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Comment He'll like this for five minutes (Score 4, Informative) 173

Gavin Newsom is a big, swinging dick in San Francisco city government and he gets what he wants from his IT department, rÃpidamente.

Once all his shit is outsourced to some "cloud provider", he's nothing more than yet another adulterer in San Francisco, just another entry in a vast database and he will NOT have his service expectations met.

And then he'll have another IT department.

Comment Re:When the Billionaire makes a move... (Score 1) 183

China can demand all they want but the bummer for them is that the debt is denominated in our own sovereign currency. We can just print cash to pay them if we want.

We could also just decide to void that debt and not repay it. It would substantive consequences, but those may be more ambiguous than whatever action the Chinese were considering.

I think the primary reason they buy Treasuries is to keep their currency in check. Getting paid back is nice, but I'm pretty sure investment isn't the principal goal.

Comment How about some honesty in bandwidth numbers? (Score 1) 114

How about some honesty in bandwidth numbers?

Comcast is what I'm thinking of specifically -- they provision your *modem* to talk to the local head end at ridiculous bandwidth numbers but in my experience, once you go over about 25 Mbps in most areas you never see it, even if you are provisioned at 50 or even 100 Mbps.

I've been caught in the middle with customers who have equipment provisioned at the 100 Mbps level before who see nowhere near this, even on Comcast's own cheesy bandwidth meter. The customers insist something is wrong with their equipment (since this is what Comcast suggests), and trying to explain the nature of Comcast's network and where bottlenecks occur isn't easy (especially when you're making assumptions of your own).

Personally, I think ISPs should be required when selling a given bandwidth tier to actually label it based on the ability to burst for at least 5 minutes at the maximum throughput level @ layer 3 during ANY time of day to an off network peer.

It's completely dishonest to sell 100 Mbps of throughput when you only have the local upstream backhaul provisioned at that speed and it's shared by many people.

Comment Goodput should be measured (Score 1) 114

In other words, the amount of data layer 4 can send/transmit in a given unit of time.

Layer 3 is nearly as close, but it may include more data that's not inherently "usable" but necessary (TCP overhead, ICMP packets, etc).

Layer 2, with its many levels of encapsulation on the ISP side is less valuable because it involves so much overhead.

Comment They can't bail on them like corporate America? (Score 2, Interesting) 582

Corporate America used to offer pensions to their employees but as greedy, how-can-we-cash-out-today management thinking took over they stopped funding their pensions adequately, basically doing what USPS was doing, "borrowing" from the future.

As management drains more and more from the company, they eventually file bankruptcy which gives them the green light to unload their pensions "under financial duress" to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, who then takes on the pension obligations.

It sounds like a good idea, except that PBGC gets to meat-axe pension benefits and people who were expecting to live on pensions find that the benefits they were promised as workers are no longer enough to live on.

While the whole story is sordid -- many workers accepted lower wages in exchange for generous pension benefits, and corporations who underfund their benefits for short-term profits get to hand the mess over to someone else, scot-free -- why can't the USPS play by those same rules?

IMHO the USPS can't ever be a success; they have all the handicaps of a government entity, plus burdens that corporate America gets to escape from.

Comment Not the first time (Score 1) 92

Not the first time a KAV update has broken something. KAV for Exchange has had several updates come out that stomped on Store.EXE and kept it from running at all without uninstalling KAV for Exchange.

Client-side breakage seems less common, but unless you're running an SSD RAID-10 disk system with an 8 core CPU, you're always wise to dial back some of the Kaspersky defaults or you will find your machine unusable.

It also helps to reduce the frequency of updates. The default is something ludicrous like every hour or two. This provides two benefits -- one, when the update kicks off it generates a crushing amount of disk and CPU activity that throttles lesser machines, the other benefit is that you're much less likely to suck down broken definition updates as it's likely that the bad ones will be found and removed or fixed before you update.

Comment AWESOME for the time. (Score 1) 263

It was AWESOME for the time it came out, especially as a cassette replacement.

Cassettes were fragile, made all kinds of noise with tape hiss, bulky (carrying more than 2-3 when commuting was a headache), at best you had "music search" which would fast forward to the next gap in the program otherwise there was no random access or shuffle, they could be reused but I always found this to be less than desirable without using a degauss gizmo or recording white noise over the tape and then re-using it.

The deck would edit (delete songs, trim songs), you could title tracks and get exact MM:SS readouts (no more mix tapes with awkward spaces at the end), the media itself were compact so carrying a half-dozen commuting wasn't a hassle, the media were far more durable and reusable.

About the only thing I thought was "bad" was that duration seemed to max out at 74 minutes (I was a C-90 cassette user) and the walkman unit that I owned seemed to be a little heavy on batteries, but that wasn't a huge issue for commuting (I swapped in fresh NiMH AAs daily).

Totally obsolete now. It's too bad Sony didn't wise up and make the Walkman units USB compatible for disc read/write and let them play MP3 files. I would have kept using mine for a long time as 160 megs would have made for a decent number of MP3s.

Comment The "moving our headquaters" gambit (Score 4, Interesting) 649

Part of what taxes -- and especially taxes on businesses -- pays for is their participation in a Rule of Law society.

This means you have access to an independent court of law for adjudication of claims against you and claims you may make (especially important when you rely on intellectual property), a civil and military security force to protect your physical assets and employees from harm, and a transparent law-making regime you may lobby to see your interests are represented.

I'm just fine with companies moving, but I'm just as fine with not allowing them to participate in the benefits provided by a Rule of Law society. Feel free to relocate to the third world and feel just as free to see how well the Cayman Islands or Lichtenstein or some of these other tax-dodge nations can protect your global shipments or your factories or your intellectual property.

There's only a small handful of countries able to provide a Rule of Law society and they should band together via treaty to inhibit transnational games and tax dodges.

Comment RICO prosecutions (Score 2) 138

RICO prosecutions would help. It's what should have been done with Spam in the early days when it started to become profitable.

Drag in the banks, the ISPs, and the other supposedly reputable service providers into the RICO prosecutions. Once a couple of well-known institutions get caught like this it would cut off the air supply of the illegal action and make it much, much more difficult.

By not doing this, we only encourage our supposedly legitimate institution to keep providing services to people who actually committing crimes.

Comment Dubious benefits (Score 1) 689

I had a ton of fun with the "foreign" students in college who were most like me -- Europeans (British, Irish, German, Czech). They talked in class (even when language was a challenge), they socialized, I brought them home, went on trips, got invited overseas to live at their houses and they smuggled over fresh beer, food and cigarettes.

The non-European students were completely invisible. They didn't socialize, they didn't speak up in class, and they only spent time with each other. There was a guy from Kenya I met at a bar a few times (we seemed to have the same drinking schedule) but that didn't really count.

Was there a benefit? At the time it was fun to meet the European kids, but the reality is that you don't learn much from people the same as you. They smoke different kinds of cigarettes, but they are almost identical otherwise.

It was the non-Europeans who would have had the biggest benefit, but they didn't participate.

Comment Re:A strange game.... (Score 1) 597

It's a nice bargaining chip, but China also faces a lot of risk from a massive refugee crisis and all the destabilization that would occur should North Korea end up in a shooting situation with the US or South Korea.

NK works well as a foil for the US, but the risk they run is that should a shooting situation occur, the Chinese will have a few million North Koreans crossing the Yellow River creating utter chaos.

Comment Re:As intended. (Score 1) 586

I think it existed sometime between the end of World War II and that point in the 1970s when inflation jacked up the cost of living. During that era most households had only one wage earner, lived in decent housing and had a (historically) high disposable income.

Inflation hosed the cost of everything relative to income and from that point on you had trickle-down economics that cut taxes on the wealthy and capital gains, and low-cost computing enabled the rapid expansion of financial engineering and cost cutting which led to further large gains for the capital owning class and losses for those who became cut costs (cuts in salaries, benefits, etc).

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