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Comment Re:1 truck, better than 20+ shoppers... (Score 1) 145

When property owners can't get their stuff delivered, they'll make changes to their property, so the trucks have someplace to park that is not in the public right of way.

That assumes the people who can't get their stuff delivered are property owners, as opposed to tenants. And it assumes that property owner will make changes to their property costing anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands (if it's even possible at all) to provide parking for delivery vehicles. Or, in other other words, you're absolutely clueless.

Comment It certainly works well in the enterprise. Privacy (Score 1) 80

Certainly there are privacy issues to be discussed, and there are many questions that can be asked about what exactly should be done and how it should be done. The concept does work quite well. Especially related to botnets.

This is standard procedure in the enterprise. Its 2017, not 1997, and we're far beyond "update your AV and pretend your safe". In enterprises that care at all about security, professionals, preferably security professionals in the SOC, but at least network professionals, use professional tools such as Cisco ASAs with Firepower to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic in a much more sophisticated and effective way than even a technical user would monitor their own workstation, much less some random clerk or manager. Where I work, the SOC is staffed 24/7 by career security professionals using $100,000+ toolsets. "Every user can update their AV", and "remind people not to open Office documents with macros" doesn't quite compete.

Certainly an ISP could monitor and null route or otherwise filter current verified malware sources and that sort of thing. They could easily prevent the spread of many botnet malware strains by not allowing the attacks to come out of their network, or through it.

So yeah it' much more than a "power grab". It's a solid idea that needs to be balanced against privacy concerns in how it is implemented.

Comment My pockets are too small for textbooks (Score 1) 167

> Paper books sometimes get discounts that make them cheaper than ebooks. Why would anyone pay more for bits?

I do a lot of studying 5-15 minutes at a time. I study a few pages in the bathroom, a few pages while waiting in line, etc. Dead tree books are rather inconvenient to keep in my pocket, so I prefer digital for studying.

For reference books paper can be good because it doesn't dissapear easily, but even for reference digital is searchable.

Comment Beware padding oracle with compression& encryp (Score 1) 130

Compression before encryption often results in a padding oracle or other problems. If you're designing a system that is supposed to be secure, avoid compression until you fully understand the issues. Avoid compressing and encrypting chosen plaintext at all - you'll never be sure you understand all of the issues with that.

Comment The five ISPs I can choose are lies? (Score 1) 156

> Texans have a problem believing too many lies, as usual.

The various ISPs I can order service from are lies, they don't actually exist? That's weird since I'm using the service to post this message.

Apparently *one of us* was lied to.

I work from home, so reliable service is important to me. For that reason I asked around to see which ISP is best in this area. Fellow customers didn't steer me wrong - I've not had any down time so far, nor have I had any billing issue.

Comment Overbuilders. Fiber makes this the right time (Score 2, Interesting) 156

On the coasts, many areas are still under legacy (and even new) franchise agreements. The New York City franchise map is a good example that is readily available - provider A is allowed to operate on one side of the street, on the other side only provider B can offer service. Customers get whichever ISP is assigned to their area by the bureaucrats (who get donations from the ISPs). The ISPs are free to suck, because there's no competition.

There was some hoopla around here a couple of years ago with people saying "franchise monopolies are now illegal". Not quite. The rule from the Obama administration was "before issuing a *new* franchise monopoly, a city must hold a meeting."

In many parts of Texas, we don't have the franchise (mandated monopoly) system. Instead, new providers are allowed to enter an area and offer better service. These are called "overbuilders" because they build new infrastructure, using modern technology, right on top of the incumbent's legacy network. Many provide "cable" TV and internet.

The last 10 years or so have been a very important time for overbuilders because previously, the incumbent had a huge advantage in that they already had the infrastructure in place. It's major expense for an overbuilder to replicate all the wiring that the legacy provider already has. The incumbent doesn't have that current cost. In some areas, the phone company was providing DSL service using wiring they laid 60 years ago.

Now that we're going to high-speed fiber, the incumbent no longer has the same advantage. Their decades-old copper infrastructure isn't an overwhelming advantage any more. Overbuilders come in and lay fiber, often with short lengths of high-quality, high-capacity coax for the last few hundred feet. In some parts of Austin there are four to six providers to choose from. Even in some very small towns there are two cable TV companies, competing to have the best, most reliable, and fastest network. If they one doesn't do a good job, customers don't choose them, and the company doesn't make money. Companies like to make money, of course, so they don't suck, not to the extent that they suck in guaranteed monopoly areas (government franchises). The lead engineer for my city of 150,000 gave me his cell phone number, telling me to call him directly if I have any problems and customer service doesn't take care of it properly.

> list of reasons to move to Texas will gain another entry.

We'd love to have you! Please bring that list with you. A lot of Californians move out here and I ask why they came. They came, perhaps, because we have good jobs and a low cost of living. A programmer II can afford a 2,600 square foot house here. Within a week they start telling me about things we should change in Texas, to be more like California. We should have California-style policies, they say, and they don't hear me when I point out those policies drive up costs and increase unemployment. Not that they are necessarily BAD policies. Maybe the benefits outweigh the costs, in some people's opinion. Fine. But if you want to do things the California way, and get the results California gets, it's easy to just stay in California. No need to come to Texas and try to turn it into California.

Comment E=hn (Score 1) 156

> > Also of course high frequency waves have high energy
> What?

E=hn where E is energy in joules, n is frequency in hertz, and h is Planck's constant. In other words, energy is *directly proportional* to frequency.

Its quite intuitive when you think of a sound wave, rather than electromagnetic, especially a sound wave in water. Imagine a sound wave which moves 1 gram of water. Moving 1 gram of water 10 times in a second (10 hertz) represents a lot less energy than moving the water 1,000 times in that same second.

This is one of several reasons that lower frequencies are preferred for long-distance communication. Because it takes less energy to get the same amplitude (particle count) at low frequencies, they are more efficient. Atmospheric attenuation is the biggest reason).

Comment The laws of physics greatly restrict bandwidth (Score 5, Informative) 156

A very large mesh network *used* to be possible. Not so much anymore.

> There is nothing in the rules of mathematics or laws of physics that prevents such a system.

In fact there the laws of physics DO put some serious limitations on it, especially a true mesh network. In a nutshell, the frequencies that carry over distance and through walls have limited bandwidth, which must be shared by *everyone* who wants to use any kind of wireless communication. Frequencies above 10 Ghz have a lot of bandwidth, but don't go through drywall. Also of course high frequency waves have high energy - think microwave oven.

Mesh networks are horribly inefficient in how they use the limited bandwidth available in desirable frequency bands. You can do much, much better if you have local transmitters around 1 Ghz communicating with local towers which form a backbone connected via high power dishes, or better yet fiber optics. There is a lot more usable bandwidth to go around using the backbone topology rather than wasting most of the bandwidth by using a mesh. That brings up the issue of who owns and controls the backbones.

Given the physics of it all, back in 1990 you could have built a mesh network to replace the wired connections of the day - 48Kbps max bandwidth, with each person using it an hour or two per day, on average. On a new network built today, you'd want 100,000 to 10,000,000 Kbps, with each person using it ten hours per day. So roughly 40,000 times as much total bandwidth. Not going to happen. Not with the physics we know in this century.

There *is* a way we can 40,000 times as much bandwidth as we had in the the 1990s, though. We actually have such a system working in much of Texas. It involves setting the greedy corporate ISPs up in a situation where to make money, they have to compete with other greedy corporate ISPs. Customers choose the best one, so an ISP can't make money if they suck. It's not a perfect system, but it beats the hell out of what I hear people on the coasts complaining about - a single monopoly ISP protected by a government franchise, an ISP that sucks but they don't care because nobody is allowed to offer competing service.

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