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Comment Re:Misdirection (Score 2) 279

The rest of the world has income taxes too, mostly much higher than in the US, especially on higher incomes.

VAT is additional. Of course most countries have public funding of health care, higher education, and other services that are mostly private in the US.

Comment The big issue has been how it's billed (Score 4, Informative) 158

As to censorship, the ITU never proposed censoring the Internet. That's not their bailiwick -- national governments can and do censor domestic Internet access, and the ITU can't stop them. Nor can it force a government to do anything. The US can simply declare an Exception to an ITU rule and it doesn't apply here. Enough bilateral Exceptions and the ITU is irrelevant.

I did read the more controversial proposals. What a lot of countries wanted was to treat the Internet as if it were telecommunications (it is seen in the US as the content of telecommunications, not the telecommunications itself) and to apply telephone call-like charging to packets. So if somebody in Benin or Fiji downloaded a movie from YouTube, their country would receive payment from YouTube. In many countries this would go to the government, supposedly to pay for the network facilities but of course many of these countries are remarkably corrupt...

And unlike a phone call, where the party who dials the call pays, Internet payments would be made by the side sending the packets, even if the other side asked them to. This would of course probably cause YouTube and other high-volume information sources to shut off access to those countries. Not censorship per se, but pay to talk.

Other proposals on the table are technically unworkable, but then the old PTT (post-telegraph-telephone) guys who dominate ITU-T don't understand how the Internet works (very, very tenuously).

Comment Re:Why not use old drive? (Score 1) 330

Nope, that's backwards. From Amazon's description:

Connects a SATA hard drive to a computer with a PATA/ATA/IDE/EIDE interface.

What you want is the opposite. I have some great old PATA DVD drives that won't work when I get a new motherboard (SATA only). There are ways, but the ones I've seen are basically PATA adapters for PCI or PCIe slots, not nearly as cheap.

Comment Re:Add Support for Visual Studio (Score 1) 1154

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, but the Windows user community seems very upset with the Windows 8 UI. When I attended a group demo where a Microsoftie was showing it off, there was a positive reaction to the fixes in the new version (faster boot and shutdown, for instance) but nobody liked the UI. Consensus is that this is the next Bob/ME/Vista (flops), not the next 98/XP/7 (hits).

Linux, though, is not really prepared to take advantage of the opportunity. It is at heart a server OS, with programmers as its key desktop audience. The problem isn't the desktop per se, but the overall experience. If you can get it all to run (drivers are always a problem), it is still a mix of aimed at super-geeks and (the Ubuntu problem) geeks talking down at "lusers". Neither approach feels right to Windows users, many of whom are not idiots..

Comment Cointage is not invention (Score 1) 288

It's one thing to coin a term and another to invent something. They are just different accomplishments. Maybe Shiva coined "EMAIL" independently, though it is rather certain that his coinage did not influence later use. But he did not invent the product. Likewise, a copyright is not about invention; it's about expression.

Commander Taco may have coined the term "slashdot", but he wasn't he first to slashdot something.

Comment Even Chomsky is just talking about the name (Score 1) 288

In one of his screeds, Shiva sort of brags that because the crappy computer that Rutgers Med, er, UMDNJ was using only supported 5-character program names, he came up with the name "EMAIL" in order to fit. Electronic mal was already commonplace, though not a consumer product yet, and not something the Livingston schools routinely used.

But claiming credit for being first to use an abbreviated name is not the same as inventing it. Recall that "Saturday Night Live" was originally the Howard Cosell variety show that ran at 10:00 on ABC. It lasted a few weeks. NBC Saturday Night made fun of it, but years after Cosell's show was gone and forgotten, it formally adopted its name, which people had been calling it all along.

Comment Re:Mumps? (Score 4, Interesting) 288

I was there too. The system in question was called EMS, or Corporate Electronic Mail System. It only supported a couple of thousand users because it wasn't networked. It ran on a standalone computer with about 30 modems on it, so you dialed in to read or send mail. All messages stayed on that machine, in one big MUMPS global file. And the program went down daily to maintain the global. Plug-ugly. Many more DEChies used the DECnet email system on the Engineering Network. That one had ARPAnet gateways, and was a real networked mail system.

Shiva's work was more like CEMS, a closed non-network toy system. By the standards of its day, it was pretty primitive. By 1977, BBN's HERMES did more than Shivas ever did, over the ARPAnet. And was user friendly, not just a geek tool.

Comment Re:Privacy Concerns (Score 1) 244

No, NAT will not die. NAT is a good idea, not a bad one. Virtually everyone uses firewalls nowadays, most of which do NAT, which adds a level of security (not enough by itself, but it helps).

It is a critical flaw in TCP/IP architecture that the application translates the name to the address and sees the IP address. And there's never a good reason for applications to have numeric IP addresses inside them. NAT only breaks broken applications. IPv6 is Just Plain Stupid. It's ugly and it wants to die. And it will. The people who are pushing it are the kind of people who seek out authority in order to obey it blindly.

Comment Toyota V6 problem in early 2000s (Score 1) 672

A lot of Toyota engines failed due to a cylinder cooling problem. They were replaced by Toyota, but it was a big costly deal for user and company alike. These were in Camrys and Siennas (minivans).

But my Corolla has been exceptionally reliable. The new ones look really cheap though. The LE of 2012 has a flimsier interior than the CE of 2004.

Comment Re:Berninger is simply full of guano (Score 1) 229

There still are collocators, just not as many. The FCC adopted policies in 2000-2004 that made it harder to be a CLEC, and many went out of business. There are still some, but they tend to concentrate on business customers, who can pay more. Collocation is also used by some CLECs that provide wholesale interconnection services to VoIP providers. In general, a VoIP provider needs a CLEC to get blocks of numbers and interconnection to the ILEC. Level 3 is probably the biggest wholesale player.

Comment Berninger is simply full of guano (Score 5, Insightful) 229

The huge savings in telephone company real estate happened over 20 years ago. Their big buildings were built for electromechanical switching systems, mostly installed between 1920 and 1970. The digital switches mostly installed in the 1980s were a fraction of the size, leaving lots of empty space in the big buildings. Some space has already been repurposed. And some is available, but the Bells don't want to give it up because it would make competition easier.

Most of the real estate still used by telco gear is for line drivers, the stuff needed to run analog phones. Whether these are fed by VoIP or TDM doesn't matter; 90 volt power ring and 48 volt battery take space. They also take power, but home-based analog terminal adapters (local battery) use even more, so centralized power (common battery) is a net savings.

Berninger is simply repeating Cisco memes, that somehow the magic pixie dust of IP makes everything wonderfuler. It's bullshit, but somebody has to call them on it.

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