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Comment: Of course the NCTA would say this (Score 1) 527

by mgcarley (#47868089) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Of course the NCTA would say this, they're lobbying against everything that is good, including Title II, neutrality, unbundling and so on. I've personally been arguing with them about this sort of thing for the past couple of days (and someone else but I forget his name... he called someone a Marxist, I think).

AT&T and VZ (and probably the other DSL loop providers like Frontier, who themselves have been buying a lot of old VZ plant) don't want the definition changed to 10mbit/s because a lot of their lines just won't do 10 megs -- unless you happen to be in one of those service areas where they're deploying FTTC/VDSL, of course.

And even in some of those service areas, the problem is just as much about congestion on their middle-mile as it is about congestion at their network border. My personal anecdote is that until recently, Frontier had all of 2gbit/s to their local exchange. Which serves not just the town it's in, but a number of towns around it, with a combined population of around 100k people, resulting in the service being basically unusable for several hours a day.

I don't think that upgrading all the last-miles (or even the middle-miles) would be terribly expensive and, at the risk of sounding like I'm on their side, in some cases there is willingness on the part of AT&T (or whoever) to do the upgrade. 10Gb modules are pretty inexpensive these days, so since the long-haul fibre is already where it needs to be in the vast majority of cases, all it takes is upgrading the optics. After that comes the hard/expensive part: putting in cabinets all over the place.

Chorus NZ has nearly finished undertaking such a project over the last 7 or so years at a cost of maybe a little over $1bn USD (educated guess) to get a decent chunk of the country served by cabinets. DSL is not speed based there (it's usually usage based unless you buy an "unlimited" plan) so many subscribers are getting ADSL2+ sync rates well over 10mbit/s and most cabinets can serve VDSL to subscribers (so IIRC the practical speed is supposed to be about 70mbit/s). That project has also paved the way for the FTTH deployment that's going on there now.

Back in the US, however, even when there is the willingness to do what is necessary, it can be time-consuming and a bureaucratic nightmare because, despite all the whining of consumers, a lot of the time there is a struggle to get permits to put a cabinet in where it's needed in order to actually upgrade their services because people are too self-involved and object to it being up outside *their* house. Other times it's simply because the city bureaucrats are being daft and not issuing permits because of city utilities (despite the franchise agreements permitting ROW). I've personally been told by city officials "why not just use wireless" when I was trying to get approval for some work.

Granted, in NZ the possibility exists whereby people were given less choice in the planning stage (there will be a cabinet there whether you like it or not, damnit!!), and there is but one infrastructure provider - but perhaps that all needs to happen here too. Better still, if it paves the way to a fibre future, that's something to be excited about.

Comment: Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 542

by mgcarley (#47830479) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

I assumed Israel because of the part about Hebrew, my bad.

But that it was a christian preacher makes it all the more delicious, and the idea I was trying to convey remains valid: to you and I, yes, both sides appear to be equally ridiculous, but Joe Sixpack holds up a double standard without realizing it, hence the "when they do it, it's crazy, when we do it, it's SOP" commentary.

Sorry for the confusion.

Comment: Re:ES File Explorer for Android (Score 1) 167

by mgcarley (#47830355) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Seconded on ES File Explorer, although I had to "rearrange" my network slightly to get it to work in a way that would make it useful (wired and wireless networks were separate and didn't talk to each other, having 2 network connections on the laptop made Internet stuff painful). Since all I want to do is access a network share and select the file(s), ESFE made sense and does a decent job, the only thing is I cant make a playlist or select an entire folder full of media (as far as I know).

Hadn't tried Plex because I didn't want to install anything on the computers themselves.

I currently use regular old Android mail but now I'm going to check out K9 as well.

Comment: Re: If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 542

by mgcarley (#47821615) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

There's a Russell Peters bit on this - in a nutshell he went to the Middle East to see for himself and found that the "western" news channels show the equivalent of rednecks to make it all seem worse.

Having spent a lot of time in various countries in that region myself (civilian), I have also found it to be true that the vast majority of them are just as moderate as people are in the west, going about their days, going to work, going home, going for coffee, having dinner and so on.

In fact, I have seen exactly the same number of Muslim suicide bombers in the Middle East as I have in the US (zero - not to say they don't exist there, but they exist in the US too... but I don't really need to point that out, do I?)

Comment: Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 542

by mgcarley (#47821543) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

I'd +1 except I object to the assumption that you can't be both white and Muslim.

Other than that, I've had similar experiences arguing with these types - the same thing happens when you argue about politics.

Probably one of the reasons it's forbidden to discuss both religion and politics in, for example, a Masonic Lodge.

Comment: Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 542

by mgcarley (#47821507) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

But Iranians speak Farsi (Persian) which uses a different script to Hebrew as well as being from a different & unrelated language family (linguistically).

So without researching more about the topic, while I could see the potential for a Hebrew speaker uncomfortable with the 666 thing having a problem with "www", I'm not sure how that would relate to our Iranian friends.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 531

Took this to Twitter the other night and Phil Kerpen and some of his friends really got in to it with me. (

Not that they were able to actually have a rational argument - it was more FUD and name-calling than anything else. And of course they brought up Obamacare because, that has everything to do with this topic.

For those interested, the tweets between @kerpen, @ElBuehn, @BillyGribben, and @SetonMotley are from August 27 at

Comment: Re:Monopolistic thuggish behavior (Score 1) 341

India is far from a "Randian paradise" yet has all those features - to the point where sometimes I think India is even more capitalistic than the US (and I'm not from either country).

They call it "baksheesh" - I used to resist paying baksheesh A LOT but now (and it wasn't until after I came to the US that I realized) I kind of see it as a cross between a token of appreciation (like a tip, which in the US is acceptable in certain situations) and a bribe (being that it's not just limited to restaurants).

And in a weird and twisted way it sort of works, although the quality of anything isn't very high - case in point being potable water - but to combat that, I can just buy a big 30-something litre (10 gallons or so) of drinking water for about $1.

BUT, probably the reason for the system actually "functioning" is not because you have to "tip" for every little thing, but because the amounts are so small (a few hundred rupees or maybe $5 tops - affordable even for the Indian middle-class) - unlike the US where you'd probably be looking at something like a hundred dollars for each thing (so, not so affordable even for the US middle-class).

Of course, it's not just limited to public entities - paying an extra $3-5 (equivalent) directly to the installer will get your phone service connected tomorrow instead of next month, so keeping in mind that India's middle class income is around US$10k these days (about 30% up in the 6-ish years I've been involved with that country), so to get a realistic comparison, a worker in the US accepting a "tip" for faster service or whatever could only be in the vicinity of about $15-25.

Comment: Re:Monopolistic thuggish behavior (Score 1) 341

They really don't. I've yet to see a single franchise agreement that says "sole" or "exclusive".

The problem is that the companies (or municipalities, or both) find *other* ways to stymie the deployment of alternatives (high pole connection fees, stalling permits, lawsuits galore -- just to name a few).

One public works director even told me to go wireless.

Comment: Re:Monopolistic thuggish behavior (Score 1) 341

Careful... I got called a communist and a "useful idiot" (whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean) by some nutjobs (including Phil Kerpen and his friends) on Twitter the other night for suggesting something akin to this (and supporting Net Neutrality/Title II).

They (well, mostly Phil) couldn't present a rational argument or identify the specific clauses they (he) disagree(s) with so they all just went full-retard and resorted to name calling. Of course, being a nerd, I've dealt with far worse in my lifetime so I couldn't help but chuckle.

Comment: Because they can? (Score 1) 181

by mgcarley (#47726153) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

You pretty much answered your own question in the summary.

That is the position the large ISPs are taking (on the surface, anyway): we have the only lines the customer can use because we "own" that area, they can't switch, it's us or nothing.

The way I look at it, however is that if I were to peer directly with Netflix and/or host a Netflix cache (even at my own expense in the data center), prospective subscribers (the ones who care, who are also most likely the ones will pay the most) are going to subscribe to my ISP over my competition because we can use it as a selling point: "Hey, your Netflix will never buffer and it will come through at HD quality" - and if we added the bonus that "Hey, Netflix traffic won't count towards your cap" (if a cap is imposed) the customer is going to think the service is the bees knees... then word of mouth happens.

And all of this I think makes yet another great case for open/common infrastructure (not even municipalities running their own ISPs but companies who own distribution networks simply making the infrastructure available and saying to ISPs "here it is, have at it").

Imagine if the existing providers were forced to split in to infra/retail divisions and sell access to the infra at fair and equal wholesale prices to any ISP, thus allowing companies like Google or or any of the other smaller ISPs all around the country to be able to offer services over any infrastructure they could get access to!

Imagine if Comcast, TWC, AT&T, Verizon and so on all of a sudden had to actually compete on quality/customer service etc?

The large ISPs would of course need to be really forced - kicking, screaming and probably throwing tantrums along the way - but I would love to see something like this in America.

10 to the minus 6th power Movie = 1 Microfilm