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Comment: Re:Why is bitcoin popular again? (Score 1) 254

by almitydave (#49286435) Attached to: Evolution Market's Admins Are Gone, Along With $12M In Bitcoin

This is not entirely true, in the United States banks under the FDIC coverage only insure you to a max of $250.000 regardless of how much money you have in your bank account, while C
oinbase for example gives you insurance for the full amount of your bitcoins

Which is why everyone who wants to keep more than that in the bank divides it into multiple accounts, since each account is insured to $250k, not each person.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 55

by almitydave (#49189487) Attached to: Ubisoft Has New Video Game Designed To Treat Lazy Eye

Yes. It will also require installation of Starforce, Uplay malware and require a constant internet connection. Oh and it won't be at all usable until the fifth post-release patch. Ubisoft will also whine that every user is a dirty pirate haxor who is stealing money from them.

I used to have lazy eye, but after having to deal with Ubisoft DRM it now twitches uncontrollably.

Comment: Re:Uh ...wat? (Score 1) 467

If someone came onto your lawn and started yelling about how they were going to rape your daughter, they're not going to get a little slap on the wrist. They'd get arrested, thrown in jail, and possibly be put on a sex offender list.


The fact that you can type anything you like into that inanimate magic light box sitting in front of you that uncritically accepts whatever you say makes it easier than ever for people to be dicks on a massive scale. You've highlighted the lesson every kid needs to be taught before they touch an internet-connected device:

If you threaten to rape someone on the internet, you threaten to rape them in real life.
Because if you say it on the internet, you're saying it in real life.
Because the internet is real life.

It's not this semi-non-existent alternative reality that "doesn't count."

Comment: Re:Not very effective. (Score 1) 134

by almitydave (#49120809) Attached to: Pakistanis Must Provide Fingerprints Or Give Up Cellphone

They are tracking (or rather, were previously) cell phones without fingerprints. The point of this initiative is to verify that the identify registered to the cell phone actually belongs to the person using the cell phone. IE, terrorists have been using cell phones registered to other people (or fake identities), and fingerprinting all cell phone users hopefully will make that more difficult or at least provide an avenue for investigation.

Comment: Re:life in the U.S. (Score 1) 255

by almitydave (#48906747) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

...the point of changing the definition is so that the cable companies can't point to your plan and call it the "Extra super good internet plan."

And why can't they? If the FCC changes the definition of broadband so the cable companies can't call it "broadband", then renaming it "Extra super good internet" is exactly the sort of thing they'll do. They'll just use some non-technical marketing language to describe it.

The point is essentially a technicality: Raise the definition so that most typical plans don't count as broadband. Which makes it harder for the telcos to justify charging broadband prices for sub-broadband service. Which, hopefully, will either reduce prices for the low end of things so that more people can access it, or encourage the companies to upgrade their infrastructure to support the new speeds.

I don't see how it would have that effect without price controls. Since there's no standardized technical definition for "broadband" as it relates internet connection speeds, it's a meaningless term. The problem is that the way the FCC is using the term to measure ISP deployment progress is based on a moving target. From TFA:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 said that advanced telecommunications capability must “enable users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.” Wheeler’s proposed annual report says the 4/1 definition adopted in 2010 “is inadequate for evaluating whether broadband capable of supporting today’s high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way.”

Well, of course it's inadequate, because those things have become more demanding of bandwidth, because as more people have higher-speed internet access, sites and services take advantage of this fact and offer products that require it. Netflix video streaming started in what, 2007? HD videos on YouTube didn't roll out until 2009. I don't think playing word games by redefining terms will help anything.

If you want to make federal dollars dependent on a deployment/upgrade schedule, then make a schedule. Say "99% of users must have access at minimum down/up speeds of X/Y in 5/10/15/20 years", doubling the X & Y every 5 years (or whatever). Don't say "well yesterday 4 Mbps was broadband, but today Netflix offers 2160p 3D video, so we're going redefine our standard to whatever Netflix's top offering requires." (Yes, I know that's not exactly what they're doing, but it's close).

I'm no shill of the providers here - I think the effective monopolies have resulted in a great deal of harm to consumer choice and product quality - but this particular proposed action of the FCC strikes me as silly. Reclassifying them as common carriers and Congress banning anti-competitive laws that prohibit municipal broadband would go a great deal further toward fixing the problem IMHO. If you want internet to be a utility, treat it like a utility. If you want it to benefit from free market forces, make sure customers have real choices among competing products.

The universe is an island, surrounded by whatever it is that surrounds universes.