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Comment: He's right (Score 1) 575

by misnohmer (#48045007) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

"It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy"
Absolutely possible, where does it say however that access to people's phone is required for law enforcement to do its job?

“Recent technological advances have the potential to greatly embolden online criminals, providing new methods for abusers to avoid detection,”
Absolutely correct, take a look at what the NSA has been doing.

Comment: Back it up Apple (Score 1) 134

Such a meaningless statement because it isn't backed up by any consequences. How about "Apple will pay 1 billion US dollars to any individual or organization that has any information collected by Apple provided to any government organization, direct or indirect". At least then anyone compromised by Apple will be able to afford a good legal defense.

Comment: Re:No throttling - impossible dream (Score 1) 235

by misnohmer (#46306453) Attached to: FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality

Having spent time setting up bandwidth management policies (for private companies, not public ISP access) I have to tell you it isn't as straightforward as it seems. Your first and biggest issue is how to recognize applications. Encryption makes it orders of magnitude harder, not to say that without it's easy. Filtering based on source is often the most reliable way to identify traffic type. Second problem will be identifying what traffic can be throttled - some video applications (e.g. Netflix) will automatically lower bitrate when throttled, others do not. ISP may choose to throttle netflix first because they know it will not affect customer experience as much as throttling another video service that does not support lower rates. Then someone will scream that is discrimination against Netflix, So let's say that by some miracle technology you could distinguish video from other streaming, then what? If you throttle everyone equally, then you are putting the service that does not have dynamic bitrate at a disadvantage - you know, what small startup that doesn't have the resources to develop or license such a dynamic streaming agorithm - again, discrimination. So sadly, your bright line will get really fuzzy really quick.

Comment: Re:This is what I have come to dislike about fairn (Score 2) 259

by misnohmer (#46306327) Attached to: Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

It's the old communist argument - everyone must be equal. That this boils down to is bring everyone to the lowest common denominator. World isn't fair, and good thing because if it was we'd all be on welfare (to be fair to the lazy guy who doesn't want to work, we should all not work to have the same this) - oh wait, who would pay for this welfare for all? I know, the rich guys. Ok, let's see, if we were to spread Bill Gate's fortune across the population of the world, we'd all get what, $10 each? Not to mention there would be no food since all farmers, bakers, and other professions would also be on welfare so it would be fair.

Comment: Why single out Google? (Score 1) 259

by misnohmer (#46306241) Attached to: Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

Let's not forget those evil universities whose teaching is not affordable to everyone, those sure are creating a learning divide - we need to close them all. How about those premium bed and mattress manufacturers, good night of sleep definitely helps learning, so someone with a better bed definitely has an unfair advantage. How about those healthy food providers, health is a definite advantage - we should force everyone to eat only what the poorest can afford to level the playing field. Those evil doctors who date to cure people who pay them, hang them all! We all need to go back to the stone age where everything was equal, oh wait, there was this guy who produced stone tools and only gave it to his family and friends, gotta axe him too.

What a retarded communist argument to make... I bet it's the other telco's who sponsored this.

Comment: Re:No throttling - impossible dream (Score 1) 235

by misnohmer (#46290009) Attached to: FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality

WaffleMonster, I believe you hit the nail on the head - the key is differentiate between bandwidth management and discrimination or preferential treatment. The problem will be how to clearly draw the line between them. If an ISP will start throttling higher bandwidth streams, such as video, before it starts throttling low bandwidth voice calls, some will see is as discrimination, while it may simply be "keep the most customers happy" policy, which prioritizes low bandwidth stream. If an ISP starts throttling p2p downloads so that other customers can stream netflix, p2p operators will scream discrimination, or conspiracy theorist will infer ISP is in bed with Netflix. So while I agree that ISP's that get special status from the government (any company that the government will force me to allow them to dig through my yard, a.k.a. easements) should be regulated by the government and prevented from unfair business related throttling, I think the problem will be clearly defining what that is and then proving it if it occurs. I have in my previous lifetime worked in network management on private links between company offices and such, and believe me, I've never seen a way to throttle that everyone will perceive as fair. Someone will always scream foul. I don't know what a complete solution is to this problem, but one thing that comes to mind is there should never be any throttling occurring unless the connection is close to full (though how you define that is up for debate).

Comment: No throttling - impossible dream (Score 3, Insightful) 235

by misnohmer (#46289293) Attached to: FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality

Wherever there are finite bandwidth connections, there will always be throttling. Whether the throttling occurs based on type of traffic, end user limits, or "naturally" sort itself out via TCP or other protocols, throttling will occur as the bottlenecks fill up. If the carriers will not be allowed to do any throttling based on traffic type/source/etc, then the guy that decides to run a p2p file server will have his 500 connections open while your measly 1 netflix connection will get drowned out, as the "natural TCP throttling" tends to divide the bandwidth equally per connection (not per user). Then people will complain about the quality of service, but it will be neutral. What people are really wanting here is "don't throttle me", but that obviously cannot be satisfied for all users.

On the other hand, the providers can implement another type of throttling - financial. Once they start charging you for bandwidth used, folks considering watching a netflix movie for $x per show may start throttling themselves.

Comment: Re: Q.E.D. (Score 1) 314

by misnohmer (#44514977) Attached to: TV Show Piracy Soars After CBS Blackout

Exactly right. Personally I would have bought the show and then called the cable company to give me the $2 credit for the blackout. Then again, I got rid of cable few years ago and switched solely to antenna + purchased shows + Netflix, all via a DVR from TiVo. My family monthly TV expenses are less than half of what the cable bill used to be plus everyone is much happier watching commercial free purchased content they can watch downloaded on TiVo, or streamed to a PC or tablet. The only drawback is sometimes you get the show the day after it airs, but it's small.

Comment: Bogus comparison (Score 1) 361

by misnohmer (#42874467) Attached to: OpenOffice: Worth $21 Million Per Day, If It Were Microsoft Office

By the same logic, take the most expensive toll road in the US (think ~$1/mile on some privately run express lanes in California), the add up all the miles everyone in the US drives a day - wow, look at the tens of thousands of dollars the government is saving per car. I'm thinking a large percentage of people get more in "toll" worth from the government than they pay in income tax - 3 car family, 12K miles per year, $36,000 per year in toll benefits!

Comment: Diplomas for everyone! (Score 1) 1010

by misnohmer (#40810723) Attached to: Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

Let's just sell diplomas to everyone with a credit card and we'll be the most educated nation in the world! So what if the people buying them cannot balance their checkbooks or figure out that $50/month for 60 months is way more expensive than a $1000 one time fee - hey, we'll be propping up the failing bank industry too!

Comment: ...or it may help develop better simulated guns! (Score 1) 254

by misnohmer (#40755421) Attached to: Neuroscience May Cure Videogames Industry's Obsession With Guns

What they are selling here is a way to measure stimulation while playing a game. The conclusion was that it would help develop peaceful games rather than even more stimulating violent games is simply subjective wishful thinking, or just press spin. The same MRI technology could be developed to tune the violence just the same.

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)