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Comment: Re:They're not astronauts, they're ballast. (Score 2) 77

by kqs (#47961373) Attached to: Trouble In Branson-Land, As Would-Be Space Tourists Get Antsy Over Delays

Since the results of "define astronaut", "a person who is trained to travel in a spacecraft", don't appear in the wiikpedia page at all, you may be completely wrong. Otherwise, though, nice off-topic anti-google rant.

While I see a big difference between crew, scientists, and paying passengers, once I put aside my incredible envy of anyone who can leave this small rock I've got to admit that they all deserve the term "astronaut". Wow!

Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 1) 392

by kqs (#47958487) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

I didn't say government should be involved in any dispute between companies, so where do you come off claiming I advocate its involvement in all such disputes?

The solution is for government to take actions to eliminate its need for further involvement, .... It was not the local government that dealt with the mess, it was the Pennsylvania Insurance Department which should have prevented the issue 26 years ago.

I'm very confused about whether or not you believe government should get involved here? Or maybe you are saying that it should be involved in THIS dispute but not any other?

Regardless, the point I was replying to was the contention that you could avoid a corporation which misbehaved, but not government. The UPMC-vs-Highmark is a clear example that anyone with BCBS insurance in western PA (I have Anthem BCBS through my employer) is disadvantaged by UPMC. I can affect my government (a little bit and sometimes); I can have no effect on UPMC (even though my wife works for them). Government is led by people that I help elect; UPMC is led by the people who make it the most money and they make more money by behaving IMO badly.

Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 4, Insightful) 392

by kqs (#47956629) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

You really don't believe me? Wow.

Pittsburgh. UPMC has decided that Highmark (and thus all Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers) can no longer use their facilities because Highmark is threatening UPMC's near-monopoly status in Western PA. UPMC is trying to crush all competition in this area.

If you think being able to vote for the people and policies in government is worthwhile, why does your city have the problems you have described?

So you dislike the government but believe that it should be used to solve every company-vs-company dispute? Huh. No, the local government is finally trying to clean the mess up but they can't really do much to interfere with private contracts between companies. Turns out that anti-competitive behavior is mostly legal, and the state and federal governments haven't gotten involved.

These problems exist because being anti-competitive is a good way to make money. Seriously, you are blaming a company-vs-company problem on the government... how does that make any sense? If I get mugged, I should blame the police and not blame the mugger?

Comment: Re:What failures? (Score 4, Informative) 392

by kqs (#47956393) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

I haven't looked closely at that link you posted, but every similar story I've looked into has gotten big "wasteful" numbers by adding together the entire IT budgets for multiple years and multiple projects, and then presenting it as a "OMG government waste! OMG OMG!!!" story.

And sadly people lap it up because everyone loves whining about things but refuses to verify the stories. Not that government is perfect, but it certainly won't get better when most individual "government failure" stories are full of lies and misinformation.

For example, the article you linked to says "As of November 2013, the federal exchange is estimated to have cost $677 million". Which is a complete lie:

It's trivial to find that that figure is a lie, yet that article still listed it. And you believed it. And I bet you'll keep on reading that website and believing their lies.


Comment: Re:And we're surprised why? (Score 3, Insightful) 392

by kqs (#47956347) Attached to: Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Rollout

In my city, one company owes 80% of the hospitals and doctors. The other 20% are owned by another company. The 80% company is now not letting the 20% insurance plans to use their facilities, to drive that one out of town. So in fact, if you want good health care choices, you have no real choice which insurance plan you use.

Also, 30% of the city has an ISP choice between fiber and cable; the rest has DSL or cable. Get a bit outside of town and DSL goes away. So there is almost no choice in ISPs, and when they have horrible policies they don't care at all what I say.

On the other hand, with government I can vote to change the people and policies. It's not perfect, and it doesn't always work (especially when most people whine about the govt but don't vote), but it often does work. We've gotten rid of a senator who ran on religious bigotry and hatred, for example.

Comment: Re:Alternative explanation (Score 1) 398

by kqs (#47539183) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

Do you really think that studios would let their movies stream peer-to-peer, which would involve being stored on home-user's computers encrypted with a known key (aka "effectively not encrypted")? Plus, ISPs are rolling out CGN which makes peer-to-peer very difficult, and most residential connections have very slow upload speeds. Finally, this would just be a way to work around the fact that Verizon is not giving its customers what the customers have paid for: high-speed internet access. When there is a bully, you don't just sneak around behind the bully's back and hope he won't notice you.

Comment: Re: Alternative explanation (Score 4, Insightful) 398

by kqs (#47538121) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

No, Netflix (and Youtube and some others large ones) don't buy CDN hosting; they offer it. They offer free CDN servers which large ISPs can put in their datacenters. Doesn't matter how much Netflix offered to pay, I doubt if any existing CDN could handle Netflix's traffic along with their other customers.

Many ISPs take advantage of this, but Verizon would rather degrade Netflix's products so they can push their own products.

Comment: Re:Alternative explanation (Score 4, Interesting) 398

by kqs (#47538087) Attached to: Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

...because Netflix's provider (which is Level3) isnt paying for the bandwidth disparity between Level3 and Verizon on purpose.

The bandwidth disparity argument is bunk. I've love if Netflix or Level 3 would set up some data sinks in their network so I could use my FIOS to send them random data 24/7 and help even the disparity.

Thats how the internet is paid for. The sending provider pays the receiving provider for the bandwidth, and this is the only rational way it can be.

So... you're saying that Verizon should be paying me! I mean, they send me ALL THIS DATA (much of it sourced from Netflix), but I hardly send them anything. This makes me both a selfish person and someone who deserves a large monthly Verizon cheque.

Note that if Verizon doesn't want to pay a few grand for a few more 10GE ports and some short cables, they could pay even less and accept the caching servers that Netflix offers to all large ISPs; those cost just a few rack units and watts of power.

But Verizon would rather limit Netflix so that they can push their own video products.

Comment: Re:Sensationalistic title and duh! (Score 1) 116

by kqs (#47403403) Attached to: Researchers Develop New Way To Steal Passwords Using Google Glass

Seems rather the opposite. We're very good at noticing when someone is looking at us (a leftover from being prey I suspect), but I always see people standing, holding their phone angled slightly (pointed nicely at any laptops at nearby tables). Add a fake game screen while the camera runs for extra stealth.

Comment: Re:Adobe Password List top 100 (Score 1) 288

by kqs (#46920115) Attached to: Applying Pavlovian Psychology to Password Management

Dunno; I used to have some really weak passwords on sites which I don't care about. Never as bad as "123456" but almost. I wish more sites used something like OpenID so I could centralize my authentication (and get 2-factor) and not have forgotten authentication info at dozens of sites on the web.

Now I use a password manager so I can use distinct non-trivial passwords on all sites. It's a reasonable workaround, but a federated authentication system would be better I think.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.