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Comment Re:What It Is... Is Gouging (Score 1) 382

In some states, notably New York, TWC and others are required by law to open up their networks to competing vendors at a reasonable price. That is why Rochester, NY even has Earthlink as a provider on Time Warner's network.

Verizon is non that market because Frontier is the incumbent phone company and it would be very difficult to wrest market share from them (though Time Warner's done a pretty good job with Digital Phone). There is no law preventing Verizon from entering the Rochester market; it's simply not feasible for them to do so.

While states and local governments may not have much power, the customer always does. TV and Internet are not (generally) essential to live for a residential customer. Rochester, NY and other proved that today when Time Warner backed off their plans to expand their consumption-based "test" in four new markets. They haven't given up, but the customer backlash -- not the government alone -- was enough to tip the scales.

Comment Re:And that's the problem - they don't understand (Score 1) 479

Stopthecap.com has a lot of good resources for who to contact but the short list is:
  1. Time Warner - tell them what you think
  2. Mayor Duffy - this concerns his city's economy
  3. Your Congress[wo]man
  4. Gov. Patterson
  5. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand

Not all of these people will be able or willing to do anything, but spreading awareness is how word gets out and pressure is put on Time Warner to stop this nonsense.

Comment Here's the catch... (Score 1) 382

Currently (in at least one market) "unlimited" usage is provided for $50 at 15Mbps down / 1Mpbs up. The new plan makes that same scenario impossible (they don't offer 15Mbps down). The closest you come to it is $150 for 10Mbps down / 1Mbps up @ $75/month + $75/month max overage charge.

That's a 300% rate increase in one go. I don't think people would be quite so upset if the increase were reasonable. Judging by their 2008 SEC Annual Report when considering the High-Speed Data costs and revenues, 300% isn't anywhere in the same zip code as "reasonable."

Comment Re:Up next (Score 1) 382

Not to rain on your parade, but have you looked at Time Warner's SEC Annual Report for 2007 and 2008? Each year they state their costs to maintain the network decrease by as much as 12%.

In theory the costs a lot to invest and maintain infrastructure. Indeed, that is what TWC is whining about now only their own Annual Report does not bear that complaint out. Additionally, those upgrades are amortized costs that can be taken over a long period of time. The increase in price is not proportionate to simply cover the cost of infrastructure as they claim. And finally industry analysts have suggested that cable companies can actually upgrade their hardware to DOCSIS 3.0 compliant hardware as the cost of business without increasing their customer's costs and still see profits close to what they have now.

Comment Re:What It Is... Is Gouging (Score 1) 382

If it's one company with no competition and the prices are disproportionate to most other places, then it's an effective monopoly and they are price gouging (charging an excessive amount to a captive market).

If there are multiple companies, but all the rates are inflated disproportionately to most other places then it's collusion and price gouging.

The main reason Internet would be more expensive from one location to another would be state taxes and regulations and to some degree the state of the network roll-out in that area. But if the cost of service for two locations in the same state are wildly different, then something is afoot.

Comment Re:Wheres the friking backlash? (Score 1) 479

A good portion of the backlash can be found at stopthecap.com particularly in the comments of each article.

Additionally the local news in Rochester, NY is bringing it up with some regularly and it's more or less inescapable to hear about if you live around here.

Time Warner has already seen a lot of people canceling many if not all of their services in protest and many more angry calls -- I do not envy their customer support staff. I've written and told them outright that if the caps go in place I will cancel their service at a major downgrade to my access simply so they will not get my money until the caps are removed completely.

Comment Re:I may not be reading this right, but... (Score 1) 479

No, the $75 is the maximum overage charge you can get per month at any tier. At the lowest tier (the new lowest one - $15.95/mo for 758Kbps and 1GB cap) you can hit that $75 faster because it's $2/GB overage fee.

However, they've structured their tiers so that the less you pay the slower your connection is and the lower your cap as well.

Comment And that's the problem - they don't understand (Score 5, Informative) 479

I'm one of the fortunate few to be in Rochester, NY and fall under the tyranny of Time Warner Cable. I've talked to their customer service reps. I've read their statements. And yesterday I had the opportunity to hear some of their low-level execs try and defend the plan at a town hall meeting with our congressional representative (who's on our side BTW).

They simply don't acknowledge that access (bandwidth) is not at issue here, limiting the use of that bandwidth in terms of some arbitrary amount of data is the issue.

If you look at their 2008 SEC filings (linked by their corporate site timewarnercable.com then you'd see their costs went down about 12% from 2007 and their revenues and new customers both rose about 10% over 2007. Clearly usage is not really an issue.

The issue they're not admitting to (except in their SEC filing) is Internet video like Hulu and Netflix is their primary threat and the way to mediate this threat is to make it more expensive to watch videos on the Internet than to pay Time Warner for cable and Video on Demand services.

The Internet

Submission + - Is consumption-based billing infringement?

StringBlade writes: "Recently in my area Time Warner Cable is trying to impose data caps on our rather isolated city — that is, there are no other high-speed broadband cable or fiber providers available. The move has caused a lot of anger and it caused me to think about billing for use instead of access. If Time Warner (or Comcast or AT&T) bills me for the data I consume in addition to, or instead of simply billing me for my access connection speed, is that not effectively billing me for the data itself? Since no one owns everything on the Internet nor do cable providers have a license to distribute everything on the Internet, aren't they infringing the copyright of the content owners by collecting money for content that isn't theirs? Doesn't that imply that data caps are quite simply illegal altogether?"
Cellphones

Submission + - SPAM: A 3G Linux phone for sub $US100

WirePosted writes: "NXP Semiconductors and Purple Labs have introduced a reference design for 3G Linux phone offering video telephony, music playback, high-speed Internet browsing and video streaming that they say will cost operators less than $US100."
Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

14-Year-Old Turns Tram System Into Personal Train Set 380

F-3582 writes "By modifying a TV remote a 14-year-old boy from Lodz, Poland, managed to gain control over the junctions of the tracks. According to The Register the boy had 'trespassed in tram depots to gather information needed to build the device. [...] Transport command and control systems are commonly designed by engineers with little exposure or knowledge about security using commodity electronics and a little native wit.' Four trams derailed in the process injuring a number of passengers. The boy is now looking at 'charges at a special juvenile court of endangering public safety.'"
Sony

Submission + - PS3 Unreal Tournament 3 Delayed 2

Dr. Eggman writes: Gamasutra breaks the bad news from over at Midway. Midway states that Epic Games' Unreal Tournament 3 for the PS3 has been delayed into the first quarter of 2008. No official reason has been give as to why the delay, as only CEO David Zucker of Midway has released information. The PC version is still on track for a November release.
Announcements

Submission + - Apple to shut current users out of boot camp

aws910 writes: It looks like Apple is going to shut current boot camp users out when they release OSX 10.5(leopard), according to this article. The boot camp homepage corroborates this, saying(on the right sidebar) "To continue previewing Boot Camp after September 30, click the Download Now button above to install the latest version of Boot Camp Beta. You do not have to reinstall Windows. This new beta license will allow you to continue using Boot Camp until Mac OS X Leopard is available (expected October 2007).". I do respect Apple for this, though... unlike their rival, at least they properly labeled their beta as "beta".
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Hangs Tough On iPhone Bricking

An anonymous reader writes: Two other shoes have dropped in the Apple iPhone bricking controversy. Apple iPhone spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock has responded to InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe's Sunday posting, asserting that " Apple's position has not changed since we issued our statement last week." (The statement is the one is which Apple said unauthorized apps or unlocking "will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable.") In addition, California lawyer Damian Fernandez has launched a Web site through which he's actively soliciting iPhone users to join a suit against Apple.
Operating Systems

Submission + - New Open Source Operating System (not linux) (losethos.com) 1

losethos writes: "LoseThos version 3.08 has been released. It's an open source, 64-bit, free, PC operating system written from scratch with no GPL or GNU code. It's target demographic is amateur programmers wishing to write games. This version solves the 2 Gig memory limit. x86 chips have a 32-bit limitation on branches and calls in code, even in 64-bit mode. LoseThos separates code from data with this version by allocating from separate heaps. The code heap is limited to 2 Gig, but this should not be a problem, if you think about it, because a million lines of code might have 20 bytes a line and that would only be 20 Meg. Data, such as graphics, are what consume memory. Techically, you need to recompile the kernel to enable this feature. See the help discussion under "memory"."

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