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Comment Re:A few ideas (Score 1) 65

Comcast knows the MAC of every modem connected to their system and the associated account and service address. They HAVE to. So it's a simple matter of a database lookup. The customer doesn't get to control anything on the cable side of the modem so they can't block the ping (Which I believe is more akin to arping anyway).

So they know your address and they know the MAC addresses of the other modems on the same cable segment. Where's the problem?

Comment Re:What's changed? (Score 1) 126

The problem is that social media reduces us to the way we present ourselves. While that certainly is part of who we are, it's not the whole story.

One of the most popular maxims of ancient Greek philosophers was "know thyself", and the reason they considered it important is that it turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds. You think you know yourself, but chances people who spend a lot of time in close physical proximity to you understand you in ways you don't.

But online your identity is mediated by how you present yourself. This is not only inevitably somewhat dishonest (in ways that may be more obvious to others than to yourself), even when you are trying to be honest you at best are presenting who you think you are.

Comment Re:who knew (Score 1) 210

Used to have some coworkers pressuring me to join the cycling cult. Never mind that I hadn't been on a bike in twenty years, was 10 miles away, and heavy traffic most of the distance, they would be utterly convinced that it was perfect for a beginner. I also saw one of them on the road riding her bike in the most dangerous way and never stopping at signs. I was getting exercise at the time, it just wasn't cycling so I don't understand the "join us!" attitude of those damned militants.

Heavy traffic usually means I can make it home on my bike faster than I could in my car. And that's with stopping at red lights, etc.

Comment Re:"The science is settled" (Score 1) 52

Some of the science is settled, certainly. Methane is a greenhouse gas; nobody expects that to change. Atmospheric methane decays primarily through a long, well-documented chain of reactions starting with oxidation by the hydroxyl radical; the carbon in the CH4 eventually ends up in a CO2 molecule. This is nothing new, and nobody expects it to change.

The precise dynamics by which CH4 interacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere is far from settled science, and nobody should be particularly surprised that there are things about the process we don't know. Not knowing some things about a process doesn't mean we can't know other things about that process.

But some people obviously do believe it means that. They do not distinguish between not knowing everything and knowing nothing. Implicitly requiring scientists to know everything before you consider science credible makes everything a matter of opinion, and all opinions more or less equally valid, at least as far is evidence is concerned. And it's easy to see the attraction: if everything is a matter of opinion you can believe whatever you find comforting. Why not believe Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs? After all scientists don't know everything, which means science is never "settled".

But of course settling questions with evidence is what science is all about. True, there is no science so settled it cannot be attacked; but there *is* science sufficiently settled that claims to the contrary require extraordinary evidence.

Comment Re:On-site service; cargo (Score 1) 210

Personally I'm just happy when my jeans don't get caught in the chain causing me to have a horrible bloody accident.

These days I use my bike sock. I got sick of ruining a number of pairs of pants by having them touch an oily chain, so I extend a sock (doesn't work if you wear short socks) over the bottom hem of the pants leg to keep it from flapping all over.

Comment Re:I believe it (Score 1) 63

I've been saying this for years: the reason that the same stupid security holes keep popping up is that they keep showing up in the tutorials that people use to learn new systems and languages.

The cognitive burden of learning a new system is rough on most people, so it's tempting to make things easy on them. In fact you might have higher satisfaction from students if you do. It certainly makes them feel like they're learning more for less effort if they can make something happen that looks right. But you should never, ever model a bad practice for beginners, even if you have the intent of going back and explaining to them that they shouldn't do it that way. It's better to say, "OK, you don't understand this particular bit, but don't worry I'll come back to it later."

Comment A few ideas (Score 4, Insightful) 65

First and foremost, when a customer says they're down, try to ping other modems in the same neighborhood. If those are down too, roll a line truck. Do not claim it must be a problem at their house.

Re-emphasize in training, if any light other than network activity is flashing on the modem, it is not a problem with their computer, don't try to sell them on paid Windows support, especially when they say they don't have Windows.

If the customer is using words you are unfamiliar with such as traceroute or ping, just elevate the call to someone who understands the problem.

Comment Re:Gov. leaders unsually have no technical knowled (Score 1) 196

"Ranting" and "raging" is infantile behavior.

Hyperbole detection check: Failed. We have eloquently tried to express our concerns and displeasure with this development among mainstream users to gain broader support and failed.

Instead, prepare a set of laws and regulations that we recommend. Get the process started.

And the first thing any politician will ask is whether anyone wants this. The industry doesn't want it? People don't want it? If there is neither money nor votes behind it the proposal is dead on arrival. Besides what would these laws and regulations do, outlaw services? Agreeing to the Windows 10 EULA isn't even close to the stupidest thing you can legally do to yourself. Become a 500lb tub of lard. Get a face tattoo. Be the goatse guy. Proximity flying in a wingsuit. Become a NAMBLA spokesman. The EULA might not even make the top ten.

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