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Submission + - D.C. Court rules against FCC on Net Neutrality (cnet.com) 1

lefiz writes: The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to impose strict Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. This ruling overturns the FCC's 2008 order against Comcast over its "network management" practices that interfered with BitTorrent traffic. This may have serious consequences for Net Neutrality going forward.

Comment 3D still requires stereoscopic vision (Score 0) 165

I'm not trying to whine here, but 3D viewing, no matter how it is accomplished, still requires that you view the imagine with two eyes. I only see with one eye, and cannot view 3D content in 3D with glasses or in a "sweet spot." I've never felt _that_ deprived before, but I am starting to get a little worried at the recent cultural interest in 3D. Anything that is designed for 3D looks like crap if you don't view it using both eyes. I hope that (good) content still remains available in 2D for those of us that cannot appreciate 3D.

Comment Re:I am still waiting... (Score 1) 100

Apparently Netflix is stuck on this side of the service (the on-demand shizz) due to the arcane Hollywood studio system that has contracts with cable, premium stations, and others that lock up the movies for literally decades leaving new service providers like Netflix with no options. See discussion here: http://slate.com/id/2216328/

Comment Re:"Right" to a private cell phone? (Score 1) 232

Yes--911, or more precisely E911 is getting your geographic information along with your phone number. The FCC has mandated standards requiring various levels of geographic accuracy from the wireless providers. These providers can get your geographic information through "network" or "handset" methods. Network methods use tower information and triangulation to locate you. Handset methods, like on your phone, use some form of GPS to get your location. Neither method is very accurate, since accurate entails expensive upgrades for the carriers. Despite very serious public safety concerns, AT&T and Verizon continue to lobby against stricter standards. Current standards leave wiggle room for the carriers of about an 80 yard radius around your actual location. And that's a horizontal radius--the carriers have no method of determining what floor you are on in a building.

Comment Re:VLC (Score 1) 464

Give this guy a break and read his comment in the context of the thread. He was responding to :

Actually, I think lack of respect for patents and copyright laws is probably one of the big drivers in the Chinese economic boom. Because there's no artificial limitations on what you can build and sell, all manner of artefacts are effectively 'open source'.

This poster was clearly not suggesting that the Chinese find a cool product, steal it, and then update and innovate and use the community to develop new stuff. Instead, "open source" is being misused in place of "free". The poster's comment about Windows is that, much like open source linux, you can go online and easily find and download the latest version for free. In context, his meaning is pretty clear.

Comment Re:Take your pick (Score 2, Informative) 393

I use internal drives like this as backups for my server at work. After I run the backup, I put the drives back into the antistatic bag and store them in a safe deposit box in the vault at my bank. I have a piece of foam in the box so the drives don't sit directly on the metal box. The box costs ~$100 a year, and is a dry, safe, secure, off-premise storage location.

Comment Re:Greed is Good (Score 5, Informative) 452

And she did not want to sue McDonalds for punitive damages, only to have them pay for the costs of her medical treatments. McD's refused to pay her medical bills (they offered $800), and so she was left with the choice of suing or being on the hook for the costs. Moreover, there were something like 700 previous cases of serious burns relating to McD's coffee, and McD's was aware of the safety issues. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Nov/1/129862.html

Comment Re:Srsly? (Score 1) 198

This is exactly right. I fly coast to coast for work dozens of times per year and being able to do research, keep up with emails, and be otherwise productive is great. And my clients are more than happy to pay $13 to allow me to work for 5-6 hours, rather than sit there not working, but still billing.

Comment Re:Skype is Not Blocked (Score 2, Informative) 198

I have an asterisk PBX at work, and have used my VPN to connect to the box using SIP and AIX from multiple Virgin flights (some full, some empty). All of the calls, through any configuration, were choppy (though the call remained connected). I think its a combination of latency, jitter, and the bandwidth that ruin the call quality. Although it was choppy, I could check my voicemail (download side) but voicemails that I left for others (upload side) were nearly incomprehensible. I was getting pings greater that the OP, despite getting slightly faster speeds.

Comment Re:How long until someone's saving Youtube videos? (Score 1) 267

Google is in a tough spot. Youtube has incredible market share in the video space, which gives Google the best chance to make money in that space if/when someone figures out a proper business model. As a GOOG shareholder, I would be pissed if they just gave up and surrendered this space (and its something like 90% market share) to competitors. If nothing else, YT can serve as a "loss leader" brand to keep folks in the fold. A proper business model should work too. How about $2 for a full length new release film? Won't work you say? People can get those films for free? Tell that to the iTunes store. Or check out Hulu. Higher quality video, targeted single commercials.

Comment Buzzing In (Score 3, Interesting) 213

I'll be very curious to see how well the computer buzzes in--which proves very challenging for some Jeopardy contestants. There is a visual cue given to the contenstants (a light around the question board--you can't see it on the TV) which let's everyone know when it is ok to buzz in. If you buzz in too early, you get locked out for a few seconds, effectively ruining your chance of answering. I wonder how the computer will know when to buzz in (if its not taking the visual cue, will the show tell the computer electronically?) and whether it will have an unfair advantage of being able to buzz at exactly the right moment. Buzzer ability turns out to be a core part of J! success.

Submission + - What's in the box? (youtube.com)

lefiz writes: A rather cool video has showed up on youtube which appears to be a test film or a movie short of some kind. The video is captioned "What's in the Box? — Test Film 2009" and is described as "This is a early temp version. Will be deleted soon. www.whatsinthebox.nl". The linked website just contains a glowing, pulsating box, and some film credits. No, no, this is not some sort of pr0n. But the scuttlebut is that it may be either an effects demo, or some sort of viral marketing leading up to a video game release. Either way the video is worth checking out.

Comment Re:Wish they would use ANI instead of CID (Score 1) 206

You are generally correct. E-911 passes two important pieces of information to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). One piece is the phone number of the caller, which is delivered through ANI. The second piece of information is the caller's location, delivered in a separate SS7 element know as ALI--Automatic Location Identifier. On a standard copper POTS line, ALI can be determined just by the physical circuit over which the call is being placed. For VoIP, which does not run over a permanent circuit, ALI information has to be "made up" and inserted in the SS7 routing information by the provider.

This information could theoretically come from the account information, but is not done this way in practice. Many consumers use different billing addresses from the primary location where they use their VoIP. There are now two common methods for populating ALI info.

Over the top VoIP providers, such as Vonage, have a big notice about E-911 issues with their service, and make each customer populate their own ALI information in their online account. This is somewhat risky, since these VoIP service tend to be nomadic-I can use my Vonage ATA to connect to any broadband connection, and if I change my location, it is up to me to update my ALI status. (There are horror stories of people setting up at a hotel, having a heart attack, calling 911, and having the ambulance show up at their house).

Providers of integrated VoIP, such as Comcast, have developed ways to use the IP address associated with the VoIP call to lookup the physical address of the caller. This works because Comcast is also providing the underlying broadband connection, which is tied to a particular physical location.

The FCC discussed these complications in a 2005 Order which required providers like Vonage to take extra steps to notify customers about the 911 risks, and to collect accurate ALI information.

Comment Re:Wish they would use ANI instead of CID (Score 5, Informative) 206

I'm not quite sure why this is modded as funny, since CallerID and ANI ("Automatic Number Identification") are actually two separate elements of a call as noted above. ANI is a built in signaling component of SS7 that generally cannot be modified by the calling party. See definition here.

Still, although ANI may not be "spoofable," it can be manipulated or uninformative. For example, any call placed from any phone in my office carries a general company ANI even though the call could be originated from any of hundreds of phone numbers owned by the firm. We also have off-premise extensions (OPXs) that connect to the office PBX via SIP. Calls placed from those OPXs have the same ANI as calls made from the physical office, which would be deleterious if a call was placed to 911 from one of these phone. (We have implemented a safety workaround for this, but the point still stands.)

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