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Comment: My systems (Score 1) 107

So, hypothetically speaking, if say the US or UK breaks in to a company's systems without any real justification, authorization or knowledge (i.e. for fun, for espionage, or to illicitly gain control of information or systems for whatever purpose), can the company sue them in an international court?

Can the company lodge a criminal complaint against the offending government in the local jurisdiction?

Can the company lodge a criminal complaint in the offending country pursuant to whatever acts (CFAA, for example) may exist?

What if, in the process of breaking in, they break my company's systems somehow? Do they compensate the company for lost hours, system restores and new hardware?

Is there any recourse whatsoever?

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 90

How is this even a question? OF COURSE the ISPs are left to pay for "new internet investment", that is a material cost of doing business. In order to reach a subscriber, I have to run a cable or build a tower, which requires some capital expenditure.

For a mature/operational ISP, capital is usually obtained by charging the subscribers a monthly fee. The monthly fee covers things like infrastructure and the operating expenses, maintenance and upgrades thereto, labour costs for the people to operate, maintain and upgrade the network, support, service fees for bandwidth and/or usage and allows (usually) an amount usually referred to as "profit".

We know from their published numbers that most ISPs are making fairly obscene profits (90% is commonly quoted, but break it down and it's not always quite that high), and many of them are more than happy to take from the USF BUT users are not really seeing much benefit - to the point where some states are bringing lawsuits against telcos (WV vs Frontier springs to mind right now). Profit and availability of capital therefore is not really an issue in this industry so the question becomes one of what makes the ISPs believe that they are seemingly exempt from having this cost center in their business model? What makes them think they can charge twice for what is essentially the same transaction?

Sure, it would be silly to expect a leased line on dedicated infrastructure at the prices paid for typical residential service BUT to the same end bandwidth itself really isn't that expensive. Consumers will find ways to use it and this leads to a continual upgrading process, there is no question, but again, part of the cost of doing business as a middleman is buying sufficient product from your suppliers to be able to distribute to your clientele. You get more clients, you need to buy more product to account for that. In any other industry, they would get sued for breach of contract for not having enough (or the wrong) product.

Many will argue that "Hey, $ISP built this network so it's theirs to do with what they wish" but the reality is that many networks were taxpayer funded and so it goes without saying that if something is taxpayer funded, it absolutely should NOT be "private property" - they may have the contract to build/maintain/upgrade it, for which they get paid, but the same goes if I have a contract to build/maintain/upgrade something for which I get paid... just because I built/maintained/upgraded something and got paid for it, doesn't make it mine: it remains the property of the entity which paid for it.

Perhaps a better analogy is building a house. Unless you pay for it in cash, you probably have a mortgage. Yes, it is yours in title but the bank still owns it, even if you built it with your own two hands. And if you don't maintain it, the city council might have something to say about it. And if you don't periodically upgrade it, you may no longer be in compliance with one or more regulations. And if you stop paying for it, soon enough it'll no longer be yours.

The private property issue though does murk up the argument in the two paragraphs above, but there is some fairly fundamental differences, namely that the infrastructure in question is rarely ON what could really be considered private property, by which I mean, cables may go across private back yards, up private driveways and across private fields, but houses are not linked up in a serial, with each house relying on the previous house to remain connected. The ISP infrastructure in your house is for your household (which you paid for with your install fee, but that's another thing altogether), and has no place in the supply of services to your neighbours or neighbourhood and as such unless there is a problem with *YOUR* service, a technician doesn't require specific permission from any one individual to physically access the ISP equipment that supplies an area.

Given this, it would seem that some of these US ISPs want to have their cake and eat it too: public funding for building, maintaining and upgrading their (own, private, non-shared, closed) networks AND the ability to choose whether to build/maintain/upgrade their network and infrastructure WHILE charging consumers out the arse for all of the above, and profiting from it by offering services that may not be fit for purpose (leaving old infrastructure to decay while customers are still using it, charging for services not received, not upgrading congested peering links or finding other ways to reduce congestion).

Another popular argument is that of population density. This is a farce, of course - a city with 1 million people in the US is basically the same as a city with 1 million people on any other continent, so there is no reason a city in the US can't have European quality Internet access - yet I read daily of subscribers struggling to wrangle even a few megabits out of their connections.

Plus, the middle mile in the US is a very competitive market (much more than the last mile market) - as a city in Arizona recently found out, often we're talking about 1 or 2 cables to an area which is then shared by multiple providers. So even though the initial build cost isn't shared, it's not like any individual ISP is footing the entire bill over the entire life of the cable (even though they might claim they are) but whoever builds the cable has multiple customers buying large quantities of bandwidth or even wavelengths, all on the same cable, making such endeavours entirely viable and reasonably profitable.

Long story short: "new Internet investment" is part of the cost of doing business in this industry. Quit whining and deal with it. Frankly, I'm surprised that the government hasn't (or isn't getting ready to) repossess or put a lien on all the taxpayer funded networks so that you can get the types of systems we have overseas, i.e. shared/open/unbundled last mile access networks on which any ISP can offer access (which, frankly, I'd like to see happen in the US).

Comment: Re:this is one more reason (Score 1) 136

by mgcarley (#49159139) Attached to: Under US Pressure, PayPal Stops Working With Mega

Eh? Banks are known to regularly open and operate accounts for all of the organizations you mention (especially the big international ones with private banking facilities).

It usually only seems to be when the US gets pissy that the bank in question is called out, sued, pays a fine, stops doing business with that entity (at least in that entities current form) and what have you.

The same is true here: it wasn't until some US politician got pissy that he went to Visa/MC to say "stop processing their stuff", who then went to Paypal to say "do what you do best": until then, Paypal had been happy to process the payments. I only hate to think about how much of Mega's money is being held to ransom by Paypal.

Companies providing financial services (even Paypal) usually have a list of industries they'll not do business with, stating rather specifically that if you're in one of those industries, you won't be granted an account and you need to find a high-risk payment processor that is willing to take on the kind of risk involved... these high-risk merchants usually cost more in transaction fees and whatnot to reflect the risk.

Frankly, this is a political overstep, penalizing a non-US company that - at least this time - does not even have any assets in the United States. Visa/MC/Paypal should have told the politician to fuck off (I assume Mega's Paypal account is not running through Paypal's US entity, so there is the issue of jurisdictional overreach as well), although to be fair, I'd never have offered payments by Paypal in the first place.

Comment: Re:Jail terms (Score 1) 154

by mgcarley (#49088363) Attached to: Trans-Pacific Partnership Enables Harsh Penalties For Filesharing

Mainly because nobody wants to be labeled as a terrorist... so, the person to do this would have to be white, 100% sane, not known to have any clinical conditions or vices, no being on any medications, no police history at all, good upbringing/happy childhood... ideally, a proper stand-up true-blue pillar-of-the-community type - otherwise unfortunately, that's how it would be spun and you'll have the same type of bullshit coverage you get over school shootings or had over Oklahoma and the rest of the public will sit there staring at their TV screens saying something to the effect of "oh dear, that's terrible... change the channel".

After eliminating all those things, there probably aren't many people left who would agree to or take it upon themselves to do this.

Comment: Re:NWO (Score 1) 154

by mgcarley (#49088263) Attached to: Trans-Pacific Partnership Enables Harsh Penalties For Filesharing

I have a feeling he's talking about ISPs, which got "bailouts" (not really, but I'm sure it could be spun that way) years before the banks made it fashionable (again).

How is it that they got away with taking hundreds of billions of dollars (and not delivering) and the latest 3 towns to be 100% wired with fiber in New Zealand's UFB project came out with an averaged cost of under NZ$1,100 per premises passed (about half the average nationwide projection)?

And don't even try the population density argument, that has no business in this equation.

Comment: Re:It's because they don't work... (Score 1) 83

by mgcarley (#49061839) Attached to: The Uncanny Valley of Voice Recognition

You would have few (if any) issues communicating with most people in English, especially in an urban area (Helsinki, Turku, Oulu etc) or somewhere with a large university. In more rural areas, YMMV (that is to say, mostly younger people will be OK, but older people not so much).

It was about 2 years (maybe even a little more) before I started getting to a point of communicating in reasonably coherent Finnish (syntax, tenses etc), but especially when I was beginning to learn (the first 6-12 months) a lot of people would just tell me to speak English when I tried to communicate in Finnish. You have to be pretty persistent.

Some people I was working with told me that moving to Sweden before moving to Finland would have been a better idea (and the route that many non-Scandinavians take, apparently), but not having done that myself I can't confirm whether it's true or not.

Comment: Re:500Mb/s or approx 50MB/s (Score 1) 132

Even basic cheap laptop wireless, smartphone wireless and wireless routers are in the, what? 300Mbps or so range? Two or three of those and you can flood a Gigabit connection.

Sadly, not even close. While the manufacturers may claim 300Mbps or 600Mbps on the box, the likelihood of actually achieving that speed over wireless is pretty close to zero, and most smartphones and cheap laptops seem to be fitted with 802.11n "lite" (the 150mbit/s version) or the first iteration (the 300mbit/s version).

My rule of thumb for 802.11n (what most people have) is to divide by 5 and that is the throughput you're likely to receive. 802.11ac is a different story but still not anywhere close to the advertised abilities.

Putting a bunch of users with gigabit network interfaces might *seem* like a bottleneck on paper, but unless they're all trying to push 1gbit/s 24x7 (highly unlikely), it probably isn't a real-life problem. ISPs and corporate networks kind of rely on the whole "nobody can choke that amount of bandwidth for very long" idea for reasons including but not limited to profit but the simple reality is that I could fit say 30, 40, 50 or more subscribers on a gigabit backbone, sell them all a residential "up to 1 gigabit" service and not encounter any problems.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 263

I'm surprised I didn't see UBNT earlier. You can install the (free) software on some el-cheapo VPS (assuming they don't have one for their website already) and the web interface isn't bad.

I seem to remember the system can save an image periodically, which will be at (probably) decent enough resolution for it to be readable on a website. You could probably even use some of the other suggestions above, like having a cron job email the image to (for example) a mailing list, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or all of the above.

At around $100 a piece, you could even buy a 3-pack and use the other 2 for a basic surveillance system, since each camera is independently manageable (just remember that in most states you'll have to post a visible notice). For a fairly cheap, fairly simple, fairly easy to automate system, it's (probably) good enough to warrant a look.

If the parent wasn't AC, I might even mod you up.

Comment: Re:Block spoofing. Or charge for that privilege (Score 1) 145

by mgcarley (#48933959) Attached to: How One Small Company Blocked 15.1 Million Robocalls Last Year

Sounds like your setup is needlessly complicated and/or your service provider(s) is/are having a laugh at your expense.

What would be wrong with having the 800 number show up as the caller ID*? In most organizations, the 800 number is usually associated with the business, not the local number(s) - ideally, I can dial an 800 number and be geo-routed to the nearest branch, or for businesses that don't have an 800 number, it is normal to assign 1 number as the main number/CID and all the others are connected to it sort of silently.

However, your CID absolutely should not be able to display your cell or a number from another carrier* when you dial out - that kind of thing is what causes this problem in the first place. Personally, I would consider it akin to spoofing an IP address - we would probably agree that this isn't a good idea, why should it be a good idea with phone numbers?

If it really means that much to you to show a different number on CID when calling from your cell, you should have to call in to your PBX first (essentially this would be akin to a VPN).

*In this case, I'm considering 800 numbers to be "carrier neutral" and theoretically there is some validation going on when the carrier sets up your CIDs/DIDs/Trunks to display the 800 number as the caller ID to verify you actually own the 800 number in question, like the email or SMS confirmations used in 2FA. Arguably, the same kind of validation is possible for a non-800 number but that could lead to an even bigger mess if a number is dropped or changes.

Comment: Re:Don't expect ISPs to bend over and take it (Score 1) 255

by mgcarley (#48806125) Attached to: FCC Favors Net Neutrality

And for further amusement, get a load of this. On this month's electric bill, there's yet another new fee entitled Four-Corners adjustment. What's that, you say? Well, because environmentalists in Washington have decided that coal is evil and the Four-corners electric generating plant is coal-fired, it is therefore evil and must be shunned. Is APS going to eat that cost? Hell no. This is on top of the so-called Environmental benefits surcharge. Oh, so I have to bend over because a lot of people believe that electricity generation is bad for the planet. Got it. So, what's going to happen if global warming *cough* I mean climate change turns out to be total b.s.? Am I going to get all that money back plus interest? Yeah, right.

What's even more ludicrous is that in the case of my warehouse, because it's metered for three-phase power, the cost of the meter is ten times the cost of a two-phase residential meter at over $30 a month even though I don't use three-phase power.

...well then. Maybe this is one of those exception/rule things.

What this means is that even though I don't use Netflix, I'm still going to have to pay for the infrastructure improvements to get Netflix.

Well yes, of course you are. You probably also pay for parts of the highway that you don't use as well (not that anybody is necessarily stopping you) but those that ARE using it thank you for your contribution.

That being said, the infrastructure improvements aren't specifically for Netflix, are they? In theory, infrastructure improvements mean ISPs can offer you faster speeds and better services and so on - whether you use them or not - but they are available, and if you decide to start using them, how you use better/faster Internet is entirely at your discretion. If Netflix is the only thing you can come up with, well, that may be lack of imagination on your part.

Comment: Re:I would prefer one line company and multiple pr (Score 1) 255

by mgcarley (#48806053) Attached to: FCC Favors Net Neutrality

...You don't happen to be in a certain part of Southern Illinois and talking about the CLEC Clearwave, do you? That area used to be GTE then Verizon now Frontier, and I know at least one town that recently opted to get group rates with a competing electricity supplier and everyone was automatically switched unless they opted out.

But yeah, I was talking about DSL. If I were offering it in that area, I would be able to offer "up to 6mb" DSL for about $70/mo. Frontier offers it for $35 and AFAIK, this isn't an introductory rate, but it is more than $20 BELOW my cost -- for $70 a month, Frontier will do a 24mb DSL/phone bundle with unlimited calling.

Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.