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Comment: Re:Users are generally vendors not customers (Score 1) 290

by adolf (#47893715) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

What sometimes confuses people is that Google also sells IT services

They also sell books, movies, TV shows, software, and hardware.

Which part of this very conventional process of exchanging money for goods and services involves me being a product instead of a customer?

Comment: Re:Demographic (Score 1) 528

by adolf (#47859061) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

I've been spending a lot of time away from my momma's basement* and have been mostly been hanging out at my special lady-friend's place.

She has a 2Mbps connection, and depending on who is visiting, there can be a half-dozen people actively using it. With her old router (a D-Link box that only supports stock firmware and DD-WRT), everyone hated the Internet here: It barely worked. There were nonsensical discussions about "how many people were using the Internet" when things would slow down.

With Shibby's version of Tomato USB, I set up some QoS rules on an old WRT54G. I gave her own laptop a slight preference, but really: With QoS, multiple independent Netflix streams are working OK, even though the boy streams Youtube almost continuously. The Sonos plays music from Spotify perfectly. Interacting with the Web is fast and responsive from all devices. Torrents don't bog the connection. Interactive ssh, RDP, and VNC are very usable.

Nobody complains now. Sure, downloads are slow, but downloads will always be slow here compared to at my own place in Mom's basement. Things just work, and the streaming stuff (except Sonos, which gets a high priority, because buffering audio is teh suck) scales to available bandwidth on a minute-by-minute basis, and it all seems to work fine.

Key points:

Prioritize small streams of all types: Who cares what they are, they'll be gone almost instantly anyway and their impact is therefore small. These are things like NTP, DNS, the initial handshake of every HTTP connection, and other little stuff.

Prioritize important stuff: The HTPC is probably a better streaming target than some stranger's iPod Touch who you gave your WPA passphrase to just to be a nice guy.

Progressively penalize larger transfers: A lot of loading a modern Web page is the initial HTTP handshake, and a mile of CSS includes. Getting these done quickly is not so expensive in terms of absolute bandwidth availability, but really does improve the user experience.

Eventually, the classes go to a "bulk" category: Something over a few megabytes, or somesuch: If the game/windows/whatever update takes forever, so be it, as long as you can still use the rest of the internet while that transpires.

One can also do the "deep packet inspection" game, which is well-supported in Shibby, and gain a little bit more control. But that's decreasingly useful as more and more connections are encrypted by default (and one cannot inspect an SSL-ish packet without also performing a MITM attack upon the whole connection).

Rant: This is what IP TOS flags are for, but they're almost universally useless because end-user programs STILL do not (or cannot) use them properly. But if they were used properly, I could totally accommodate that low-latency VoIP or interactive SSH session, at almost-zero expense to Netflix streams.

Comment: Re:Sorry guys, but you are full of shit (Score 1) 528

by adolf (#47858929) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

720p is HD. It's a perfectly cromulent resolution, is defined by ATSC (the HDTV specification for the US), is way better than the 480i we had for over half a century, and can be argued to be superior to 1080i for some content types.

There isn't anything wrong with 720p. Most modern flat-screen televisions (yep, I wrote that correctly: Most people don't have a behemoth TV) do native 720p at best, and it's actually just fine for the viewing distances and screen sizes involved.

That said, Netflix as of a year or so started doing (what they call) SuperHD. To my eyes (and no, I haven't done frame grabs to verify), it's 1080p24, and it uses almost all of a 12Mbps pipe (which I did measure).

Comment: Re:Sorry guys, but you are full of shit (Score 1) 528

by adolf (#47858829) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

You don't Lynx on a DOS machine with Telix.

You load a TSR to provide TCP/IP, whether via Ethernet or phone lines or whatever. And then you run a web browser from the command line.

Telix? No. Telix needs a host to do the heavy lifting.

Disclaimer: 15 years or so ago, I acquired a very odd XT with a floppy drive, integrated 10base2 Ethernet, monochrome (not HGA) video, and no hard drive. I tied that thing to the Internet directly with my always-on ISDN connection. It did telnet, ssh, FTP (along with a resident FTP server - yep, multitasking(ish) under DOS) and web browsing just fine, using native, local programs. With 640k of RAM. Booting from a pair of low-density 5.25" floppy disks, manually loaded one after the other . . .

It wasn't actually all that hard to figure out, and it was ridiculously reliable.

Comment: Re:What's the max bandwidth of coax cable? (Score 2, Interesting) 341

by adolf (#47762179) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

And it doesn't 'run out', it just gets slower at the shared wire level for the user. Which is why netflix looks like crap at 7PM every night.

No. Netflix looks like crap at 7PM every night because they ditched Akamai and started their own CDN which is typically backhauled by Cogent, and Cogent tends to have terrible connectivity.

Comment: Re:Modern Television Style - Thanks Beyond Product (Score 1) 364

by adolf (#47735219) Attached to: "MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

AFAICT, the format of Mythbusters hasn't changed in a very long time.

There is a certain cadence of it which has not, AFAICT, varied since the show included "the kids."

One of the producers of Mythbusters is said to listen to it in her car, and if she can't follow and understand the episode by voice alone, it gets redone.

(As your attorney, I think you're trying too hard to coalesce your own aging mindset with the continually-renewed world around you. Give it a rest. Things move on.)

Comment: WTF? (Score 1) 364

by adolf (#47735203) Attached to: "MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

I'm actually rather OK with this. Though Kari is fun to watch and has certain skills (particularly welding and being hot), and Grant is very talented with nuts and bolts and software and robotics, I actually like Mythbusters mostly for the hard science (even if wrong) of Jamie, and the manic presentations of Adam.

Who was the other one again? Oh, yeah, that other guy.

Anyway, I remember Mythbusters with just Jamie and Adam. I miss it: Two well-versed, very smart people arguing against each other but toward a common goal is a win every day.

Comment: Re:People should leave. They Don't. (Score 1) 257

by adolf (#47734971) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

As I recall from my understanding at the time, BP has privately-owned and operated franchises. Like any franchise, the franchise license comes with certain contractual obligations.

One of the obligations for the first year or two of a BP franchise is buying BP gasoline.

After that, and again IIRC, it's open market: The BP (or AM/PM, or whatever) station can totally buy Marathon gas from the Marathon distribution point across town, instead of BP gas from the next state.

There is nothing wrong with this. Gasoline is generally a commodity, and about the only thing that keeps it brand-centric is the additive package which is (or may be) mixed differently for Shell or BP or Mobil or whatever.

So no, I didn't avoid BP stations after the BP gulf oil spill, because: Meh. I already knew better: Chances are, the owner was already buying whatever gas he wanted, according to market demands, whether sourced from BP, or Shell, or Marathon, or Exxon, some other such entity.

Punishing a BP franchisee for an oil spill is a cause which is based on a red herring, and is therefore nonsensical.

Comment: Re:Source is HVAC Contractors (Score 3, Informative) 303

by adolf (#47717117) Attached to: Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

I don't know of a single refrigerant in common use which remains liquid at STP. Almost all of them evaporate very, very quickly at atmospheric pressure.

Indeed, the most common one in new equipment (these days) is R-134a. Which is the same thing that goes into the "canned air" commonly sold and used for cleaning computer gear, and is also the same chemical used in the more common forms of freeze spray (the difference being whether it is dispensed as a liquid via an internal dip tube, or as a gas by simple lack of a dip tube).

What were you going on about, again?

Oh, right. Clues.

Comment: Re:How to cripple a city (Score 1) 475

by adolf (#47706169) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Obstructing traffic means just what it says: Obstructing traffic. The language of such a law is about relative speeds and of particular actions (such as, say, intentionally blocking a freeway).

Exceeding the speed limit is a whole different law.

The two are independent constructs. Indeed, I see no reason why one could not be cited for both "obstructing traffic" and "speeding" at the same time.

There is no conflict here.

Comment: Re:Kingston selling shit USB3 flash keys (Score 2) 289

I myself don't have a single USB 3 host device.

I purposefully bought one of the cheap USB 3 Kingston keys after reading the reviews. Been very happy with it: It often operates at close to the theoretical USB 2.0 transfer rates, and there have been instances where my USB 2.0 host is plainly the bottleneck. It was the right drive for the right price on that particular day, perfectly in the corner of the price/performance curve.

Meanwhile, none of this is news: If you buy an ATA/66 hard drive in 1997, you already know that you don't necessarily get 66 megabytes per second from it because the spinning rust can only transfer things so fast. The speed of the physical interface has typically nothing to do with the rate at which data is transferred, and it never has.

The only thing new here is your own flawed perception.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 322

by adolf (#47166355) Attached to: Registry Hack Enables Continued Updates For Windows XP

That's a bad security model in that it relies on the assumption that the local network is physically secure, which is never a good assumption to make.

NetBEUI over the Internet impossible? What are you going to tell me next, that I can't watch TV over the Internet either because the IP doesn't know how to deal with ATSC?

A small SBC running OpenVPN in tap mode will work just fine in a "it's not a router, it's an Ethernet bridge!" sort of way. And...done: NetBEUI, over the Internet, with every bit of untraceable clusterfuck that NetBEUI ever had.

And all you might notice is one or two new MAC addresses lurking around.....if the attacker is sloppy AND if you're paying attention. Which you aren't, or you'd realize that the model is unsound to begin with.

You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.