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Comment: First, Understand Peering (Score 2, Informative) 535

by matthaak (#46154043) Attached to: US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality
I believe Network Neutrality legislation will do more harm than good. Quality of service and IP transit costs are governed by complex market forces today. It is easy for individuals and organizations connecting to Internet edge networks (most of us) to take these forces for granted and get swept up in language about fairness and capitalism and equality. In reality, as you move to the core of the Internet, there already is no such thing as network neutrality and to try and 'preserve it' is meaningless. ISPs, Tier 1s, and major content providers already enter into peering arrangements, both paid and unpaid, that improve end user experience and help drive down IP transit costs. Depending on the ISP you use, you obtain the benefits of their peering arrangements, which are as strong as the number of eyeballs they have and their negotiating skills. Some ISPs have better peering than others and so in reality there is no such thing as a 'neutral ISP'. The concept of an ISP 'holding their users hostage' as they try to obtain concessions from content providers is not unique to Comcast. Everyone in the space is playing the same game of leveraging the strength of their numbers and their negotiation and personal networks to get any advantage they can. The decisions about 'who should peer with who' are and should continue to be governed by organizations freely entering into paid or unpaid agreements with one-another. As soon as the emotional/idealistic notion of 'neutrality' is stipulated, then the technical reality of peering and the unplanned forces governing the core of the Internet will begin to centralize and calcify. What will be unfortunate is when this slows or even reverses the dramatic deflation in IP transit costs we have seen over the last 15 years, going from well over $1200 per megabit to under $1 in some regions. I highly recommend 'The 2014 Internet Peering Playbook' by William B. Norton.

Comment: Re:young versus old (Score 1) 375

by matthaak (#42113757) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Dirty Little Secret: Age Bias
If employer believes candidate A will do more work for less pay than candidate B, then hiring candidate A is a perfectly legitimate hiring decision and is hardly age "discrimination" just because candidate A is younger. If employer believes candidate A will do LESS work and require MORE pay than candidate B, but STILL hires candidate A because he is younger and the employer does not like old people, THAT is age discrimination.

Comment: Verizon, Hands Down (Score 4, Informative) 375

by matthaak (#41533943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Cell Phone Carrier In the US?
There's much discussion of coverage and speed. Where I live, near Chicago, Verizon can't be beat. But the bigger thing for me is that their Customer Service is very good. I could not believe when I got my iPhone 5 a couple of days ago and had trouble activating it, I called Verizon and was speaking with a good english speaker in less than a minute. This was with millions of people getting the iPhone 5 (probably a good portion of them on Verizon.) My wife just had to call their tech support because her 4S wasn't getting on 3G. Again, she was speaking to someone within less than a minute who was knowledgable. Ironically, as I write this, it turns out the 3G network is down. But Verizon outages like this are very rare and in this day in age of complete crap support and idiot agents, I'd almost rather have a day of outage every year supported by decent people than only an hour supported by morons.

Comment: Send him my way (Score 1) 266

I studied Philosophy but have been in IT for 10 years plus all the years I was in college working side jobs and projects. I do a lot of tech interviews -- I am a consultant in a very rapidly growing cloud services field. I specifically look for people who have learned from their own side projects and hands-on experience. Find me on LinkedIn by going to my Slashdot profile page and checking my Journal.

Comment: Pragmatic vs Ideal Implementations (Score 2) 359

by matthaak (#38383926) Attached to: Oracle Sued For 'Extortion, Lies' By Montclair State University
Working in Professional Services for another major enterprise application, I could really see this being the fault of either party. I think many in Professional Services (myself included) take a pragmatic approach to implementation. The focus is on getting something going that meets 90 or 95% of the requirements with a healthy dose of skepticism that anything beyond that is worth the cost. At some point, the customer has to pull the trigger, adopt and adapt. In the course of doing so, they will discover shortcomings and advantages that weren't envisioned initially, and the effort and cost of pursuing perfection initially can be saved for follow-up effort once all that real-world feedback is collected. I have found some University customers tend much more towards wanting the "ideal" solution on Day 1 and as a Professional Services provider, going that last 5 or 10% of the way to perfection can be an extremely frustrating, money-losing endeavor. At the same time, none of the above can be encoded in a contract that would ever get signed, so all you can do as a Professional Services provider is choose your customers wisely and know when to require time & materials contracts.

Comment: Re:Something has to take its place. (Score 1) 493

by matthaak (#38326252) Attached to: TSA Facing Death By a Thousand Cuts
I would go even a step further - It shouldn't matter who holds the ticket at all. As long as it is valid, the holder should be able to board without ID. It is interesting the score on my original post fluctuates between 1 and 2. Some bump it down some bump it up. It would sadden me if someone took a comment illustrating true freedom and disregard it as flaimbait. I'm hoping it was just the condescending tone of my post - which I somewhat regret - than the content.

Comment: Re:Something has to take its place. (Score 1) 493

by matthaak (#38321218) Attached to: TSA Facing Death By a Thousand Cuts
You should go to an airport, be dropped off at a curb, walk through the door, walk down a hallway, walk out another door onto a tarmac, walk up a staircase, have your ticket or electronic boarding pass that you paid cash for scanned and get on the airplane. Total time: 5 minutes. Spare me the comments about "that's not the world we live in." That's crap. Read history. The world has always been a dangerous place. That's what life is: dangerous and fragile. The only question is whether you and your children will live as free people or as cowering fools.

Comment: Surprisingly weak architecture (Score 5, Insightful) 201

by matthaak (#38284788) Attached to: Facebook Flaw Exposed Private Photos
I think this story is revealing about Facebook's security architecture. One would have hoped that security policies are defined within the application at a very low level and that all requests for information -- be it photos, posts, whatever -- must pass through that low-level security layer. What this story reveals is that the security architecture of Facebook is such that each developer of each separate function (in this case, the report-a-nude-photo function) is responsible for re-implementing security checks.

Comment: What is flipped? (Score 2) 768

by matthaak (#37889498) Attached to: Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble
There is a flipping element in Credit Bubbles. NASDAQ stocks were flipped in the 90s. Condos and houses were flipped in the 2000s. How does one flip an education? By getting a job where the hiring manager blindly extends offers to a person just because they have a piece of paper. The student buys into the piece of paper using government-supplied money and then the employer takes on the costs of paying it off without really getting their money's worth.

Comment: This is how you turn it on (Score 1) 622

by matthaak (#37845766) Attached to: Apple Granted Patent For Slide To Unlock
The iPhone was a huge achievement in industrial design, miniaturized UI (including the slide lock), supply chain, distribution, and negotiations with a major carrier. I do not think any other company than Apple could have pulled off the iPhone in 2007 and successfully shipped millions of them. It's amazing how quickly Apple's achievements are taken for granted. They are so successful in simplifying technology that the simplification quickly turns into "obvious" for people. But before Apple did it, none of this was obvious. I distinctly remember that when Steve Jobs said that the pointing device for the iPhone would be the finger, it was a novel idea and I was full of doubt whether it could really be pulled off. I distinctly remember thinking that the slid lock was a unique, elegant solution to a problem, and yes, I think it deserves patent protection if no one else had it before or at the same time Apple had it. I mean "This is how you turn it on" was part of their commercials. Those commercials wouldn't have worked unless "how you turn it on" truly was a novel and unique idea.

Comment: One of Steve's "Gifts" (Score 1) 1613

by matthaak (#37621626) Attached to: Steve Jobs Dead At 56
We live in a world of mediocrity. We get by on billions of mediocre people churning out mediocre work.

Even really great people, really brilliant people, churn out mediocre work from time to time. I know I have churned out more than my share of mediocre work.

At the same time, most of us actually have the discriminating ability to look at a piece of work and say, "that is really mediocre." Probably 10 or 20 times a day, I come accross some piece of work - mine or others' - that is mediocre. It's clear that the person who made it was in a rush or didn't care or simply wasn't smart or talented enough to deliver something truly great.

Though we may be able to spot mediocre work, most of us just are not in a position of credibility to do anything about it.

Steve Jobs saw mediocrity the way we do, the difference is he had earned his credibility and could send things back to the drawing board any time he wanted. How did he earn his credibility? He was smart, hard-working, and happened to partner with a rare person who consistenlty churned out great work: Steve Wozniak. Those early ingredients set Jobs down a path where he could tell someone what they were making was not good and that they could do better and those people listened to him and ofen were inspired by that "encouragement."

I believe that was one of Steve's many great gifts.

It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and intimidation.