#47548383) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

Problem is that in the U.K. school I.T. is for the most part appalling. I work in I.T. support in the University sector and I see for first hand the difference between that and school I.T. that my sister has to suffer as a teacher as I supplement the rubbish I.T. support with actually useful support that is not a bunch of lies and half truths.

The difference is that pay rate of the staff involved. The university sector pays significantly more than the school sector for the same skills, easily £10k more. I know I have read job adverts for school I.T. support and would not bother applying for the money they offer.

To put it succinctly "pay peanuts get monkies" and £16k for a I.T. admin is going to get you a monkey that is only capable of doing the bare basic desktop support tasks. If you do get lucky and get someone capable of more they will quickly move on because you get better pay elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 394

Verizon's subscribers would be able to get the content they want if Netflix routed traffic to Verizon through other peers than L3.

Verizon upgrading their connectivity with L3 to infinity and beyond would not be good business practice since Verizon would be screwed the second Netflix decides to change their transit mix to move away from L3 and then Verizon would have to start over.

It makes sense that Verizon would want to force Netflix to diversify its peering.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 394

The problem with the 'fastest' route is that it may not be the CHEAPEST route.

If L3 really wanted to relieve pressure on their bottlenecked links to Verizon instead of trying to turn this into a PR exercise to make Verizon cave in, they could re-route traffic through Verizon's other peers with under-loaded links but that could cost L3 more money and possibly cause peering disputes with those other peers.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 2) 394

Failing to have peerage agreements in place to honor your downstream sales commitments is a form of throttling - Or, I would daresay, a form of outright fraud.

Only problem with that is Verizon has TONS of under-used transit capacity with other networks - when Verizon posted their thing about peering points with Netflix's partners, they also mentioned that their transit to other networks at times where Netflix was hitting 100% was only ~40% on average.

So, Verizon would have plenty of transit capacity if it was spread more evenly across all the peering Verizon has.

Comment: Re:The failure mode is transformer core saturation (Score 4, Interesting) 90

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47537135) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

... the induced DC from a solar storm isn't as instantaneous as a lightning strike. It takes minutes to develop, which leaves time to disconnect the lines and affected transformers if they are properly monitored.

But ARE they monitored for DC? It's not a usual problem.

Warnings on the order of minutes might be useful if the transmission line were the only one invoved. Unfortunately, the power grid is a GRID. Lots of multiple, parallel, transmission lines, and many, many, more going elsewhere and often creating loops.

Redundancy is a good thing in most situations. But when you have to drop a high line, and don't drop all the others simultaneously, you shift the load onto those that are still connected. When you're cutting off because you're near the limit - either due to heavy load at the time or because of the DC issue - you can drive the others beyond their limits (or throw things out of sync and add a bunch of "reactive current" to the load) and create a cascading failure. (Indeed, this is how the first Great Northeast Blackout occurred: Three of a set of four high-lines crossing the St. Lawrence Seaway near Niagra tripped out, and the redistributed load put one after another generator above its limits, blowing its protective breakers and making it progressively harder on those remaining.)

Gracefully shutting down the grid is not something you do on a couple minutes' notice, even if you have a plan in place.

As I understand, the induced DC is something on the order of hundreds of volts, which is much less than the tens of thousands of volts transmitted across ordinary high voltage transmission lines; disconnecting them should not result in arcing problems across the switches.

First, the problem with the induced near-DC is not the voltage, but the current. Transformers and transmission lines have as little resistance as possible, because it's pure loss of valuable energy. The magnetizing alternating current (i.e. the part of the AC that's there all the time, not just when there's a load) is also limited by the inductance of the transformers, but that doesn't impede the direct current at all. A couple hundred "DC" (very low frequency - fractional cycle per minute) volts, induced for minutes around the loop, can drive a hysterical amount of current.

Once the transformer is saturated, most of the damage comes, not from the direct current, but from the line power, which ends up dissipating lots of energy in the transformer. Meanwhile, at these voltages and currents, the switches that interrupt the AC are largely dependent on the momentary off time as the cycle reverses to quench the arc. If, say, the event happened when the line was running at about half its rated load, the direct current will be higher than the alternating current, so there will be no off time. This can keep the current flowing even through an open breaker (while dissipating megawats IN the breaker). Interrupting DC is MUCH harder than interrupting AC.

Heck, at these voltages even interrupting AC is hard. (The video is of an interrupter where the jet of arc-suppressing gas failed for one leg.)

Comment: The failure mode is transformer core saturation. (Score 5, Informative) 90

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47536253) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

High induced votlages in open wires are a problem, but they're not the big one.

The biggie is common-mode currents in long high-voltage transmission lines adding a strong DC component to the current in the substation transformer windings - high enough that when the same-direction peak of the AC's cycle adds to it, the core saturates. Then the inductance of the transformer drops to the air-core value and no longer substantially impeeds the current.

The current skyrockets. The resistive heating of the windings (and the force on the wires from the magnetic fields) goes up with the SQUARE of the current. The windings quickly soften, distort, form shorted turns, melt, open, short out to the frame, etc. The transformer is destroyed, or committed to a self-destructive progressive failure, in just a handful of such cycles - too fast for the circuit breakers to save them (even if they DO manage to extinguish the arcs with the substantial DC component to the current.) Even if the transformer doesn't explode and throw molten metal, gigawatt sustained arcs, and burning oil (or burning-hot oil replacement) all over the substation area, it's still dead.

This happens to MANY of the giant transformers in the power grid. Each set of three transformers that has one or more failed members means a high-voltage transmission line that is shut down until the transformer is replaced.

There are essentially no spares - these are built to order. Building one takes weeks, and there are few "production lines" so little parallelism is available. What is destroyed overnight will take years to replace, while each intercity power transmission line is not functioning until the transformers at its end ARE replaced.

The current occurs because the transformers are organized in a "Y" arrangement, and the center of the Y is grounded at each end (to prevent OTHER problems). The transformers have enough extra current handling capacity to avoid saturation from the DC through that center connection to/from ground from ordinary electrical and solar storms - just not a giant one like we get every couple centuries.

The solution is to put a resistor in that ground connection, to limit the DC in the lines (and dissipate the energy it represents). Indeed, a few lines have such resistors already.

But a suitable resistor is a box about the size of one of the transformers. It's very expensive. And it only makes a substantial difference to the operation of the lines in such a once-in-centuries event. So most executives don't spend the money (and get dinged for costing the company millions) to put them in, to prevent a failure mode that hasn't happened in the generations since Tesla and Westinghouse invented the three-phase long-line power grid.

Or at least they don't until the regulators or their stockholders require it. Which means said decision-makers need a little educational push to decide it's worth the cost and get it done.

Thus articles like this. B-)

Comment: Presbyopia (Score 1) 541

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47525653) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm up around retirement age. My eyes don't chage focus much at all. So I have to swap lenses to go from distance to close-up vision. (Yes I could use some kind of bi/tri/progressive-focal lenses. But at the moment swapping is adequate for me.)

Until they find a way to correct presbyopia (and they don't see to be even researching it), I'd still have to don/remove glasses anyhow. With my extreme astigmatism, extreme nearsightedness, and substantial age, I'm not a good candidate for lasic and stand a substantial chance of visual artifacts from it. I'm also a target shooter, so my glasses double as eye protection.

Given all this, the potential benefits for me would be small and the risks and cost oughtweigh them.

But if they ever find a way to fix presbyopia the equation could change substantially.

Comment: Re:Question: (Score 1) 115

by jabuzz (#47515167) Attached to: UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

Except the problem is that parental controls done by the ISP are a sledgehammer approach. If you turn on TalkTalk's maximum level of filtering the internet becomes severely restricted to the point where for an adult it is almost unusable.

The way to do the filtering is to do it in the router. Have multiple wireless networks, with different rules because internet filtering requirements for a five year old is different from that for a 10 year old.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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