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Comment: Re: Transparency (Score 2) 139

I'm sympathetic to some of the ideals of the Tea Party. I believe that the 2nd amendment describes a pre-existing individual right to keep and bear arms for private defense as well as to maintain the security of a free state. I tend to vote conservative. I was aghast at some of the provisions of the Patriot Act and other similar legislation when they were proposed and stunned that they were voted into law.

I am certainly a person, although you may claim that I'm not a "true Tea Party person" because I'm not rabidly foaming at the mouth in support of the entire platform. I was opposed to those programs well before 2009.

I think actual people's beliefs are more nuanced than the overly broad "left wing", "right wing" labels would suggest, and that there are a number of "right wing" folks who are very concerned about privacy and freedom, not willing to trade it away for an illusive security benefit.

Comment: Re:Alternative explanation (Score 1) 393

by anegg (#47538097) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

I had responsibility for a corporate data network a number of years ago, when cross-country link speeds were substantially lower than they are now. About 80 sites distributed across the US. We charged a flat rate based on number of "subscribers" (network users) at each location to put a location on the network as part of our cost-recovery strategy. The CIO asked me to develop a traffic-based charge instead/in addition to the subscriber charge. We analyzed the situation as follows:

If the source of traffic is charged for providing data to the network, it will limit the services that the source chooses to provide, even if those services are very beneficial to the rest of the network.

If the sink for the traffic is charged for the data it receives from the network, it can cause the sink to be charged for data it didn't request or cause that site to stop using services that create a better overall result for the corporation as a whole.

Locations subscribe to the network because they want access to services and because they want to be able to provide services. Charging by traffic would force providers and consumers into a level of analysis and complexity that would ultimately limit the usefulness of the network, and stifle creativity and growth. On top of that, adding cost-accounting to the network based on traffic would add about 30% to the cost of operating the network.

All kinds of "unfairness" exist in the network world. Our more distant locations thought it very unfair that they had to pay big bucks for a lower speed connection than our customers located at a corporate hub site, even though our actual cost to connect those customers was several times what we charged them, for example. Because we were a corporation, we could decide that the cost of the network was a pooled cost that benefited everyone, and that the best cost-model for the corporation's benefit was the flat-rate subscriber cost regardless of distance.

The commercial world is a little bit different than the corporate world, because the sources/sinks are more polarized (I'm suspect NetFlix puts more traffic onto the network than they pull off of the network). But the arguments seem similar in nature. Consumers on the network are there specifically because they expect to get traffic from providers. Verizon would have a much harder time selling Verizon's services (especially higher download rates) if the rest of the Internet didn't have other firms providing data that Verizon's consumer customers wanted to download. The value of the network is in both the sourcing and sinking of the traffic flows combined. Focusing the accounting on just one direction of flow ignores that value.

Comment: expert skill-based integration (Score 3, Insightful) 156

by anegg (#47537965) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity
I'm only an armchair cognitive scientist, but my interpretation of this result is that it shows how an expert player has integrated the knowledge of how to play as a skill. The player no longer has to think through each situation and plan a response, the brain recognizes patterns and produces a response automatically. This allows for a higher-level of play because the player's conscious mind is free to act at a higher level, producing better tactics and strategy.

Comment: Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (Score 1) 268

by anegg (#47341821) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone
I thought that the number of rotors had to be even so that the torque canceled out. Canceling torque being the reason why multi-rotor aircraft don't need a separate vertical rotor like an ordinary single horizontal rotor helicopter. Forgive me if I missed some obvious pun and focused on the odd number relationship instead.

Comment: Re:It doesn't take a genius to come up with an att (Score 2) 155

by anegg (#47189937) Attached to: Millions of Smart TVs Vulnerable To 'Red Button' Attack

Executable content from an uncontrolled source. Sheesh! Why do the folks who design/build entertainment electronics have such a limited understanding of the digital world? Going back to the invention of the Compact Disc as a music medium, the industry consistently demonstrates an inability to think broadly about the opportunities and consequences of the digital world.

People with home networks (i.e., lots of folks) and a TV that permits executable content that was received from an uncontrolled RF source to run on a CPU that has access to the TV's in-home Local Area Network connection will be so screwed it isn't funny.

If all TV's end up with this capability, we'll have to firewall off our TVs from the rest of our home networks. The last thing I need when I get home from work worrying about the unholy intersection of jackass hackers and jackass software vendors is my TV going rogue and hacking into the rest of my carefully secured digital castle through the television.

Is the US government asleep at the switch? Here is the opportunity to nip in the bud a huge threat to national security (ever see how many TVs there are all over all federal buildings these days?). If they can't understand basic Information Systems security enough to understand that executable content MUST be either be from a controlled/trusted source OR MUST be securely isolated from trusted network connections, then we need a new set of policy folks.

One way to stop this idiocy would be to convince the masses that this threat is too great to ignore. If no one buys the TV sets (which are essentially Trojan Horse wormholes), the manufacturers will certainly take notice. If we get the entertainment electronics journalists on board ringing the danger bell, that might put enough of a dent in sales to get their attention.

Comment: I would want to opt out (Score 1) 185

by anegg (#47142415) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Taking a New Tack On Net Neutrality?

If I were a student living in one of the rental units, I would want to a) disconnect from restricted access network, b) have the cost credited to me in the form of lower rent, and c) get my own unfiltered Internet access. I think I would even be willing to go to court over it, and maybe even make it a class-action lawsuit.

I would feel the same way if the rental units provided cable TV service, but chose to limit access to certain freely available channels (i.e., local terrestrial broadcast stations), or of the rental units provided a shared FM antenna system but chose to restrict or control access to certain FM radio frequencies.

Whether the FCC has gotten around to making it legally so or not, access to the Internet should be provided as a common carrier service. The intermediaries (such as the rental company in this case) should not be able to try to get a cut of the action above and beyond simply recovering the cost of the service in the rent.

That's my opinion, however. I'm sure others have their own. What the people who control the rental units should bear in mind is that others may share my opinion, and if enough of them do it could get very sticky for them. Restraining people's access to freely available media doesn't go over well.

Comment: Re:'stay-at-home-dad' schlock (Score 1) 291

by anegg (#47107387) Attached to: Parenting Rewires the Male Brain
The child production strategies with which I am most familiar leave no doubt as to the female DNA source. The male parent's genes have a more difficult time ensuring that child-rearing resources are spent on the right combined DNA complex. Should we be surprised at the existence of various strategies to decrease the probability of the male DNA source rearing the wrong DNA complex?

Comment: Re: Ethics and Morals ? (Score 1) 165

by anegg (#47025281) Attached to: US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics
A sniper may be able to avert a major action by removing an important player relatively surgically. He or she would be doing this at great risk to him/herself, by infiltrating an enemy-held area with no backup support other than his/her spotter. That's cowardly? I think the use of snipers is a lot more nuanced than is being presented here.

Comment: Re: Humans Can Not (Score 1) 165

by anegg (#47025257) Attached to: US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics
Interesting. I suppose that if I were being attacked by drones, I would consider it within the rules of war to discover where the drones were being operated from and to attack each and every location that I thought the drones were produced, supplied, and commanded from until they stopped attacking me. That seems to mean that anyone using drones is inviting attacks like that upon themselves.

Comment: Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (Score 1) 319

by anegg (#46713345) Attached to: SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

My original comment wasn't based on subletting, it was based on the transient nature of a hotel/motel/B&B guest as opposed to a neighbor (regardless of whether the neighbor owns/rents/sublets).

There is a wide range of what is acceptable to various people in this context. For some, not knowing who their neighbors are from day to day may not be a big deal. Maybe they like forming new associations constantly, or maybe they avoid forming any associations. Either way, they don't care if the people around them are the same as yesterday or will be the same tomorrow. Others like more constancy in their associations, especially those who are around them when they are most vulnerable (i.e. at home where a lot of relaxing, bathing, and sleeping takes place). It is a tribute to society that many of us feel safe in a variety of circumstances that leave us vulnerable to those around us. We don't feel like we have to live with armed guards, nor constantly watch our backs to make sure someone isn't putting a knife into it. But how comfortable you are in the presence of strangers when you are vulnerable depends a lot on your level of trust in others and/or your ignorance of what can go wrong.

I think people usually expect and operate with the default assumption that the people around them are mostly like themselves, and they govern their actions accordingly. Short-term transient rentals will almost certainly play havoc with those assumptions on both parts. The "inconsiderate assholes" who show up late at night for their AirBnB accommodation probably aren't assholes at all. Their travel was delayed, they are tired and worn out, and they just want to get to a touchdown/relaxation spot. But their assumptions about what constitutes "good behavior" under those circumstances are very different than those of the long-term residents around them think, because they have very different expectations and motivations.

I'm familiar with a circumstance in which the equivalent business to a short-term rental opened in a very small neighborhood (private road off of a county road, six houses). This business has 24 hour a day operations, 7 days per week, with at least 3 employees per shift. Obviously way above/beyond AirBnB of course. The culture clash is enormous. For example, the employees speed down the road when they are late for work (and its not uncommon for people to be running late in the morning). Because its a private road, its only 18 feet wide, not the minimum 22 feet of a county road. The residents know each other, and always slow down to pass each other. The employees don't slow down a bit; I suspect they don't realize the road is as narrow as it is. I'm sure the employees don't understand why the neighbors dislike them so much - they are just working for a living, like everyone else, right? But unlike the residents, there is no tie of the employees to the neighborhood. Its just their job, not where they live.

Comment: Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (Score 5, Insightful) 319

by anegg (#46689743) Attached to: SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals
Is it possible that there is more going on here than the city protecting the city's revenues? If I were the neighbor of someone engaging in the short term rental of a property that was not in an area zoned for short term rentals, I would be very glad that the municipality was cracking down on them. I like to know who my neighbors are; I don't want new ones showing up every week.

Comment: Re:Griswold vs Connecticut (Score 1) 193

Importantly, there's no explicit "right to privacy" in the US Constitution, but Griswold laid the foundation for why it follows from many of the other parts.

I've heard this claim before, and I'm confused and truly looking for an analysis. The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution says:

Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The above doesn't explicitly use the word "privacy," but how is the right to be secure in my person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures" not a right to privacy?

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