Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:There is no need (Score 1) 89

There is no new legislation. The FCC reclassified Telecoms as "common carriers", which was made by old-as-dirt legislation. As common carriers they would be barred from inspecting the contents of the packages they're carrying for you. (And they would not be responsible for what you send).

I mean, that's the current curfluffle. Are you bitching about the FCC's Open Internet Order? Because that's still not legislation.

The FCC doesn't make legislation, that comes out of congress. So... wtf are you smoking and could you send me that link?

Did you mean regulation? I know these things can be confusing. Who could have guessed?

Comment Re:There is no need (Score 1) 89

as afraid as I am to post this opinion on slashdot of all places, ... already has such strongly held opinions that they get angry at you for even asking in the first place.

Naw, no worries mate. You should never be afraid to ask. Don't let the maniacal group of fanatical, hammer-wielding zealots put you off.

As I understand it, net neutrality is a set of U.S. government regulations that prohibit an ISP like Comcast from charging, say Netflix, more per GB than they charge me per GB.

Network neutrality is how the Internet works. Network neutrality regulation is the governments attempt at keeping it from falling apart. There's been a pretty obvious political campaign to get the two conflated. The thing with extorting extra money out of specific services is one aspect of it.

Network Neutrality: It prevents ISPs from fucking with your packets in transit. It's fundamentally how the Internet works and has always worked since it's inception. The Internet is a bunch of networks interconnected all sharing and carrying each other's packets through a vast web. It's pretty cool. Small ISPs pay those above them for connections, and charge those under them, and "peer" with their neighbors on all their borders. So if JoeISP next door has a million packets last month that needed to cross your lines to get to something on the other side, and you had a million packets that needed to go through his servers, you're both square.

And neither of you fuck with those packets in transit. You don't slow down all of Joe's customers packets. You don't look through them and drop all the stuff related to cats. You don't differentiate if they're going to France or to Kansas. You don't care if they're smut or if they're stock orders. You don't care if it's netflix traffic or hulu traffic. It's all equal and you carry it as neutral as possible. (and, there's some exceptions like VoIP being treated differently than downloads, it's not a perfect system).

Now, if Joe was a real dick, he could go to Netflix and demand an extra $50 or he'd drop all their packets. Or make Google queries 10s slower than Bing searches. Or block anything going to or from China. Or block all porn. Or refuse web connections to a subset of the Internet unless the customer pays extra. All of that breaks network neutrality, and is a way for ISPs to make an extra buck on top of actually providing Internet service.

Netflix officially don't care anymore as they're too big to bully around. Could you imagine buying Comcast and simply not having that include Netflix? PFt, no. Customers would flock to alternatives. Netflix can play that game of chicken and double-dog-dare Comcast to shit all over their customers and give degraded service. Hell, they're international, they can weather the storm. 10 years ago when they started competing with cableTV, they really REALLY cared.

The FCC was trying to enforce network neutrality by classifying the Telecom giants as common carriers like Fedex. Which means they can't fuck with the goods in transit (and that they're not responsible for what people send). If business REALLY wanted to bitch-slap the telecoms for changing that, Disney could sue them all for all the piracy their services are aiding. But that's a legal nuclear option. Prior to the FCC pulling that trigger with classifying ISPs as common carriers is that the market consolidated and competition died off. Before, asshats like JoeISP didn't try to break network neutrality as the network would simply route around it, and everyone depended on everyone else playing nice. Now that there's only a handful of major ISPs that refuse to compete with each others territory, there's no free market, and capitalism is fucked.

but we're still talking about the government prohibiting a specific type of contractual agreement between two corporate entities - that almost never goes well for anybody except the incumbents.

Hmmm, it might seem that way to a cynic. But plenty of things are prohibited and everyone agrees they ought to be. Like one corporation paying another to beat up and shoot the rabble-rousing union strikers ala the Pinkertons. Or blatant collusion like Union Pacific refusing to transport the oil you found on your land unless you sell it to Standard Oil for a pittance. Or banks using your money to invest in risky deals without telling anyone. These are all illegal. Now. They were previously acceptable contractual agreements between two corporations. To claim that any sort of business regulation is a bit... philosophical. Do you really want bankers and stock traders to play fast and loose with your investments like they did leading up to 2007? But yeah, there's plenty of way to fuck up the regulation and enforcement of network neutrality. I liked the FCC's common-carrier classification as it didn't introduce any sweeping new rules, it just applied old established rules to telecoms. The downside, as we're seeing, is that the head of the FCC changes every election cycle. If the FCC can't ensure the Internet stays healthy, then we'll have to have legislature do it. Or the FTC could bust up the telecoms with Sherman's hammer. That's also viable.

Or, look at it this way: The "incumbent", the current person in charge of deciding where and how your packet get places, is you. The masses. The users. We want that to remain in place and for the Internet to stay like it's always been.

Comment Re:There is no need (Score 1) 89

Nothing is going on that is preventing an open internet.

What? The Internet will never be perfectly open and free. It's more of a ideal we want to strive for. The closer we get to it the better. There legit real-world limitations though. VoIP is different then torrents, Omaha is closer than Kzhackistan. You could even argue that locking sites behind paywalls violates network neutrality, but hey, it's a purchase choice left to the end-users so no-one cares and it lets people sell services online. Power to the people and all that.

And actually, (formorly is bundled into your Internet service. You don't get a choice about if you want to buy it or no. Your ISP is paying money directly to Disney and Hearst to give their users access to the content. An example of telecoms trying to bundle websites into ISP services and transforming the Internet into something more like cable TV where the networks get to decide what's available to watch. A clear example of a violation of network neutrality.

The worst thing to do is establish regulations where none are needed.

Right. But regulations are needed here. Because capitalism only works when there's competition. When there's no free market, shit sucks. Markets become less free in all sorts of ways. Markets with a high barrier to entry are just naturally less free. When an oligarchy of businesses refuse to compete and carve up the map into territories, the market is not free. And yeah, regulation makes markets less free. But if they refuse to compete, and start abusing the users, the proper response is to either bust up the companies into smaller chunks that will start competing again or to regulate what is and is not acceptable behavior. Like fucking over network neutrality.

Because of course we want a neutral network. That's how it's operated since it's inception. Everyone passes along everyone else's packets without fucking with them. When the telecoms start to try actively BREAKING network neutrality, then obviously something has to change.

Now the only reason that their first timid advances at breaking network neutrality were thwarted in the past is due to public backlash and the fear that the FCC would clamp down with regulation. And then they continued and the FCC did indeed clamp down. With the current head of the FCC blatently trying to kill off network neutrality (god, it'd be so much better if he just pointed out he wanted to remove regulation enforcing network neutrality, but no, I don't think he even knows the different), the threat of reprecusion is all but gone. But... 3 more years and we'll have another head of the FCC. Or sooner.

You aren't being blocked or prevented from engaging in legal activities.

BWAHAHAHHAaaa, oh. Ok, nevermind. I thought you had a serious complaint for a moment.

No, nothing is preventing you from subscribing to HBO and watching Game of Thrones. ...As long as you're willing to sign up for the premier cable package and shell out extra for HBO on top of that. If that's how you want the rest of the Internet to be made available to the masses, fuck off.

Comment Re:youve got to keep that ball rolling. (Score 1) 228

Then the paranoia of a generation led us to stumble into central america, the middle east, and southeast asia.

To be fair, the paranoia was mostly warranted. During World War II, the Soviet bloc also recovered well from their own economic troubles, and their economies had led to political expansion that cut off emerging markets for the United States. The Soviet Union also gained a significant amount of territory in Europe through the war, and they maintained exclusive control, apparently fueling the Soviet economy at the West's expense.

Warranted as in the commies were indeed trying to spread their ideology to the rest of the world. And warranted as in they really did send a bunch of spies into the USA.

But the actions in South America during the Red Scare were atrocities that destabilized the entire region and had a MASSIVE net negative impact. We didn't have to fight the communists, they're system was fucked up and it collapsed. The entire reason we had the cold war and all those proxy wars was because we thought our system was better. It was. But if we thought it was so much better, why did we kill so many people out of fear that their system was going to take over?

No, I don't think it's fair to say their paranoia was warranted to the point where fucking over a continent was justified.

Comment Re:Didn't we have treaties against space weapons? (Score 1) 228

And it's a really really bad idea because of the Kessler Syndrome. If powers start knocking birds out of the sky in a panic or in self-defense then the debris could cause a chain reaction which would lock humanity inside planet earth and deny EVERYONE access to space for the foreseeable future.

Admittedly, that sort of attempt at removing WMD capabilities is the sort where the world ends shortly after one way or another. But still.

And I think it's an open secret that all the major powers have anti-spying laser tech that they've tested out. Razzle-dazzle is so much better than a kinetic kill vehicle that irreversibly pollutes low earth orbit.

Comment Re:They want our anonymity (Score 1) 944

Through careful investigation I have determined both the first and last name of Slashdot user "invid".

I am not publishing his identity as he writes cyberpunk novels and he seems like the sort of guy that would send out free books to people online.

I reserve the right to publish his identity should any of that change.

Comment Re:And we just celebrated the Fourth of July (Score 1) 944

Or... I guess I could have said:

Freedom of speech does not imply freedom from any consequences.

Freedom of speech does imply freedom from some consequences.

Which gives you two goal-posts so far apart from each other you can just kick the ball in practically any direction and score a goal.

Comment Re:And we just celebrated the Fourth of July (Score 1) 944

That's one of those talking point blurbs that can be stretched or twisted to mean pretty much whatever you want it to mean.

If you're talking about consequences like people being informed about what you just said and remembering who said it, then sure, that seems like a perfectly valid statement. Of course you're not free from people remembering what you said, trying to change and enforce that would be a laughable clusterfuck. Forcing big search engines like Google to "forget" things also seems like a bad idea, but Europe is trying it out.

However, if you're talking about consequences like being black-bagged by secret police and shipped off to the gulag in the night, then fuck no, that's almost exactly the opposite of "free speech" and you're a bloody monster for that sort of double-think.

See? That saying is so wide open to interpretation it's practically meaningless.

Freedom of Speech is an idea that came out of the enlightenment. It's not just something for other people to worry about.

The right to free speech is a legal quandary.

The first amendment is law in place to restrict what the government can do. It gives people the right to free speech and promotes the freedom of speech.

The first amendment doesn't restrict what this Internet troll can say, nor does it restrict what CNN from doxxing this kid. Both have the right to say pretty much whatever they want. But that falls short of threatening to murder or injure someone unless they comply. Does it fall short of threatening to dox someone? Good question. I dunno. Maybe the courts have weighed in on this? Maybe it's legal grey area. Most of this comes down to politics. A behemoth like CNN threatening a 15 year old Internet troll over an image is clearly a dick move but it doesn't mean it's the sort of thing that sets precedence for all cases everywhere and all news organization should now be barred from saying anyone's name. Nor should giant corporations have roving bands of brownshirts to harass anyone that steps out of line.

Let's try to avoid extremes and work on nuance, shall we?

Freedom of speech does not imply it won't make you unpopular for saying it.

Comment Re:Kids (Score 1) 147

Arguing with a smaller version of yourself that YES, they have to wipe the poop from their butt for the 6th time that week is "eudaimonic self-actualizing"?

Reading how Pete the Cat thinks it's cool to lose a race in an ritalin induced haze for the 3rd time in a row is "eudaimonic self-actualizing"?

Getting yelled at, kicked, and hated because you couldn't make the rain stop is self-actualizing? (Hey, even when you tell them no, and give them time-outs, they're still going to throw a tantrum here and there. They're THREE. Remember; terrible two's, terrorist threes.)

I mean, I kinda get what you're saying, but the payoff takes DECADES to get to, and there's a lot of shit to go through on the way there.

Comment Re:Who let the Marketing team in? (Score 1) 139

I don't know, there was a lot about the process he never told me. But if it ever starts to teach itself how to apply statistical analysis to the data set and identify "probable fraud" or "probable cancer" all by itself without a statistician in the loop, then it's AI. And my friend isn't a statistician.

My point was that there's actual real meaningful work with gains to be made in healthcare by software. Statistical analysis, big data, hadoop, AI, or whatever.

Slashdot community seems to be that the only valid kind of AI is the one that gains self-awareness

Yeah, good luck defining whateverthefuck that means. I think this is that sort of egocentric thing where people like to think humanity is fundamentally special somehow. They didn't want to admit that humans are animals. Or that other animals recognized themselves in mirrors. Or that they use tools or language or drugs. "Self-awareness" might as well be a synonym with "soul" for all the good that does.

Comment Re:The same pearls were being clutched in 1955 (Score 1) 389

What happens to human interaction when a virtual conversation with a bot is determined to be better than any real one?

Better in what way? More entertaining? Well that'll mean a lot of people will play videogames for recreation. We're already there. More enlightening? Then we've hit some sort of AI-awakening. Cue sci-fi hollywood tropes.

What happens to companionship and procreation when machines and virtual realities can pleasure us better than a human alternative, and without the risk of dying prematurely from a world running rampant with STDs?

Probably a lower birth-rate. As is seen in all developed nations anyway. And that's probably a good thing overall. Remember some people are still freaked out at overpopulation. And less spread of disease. Sounds good. If it ever turns into a crisis, I'm pretty sure our teenagers would rise to the challenge. They're kinda made for it.

What happens to human employment ... when automation and AI become good enough to destroy it?

Either a utopia where the robots provide all we need, or a dystopia where the owners of the robots let us die off. See: Sci-fi. But more likely the burden of human labor would shift towards higher mental work. As it has been happening since robots took over manufacturing.

[ditto for education]

Why would AI destroy education? Anyway, let's presume AI has taken over the bulk of "work". Some populace are still employed pushing the boundaries of science and engineering. Really smart people. That crowd operates exactly as it does now, there's just less need for the stupider ones. (That said, DEAR GOD, there's so much work that could be done in the realm of engineering it's not even funny. And I think there's a literally endless amount of work to be done for science.)

There's also likely to be a bunch of people who don't see any viable job they're capable of and, on the utopia side of things, will do whatever they want. Maybe they'll do something really silly like ramble and rant in front of a camera while they play videogames and eat Cheetos all day. Oh wait, that's an industry now. Yeah, I'm also to old to really get the appeal.

What happens to critical thinking ... when the concept of employment and monetary reward is no longer viable?

Probably nothing? Most people will still be bloody idiots.

[Ditto for education as I like to tack that on to places]

More people will be able to survive as idiots. I imagine they'll still push kids to try and be one of those super-smart still-needed scientists or engineers. Or mathematicians, or 'technologists'. But most will fail out or drop down and get some shitty degree that doesn't really help them. They'll be massivly in debt if they have to pay for it themselves and the next generation will be substantially poorer, while the select few who have jobs (or are owners) are ludicrously wealthier than before. Inequality and the gini co-efficient will rise, and there will probably be unrest. Things might get ugly if some populist politicians promises to make it all better again via... some fucked up plan. Will probably blame the jews or something.

The next iterations of "advancement" are quite a bit different, and is not something we are readily prepared for

Shit dude, we haven't bee prepared for ANY advancement. Remember the Luddites were shot at and put down when they rioted. They were just pissed that they were all out of work.

Comment Re:not a government issue (Score 1) 389

You're comparing "having a smart-phone" to heroin. Seriously? Think about this for a moment. Think about the utility of a smart-phone. Now think about the utility of heroin. This particular example really falls apart as it's also banned for adults, and we're talking about restricting usage by KIDS.

If you want to restrict anything that provides them a strong dopamine reward.... Then you're looking at banning... about everything.

Seriously, let go. And also get some concrete proof that it's harmful before you try banning it. Duh.

Comment Re:Who let the Marketing team in? (Score 1) 139

Funny you should mention healthcare. So my friend went into "big data" after college. Hadoop mostly. Eventually worked at an insurance company. With a big enough set he could spot the similarities between the fraudsters and identify when someone was committing insurance fraud. You know, with a hit-miss rate. It was really just a tool to point the auditors in the right direction.

He could ALSO spot trends with people who got certain diagnosis's and certain tests as those who might have a particular disease. The way he described it was that most people who had a list of symptoms, went to a skin specialist, then had two certain tests performed commonly were diagnosed with a certain disease. But not all of them. He made a system that recommended the ones that didn't get diagnosed to go get checked for that particular disease, and lo and behold a lot of them had it. Now.... That's likely just catching doctor's screw-ups. But it's getting people help and having a complete non-doctor and a tool diagnosing people through their medical records. ...Which saved the insurance company some money eventually, hence why he was paid to do it.

But wtf is with Slashdot's kneejerk attacks against AI?

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with being punctual is that people think you have nothing more important to do.