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Comment: Re:Monopoly (Score 1) 113

by nobaloney (#44866173) Attached to: Doctorow: Rivalry Keeps Google From Doing Evil

Now, maybe in parts of the country where there's FiOS service or uncapped connections capable of more than 5mbps that's not the case.

5mbps is qite enough to run many small servers. In our datacenter, for example, we average approximately 1.2 mbps per server, when we measure across all systems in a given cabinet. 95th percentile billing (look it up).

Comment: It's not a problem... it's an opportunity (Score 1) 625

by nobaloney (#44859883) Attached to: 45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

I've been hearing about this since the 50s (yes I'm old). It used to be considered a good thing, because we'd have more leisure time. The problem isn't the lack of available work; it's the distribution of wealth.

What we need to do is accept the inevitability of automation, and figure out how to either redistribute wealth or make it irrelevant. This isn't a trivial task, but either we're going to do it, or we're going to fail as a society (or worse yet, become entirely irrelevant).

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 175

by nobaloney (#44846023) Attached to: Michael Dell To Buy Dell Inc.

Obligatory disclaimer: I used to work for the company, and while I wouldn't say he's a friend, I've met him several times.

Then you know he's a driven man. Better for the stockholders that he attempt a buyout at any price than that he sell all his shares cheap, thus lowering the company's street value, and then use his money (he must have a lot of it, to be able to make the offer) to build a new tech startup using his name (there are at least some states and countries where he could do that with at least one non-confusing descriptive word added; Belize, nemesis of John McAfee, comes to mind as a possible location). What he's doing is good for him (or he wouldn't be doing it), probably at least partially driven by ego, and as good for the stockholders as they're going to get.

Comment: Don't sign a petition you don't understand (Score 1) 566

by nobaloney (#44841009) Attached to: Linus Responds To RdRand Petition With Scorn

California (and probably many other states as well) allow the [i]public[/i] to create and present to the voters, laws which the legislature never considers. Many such laws have been passed. The end result is a few good laws get passed, tens of millions of dollars get spent on elections, and many laws get passed, overturned by courts, and otherwise just don't work.

While Linus may or may not be arbitrary, may or may not be obnoxious, may or may not be overbearing, he almost certainly knows more about the subject and it's viability than people who come across and sign a petition on change.org withoout taking the time to fully understand it.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 185

by nobaloney (#44796661) Attached to: California Legislature Approves Trial Program For Electronic Plates

In order to communicate with these plates, you need to know where the plate is, so your car is tracked in near-realtime.

Not really. Though they'll probably implement it to track location, it doesn't need to be done that way. For example, Sirius-XM can one-way communicate to individual radios via satellite-broadcast. Just sayin'.

Comment: Re:10 GB/mo ro less (Score 1) 353

by nobaloney (#44796547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

As mentioned, the ISDN is/was a guaranteed bandwidth service (really a partial T1 line)

No, ISDN is actually a dialup service, though digital from end to end and not analog. 64 kbps per channel, two channels available per twisted pair. I used dual-channel ISDN to provision my first hosting company. From a single twisted-pair connection. I ran it from an apartment with two twisted pairs available, and used one for a fax line (and occasionally a modem for testing). The other twisted pair was for a dual-channel ISDN line, which switched automatically from 128 kbps down to 64 kbps whenever a phone call came in.

My upstream provider also worked from home; he had a partial T-1 (he never told me how big a part) and I paid for the ISDN at my apartment and at his home.

This worked because in Florida (where I lived at the time) the local tariffs were for flat rate for residential ISDN. If we worked from offices we couldn't have afforded the per-minute rate. The relatively slow speed and capacity worked in those days (circa 1995-1996 iirc) because the local university only had 56kbps for the entire campus.

Years later running an ISP I had a 25-pair cable, which we used for twenty five incoming phone lines to 25 separate 48-baud modems, and offered dialup service. We didn't pay incoming at all, so the charge was under $500/month for incoming data. Outgoing to the 'net was 384kbps sDSL at a few hundred dollars per month (one twisted pair).

That model stopped working when 56K modems came out; they would only work at 56K downstream, not upstream, so they wouldn't help us provide 56K service. So we dropped our physical plant and began reselling a wholesale ISP who'd invested in the newer equipment.

That turned out to be a good plan; a few years later when everyone was switching to DSL (before the days when you could get Internet from your cable provider) we sold off our clients at a profit, didn't have a great loss from equipment fast becoming obsolete, and moved on to a hosting-only model. Our one competition in town, the local daily newspaper, lost a fortune; they had to write off a much larger infrastructure.

Those were the days.

Comment: Re:Start your own provider? (Score 1) 353

by nobaloney (#44796281) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

What would you do if all of the ISPs had 14.4k lines and you just bought that awesome 28.8k modem? They are running a business and have decided to put a cap on your rate. If other providers around you are doing the same thing, suck it up, lobby for a new uncapped plan (good luck), or start your own provider without a cap.

suck it up, lobby for a new uncapped plan (good luck)

I found an uncapped plan easily, switching from a capped 30mbps home plan (which averages just under 20mbps) at us$50/month, to an uncapped businessplan (same speed) at us$75/month. Well worth it in my opinion (and it comes with static IP, which may be a plus or a minus in your circumstances).

Personally I consider it a good deal; in my datacenter we buy unlimited data at up to 1 gbps (all of it available), usage measured at 95 percentile billing (look it up if you need an explanation) at us$60 per mbps per month.

Which means if I fill the (average) 20mbps pipe (which I don't, and frankly really can't unless I throw away all the stuff I download in realtime) I pay us$75/month, and if I move data at the same 20mbps rate at the datacenter for a month I pay us$1200. So I consider my local home provider a bargain.

I didn't switch to business service to get the cap lifted; watching movies and downloading software ISOs I've never approached it. I witched to get static-IP (it improves security as I can allow certain logins to my datacenter only from my static IP), and to get port 25 opened so I can run my own mailserver at home.

If you need your cap lifted you should enquire with your provider about business service.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 221

by nobaloney (#44758935) Attached to: Prankster Calls NSA To Restore Deleted E-mail

It depends on the jurisdiction of the guy doing the recording. In the US it's on a state-by-state level and some states allow recording phone conversations if only one of the callers knows about it. If you had listened to the recording you'd know the gent was calling from Amsterdam, so in this case it depends on Dutch law.

That said, yanking the NSA's chains may not be a good idea, especially if he ever wants to fly to, in or over the United States.

And I've probably been put on the no-fly list just for pointing this out.

(Not posting anonymously because they're the NSA; they can figure out who I am anyway.)

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.

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