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Comment: Deal with it firmly but appropriately (Score 4, Interesting) 1127

by ZPO (#40967773) Attached to: Is Sexual Harassment Part of Hacker Culture?

Isn't part of the hacker ethos that the code rules? Who cares the age, sex, color, national origin, or creed of the writer? Do any of these factors make for better or worse code? If not, then differentiators based on those factors have no place in the hacker culture.

Any type of harassment needs to be dealt with rapidly, firmly, and appropriately. At the hacker cons I've attended, I've been fortunate to attend sessions with female presenters. I've also had the opportunity to interact with female attendees and found them to be logical, intelligent, and well spoken. I go to such cons to learn, network, and have some fun. Playing grabass just isn't on the menu. Such things are the province of small minds with no social skills. I'm all for harassers getting a swift kick - or several. I have a feeling though that the goons wouldn't be enamored with that idea.

I'm old enough to have been in the military before, during, and after the 1991 Tailhook incident. Hopefully the pendulum won't swing so far in the other direction that personnel are tossed and/or banned based on unsubstantiated allegations. There are very real incidents that need to be dealt with firmly. There are also invented incidents that should result in sanctions against the person making the false allegations.

-ZPO

Comment: Re:...however, (Score 2) 339

by ZPO (#40240407) Attached to: Online Courses and the $100 Graduate Degree

Some classes are enhanced by interaction with the professor, other students, and invaluable hands-on lab time. Other classes can be completed online without losing any of the value. Take for example the common core classes of mathematics, liberal arts, history, etc. Does the student gain anything by physically sitting in a classroom? If these classes can be taken care of online for little cost then the student's scarce time and treasure can be leveraged to attend only the courses which benefit from interaction and lab time in a physical university setting.

The key is to select the appropriate tool for the appropriate task. Online isn't always the answer. In residence isn't always the answer. Having additional tools and methods available can make things more efficient.

Comment: Competirors Deploy It - No and Yes (Score 1) 117

by ZPO (#40229531) Attached to: Netflix Launches Its Own Content Delivery Network

When it comes to Netflix competitors, there are two main issues in the game:

1) Will they exempt Netflix content from their data caps - No. For as long as possible, providers with competing VoD services will continue to count the Netflix content against data caps while exempting their own offerings. This one is a no-brainer.

2) Will they provide the space, power, and cooling to host the boxes within their networks - Yes. Whatever their competing offerings, bandwidth still costs money. At the very least, peering with Netflix at the listed exchange points will likely reduce transit costs. Given the somewhat sparse availability of peering points, I expect to see large metro ISPs consider putting the devices in their datacenters.

Comment: Re:I work for an ISP (Score 1) 345

by ZPO (#40024645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Holding ISPs Accountable For Contracted DSL Bandwidth

Now you have a DSA with 10 customers on it, 5 wanted 3MB service, the feds paid to have 2 T1 lines installed. That will work, and they likely wont have any bandwidth problems. Fast forward 3 years. You now have 10 customers on the DSA, they ALL have 5MB service and ALL have netflix accounts. Hence the situation you are in. The customers demand the ISP upgrade. Those 10 customers combined are paying about $350/month total. To add more trunks to the DSA will cost $300k. It's not hard to do the math there... it's not going to happen. So then they go to the local government and ask them to complain again... the local government says "You have internet, what are you complaining about?" and the feds? They got their 95%+ served number for the next election, they don't care about you.

Having worked for a DLEC and a couple of CLECs, Charliemopps very likely hit the nail on the head. The DSLAM or DSA (equivalent in this case) is likely fed with 2-4 DS1s on an IMUX. During the day, you have little contention for the 3-6Mbps of bandwidth. In the evening, when everyone else comes home, your speed drops significantly. This is normal and expected. It only takes a few customers running bandwidth intensive apps to consume the available bandwidth. There are solutions to prevent a few piggy users from consuming almost all the bandwidth. Those solutions require deployment of either hardware or software and additional management. Given that the ISP/telco is almost certainly losing money on the service they are currently providing, they are unlikely to deploy those capabilities to the local CO.

If you do some digging and troubleshooting, is there a pingable address on the DSLAM or does it pass through at Layer-2? If you can ping the DSLAM and beyond it, you can figure out whether the slowdown is on your subscriber loop or on the connection from the DSLAM deeper into the ISPs network. Opening trouble tickets on your subscriber loop isn't going to fix a bandwidth contention issue. While it is possible there is an issue on the subscriber loop, my money is on bandwidth contention from the DSLAM. You might get some attention to a bandwidth contention issue with the trouble tickets. The IMUX equipment I'm familiar with ranges from 4-8 DS1s. If the IMUX isn't already maxed out on DS1 interfaces, you may see some relief. If the IMUX is already maxed out, you're probably not going to see much change. In a money losing situation, you're unlikely to see an upgrade to DS-3 backhaul or anything faster for a rural DSLAM.

-ZPO

Image

Make-A-Wish Builds A Millennium Falcon Fort For Boy 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-fast-enough-for-you-old-man dept.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a production crew from Little Mountain Productions, a 9-year-old is getting the best fort ever. The crew is making him a Star Wars-themed fort with a gigantic Millennium Falcon with solar-powered LED interior and exterior lighting to sit on top. No word on how fast it can make the Kessel run, but lets hope the kid gets a long trip.
Image

Facebook Master Password Was "Chuck Norris" 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the ad-nauseum-roundhouse dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "A Facebook employee has given a tell-all interview with some very interesting things about Facebook's internals. Especially interesting are all the things relating to Facebook privacy. Basically, you don't have any. Nearly everything you've ever done on the site is recorded into a database. While they fire employees for snooping, more than a few have done it. There's an internal system to let them log into anyone's profile, though they have to be able to defend their reason for doing so. And they used to have a master password that could log into any Facebook profile: 'Chuck Norris.' Bruce Schneier might be jealous of that one."
Biotech

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."
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Police Called Over 11-Year-Old's Science Project 687

Posted by samzenpus
from the duck-and-cover dept.
garg0yle writes "Police in San Diego were called to investigate an 11-year-old's science project, consisting of 'a motion detector made out of an empty Gatorade bottle and some electronics,' after the vice-principal came to the conclusion that it was a bomb. Charges aren't being laid against the youth, but it's being recommended that he and his family 'get counseling.' Apparently, the student violated school policies — I'm assuming these are policies against having any kind of independent thought?"

Comment: Re:The same weather service - link to senate bill (Score 1) 182

by ZPO (#13356090) Attached to: Weather Service Becoming More Tech Friendly
Here is the link to the actual bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:s786: . The gist is that Sen. Santorum wants to prevent the NWS from distributing data which could be provided by a commercial service.

The bill also calls out prohibitions on persons making use of weather data which may efffect a market before an official warning or notice is issued by the NWS. Great - just what we need - all weather warnings will now need to be reviewed by government counsel before issue.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

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