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Comment how many simultaneous users? (Score 2) 280

10 Mbit/s (if it is a real 10, and not an "up to 10") is plenty to stream one video from NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon etc. (unless you are trying for one of the rare 4K streams). But if you have multiple users in the house, you will need to allow for times when they all want something different at the same time.

I'd be happy 99.99% of the time with 40 Mbit/s. If Google fiber ever gets here - I don't think I'd notice whether it was 100Mbit/s or 1Gbit/s more than a couple of times a year.

Comment Just how would you explain the risks? (Score 2) 168

We already have groups of people afraid of wifi, vaccines, and a host of other things that are non-issues. They are also disproportionately afraid that their child will be abducted (by strangers, or even by aliens).

Pretty much whatever you say will either be misunderstood by some subgroup, or deliberately misconstrued by another - and then a school faces the problem of providing a special exception* for some group of students that have been opted out.

* Note that I'm generally in favour of special exceptions in schools because children do have different learning styles and paces - but this would be a crazy addition

Comment Scalia's dissent wasn't about keeping DOMA (Score 1) 1073

Scalia was outraged that SCOTUS hadn't dismissed Windsor for the pretty much the same reasons that they dismissed Perry. There was no case. The district court said that DOMA(3) was not constitutional. The government agreed. Should have been end of story with DOMA(3) in the trashcan (in that district ... but with more to follow from other cases like Golinski, Pederson, Gil, and a dozen others). The supreme court exists to resolve disputes - and there was no dispute here. Both parties to the case were in full agreement.

The only fly in the ointment was Speaker John Boehner sending in the BLAG (bi-partisan legal advisory group - which is anything *but* bi-partisan since the authorization came from a 3-2 committee vote of Republicans vs. Democrats) to make the appeals to the circuit court and then to SCOTUS.

So Scalia's preferred outcome would probably have been to deny Cert in the first place, or to ditch the case on standing grounds - either of which would have still resulted in DOMA(3) being struck down.

The latter part of his dissent makes it clear that he isn't a big fan of same sex marriage

Comment Are ISPs really throttling bandwidth? (Score 2) 82

Lots of talk about how ISPs could do this to protect their own video offerings. But are they really doing it? My current ISP is Comcast, previous was AT&T U-verse. In both cases I did not subscribe to their TV option - just to internet and voice.

I have had no problems streaming video from Netflix, Amazon or Hulu+ through my Roku box. Base bandwidth to maintain a video stream is only 5 Mbits or so, so it would seem to be increasingly difficult for ISPs competing for customers in the Mb/s battles to throttle things so much as to prevent streaming video.

Comment sending texts sounds like a problem (Score 2) 213

I can see that once the police had the phone, that looking at the address book is equivalent to looking at an old style rolodex. Looking at received texts is like the precedent cited of looking at received messages on an old style pager. But *sending* texts seems like something new. Are there precedents where a police officer who is a skilled voice mimic answers a seized phone, or starts making calls from a seized phone and impersonates the true owner of the phone?

Comment What about the smart meter crazy people? (Score 1) 61

We seem to have a highly vocal minority that believe the "radiation" from smart meters is destroying their lives. They've managed to convince PG&E to offer an opt-out plan to let them keep a non-transmitting meter. Surely a few of them live in the 1.5 square miles covered by this. Waiting for lawsuit to stop this in 3 ... 2 ... 1

Comment Too late to be useful? (Score 2) 284

I remember the days when my laptop would only run for a couple of hours on battery and then die. Back then seats next to electrical outlets at airports and coffee shops were in high demand as the road warriors clustered around them.

But now I have an "eight hour" battery (which I am sure will run for 5+ hours, perhaps more). So I don't care any more. A few days ago I was in a meeting with the projector connected to my laptop running on battery. A colleague helpfully passed me a power cord - and I literally stared at it for five seconds thinking "Why? I don't need this, the meeting will only run for another hour at most and I'm 100% confident that my battery will last."

So there might have been a market for this up until 2010/2011 or so, but that market is disappearing fast. If your business model is to charge people $5 for $0.005 worth of electricity at airports ... you may need to rethink how much demand there will be.

Comment He may be right, it might be fair use ... (Score 1) 242

But unfortunately the legislature and the courts have not given us any clear description on what is and is not fair use. The only way to find out is to take a case to the courts and have a judge evaluate the evidence and issue a ruling.

So Romley needs to do exactly that ... have his ad pulled by a DMCA takedown. Appeal that. Have NBC sue (and get an injuction to stop him using this video until the case is resolved). Go to court. All this could easily be resolved by mid-2013 (unless the loser appeals to pregressively higher levels of the court system).

Wait - you say you need this ad now, while the primaries are going on? Sorry - that's not how it works.

Mitt: Time for a campaign promise to fix these damn laws so that they provide clear guidelines for fair use - I'd certainly take notice if you did that (you'd have to drop a bunch of other stuff before I could be persuaded to vote for you).

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