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Bidding At FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted For Large Carriers 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the helping-the-little-guy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Rumors have surfaced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will restrict bidding at their TV spectrum auction in 2015 to effectively favor smaller carriers. Specifically, when 'auction bidding hits an as-of-yet unknown threshold in a given market, the FCC would set aside up to 30MHz of spectrum in that market. Companies that hold at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market then wouldn't be allowed to bid on the 30MHz of spectrum that has been set aside.' Therefore, 'in all band plans less than 70MHz, restricted bidders—specifically AT&T and Verizon (and in a small number of markets, potentially US Cellular or CSpire)—would be limited to bidding for only three blocks.' The rumors may be true since AT&T on Wednesday threatened to not participate in the auction at all as a protest against what it sees as unfair treatment."

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 791

Here's the thing: Everyone has been bullied at some point in their life. Not all children are prone to it, but there is always a bigger kid prone to intimidation tactics when growing up.

Kids live by the law of the playground jungle when adult supervision and rules are absent from the equation. It is ingrained into us as some form of social stepping stone, the animal in each of us at work, attempting dominance and security for an insecure bully.

There is a time honored civil process in which we attempt to retrain our young into civilized little pricks. Picking on the weak is wrong, and you don't get to take advantage of a fellow human because you're physically or mentally able to do so.

Everyone is small and helpless early, and many are old and helpless late in life. These rules benefit us all, and what happened here sends precisely the wrong message.

To quote the movie Paranorman :

Neil: Nah. You can't stop bullying, it's part of human nature. If you were bigger and more stupid, you'd probably be a bully too. It's called, survival of the thickest.



The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-a-party-at-comcast's-house-and-attendance-is-mandatory dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Consumerist: "Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don't compete because their service areas don't overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don't currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what's involved in this merger — broadcast TV, cable TV, network technology, in-home technology, access to the Internet, and much more. In addition to asking whether or not regulators should permit Comcast to add 10-12 million customers, there is a more important question at the core of this deal: Should Comcast be allowed to control both what content you consume and how you get to consume it?"

Comment: Re:PCs aint expensive (Score 3, Interesting) 451

by davek (#46716499) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

Not sure why they'd be trying so hard to save themselves from buying new PCs.. Probably the XP machines run like ass as it is.
Linux as a general use machine for people that are so bad at computers they still use XP.... just no.. hell no. tell the boss to stop being so cheap and upgrade to this decade

I think this is correct.

Even though I'm at work, running Ubuntu 12.04 with LXDE, and I have full ability to do everything I need to do, I wouldn't want to be /forced/ to use any OS or tool that wasn't the best for my work. I'm a software engineer, working on linux embedded systems, so having a linux desktop is the best for me. Our IT also allows linux to be run on the desktop, but doesn't support a lot of the details. THAT's the best way to go. Provide your users with a wide range of tools. For those that don't care, give them windows. Forcing them to use Linux won't win anyone over.

That said, I'd set up LXDE + Ubuntu 12.04 (or later), and give that to people to try. Just don't force them to use it.

Comment: Re:Politically correct sexism (Score 1) 673

by davek (#46713481) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

This is so flagrantly sexist that it's absurd. But luckily for Google, it's the politically correct form of sexism. It's been decreed that programming being male dominated is bad, and thus taking sexist action to fix it is okay.

Google is a private, non-government run company. They are fully within their right to offer incentives for more girls to get into computer science. Or blacks. Or native americans. Or Jews. Or whites. Or whoever they think needs help.

Stop focusing on false flag, and rather on the government's croney capitalism that allows Google to dodge taxes and eliminate competition. "Don't be Evil" has truely become the most ironic slogan of all time.

Comment: Re:"It's been turned over to other people" ? (Score 4, Informative) 390

by davek (#46420777) Attached to: Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

Close, but not quite.

I assume you're asking how the "mining" works, and that's actually pretty easy to explain.

Each bitcoin block is generated with a SHA256 hash of the block's header. Presumably, the header information is not guessable, otherwise it would be pointless.

The SHA256 hash becomes the "target." In order to successfully mine the block, you must produce a hash with a value lower than the target. The lower the target, the harder it is to mine the block.

The "target" is in fact the difficulty. Essentially a difficulty of 1 means an applicable proof-of-work block solution would be less than 2^256 >> 1 (I could be wrong on the max size, I'd have to look it up). A block "solution" is a sha-256 hash of (merkle root (which is generated by doing a merkle tree starting with the transaction IDs of all the transactions since the last block) + some other header stuff + a nonce). The header stuff is completely public and known. The "work" miners to is generate trillions upon trillions of those nonces (which is just a word for a random piece of data), calculate the sha-256, and see if the resulting sha is less than the target.

Successfully mining a block is essentially like winning the lottery because there is no known way to make educated guesses about what text might produce a hash below the target's value.

Once an acceptable hash has been generated by a miner, it is submitted to the network with a proof of work that permits the rest of the network to essentially check the solution. At that point, the block is considered completed, the transactions are processed, and the successful miner is awarded the transaction fees plus 20 new BTC.

It's fees + 25 BTC. But that will change eventually, as we approach the max of 22 million BTC in circulation.

I don't think the rainbow table comparison is apt because you're not attempting to produce hash collisions, only find hashes below a set value. Finding a collision is exponentially more difficult, by design.

A "rainbow table" in this case would have to have a number of entries greater than the size of particles in the known universe, I think. We're talking about stupidly large numbers here.

Comment: Re:A ban? What ban? (Score 1) 207

by davek (#46186709) Attached to: Russia Bans Bitcoin

The linked official press release simply reiterates that bitcoins are getting more wide use including criminal use. That the bitcoins are not legal tender. That bitcoins are not backed by anything or anybody but speculative interest and that bitcoin holders are not afforded legal protection of their property rights in respect of their bitcoin investments. Is the word "banned" being misused here?

From the translation:

In accordance with Art. 27 of the Federal Law "On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation", "the official currency (currency) of the Russian Federation is the ruble. Introduction on the territory of Russia and other monetary units issue money substitutes is prohibited. " Certain distribution received anonymous payment systems and kriptovalyuty, including the most famous of them - Bitcoin are money substitutes and can not be used by individuals and legal entities.

I'm pretty sure the ruskies would have a strict interpretation of "can not be used by individuals." Sounds like it's a ban.

I'll be interested to see if BTC can hold above $500 at the end of the day.


Russia Bans Bitcoin 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-coins-for-you dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "Russia has banned digital currency Bitcoin under existing laws and dubbed use of the crypto-currency as 'suspicious'. The Central Bank of Russia considers Bitcoin as a form of 'money substitute' or 'money surrogate' (statement in Russian) which is restricted under Russian law. However, unlike use of restricted foreign currencies, Bitcoin has been outright banned. The US Library of Congress has issued a report examining the regulatory approaches national financial authorities have taken to the currency."

Comment: Re:the moral of the story (Score 4, Insightful) 448

by davek (#46100613) Attached to: Developer Loses Single-Letter Twitter Handle Through Extortion

like so many other articles, this just seems like another reminder to never ever use godaddy

Perhaps this is more of an indictment of using ANY non-big-brother email provider for login information to ANY domain registrar. It seems to me the crux of this attack was to a) gain access to the victem's domain registrar account and then b) hijack the domain MX record so all email to that domain goes to the attacker's server. At that point, you can reset all the victem's passwords to all accounts and ALL password reset emails will go to the attacker.

Time to enable 2-factor on all my registrar accounts.

Comment: Read TFA, still don't get it. (Score 1) 692

by davek (#46040139) Attached to: Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

I read through that entire sentence-fragment of an article, and I still don't see what people are protesting. Are they just OWS hippsters and neo-anarchists who will protest anything that isn't run directly by the state? Perhaps they just don't like the fact that some people have money? Surely it's not because some people choose to carpool. I don't get it.


The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats 325

Posted by samzenpus
from the low-expectations dept.
theodp writes "At first glance, the headline in The Salt Lake Tribune — Very Few Utah Girls, Minorities Take Computer Science AP Tests — appears to be pretty alarming. As does the headline No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer Science Exam in Some States over at Education Week. Not One Girl Took The AP Computer Science Test In Some States warns a Business Insider headline. And so on and so on and so on. So how could one quibble with tech-giant backed's decision to pay teachers a $250 "Female Student Bonus", or Google's declaration that 'the ultimate goal of CS First is to provide proven teaching materials, screencasts, and curricula for after-school programs that will ignite the interest and confidence of underrepresented minorities and girls in CS,' right? But the thing is, CollegeBoard AP CS exam records indicate that no Wyoming students at all took an AP CS exam (xls) in 2013, and only a total of 103 Utah students (xls) had reported scores. Let's not forget about the girls and underrepresented minorities, but since AP CS Exam Stats are being spun as a measure of CS education participation (pdf) and equity, let's not forget that pretty much everyone has been underrepresented if we look at the big AP CS picture. If only 29,555 AP CS scores were reported (xls) in 2013 for a HS population of about 16 million students, shouldn't the goal at this stage of the game really be CS education for all?"

Comment: Re:Freedom of thought (Score 1, Insightful) 392

by davek (#45594765) Attached to: App Detects Neo-Nazis Using Their Music

I agree, hate groups aren't right, but barring freedom for one to choose for themselves to be involved with a hate group is worse.

I know I'll get marked as a troll for this from the euro-centric crowd, but this is exactly why you embrace freedom-loving society and not authoritarian socialism like they have in Europe. As John Green has said, you cannot declare war on an idea or noun because nouns are so amazingly resilient.

Comment: Re:Where is all of this money coming from? (Score 2) 371

by davek (#45540867) Attached to: Bitcoin Tops $1,000 For the First Time

With the high profile shutdown of Silk Road the number of things you can buy with Bitcoin would be considerably less.

Negative. The silk road was a tiny fraction of bitcoin volume. Do you realize you can buy gift cards with bitcoin, via the Gyft website? For example, CVS sells beer, Gyft sells CVS gift cards, therefore I can buy beer with bitcoins. Problem solved.

Or it's an attack on the system itself, maybe someone figure out a way to race the market and make money?

My guess is it's massive amounts of Chineese money flowing into bitcoin, as they slowly realize that the USD will soon be worth less than the paper it's printed on (or the electrons in bank computers that actually make them).

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings