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Comment: Re:fees (Score 1) 310

its not just governments. I used to live at an apartment complex and when I was there, they signed a 5 or even 10 year technology contract with a cable company, exclusively. they wired our building and we had to buy service from them. zero choice in the matter.

what was funny (not ha-ha funny) was that in the middle of silicon valley, we had some of the worst service I've ever seen. 20 years ago I moved from boston to the bay area and stereo tv was pretty common at the time, and yet our pay-tv (mtv was semi watchable at that time) was all in mono and the vendor would not upgrade since he signed a many-year contract and had no MOTIVATION to upgrade anything!

silicon valley and we could not get stereo encoded tv shows. that's just an example and I'm sure its long since been changed by now, but this shows what you get when you sign exclusive contracts that last many years with someone who clearly does not want to invest one penny more than he has to.

even if townships allow multiple isp's in, apartment complexes still sign contracts with just one vendor and you are stuck with them for years and years.

regular people have no say in this. the only say you have is to put up your own sat dish (for tv, at least) and have that ugly thing take up your personal balcony space. as for internet, you have pacbell dsl (which is now dog-slow by modern standards) and you have one cable co that will service your area. that's it.

and its been this way since, well, forever. for as long as mainstream broadband has been around, at least.

Comment: spying is a drug (Score 3, Insightful) 34

by TheGratefulNet (#49153757) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

and the various governments (this is not about the US, its about the new trend, or rather the new-found ability in mankind to truly neutralize all privacy and secret communications) are all addicted to this drug.

they can't give it up. they have a monkey on their back.

the stingrays are the gateway drug; and it soon is not enough and you want more. you want ALL the wireless and wired datacomms traffic.

we should shift our war-on-drugs effort to the real drug that is invading everyone's lives, though due to no fault of their own.

and again, this is not about the US or its agencies. do you really believe your own government is not wanting or having the ability to do this, as well?

this is about mankind and one of his worst weaknesses.

we should make a 'teaching moment' from this and disallow ourselves this ability. just like we really can't handle the responsibility of nukes, as a people, we can't handle THIS much power, either.

no one should have it. and yes, I truly mean NO ONE. you give it to one, and the rest want it (both good guys and bad guys).

will we use this as a teaching moment and make some change for the better?

well, I'm over 50 and have no hope left for us, as a species. we have proven we can't handle this level of responsibility. I don't expect change, but I do expect people to at least SEE what's going on and to try to work around it without giving up, entirely.

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 276

by rtb61 (#49152819) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

NSA (and they denied it all to the point of perjury), Stingray, data confiscation at borders, Investigative Data Warehouse, police radar to secretly scan inside houses, naked screening at airports, body searches, internal border patrols etc. Sorry but the US government routinely, absolutely routinely lies about all this but yes you are true through clumsy arrogance they always end up being caught out even if it does take a few years. Do any of those idiots spend time masturbating over naked women sunbathing in their own backyards, you know, you just know, that it will be stupidly inevitable that some douche with a badge will end up doing it.

Comment: Re: Bloatware?! (Score 1) 190

by rtb61 (#49152759) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

Stumbleupon sends you all over the place without much choice and like, duh, hint, hint when you run script blockers that kills most websites functionality and as such there is no logical reason to be there, some even appear totally rather than just partially blank (you're not blonde by any chance). So no right for ads not even by route of stumbleupon or any other scammy marketing links, plenty, literally hundreds of millions of other site to choose from ;D.

Comment: Re: Bloatware?! (Score 1) 190

by rtb61 (#49152525) Attached to: Lenovo Saying Goodbye To Bloatware

By the same token, falsely promoting products is fraud. Whether or not websites fail to vet the ads they show, they are still totally responsible for the fraudulent misrepresentation of products. So here is how it works, play nice and you ads survive, be naughty and no advertising scripts or cookies for your website, for the advertising agents and for the marketed products. So fraud is worse than cheating, one is criminal the other is purely moral. Also watch out for poorly behaved advertising agencies, no point working with them, if they are blocked all over the place.

Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1) 382

by rtb61 (#49152521) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Let's not forget who really creates the characters people love, the writers and who ensure they are portrayed effectively, the directors, also those that create the environments they play in or record the events. Keep in mind Leonard Nimoy's book "I am not Spock", actors are not the people they pretend to be in front of the camera. Want to remember Leonard Nimony, the remember him for his acting or his other public roles and not for one character he pretended to be in front of a camera.

Comment: Re:fees (Score 4, Interesting) 310

to show how much variation there is, I am also in the bay area and I have a year of 'intro deal' pricing where its less than $50 for 100meg down and 10meg up. no shit, either; I do get those speeds.

well, one caveat. I run openvpn almost 7x24 and this pisses comcast off, even though they won't ever say it. I get disconnected almost every hour on the hour. I work around it with my own form of creative network mgmt (...) and I'm annoyed by them, but its not stopping me.

note, when I don't run my vpn, I don't see the disconnects coming. strange, huh?

anyway, when the intro 12mo deal is over, I'll have to find some other service. there isn't much else to pick from! I once had (clearwire) - a semi-4g usb 'mifi' dongle that would give me acceptable connectivity without any house wiring. when I was short-term renting, that did the trick. neat little dongle, too. maybe I'll look into that again.

I just need to leave comcast (when my year is up) for 3mos, then I can reset the clock, get a new intro pkg and start again, but this time it probably will only be a 6mo special.

if you don't play these games, you get stuck for over $100/mo!

THIS is why comcast needs to be bitchslapped. and the others, too, but in my area, comcast is the only choice you get.

silicon valley - where we pretty much DID invent the internet - and we have a single vendor to pick from. sigh ;(

Comment: Re:Corporation != People (Score 1) 310

but they feel no pain, like people. no ability to show remorse or ethics or shame.

they can't be jailed and they are almost never punished in any meaningful way.

they have all the good things we, people have; but none of the bad things.

"gee, dad, when I grow up, I want to be a corporation!"

Comment: Re:Video over LAN (Score 1) 81

by TheGratefulNet (#49150471) Attached to: VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

update: why didn't I try the simple thing, first? sigh. do a full uninstall, then install the new and this does not carry over previous 'settings'. it seems that even installing the new one over my older one was not so great. had to do a full remove and then add.

but after that, all is well! amazing. none of the problems I had are now there. loading an mkv file can take a long time over ac-rated wifi (sometimes 10 secs of the screen just sitting there, no status or anything) but then the video plays and from then on, its fine.

random positioning no longer shows the blockiness or buffering problem. playing dvd files is now fine and hd files continue to be fine.

wow. so, the 'trick' I'm glad to say, is simple. full uninstall and then fresh install. I should have known, sigh.

but really glad that it was not something other than 'bad settings'.

Comment: Re:Video over LAN (Score 1) 81

by TheGratefulNet (#49149439) Attached to: VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

thanks for the idea.

but if win media player can play dvd data files perfectly, I'm thinking the video layer is fine as it is, and its vlc's buffering or queueing that seems broken.

if you FF to skip across compressed video, it will take some settle time to deblock, but on vlc it takes an absurd amount of timeto do that on mkv and mp4. and on dvd files, it never seems to play well, no matter what.

very odd that 'hard' files (such as hd) play with clocklike perfection and yet the lower res, lower bandwidth 'easy' files give such a hard time.

Comment: Re:Video over LAN (Score 1) 81

by TheGratefulNet (#49149101) Attached to: VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

lately, I'm having a lot of trouble with vlc on win7. not sure why.

when I use wired ethernet, things seem fine (source of data is my nas box). I can play hd files that were downloaded (...) and those play great, even at 1920/120hz native refresh.

BUT - if I dare play a dvd with a video_ts style standard folder, even local playback shows lots of blockiness. I can copy the files to my local ssd and it still acts that way. playing dvd should be EASIER than high def mkv or mp4, right? so what's going on?

system is i7 haswell with onboard intel video. the system is fine, it can handle any hd file I throw at it. well, ok, one problem that might be related; if I skip around on the file, it takes forever to resync and unblock the blockiness. its like the deltas (non i-frames) are staying out of sync and there's no resync ability. 10 seconds or more, later, the file fixes itself (the player, that is) and the hd video looks great again.

that blockiness never seems to go away on pure dvd filesets.

I wonder what's going on? I'm pretty sure I was able to play 'simple dvd's about a year ago, but lately its unusable. if I feed that video_ts folder to win media player (included on win7) it plays as perfectly as a hardware based dvd player would, flawless. and yet, vlc chokes badly on dvd style data.

anyone see that on the last few builds? I don't know when things broke but I'm interested in finding a player that WILL work for all formats and is stable enough to use. win media player is great for the codecs it supports but there are too many it won't read and work with, hence my use of vlc.

I don't bother with vlc on linux on my htpc since the video system is still not as good as win7 is. still too much tearing compared to the perfect video I get from 7 (I hate saying that, too, but its true).

Comment: Re:Interesing... (Score 1) 382

by PopeRatzo (#49144105) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics

then I'll care about what "prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate" think about climate change.

Take a look at what James Inhofe (R-OK) who is chairman of the fucking Senate Committee on the Environmentthinks of global warming. TRIGGER WARNING: IF STUPIDITY UPSETS YOU DO NOT CLICK.

Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 612

by TheGratefulNet (#49143589) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

the republicans are liars, plain and simple. they say they are for a free market but they only mean a free hand for big business.

you have to be able to read their 'talking points' and interpret them in a way that removes their spin.

the party of 'small government' would have no business being in your bedroom, spying on your data comms and telling you who you can marry and who you can not. they lie when they say they are for small government.

the democrats also lie. but they are not standing in the way of the free internet, its all about the republicans, this time. they seem to live in another world than the rest of us. the rest of us realize that special lock-in deals limit all of our choices and that the internet is too important to let big companies make all the rules.

Comment: Re:Follow the money (Score 1) 135

by rtb61 (#49143263) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

Basically it is a different market. Face it people that buy Apple do not really buy all that wisely, if they did, Apple would have a whole lot smaller profit margin. So they target that Apple market where people will pay more for the same thing because 'er' 'umm' it feeds their ego that they can spend more, they are 'hmmm' 'special' consumers ;D.

"An entire fraternity of strapping Wall-Street-bound youth. Hell - this is going to be a blood bath!" -- Post Bros. Comics