eoi writes "I just created a White House petition to regulate the internet as a common carrier https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/regulate-internet-common-carrier-and-prohibit-providing-both-connection-and-content/8h9GdbZr. I'm just finishing Susan Crawford's wonderful book "Captive Audience", http://scrawford.net/, and it is really disturbing to think how far back the United States is falling in internet infrastructure due to the monopoly power of Comcast and Time Warner in wired, and Verizon and AT&T in wireless communication. Korea, Japan, some European countries are all installing reasonable-priced 1-Gb symmetric fiber to the home, but not us! I have to admit to personal outrage: I live in southwest dc, and there is fiber optic right across the street from me!!! http://www.broadbandmap.gov/technology But I have to live with the intermittant extremely poor DSL service provided by Verizon, since they stopped building fiber in the Verizon gets wireless, Comcast get wired deal they made in 2010. The petition is just common sense — a carrier should not have an economic interest in the goods it carries. Holds for railroads, holds for phones, and holds for the internet. So please sign it."
I have dsl in dc from verizon now, and service started getting worse about two years ago, and is now really bad. There are half days and sometimes full days when the connection drops and cannot be maintained, tho it will connect again for a minute or so, which is enough to get mail. My understanding from the bloomberg articles by Susan Crawford http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-25/merger-made-comcast-strong-u-s-web-users-weak.html is that it's a capacity problem caused by monopoly collusion between Verizon and Comcast: Verizon makes more money from smartphones, so Verizon is letting its dsl capacity go to hell while increasing wifi capacity. Of course, Verizon stopped extending fiber in dc before it reached my neighborhood (same lousy collusion), so that's out. I was taking online classes in Japanese, and sometimes it seemed to help if I called Verizon and begged them to "shift me to the good network" -- I'd have an hour or so to take my class. Unfortunately, I believe my only alternative is Comcast, which I believe is limiting capacity and trying to force everyone to use its movies, which don't count against the monthly limit. I really hate that -- I'm old, I remember IBM, Ma Bell, AOL, all the other monopolists (now I think Google and Facebook are heading that way). It's a case study in Acemoglu and Robinson's "Why Nations Fail" -- the U.S. won't modernize to fiber because of powerful economic groups with congressmen in their pockets. Sorry about the rant, but this is a very sore point with me!
I'm sorry, I guess I'm just stupid, but when I read a story titled "Report from HOPE", I expect to find a link to a video of the presentation, or a transcript, or something. Probably I missed it -- maybe the audio link that I took for the 2008 presentation? I didn't get past the lame apologies. This has happened before: can't slashdot have an asterisk or something to indicate THE MAIN LINK REFERRED TO IN THE STORY TITLE???!! Sorry, bit frustrated here, even tho, yes, the wiki article on open source hardware is nice, but really
And if there is no link, which was the conclusion I finally reached after a lot of useless clicking, could you please indicate it, as you do by saying "paywalled" -- maybe "user report only, no direct link" or some such, to save readers' time?
Yes, the whole idea in that film was that central control (hmm, like Ma Bell?) was crucial. But even then DEC was showing that IBM's fanatically controlled One Big Data Center idea was crazy. The failure of Japan's 5th Generation, France's central system, AOL, etc. followed. To date myself, I remember working at HEW in 1973, and bringing my punched cards to the computer center, where I was at the mercy of the arbitrary manager. I hated it! The control freaks ruled (but soon after, we got a timeshare system and were liberated). So AT&T wanted a centralized government subsidized telecommunications system run by guess who. Not surprising. I guess I should throw in Ada, too: centralized, government sponsored language. What is surprising is how effective decentralized open source projects have been.
Heh, the growth of the Asian tigers and then Special Economic Zones in China and India is one of the 2 great stories in our age, leading billions of people out of dollar-a-day-income poverty levels. (The other is women's rights for half the population, so 4 billion or so.) It's a really incredible story -- check out Ezra Vogel's recent book on Deng Xiaoping for very cool info. For example, right after Deng got back in power in 1977, with responsibility for education, he made the universities use impartial entrance exams rather than the recommendations of party officials; of course, this caused problems so late and schools opened a bit late! But yes, it's good that outsiders try to improve these facilities; the complaints are just. But please don't forget the ENORMOUS benefits in lifting so many people out of poverty. Frankly, I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime.
eoi writes "Hi, I've been thinking about building a home computer, and realized that I'd really like to try an inexpensive hpc computer, if possible. I do math research in combinatorics, and most of my problems are exponential, so this is actually a real need for me. The tail end of the HPC 500 (top500.org) list has about 50 teraflops, so I thought 5 teraflops might be a good goal. But the Wiki flops page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLOPS lists the cost last March as $1.80 per gigaflops. Is the cost less now? Is the right method gpu's or cpu's? Or PS3's? I wonder what you could build for $2000 or even $1000."