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Comment Re:Meaningless headline (Score 3, Insightful) 184

breaking any of the rules will no longer be a mere TOS-violation, but breaking the law — enforced not by clueless customer support, but by the (equally clueless, but armed) police. Even if you escape a fine, you will be banned from the city's network and there goes your ability to "switch ISPs".

Yes, in much the same way that you are carted off to jail and permanently blacklisted when you are late paying for tap water or garbage collection.

What are you going on about?

Comment Re:MDUs (Score 1) 184

I service a small apartment building using VDSL2 bridges. I have a vlan switch mounted in the phone room, with a single-port VDSL2 bridge for each customer attached to the switch. Another bridge goes in the suite, providing ethernet access to the subscriber via the existing phone jack. Larger deployments can take advantage of a DSLAM in the phone room and a bridge in the suite.

Comment Re:Why do you need an ISP at all, then? (Score 1) 184

It's important because building out last-mile infrastructure is expensive and risky compared to any other capital investment an ISP has to make. Furnishing bandwidth to a decent-sized community is cake for an ISP, and so having a municipality like Ammon bring the customer's fiber connection to the ISP's door is really gift-wrapping it.

And it makes a lot of sense, too. We've seen that ISPs are loathe to spend significant time and money building out the last-mile infrastructure, only to have to face competition, whether it be other ISPs or municipalities. I'm not saying they're justified in their selective roll-out or in the prices they charge, only that they are reluctant to do it. Municipally owned fiber ensures that all businesses and residents get the service in a timely manner, and takes the prerogative out of the hands of a corporation, which will be selective and risk-averse by nature. The local fiber network thus becomes a public utility, as it should be. Residents are assured good access to providers, and providers to the market.

Comment Re:lawsuit (Score 3, Informative) 184

From the article:

"We were able to come in, use their fiber where it traditionally would have cost us quite a bit to do our own infrastructure, so time to market was much quicker. It gives us access to the customers that they're already doing business with," Barbara Sessions, director of engineering and operations at Silver Star Communications, said in the ILSR video.

CEO Jared Stowell of Fybercom, another ISP using Ammon's network, doesn't mind the competition enabled by the open access model. "We like the competition," he said. "It keeps us on top of the game so we can continue to provide a superior product and no one gets lackadaisical."

and:

There are six ISPs offering service to businesses over the open access network

ISPs don't like municipalities competing for customers, but in a situation where the municipality is bringing the customer to the ISP, many are apparently on board.

Comment Re:Canada (Score 1) 184

Canadian municipalities have started to take notice. The Ammon model involves the municipality building its own fiber network for facilitating access to competing gateway providers. It's an interesting model for addressing the last-mile problem, but doesn't go far enough for communities with too few ISP's in town. Unfortunately, this is far too often the situation in smaller Canadian communities.

I think Ammon is doing great things for their citizens and businesses, but it won't be a panacea for every small town.

Comment Re:But you don't want to pay for IT expenses... (Score 1) 87

Remember the IT member who told you, "Hey, this is insecure, we should change this" And you blew him off because you didn't want the expense or didn't care, or thought it would never happen, or thought you knew better?

More likely the IT member said "Hey, this is secure, we should buy it", and executive signed off on yet another inflated IT capital expenditure, because hey, information security is worth the price you pay. In my experience no amount of belt tightening in Canadian post secondary has kept IT from having their expensive toys. No exec wants to be in U of C's position right now, and knowing little about how IT works, they generally capitulate when IT comes with their hand out.

Comment Re:Backup (Score 1) 87

C$20,000 invested before the fact would have procured a fairly substantial ZFS storage pool.

Irrelevant. This is a Canadian post-secondary institution we're talking about here. As a former IT employee of such an institution (and despite U of C's connection to Theo de Raadt) I can assure you that a) the backup systems in place are virtual miles away from anything resembling free or open source, and b) purchased and licensed at a cost that is many times higher than $20,000.

Canadian post-secondary IT is well-enough funded to afford whatever the conference sponsors are pushing. Executive would do well to loosen the purse strings a little when recruiting IT talent, and be a little tighter with their capital. Incidents like this are preventable.

Comment Re:It is worth what somebody will pay for it (Score 3, Insightful) 187

And if Microsoft themselves do not attempt to buy it, then they've shown how much they value their own product. Or the customer base. Or security in general.

Of course, we knew the latter already...

While I agree that MS cares nothing for security or their customers so long as they retain the ability to take people's money, there are good reasons for them not to pay this ransom. To do so would be to promote this type of black hat activity, and they have no substantial assurance that they will get what they paid for.

Comment Re:App Store Wars (Score 4, Interesting) 507

I have a Smart TV that was given to me as payment of a debt. I like the TV, but after trying to get the smart features to work satisfactorily I ultimately gave up and plugged in my Roku.

The tv's smart interface and all apps are dreadfully slow to respond. The Netflix UI is terribly dated in appearance and functionality, and the Plex app wouldn't connect to my plex servers. I sideloaded a plex app from the deveoloper and this was able to connect to my servers, but stopped functioning shortly thereafter. The Youtube app was slow and pairing it with an android device was always a crapshoot.

The tv was missing a critical app for me, so the Roku purchase was inevitable, but the apps included with the smart tv are by no means a working substitute. If Samsung et al would actually provide a positive user experience with their smart suites then I would certainly be onboard. But in reality, much like SOHO router vendors who pathetically attempt to provide 'premium' features with their device firmware, tv vendors should stick to selling tvs.

Comment Re:Red X? (Score 2) 564

What about the folks who decline the Windows 10 license agreement, which is of course presented after the upgrade has happened? Regardless of whether the ensuing rollback is successful, I would think you have a class action group right there, bound only by the license agreement of whatever OS they were using when their computer's day got suddenly worse.

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