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Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 3, Interesting) 158

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 2) 131

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment Re:Bluetooth Headphones (Score 1, Informative) 329

I have never had any issues using bluetooth headphones while my Android watch is connected. Not once.

I also haven't had issues with interaction with "wifi-rich" environments, and I live in a 26 story building with dozens of WIFI networks.

The battery life issue is entirely dependent on what model of headset you have. I did the research, and got a set that lasts a good long while.

I'm not saying that I agree with the removal of the jack, but your arguments don't apply to any environment I've encountered in recent years.

6 years or so, Bluetooth was far more dodgy, and didn't provide sufficient quality for music anyway.

Comment Re:Thinner (Score 1) 329

Plus, Samsung's phones (which I love otherwise) are made of the slipperiest substance this side of greased Teflon. I could not keep the dang thing in my hands until I put a case on it. (Seidio case, also sold by Best Buy as their "Platinum" case. Since I had a Palm Pilot, my first criteria for a cell phone is that Seidio makes a case for it.)

I think if they don't have a headphone jack in future phones, though, that I may find myself looking elsewhere.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 773

Question: Did Carson just repeat some wild notion that Ellen G. White cooked up that he heard in Sunday School as a kid and never had any particular reason to question or look into, and all the usual suspects are playing "Gotcha!! Whadda maroon!!"? Or does he continue to maintain that the pyramids were for grain storage?

Comment Re:Of course they do (Score 1) 160

The problem is that, as they lose better movies, they add more original content - and that is precisely what Netflix wants; so if you like Orange Is The New Black or, in my case, Narcos, there's no alternative. Hulu has done the same thing - they are both adding original content at a really rapid pace (and because of that, most of it is now junk, whereas the original programming used to be top notch) and allowing their contracts to go south for the other content.

Still, I don't think Narcos alone is worth $13 a month (or whatever it is). Stranger Things was good; it will probably slide in season 2, as I don't think it has anywhere to go. But the bottom line is there's a reason I haven't jumped ship yet, despite the overall quality of content decreasing.

Comment Re:too much segmentation (Score 1) 160

I have some of those descriptions, and I think anthony_greer is right - to an extent. I dropped DirecTV because just getting the expanded package (but no premium channels) with HD service was getting very expensive. My kids never really even watched - my son prefers video games, and my daughter, when she watches anything, watches Netflix. There's a number of shows I think are actually quite good on broadcast TV and basic cable, but I can't stand commercials and either need DVR or a commercial free option.

Hulu+ (commercial free *) is great, but only gives me 1/4 to 1/3 of what I want... but it's the only service of it's kind to do so (as far as I know, anyway). Some services "DVR" capabilities allow you to forward through commercials, but it's often limited to a few certain networks. Amazon season passes are great, but add up pretty quickly if you like a lot of shows. It occurs to me there's too much on that I like, but at the same time I don't feel like I waste all that much time watching TV - usually binge watching during bad weather or something. Still, liking a lot of what's out there, it's hard to find a better deal than cable/satellite with DVR.

(*) except when it's not... but then they only show an ad at the beginning and, I guess, the end - but my problem is with shows being interrupted and breaking the mood.

Comment Re:I beg to differ (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Agreed.... I think a lot of people watch stuff they wouldn't otherwise because they have some free time and say "let's watch a movie." Then, instead of picking something they really want, they look at what's available on Netflix and choose what they hope is the best option.

When that best option turns out to be a pretty crappy movie, time and time again, it will cost Netflix customers in the long run.

Indeed, bean counters are more focused on what will get them the next bonus than what will actually help the company in the long run.

Comment True, but you won't like the solution (Score 1) 278

A school can't correct for a class filled with poor single parent household kids who refuse to be educated

A school cannot, but society can. All it would take is a degree of ruthlessness on the part of the law-abiding and productive majority in dealing with them.

1. End no fault divorce.
2. Provide that unwed, non-custodial fathers are entitled to no welfare or public housing at all.
3. Provide that unwed mothers can never receive more than 1/3 the welfare of married mothers.
4. Inflict corporal punishment on men who abandon their children.
5. Make having two or more children out of wedlock (including outside of common law marriage) that you cannot fully support without welfare, for men or women, would be treated as a sex offense under the logic that it is sexual social parasitism.

You may not like that, but it would work. All society has to do to such people is give them a harsh ultimatum. That is, you can socialize the cost of your lifestyle, but the cost will be your freedom and autonomy since you aren't an invalid and this is by your own doing.

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