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Comment Re:IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2 (Score 0) 94

IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2011 costs forced them to cut it to just low-income seniors.

No, there are no free rides. What you mean is, "Illinois decided to have taxpayers buy rides for certain people from 2008 to 2011" ... and ... "they couldn't get the taxpayers to pay even more, so they cut down the number of rides the taxpayers were buying to a more select group of those certain people."

Comment No Fitbit then (Score 1, Troll) 168

Legalities aside, if this is how Fitbit treats existing customers now during an acquisition, I have no faith they'll do any better on their other products whenever they can get out of it.

I've seen some Garmin products at the store - probably I'll get one of those instead. At least they have a reputation for long-term support of their products.

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 3, Interesting) 157

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 2) 131

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment Here's what I did... (Score 1) 158

I actually canceled my Netflix streaming account a couple years ago, and went DVD-only. Then about 6 months ago, I realized that I was spending about $3/movie that way. I switched to VidAngel at that time, and have been thrilled with the service. $1 rentals, streamed, and with a full selection of all the latest studio hits. Only drawback is that the first movie cost $20.
And yeah, this is a slashvertisement; if you access via this link, I get a free movie if you sign up. If you don't want to give me a free movie, use this link instead.

Comment News flash: Average income is deceiving (Score 0, Flamebait) 157

The average income of 10th through 70th percentile - in other words, most citizens - is $32,245 / year (source, EPI Data Library - Wages by percentile.csv, 2015 [latest] row).

Over 40 million (out of 319 million, or about 12%) of US citizens are going hungry (feedingamerica.org).

The social safety net isn't safe, nor particularly social.

I'm sure we can expect relief from the Trump administration (cough... choke.)

But hey, let's worry about tech interns. My blinders need a workout anyway.

Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Re:But, but, but ... (Score 1) 168

And, seriously, how hard is to remember to unload your weapon before packing it?

Actually the rest of the world wants to know why you fly with a gun in the first place.

I was wondering that myself (I don't own a gun), but then realized that there are some valid reasons - you're a LEO, or going: hunting, to a gun convention, etc... But if it's because you think you're going to get mugged at Disney World, then no.

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