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Comment: Re:But scarcity! (Score 5, Insightful) 390

by StikyPad (#47482397) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Apples to oranges. Level3 and Cogent aren't last-mile providers; they're Tier 1 backbone providers. Tier 1 providers have things like peering agreements -- last mile providers do not. Last mile providers are (and sell) unbalanced connections, so it's impossible for them to ever have "peers."

A better way of thinking of it is that Verizon should be representing the interests of its customers, because Verizon is the gateway between the customers, and the rest of the internet. It's not doing that job -- it's trying to play both sides against each other. This is what middlemen do, of course, and they're entitled to do it, but as long as they have a monopoly (which they do), then there should be limits, oversight, and accountability.

Comment: Re:But scarcity! (Score 5, Informative) 390

by StikyPad (#47482219) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Verizonâ(TM)s Accidental Mea Culpa
Mark Taylor / 18 hours ago
David Young, Vice President, Verizon Regulatory Affairs recently published a blog post suggesting that Netflix themselves are responsible for the streaming slowdowns Netflixâ(TM)s customers have been seeing. But his attempt at deception has backfired. He has clearly admitted that Verizon is deliberately constraining capacity from network providers like Level 3 who were chosen by Netflix to deliver video content requested by Verizonâ(TM)s own paying broadband consumers.

His explanation for Netflixâ(TM)s on-screen congestion messages contains a nice little diagram. The diagram shows a lovely uncongested Verizon network, conveniently color-coded in green. It shows a network that has lots of unused capacity at the most busy time of the day. Think about that for a moment: Lots of unused capacity. So point number one is that Verizon has freely admitted that is has the ability to deliver lots of Netflix streams to broadband customers requesting them, at no extra cost. But, for some reason, Verizon has decided that it prefers not to deliver these streams, even though its subscribers have paid it to do so.

The diagram then shows this one little bar, suggestively color-coded in red so you know itâ(TM)s bad. And that is meant to be Level 3 and several other network operators. That bar actually represents a very large global network, and it should be shown in green, since, as we will discuss in a moment, our network has plenty of available capacity as well. In my last blog post, I gave details about how much fiber and how much equipment we deployed to build that network and how many cities around the globe it connects. If the Verizon diagram was to scale, our little red bar is probably bigger than their green network.

But hereâ(TM)s the thing. The utilization of all of those thousands of links across the Level 3 network is much the same as Verizonâ(TM)s depiction of their own network. We engineer it that way. We have to maintain adequate headroom because thatâ(TM)s what we sell to customers. They buy high quality uncongested bandwidth. And in fact, Verizon admits as much because they conveniently show one direction across our network with a peak utilization of 34%; almost exactly what I explained in my last blog post. I can confirm once again that all of those thousands of links on the Level 3 network are managed carefully so that the peak utilizations look very similar to those Verizon show for their own network â" IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.

So why does Verizon show this red bar? And why do they blame Level 3 and the other network operators contracted by Netflix?

Well, as I explained in my last blog post, the bit that is congested is the place where the Level 3 and Verizon networks interconnect. Level 3â(TM)s network interconnects with Verizonâ(TM)s in ten cities; three in Europe and seven in the United States. The aggregate utilization of those interconnections in Europe on July 8, 2014 was 18% (a region where Verizon does NOT sell broadband to its customers). The utilization of those interconnections in the United States (where Verizon sells broadband to its customers and sees Level 3 and online video providers such as Netflix as competitors to its own CDN and pay TV businesses) was about 100%. And to be more specific, as Mr. Young pointed out, that was 100% utilization in the direction of flow from the Level 3 network to the Verizon network.

So letâ(TM)s look at what that means in one of those locations. The one Verizon picked in its diagram: Los Angeles. All of the Verizon FiOS customers in Southern California likely get some of their content through this interconnection location. It is in a single building. And boils down to a router Level 3 owns, a router Verizon owns and four 10Gbps Ethernet ports on each router. A small cable runs between each of those ports to connect them together. This diagram is far simpler than the Verizon diagram and shows exactly where the congestion exists.


Verizon has confirmed that everything between that router in their network and their subscribers is uncongested â" in fact has plenty of capacity sitting there waiting to be used. Above, I confirmed exactly the same thing for the Level 3 network. So in fact, we could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers. Simple. Something weâ(TM)ve been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused. So Verizon, not Level 3 or Netflix, causes the congestion. Why is that? Maybe they canâ(TM)t afford a new port card because theyâ(TM)ve run out â" even though these cards are very cheap, just a few thousand dollars for each 10 Gbps card which could support 5,000 streams or more. If thatâ(TM)s the case, weâ(TM)ll buy one for them. Maybe they canâ(TM)t afford the small piece of cable between our two ports. If thatâ(TM)s the case, weâ(TM)ll provide it. Heck, weâ(TM)ll even install it.

But, hereâ(TM)s the other interesting thing also shown in the Verizon diagram. This congestion only takes place between Verizon and network providers chosen by Netflix. The providers that Netflix does not use do not experience the same problem. Why is that? Could it be that Verizon does not want its customers to actually use the higher-speed services it sells to them? Could it be that Verizon wants to extract a pound of flesh from its competitors, using the monopoly it has over the only connection to its end-users to raise its competitorsâ(TM) costs?

To summarize: All of the networks have ample capacity and congestion only occurs in a small number of locations, locations where networks interconnect with some last mile ISPs like Verizon. The cost of removing that congestion is absolutely trivial. It takes two parties to remove congestion at an interconnect point. I can confirm that Level 3 is not the party refusing to add that capacity. In fact, Level 3 has asked Verizon for a long time to add interconnection capacity and to deliver the traffic its customers are requesting from our customers, but Verizon refuses.

Why might that be? Maybe we should ask David Young.


Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 443

by StikyPad (#47433783) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

A) Police can't initiate a high speed chase without someone that's already fleeing at high speed.
B) The police stopped chasing him.
C) He kept fleeing!

"Approaching" 100MPH is what many people do on the way to work every day where the speed limits are 75, and Tesla's should easily be able to handle that speed. Definitely operator error all the way in this case.

Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 2) 109

by StikyPad (#47431233) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

In that case:

Bad News! Google to stop showing bad news!

In a terrible decision that requires a call-to-arms, Google has decided to censor anything bad. Stop everything you are doing and take to the streets while coordinating through social media, and let your voices and/or rioting be heard! Only when Google mentions the protests in their news feed will can claim success!

The Media

Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the giant-earthquake-provides-thousands-with-early-access-to-afterlife dept.
theodp writes: After Brazil's dramatic World Cup defeat by Germany, writes NPR's Aarti Shahani, Google's experimental newsroom focused on search trends that didn't rub salt in Brazil's wounds, choosing to not publish a single trend on Brazilian search terms. Copywriter Tessa Hewson said they were just too negative. "We might try and wait until we can do a slightly more upbeat trend." It's a decision that puzzles Shahani, but producer Sam Clohesy explained, "a negative story about Brazil won't necessarily get a lot of traction in social." In old-school newsrooms, if it bleeds, it leads. But because this new newsroom is focused on getting content onto everyone's smartphone, marketing expert Rakesh Agrawal says, editors may have another bias: to comb through the big data in search of happy thoughts.

Comment: Re:Already happened? (Score 1) 285

by StikyPad (#47424523) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

I think you're mischaracterizing both philosophy and science. If we accept the definition of philosophy as "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" then most sciences are a subset of philosophy. And simply because there is a hierarchal structure to their categorization or origins does not give one authority over the other, any more than the first mammal has authority over lions. Neither do we say that lions have "far exceeded" the limits of mammals. Arguments that pit philosophy against science are just as nonsensical.

Comment: Re:Most humans couldn't pass that test (Score 1) 285

by StikyPad (#47424331) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

To be fair to the GP, the output of any human is predictable and explainable if we accept determinism. The only way the Lovelace Test can be valid is if we accept that people have souls (or some other attribute not subject to physical law) that in some way affect natural brain function, and find a way to reproduce that artificially.

Indeed, the whole idea of "unpredictable, unexplainable output" seems contradictory. When people do not behave somewhat predictably, when we cannot explain their actions, we typically label them as crazy. Intelligent actions are not inexplicable after analysis, even if they appear to be in the moment. The only way to satisfy that condition is to generate random output, which is the opposite of intelligence.

Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 2) 135

by StikyPad (#47424071) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Except the IRS has declared that bitcoin is property, not currency.

Q-1: How is virtual currency treated for federal tax purposes?
A-1: For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property. General tax
principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual


The money laundering statute applies to the below:

(4) the term âoefinancial transactionâ means
(A) a transaction which in any way or degree affects interstate or foreign commerce involving
(i) the movement of funds by wire or other means or
(ii) one or more monetary instruments, or
(iii) the transfer of title to any real property, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, or
(B) a transaction involving the use of a financial institution...

Note that "real property," is real estate, not any personal property whatsoever, and the term "monetary instrument" is likewise defined by the FDIC:

Monetary instruments.
(1) Monetary instruments include:
(i) Currency;
(ii) Traveler's checks in any form;
(iii) All negotiable instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) that are either in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee (for the purposes of Sec. 1010.340), or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery;
(iv) Incomplete instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) signed but with the payee's name omitted; and
(v) Securities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery.

So yes, there are very different regulations depending on whether bitcoin is or is not currency. Absent legislation specifically addressing "virtual currency," the courts will have to hash out this disagreement, which is what will happen here, I'm sure, but I think it's regrettable that someone can be punished for law that isn't yet decided. If I drive 55, should I be punished for skirting speeding laws? Are racetracks circumventing legislation against street racing? The problem with calling this money laundering isn't that this guy is punished (if he's guilty of running the Silk Road); it's that it opens up a whole other class of individuals for prosecution just because they were using bitcoin to conduct transactions -- namely everyone who conducts transactions in bitcoin.

Comment: Re:kind of like a small town fireworks show? (Score 1) 200

by StikyPad (#47403109) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

Because a) most US cities have ordinances prohibiting arial fireworks (and some prohibit all fireworks) without a permit/license, and b) Many states prohibit the sale of arial fireworks, or limit the size to a few grams, or less than N feet (meters) off the ground, or all of those things.

The better question would be to ask why these regulations exist, and the answer is to prevent this:

Also Iceland in mid-winter carries a much lower fire risk than much of the US in mid-summer.

I like setting off my own, but there are upsides to municipal displays as well:

* They're usually choreographed.
* They're cheaper (free).
* Less running away from lit fuses and more sitting back and enjoying.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.