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Comment Re:Just a Few Thoughts (Score 4, Insightful) 106

Still, it's an indication that carriers and ISPs are not being completely honest. They basically keep claiming that they need special protections, they need the ability to throttle and limit service, and that services like Netflix can't perform because it's simply not possible to deliver the bandwidth people are demanding. They imply (I'm not sure they've said it outright) that it's not a problem of their unwillingness to upgrade their network, but that people's expectations are just out of whack-- that people using more than a few gigabytes per month are bad actors, using up all the bandwidth, and that there is not any possible way for them to fulfill the demands on their network.

But now they're saying that everything is fine, so long as they can cut Netflix out of the market and take those profits for themselves. If they're allowed to have a monopoly, then suddenly all the technical problems go away.

Comment Re:Happened to me (Score 1) 176

Yes, it was clearly the local office's fault for not entering it into their system that you weren't supposed to get a rental fee...

Except that obviously wasn't the problem, because they did put it into the system, which is why you didn't get charged for the first month. I had similar problems with Time Warner Cable when I bought my own modem. Every once in a while, the fee would get tacked back on and I'd have to call in and complain to get the charge removed. This only makes sense if they have someone or something going through records periodically, adding the fee back on without regard to whether the fee was supposed to be charged.

What was even more frustrating about my experience was, whenever I called for support because my connection was down, they would somehow insist that I needed a TWC modem. Once, they insisted that I couldn't have Internet because I didn't have a modem. A few times they said that they couldn't support me because I didn't have a modem owned by TWC, and they offered to send me out a new one. Once, they told me that outage was because the modem I had was not an approved model, even though it was the exact model they had recommended.

Maybe it's just bad training, but that's not really an excuse.

Comment Re:97% odds against either winning all flips fairl (Score 1) 634

There have been a lot of people who believe that the machinery of the Democratic Party (party officials and such) want Clinton to win, are in cahoots with the Clinton campaign, and have been trying to rig the new coverage, debates, and elections. That may be a crazy conspiracy theory, but it is what some people seem to think is going on.

If you believe that, it doesn't need to be Clinton or her staffers rigging things. The people running the elections are already trying to get her elected.

Comment Re:Open Waters.. (Score 1) 104

I had the same basic question, "What is the benefit here?" Skimming through the linked article, there is a sort of an answer:

Underwater data centers can be cooled by the surrounding water, and could also be powered by wave or tidal energy

I don't know if it's really much more efficient than having normal cooling systems and power generated by an external tidal power system, but it might not be completely pointless and stupid.

Comment Re:Physical media is king (Score 4, Insightful) 105

It seems to me that this is not exactly relevant to the change. Apple had a free broadcast Internet radio service which they've moved to include into a paid subscription steaming service. The issue of "buying" never entered into it.

There have actually been events where your argument would be more applicable. For example, Microsoft ran a service where you could "purchase" DRM-protected music. They then shut down that service and all the music people had "purchased" became useless. That's a good reason to talk about buying CDs rather than subscription services.

What we have here is more comparable to, if a normal free FM radio station decided to move to SiriusXM, and you now had to pay to listen. It's reasonable to be displeased with the change, but it doesn't really make sense to be like, "that's why I purchase all of my radio stations, so that they can never be taken away from me."

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

To me, this strikes of a feel-good, circle-jerk law.

More likely, it's the sort of law that makes it so a prosecutor can plausibly accuse innocent people of doing something illegal so that they can have leverage. The idea is that you make all kinds of things illegal. When you want someone to cooperate, you find some law that they technically violated and threaten that, if they don't cooperate, you'll prosecute them for some weird obscure law.

Comment Re:He's Not Qualified (Score 4, Interesting) 235

What does make a person qualified? It seems like it's the sort of thing a layman can think about. I don't need to be an expert in any particular field to have my opinions on the value of nuclear weapons to be justified. Certainly some people's opinions are more valid than others, but you should be able to have views on a field without having a PhD in that particular field.

There are some topics where having a PhD might not help at all.

Comment Re:Not that I like Trump, but... (Score 1) 875

The most popular candidate in the Republican party said he would impose a 35% business tax on American businesses manufacturing outside of the United States.

On American businesses manufacturing outside of the United States...? So then are you also going to tax non-American businesses that manufacture outside of the United States? Or are you just encouraging businesses to officially station their headquarters outside of the United States so that they won't be considered an "American business"?

Comment Re: How very Republucan... (Score 2) 249

Well you have to figure, as far as Netflix is concerned, the best thing is to have all content available to all people all the time. Ignoring licensing costs and storage costs for a second, it would be to their benefit to just store every video ever made and make it available to any subscriber that wants to watch it, since that would increase the utility to the subscriber, thereby increasing the likelihood of keeping the subscription.

Anything contrary to that is probably going to be a cost-saving measure or a restriction demanded by the IP owner. I very much doubt that their region-based limitations are a cost-saving measure.

Comment Re:Post-Snowden NSA (Score 2) 72

It's easier for someone without those "resources" to do such a thing because they can't be picked out from the crowd. Snowden didn't have any red flags in his life to be singled out...

Right, Snowden didn't have any huge red flags indicating that he was a security concern. Whereas Russia always makes sure their spies are very clearly spies and have tons of red flags indicating that.

... making any to match him would mean not trusting anyone. To stop someone like him you'd have to live in an absolute dictatorship with censored media and summary executions.

Here's the interesting thing, though: you're talking about a security agency that taps our phone calls and reads our emails because they don't trust anyone. So what are they doing trusting people? How did some random independent contractor have so much access and so little oversight that he could pull all of this information without raising red flags? And if they aren't able to secure all this information, they maybe they shouldn't be creating and consolidating it all into a single easy-to-search system.

The most ironic part of your post is the suggestion that there needs to be an oppressive regime in order to stop Snowden, but Snowden did what he did in response to what he considered to be dangerous, corrupt, and potentially oppressive behavior by the government. You don't need a dictatorship to stop Snowden, but you need an open and free society to prevent Snowden from becoming a thing. To stop him, you just need to stop giving random people full admin access to your super-secret nefarious surveillance systems.

Comment Re:Jarvis or Siri? (Score 1) 115

Sure, but... are any of us actually confused by the statement that he's building something comparable to "Jarvis" from Iron Man? When I read that, I assume that means he's basically trying to make a Siri-like "AI" that can be a little more helpful.

I've put a fair amount of thought into this in the past, and it seems to me there are various things a Siri-alike could do, if hooked up and programmed to do it. For example, based on travel patterns, it could note that you almost always go home after work at around 6:30pm. Through the GPS in your device, it could tell when you're close to home, and automatically set a series of conditions for your arrival-- including things like lighting level, music, temperature control, etc. There are a bunch of things like this that require coordinating across devices, which I don't think Siri/Echo really do yet.

Another thing that doesn't seem like it would be too hard to do would be to make it more proactive. Theoretically let's say it has an appointment in your calendar that's 2 hours away. It has access to traffic information for the travel from one location to another, and sees that there's a half hour delay. So about 2.5 hours before the appointment, it automatically gives you a heads-up. "You'd better leave now, or you're going to be late." Or maybe it could monitor your washing machine and say, "You left some clothes in the washer a couple of days ago. You should probably move them to the dryer to avoid getting moldy and gross." These would have to be designed very carefully to make them useful instead of being annoying.

It could also possibly do things for you. Like say, "Hey, your mother's birthday is coming up in 2 weeks, and you usually order her flowers. Would you like me to order her the same bouquet as last year?" There are various possible problems with this, from having bug cause the AI to spend more money than intended, to the social aspects of having some of these things done automatically.

So what I'm getting at here is that there's a lot of stuff that these "AI" systems could potentially do, but we don't have them do because there are loads of potential problems, and it needs to be tested first. In some ways, I think it makes sense to start by having a rich tech guy pay for his own prototype, and figure out what he finds useful vs. annoying. It seems like a reasonable way to work out some of the kinks before you even get to normal testing.

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