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Comment Re:Poor people paid most of the taxes (Score 3, Informative) 166

Poor people paid most of the taxes that put fiber in those rich neighborhoods.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the exact opposite of true. At least at a national level (Federal income tax), the top 16% of earners (those will incomes of $100K or above) account for 79.4% of all the individual tax revenue paid to the government. In fact, the top 1% of earners account for 51.6% of the IRS individual tax revenue all by themselves. Maybe taxes in California are radically different, but I doubt it.

Comment Re: AT&T (Score 5, Informative) 208

Coverage / signal reliability varies by specific location. Bandwidth during peak times also varies, load increases then they up backhaul bandwith and it gets better for a while.

Full disclosure: I work for one of the four big carriers. But this isn't a commercial for my unnamed employer, it's just a description of why they are different.

There is a fundamental strategy difference between AT&T/Verizon and Sprint/T-Mobile. The key, of course, is money. And as a customer, you do get what you pay for.

Did you know that in the US, almost 70% of the population lives in 3% of the landmass? (That sounds shocking until you think about Alaska, Montana, West Texas, Nevada and Wyoming.) It doesn't take (comparatively) that many towers to cover the 70%. But it takes a disproportionately higher number more to cover the next 10% of the population. And the next 10% after that take almost half again the number of towers. The expense gets higher and higher as you try to reach 99% of the population (which is contained in roughly 70% of the land area of the US).

If you have the money to buy the spectrum and build the towers, you can choose to cover as many people as possible (and the side benefit is that you provide better coverage for people who travel a lot, especially to rural areas). If you have the money, you can also spend the billions on spectrum needed for the capacity to support users in dense areas and the backhaul to go with it. AT&T and Verizon, because they have the big subscriber/revenue bases and the cost advantages of legacy ILEC backhaul facilities in collectively more than half the states, choose that path. But it all costs money to do that, and you as a consumer pay more for the coverage quality.

Sprint and T-Mobile don't have the big piles of money or the huge subscriber bases. The good news for them: like I said, it costs a lot less money in tower building to cover 70% of the US population, and if you have fewer subscribers then you don't have to shell out as much on spectrum and backhaul. They have chosen (probably wisely, given their bank accounts) to go for the low hanging fruit, which costs less money and they can price their service more aggressively because they aren't trying to spend the money to cover everybody. So their strategy works well for most people, although if it works TOO well, then they have to start shelling out money that they don't have for more spectrum. (Sprint already has more spectrum than they know what to do with, but most of it is high-band ex-Clearwire WiMax spectrum that is almost useless in dense urban areas with lots of buildings to penetrate.)

So the bottom line is:

  • Live in an urban area and spend most of your time there? T-Mobile or Sprint are likely to meet your needs.
  • Live in a suburban/rural area, travel much and/or want to make sure you've got connectivity wherever you go? Verizon or AT&T are probably a better choice.

Comment Re:Let's see if I have this right (Score 4, Insightful) 566

Coming up with something would require planning, negotiation, and "horse trading" skills. Trump is not known for any of these skills.

Oh, come on. I think the President is a buffoon but even I still recognize that if he has one legitimate claim to competence in any field is it "negotiation and horse trading." I have no doubt that he is genuinely good at it.

The real problem, as Trump is painfully beginning to discover, is that running a government involves a kind of negotiations that are exponentially more difficult and unsatisfying than business negotiation. Here's why:

In a business negotiation, one of the most vital factors is the fact that (generally speaking) you can always walk away. You're trying to buy Company X or real estate Z and your negotiating partner wants an unreasonable price or unacceptable conditions that there's no breaking the impasse over? Walk away. No deal gets done, but the world keeps spinning on its axis just fine with no real consequences. (Mostly.)

But in government? You don't get a debt ceiling increase passed, you don't get to walk away while the government stops paying its bills and torpedoes the world economy. You don't get an acceptable deal with Iran over its nuclear program, you don't get to walk away and just let them build nukes. You don't get a Middle East peace agreement that you want, you don't get to walk away and remove the US from the region while wholesale slaughter starts. There are real stakes in much of what the government does and no option to just walk away.

So I think that while Trump is undoubtedly good at negotiations, he's having to do them in a completely new environment with a different set of variables and new stakes. And with a 35% or whatever it is approval rating, he doesn't have as much leverage as he's used to. All in all, it's pretty much a perfect recipe for anyone to fail at being a negotiator even if they're otherwise good at it.

Comment Re:What does this matter. (Score 1) 60

I get throttled only near busy cells (based on observation such as: at the mall while lots of other people are there).

That's not throttling. That's T-Mobile's network getting slammed.

Throttling is the deliberate, policy-based use of the network to constrain a user's throughput lower than default "best effort" settings. Traditionally this was done by forcing the user from a higher data rate technology to a lower one, such as bumping a user off the LTE network and onto 3G (HSPA/CDMA), or from a 3G network onto 2G (EDGE/1xRTT). More advanced networks can now do this by using LTE Quality of Service features to 1.) set a maximum bit rate for the user's default data EPS bearer or 2.) lower the user's ARP and QCI values so that they have a lower-than-best-effort priority for resources and in the network scheduler.

If you're getting lower throughput at busy cells, that isn't throttling, that's... the network being busy. If it happens every once in a while, that's an abnormal network load and to be expected. If it's happening all the time, your carrier either has its spectrum exhausted in the area, or sucks at network planning (constraints in backhaul, coverage densification, etc.). Or neither and they are just cheap.

Comment Re:And further (Score 3, Interesting) 519

PRESS: "Donald Trump was wiretapped in an ongoing investigation into ties to Russia" ... It is actually funny seeing the same NYT "reporter" reporting "Donald Trump was Wiretapped" and "Donald Trump wasn't wiretapped".

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the New York Times that claimed Trump was being wiretapped, let alone the same reporter. In fact, I'm pretty darned sure it wasn't the "liberal press" that made the claim at all. The whole point of the incredulity over this from the "mainstream press" is that the original claim was dubiously sourced from the beginning and based on nothing more than "I bet this probably happened." Lack of critical thinking skills is disappointing in individuals like you or me, but genuinely dangerous in the hands of powerful people.

Liberals can quote both, and believe both simultaneously

I believe the cognitive dissonance may be going on somewhere else here. Or maybe rather the same affinity or lack thereof for fact checking.

Comment Re:Analysis (Score 2) 55

The Pixel represents Google's first proper foray into the smartphone market

Can someone who follows Android more closely than I do explain WTH this statement from the summary means? Why is this in any way different from the Nexus phones, and why wasn't that a "proper" foray into the smartphone market? What is so special about Pixel compared to the original Nexus vision?

Comment Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 35

I would imagine that if you are in an area where you are using a WISP today, it's probably lacks the population density for the carriers to bother deploying 5G there. The only exception would likely be if you are in an area served by copper phone lines that the carrier (if it's the home ILEC) wants to rip up and get rid of.

Comment Re:Awesome! (Score 2) 35

Whatever 5G ends up being, it won't look like a traditional cellular service. The spectrum that it uses (in the 30 GHz range) is subject to serious atmospheric signal attenuation (especially compared to the 700 MHz bands typically used for LTE) and it won't reliably penetrate walls of any thickness. So it will be largely useless for cellular phones.

Instead, imagine it as just another last mile technology for fixed wireless. You'll have a 5G receiver hung on the exterior of your house, and you will now have an alternative to [CABLE COMPANY] or [PHONE COMPANY] for your home broadband service. One of the upsides to using such high spectrum bands is that you can jam a lot more data into the frequency, so it's likely to be priced (and have caps) that look more like a cable/fiber connection rather than a cellular plan. So, not a bad thing... but not going to change the way you use your cellphone, either.

Comment Re:Not effective (Score 1) 123

The Democrat party is the owner of slavery, eugenics, segregation, and the KKK.

Technically true! But also completely disingenuous.

For any continuously evolving entity such as a nation or political party, there must reasonably be a statute of limitations on claiming either debts or credits for past actions.

The GOP of 2017 can no more claim to be the party of Lincoln than the Democrats of 2017 can claim to be the party of Jefferson, although they both do. The Democrats of today are no more responsible for FDR's interning of Japanese American citizens during World War II than today's Republicans are responsible for the Teapot Dome Oil Scandal or Watergate. The Democratic Party of today would be as unrecognizable today to Strom Thurmond in 1935 as today's Republican Party would be to Horace Greeley in 1866.

Think about the same time frame that you're talking about holding today's entity responsible for yesterday's actions (1865-1964?). Is the Trump US government of 2017 morally liable for paying reparations to the descendants of slaves? Is Angela Merkel's German government morally responsible for unpaid reparations for Kaiser Wilhelm's invasion of neutral Belgium? Are today's management or shareholders of IBM or Ford morally liable for their WWII involvement with the Nazis? Do you think that the Disney Corporation of today stands for everything portrayed in Song of the South? No, of course not. Institutions stay but the people behind the actions die or leave, and the credit or blame leaves with them.

Institutional memory has its place, but only within reasonable time limits. The only place you can draw a meaningful lineage is where the institutional principles remain the same. And if you consider that, I think you'd be hard pressed to make the same argument.

Comment Re:To protect rights (Score 1) 341

"Just let people do whatever" is pretty much the idea of Conservatism, as long as our Rights are protected.

I used to think that, too. Then I realized that the Right in the US only believed in "just let people do whatever" as long as the "whatever" in question was not to smoke pot. Or have consensual gay/lesbian sex. Or get an abortion. Or burn a flag. Or unplug a brain-dead spouse from life support. Or... the list went on.

I hope someday we will all have the intellectual honesty to admit that Left and Right both have different things culturally that they want to permit and other things they want to ban. Neither side actually things government should butt out of your life, they just think the intrusiveness should be about different things.

Comment Re:I thought not all US carriers use LTE (Score 1) 105

No, T-Mobile's HSPA+ was sort of "3.5G" . Their "4G" stuff was always LTE.

Nope. In fact, T-Mobile was partly responsible with the whole BS confusion about "4G" and LTE.

Flash back to about five or six years ago. "4G" was generally understood by people in the cellular industry to refer to the 3GPP standardized Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which represented a quantum leap in the GSM family of technologies. Unfortunately, LTE was new and nobody was deploying it yet in the US (Verizon was first eventually, followed by AT&T). At this point, neither Sprint or T-Mobile had announced LTE plans.

Sprint - even then struggling for a positive message to tell about its network and one up its competitors - came up with the brilliant marketing idea to take its WiMAX (remember WiMAX?) Clearwire network and claim that it was the first "4G" network in the US. Whether you could claim WiMAX as a fourth generation digital cellular technology is debatable but if you squint just right it might have been okay.

T-Mobile saw this move and wanted to be able to make similar marketing claims to Sprint about 4G. They basically said, "our HSPA+ is faster than WiMAX. So it must be 4G too!" So even though there was no justifiable way to claim that HSPA+ was a 4G technology, T-Mobile started saying "we have 4G too!" Of course, AT&T didn't want to appear behind Sprint and T-Mobile so they adopted the ruse later too. (Verizon was still using 3G CDMA so it wasn't an option for them to join in the fun.)

If you look carefully at carrier ads today, you will still usually see their LTE coverage maps listed as "4G LTE" in order to distinguish it from their "faux G" HSPA+ or other 3G technologies. All because of some dodgy marketing decisions on Sprint and T-Mobile's parts.

Comment Re:How large?!? (Score 1) 308

The journalism curriculum needs a lot more basic science in it.

The problem wasn't in TFA, it was in the submitter's headline and the consequent lack of editing or fact-checking that it received from a Slashdot "editor." I'm unsure whether that bespeaks more of a need for basic science/math education among Slashdot submitters or a need for a Turing test for Slashdot editors to see if they're just bots approving random submissions based on flamebait keywords. I'm pretty sure I could just completely fabricate a story titled "Trump iPhones Zuckerberg's Laid Off IT Workers and Stallman To Net Neutrality Android Is Awesome" and see it sail through unchecked.

Submission + - SPAM: It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

schnell writes: The New York Times reports on a massive wind farm in remote Gansu province that boasts more than 7,000 wind turbines but whose capacity goes more than 60% unused. The wind farm epitomizes China's struggles in its efforts to become a world renewable energy leader: the Chinese economy is slumping, leading to decreased energy demand; the country lacks the infrastructure to haul power from remote wind-producing regions to industrial centers; and government policies continue to favor the domestic coal industry. China has 92,000 wind turbines, more than double the US's capacity, but China generates only 3.3% of its electricity from wind compared to 4.7% in the United States.

Comment Re:This is simple (Score 3, Insightful) 433

If you're not willing to use official channels and you're not willing to confront the person directly then you need to leave. That's it.

Precisely. However, you really need to question whether the original poster's two above assertions are true, or if they are just conflict avoidant/unable to understand corporate culture. Because if those aren't the case and the two assertions above are true, then the company is a toxic shithole that should be avoided like the plague.

The implication that you can't use official channels - even "skipping levels" up - indicates that the whole place is thoroughly corrupt through to the very very top. Saying that you can't talk to the person directly implies that they are so menacing/terrible/powerful that asserting yourself against a bully could never work.

Unless this is a small family owned business and the offender in question is part of the family, do both of these situations both sound likely?

I'm certainly not trying to impugn the submission poster, but it sounds fishy to me that this company is so rotten that none of the two most obvious approaches are even possible. I've never met a corporate HR department (at least at a company big enough to actually have legal counsel retained) that wasn't ready to jump all over any accusation of misconduct because they're so eager to fend off potential lawsuits. And any company where everyone - including the HR department and the org chain all the way up to the CEO - is totally off limits to a complaint about a malevolent employee is either a nepotism factory or a 100% nest of vipers.

I can't assess better than anyone else the validity of what the submitter says, but it does sound to me like some of the options he/she thinks are off limits might actually be on the table but he/she is too young/shy/lacking in self confidence to pursue. But if those things really are out of the question, then run don't walk out the door.

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