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Comment Re:Don't agree with the conclusion .... (Score 1) 137

but it would be a windfall for someone on a fixed income.

It will be a windfall for two groups: the people who never pay for any gas and get free money from other people, and the government employees who are hired to manage the program. The latter, by the way, is why such a system will never be "neutral" and never pay out as much as it takes in in additional taxes.

Comment Re:The real reason it works: (Score 1) 337

Why would T-mblie want you to do speedtest on an inactivated SIM? They don't.

I, for one, know that I would want to see the phone I'm buying from an overpriced system operator's store actually operates on the network in that area and that it has reasonable speed. That means the specific phone I'm buying and not just the salesman's personal phone. If they have to activate the SIM to do that, then what happens when I decide I don't want to buy that phone after all? They're stuck with an activated phone and nobody to pay for it. They've had to go through all the setup and paperwork for nothing, and the next customer isn't going to want to buy the leftovers.

You want to dismiss any possible reason for allowing it so you can hypothesize about some evil conspiracy to fudge speedtests. You have no evidence for the latter except for the former.

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 1) 337

Why are you so upset by this?

Who said I was upset? I was pointing out that a technical news service that intends to serve a technical audience should have higher standards for their technical reporting. "Most people" don't care, and I bet that most people would understand it better had it been written "the URL contains the string 'speedtest'". They know what a URL is, it's what appears in the box at the top of the browser. They know what a folder is, it's what iexplore shows them as the icon for a directory. Now, thanks to this poorly written story, they think the URL contains references to folders. Is it better to confuse them deliberately or to speak in clear, correct terms so they have some hope of learning something new?

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 1) 337

Would you like clarification on this?

No, I don't need clarification on this. Some people call them "folders" because they are GUI users and the "folder" paradigm is very common in GUI file managers. Some people are CLI users and understand that they are "directories" because they are files that contain a list of other files. It doesn't matter how you like to refer to them, the URL for a document has no specific relationship to the folders or other means of storing the data on the server. Nothing on the network other than the web server itself can look at a URL and determine what folder that data is stored in -- so saying that a router or firewall sees that a request asks for something "in the /speedtest folder" is nonsense.

>> I would bet anything that this story is NOT in a folder "story/16/09/14/2242216/"

You sound fairly confident, good for you.

I didn't write what you are replying to. You're deliberately misquoting me. That's an unethical discussion tactic. I actually said that you don't know what directory it is in, and you don't. I made no bets.

Should I? Ok, if you say so my friend. But then again, I didn't make the claim that the terms URL and folder have a one to one relationship

And I didn't say what you quote me as saying. You have some nerve complaining about something YOU didn't say (which I never said you did anyway) after trying to put someone else's words in my mouth.

The story implies there is a one-to-one relationship, and YOU said that the "URL of the story" is in a specific directory -- something you have no evidence for, and on a website as dynamic and large as /. it is highly unlikely that they use a flat filesystem for a story database instead of a real database.

I understand that you don't care to know the difference. There are those of us who do this stuff for a living where it makes a great deal of difference. That you are incapable of accurately quoting someone you reply to BY NAME tells me that you don't care and are unlikely to be educated on the matter, so bye.

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 1) 337

Geeks can be pedantic.

Geeks are often the ones who have to implement complicated systems based on technical standards, and being pedantic is part of that -- geeks who can't be pedantic should never touch a computer and don't deserve the name.

And geeks should expect technical sources to be technically correct, because if WE can't do it, how can we expect anyone else to be? It's not whining, it's pointing out the failure to correctly describe a hack, and without a correct description it becomes hard for anyone else to verify it. Just like motherboard said they could not duplicate the hack when they tried.

Comment Re:Or he could just use one of the free cell servi (Score 1) 337

o you can turn off automatic top-off (you wont get charged $10).

Not when I last dealt with these people. I spent a lot of time on the phone discussing the meaning of the words "totally free", and there was no way to get an account without a credit card they could charge, and no way to have it just stop at 500MB. Their excuse was that you could be streaming data too fast for their system to detect you had gone past the 500GB limit and you'd be running over your "free" data, so they HAD to charge when you hit 400MB.

o if you ALLOW the $10, it will allow for overages (I think 500mb-1gb -- cant recall)

Yes, the excuse for charging was to pay for overages. But if you never go over, you still get charged. That first 400MB might be "totally free", but that 1MB that takes you to 401MB is $10. And that's for a "totally free 500MB/month".

Now, $10/MB is not as bad as the $15/MB that T-Mobile charges for data if you're international roaming and not on the right plan, but it's still not "totally free".

That said, God help you if you ever need to call customer service.


Comment Re:Criminally illegal (Score 1) 337

It's very simple. Your stateful firewall sees the /speedtest in the URL and tags the stream. Then it bypasses the throttling and presumably checking for a paid account.

But you have no evidence of that. None. And you forget that this "stateful firewall" is going to be very busy, and that isn't a very good way to prioritize traffic. Funneling all traffic through one choke point tends to slow things down, not speed them up.

That is, they DO know what the URL was (or enough of it to meet their heuristic determination that it's a speed test).

They know what the request was. They don't know what the request was when the data goes the other way. The web server doesn't send the URL back with the data. The data gets past the firewall and suddenly it's got to contend with all the other traffic on the network, and on that cell site.

But you have no evidence they are doing that, it's all just supposition based on nothing. They can't win -- if they don't allow speedtests when someone is looking at buying a phone they have something to hide; if they do allow speedtests before you buy then they must be fudging the numbers because the speedtest traffic is being handled "differently".

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 1) 337

Web servers do understand the concept of folders or directories, however you like to refer to the concept. The URL of this story is in the '/story' directory.

Of course the web server knows about folders/directories. But you have no knowledge of what directory the information you are getting from a web server is stored in. There may be no directory at all for dynamically generated pages.

You've missed the point completely. The NETWORK has no knowledge of the folder structure a web service is using, and it is impossible for T-Mobile to prioritize or filter traffic to this guy's web server based on what folders he stored things in.

Of course the correct answer is that T-Mobile is allowing access based on the URL of the request. Folders have nothing to do with it, though. And it is not awful for someone to expect a technical website to use correct terminology for such things.

Comment Re:Or he could just use one of the free cell servi (Score 3, Informative) 337

And as to "free", they used to have a "500MB/month" data service that was "totally free". Unless you actually used 400MB in a month, and then they charged you $10 just in case you went past the 500MB limit and need to pay for the overage. Nonrefundable $10. If you used 401MB in one month you got charged, even if you never used another byte.

They're big on selling off hardware through Daily Steals, too, without telling the buyer that the service the hardware depends on is going to be shut off in just a few months. I have a WiFi router with cell data service from them through Sprint that lasted six months and then just stopped when Sprint turned off the data service.

Comment Re:Criminally illegal (Score 2) 337

OMG, allowing people to access a speedtest site without prepaying on an account is somehow cheating now? That's all you have evidence of, you know. All this malarky about "cheating" on speedtests is just hypothesis. (And nobody has yet to explain how the speed of data sent to the client can be modified by routers that don't know what the data is or what the URL of the request was.)

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 0) 337

The proxy fetches the content from the remote server to a local directory /speedtest and then serves the content to the phone from there (rewriting URLs in the process to be relative to /speedtest).

The question remains, how does T-Mobile know what folders a web server stores information in? Answer: it cannot. They can do nothing based on folder information. They cannot even prioritize the returned traffic based on what folder it originated from because none of the routers carrying that traffic will know what the URL was.

The point is that the description is technical nonsense, but could easily have been correct had the author known the first thing about how web servers operate and what URLs mean. But then, motherboard also says that nobody has been able to replicate the hack.

Comment Re: Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 2) 337

Yeah, 'motherboard' is a technically oriented news service, and the kid is a student at a special school for science and technology. And /. is "news for nerds". How DARE I expect a bit of technical competence in describing a technical process, huh?

I didn't even ask how he's getting a / in a folder name. The comma is easy, but not even Windows (XP) allows a slant.

Comment Does anyone speak technical here anymore? (Score 1) 337

Ajit figured out that he was able to access media sent from any folder labelled "/speedtest,"

What? How does the phone or system know what the folders on the server are named? Is this free data only available using scp or ftp? If it's web-based, then there are no "folders", only URLs.

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