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Comment: Re:s/Government-run/Government-regulated/ (Score 1) 355

Sounds like a plan to me... a well regulated infrastructure provider providing the "last mile" and different ISPs competing to provide services down this "last mile" (which is owned by the ISP but the infrastructure provider is required to maintain). Mandate the infrastructure company to supply fiber to the premesis as much as is possible. The UK have this kind of arrangement - Openreach runs and maintains the infrastructure, other communications providers purchase use from Openreach. There's no need to make it a government owned company, or even separate the ownership between the incumbent telcos / cablecos. This can be done in the USA, on a regional basis, and ensuring that the "last mile" company is in itself a separate business entity from whoever owns it, even if it is the present incumbent companies.

Some might be skeptical of separation between a "last mile" company and a communications provider when both are owned by the same company. Again, it is regulation that is key. In the financial sector, larger financial companies may own more than one bank but these separate banks have to operate at arms length from one another. Banking regulations make this a requirement. It makes it interesting when the two "banks" are in the same building... an employee of one bank is not to talk about their work or what their bank is doing with employees of the other bank - even though the two banks are owned by the same company and the employees of both banks get their paycheck from the same parent company.

Comment: Doctor Who (Re:Whisky Tango Foxtrot?) (Score 1) 230

by mwooldri (#43987843) Attached to: Greek Government Abruptly Shuts Down State Broadcaster

Doctor Who has a number of things going for it. One, it's about fifty years old, so it didn't have an awful lot of television competition. Two, it did build up a cult following over the 1970's and early 1980's. Doctor Who *did* get axed. It got axed because the Controller didn't much care for the show, it got scheduled against Coronation Street (the #1 TV show then in that particular time-slot) and using the excuse of low audience numbers, the axe fell. Though officially the show was "resting".

That cult following actually led to Doctor Who coming back again. Funny when the children who grew up on Doctor who become Television Producers. .

Comment: Website may be beta but... (Score 1) 113

by mwooldri (#42775641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Long Do We Give an Online Service To Fix Issues?

... the Roku channel in question is most certainly not termed as "beta" in any shape or form. Neither is their Android app (can't say about the Apple one, no Apple product here).

I do see the same problems... anytime after 6pm of a weekday evening the Roku app is slow to load, and does crash my Roku (yes, it's a N1000 but it still gives good service for a device that initially came out just for Netflix). The Android app at least is more stable but its interface is quirky and requires some figuring out.

Funimation on Roku - best usability but worst reliability.
Funimation on Android - worst usability, best reliability.
Funimation on website - balanced between the two.

IMO the Funimation Channel should be taken "private" on Roku until a reliable service is in place. When it works right, then customer satisfaction will be better. But with competitors like Crunchyroll coming along, who knows?

But then I think Funimations' main business is to distribute the shows and to dub (re-version) into English, and make sales on DVD distributions, which is their chief source of income apparently. Obviously streaming isn't their #1 priority. IMO Funimation should get in contact with Amazon and work something out, as Netflix uses Amazon's service to do video distribution.

Comment: I'm not too much worried about hurricanes. (Score 1) 214

by mwooldri (#40922081) Attached to: Could a Category 5 Hurricane Take Down East Coast Data Centers?

I'm more concerned whether these data centers will stand up to a Zombie Apocalypse. You know, breaking in, ripping all the wires out...

Seriously, datacenters in NC aren't on the coast. But there is a nuclear power station south of Wilmington, NC that's pretty much on the coast. If *that* is hit by a Category 5 hurricane - then I don't know what would happen.

A nuclear power plant going kaboom is more concerning to me than a datacenter going kaboom.

Comment: Re:So much hate here... (Score 1) 139

by mwooldri (#40723101) Attached to: Viacom and DirecTV Reach New Agreement

Depends if your PBS affiliate is carrying it or not. In NC, UNC-TV repackages the PBS Kids shows into its own UNC-TV Kids Channel - all kids, all the time. Other PBS affiliates offer the PBS IQ package which is kids at day, and progressively targets an older audience throughout the day. Some don't at all - the folks in Mississippi don't get IQ, they get Create... not targeted at children. I guess they have a much tighter budget than UNC-TV who operate four channels (3 are over the air, the 4th is exclusive to Time Warner Cable customers). It's not as if there isn't the broadcast bandwidth - Mississippi Public Broadcasting's HD channel is replicated in standard definition. UNC-TV on the other hand does not do this. Its main HD channel is not simulcast over-the-air... ok for end consumers, and if they are watching on an older TV with a converter they can choose to crop or letterbox. For cable/satellite companies they have to make the decision when rebroadcasting UNC-TV on their 4:3 SD channel.

Comment: Re:It's already gone (Score 1) 153

by mwooldri (#39999161) Attached to: Foxconn CEO Fuels iTV Rumors

It's odd that apple doesn't have apple.co.uk but they have apple.fr, apple.de, apple.se ...

In any case ITV plc is a producer of television programming and sells it worldwide, so it has every right to the itv.com domain.

In any case both ITV and the BBC had to pay a lot of money for their names, since they *had* concentrated on .co.uk and realised too late that they needed the .com rights.

Comment: Re:As absurd as patenting a gene (Score 1) 730

by mwooldri (#39171181) Attached to: YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music

Indeed there is. http://www.radiobirdsong.com/ explains all... for those who don't want to follow - birdsong was used as test transmissions before the launch of Classic FM in the UK, and then later on as a filler station on a DAB network. Proved very popular on DAB, its removal resulted in a lot of complaints to No. 10 Downing Street., and estimated listenership of about half a million people.

Comment: Re:just block .us .gov domains (Score 1) 507

by mwooldri (#38568318) Attached to: Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA
IIRC the .us domain was to be used by US State Governments, and .gov was purely federal. The .com, the .net and the .org addresses were to be used by companies, networking operations and organizations in the USA. (.mil by the US military of course) Plus because of the way the Internet is set up, there are country domains that resolve to servers in the USA. So blocking out a couple of entire top level domains wouldn't do it. If Google, Facebook, Amazon et al are going to "go nuclear" it would have to be with geocaching and determining the location of a user by their IP address - if it's in the USA, serve up a SOPA awareness page.... if not, business as usual.

Comment: Re:Worried? (Score 2, Interesting) 450

by mwooldri (#34365814) Attached to: First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried
Some of those areas don't have variable electric tariffs that promote use of electricity when the electric company wants you to use the electric. Here in central NC, most residential customers just have one electrical rate - whatever the electric company wants to charge, and there's no competition. However because the electric infrastructure around here was built around supplying lots of electric power to the textile mills and they have now been shut down, the power companies have excess capacity here. Datacenters are coming here to fill the void somewhat, but not in terms of raw number of employed people. But when it comes to electric vehicles the interim solution is for electric companies to offer an "electric vehicle" tariff on a circuit that is controlled by the electric company - and to encourage EV users to charge at times convenient to the electric company. However these charging stations should IMO make use of a dual circuit - giving EV owners the option to give their vehicle a charge boost at peak power pricing, whilst giving the same option of garaging the vehicle overnight to charge when the electric company thinks it can send power to that charging station.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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