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Comment: Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (Score 4, Interesting) 108

by apraetor (#47770153) Attached to: CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories
To clarify, you mean municipalities building their own, community-owned networks, correct? I think the solution to this is for the towns to take a step back; the people of the community should create a co-op to build and maintain the infrastructure, and the towns should back the bonds.

Comment: Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (Score 2) 108

by apraetor (#47770123) Attached to: CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories
They shouldn't be allowed to "red-line", but serving only part of a town definitely is legal. Only the original, incumbent provider is barred from doing that, under Universal Access provisions. That's their obligation in exchange for having the limited monopoly, and the dirty pool Comcast has been playing is nothing more than proof they don't care about the customer as much as profit (as if there was a doubt).

+ - What to do about repeated internet overbilling? 5

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "AT&T has been overbilling my account based on overcounting DSL internet usage (they charge in 50 Gigabyte units after the first 150). I have been using a Buffalo NFinity Airstation as a managed switch to count all traffic. As you may recall, this device runs firmware based on dd-wrt and has hidden telnet functionality, so I am able to load a script to count traffic directly onto the device. I have an auto-scraper that collects the data and saves it on my computer's hard disk every 2 minutes while the computer is running. While it is not running, the 2 minute counters accumulate in RAM on the device. Power problems are not normally an issue here; and even when they are I can tell it has happened. The upshot of all this is I can measure the exact amount of download bandwidth and a guaranteed overestimate of upload bandwidth in bytes reliably. I have tested this by transferring known amounts of data and can account for every byte counted, including ethernet frame headers. AT&T's billing reporting reports usage by day only, lags two days, and uses some time basis other than midnight. It is also reading in my testing a fairly consistent 14% higher whenever the basis doesn't disturb the test by using too much bandwidth too close to midnight.

AT&T has already refused to attempt to fix the billing meter, and asserts they have tested it and found it correct. Yet they refuse to provide a realtime readout of the counter that would make independent testing trivial. I've been through the agencies (CPUC, FCC, and Weights & Measures) and can't find one that is interested, AT&T will not provide any means for reasonable independent testing of the meter. It is my understanding that if there is a meter and its calibration cannot be checked, there is a violation of the law, yet I can't find an agency that can even accept such a claim (I'm not getting "your claim is meritless", but "we don't handle that"). If indeed they are not overbilling, my claim of no way to verify the meter still stands. My options are running thin here.

So that my account can be identified by someone who recognizes the case: 7a6c74964fafd56c61e06abf6c820845cbcd4fc0 (bit commitment)."

Comment: Re:Precedent, anyone? (Score 1) 593

by apraetor (#47767669) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
The positive aspect would be that cops, assuming their cameras stream to a computer doing facial recognition in real-time, could be alerted when they walk past someone with outstanding warrants. Cops in cities already make an effort to watch out for the most-wanted individuals -- if there is a warrant for your arrest you don't have a right to evade arrest, it just happens that cops are human and can't remember every mug shot they've been shown in briefings. This wouldn't be much different than hiring cops with eidetic memory, so I don't think you can argue it'd be a reduction of any rights.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 2) 593

by apraetor (#47767547) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
Cops have the authority and discretion to issue verbal or written warnings instead of citations for moving violations, so video recording won't change that. For the rest, it would be quite expensive to have auditors watch over all the footage from each officer's shift; screening would either be random, or the video records could be kept unwatched unless a complaint or other legal matter requires the tape to be reviewed. Your arguments sound more like excuses not to do it than legitimate reasons. It might make getting away with minor crimes more difficult, but crime has a negative impact on society, whereas video documentation of policing has social value.

Comment: Re:One correction (Score 1) 593

by apraetor (#47767419) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras
And any use of force without a camera should be subject to civilian laws (i.e. no qualified immunity), which impose a MUCH stricter standard on what constitutes "self-defense". As other areas of government have been forced into openness and transparency we somehow let police departments escape from the most vital part -- scrutiny of the actual "policing", audit trails of each interaction with civilians.

+ - Scientists craft seamless, ultrathin semiconductor junctions->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Scientists have developed what they believe is the thinnest-possible semiconductor, a new class of nanoscale materials made in sheets only three atoms thick. The University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that two of these single-layer semiconductor materials can be connected in an atomically seamless fashion known as a heterojunction. This result could be the basis for next-generation flexible and transparent computing, better light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and solar technologies.

“Heterojunctions are fundamental elements of electronic and photonic devices,” said senior author Xiaodong Xu, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering and of physics. “Our experimental demonstration of such junctions between two-dimensional materials should enable new kinds of transistors, LEDs, nanolasers, and solar cells to be developed for highly integrated electronic and optical circuits within a single atomic plane.”

The research was published online this week in Nature Materials. The researchers discovered that two flat semiconductor materials can be connected edge-to-edge with crystalline perfection. They worked with two single-layer, or monolayer, materials – molybdenum diselenide and tungsten diselenide – that have very similar structures, which was key to creating the composite two-dimensional semiconductor."

Link to Original Source

+ - Limiting the teaching of the scientific process in Ohio->

Submitted by frdmfghtr
frdmfghtr (603968) writes "Over at Ars Technica, there's a story about a bill in the Ohio legislature that wants to downplay the teaching of the scientific process. From the article:
"Specifically prohibiting a discussion of the scientific process is a recipe for educational chaos. To begin with, it leaves the knowledge the kids will still receive—the things we have learned through science—completely unmoored from any indication of how that knowledge was generated or whether it's likely to be reliable. The scientific process is also useful in that it can help people understand the world around them and the information they're bombarded with; it can also help people assess the reliability of various sources of information.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Monopolistic thuggish behavior (Score 1) 328

by apraetor (#47762899) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"
Power, water, garbage collection -- the price you pay is based on their variable costs, which are tied to tangible goods you are consuming (fuel, space in truck for trash collection). Internet service has high fixed costs for the providers, but the variable costs aren't proportionally as high. Leaving that debate aside, though.. those services are all either regulated, semi-regulated, or based on competitive bidding at fixed intervals. That's not how the cable monopolies are structured, though.

Comment: Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (Score 1) 314

by apraetor (#47762831) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive
I'm reasonably certain the reason for carrying such a large array in an RV is the lack of avery high speed Internet connection via cellular or satellite, unless you pay a fortune in bandwidth costs. Verizon offers something like that, with dongles that attach directly to broadcast TV cameras, allowing 1080p streaming back to the station edit suite, but that's an enterprise-level service.

Comment: It's only unreliable when you ignore the facts (Score 1) 2

by apraetor (#47762771) Attached to: Nuclear power: reliably unreliable

It isn't fair to say it's unreliable when the issues you cite are not universal to *all* nuclear power facilities. The cracking issues can be attributed to the component design and shortcomings with QA during construction, as well as a lack of experience in the long-term. Those Belgian plants were built in the 1970s, making them 30+ years old now. When they were built there hadn't been any plants of similar design around long enough for the cracking issues to show up. Engineering is an iterative process and we're still only just going into the 2nd or 3rd generation plants with most designs. Check out the nuclear power industry in France -- if a country wants reliable, cookie-cutter reactors that's where they buy them. They've done a great job by building all plants to one of a limited set of designs, allowing for continuous process improvements, as well as making it easier to move staff between facilities without a lot of retraining. Most of the problems they've had have been procedural, which they were always quick to address.

If you don't like nuclear power then what do you suggest? The petrochemicals we burn are limited and foolish to use, even ignoring the limited availability. Fracking to increase the supply has begun causing earthquakes, and still won't extend our supply for long. So.. what? Solar is only good during the day (among other issues) so while they're great for reducing demand they can't be relied on for the baseline supply. Wind is better, and 24/7, but still varies with the whims of the wind. I like the idea of going green, but we'd have to build enough solar and wind capacity to generate more power during the day than we need, and find some large-scale storage tech to store the solar energy for nighttime use. That's a LOT of capacity, and you need ready access to a lot of water and a mountain if you want to use pumped storage to turn a lake into a gravitational-potential battery.

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