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Comment: Re:Who's not paying enough? (Score 1) 466

AT&Ts issue is that the ratio of inbound to outbound traffic between them and Netflix's ISP is significantly out of balance for AT&T to justify the costs of upgrading their network purely to accommodate Netflix (yes to be perfectly clear, it's to accommodate their own users' demand for netflix bandwidth) but once again, AT&T has not built out and priced their network to allow large unfettered access to a specific pipe all simultaneously and nor should a consumer ISP be required to do so. If you really wanted "dedicated" bandwidth, then consumers will need to be prepared to pay out their ass for it. So the question here is
a) is AT&T/[insert your ISP] doing enough to evenly distribute their bandwidth use across their peers.
b) if they are, who's responsibility it is to "pay" to fix the problem?

If AT&T is not doing their part to make sure their peering is properly balanced across all their points of peering and purposefully say starving Level 3 because of netflix, well yeah, that's a problem.

Peering agreements don't really handle this type of issue as they were traditionally built on cases where the ratio was much much closer to even. With large swaths of consumer ISPs that don't also host content, things have changed considerably.

Comment: Who's not paying enough? (Score 4, Insightful) 466

I'm somewhat sympathetic to the ISPs issues.
1) Internet connectivity at the end user level is oversold. AT&T (comcast, timewarner, google fiber, [insert your ISP here]) does not charge in such a way that every single user can have 100% unfettered access to your bandwidth all simultaneously. It's just the way it works
2) Netflix may pay their ISP for their bandwidth usage.

Here's the disconnect. Netflix's ISP and [insert your consumer ISP here] do not share the same network. Thus at some point, the two ISPs have to cross some barrier. Now if all of [insert your consumer ISP here]'s customers are simultaneously connecting to Netflix at the exact same time for primetime hours, who's responsibility is it to ensure that the peering arrangement is fair? Does the consumer ISP need to pay to make sure that the peering relationship is such that all their users have the ability to stream from Netflix unfettered? Considering 1) above, is this fair to the ISP? They could do so, but to maintain their existing cost structure it'd likely mean that they may have a smaller pipe to another peer. Is it fair to users using those other peers or do they also have simply make sure ALL of their peers are able to fully pass 100% of traffic unfettered at peak times?

The simple answer is, if you expect the consumer ISP to allow full bandwidth to all of these sites, it's going to significantly raise the cost of bandwidth per end user. So we're complaining that consumer ISPs are demanding money from Netflix, but the alternative is to demand more money from the end user or eat the costs. We know eat the costs is never an option in the US market system :). So where's the money coming from? If the consumer ISP started charging people more for this, people bitch about being charged more rather than bitch about crappy Netflix.

Perhaps Netflix's tier 1 should pay for a larger peering pipe to the consumer ISP. But where's that money coming from? They're going to increase Netflix's rates, but even then, the consumer ISP would have to have the proper equipment to handle the larger peering pipe.

I don't really agree with the entirety of either Netflix or the consumer ISP (AT&Ts) arguments, but peering bandwidth has always been a balancing act, especially with multiple networks you have to peer with. This is why we have CDNs to begin with, and CDNs are paid for by the content producer, and they in turn either pay the consumer ISP to host their gear, or work with the consumer ISP to come up with a mutually beneficial decision. In some cases, the reduced bandwidth flowing through the peering reduces the ISPs costs that they can justify hosting the CDN equipment without asking for any money.

I do agree that it's wrong for a consumer ISP to purposefully lopside their peering arrangements to hurt a competitor, just like I agree that there's nothing wrong with the notion of paying an ISP to host a CDN appliance. Given our lobbying system, do you really think that net neutrality legislation will even begin to address the many nuanced aspects of this issue?

Comment: Re:My password is printed on the side of my router (Score 2) 341

by wangmaster (#45829241) Attached to: Linux Distributions Storing Wi-Fi Passwords In Plain Text

Dunno what the original poster has but I have a 1600 sq foot house. basement first floor and second floor. 795 sqft rectangular foot print. My wifi access point on the first floor gets a horrid signal in the basement (especially near the corners). My wifi router in the basement doesn't reach the top floor corners.

This is specific to the 5ghz bandwidth which I use exclusively.

Yes, custom antennas might help, but wifi routers are cheap (just for reference I have an Asus rt-n56u and a buffalo wzr-hp-ag300h).

House is built in 1946. There are many situations where a single wifi access point doesn't work, even when you'd think it might.

Comment: This has saved my butt a couple of times :) (Score 1) 341

by wangmaster (#45829093) Attached to: Linux Distributions Storing Wi-Fi Passwords In Plain Text

I've forgotten the WPA passphrases on two of my relatives wifi networks and of course since I set it up for them they never had a clue. Fortunately, the unencrypted networkmanager files were there and made it super easy for me to tell them what their passphrases were :)

Comment: Re:Making an underage sex bot (Score 1) 545

The article wasn't clear on how people "found" sweetie. But I have to say that without further info, the "possibly believing" part is stretching it.

This is the internet. That girl is very obviously CG. How many people have randomly had fun with computer AIs?
I recall the old MUD'ing days and Zork games asking to do stupid sexual things just to get a laugh out of you and your friends sometimes.

Modern day version = Siri. How many silly youtube videos have you seen of people asking Siri to do stupid sexual things.

Just because the CG is of what appears to be a 10 year old girl doesn't mean people aren't going to revert to the same silly behavior just to see what happens, especially if they KNOW it's CG and figure hey, it can't hurt.

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Insightful) 414

by wangmaster (#44447613) Attached to: Are We At the Limit of Screen Resolution Improvements?

The average smartphone has a 720p screen with a pixel density well above 200 now. In the context of this discussion, why can't an average panel that is generally within 12-24"s of your face (desktop or laptop) not have the same requirements?

Sure, there exists laptops today that do. But those laptops don't provide you with alot of choice (both are walled gardens, yeah yeah yeah, I know you can install other things on them etc etc etc, but that's not the point here).

That said, I know this is coming. We're seeing more and more high resolution ultrabooks/laptops. So when I say come back and talk to me again, it's very likely by the end of the year :).

Comment: Re:Real motive (Score 1) 317

by wangmaster (#43085481) Attached to: Best Buy Follows Yahoo in Banning Remote Work

Being able to fire at any time doesn't mean that employees do it.
I live and work in Minnesota and companies here do RIFs (reduction in force) all the time with severance payouts. If they can get people to leave on their own, that's one less severance package to pay. There are plenty of good reasons why companies pay out severance even if they don't have to. But if they can get away with paying out less than they have to, great.

Comment: There's no simple "good" answer. (Score 4, Informative) 260

by wangmaster (#42222915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptop With Decent Linux Graphics Support?

Yes, Linus gave Nvidia the middle finger, and from a certain perspective it was for a good reason, but from another perspective, it's just "ranting".

Nvidia has insisted on closed source proprietary drivers. Does this mean the drivers are crap? Nope, it just makes it very difficult for the open source community to troubleshoot/support them.

ATI/AMD is in the same boat. They have proprietary drivers. Arguably, Nvidia drivers are better. In my experience the ATI/AMD drivers tend to have more bugs. They also have a tendency to release support for a new xorg-server well after the server has been released, thus forcing those of us on the bleeding edge to wait. On the otherhand, they help support the open source drivers, which is great. But, the open source drivers lag behind, so if you're a gamer and dual boot to Windows and have a great ATI/AMD card, it may not work properly under the Linux open source drivers or with a bleeding edge distro with the latest and greatest xorg-server.

Otherwise, if you want "gamer-grade" graphics, you basically have a choice between Nvidia and ATI/AMD. Both have their tradeoffs.

If you don't care about gamer-grade graphics cards, Intel drivers are open source, well maintained, and the new sandy bridge and ivy bridge graphics are more than good enough for almost anything but gaming (they're okay for low to mid-low end gaming but that's about it).

My solution is a thinkpad w520 with optimus graphics. I use optimus graphics under windows when I want to game (quadro 2000m) and use the integrated intel graphics for linux with bbswitch to disable the nvidia gpu so my battery life doesn't suck. But it really does boil down to, do you want to game? If so, you have no choice but a proprietary driver or not-up-to-snuff open source driver. If not, stick with onboard Intel. Decent graphics performance and much better battery life than most discrete solutions.

Comment: Markup is pretty impressive on these things. (Score 4, Informative) 698

by wangmaster (#37359692) Attached to: Is There a Hearing Aid Price Bubble?

I used to work for a hearing aid company in IT.
The most expensive programmable digital hearing aid with all the options topped out at around $1200. That's the cost to the hearing care professional. So yeah, that hearing aid would turn around and sell for at least 3 to 4 times that.

Also, the company had an extended warranty that we sold to the hearing care professional. Most of them don't turn around and sell that to the customer. Instead, they pay for it themselves and then when a customer brings a hearing aid back they sent it to us for free to fix and they charged the customer for it. It seemed like quite a nice racket. Especially when you consider they also charge for the hearing checkup, fitting, and all of that other usual crap above and beyond what the hearing aid itself cost.

I'm not sure what the rest of the medical device industry looks like, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was fairly similar. I know the markup on my glasses frames is pretty crazy.

Comment: Re:expecting quality from the movie, you ask too m (Score 1) 226

by wangmaster (#36358480) Attached to: X-Men: First Class

I agree with most of what you say, about things being better remembered than they actually were. I was an avid comic book collector as a kid and teenager, and over the past decade have re-collected all the comics from those days and re-reading them is more for nostalgia than anything else.

That said, this is exactly why x-men first class succeeded. They paid lip service to the overall theme which is pretty much archetypal (mutants = [insert your oppressed minority here]) and basic archetypal relationship between certain characters (prof x and magneto being yin and yang).

But beyond that, they brought in characters that most outside of the avid fans really don't know alot about and re-imagined them in a way that made it both fresh and new, and yet for those of us who have been x-men fans for decades, it was enough that we were able to connect them, accept the differences and enjoy them.

I for one really liked x-men: first class. it wasn't X2 good, but it was still an awesome movie. I'm also willing to accept non-earth-616-canon depictions of characters.

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