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Submission + - $400 Billion in collected surcharges, still no Telco Act of 96 Tech

Yew2 writes: This book illustrates the unexpected, negative result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Perhaps the most damning evidence of a massive fraud is the fact that the technologies promised — and paid for — in the 20 year old piece of legislation still exceed the widespread services deployed and available in use today in the majority of homes. Indeed some regions are only getting upgrades as needed .
Another book on the matter makes equally damning conclusions:
The National Information Infrastructure as codified in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 existed on two levels — federal and state. As a federal law, the Act specified certain data services that were to be made available to schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety agencies and paid for through special surcharges and some tax credits. Looking solely at the Federal side of the story, the so-called Information Superhighway still doesn't appear to have been a success, but it wasn't a criminal failure. Many schools and libraries were wired at considerable expense though the health care and public safety components never amounted to much.
It is on the state level where one can find the greatest excesses of the Telecommunications Act. All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia contracted with their local telecommunication utilities for the build-out of fiber and hybrid fiber-coax networks intended to bring bidirectional digital video service to millions of homes by the year 2000. The Telecom Act set the mandate but, as it works with phone companies, the details were left to the states. Fifty-one plans were laid and 51 plans failed.
The RBOCs cut heads, cut spending, cut construction, increased depreciation rates, failed to deliver promised services, increased telephone bills, and had booming profits as a result. Then each mega-merger brought with it new contortions that inevitably led to poorer service and higher charges. Twenty-two percent of telco equipment, for example, SIMPLY DISAPPEARED. Penalties for missing service goals were often folded into merger payments, so instead of paying the states a penalty for not doing what they had promised to, the companies paid themselves.

Comment Re: This negates the entire email scandal (Score 1) 229

Thats terrible. Think "when all fuel has nitro, her job as racecar driving SoS made her game dangerous the moment she built her own racetrack" Still terrible. If you KNOW a thing thats classified and type it into a brand new email, is that classified? This is a simple question, and the answer to this whole case...on the surface. But there is so much more:

Comment 100 Megabits Per Second - Just Not Every Second (Score 1) 106

When are we going to get bans on data caps? Does the Obama Administration and FCC realize that the very idea of a cap belies the nature of a service which indicates how much data per second they are selling you? Shouldnt my 100 megabits per second be capped at no less than 2,592,000,000,000 bits, a hundred for every second in a 30 day month?

Comment Its a COLLECTION not a CREATION at least for news (Score 2) 138

I replied to one of these "YouTube is not a news source" groupie for HRC and it really dawned on me how important the collection, aggregation and the ability to compare and contrast news stories is - really critical if one wants to be well informed at a time when bias and outright lies are being propagated throughout the media.

Comment Who Says Clinton Staffers Didnt Have Access? (Score 2) 313

While we are all assuming this is a hatchet job to get Bernie locked out, these "intermittent firewall drops" could, in fact, be Hillary having arranged for her people to be able to spy on him - but nobody is mentioning that in the news articles. P.S. 15 years as a network engineer and i still dont know why the press uses the term firewall so loosely. If it was sincerely a layer 3/4 security device, there would be lots of evidence as to exactly what happened - unless logging were disabled. I think in this case they are calling security mechanisms within their db or reporting app a "firewall" war were declared!!

Submission + - British Government instituted 3-month deletion policy, apparently to evade FOIA (

An anonymous reader writes: In late 2004, weeks before Tony Blair’s Freedom of Information (FOI) act first came into force, Downing Street adopted a policy [ — PAYWALLED] of automatically deleting emails more than three months old. The IT decision has resulted in a 'dysfunctional' system according to former cabinet officials, with Downing Street workers struggling to agree on the details of meetings in the absence of a correspondence chain. It is still possible to preserve an email by dragging it to local storage, but the relevance of mails may not be apparent at the time that the worker must make the decision to do so.

Former special adviser to Nick Clegg Sean Kemp said: "Some people delete their emails on an almost daily basis, others just try to avoid putting anything potentially interesting in an email in the first place,”

Comment Re:Carriers (Score 1) 312

Yeah the tech is there - an ASIC designed for identifying and dropping suspect traffic (or already marked traffic) on carrier networks is the obvious part. Whats needed is a protocol that can be implemented at layer 3/4 to allow global distribution networks to notify each other and perform wire-speed inspections/drops. Heck, an existing protocol like QoS marking at layer 2 or 3 could be partially leveraged to avoid changes to (already) standardized headers but im sure im about to be told why thats impossible or unsuitable. Someone makes this stuff lavaboy is talking about (or companies like Prolexic just clean your crap for you in real time) but all charge through the roof for it and THATS why we dont have the solution. Freakin a.

Comment Re:Lucky Them (Score 1) 127

Good question, in fact Im just glad I dont play utopia anymore and actually talk to the 100+ msn messenger users with whom I used to game daily or Id be whining about msn too. For fsx I am referring to a requirement which is no longer available to be completed online, and for newer operating systems (8x) the install dll which is used to generate telephone activation is not discoverable by the software. In order to use this app whilst buying their new OS, at hundreds of dollars in cost between the two, I must engage support. But both of these scenarios anger me. Sincerely. This isnt just about how MS decides to discontinue one product or doesnt keep other products compatible with all previously released counterparts (while using various maneuvers to compel us to continually upgrade those other products) its about this idea that the software license is not only so much less than any trace of ownership but that its very use can be restricted/disabled at any time. I would hope that whether I directly make a purchase or indirectly fund a franchise like msn by using a free product that there be some assurances that the software we use never be taken away from us. I thought Skype would bridge that gap - and now this? I get it that app services have a cost and such, but people build social lives, businesses, daily routines into messaging software; and as far as expensive games or other products - they have no labeling that states "this may not work very well in 5-10 years, beware" I certainly dont expect ownership when I make a software purchase or create an account but if something is going to be only available to me for a limited time I want to know up front. Sure nothing lasts forever but 5, 10, 15 years? Think about the other purchases we make. These time frames are just too short imo.

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