Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:You mean... (Score 1) 236

by Sloppy (#47938243) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

Except Netflix offers to deliver an entire bakery to the the table.

Yes, one bite at a time. You're not allowed get your second bite of cake onto your fork until you have swallowed your first bite, and you're sure as hell not allowed to have your cannoli on the table until after you have finished your tiramisu.

Say you have a waiter who isn't delivering your individual bites fast enough. Maybe he's legitimately crippled, or maybe he's just a spiteful asshole, but you're stuck with that waiter. What would you do about it? I'd tell the chef wearing the Netflix apron in the kitchen, to send me a whole slice of cake, and let's forget this whole bite, ack, bite, ack, bite nonsense. I'm hungry (and this baking analogy isn't helping!) and intend to minimize the waiter's impact upon my meal.

I suppose I see how using timeshifting to make speed less relevant, has a downside: it removes our incentive to increase performance. Ok, then go ahead and remain vulnerable to networking problems (whether it's due to your ISP being assholes, or because someone else in the house is using the Internet for something else, or whatever) for political reasons, both as a protest and to keep your own passion inflamed (so that you'll stay activist). But when AT&T starts suggesting that bulk video get special QoS, the bluff is starting to get a little too real. There are people taking this idea seriously. That is bad.

It's going to increase your Netflix bills and it's going to increase your AT&T bills. So here is what I suggest instead: take the monthly amount of money that they're taling about increasing your bills by, and spend it once on SSD or spinning rust instead, and stick that storage into your player computer (since apparently it doesn't already have any?!?). Have a download process that writes to files, and a player process that reads from files. Then don't start playing a video until you're pretty sure you're not going to "catch up" to however much has downloaded so far (or if that sounds complicated, then just don't play things until you're finishing downloading them).

You just saved a shitload of money, made it so that your internet speed doesn't really have an effect on whatever video bitrate you use (if you want to use a huge high-res TV at a house with a slow connection, that'll be fine), and now you're more resistant to "weather" (kid in other room's torrents, ISP-ISP and ISP-video_provider contract disputes, etc: all that stuff fades in significance).

What's not to like? Everyone wins except the spiteful waiter, except that even he just got an easier job, even if it's instead of the raise that he wanted.

Comment: Re:You mean... (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by Sloppy (#47918577) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

I think the idea is that you pay the ISP for a "Netflix booster", and then your Netflix traffic gets un-humped into the fast lane.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the foolishness in one of the highest volume uses of the Internet also being one of the highest priority? That people are thinking of the huge transfers of pre-produced video as being something other than the dead last, lowest priority cheapest-per-byte traffic there is, is totally ridiculous.

The only things that should be "fast laned" (low latency) are VoIP, videoconferencing, interactive terminals, etc: most of which is either low-bandwidth or else niche. If "high priority" is what many peoples' connections are doing several hours per day, then our very sense of "priorities" is fucked up.

I can't say I'm a fan of the ISPs that Netflix is fighting with, but at the same time: Fuck Netflix. Netflix is a case study in how to do video technologically wrong and it seems like they're just totally ignoring common sense. Why shouldn't doing things like a luddite, be relatively expensive? (Really, having storage in your box is still considered prohibitively expensive? It sure wasn't expensive in 2000 with Tivo series 1. Things got worse since then?!?) If the pampered princess insists that her cake be delivered from the kitchen a bite at a time and the commoner just puts a whole slice on his plate and takes a bite at the table whenever he wants it, we expect the princess' servants to be rolling their eyes when she's not looking, embezzeling, etc.

When we have broken up the monopolies and our streets have conduits under them containing a dozen competing fibers, we can re-evaluate the tech from our position of abundance. Maybe video streaming won't be on-the-face-of-it-stupid, then. But that's the future, not today.

Comment: The Curse of Geolocation Strikes Again! (Score 1) 5

by MonTemplar (#47901971) Attached to: Android International

Crazy, isn't it?

Evidently, there is some unwritten law that states that Geolocation by IP address shall override any and all set preferences by the user on their device, and ignore any possibility that barring or redirecting the user makes no sense.

I get a version of this periodically on Spotify, where I'm informed that the particular album or single I'm looking at can't be played because it isn't licensed to my region. And of course there's the small matter of my being IP-blocked from Pandora Radio for the same reason.

I ran into a particularly nasty geolocation issue back in late 2012, when I was informed that I couldn't access my National Lottery account because they no longer believed that I was accessing it from the UK. Went back and forth between them and my ISP (VirginMedia), with each blaming the other for the problem.

I've also heard of situations where people have found the books on their Kindles vanishing because they're holidaying in an area where said books aren't licensed.

Comment: Re:How about (Score 2) 208

by Sloppy (#47891047) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

So sure, it's easier to hang up on them but you are actually doing them a favor and helping them out by doing so.

No, failure to take hostile action isn't a favor; it's neutrality. Installing their malware would be a favor. I can appreciate those with the time and energy to take fight to this enemy (good on you!), but I have other battles to fight with my (however high) limited anger.

The problem with this enemy, which makes it so hard to care, is how irrelevant they are. So they call people about bullshit, wasting their time. That can be annoying, but there are so many more annoying things.

I suppose some people would say this enemy is worse that that, because the call is just a way of performing a SE attack, but I disagree. I just can't help but get blame-the-victim-y with SE attacks like that. I think many of our society's real problems are caused by SE, much of it legal (e.g. "vote for me, because I'm a member of the correct party," or "believe our religion's dogma, because your parents did") and that we'd all be a lot better off with more "scam antibodies" in ourselves. So part of me hopes these scammers flourish, thereby teaching people to stop being so fucking gullible. Maybe you can't fix stupid, but we can try, and an environment full of con artists is good for that. These assholes are evil, but they're good for us.

No, I'm not fully committed to that outlook (sure, I wanna hurt the bad guys too) but I'm conflicted enough that it evens out. And while we're at it, don't knock lazy! So a position of neutrality, it is.

Comment: How about THIS? (Score 1) 208

by Sloppy (#47890653) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

I have never gotten one of these calls. But I have gotten a few calls like this:

[Phone vibrates. I see the non-local calling number. Reject and block.]

That's the new, lazy version. Until a few weeks ago, I had many of these:

[Phone vibrates. I look at the non-local calling number and wonder who that could be. Google the number and apparently every non-local number that ever calls me, is associated with robocalling. Reject. They call again a few days later. Reject and block. Then a few days later I look at my Visual Voicemail which my shitty Galaxy S4 software never tells me has new entries until I refresh it, and some actual human speech may happen.]
ME: "Fuck."
[And I see they left a few messages containing nothing but silence. Delete.]

But that second scenario doesn't happen anymore. Robocallers have successfully trained me.

Comment: Re:Example? (Score 2) 366

by Sloppy (#47884487) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux

(I still do things the classic way: filesystem on lvm on luks on mdadm. not using ZFS yet.) I'm not sure it's exactly about what's required.

Consider wear leveling on SSDs. Only the filesystem really understands which blocks need to preserve data and which ones are don't-care. So to do SSDs right, it needs to pass info about unallocated storage down to the volume manager, whch then passes it to the encryption, which then passes it to the RAID, which then gives it to old-school "real" block device (which then passes it to the wear-leveling firmware, I guess). Sure, that can work. But when the filesystem can talk to the physical block device, it's easier. If you're writing block devices that implement things like volumes and encryption and RAID, from your PoV, things that are allocated vs not-allocated are totally different than how the filesystem sees it. To you, a block is just a block and a whole bunch of ioctls are totally irrelevant and not related to what you're working on. You're going to find this type of information to be pesky and you might not handle it right (or more likely, it takes a long time before you handle it at all). And in fact that has happened a few times, where certain block devices' feature set lagged a bit, behind what people with SSDs needed.

I suppose another easily-contrived example would be if you have a few gigabytes of data on a few terabytes of RAID, and need to [re]build the RAID. If your RAID doesn't know which blocks actually have data, then it'll need to copy/xor a few terabytes. If it's a unified system, then it can be complete after copying/xoring a few gigabytes.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 1) 275

by Sloppy (#47880321) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

..contracts requiring NDA's that now allows customers to review secret details of products or company practices on public forums.

Can someone who favors this, explain why this might be a good thing instead of a bad thing? Maybe an example? It sounds to me like endangering such a (seemingly, to me) bad practice might be an intended consequence, not an unintended one.

I can't even see how a review made under an NDA might be useful. The premise is that the reviewer is withholding information. "The spaghetti was excellent. [censored]I am prohibited from saying anything about the sauce.[/censored]"

Comment: Consider owner !=user (Score 2) 471

by Sloppy (#47873483) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

I started trying to think of situations where a person can have a wrist-worn PC but cannot have a handheld PC with them -- situations where people are constrained for some reason.

The obvious thing most people come up with, is where it's a natural or convenient constraint. You don't want to be holding something extra while you're swimming or swinging an axe or climbling a cliff. I think the related applications are already well-discussed.

What about when it's an artificial constraint? I initially drew a blank on how such a constraint would emerge, until I considered situations where the served parties by the two PCs are different, so that the handheld (if one is present) might serve the user (or manufacturer) but the wrist-worn serves someone else.

Once you start thinking of situations where the user is in an adversarial (or seemingly or potentially adversarial) relationship with the owner then it gets easier to see the applications.

Prisoners, parolees, etc. It's not so much that you let them wear the Pebble or iWatch, as you make them wear it. And your prisoner doesn't need to be surfing the web or otherwise doing things where the PC needs to communicate things to the user, so many of the disadvantages relative to handhelds, become totally irrelevant. The application, of course, is monitoring: being an open spy for the government.

Somewhat similarly: children. Mom wants to know where you are, but isn't really interested in giving you Yet Another porn terminal. Quit fapping and get back to your homework at the libra-- your friend's house?!? Get back to the library!

Marketing. Get 'em cheap enough, and these could replace your "frequent shopper" cards as your cookie. Wear our wrist PC as you walk around our store and check out, for a 2% discount. The application is spying, again. And I guess as long as it has a speaker, it can play location-triggered ads. "Whoa, you just walked right by our delicious canned spoo and instant flarn. Are you sure you don't want some?" The idea here is that you could perform the application with a handheld, but the existing handheld PC would be too pro-user so it might not really play the ads out loud and it might report false travel data. So you want the pro-store computer to be a physically different one. Then it becomes a wrist-worn simply because that's smaller and cheaper ($10 instead of $100).

Sweatshops. The Slurm factory employees are spending too much time on bathroom breaks, and texting their friends. Well, the employee wearable PC doesn't do texts, and it delivers a shock after 90 seconds in the bathroom. If a supervisor ever sees you without your wearable, you're fired.

Jealous spouses. Hubby's "Love Watch" chemical sensors are picking up interesting volatiles: perfume? My, he sure is breathing hard and the GPS has him in a residential neighborhood, not at the mid-town office. Oh, those are just fringe use cases: everyone knows the real purpose of the Love Watch is that it instantly relays every time you speak "I love you" into it. (OMG, that last part is so sickening that I bet a variant of this product already exists today.)

Think in terms of why you might want to "plant" (though not necessarily with subterfuge) your computer on someone else, to be your agent rather than the wearer's. Those may be the best applications for wrist-worn PCs.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the club! (Score 1) 4

by gmhowell (#47820647) Attached to: 6 Days After My Previous Journal Entry, I Was Dead

I'm about two year in (two weeks shy) and my last check (last month) said 8-9 more years at the rate I'm using it. I was told at installation that five is the average. I think the only time I'm paced any more is when I sleep, just due to my natural sleeping rate being lower than the floor they've set. I'll have to ask.

Used the card about a week after I got it due to my place of employment at the time. Haven't used it at an airport.

Comment: Re:Seemed pretty obvious this was the case (Score 1) 311

by gmhowell (#47817447) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

Just another reminder to use strong passwords, password managers, and change them often. It's a pain, but it's the reality of the digital world.

What good is a password manager when the answers to your security questions are public knowledge?

Who says you need to tell the truth on those questions?

Q: "What is your mother's maiden name?"
A: "Purple monkey dishwasher."

Damnit, time to change the security question on the password manager for my luggage.

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz

Working...