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Comment: Re:SEC block? (Score 1) 303

by thomst (#46260957) Attached to: Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

swalve insisted;

There are only two signals you can send to your cable company: giving them money or not giving them money. When you keep giving them money, you are telling them that you approve of their behavior and wish them to continue. Continuing to pay them for a service you don't think is worth the money is utter stupidity.

So, your proposed solution is that I either give up Internet access altogether, or switch to using my ILEC (which means giving up my VoIP landline) for access?

Purely symbolic personal actions are easy - as long as you don't care about self-harm.

The problem is that I have no other choices of ISP. This is not just my personal problem. It is a problem of US national policy. Depriving TW of my monthly fee won't accomplish ANYTHING useful. Changing national policy - making cable ISPs common carriers, being the most obviously useful immediate change - WILL. So I argue in favor of that change, because pursuing that change by publicly advocating it as a response to Comcast's bid to become an effective monopoly player in the US cable industry IS useful.

Denying Comcast's attempt to acquire TW would also be useful - but only in the short run. Making acceptance of common carrier status for their combined ISP business a condition for approval of their merger would be more useful, long-term.

Comment: Re:SEC block? (Score 1) 303

by thomst (#46255367) Attached to: Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

swalve sneered:

Then cancel your service.

Is English not your natal language? Because I thought I was pretty clear about being stuck in a local duopoly where the alternative is the ILEC - whose upstream limit on DSL is ~100 kbps.

So, basically, you're suggesting I trade a shit sandwich for diahrrea soup?

Kindly fuck the hell off and die.

Comment: Re:SEC block? (Score 2) 303

by thomst (#46238523) Attached to: Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

TrekkieGod warned:

In terms of competition, verizon buying time-warner is a much bigger deal than the blocked attempt of at&t buying t-mobile. This purchase can't possibly be allowed to proceed.

I agree.

An earlier version of the NYT story quoted Comcast's CEO as stating the combined company would only control 30% of the US pay TV market - a claim which purposefully conflates cable MSOs with SATELLITE TV providers. The difference (and it is crucial) between those two delivery models is that virtually every member of Comcast's customer base, and the 8 million net subscribers they expect to acquire from TW also depend on their cable operator as their broadband ISP, whereas almost NONE of DirectTV's customers also use it for Internet service. There's an excellent reason for that: their satellite Internet service is VERY expensive, AND IT SUCKS. It's dogshit slow, monthly data transfer quotas are ludicrously tiny, it's unusably laggy for online gaming and VoIP service (plus, your uplink requires POTS), and rain- or snow-storms make it impossible to use altogether.

Still worse, Comcast has already been caught extorting money from Level 3 Communications to keep Netflix from being throttled, and it counts Netflix streams against customers' monthly data caps, but does not do the same for its own Xfinity app for the Xbox.

Nor, in all fairness, is TW anything approaching a model corporate citizen. This month TW raised my Internet access bill by $5, from $39.99 to $44.99. That's in excess of an 11% increase. Has TW's cost of providing service increased to my rural duopoloy increased by any even marginally-significant amount recently? Oh, HELL NO. That increase was shoved down my throat purely to pump up TW's stock price, SO THAT COMCAST WOULD HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR THE COMPANY. And, of course, Comcast will insist on additional ratepayer robbery to increase the stock price of the combined company, because increased, short-term shareholder return is the ONLY goal of capitalism.

Just ask any MBA.

This scumbaggery must not be allowed to spread.

Comment: Re:Deliberately crippled (Score 5, Informative) 118

by thomst (#46233085) Attached to: Google Earth's New Satellites

icebike conjectured:

But it probably gets Google the sats it needs for free.

If google can build it, but only the military can use the full resolution, it sounds like google is probably getting huge piles of money from the US Military.

The summary is completely wrong (surprise!)

Google is NOT building the satellite (note the singular) in question. It will merely be a customer of DigitalGlobe - one of many, including the US government.

Not that the US goverment needs DigitalGlobe's images. After all, the NSA has a fleet of its own satellites with far better image resolution capability than the DigitalGlobe effort.

Slushdot: come for the misleading summaries, stay for the uninformed commentary!

+ - Sophisticated Spy Tool 'The Mask' Rages Undetected for 7 Years->

Submitted by thomst
thomst (1640045) writes "Kim Zetter of Wired's Threat Level reports that Kaspersky Labs discovered a Spanish-language spyware application that employs "uses techniques and code that surpass any nation-state spyware previously spotted in the wild." The malware, dubbed "The Mask" by Kaspersky's researchers, targeted targeted government agencies, diplomatic offices, embassies, companies in the oil, gas and energy industries, and research organizations and activists had been loose on the Internet since at least 2007, before it was shut down last month. It infected its targets via a malicious website that contained exploits — among which were the Adobe Flash player vulnerability CVE-2012-0773 — that affected both Windows and Linux machines. Users were directed to the site via spearphishing emails."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I always thought... (Score 1) 118

by thomst (#46133217) Attached to: How the Black Hole Firewall Paradox Was Resolved

wonkey_monkey pointed out:

I maintained:

In the Standard Model, black holes are singularities.

To which wonkey_monkey responded:

Really? I always that the presence of the singularity is what causes the black hole to be, but they're not actually one and the same.

Comological Doctor AC agrees here.

Thanks for calling my attention to his post.

Comment: Re:I always thought... (Score 1) 118

by thomst (#46133205) Attached to: How the Black Hole Firewall Paradox Was Resolved

An Anonymous Coward commented:

(I do have a doctorate in cosmology and I've a contention with what you've said: a black hole is not a singularity, whether by definition or otherwise. A "black hole" is simply a region in vacuum shrouded by an event horizon, and this situation occurs when a body is compressed enough that it lies entirely within its event horizon. In classical GR there are a few ways to get to this situation, with perhaps the most common being the collapse of a supermassive star. In classical GR there is also a singularity at the centre of the black hole, but a quantum theory of gravity would be expected to smear this out. What this does not imply is that a quantum theory of gravity would destroy the concept of a black hole entirely -- instead it seems very likely that in a quantum theory of gravity we would retain an event horizon, merely a somewhat "smeared" and non-absolute form of one (a distinction that would seem heartlessly academic to any poor sod falling into a hole). Hawking's conjecture, which is eerily similar to an equally unproven conjecture he advanced a few years back to "prove" that the information paradox was solved, is that ultimately there are no "black holes" because they are not an infinite state -- eventually they will dissipate, which immediately implies that their "event horizons" are actually apparent horizons. So far as this goes, it strikes me as eminently non-controversial.

Anyway, the concept of a singularity and a black hole are therefore rather distinct.)

I sit corrected.

However, I'd like to point out that nothing in your analysis validates wisnoskij's contention that the mass of a black hole has to be considered as existing entirely within this universe, therefore preventing it from acting as a "wormhole" to another one. As I understand it, whether the event horizon is actually a hard boundary or a more diffuse one, we don't currently have a solid cosmological model of what's "on the other side" of that boundary. AFAIK, Hawking's position on the issue of whether information is, in fact, lost once it passes an event horizon has evolved over the years, and his most recent thoughts are more conceptual arguments than mathematical models. (That's apparently more a factor of his increasing communications disability than necessarily a weakness in his logic, but still ... I don't believe he's provided the math to back up his current mental model, yet.)

I'd be happy to have my grasp of the subject debunked by those who truly do understand the math involved. I make no claim whatsoever to that ability, myself - I just contend that wisnoskij was harumphing ex cathedra on the subject from the depths of his hat./p>

Comment: Re:I always thought... (Score 0) 118

by thomst (#46130295) Attached to: How the Black Hole Firewall Paradox Was Resolved

wisnoskij blathered:

The problem with that is that black holes need the mass they suck in to exist.

The mass cannot both be in the black hole and shot out the other side into a new universe.

So unless you can come up with a theory that has black holes creating mass out of nothing, that is simply impossible.

Sorry, but you can't prove that contention. Period.

In the Standard Model, black holes are singularities. BY DEFINITION, the laws of physics as we observe and understand them break down in singularities. The SM can't explain what is going on inside a black hole, AND NEITHER CAN YOU.

Unless you have a doctorate in cosmology or astrophysics, you doubtless are profoundly unqualified even to have an OPINION on the topic ... so, kindly STFU.

Thank you.

Comment: Fundamental disconnect between reality and opinion (Score 5, Informative) 388

by thomst (#46109501) Attached to: Edward Snowden and the Death of Nuance

The article to which this piece points is an opinion piece. The author points out that Snowden's "latest revelations" may compromise current field operations and/or operatives.

The central problem with that claim is that SNOWDEN HAS MADE NO NEW REVELATIONS. *All* of the revelations from "Snowden" are actually revelations made by one or more of the journalists to whom Snowden gave copies of his stolen documents. All of them. Snowden himself has refused to reveal ANYTHING that THEY have not already published, on the grounds that he considers himself to be unqualified to properly strike the balance between preserving national security and revealing information that is clearly in the public interest. Instead, he has left it ENTIRELY up to the journalists to whom he gave the information to make those decisions.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to the man himself.

Comment: God DAMN Elselvier! (Score 1) 214

by thomst (#46104425) Attached to: What Killed the Great Beasts of North America?

Seriously.

It's not bad enough that these scumbags have a stranglehold on scientific research publishing. The primary website to which the summary points requires the reader to allow so many third-party scripts to run that I simply gave up on the article altogether.

Oh, and FUCK SLASHDOT for pointing me to such a piece-of-shit website in the first place.

Comment: Re:Current PCs are good enough. (Score 1) 564

by thomst (#45923843) Attached to: PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

In response to my comment about the Alienware M17X, roc97007 commented:

I've never even seen one, outside The Big Bang Theory.

A friend of mine who does process control automation for a living is working on his second (the first one was stolen from his truck). Gorgeous machine. Top-notch graphics performance, full-HD display, dual quad CPUs, 7200 rpm data drive and a 256 GB flash memory boot drive. POST to Windows 7 desktop in 3 seconds flat. And built like a tank. Plus a full 101-key keyboard, mad I/O, and cool, customizable lighting zones.

Weighs a ton and drinks a battery dry in 2.5 hours or so - but, man, what a beautiful muscle machine!

+ - Supreme Court declines case on making online retailers collect sales taxes->

Submitted by thomst
thomst (1640045) writes "Robert Barnes of the Washington Post reports that the US Supreme Court has declined to hear petitions from Amazon.com and Overstock.com requesting that a decision by the New York State Supreme Court permitting that state's 2008 law requiring sales taxes be collected on Internet sales, even if the seller has no "business presence" in New York. The New York Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon’s relationship with third-party affiliates in the state that receive commissions for sending Web traffic its way satisfied the “substantial nexus” necessary to force the company to collect taxes, and New York's Supreme Court had affirmed the ruling. The Federal high court's refusal to hear the petitions leaves the state law in effect, even though it appears to conflict with the Court's 1993 decision in Quill v. North Dakota."
Link to Original Source

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