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Comment: Re:Telco oligopoly (Score 1) 569

by dannys42 (#45269903) Attached to: Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

Actually, I would contend that *all* infrastructure-based resources will be natural monopolies. As such, I think the way we handled it before was correct.. it was just the way we divided it wasn't quite right... Governments shouldn't run the services/technologies/etc. They should regulate a single local company to manage the it (ie. the government regulated monopoly). In this case, we're talking about the physical cable/fibre/etc into the home. Services on top of that, then can be a free market.

Comment: Re: Very different... (Score 2) 266

That's a very good point. Bug tracking systems (public and even private) should also have a way to track the reliability of submitters. I've been with the open source community since before "open source" was a phrase, and sadly from what I've seen, the community still seems to lack an understanding of the human side of things at pretty much all levels. And from how GNOME has been shaped through the years, it only seems to be getting worse.

Comment: Yes, but... (Score 1) 220

by dannys42 (#43645461) Attached to: A Case For a Software Testing Undergrad Major

There really needs to be a software engineering major too. Where I went to school, the CS curriculum really didn't cover how to break problems large problems down into logical structures and pieces manageable by small teams, or how write maintainable code, etc. And from talking with others, I gather this is pretty true for most colleges. So don't feel bad.. .it's not just the testers that lack formal education... the developers are often self-taught or learn on the job as well.

Comment: Re:Equal rights (Score 1) 832

by dannys42 (#43614259) Attached to: So What If Yahoo's New Dads Get Less Leave Than Moms?

I actually think it's fine to discriminate in this case. Women and men *are* different and have different needs, especially when it comes to child birth. However, child care is entirely different, and what you suggest makes sense... there should be "primary care" leave as well that's equal between the two.

On the other hand, I think businesses get into this kind of trouble because they try too hard to classify people's personal time. Just give everyone X number of days off and let them manage their time off. I mean you could argue that maternity/paternity leave is also discriminating against single people. I mean why the heck should someone get more days off just because they're giving birth? Shouldn't I be given just as many days in order to find a girl to impregnate in the first place? Who's to judge which one is more important than the other?

Comment: Re:I was in the same boat (Score 1) 187

by dannys42 (#43388953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Source For Bill and Document Management?

I have a ScanSnap as well, but just use their Mac software. What type of paper are your documents and how many pages do you do at once? I've found for really thin paper or for many pages it helps to simply fan them out a bit. But if you're doing many pages (like over ~20 or so) you might need to feed them in batches... Unfortunately it's a bit of baby-sitting, waiting for it to reach near the end of one batch, then putting the next batch in. But I manage to avoid the multi-page problem most of the time this way.

Comment: Re:Technical Debt (Score 1) 507

by dannys42 (#42551635) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To React To Coworker Who Says My Code Is Bad?

I think programming languages are similar to written language in this case. No two people will really have the same style of writing, but most people can agree whether someone's writing is "good english" or "bad english." Grammar is part of that determination but also comprehension.

Comment: Re:a sensitive subject with me (Score 1) 776

by dannys42 (#42551459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?

I worked at a company when I was in my 20's where most of the engineers there were also in their 20's. However, after hosting a couple interviews, I quickly found that knowledge-based tests were far less useful than personality/attitude based test. And I managed to boil my C language "test" down to 3 questions (regarding volatile, static, and endian -- I work in the embedded space; anyone who's worked with embedded systems are intimately familiar with all 3 of these). Most questions I ask, while they cover technical topics, are largely testing their ability to communicate, reason logically, and define their own work parameters (eg. if I ask you to figure this out, what resources do you think you'll need)... If they pass all that, I also look for (as a bonus) whether they're outside-the-box thinkers, but these are rare to find.

Timed test, extensive knowledge tests, and puzzles... while fun, aren't useful (to me) for determine if I'm going to work well with someone.

Comment: Re: Phone manufacturers won't like it (Score 1) 63

My belief is that the problem with Android is the reverse. It really is open... to it's customers. However, the customers of Android are not the end-users, it's the carriers. Carriers have always wanted locked platforms that they can leverage and brand. And so one of the big failings of Android was that they allowed the carriers to close the architecture to the end-user.

One of the iPhone's greatest achievements was locking the carriers out. If you notice... there's very little in the way of carrier branding on the device. This wasn't true with any phone before the iPhone.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 419

by dannys42 (#41581499) Attached to: The Coming Internet Video Crash

What I'm saying is that we make the copper itself the utility as you suggested. Same for every /type/ of scarce resource (spectrum usage, whatever)... copper's the most straight forward.. the others may require some thinking about... but as I said, the goal is to take the lowest-level that's practical.

But if you did that, then the cable companies, phone companies, etc. all essentially become *SP's.... whether it's Media-Service Providers, Realtime Voice Service Providers, or Internet Service Providers.

At that level, people can compete. But it's impossible to really compete fairly if one company owns the scarce resource.

Yes I agree that sharing some of these hardline solutions (DOCSIS, and even DSL as you mentioned) may be difficult today... but I think that's simply because there's no market for it. The engineering effort to allow for it, while not trivial, certainly shouldn't be difficult. If the market for it existed, people will find a way to make it happen.

As for giving ISPs differentiators... I'm not sure I understand the problem. In the ISP space right now, there plenty of the available and I have my choices.... unfortunately, DSL as a technology is lagging behind some of the others controlled by the monopolies, so I'm no longer using an independent ISP (though generally I've had much better experience working with those types in the past).

But what you're asking is kind of like asking "how do we give differentiators to makers of facial tissue?" There's plenty of brands out there and people buy different ones for different reasons. Let those businesses figure out their model and which customers they want to go after; as long as it's a level playing field, it's fair... that's the best we can do at this level (this level being figuring out what government policy should be).

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 419

by dannys42 (#41580835) Attached to: The Coming Internet Video Crash

(ugh.. sorry for the repost didn't realize I wasn't logged in, and slashdot won't let me delete my anonymous post)

You're on the right track here... But I disagree with how quickly you resolved that ISPs shouldn't be turned into a utility and by assuming there is indeed competition. Where I think the breakdown is lies in the distinction between the infrastructure components required to delivering internet service (cables, spectrum, fiber, etc.) and the actual service itself.

You can see this quite clearly by simply examining how the different services position themselves in the market. The Cellular carriers (at least in the US) compete solely on their control of a scarce resource... spectrum and towers... they position themselves by marketing "coverage." This, I believe, is a bad monopoly. You'll never see "quality" service... only what's tolerable. This happens because it's cost prohibitive for new players, and in addition, the control of the resource gives them a huge amount of control to prevent new players from entering.

Cable companies position themselves as one-stop-shops that can offer all your media/communication needs. They do this because they own the copper and are actually allowed local monopolies by the government... most people live in an area where they only really have a choice of 1 cable provider. Again, they control a scarce resource and once they have that control, can exert a lot of power in preventing newcomers.

Local ISPs on the other hand are an entirely different animal. They provide internet service on-top of existing telco cables. In other words, they provide service on top of infrastructure without actually controlling the infrastructure. In this realm, you see plenty of competition in a way that's actually beneficial to the users... They position themselves as having better service, customer support, etc. than even the telcos they lease their lines from.

In general, I believe things that are based on a shared resource like these examples... things I call infrastructure, are best suited to be treated like utilities. They should be run by government regulated (not necessarily government run) monopolies whose sole purpose is to distribute the use of these resources fairly... not to necessarily to profit (not beyond operating, maintenance, and upgrade costs anyway). It's the same thing with your electricity and your water... it's not beneficial to society if companies are allowed to control these shared resources in order to maximize profit.

However, I'm only talking about managing the sharing of resources at the lowest level practical. In the case of wires, that means the physical wires. Everything else that's used on those wires (phone, DSL, etc.) should be purchasable by anyone on the free market, and they should be allowed to do whatever they want with it. In this way, we will have true competition of services that will work to the benefit of users and businesses.

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