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Comment: Re:Congratulations (Score 1) 599

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49133225) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

These regulations were necessary becasue the ISPs embarked on a new plan to squeeze content providers. They wanted to be paid both by the subscriber and by the content providers.

Actually, most of the content providers are subscribers. They pay their ISPs for access to the internet. Consumers of the content may be subscribers of different ISPs than the content they access. So content providers were providing content to subscribers on different ISPs. Initially, the ISPs saw this as increasing the potential market for their own subscribers, ISPs facilitated it by making "peering" arrangements with each other. These peering arrangements, at first, worked on the assumption that traffic between each pair was roughly equal in both directions. Then "super star" services came along, upsetting the balance of traffic. So, the providers on the receiving side of the "data deluge" decided they wanted to be paid for the imbalance.

Another issue is that the major ISPs, like Camcast and Time Warner, now own some of the major content providers. Naturally, each ISP wants to prioritize the content of the content providers it owns.

Comment: Re:Congratulations (Score 1) 599

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49133143) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Net Neutrality certainly wasn't how the Internet was run from day 1: plenty of providers restricted what you could do on their networks, foremost DARPA itself.

The restrictions applied by DARPA applied to all internet users. Services like AOL and Compuserve, when they first offered connections to the internet, offered the internet service they were allowed to offer. They already had services beyond what was allowed on the internet. As the restrictions on internet usage were incrementally relaxed, it became possible for customers of one ISP to offer services to customers of other ISPs. As this increased the potential market for customers of the ISPs, ISPs facilitated it by making "peering" arrangements with each other. These peering arrangements, at first, worked on the assumption that traffic between each pair was roughly equal in both directions. Then "super star" services came along, upsetting the balance of traffic. So, the providers on the receiving side of the "data deluge" decided they wanted to be paid for the imbalance.

Comment: Re:The best trick (Score 2) 260

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49107993) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?

Second best solution is to join the Amish. At least you will get a nice quilt!

When I was a teen, I met and befriended some amish teens at a farmers' market near where I lived. Their parents allowed them to talk with us "English kids". They had other non-amish friends, too. Their village had phones - strictly for business and emergency use, but they were familiar with phones. Also calculators - which they were only allowed to use when helping at the farmers' market. I'm sure, these days, Amish kids are familiar with the internet despite whatever restrictions they live under.

(BTW, the Amish kids were just as horney as us. And they asked us to get them porn.)

Comment: Re:LG TV (Score 1) 130

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49091527) Attached to: Gadgets That Spy On Us: Way More Than TVs

So I disconnected it from the internet, and so it shall remain.

Are you sure it's really disconnected? If it has WiFi, it could auto-connect to any available, "open" access point.

I suppose one possibility would be to setup a "dummy" access point and configure the TV to connect to it. But, it's possible the TV, unable to "phone home", could auto-reconnect to any available, "open" access point.

Comment: Re:Technology can NOT eliminate work. (Score 1) 389

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49076643) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job

We could have everyone working two days a week. Yes that would introduce extra overheads, but we have the excess manpower to manage them, so why not?

There are already companies that hire 3 or 4 people for every job, each person working between 10 and 15 hours per week. The companies like this because they don't have to provide any benefits to these workers. The workers don't like this because they still need another job or 2. This can be complicated by the use of dynamic scheduling, meaning workers are effectively on-call 12 or more hours per day, every day. The penalty for not accepting an offered "shift" is lowering the probability of being scheduled. So the worker looses not only the offered hours at that time, but also future hours. And since it is probabilistic, the only time blocks a worker will have clear for another job are what otherwise would be sleep time.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 4, Interesting) 677

While I agree that certain constructs, like "goto" should not be used, I will point out that the full title of the 2004 version of the MISRA C document is:

MISRA C:2004 Guidelines for the use of the C language in critical systems

Note the word "Guidelines".

Also note section 4.3.2, which discusses deviation procedures. In summary, it recognizes that full compliance is not always practical. And when deviations are made, they must be documented, justified and reviewed. Sometimes, such reviews involve showing 2 versions of the code in question: One without the deviation and the other with, so that the relative risks can be analyzed and discussed. Sometimes this process can result in an alternative with either a "less serious" deviation or no deviation. And sometimes the deviations are approved as-is.

At the consulting company I work for, how strictly the various guidelines (not just MISRA, as only a few of our clients are automotive) deviations are approved depend on the customer. We certainly make great effort to only deviate from the various guidelines when the risks of compliance outweigh the risks of non-compliance. Sometimes business considerations override engineering considerations.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 716

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49031067) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

Had I bought a machine specifically with the intention of running Linux on it, then I might have a better experience, as I could verify that all the hardware is compatible before loading on the operating system. But using the machines I just happened to own, it's pretty hit or miss as far as what hardware will have good drivers.

Hardly surprising. FWIW, most people buying MS Windows PCs buy them with Windows pre-installed. The only time I ever installed "retail box" MS Windows was (over 10 years ago) when helping a friend who was "building" his own PC. We had to do a lot of searching and visit several component vendors' websites to find all the drivers needed. I can't speak to the current situation.

From comments made by the IT people at most of the companies I've worked for, there is a similar situation for "business" PCs running MS Windows. These comments came from me making the observation that PCs from a certain PC vendor were the most common (at the companies I've worked for). Their responses were to the effect that that vendor made it very easy for them to create custom system images. (So easy that they could create different images for different (groups of) departments - Administration, Finance and HR PCs got a system image "optimized" for office tasks. Engineering PCs got an image optimized for engineering needs, likewise, Logistics and Manufacturing PCs got an image for L&M needs.) They also said that PCs from other vendors required significantly more effort to create custom system images.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 3, Informative) 157

by UnderCoverPenguin (#49002459) Attached to: Automakers Move Toward OTA Software Upgrades

A friend of mine works for an automotive electronics supplier, so knows how in-service software updates are performed.

One of the ECUs also functions as a "diagnostic gateway" (DG). The DG is connected to the vehicles "diagnostic link connector" (DLC). To update the software in an ECU, a service technician plugs a reprogramming tool into the DLC and talks to the DG. The DG forwards the commands and data from the tool to the ECU being reprogrammed. It also forwards the ECU's responses to the tool.

Many new vehicles also have a remote assistance feature, like GM's OnStar, that uses a cellphone radio to communicate with a help center. An additional feature provided by these remote assist (RA) ECUs is reporting diagnostic messages from the other ECUs to the vehicle vendor.

To enable OTA software updates of any ECU in a vehicles requires only to upgrade the RA to be able to receive and buffer an entire file and to incorporate the "tool side" of the ECU reprogramming protocol (in vehicles that support OTA updates to the infotainment system, this has already been done). Also, the DG would need to be enabled to forward commands and data from the RA to ECUs not on the same network bus as the RA.

Comment: Re:Here's a great idea... (Score 1) 481

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48992891) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

You mean the odometer. It shows the number of miles drivern, but not where you drove them.

While road fuel tax can be accounted to the location of purchase, it still doesn't tell where you drove the miles. As a result, there are other means to measure traffic on roads.

And yes, I know that today's new cars have GPS built in.

Just because GPS data would make it easier to apportion road taxes to the roads being driven doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Comment: Re:That's why nobody sensible wants them (Score 1) 223

by UnderCoverPenguin (#48990815) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach

there are HUGE fines for allowing PHI to leak out

Except that those fines are levied against the corporation, not the responsible people. While the corporation could recuperate that from the responsible people, it usually doesn't because the responsible people based their decision on advice from experts, then chose what sounded "good enough" while minimizing the implementation cost. So the blame gets transferred to the experts - the one for giving bad advice and the others for failing to adequately counter the one - who then get fired. Then the corporation then passes the costs through to its customers - and gets to deduct the costs from its taxable revenue.

Eureka! -- Archimedes