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Comment Re:Verizon and New Jersey Agree 4G Service Equival (Score 1) 155

And it's only 100 times more expensive.

In fairness, only 7 times more expensive. The mean for residential fixed access broadband usage in Q1 2013 was 47.7 GB. A Verizon 4G LTE data access plan to satisfy this usage level would be $355/month. A Verizon Fios 15/5 Mpbs plan is $49.99/month.

Comment Re:How? (Score 2) 155

verizon has FIOS in the civilized parts of NJ

No it doesn't. Verizon hung the fiber on the poles in my neighborhood in 2007 and put the head end equipment in the central office but never hooked them up and seems to have no plan to do so. My town's population places it in the top 20 municipalities in New Jersey.

Comment Re:Classic EU bureaucracy (Score 1) 791

It's uniformity for the sake of a pencil pusher's concept of uniformity - not for consumers.

In the case of mobile phone chargers, it isn't uniformity for the sake of a pencil pusher. Prior to the standard, every phone manufacturer had different charger interfaces. Some manufacturers even had more than one. Prior to smartphones, I had Samsung (1), LG (2), and Motorola (5) dumb phones and each* had different chargers. If I wanted a second home charger or the nerve to want a car charger, it meant getting new ones since the existing ones I had were not compatible with the new phone. On the other end of the spectrum, stored needed to stock something like 20 different chargers.
Now, if I change smartphones, I can use the same charger(s) I had been using with my old phone. It saves me money and avoids waste. This (forced) standardization is actually a good thing.

* The Motorola ones had only 3 different charger types but I owned the ones that shared types non-sequentially so ended up buying new ones anyway. Oh, and the Motorola phone that actually had a mini USB charging port still needed a proprietary charger.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 372

The liability isn't in a legal or financial sense. It is about shifting blame when bad things happen. Let's say your database takes a dump and everything is down and you don't know why. When the CTO is breathing down your neck about it, which would be the better response: "we're searching docs/blogs/forums for this problem" it or "we're on the phone with the vendor"? If you went with the big name vendor, it isn't you or your team's fault, even if it is a multi-hour outage, since they're working with the vendor. Since the vendor is "best in class", it is okay. I hate it but this is the unfortunate reality that often comes into play.

Comment Begs the question: what is a Personal Computer? (Score 2) 329

The article says that smartphones and tablets are not personal computers. If you consider the "PC" as only in the mold of a beige box with a display and keyboard/mouse tethered to it, then yes smartphones and tablets are not personal computers. However, I disagree. A personal computer is a general purpose computer intended for use by one person. How is a smartphone or tablet not a personal computer? In fact, a smartphone or tablet is, in some ways, more a personal computer than the beige box "PC" because it has more of a one-on-one interaction with the user. The bottom line is that the computing industry as a whole is always changing, perhaps now more than ever.

Comment Re:I think a new tv model is needed. (Score 1) 360

On the face, a-la-carte seems like it would cut costs to the consumer but that assumes that the consumer is going to be able to pay the same price or nearly the same price that their cable/satellite company pays for the channel. Let's say you are currently paying $60/month for 100 channels but you really only watch 10-20 so you only want to pay for those you watch. If you go a-la-carte, would your cable bill drop to $12/month? No, because the cable company is likely going to charge you some amount for the infrastructure to actually provide the service to you. Let's say that is $25/month (this isn't just random speculation; the absolute lowest promo price for new subs I have found is around this point and, while the cable company isn't making a lot, if any, from that, they certainly aren't going to take a loss). So now you're at $37/month which is still less than $60/month, right? Not quite. The pricing that the cable/satellite company pays is based on (for a basic, standard channel) 100% of subs having the channel, or X% of subs with higher service tiers. The content providers are almost certainly going to want a higher price for a-la-carte purchases. Let's take ESPN as an example. Reports suggest that ESPN charges cable/satellite companies up to $5/month. Going to an a-la-carte model will likely push that price up to $20/month or more. Similar for other channels; if the cable/satellite company is paying around $1/month per channel, the a-la-carte price is likely going to be at least $4/channel. In fact, you might see more niche channels even higher. So those 20 channels are going to cost $80/month or more.

I agree that a new model is needed. However, a-la-carte might not be it.

Comment Re:well done apple (Score 3, Interesting) 422

It might be a bit more sinister than that. Typically, when Large Company A sues Large Company B over a patent claim, Large Company B pulls something out of their patent portfolio that Large Company A might infringe upon. Ultimately after many strongly worded press releases, the result is a cross-licencing agreement and both parties go on their merry way. A patent toll shell company has no products and therefore none of those pesky counter claims that stand in the way of a pay day.

Comment Re:Ok, someone who understands this stuff... (Score 2, Insightful) 360

It sees that the USCG is now complaining that the motions that the defendants filed in response (using Syfert's document pack) should not be accepted. The rule (that USCG quotes) says that the defendant's council must discuss with plaintiff's council before filing such motion and then serve defendant council with copies of the motion. However, the defendants are not being represented by any council (and certainly not Syfert, as indicated by his reply to USCG's request for sanctions) so those rules would not apply. USCG's assertion that the defendants need to first confer with them would be completely contrary to the purpose of the filings--to prevent the court from releasing the identity to the USCG.

The defendants using the forms sold by Syfert is no different than someone using Legal Zoom or buying a package of legal forms from Staples. The problem (for USCG) is that the filings now require USCG to spend real money defending their assertion that the Doe defendants are liable, whether to simply answer the motions or possibly take the case to the court with correct jurisdiction over the defendants. What the USCG is attempting to do is discourage other Doe defendants from trying to defend themselves against the allegations.

Comment Re:Laissez-Faire? Small government? Tea Party? (Score 1) 409

"Does anyone find it odd that the libertarian Tea Party candidate goes running for governement/federal/legal support when she runs into difficulty campaigning?"

No, not really. Many conservatives/libertarians (especially the ones that have latched themselves onto the GOP) have been holding two opposite positions for quite a while. The government shouldn't be telling me how to live my life but it should be telling others how to live their lives like the way I do. Keep the government hands off my Medicare. Look around at Tea Party rallies: how many of them are railing against government programs but are collecting Social Security and Medicare? How many of them would be willing to give up taking money from those "socialist" programs?

Comment Re:Ignorance in the comments from the Superintende (Score 1) 295

"There's no ignorance in her remarks, she knows exactly what she is doing."

I'm not too sure about that. All of the quotes sound like they came from an empty shirt who thinks she knows everything just because she has some paper and got to where she was not by achievement but who she knows. Similar to all the CxO's who run companies into the ground, escape with the golden parachute then land another cushy job to do the same thing over again.

Comment Re:All You Can Eat (Score 1) 591

The reason we see them try to pull this BS (and frequently get away with it) is because customers let themselves get pushed around, walked all over, and generally taken advantage of.

Its not so much a matter of letting one's self being pushed around. Its more a matter of there being no alternative. Look at where TWC was trying out caps: nowhere near the areas where they have real competition from Verison's FiOS. That leaves areas that the best competition is DSL where if you're close enough to the CO maybe you can get 3/768. Interestingly, TWC's announced cap trial (and public backlash) in upstate New York prompted Frontier (the LEC in some areas) to abandon its own plans to cap their DSL service. This does seem to be an outcome of lack of decent competition in most areas.

They don't want to scare off new customers by advertising any limits, but at the same time they want to enforce limits. Can't have it both ways.

Oh, but they want to. They've seen the dollar signs in their eyes and right now are regrouping and working on how to re-introduce caps after better "educating" the customer on the urgent need for their implementation. Look at the price structure for the caps (and overage charges): its all about raising the price of users who they think use ("always on") service too much while being able to say that the ISP didn't raise their prices, and I would go so far as to use the term gouge in some cases.

Take AT&T's 3G mobile Internet service which they sell for $60/month. The plan limit is quoted in GB (5 GB to be exact) but the overage amount is quoted in KB. A person who doesn't know any better probably doesn't know what a KB is verses a GB and that 1 KB is 1/1,048,576 a GB. The price sheet is purposely misleading.

At 0.00048/KB for overage, that's 503.32/GB. Either AT&T is selling the first 5GB at a huge loss or their overage charges are unconscionable

Imagine going to a restaurant on a saturday all you can eat buffet to have a big breakfast with your family, and as you are parking you see the advert in the window for saturday morning all-you-can-eat, and notice the little note at the bottom, "(we will kick you out if you eat more than $20 worth of food)". Tell me YOU wouldn't find somewhere else to eat breakfast? So it's not surprising they don't want to disclose anything like that.

For Comcast (prior to last year) and now it seems TWC, its more along the lines of, "we will kick you out if you eat more than we think you deserve to eat" but without telling you what that threshold is or that there even is one. When you consider that the limiting factor is not the bandwidth from the ISP to the internet or the cost of it there. It is from the head end to the user where you have very oversold nodes; in the case of TWC, they're been fairly resistant to upgrading to DOCSIS 3 which, while a band-aid, should provide more available system bandwidth. And yes, a lot of it has to do with protecting their video revenues.

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