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FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the judging-books-by-covers dept.
An anonymous reader writes: After Friday's news that the Comcast/TWC merger is dead, the Washington Post points out an interesting fact: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who was instrumental in throwing up roadblocks for the deal, used to be a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry. "Those who predicted Wheeler would favor industry interests 'misunderstood him from the beginning — the notion that because he had represented various industries, he was suddenly in their pocket never made any sense,' said one industry lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he represents clients before the FCC." The "revolving door" between government and industry is often blamed for many of the problems regulating corporations. We were worried about it ourselves when Wheeler was nominated for his current job. I guess this goes to show that it depends more on the person than on their previous job.

Comment: Re:Crap hardware, not surprising (Score 3, Insightful) 192

by jockm (#49010557) Attached to: Xenon Flashes Can Make New Raspberry Pi 2 Freeze and Reboot

I use both BeathBone Black's and Raspberry Pi's each has their tradeoffs. The BeathBone is better suited complex embedded applications. It has more GPIOs, two built in 200Mhz in-order microcontrollers for real time tasks, it is faster (than the pre Pi 2's), etc. Not every application needs to play video. In fact almost every project I have done didn't need video. Most didn't need a UI.

Each has their strengths and their weaknesses. Each has its niche. There is no such thing as better for all uses.

Comment: Re:As someone who used to do support for Comcast (Score 1) 262

by jockm (#48950139) Attached to: Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

My point (and I do have one) is that the OP was making a big assumption as to why this was happening, one that contained at least a hint of justification. My point is that you don't necessarily need the explanation provided to explain the behavior. Let us not automatically assume the behavior is provoked.

But even if it was, the difficult people aren't going away. All that can change are Comcast's policies, corporate culture, management style etc. All things internal to the company. It doesn't matter what the provoking incidents are, nor do they serve as a justification — since it is never acceptable to what was done.

Comment: Re:As someone who used to do support for Comcast (Score 1) 262

by jockm (#48948501) Attached to: Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

Here is the thing, you are probably right that some of these abuses may be caused in reaction to difficult customers, but who knows if that is the only reason? In my own experience people who pull crap like that may start out needing a reason, but may well escalate to doing it to anyone they please. I recall once I subscribed to a magazine and filled out nothing more than name and address; only to see my name changed to Jockitch because it amused some random person.

But here is my larger point: who cares? Yes people can be difficult, they may be jerks, or worse; but this kind of crap is never justified.

Comment: Re:2N2222 (Score 1) 314

by jockm (#48821911) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

I can't speak for your RadioShack, but every single store (5) I have been in over the last year has component drawers somewhere in the store, and the all carried 2n2222s. Dollars to donuts you store had them too.

Selection isn't great, but they do carry the very basics — along with protoboards, breadboards, etc.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 223

by jockm (#48707789) Attached to: US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

You want to provide some proof for that? Should the military provide exemptions to that kind of training for organized sports because they also learned to work in a team? Or should we trust in a system of training soldiers that has been honed over a very long time. Unlike another commenter who likened them to surgeons — who are waived from combat training — these "cyberwarriors" are engaged in actual military action. They are fighting. So they should go through the same shared experience as all other soldiers.

OR they should be civilian contractors, which is how we handle other specialties that we don't require to go through basic.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 1) 223

by jockm (#48707251) Attached to: US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

Basic Training is about a lot more than combat training. It is about teaching the value of the command structure, of camaraderie, of working as a team and relying on your buddies. If "hackers" aren't able or willing to go through that training then they should be hired as civilian contractors. We are already outsourcing lots of jobs that used to be done by soldiers.

But the thing that unites everyone in the military is a set of core experiences and the values that come from them.

Comment: I don't know that being 1 of 11,776 is "unique" (Score 1) 160

by jockm (#48598661) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

According to that site "[I] Can Be Tracked!" because my fingerprint is the same as 11,775 others. That number seems to be generated only by people visiting the site meaning the pool would most likely be larger.

Obviously Browser Fingerprinting is a real thing, but that site seems to be geared toward hyperbole than actually educating.

Comment: Re:68k has no MMU; how can Linux run? (Score 2) 147

by jockm (#48441019) Attached to: Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

It is running uCLinux which is intended to run on MMUless microcontrollers (hence the uC). uCLinux doesn't require a MMU nor does it support virtual memory, or memory protection. It isn't ideal for a user system since memory can become fragmented over time, but that hasn't stopped people. It is primarily used in embedded systems that are running a stable set of programs after boot, leaving the rest of the memory to the primary app(s)

Comment: My prediction Short term effect on FTDI (Score 4, Interesting) 572

by jockm (#48221363) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Yesterday a number of my clients called me to say they wanted me to design out the FTDI FT232R from current designs and replace it with an alternative (I settled on the Microchip MCP2200). Today, after this news, I called each of them to explain FTDI's change in policy and see if they still wanted to make this change. All of them said yes.

The feedback was essentially this: FTDI's actions left a bad taste in their mouth and they didn't appreciate this action being taken without any real attempt to notify resellers and manufacturers; and now that they know the alternate chip I proposed was about half the price as FTDI's offering they are happy to change. Now none of these people are high volume manufacturers, so it will unclear if FTDI will even notice.

The reason I have found for most clients wanting FTDI is confidence in the brand more than anything else. This move will affect it a little, but people's memories are short, and FTDI responded quickly enough that they won't suffer too much damage. My prediction is that FTDI will take a dip in sales for a quarter , and then things will return to more or less normal; but companies like Microchip will likely see an uptick, because manufacturers more aware of the alternatives.

Comment: Re:This shit is why managers think the cloud works (Score 1, Flamebait) 62

by jockm (#48088955) Attached to: Vax, PDP/11, HP3000 and Others Live On In the Cloud

And why not? It is easy to say that newer is better, but if you can cut costs of running the legacy hardware, and buy the time to work on other things AND work on replacing the legacy system then why not? It sounds like a perfectly reasonable use of resources to me.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor