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Comment: Re:Enforced separation required... (Score 1) 424

by mr_jrt (#46261501) Attached to: Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

How'd that "enforced separation" work out with Network Rail and the train services that replaced British Railways?

Pretty crappily, in that case. Difference is only one TOC (train operating company) can provide a given service (say, the 7:45 Brighton to London Victoria), and if that's the service the passenger needs to be on to get to work - that's it. No competition possible, and we all know what happens with a captive market - you get price gouging on the scale of the US cable companies. Most of the parallel routes that did exist were shut in the 1960's Beeching closure programme, so it's not exactly unexpected. The only effective competition is the road, and for a long time it won, largely due to the massive unaccountable investment in the motorway network whilst the railways had to turn a profit or be closed.

The ideal model there is London Overground, itself modelled on the London Bus network. When Maggie T. was privatising everything in the 1980s the London bus network was left until last as it was the most complex. However, when the time came everyone could see what a clusterfuck the privatisation of all the other bus operations had been so it was halted and transformed into the arrangement today: Transport for London takes the revenue risk, defines the services, and manages the branding as a single coherent corporate entity, and subcontracts the routes to private operators at largely fixed costs. The passengers don't give a damn if the number 258 is operated by First, Stagecoach or Arriva, they just care that it turns up on time and gets them where they want to go quickly. This is also how LO operates, and it works brilliantly in my opinion - almost indeed as if it were part of the London Undergound. Personally, I think this is how all the mainline train services should operate - bring back the BR regional branding and subcontract the operations to private firms. Competition transforms away from where it doesn't make sense (between passenger journeys) to between operators for the right to run the routes, away from the public entirely.

Internet access is more akin to electricity or water though - you really don't care whose bits / joules / litres you're getting - they're all essentially the same, and having multiple distribution networks would be very, very wasteful (abet, great for resiliency!) Having a single regulated infrastructure provider and free market operators makes the most sense if you don't want to just regulate the whole thing, which would remove market forces from the equation entirely (for good or bad). It also reduces the barrier to entry for new competitors dramatically - meaning your market doesn't stagnate.

Comment: Re:Enforced separation required... (Score 1) 424

by mr_jrt (#46259789) Attached to: Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

we only have one provider in a city, so it does not really matter. But in reality if you have a separation why would you be prevented from having more than one operator?

You only have one now, because they currently need their own infrastructure to operate. If you split the merged entity and branded the retail operations as Time Warner and the wholesale as Comcast, then CC would have to provide the infrastructure to TW at the same cost as it would provide it to new operators. Means a level playing field, and competition drives down prices (in a functioning market, anyway). i.e. CC provides service at $30/mo. TW adds value however they can and resells for $50/mo. New ISP sets up shop, and Comcast is forced to provide service at $30/mo. If they want to raise the price to $50/mo to crush the competition, they have to charge their own subsidiary the same, so TW's books would be screwed as well. Effective oversight to make sure they're not colluding is how this works over here - BT is terrified of being split in two for monopoly abuse.

Case in point: I'm currently shopping around for a new ISP as my old one was bought out by a big player (and there's no way in hell I'm paying money to Rupert Murdoch's greasy tentacles), and not only do I have the ability to switch - but most providers that meet my requirements also let me choose which wholesale provider I want (as they all have slightly different properties, like line profiles, etc). LLU unbundling over here was brilliant, I can by service from someone like Xilo using BT wholesale, Cable & Wireless LLU or TalkTalk LLU. Don't like the filtering or traffic shaping on one? Vote with your wallet! :)

Comment: Enforced separation required... (Score 2) 424

by mr_jrt (#46259405) Attached to: Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

What you guys need is something akin to what happened with BT here in the UK - Arms-length separation of the infrastructure and the service. Sure, you may only be able to have one cable provider in the city, but if they have to sell non-discriminatory access to other ISPs at the same rates as their own consumer division, then you get the healthy kind of competition. There's a thriving ISP market in the UK, only downside is the big boys keep hoovering up the smaller ones that do too well, meaning if you want to stay away from the big boys you have to keep finding and migrating to a new small one every few years. :(

BT has these rules because of its ex-monopoly status, but personally I think it'd make perfect sense to apply the same rules universally. BT Retail should be able to provide service over Virgin Media's cable infrastructure in an area if that's the most cost effective way of doing it - don't limit my service options to the infrastructure provider's.

Comment: How exciting! (Score 3, Informative) 109

by mr_jrt (#45579897) Attached to: Neo900 Hacker Phone Reaches Minimum Number of Pre-Orders For Production

I've been following this very, very, closely. I adore my N900...I just wish it was a little closer to my beloved Debian than it is...not to mention with the closed source UI code replaced with open code. I was tempted to do some of that work myself (and/or join some of the people doing similar things), but it was hard to justify the time cost on what is essentially a dead piece of hardware.

...with the potential for new devices however....things become a lot more interesting.

Personally, I never really bought into the Meego changes...I felt too much of Maemo's "Debian" roots were lost thanks to the merge with the more Redhat-based Moblin, and I'd be much more interested in going back the other way, though the developers working on the continuation of Meego (Nemo et al) have done amazing work, cumulating in Jolla's new phone running Sailfish. I concluded (as, it seems, have many others) the best approach for my aims was to take the working Maemo 5 system and slowly rewrite the closed components one by one whilst simultaneously separately rebuilding the foundations on top of a more standard Debian base, essentially so you can have operational testing of things like communications features much quickly. There's been a lot of good work by the Maemo community to this end.

All in all, very exciting. I'm hoping to order a couple of boards to revitalise a damaged spare N900 I have here, and if it works out well, my main one too :)

Comment: All very excting. (Score 1) 2

by mr_jrt (#45579879) Attached to: Neo900 hacker phone reaches minimum number of pre-orders for production

I've been following this very, very, closely. I adore my N900...I just wish it was a little closer to my beloved Debian than it is...not to mention with the closed source UI code replaced with open code. I was tempted to do some of that work myself (and/or join some of the people doing similar things), but it was hard to justify the time cost on what is essentially a dead piece of hardware.

...with the potential for new devices however....things become a lot more interesting.

Personally, I never really bought into the Meego changes...I felt too much of Maemo's "Debian" roots were lost thanks to the merge with the more Redhat-based Moblin, and I'd be much more interested in going back the other way, though the developers working on the continuation of Meego (Nemo et al) have done amazing work, cumulating in Jolla's new phone running Sailfish. I concluded (as, it seems, have many others) the best approach for my aims was to take the working Maemo 5 system and slowly rewrite the closed components one by one whilst simultaneously separately rebuilding the foundations on top of a more standard Debian base, essentially so you can have operational testing of things like communications features much quickly. There's been a lot of good work by the Maemo community to this end.

All in all, very exciting. I'm hoping to order a couple of boards to revitalise a damaged spare N900 I have here, and if it works out well, my main one too :)

+ - Neo900 hacker phone reaches minimum number of pre-orders for production 2

Submitted by wick3t
wick3t (787074) writes "The Neo900 fundraising campaign has already achieved the milestone of 200 pre-orders which means that mass production is now feasible. This follows a successful first prototype that was showcased at the OpenPhoenux-Hard-Software-Workshop 2013. Their next target is 1000 pre-orders as they aspire to reduce the production costs of each device."

Comment: Re:Names please (Score 4, Insightful) 194

by mr_jrt (#45563067) Attached to: Bitcoin Miners Bundled With PUPs In Legitimate Applications Backed By EULA

I should have understood the article, first.

From the article it seems to be
www.yourfreeproxy.net

Well, who would not want to install an application that redirects all of their network traffic though their servers FOR FREE?

Someone not very technical wanting to bypass their government's mandated filtering?

Comment: Re:Keeping OpenOffice Trademark a disgrace (Score 3, Informative) 126

by mr_jrt (#44681319) Attached to: Has the Apache Software Foundation Lost Its Way?

As a user, who finds OpenOffice to be a far superior app, I shudder that your hope might come true. LibreOffice is [expletive soup] crippleware.

LibreOffice team: please quit and join Apache OpenOffice.

As a LibreOffice user, I'm genuinely curious why you think this. I switched as I was sick of Oracle's meddling and Java-related issues, but I've found LO to be a much more pleasant product to use than OpenOffice, so I'd genuinely be appreciate if you'd elaborate why you feel OO is superior.

Comment: Re:Compare to the Super NES Play Station (Score 3, Insightful) 257

by mr_jrt (#42818743) Attached to: Why Microsoft Got Into the Console Business

I heard it was that Nintendo fucked up the contracts and realised at the last minute that they'd given Sony the rights for anything released on CDs, whilst they retained rights to anything released on carts. Given the way the market was clearly going, they realised they'd basically dropped the soap, so jumped out the shower and rather than "officially" cancelling the Play Station project, they switched to Phillips with some proper contracts and well...but this all took so long the numbers didn't add up...so no SNES CD, but those awful CD-i Zelda games did.

Comment: APIs should be open. :( (Score 1) 476

by mr_jrt (#42460649) Attached to: Microsoft Says Google Trying To Undermine Windows Phone

Reminds me of a similar problem with Latitude. Google never deemed Maemo worthwhile to get an official Google maps/Latitude client, so our only option is to use the horrible iPhone-targetted web-based nonsense. Yes, using the maps API decent enough 3rd party map clients have spring up, and they can even update our Latitude position, but there's no way to access your friends locations on said map as Google won't let you (we can't trust you, they say!). ...and as they won't make the software themselves, tough shit.

Annoys the hell out of me as I don't want an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone...but I have all the damn features on my old Symbian brick :(

Comment: ...but why not support SyncML? (Score 1) 235

by mr_jrt (#42300427) Attached to: Google Nixes Some Calendar Features and Other Software Offerings

I'm somewhat out of the loop with my protocols, so can anyone tell me what the advantages are of all the xDAV protocols over SyncML? That's the one bit of information I've been unable to find anywhere - e.g. why Apple decided CardDAV was required instead of just using SyncML, for example.

Comment: Re:Survey with "Jedi" option available (Score 2) 262

by mr_jrt (#42270331) Attached to: "Jedi" Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith In England

Because getting rid of the state religion, and the state relationship with the church of england would be problematic. It's not that it can't or won't be done, but there's quite a lot of legal effort involved in the powers of parliament vs the sovereign vs the church as an independent entity.

In some respects it's the same reason why none of the countries have actually settled the legal inheritance issue of if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter and then a son (just a daughter, or multiple daughters doesn't require any rewrite), because it's not that we can't sort this out. But it's a lot of legal paperwork that can be deferred 50 or 60 years if they never have a son after a daughter.

I was under the impression that they sorted this out very recently: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20600543

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