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Comment Re:Guess what America?? (Score 1) 60

Sorry but this is bogus. Compare the performance of America's economy, wages, policies, foreign relations between Bill Clinton and Bush Jr.

It does make a difference. Imagine what we could have done with the trillion dollars we spent fighting the war in Iraq?

Comment Consistent bills from month to month are handy (Score 1) 194

> but for whatever reason there actually seem to be a lot of people who object to the idea of being charged for their actual usage

I have a monthly expense of $870/month for child care. Some months I use it more than others. I spoke with person providing the service and we BOTH prefer that I spend, and she receives, the same amount every month. It makes budgeting easier for both of us. Also it makes sense because when I decide not to use the service that particular day, she's already made the service AVAILABLE for me, I have the spot reserved whether I use it or not.

Both are true for internet. If you're going to pay $600 for internet this year, most people would rather it be $50/month rather than $10 one month and $90 the next month.

Also, the ISP has to provide you with the capacity every day, whether you use it or not.

I provide a hot spare service, where I keep an extra copy of the customer's web server. I used to charge by how many GBs of storage were used. Customers didn't like that the charge varied a few dollars each month. I changed it so now we bill un 100GB increments. Unless your site gets 100 GB bigger, your cost stays the same each month. Most costumers prefer that. Of course, Amazon AWS shows that variable pricing *can* work.

Lastly, regarding everyone buying more than you need, the price of the 300 GB isn't related in anyway to the actual cost of carrying 300 GB. The price is a function of the AVERAGE USAGE of customers subcribed to that plan. If the average customer with a 300 GB limit actually uses 1GB, pricing becomes a function of that cost to serve the customer 1 GB.

Comment Re:R&D versus production (Score 1) 102

their systems are certainly working better than other programs at their stage of evolution.

That depends on which "other programs" you look at. Back in the 1950's and early 1960's when we were still learning rocketry and their were no textbooks? Sure. They're doing much better. Compared to more modern programs... they're doing worse. Much worse. The open question, the only real question, the one with no satisfactory answer... is whether the problems are inherent to a startup with no collective experience, are due to their rapid prototyping process, or due to their constant schedule pressure. Or from elements of all three.
 
The one constant, the one thing we do know for a fact, it that SpaceX (or at least Musk) is consistently overconfident and equally consistently over promises and under delivers. He's not alone in that though... it's a pretty consistent feature of NewSpace. (Or AltSpace, or "mammals", whichever term you prefer.)

Comment You keep using that word. 99% of musicians (Score 1) 210

That term doesn't mean what you think it does, though you used it three times in one short post.

Myspace alone offers 53 million songs by 14 million artists, with 13,000 songs uploaded each day. BMG has 312 artists signed to their label. Over 99.9% of musicians are not associated with a label.

Yet there is some reason you want that 0.01% of music, not the 99.99% or so that's independent.

If you feel that you really want to have the tiny, tiny fraction of music that's distributed by the major labels, that the vast majority of music, which is free, isn't good enough for some reason, that obviously means that the label music is, in your opinion, BETTER in some important way. If label wasn't better in some way, you'd ignore it and listen to the millions and millions of other songs.

Maybe you want the label music because the millions of free artists include too many that aren't good and you don't want to spend the time to find the good ones? Perhaps the labels discover some of the best artists and promote them so you know about them?
Maybe you want the label music because the production quality tends to be a lot better, being produced by experienced professionals in multi-million dollar studios rather than in the artist's basement?
Maybe it's just predictability - you know that "Warner Music Nashville" will give you the type of music you like, without having to hunt through millions and millions of songs.

I don't know *why* you have such a strong desire for those relatively very few songs that are distributed by labels, but clearly you do, most people do. There's *something* about the music that the labels are involved in which people strongly prefer; it's better in some important way. The labels add some kind of value that is important to people.

The definition of rent seeking is acquiring a profit without adding any value. It can occur when the rent-seekers control most of the supply. Rent seeking can occur when have to buy from the rent-seeker at an inflated price because you can't just skip the middle man and get the item from the source.

With music, 99.99% of it isn't controlled by the labels. You *can* get it from other sources - in fact the vast *majority* of musicians distribute their own music, no label involved. But you don't want the free music. You want the label music, because there's something you value that the labels give you. Since you want, you value something about what the labels offer, that's the opposite of rent-seeking.

Comment Suggest ... blowing money might be the right thing (Score 1) 102

> What alternative do you suggest?

Even if there is an 80% chance that the money is wasted, doing the development might be the smart choice in order to establish market share while the private space industry is in it's infancy. So I wouldn't *suggest* a change.

The other *option* they should consider finding and fixing the significant existing problems before investing so much in a new platform that will likely have the same problems again. Figure out how to build an pressure tank before you build an even bigger version, for example. Maybe one problem is the quality control of the materials that one of their subcontractors is using. Example, maybe the material lining their tanks has more impurities than specified. Find out and get a different, better source for the material before you build another rocket with the same substandard lining . Or figure out how to build a tank that still work with the lining material, maybe by making it twice as thick. But don't just build another rocket with the same type of lining, which have the same type of failure.

Comment transfer = bandwidth * time / users Transfer IS bw (Score 1) 194

> My point is that usage limits are pointless, there is no limit to the data a connection will transfer, the only limit is the bandwith.

So you're thinking there there is a limit to the number of bits per second, but not a limit to the bytes per month? Those are actually two ways of expressing the same same thing, how many symbols can it transfer in a given period of time.

GB = Mb / (8 * 1024)
month = (seconds * 60 * 60 * 24 * 30)

GB per month = Mbps * 316
Minus overhead, 1 Mbps = 300 GB / month

So for each Mbps, there's a hard limit of 300 GB / month, because those two numbers represent exactly the same thing. Just like your speed in MPH limits how far you can drive in a day.

Then somewhere along the path, you're sharing the connection - you don't have a direct connection to each and every web server. If nothing else, obviously you're sharing the links between your city and other cities. If you're very lucky and you in an office building which houses a significant peering point, you are are only sharing a high speed links. Anyway, on each link, the mathematical maximum average bandwidth (measured per second or per month) for each user is the bandwidth of the link divided by the number of users. If your city has 1 Gbps (300 TB/month) of connectivity to the rest of the world, and has 100,000 residents, that 300TB of capacity the city has is shared by the 100,000 residents, giving 1 GB/month per resident.

Comment True and false - billion$ moving the wrong way (Score -1, Troll) 102

It's POSSIBLE to build it more bigger faster while still trying to figure out why your design keeps resulting in "not an explosion", why your launch attempts turn into "fast fires".

That approach, go more bigger faster right now, is entirely likely to result in more bigger faster balls of flames. They *might* get lucky and an even more ambitious design might be more reliable, for no reason that anyone could predict. More likely, since they haven't yet figured out how to keep X from failing to contain 300 PSI, it won't do any better at containing 500 PSI. They are *probably* spending billions of dollars designing things based around ideas that don't work all that well. But maybe they'll get really lucky.

Comment Toyota Way: All of section 2, principles 5, 6, 8 (Score 2) 350

Let's do look at the Toyota Way, which is organized into four sections.

Section 2 is "The Right Process Will Produce the Right Results".

Within that, we have principles 5, 6, and 8:

Build a culture ... to get quality right the first time.
Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation ...
Use only reliable, thoroughly tested ...

Do ya think maybe they try to follow the same process consistently? Or is it a cowboy culture where everyone does their own thing?

> I'm just clearing up the idea that "just going by the book"

It's not -just- going by the book. According to Toyota, there are four overarching ideas, and the second of those four ideas is "going by by the book", consistently following the "correct" process, not whichever way *you* like to do it.

Comment Left field / outside the box is American culture (Score 4, Insightful) 350

> I don't know why but schools in asian nations are allowing students to get qualifications based on book sense not the ability to work through a complex problem that may need a left of field answer.

According to the people I work with who aren't from the US, that's a significant cultural difference. Most cultures value more knowing and following the rules and procedures, being an efficient part of the team. And that's good - Japan achieves consistently high quality partly because the workers consistently follow the specified procedure.

The US is different in the degree to which we value "outside the box thinking" or what you call "out of left field" answers, coming up with your own way of doing things. On the other hand, many of my American colleagues lack the book knowledge. For example, database adminstrators with little knowledge of, and no respect for, the basic normalization rules. Flying by the seat of your pants, thinking outside the box can be very good, and it can be very bad. If you're trying to come up with a revolutionary new design for a mach 6 jet, you'll need to think outside the box. When manufacturing the turbine blades inside the jet's engine, you need to know the book knowledge cold and follow the correct procedures precisely.

It's no coincidence that people in the US have invented so many things, while Japan and other nations beat us mightily at building higher quality cars, electronics, and other items. Some American goes off and invents the transistor, then the integrated circuit, by trying some wild idea. Then Asian people build millions of ICs that work right, pretty damn consistently.

Again, it's a cultural thing. Obviously nothing about being American is genetic - we're a genetic soup, but we have our own culture. Less so now than 40, 60, or 100 years ago.

Comment PS - Several amendments (Score 2, Interesting) 115

BTW she did also sponsor several amendments to other people's bills. Those include:

requires the Federal Protective Service to have at least 1,200 officers protecting the Congressional Office Building, the Capitol, and other federal buildings.

requires the Comptroller General to study sharing border enforcement with Mexico and Canada.

requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to require that DHS contracts require successful acquisition outcomes

Comment Hillary's actual Senate laws, good or bad (Score 3, Interesting) 115

I won't get into whether or not the things she did "benefited the American people", nor any other highly subjective stuff, but here's a list of the laws she sponsored during her eight years in the Senate:

S. 3613: A bill to name a post office the "Major George Quamo Post Office Building."

S. 3145: A bill to designate a highway in New York as the Timothy J. Russert highway.

S. 1241: A bill to establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site in the State of New York.

In addition to those three laws, she also sponsored a bill the president did not sign:

2. S.Con.Res.27 â" 110th Congress (2007-2008) A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of "National Purple Heart Recognition Day".

Three laws in eight years might sound rather low. It is, the average Senator does quite a bit more.

You be the judge as to whether or not her eight years in the Senate "benefited the American people". Aside from those eight years, she has been in politics in 1977. Much of that has been running PR and especially damage control for the officeholder, her husband.

Comment You can buy it that way (T3), makes you unhappy (Score 3, Insightful) 194

> Hey, wait, I have a solution! How about you charge for the actual bandwidth in megabits per second, instead of for some arbitrary number of gigabytes per month? ... Then everybody's happy, right?

You CAN buy bandwidth that way. I do. It's exactly the opposite of what you want for your home internet connection. Those connections are called T1, T3, DS1, DS3, and you may remember ISDN. That's exactly how to make you UNhappy.

At home, you want to load a Slashdot, have it load in less than a second, then spend 300 seconds reading it. Then you go get a snack for another 300 seconds. You do that for a few hours, then go to bed. The next day, you go to work, then come home and use the internet. You'll use it for a few seconds at a time, for a couple of hours. You do NOT want to sit there and wait for stuff to load - you want the connection to be much, much faster than what you're actually using each hour.

You want a very fast connection, maybe 20-100 Mbps, but you're only downloading 1GB per day, which means you're actually using the connection 0.1% of the time. 99.9% of the time, you're not actually using it. Even you you did 300 GB / month, that 100 Mbps connection would sit idle 99% of the time.

It's good that you don't actually want to use it 99% of the time because a full-transit connection from your home through to the internet costs about $10-$25 per mbps. A full transit 100 Mbps line, about $1,200 / month, depending on location. The great news is, because you're using it less than 1% of the time, you can SHARE it with your neighbors and split the cost. If you each use it 1% of the time or so, 30 neighbors can all share that $1,200/month bill, paying $40 each. THAT is what you want for home internet service.

That's the basic reason why your cable modem at 35 Mbps is SO much cheaper than the 35 Mbps serving your office. Your office likely doesn't share the bandwidth with other companies, and doesn't share the cost. They get the full 35 Mbps 24/7 and pay the full $500 / month.

Sharing a fast connection is awesome, you save tons of money, but one problem arises. One of your neighbors sets up a server and hosts web sites for three or four of his friends, then another neighbor leaves Netflix streaming 24/7 in two different rooms, when he's not even home. That's quite wasteful, but what does he care, he's only paying a tiny fraction of the cost. You get less of the shared bandwidth because dumbass is streaming HD video to an empty living room.

There is no perfect solution to that, but about the best solution we have are caps. Unfortunately ISPs haven't been clear about what the caps are for different pricing tiers. Most consumers probably don't know how many GBs they want, so that's part of the problem. I think the best might be if the major ISPs offered three plans:

Light use economy plan.
Standard plan - perfect for daily browsing with some Youtube.
Power user / HD video plan - for people who watch a lot of Netflix.

Each plan should a little bit higher usage allowance than it's name suggests, so almost everyone people who doesn't use IP video or torrent regularly will be happy with the medium sized plan. That way everyone is paying for their fair share of the shared connection, and everyone is getting what they pay for. That would make customers happy.

Selling you 45 Mbps of dedicated, guaranteed bandwidth on a T3 line for $800 would make CenturyLink happy, but it wouldn't make you very happy. You'd rather share the cost, and the capacity.

Comment They said correlation, not cause, and you agree (Score 1) 149

> I fully expected them to be cybercriminals (stupid word though it is), but it wasn't the cheating in games that led to it. It was their life-long habits.

So you agree that the correlation is likely. Nobody claimed that one caused the other.

Aside from "Chiseling little weasels that shoplifted and vandalized for fun", there are also people who like to hack, to install Linux on their phone or DVR, to turn our Linksys router into a media server or VPN concentrator, etc. Some of us like to not only think outside the box, but twiddle with the box and make it do things it wasn't designed to do. I'm like that. I could have gone either way with that, good or bad. I ended up in network security, I'm pen testing a PCI lab today. When I was younger I worked as a locksmith because again I enjoy skillfully opening a safe without the combination, doing something you're not supposed to be able to do. Something about manipulating the mechanism of that safe appeals to me.

  For me, I have to maintain the highest morals and ethics I possibly can, in order to not let the camel's nose into the tent. I live on a slippery slope, so to speak, because I enjoy the cleverness of the hack. Today, I learn how bad guys do it and come up with clever ways to defend against it. However I know that if allowed myself to become a "little bit" of a crook, I'd soon be enjoying hacking US currency by overprinting $5 bills to become $20 bills or something.

Comment In case anyone takes this seriously (Score 1) 215

In case anyone takes this comment seriously, the emissions per passenger mile are about the same for airliners and cars. Bo
Big planes use more fuel per hour than ONE car does, but they carry heck of a lot more people, in a much shorter time.

A private jet carrying just Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and four hookers is of course dirtier - both because there are fewer people carried vs emissions, and because Clinton and hookers always ends up dirty.

For freight, airplanes carry 35% of all freight, and produce 12% of freight-carrying emissions.
   

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