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Comment Re:And the moral of the story is... (Score 1) 697

And yes, that's a US-only phenomenon.

Not true. In Canada, the term "Engineer" is similarly protected to other professional titles. Not just anyone can claim to be a Lawyer, or Medical Doctor, or what not. If anything, Canada is much more organized in this manner (and we Canadian 'geers get to wear our secret iron rings!).

Comment Re: Ironically (Score 1) 296

People are idiots and thing "processed" foods are bad, even though the exact opposite is true. Cooking food is "processing" it. Also, water is a chemical.

It's more of an issue due to the imprecise nature of the English language. Of course almost all food is processed to some degree, be it mechanically or thermally. What most people are referring to when they say "processed foods" are those that have had their fat, sugar, and salt content played with to the degree that they achieve the "bliss point." It's that high concentration of salt and sugars that is most bad for us.

Comment Re:Too many IP addresses (Score 1) 129

Well, I'm going to be a pit pedantic, and remind you that a /24 necessarily a class C. After the arrival of CIDR, and the end of classfull networking, we've moved to a better solution.

That said, there is a very valid reason why a small organization might have an entire /24 even if they only have a few people. If you want to be truly multi-homed, with multiple connections to the Internet, announced via BGP, the smallest allocation you can advertise is a /24. It's better than in the old days, when most of the backbone cabal wouldn't accept an advertisement smaller than /19. All of this was/is done to keep the core routing tables at a manageable size.

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 4, Insightful) 296

Not necessarily true. Diesel-electric submarines are extremely quiet when running off their batteries. Canada has a (small) fleet of diesel-electric Submarines, and is often called upon to play the role of "Opposition Forces" in military exercises. In 2007, during an exercise in the north Atlantic, HMCS Corner Brook was able to sneak up on a British carrier (HMS Illustrious) and snap a photo through her periscope. All without being detected. It's also pretty routine for Canadian subs to "Sink" US carriers during exercises in the pacific.

Don't discount it because it's "just" diesel electric.

Now, when it comes to the North Koreans, wouldn't trust the reliability of their crews or vessels, but that's a different question entirely.

Comment Re:America! (Score 1) 341

but in this scenario the city itself holds a privileged position as the provider of the infrastructure—by far the largest part of a local ISP's capital investment.

I would argue that in this kind of a situation, the physical plant is about as close to a natural monopoly as it can get. It isn't beneficial to the citizens to have multiple water mains, multiple sewer mains, or multiple electrical distribution systems. The optimal response to that situation, then is to have a well regulated monopoly that is responsible to the people it affects, not just those it serves, or some faraway shareholder. Back in the days of copper it made sense to have a phone system, and a cable distribution system. In the modern era, to me it doesn't make sense to have more than one fiber plant.

Now, I'm not going to argue that this should prohibit the deployment of other technologies. The satellite network I operate out of that region is dual-homed, one connection on the PUD fiber, the other on a cable modem on the old physical CATV plant.

I'm not going to argue politics here, it's just that I have seen it work very very well for the consumer and taxpayer in those regions. Those counties also have amongst the lowest power rates in the nation, because they also own and have well maintained a couple of hydro-electric power plants over the decades. Part of their incorporating papers is that the profits earned from selling power to the outside is plowed back into a) maintaining and improving their own infrastructure and b) subsidizing local rate payers. They were also able to use those profits to build out the fiber network.

Comment Re:America! (Score 1) 341

The way you structure things like this is that the municipality (or PUD, depending on the region) builds out the physical infrastructure, and then you allow multiple content providers (television and internet) access to that infrastructure.

I'm pretty familiar with the situation in Chelan County and Douglas County in Washington State. There, their respective PUDs have built out nearly complete FTTH networks, running over the PUD right of ways and what not. The PUD handles the physical infrastructure up to, and including the ONTs. The consumers then have the choice of 5 or 6 ISPs and television providers, and business customers also have direct access to transit (Zayo and Level3 have access).

The network is very reliable, the service is extremely affordable, and there is real competition. The PUD is accountable to the citizens of the area both through regular audits, and at election time. It's pretty much a win-win situation for everyone involved, unless you're Comcast, Verizon, or Frontier.

Comment Re:Let's have an apples to aplpes comparison (Score 1) 903

You can't magically make it cheaper. Gotta sacrifice either a lot more people's money than pay in now or reduce quality of care to make it cheaper.

Or you make it cheaper while maintaining or improving the quality of care. It's not hard, pretty much every other industrialized nation on earth has figured out how to do this.

Comment Re:Let's have an apples to aplpes comparison (Score 1) 903

The problem with that comparison is that much of the US healthcare "System" (if you can call it that) is for profit, with costs and expenses that are way out of line with the rest of the world and is far less efficient at delivering good effective care.

The suggestions you make are just as invalid as what you're claiming. The real problem with the US is that people have been hoodwinked into thinking that taxes are the evil, rather than questioning why other necessary expenses (Healthcare, higher education) have become so obscenely expensive.

Anyhow, the problem with calling the individual mandate for health insurance a tax is that it deflects the attention from questioning why that insurance premium is so high for so little benefit. At the same time, the neocons and similar have done an excellent job of fooling the general population into thinking that single payer insurance is unsustainable, or socialist, or the tool of the commies or whatever. The reality is that it's quite effective, and quite sustainable, once you take the corporate profits out of healthcare delivery.

Comment Re:Secure by design (Score 1) 199

What makes it bad is that neither the user nor third-party service centers can do this "recalibration". It should be very nearly automatic with nothing more than an alert on the user's screen ("Your Touch ID sensor has been replaced. You must reprogram authorized fingerprints before you use Touch ID.") every time the user attempts to touch the Touch ID sensor until they add the first fingerprint (thus proving that they have the passcode and can unlock the device). This gives the same security protection without raising right-to-repair issues.

You're assuming that the replacement sensor is honest and/or hasn't been tampered with. If the sensor has been replaced with one that has been compromised, it would be a fairly easy vector to obtain access to the phone. A paranoid user might see that message and no longer trust the phone, but I'd bet that most would click through it and reprogram the unit. This really isn't much different, conceptually, than putting a keylogger inside a keyboard itself.

So the question becomes, how do you ensure right-to-repair, while still maintaining security? That's a tough nut to crack. Option 1 would be for Apple to make the sensors available for sale at a reasonable price. Option 2 would be for touch-id repairs to be gratis Option 3 would be to change it so that the touch sensor no longer works, but the rest of the operating system does (as does the click functionality). For better or worse, Option 3 is probably the best option.

Comment Re:Here's the actual problem, (Score 4, Informative) 197

And it's for Visa applications from people who like to hang out with ISIS, which should be an automatic denial in any sane world.

Or all the folks who worked as contractors supporting US efforts in the region. I'm not in a Visa country, but I've been to several areas that have been controlled by Daesh, working as a civilian contractor.

Comment Re:Municipal/County Fiber (Score 2) 174

The idea is that the municipality/PUD takes over care and maintenance of the new physical plant. Verizon is perfectly free to compete with the other providers to provide TV service over that infrastructure, but residents shouldn't be forced into a monopoly. The infrastructure itself is then operated in a non-profit/open way. Works great in the two counties I've been in that have it.

Comment Re:Use A Big Pipe (Score 1) 174

This is where innerduct comes into play. I built out a campus project a few years ago, and before we pulled cable, we installed MaxCell innerduct. That stuff is magical. It allowed me to run 6 fiber cables through a single 2" conduit, with no damage, and if I ever need to swap one out again (due to a cut or whatever) it's a pretty simple matter to pull it back with a new pull tape. The best part is that it's pre-lubricated with dry silicone, so it's really slippery against the cable jacket material, and it has integrated color coded pull strings. Fantastic stuff.

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