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Comment Re:Net Neutrality (Score 1) 199

I recall a similar thing in Canada and it's interesting to see pricing mechanism evolve.

In Canada back in the day, unlimited usage was a common practice. Then people started seeing the ISPs throttling traffic. Normally Bit Torrent.. There was some outrage and Net Neutrality came to kind of mean you are not allowed to throttle anything.

Then pretty much all the unlimited plans disappeared and you got per-Gig pricing when you go over your limit. Unlimited plans are coming back again.

I worked in the networking field for a while, and it is simply true that 'network management' is a real thing. What to do when congestion happens. How do you keep a good user experience. Even if you're an absolute cynic, there is a cost when congestion happens. Increased support calls. Potentially losing a customer to a competitor.

And yes, the sad reality is that it is not viewed from the user's perspective. NetFlex, gaming, VOIP... are the last things a user might want throttled.

This approach does try to bring it back to the user, but I'm skeptical.

I think if we're going with a regulated approach, a solution might be to have ISPs publish their throttling rules. Hopefully the government can oversee that those rules are fair. Netflix gets the same treatment as the ISP video. They can also audit these rules. But how knows, they'll probably claim it a trade secret :P

Comment Re:Because there's no advantage (Score 1) 206

This is it right here.

Even for those people who use it occasionally, they still carry their wallet.

In theory, I might want to use a wallet. It would be very useful to store all my cards on it (credit, loyalty cards...). In reality, I have very few cards. I have 2 credit cards. I personally have tended to avoid loyalty cards mainly because I don't want to carry them and don't want my information out there.

So for 2 credit cards inside a wallet I'm carrying anyways... it's just not really a problem for me. My cards support chip/pin or tap for small transactions. It's so convenient.

Now it is possible this is a generation thing. Maybe the next generation doesn't carry their wallet around much; in the same way as my generation tended to give up home phone lines and just use a cell phone.

Comment Re:A real comparison? (Score 1) 286

I'm hopeful, but I've come to expect that whatever you 'save', *they* will eventually want the same amount of money they used to take.

Color me a naive young Canadian homeowner :P

Conserve water effort... refit my house with water saving items... oops now the government is not taking in enough money from water usage, they increase the base connection fee.

Conserve electricity effort... refit my house with energy efficient appliances and lights... oops now the government / electricity providers want more money for whatever their programs are.

Try to get off cable... get netflix and a home NAS... oops guess the cable company doesn't like that and they price it so you basically have to take cable. Don't get cable, your bundle is crappy and they raise the price of the internet to make up for their cable losses.

Oh sure, there might be some short term saving from electric cars. But I don't think you're going to save money in the end. Oh sure, you might not use gas. But then the government is going not have as much tax revenue from gas taxes. Oooops, suddenly there are more road tolls or distance driven based pricing. No doubt these electric cars will be 'highly' connected and oops... the complex electronics are designed to fail after the magical 10 year mark.

Now you can call me a cynical Canadian :P
So yeah, I still do things to be better for the environment or what have you. But I've pretty much given up on the idea that I'll be saving money long term. Do it because it feels good to do the right thing if you want. But I just don't see them letting us drive for less.

Comment Re:they also found... (Score 1) 314

That every well might be true, but the issue is more complex.

I think the issue is made worse by our use of the word racist; a highly charged word.

People do that a lot, when in reality different words should be used.

If some one dies, it could natural, murder, second degree murder, man slaughter, negligence, an accident...

The accusation of racism is thrown out and it is taken as though the accused is morally repugnant.

It is kind of like abortion activists says abortion is murder.
It is kind of like anti-rape activists who say druken sex is rape.

You can play with the technicalities, but everyone knows the difference between these cases.

If you're a woman who is walking at night and is clubbed in the back of her head and dragged behind a bush and sexually assaulted... you know that is a vastly different thing than getting a bit tipsy and not giving your full informed consent to sexual intercourse.

And so we have this case. The connotation here is just so strong with racism. That there is a severe moral failing with AirBnB's landlords. They're like the KKK or running apartheid.

So of course people get up in arms. In reality, most are just decent people who are trying to maximize their gains and minimize their losses. They detect certain patterns in life and apply it.

I was born in South Africa. I've probably faced more 'racism' than anything African Americans today have faced. I literally was not allowed into white washrooms. We literally did have to apply and wait for housing approval. We literally were not allowed to own certain businesses. We were literally taught genetic inferiority. For the record, I'm not black or white.

That was racist policies. That and slavery and segregation are the mental images people have when you bring up racism and it is why we have such a revulsion to it.

But as we have solved many of these issues and get into less explosive issues, I think the moral failure angle has to stop.

I wouldn't call the AirBnB landlord racist; as in he think blacks people are inferior or genetically criminals.

They're just people in life making calculated choices. Same as I would avoiding a certain neighborhood or whatever the case.

THAT ALL SAID. Just because it is not RACISM, does not mean it is all 'good' and nothing should be done.

I applaud AirBnB for trying to find solution to these; whether it is hiding photos of people or education programs. This does expose a systemic issues of racism; not much different from a black guys trying to get a cab.

The average black person is harmed by the general stereotypes. That does hurt and should be addressed.

What's sad, is most often the solutions involve 'discrimination' in other ways that is equally fought.
I hate it. For example, we grew up poor and in a bad neighborhood when we moved to Canada. Yet, we were hella responsible. Good credit, no criminal record...

Now how could we show someone at AirBnb, that we are responsible. By making a point of no criminal record and good credit; even though we were from a bad neighborhood.

Yet, the anti-discrimination folks have almost pushed too far. In Ontario, Canada for example, they banned the use of credit card scores in determining auto-insurance rates.

They could still use your location. So if you're in a bad neighborhood, you will get screwed. And there's less ways to prove you're a 'good' person in a bad neighborhood.

Comment Re:All Cisco users had this problem? (Score 1) 103

This is really the answer.
Buggy or not, if you provide an SLA (service level agreement), then you are ultimately responsible for it.

You do what you have to provide that SLA.
Test the equipment you plan to use.
Add a lot of redundancy and failovers ...

SLA's cost money.
Heck one silly line in the article is
"The entire network often has to go down in order to patchâ"very disruptive in the best of times,"

I really have to wonder what kind of network these guys are running. There should be failover nodes to take on the load when one is being upgraded. Heck, in some firms, they even have entire sites as backup for major upgrades.

HInt... don't put SLAs in the contract unless you can meet them. Nothing to see here.

Comment Re:Completely wrong.... (Score 3, Interesting) 618

Sometimes irony is too much.

I imagine the university will also have the cognitive dissonance to talk about STEM and the information economy and the future of highly skilled work. We need to educate our kids in technology so they can have jobs in the future!

By that they mean the kids can take courses at the university to bring business to the university.

All the while doing this to actual tech workers.

Comment Re:If the content was once freely available... (Score 1) 154

I wouldn't say everything is going back to the 80s and 90s.

Just some positive news. Even if the front end is going back and forth, the back end communication is easier and more consistent than ever. JSON, REST, and other easy to access APIs are dominant. It's never been easier to communicate with another system; especially those from a third party.

Now granted, the idea of a nice indexable web under one HTML platform was ideal, in many cases, this is still the case. I can't think of a single content based app I use that doesn't have a webpage with the full functionality. Your experience may vary of course.

And if we're comparing the past with the present, I'll take an easy to access API/backend over a common front-end.

Comment Re:Stupidity to follow: (Score 2) 209

There must be a physical life example.

Suppose you have a combination wall-safe.
The police want to search that safe.
So they get a warrant.

Now, what happens if you don't give them the combination to the safe? This must have happened numerous times in the past.

I'm no lawyer, but I googled and it looks like they could NOT make you give up a safe combination; at least in the US.

So I don't see how cell phone password are any different. They shouldn't be able to compel you to give up your passwords.

Assuming they have a warrant, they can definitely try and break into your cellphone, the same way they'd try and break into a safe your refused to give the combination to.

Comment Re:Whiny Fanboy... but he has a point (Score 5, Insightful) 260

Same feeling for me.

Our laws are only enforced if people take actions. Otherwise, the slope keeps getting slipperier.

There could be legit reasons for it. Maybe those joker scenes were in the movie, but were edited out. However if the deleted scenes are a key draw, it could still be valid depending on the case.

Who knows, they might find a smoking gun email where some exec says 'Just keep the Joker scenes in even if we cut them. Those stupid nerds will pay for anything'

Comment Re:Nice propaganda piece (Score 1) 472

This is sadly the state of the discussion.

Perhaps policy was never coherent, but it seems to me that when it comes to trade, the inter-state laws that the US generated decades ago were far more coherent than our global laws.

For example, there was a time when minimum wages were first being introduced. Of course it would be an issue if New York had a $10 minimum wage and Alabama had none. You don't need a PHD to see that many jobs would head to Alabama.
The result were things like the FLSA that basically only applied to company engaged in interstate commerce.

So if you wanted to manufacture goods in Alabama for export ot other states, it had to obey the Federal minimum wage. Theoretically, if you're a local pizza shop in Alabama and never crossed interstate lines, you could have theoretically ignored the Federal minimum wage.
Now convention has seen that we basically all obey it.

But the logic was there. Now, the question I have is if they got this right with respect to trade between states, where was this logic when negotiating global free trade deals? How can we have global free trade without a global minimum wage?

It's an interesting question in my view.

You can find the same lack of coherence with the H1-B visa issue.

There's no doubt there are exceptional people in every country; India is no exception. So by all means countries want them working for their companies. Of course, by their very nature, exceptional people should get a pay premium. So to capture these people, there should be some high salary base. Let's say 2-3X the average salary for a comparable American in the field. So today, it would work out to be say 150k+.

You then have a large number of 'average' people that I don't think you get to claim America can't produce. America can produce an average developer, network engineer...
The biggest gap here that H1B systems have is in certifications.

Not a matter of skill, but companies/people centered around the H1B model know and can practice the certification game. Many of these firms hire people straight out of school in India, then train them quickly to get the certified. This makes them able to say they are qualified for X technology. This is a known investment as they already have customers willing to bring these folks over. Your average American firm isn't doing this and as a result your average people are left to chase certifications and apply manually without essentially a pre-made deal.

This one is harder to handle but I'd say if they haven't tried hiring an American generalist in the field and training them for some time period (6 months) to get whatever certification is required, then this path to H1b should also be blocked.

Comment Re:So basically... (Score 1) 422

I'm Canadian and we saw something similar here.
We used to have 'unlimited plans' but the ISPs could throttle.
Then Net Neutrality rules came in and they became averse to throttling.
Then most plans became GIG limited with overage.
We're starting to see unlimited plans make a return now for some reason.

Now, I haven't read all the regulations on what the text of Net Neutrality means, but I actually think it has made things worse.
It used to be simple pricing for the people and when there was congestion on the network, the ISPs would throttle.

Now, in my view, what Net Neutrality rules should have focussed on was not getting rid of throttling, but on making sure throttling was not anti-competitive.
That is, it should be perfectly fine to throttle heavy users, but not a specific service (iptv, skype...)
It is still unlimited, just not unlimited at maximum speed.

I still love Net Neutrality as a concept, but I really don't like how it has played out in Canada and the USA.
Throttled heavy users should be perfectly acceptable as a business model as opposed to GIG limits and overage charges.
It is sad the regulations have made it otherwise.

Comment Re:This is risky (Score 1) 57

Well, I'm reasonably sure the lawyers at Google have talked to the various media companies.

However they price these deals... is how they price them.

I can definitely see a case to be made though. If you make a service cheap enough for people, they're not going to bother pirating it.

This is the Netflix model. $10/month for a lot of tv and movies and original content. It's low enough that they're getting their money... and its consistent cash flow.

If sharing the cost between 6 people means more people sign up and pay for it, it's all good.

Comment Re:And for contrast (Score 5, Insightful) 482

I've mentioned this to other people. I'm Canadian, but I catch Trump on the news.

Maybe he is lying. Maybe he is a complete buffoon. I really don't know.

What I do know is that he at least addresses people's biggest concerns.

Hilary's reaction is pretty much the same as every modern politician I've seen. Same as the progressives in Canada (Trudeau, Wynn...). It basically says, yes it is tragic, but we live in a globalized world now. At best, they throw in patriotic jargon about education and how we can out compete the other billions of people. And to top it off, they'll keep borrowing and taxing to keep their friends in the public sector and banking sector doing well. We're all just collateral damage.

Meanwhile I caught Trump's famous 'unhinged' mosquito speech and he talks about Carrier air conditioning moving their plants to Mexico and the pain of the workers.

Hey, maybe is just a fascist idiot, but if the mainstream politicians really don't give a crap and normal hardworking private sector people...well...he's looking like the only sane choice; now that Bernie is out; for anyone with such concerns.

Comment Re:How Many AIs Can Fit on the Head of a Pin??? (Score 1) 364

It's not an idiotic question. It is a situation that could come up.

However, it does need to be put into perspective.
As you say, the extreme cases rarely comes up.
As well, will the AI do as good or better than the average human.

Far too often when a new technology comes up, people spend their time worrying about every potential issue with it rather than asking how well does it stack against the current system.

Most people just don't react that well in extreme scenarios.


Here's a strange one I remember being in the news about a woman who stops on the highway to avoid some ducks... causes the death of two people.

Quite frankly, the big gains in safety from autonomous cars aren't going to come from these extreme cases, but from making regular day to day driving safe. Every single one of my close calls or actual accidents has been my stupidity (not paying attention, trying to drive too aggressively when I was younger...)

Whatever the AI chooses in these extreme cases; you can guarantee that a significant number of human drivers would make the same choices; probably even worse ones.

Heck, even leave it as a toggle if you really want to. Err on the side of the drivers safety vs err on the side of potential victims.

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