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Comment: Re:US Citizenship Choice Shouldn't be One-Dimensio (Score 1) 734

by VTBlue (#49194491) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

All your points are valid consideration IFF the choice is to give up EU citizenship while accepting US. I don't believe this is the case with regard to the question. I could have worked in the Uk my whole life as a UK citizen and be entitled to my national UK pension as well as social security. Citizenship is not a prerequisite for retirement, welfare, or entitlements; only legal residence.

Comment: US Citizenship Choice Shouldn't be One-Dimensional (Score 1) 734

by VTBlue (#49194035) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I see a lot interesting and pragmatic points mentioned on this thread, but nearly all of them seem to opine based on the short-term consequences of the following: taxation issues, access to jobs, travel restrictions, and education.

Taxes (stupid reason, unless you're extremely wealthy):
Speaking as a former Ex-pat living in the UK, I can tell you that taxes are absolutely annoying as hell, but the honest truth is that the penalties are not bad at all even if you're late. It's a minor inconvenience, and the reality is that taxes are usually even owed unless you break 6-figure salary. You can inquire about Foreign Tax Credit or Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Taxes is a poor reason to deny your children citizenship opportunity, especially where there is a good chance that such issues of taxation will be harmonized in your childrens' lifetime. Stupid tax policies don't last forever. Unless you're kids make A LOT of money, taxes won't really be a huge issue. If you're living in a low taxation zone, then there might be an issue, be European taxes tend to wash out any US tax claims. Additionally, while some dual-taxation specialists are very expensive, I found it far better to hire a reputable accountant in the US who can properly fill out FTC or FEIE forms, Turbo Tax Pro makes this very easy. I found a great guy who did 6 years of taxes for $650. For me thats a bargain with all my tax complexities.

Access to Jobs (very good reason in favor of citizenship):
The best reason I can think of is to provide citizenship to your children is so they have access to the US job market in the future. People give their kidney's for a green card for a reason. The ability to say you're a citizen helps in so many industries. It also allows you to demand higher pay in some instances. In my case, the equivalent British hire would have been hired for one-third less at my firm.

Travel restrictions:
I found that US citizenship helps with travel freedoms. I have no basis to compare US with Swedish/EU/Belgian travel freedoms but I would wager they are equivalent or superior in some instances.

If Belgian/Swedish/EU healthcare access can be maintained while accepting US citizenship, then its really the best of both worlds. I miss the UK healthcare system dearly. One of the few known benefits of the NHS UK is that even if you live in another country, if you get critically ill, they will come out and fly you back to the UK for medical treatment. Chartered plane, nurse, the works. It really is amazing in the grand scheme of things. Not sure how NHS compares to other EU countries, but I'm sure its comparable and far superior to the US in terms of care and management.

Education opportunity and the ability to qualify for financial aid is the top reason, in my mind, why you should provide your children citizenship. As US citizens, your children will qualify for numerous grants, awards, and scholarships, as well as need-based financial aid. Whether you choose to use this for your children's undergraduate needs is your choice, but your children will find it much easier to pursue graduate studies in the US as a citizen. Foreign students simply cannot afford US universities unless they have strong family support back home. Additionally if your fear is that you don't want your students saddled with debt, don't worry, because the government can only take a maximum of 10% of Adjusted Gross Earnings in a given year. For people with children and average paying jobs, usually this means less than $500 to zero dollars. The great thing about federal loans is that you only really pay if you can afford to pay back. After 20 years of ontime payments (even if payments are zero), your debt is forgiven, and you just pay the tax on the remainder.

So all this said, if dual-citizenship is the option, go for it, besides the taxation issue, I see no serious downside. If you have to give up citizenship somewhere, then the issue deserves more thought. Regardless of all this, speaking to a lawyer is worth it.

Comment: Disable Turbo Boost (Score 1) 325

by VTBlue (#48766543) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

If you are running cores are 100% on a routine basis, Turbo Boost should be disabled for maximum stability. It's really that simple. Additionally, a good IT solutions professional will provide management a financial model that shows the ROI of routine an regular hardware upgrades. For development work, don't be stupidly bound to 3-5 year IT lifecycles especially if a newer CPU generation will yield big productivity gains.

Comment: Re:Further reading (Score 2) 211

by VTBlue (#48482579) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Objective C Vs. Swift For a New iOS Developer?

To be honest, I would rather focus on .NET / Xamarin / Mono especially in light of the new open source announcement and the fact that it can be used to target multiple OS and form factors. The choice is also based on the assumption just you won't be doing anything really cutting edge in terms of programming. I have yet to run into a capability request that I couldn't make do in c#

Comment: Re:ISPs don't want to take Cogent's money (Score 1) 706

by VTBlue (#48378823) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

You're assuming that current copper last mile links are at full capacity, this isn't the case. The capacity of copper lines is determined by the protocol used to regulate the link. For example, if a cable company in a neighbourhood is using an older Docsis 2.0 modem, all the company has to do is upgrade the hardware at the neighborhood nodes, upgrade the customers' modems to Docsis 3.0, and ensure enough back haul interconnection at the peering site (see #5). There is no digging at all. While copper is not as good as fiber, the progress in multiplexing and switching tech has made copper's long term value continue to far exceed its initial layout costs many times over. Until physicists say, "that's it, copper is at capacity," the idea that copper lines need to be added to existing infrastructure is wrong. Even today, there is a lot of unlit fiber in municipalities, but due to state law, cannot be deployed by munis because of "unfair competition" with private sector. Our current policies at the state and federal level do not have public purpose in mind at all, it is the golden age of monopoly interests.

Comment: Re:ISPs don't want to take Cogent's money (Score 5, Insightful) 706

by VTBlue (#48352721) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

Thank you for giving us the Netflix perspective. Counter arguments:

1) Residential broadband networks were never engineered as video delivery systems. The advent of mainstream streaming video completely changed the engineering calculus for last mile networks. Over subscription ratios need to change to accommodate the higher peak hour bitrates; this takes time and costs money. Where should this money come from? Why should I pay the same for my connection as the household that's running three or four simultaneous HD streams during peak hours? My 95th percentile is less than 0.5mbit/s, yet I pay the same as my neighbor who regularly runs three HD streams at the same time. Hardly seems fair, does it?

2) Related to the last point above, moving bits doesn't directly cost the ISP money but sustained higher bitrates do require a larger CapEx investment. Caps are a blunt force instrument that should be done away with in favor of demand or 95th percentile billing, IMHO.

3) IPTV is inherently inefficient vis-a-vis point-to-multipoint delivery systems (i.e., cable, OTA, satellite)

4) Settlement free peering (which is essentially what Netflix is demanding) has historically only been offered in instances where the traffic to be exchanged is roughly equal. If you're relying on me to deliver your traffic for you then you pay me. It has been this way since the beginning of the commercial internet. This ecosystem literally built the internet as we know it. If you want to blow it up the onus is on you to explain why your system is better.

5) Netflix has a history of trying to offload their costs onto third parties, be they ISPs, Tier 1 networks, CDNs, etc.

6) Netflix isn't exactly the white knight that everyone thinks they are. They're a for profit company; one that I stopped doing business with after they decided to double my price with little prior warning. They've cut deals that are detrimental to their customers (i.e., withholding new releases); any other company that behaved in such a fashion would be roundly hated around these parts.

1. False choice - how a delivery system was engineered is irrelevant. Today fiber technology and capacity exists and the infrastructure investments are not Capital intense.

2. False - Moore's law is the technical constraint. Political will is the social constraint.

3. False - Iptv is better at all distribution workloads for media. Networking tech easily allows for highly efficient compressed or uncompressed media delivery via multicast protocols. It is cable that is inefficient.

4. False - research has proven that assymmeteic last mile connections can never allow for equal peering. The premise that bits flowing in one direction costs more than the other direction is a calculated business decision based on the monopoly and regulatory environment. The same way that international sms messages are technically cost less, same goes for bits traveling in either direction, it's a neutral proposition.

5. The costs you are talking about are less than a few thousands of dollars per link. A drop in the bucket.

6. Drop subscribtion. There are alternative media delivery businesses consumers can choose. Consumers have no such luxury under current US isp arrangements.

Studied electrical & network engineering, public policy and econ. Counterarguments welcome :)

Comment: Re:Terrible summary, unwarranted inferences (Score 1) 151

by VTBlue (#48304791) Attached to: Ford Develops a Way To Monitor Police Driving

Data collected by this type of system would fall under state FOIA laws meaning the data would be available and consumed by the public either directly or indirectly. Additionally the largest municipalities already have open government mandates that include law enforcement reporting that must be machine readable.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 2) 398

by VTBlue (#48195847) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Civil servants used to have these skills in the mid 50's because we built an economic system that wasn't focused on useless financialization. Now we have a legacy 20th century infrastructure that no longer has a 20th century revenue stream. The 21st century revenue streams are so messed up and unbalanced that only Fraudsters and liars can get elected, because no sane person could promise the things most of our elected officials promise.

At the heart of all this is the lack of federal deficit spending. Hasn't been the same since Reaganomics and the economics of Friedman took over. Probably the two most economically destructive influences in modern economic history.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 2) 398

by VTBlue (#48195775) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

many municipalities have found that the companies installing these have turned down the timing between amber and red

Citation please. I am unaware of a single time where a company has changed the timing. In every instance it has been our elected officials that made the decision.

The revenue stream for the speed camera company comes from a share of the traffic citations. The legal contracts are drafted in such a way that incentivized both parties, the municipality and the firm. To deny the soft and hard influence that takes place to "tweak" revenue is just be ignorant.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS