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Comment Re:Americans (Score 2) 198

The original study linking vaccination to autism was from the UK. The press has really overstated the anti-vaxer thing in the US. I don't remember the exact statistic, but close to 99% of American children are vaccinated (at least partially). Most of the ones who aren't are clustered in immigrant communities, that's why we see the outbreaks. It poses no threat to the general population.

Comment Re:About time (Score 1) 118

Typically, when they nationalize infrastructure, private competition is not allowed. Even if it is allowed, they have to compete with a service the customer has already paid for. So you are stuck with whatever the state has to offer.

Obviously, private entities with no incentive to upgrade will not do so. That's what's so infuriating about this debate. People say: "well, I guess it's time to give up on having private telecommunications infrastructure" but like the ex-FCC chairman said here, it hasn't really been tried. A private company with a monopoly is not really a private company, they're just a money-taking intermediary between you and the government that granted them the monopoly.

Comment Re:About time (Score 1) 118

By treating internet access as a piece of necessary national infrastructure, instead of just letting "the market" fight it out, you arrive at a far better end point far sooner.

But you have to hope that where you end up will be adequate for a long time, because you're going to be stuck with it. That's not to say that the private companies that dominate the US market are doing very well right now, but they're all locked into government mandated monopolies so they have no reason to even try.

Comment Re:WTH are Verizon customers paying for? (Score 1) 364

There's no need to require Verizon to peer with Netflix. That isn't even what Netflix wanted. But if Verizon (or any ISP) has ports that are saturated during peak times, they could be required to upgrade them in order to keep up with customer demand. And they could be prohibited from charging their peer for their internal upgrades.

You see this a lot as industries mature. The initial developers are eager to roll out their technologies in order to make money and benefit everyone. Then later on they get bought up by others who are looking at how to make as much money as possible by any means necessary. Eventually, it gets so bad the government has to pass consumer protection laws and everyone has to fill out a bunch of paperwork to get anything done. Then the industry stagnates.

When providers have a monopoly, there's no way to let the market decide. So you have to either bust up those monopolies, or give them a whole bunch of rules to follow. Usually the government goes with the rules, because that's really what they're all about.

Comment WTH are Verizon customers paying for? (Score 4, Interesting) 364

The problem is the way they do their accounting, people pay a monthly rate no matter what, and every bit they deliver is written down as an expense. Verizon doesn't feel they are obligated to actually provide the service their customers are paying for. I'm not even sure what they think their customers are paying for. They will readily admit that 30% of their peak traffic is Netflix, but somehow it never occurred to them that some customers might be paying them $120/month so they can have access to Netflix. Also, if Netflix can deliver this service $8/month (most of which is spent buying content), it's hard to believe Verizon can't keep up with them for 15 times that amount! In reality, there's a bunch of shady nonsense going on here.

If Verizon doesn't like government regulations, they probably shouldn't be such total assholes to their customers. You'd think that the geniuses running that company would have the foresight to realize their monopoly is only secure as long as their customers are happy, but instead they are pulling this crap.

If you prefer a free market solution, we could pass a law requiring ISPs to charge per GB delivered. Then they'd get the message that their customers are paying for data, not whatever the fuck Verizon thinks they're providing. But either way, Verizon is totally in the wrong here.

Comment Short sighted nonsense, which is to be expected. (Score 5, Insightful) 185

Your customers definitely believed they would receive internet access paid for from their rent, and if you change that while still holding to a lease it will upset them. Legalistic mumbo jumbo like claiming they paid for "network access" rather than internet access would't actually fly in court if you ever do face a class action lawsuit or FTC complaint about this. The expectation you intended for your customer is what matters, not your ridiculous word games. Most students would probably be too busy with other things to take action over this, so if your tenants really are all students you won't face civil action.

But this kind of move is bad for other reasons. The bad blood it will generate between you and your customers will incur other kinds of costs as your customers act out passive-aggressively against you, in the form of poor yelp reviews, poor word of mouth, and deliberate property destruction. This is just the kind of short-sighted nonsense I've come to expect from many businessmen. Absolutely no conception of the big picture. Providing this access is very inexpensive, and you said you'd do it when you rented the apartments. By changing it up you are saying to your customers that you don't value their time and that you don't take them seriously. You just want to use them to extort money from someone else.

Moreover, this action is not sustainable. If you and enough others to this, you will be seeing net neutrality and other consumer protection regulations in the future as a result. Most college students don't stay in college forever.

Comment Microsoft for business is bullshit. (Score -1, Troll) 379

There's nothing special about Microsoft products that makes them business compatible. That's been a ridiculous nonsense talking point for selling Microsoft's overpriced bloatware for far too long. The people running corporations are stuck in the '80s and believe they need to use MSFT because they were sold on that scam 3 decades ago. But those dinosaurs won't be running things forever. Soon younger CEOs with a more intelligent approach to IT procurement will be in charge.

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