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Comment: Consumers pay (Score 5, Insightful) 324

by pr0nbot (#46757233) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Obviously Netflix will just pass the cost on to its subscribers (where else would they get the money from?). It's very unlikely they'd implement this as a surcharge for their Comcast subscribers only (I wish they would, but I expect their contract with Comcast prohibits it), they'll just absorb it into the single subscription price. So in fact non-Comcast customers will effectively be indirectly paying Comcast to subsidise other users' access.

From an engineer's point of view it's all baffling (Netflix and their customers are both paying for a certain amount of bandwidth, so where's the need for anything more?), but when you view it through the lens of capitalist incentives it all makes perfect sense.

Comment: Does everything need to be smart? (Score 4, Insightful) 128

I think a fire alarm is an instance where I'd like something to have as simple and foolproof a mechanism as possible. I suppose a smart alarm could perhaps call the emergency services or something... but I'd still probably combine it with a bog standard fire alarm.

Comment: Maximising the wrong thing? (Score 4, Interesting) 72

by pr0nbot (#46594013) Attached to: Taxis By Algorithm: Streamlining City Transport With Graph Theory

As far as cabbies are concerned, the optimum algorithm will be whatever maximises their revenue. Any algorithm that doesn't will probably be vulnerable to cheating, i.e. a rogue cabbie that can make more money exploiting some aspect of the algorithm will do so.

Comment: Success = happiness? (Score 4, Interesting) 397

Would you rather be successful and miserable, or a happy failure?

I'm told that Hawaii, for example, has an odd vibe where a lot of people lead frugal lives with clapped out cars and McJobs, but they're there because it's a wonderful place to live. Do they deserve contempt for their lack of ambition? Praise for their ability to value the things that really matter? Respect despite having chosen a path we might not choose for ourselves?

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen