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Comment: HBO, anyone? (Score 2) 194 194

HBO is the best value on my cable bill, right after the 100mbit internet.

Really!? you might ask. $15/month for that? Well, yes. I like the programming (this is the network that brought us "The Sopranos", "The Wire", "Game of Thrones", "True Detective", and I could go on and on ("Last Week Tonight", anyone?). All this with no commercials, because I paid for superior programming without commercials.

I get the HBO GO service for that same money, and I can time shift what I want to watch with a ChromeCast, and I can watch just about all of HBO's original programming with the HBO GO service -- not just the current stuff. Sure, I'd like it better if it was $10/month.

With HBO NOW, HBO has figured out how to cut the need to actually buy cable TV out of the picture. You can just subscribe and buy their content over the internet directly.

What I'm waiting for is true a-la-carte television, with real options. Pay $15 a month for HBO, or $3/episode for "Game of Thrones", or don't pay, but answer surveys or watch advertising to watch for free. People who don't want ads could pay, people who have the time but not the money could fill out survey or watch ads to watch for free.

Comment: Re:asterisk, if you are up for it. (Score 2) 193 193

I'm using a Sipura SPA3000, which is now unobtainium, to gateway my POTS line from the telco into asterisk. The Digium stuff works better, but it is too expensive. My Digium card got blown up by lightning, so I switched to the Sipura. I think there are similar devices available now.

I'm using ebay-ed Cisco IP phones in the house, they are a pain to set up, but I have not found anything that works better.

Comment: asterisk, if you are up for it. (Score 4, Informative) 193 193

If you have the patience to set it up, and keep it running, Asterisk can help you.

I use it at home to throttle phone spam.

all toll-free go to an auto-attendant that is a robot-check.
all "number unavailable" goes to another robot-check.
obvious fake phone numbers go to the blacklist auto-attendant, an infinite loop, basically.
known phone spammers go to the blacklist auto-attendant
it's easy to add a number to the blacklist.

On a typical day, 3 to 5 calls get gobbled up by asterisk. The phone rings once, the caller id is read, and the caller is sent away. It is *wonderful*.

She who must be complied with does not want to go to what I consider the ultimate solution, the white list for immediate pass-through, and a robot check for all other calls.

The spam callers that do get through are verbally abused before their number is added to the blacklist.

Comment: they ought to kill mail too (Score 1) 176 176

yahoo mail is barely usable at all any more, and it is so full of spam...

the usability has reached a new low, and I think they must be selling targeted email, because I get so much stuff that is obviously spam that it is ridiculous.

Had I not been using yahoo mail pretty much since it was announced in 1997, and I still have people who only know me at that address, I would not use it at all.

Maybe it is time...

Comment: because it's cheap, and you're expendable (Score 4, Insightful) 156 156

I worked for a place that moved to new office space, from cube land, into "modern" open office land.

The CEO said it was "cool" and "techie" and "everybody in 'the valley' was doing it."

It sucked wind. I mean, it blew, hard. Cube land was no bargain, the cubes were about 7 by 6 feet, but at least you could pretend you had a bit of privacy to make a phone call, to send an email, to generally have your own space. Open office land was 24 inch deep, 5-foot wide desks with a foot tall divider between you and the next person. You could swivel your head and see heads in all directions, and hear and see what everybody was doing, and it was loud. You could not roll your chair back too fast for fear of clobbering the person behind you. It sucked. (Did I mention that it sucked?)

It was no place to concentrate -- it was quite focus-proof.

The open office was not chosen for the "cool" factor, it was chosen for the "cheap" factor, because it could better than double the employee per square foot density. This was a growing, profitable, privately held company, and there was no need for it, except to make the owner's take better.

Open office can work in places where it is not done for the wrong reasons. Give people some personal space, install acoustic treatments and dividers, and it can work. Treat people like sardines, and those that can swim away, will.

Comment: Change you can believe in! (Score 1) 389 389

What does our dear leader stand for, anyway? It's getting hard to tell.

The warrant-less collection of telephone metadata is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, but Mr. Obama (constitutional lawyer that he allegedly is) continues to disregard that document whenever it becomes inconvenient. Just yesterday, he got his willy slapped by the 5th circuit appeals court for overstepping his constitutional authority -- again -- this time because of a unilateral decision on immigration that got the attention of 26 states.

Comment: but maybe not fast enough? (Score 1) 221 221

Since we are thinking about latency, propagation delay, then microwave is almost 50% faster than fiber for a straight line path, and most fiber networks don't go straight, but microwaves (that is to say "radio") does. This is because light does not propagate down a fiber as fast as radio waves do in "free space."

Bandwidth is another thing. You can get a lot more bits per second onto a terahertz carrier than on a gigahertz carrier.

So, if latency is the issue, maybe fiber is not fast enough.

This is not really news, we've seen anecdotal evidence of high-speed traders using microwave networks to gain a slight speed advantage over their competition using fiber networks.

Comment: since when did ./ turn into boingboing? (Score 1) 270 270

can we get this without the posturing? Yeah, maybe congress is 99% populated with idiots, but what does that have to do with this book? And what does this have to do with the

Since when did slashdot turn into boingboing?

the editing department needs a high colonic, me thinks. This site is losing it's relevance.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers