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Comment Re: So funny (Score 1) 174

None of those problems were too big to handle for governments if they were allowed to work on it, and realistically they do work on it because they funded all the basic science that has made these things possible.

You actually don't know how small a percentage of basic science is done by government funding, do you?

Government sends Michelle Obama to tell all the kids, "let's get fit!".

The private markets create Pokemon Go and actually get all the kids outdoors. Profit is how a money-based system sends information signals to tell the innovators they are doing a good job. That's real regulation.

Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

False. What telecoms â" correctly â" object to, are efforts by local governments to compete with them. Private businesses, individuals, or non-profits are fine...

No, they use the regulators to "deny" pole access to startups that could fleetly compete.

Yes, you "can" get pole access, but it'll cost you a quarter million dollars in legal fees. That ensures that the big boys can play but not anything like the ISP in TFS or anybody who could really compete on cost structure.

Comment Re:Oh noes (Score 2) 180

I wouldn't be surprised if the new routers have remote troubleshooting features that will make tech support easier/cheaper. Hence the surcharge....

Of course they're better for Verizon. Verizon enures the benefits, so Verizon should foot the bill.

ob. car analogy: I had a mechanic put a $6 "scanner" charge on his bill. I asked him about it and he said he had to pay for his new scanner somehow (after I had already told him the code from my $60 reader so it wasn't even necessary). He agreed to waive it "just once" so I never went back. Thank goodness there's no Public Mechanics Commission that granted him a monopoly on fixing cars in this town.

Service providers need tools to do their job well. There is always a time to get better tools. That's the responsibility of the service provider and is built into the price of the service. My goodness, if I showed up at a client site and billed them $20 to use my laptop to diagnose their network they'd tell me where to stick it and I'd deserve it.

Comment Re:WhatsApp (Score 1) 55

I'm not exactly sure why Facebook owns both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

Why they want to own both markets or why their code bases didn't immediately converge? Both seem like rhetorical questions.

It seems very likely that, over time, both will share a core messaging base. If they have different skins on them at that point, it will be for market segmentation purposes.

The Signal protocol is currently limited to three devices. That doesn't suit the Messenger model well. Messenger's e2e is limited to one device right now. That's obviously a problem still, but might keep some people from jumping to Wire.

The double ratchet is a good idea, but until these things get federated, the market is going to remain a mess. Corporate silos aren't good for the Internet's security.

Comment Memories (Score 3, Insightful) 211

I got my engineering degree with DOS. Everyone was issued a Z100 (non msdos!) with an 8088, Fortran and Basic. Some other programs such as CAD, PC-TeX were available. Russ Nelson worked at my college and created Freemacs, the word processor and the spelling checker and many other utilties in use at Clarkson

Some classes gave you a VMS or Unix account. When it was in heavy use at the end of the semester , it was faster to edit in DOS and upload than to scroll down the file in VMS. The DOS FORTRAN didn't have the extensions or libraries. Sometimes its math wasn't as accurate.

After I got a 286 and had gotten a Unix account (w/ Usenet access), I started trying to learn Unix things. Turbo C, GNUish utilities, Freemacs, Elvis and shell clones helped me. Minix was almost as helpful.

A 486 w/ 8mb lead to Linux replacing DOS and work as a Unix sysadmin. The DOS intro to C, awk, vi, lex, yacc (via "The Unix Programming Environment" was extremely helpful. Linux at home helped me continue learning. It could single task better than my Sparcstation 1+ running SunOS.

The 8088, 80286 and 486 systems probably cost ~ $5k each back in the day where a Unix workstation was ~ $20k if you could get one.

Comment Re:In other news; water is wet, the sky is blue... (Score 2) 103

Urgh. Sometimes governments really get stupid when it comes to translating common sense to any concept that happens to be "...on a computer."

Actually, they are floating plans to ban cash too. Bitcoin is just online cash, so the impetus to ban both would be largely the same.

And, yes, this means they want complete control of every aspect of every piece of commerce that happens among their subjects.

Comment Re:I've seen this quote somewhere before... (Score 3) 86

It's the 2016 update to the language of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. And this will be another federal payment to the same fraudsters that already made hundreds of billions on that scam without anyone of consequence noticing.

The people of consequence noticed, and they're back for more. The revolving door of corporate welfare and lobbying are well-understood and when the politicians get to run out in front of the parade, it's a win-win as far as they're concerned.

Because the people who have been kept from learning critical thinking in the schools will eat it up, and most of the rest of them will vote for either Clinton or Trump, so no change is guaranteed.

The People are getting what they want. Democracy, idiocracy, take your pick.

Comment Re:Ive said it before. (Score 2) 164

This is precisely why Bitcoin has always been a scam. If you weren't in on the ground floor you get screwed.

Not getting the maximum profit is not the same as getting screwed. Same as any company where the early investors reap the maximum profits but the companies still trade on the exchange with robust health.

There will be another halving in a few years - you could get in now and be in that advantaged position then.

Be more worried about privacy problems with bitcoin than that you weren't an early investor.

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