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* Posts by Charles 9

3700 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Net neutrality foes outspent backers by over three to one – and that's just so far

Charles 9
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Re: Monopoly & regulatory capture vs. Competition

The thing is, there has to be incentive to actually build rival last mile infrastructure. England is not that big a country, so building out to the rural areas isn't as great a stretch. But in the US, you can be hundreds of miles from any community of note. At these distances, communities couldn't GIVE the last mile away because there was basically a first mile, a last mile, but nothing in between. So ANYONE who wanted to reach that community basically had to built the entire linkup from scratch. The costs involved pretty much meant the only way to do it AT ALL was through sweetheart deals.

PS. It's not just cable where you see this last mile problem. Natural Gas is not available in my neighborhood because there's no existing infrastructure and not enough people interested in it to make the infrastructure investment worthwhile.

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Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

Charles 9
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Re: So it's not just me?

I bet it's more the case that, whatever they did, borked BOTH the system AND the fallback at the same time. Failsafe Failure, IOW. When Murphy REALLY doesn't like you, no precaution you can make will save you.

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Charles 9
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Re: The schadenfreude has reached a new level of intensity with this

The Bloomberg model, IOW.

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Intel shows off tech bubbles, low-power yacht racing and... a DIRECT solar charger

Charles 9
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Well, at least give Intel props for coming up with a better solar power regulator. It's the kind of tech that can raise tolerances for the kinds of solar cells one can use and can potentially reduce the rollout costs as a result. May not be enough to take us breakeven, but I still call it a step in the right direction.

As for low-power PCs, that's becoming more a plus these days. But it does raise some questions, such as, "What about research into sweet-spot computing that can both crank out serious performance while still avoiding excessive power draw?" Now, I understand physics puts a hard limit, but I personally wonder how close we are to the theoretical limitations of an optimal power/performance ratio.

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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Charles 9
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Re: backups

A hardcopy would be tricky to restore in the event of a loss of data. As for floppies, they're becoming a dying breed. One possible solution could be a Compact Flash interface, since the pinout of CF actually mimics IDE. Doesn't have to be too big, just large enough to allow a backup to the CF "hard drive", then it can be stashed and swapped for a second CF. Someone mentioned CD-R, and there is a suite of CD-Recording tools. Combined with a CD-RW drive, this is another possible backup avenue, though I think there can be longevity issues with both drive and media.

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Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

Charles 9
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Re: Gouging

Ahem, not all phone companies have the means to switch from copper to fiber. About the only two in the US you hear about are Verizon (FiOS) and AT&T (uVerse). Some of the cable companies also take this approach with fiber to the node, allowing them to divide neighborhoods and such into smaller nodes that provide more bandwidth between them.

Thing is, sometimes the problem isn't the last mile but rather a different mile: something in the backhaul. That's the kind of problem rural communities have: sorta like trying to connect two four-lane highways with a rickety one-lane bridge. PLUS there's the matter of linking up distant cities since any weak link along the line slows everything along it.

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Charles 9
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"The amount of steps you are taking on the street are not monitored (perhaps) either, nor are obese people charged more on the tube."

The tube doesn't do that because they charge by distance traveled: just another way to meter. And airlines WILL charge you for a second seat if you're too fat to fit in one.

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Charles 9
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Re: Extreme Price Gouging, Extreme Nonsense

They feel they can get away with this because the internet is "different" than cable TV was. No cable company EVER charged consumers for "how much" they watched TV, but somehow feel they can get away with this. It will be more profitable than anything these monopolists have -ever- done before.

That's because, until now, the content was never personalized. It was broadcast, in the sense that the same streams were sent to everyone, even in the digital age. Right now, television is trying to negotiate the tradeoff point: what streams should be broadcast vs. unicast. Broadcast is more efficient if lots of people are watching it because you only need to send one stream for all of them while unicast works out for less-watched content because it's not always being watched so you can swich the allocation to something else as the need calls for it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Comcast Bites!!

Google did that because most of the YouTube content flows through their (completely) private net. The public-private interface is the thing Google negotiates so ISPs only have to worry about the part that flows over their own pipes and not having to worry about backhaul.

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Charles 9
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Re: Common Carrier will nip this in the bud.

You assume the problem is that the carriers are cornering the last mile. For many places, especially in the sticks, communities couldn't give away the last mile because there was still the matter of connecting the last mile with the first mile...which at the time wasn't built, either. Many of the sweetheart deals were the only way to get better-than-dialup to these places at all.

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Charles 9
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Re: Gouging

DSL is has an easier time of it because you can more easily increase the backhaul.

DSL has its problems, too: namely switching offices. Even in a city (some would say especially in a city due to issues of existing infrastructure), distances that are just fine for POTS don't cut it for DSL (DSL can only go so far before the signal's too weak, and you can't go as the crow flies). For that, the only solution may just be a new switching office, which raises location and rewiring specters of their own.

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Look out, FCC: R.E.M., Aerosmith, Jello Biafra, 57 others join net neutrality crusade

Charles 9
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Re: Maybe the quotes need more context

How can you go with a competitor in a CAPTIVE MARKET? Most places only have one (two if you're lucky) broadband provider of any substance. It's like trying to find an alternate source of food in a place like a stadium: you simply can't.

PS. And most of these captive markets were the result of Hobson's choices: captive markets were the only way to get IN the market; otherwise, they'd remain disconnected due to the extra infrastructure that needed to be built just to reach them.

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Charles 9
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Re: I wonder

But don't those agreements have breakout clauses if the traffic gets too imbalanced (something Netflix would know about)?

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Charles 9
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Re: I wonder

Scandinavian countries are relatively small. Geography plays a role in bandwidth costs, especially backhaul which is always metered.

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IETF plans to NSA-proof all future internet protocols

Charles 9
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Re: But all the snoops'll do is

But how do they stop detectors for such being built and distributed through networks outside their control such as foreign countries, TOR, i2p, Freenet, and the like?

Heck, given the level of paranoia, what's stopping the gov from requiring an exploit vector be planted in every single piece of a vital piece of hardware (like a video or network card) that's traded in the US? A ubiquitous hardware exploit with direct memory access would be about as good as the NSA types could get it: OS-agnostic and impossible to get around. Some of the mobile paranoids say that's how the NSA taps your mobile conversations: not at the OS but at the radio chip.

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Charles 9
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Re: They'll never beat the spooks

Or a saboteur.

Or simply enough knowledge of the protocols that they can perform side channel attacks. Put bluntly, there's a demand for efficiency in data transmission. But in doing so, you necessarily make your data more unique compared to everything else and easier to identify. It's like a line of balls rolling down a rack. You have a choice. You can make your ball a unique shape or size so you can easily pick it out when it comes along, but then anyone else can do the same. Or you can make your ball the same size and shape as the other balls. They can't pick them out, but then neither can you. Pick your poison.

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Now that's PROPER SCIENCE: Boffins teach robo-arm to catch flying beer bottle

Charles 9
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Re: Maybe it will soon...

Tennis balls are easy to curve because their felt surface is rough and uneven, making it easier to create air turbulence, much as reverse swing bowlers like one side of the ball to look (quoting a commentator) "as if a dog's been chewing on it."

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Charles 9
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Re: Catch unconsciously?

No, because that STILL implies use of the brain. Reflexes don't have to go through the brain.

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Charles 9
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Re: What's "ultra fast"?

Pretty safe to assume "beyond fast" can be qualified as "beyond any human capability to perform the feat."

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Charles 9
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Re: Catch unconsciously?

No, unconsciously is the correct word, though not in this case to mean "while unconscious (ie. asleep)" but rather "without exerting conscious thought to the task", like what happens in a reflex.

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Charles 9
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Re: Impressive

I'd be more impressed if it could react to the scenario in which the handle never comes in reach, meaning the only way to catch the racket is by the rim, just as we have to sometimes react to a less-than-optimal situation and fall back to just finding some way to grab it. Or with the bottle, determining that it might be best to hesitate or else the hand will grab the half-full bottle in a position best left uncaught: upside-down.

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Sony bosses will return bonuses as firm preps for BILLIONS in losses

Charles 9
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Re: No focussing on the customer then?

ONLY if they also provide a remote that allows for switching between ANY of those aforementioned inputs with a single press. I can cycle all day, but many others aren't used to the idea and get lost trying to figure out which input they need to be on when they just want to watch the news.

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Anti-theft mobe KILL SWITCH edges closer to reality in California

Charles 9
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Re: Already have it

"And, by law, Apple would be prohibited from doing it unless specifically authorised to do so by the phone's owner."

Not even a gagged order from a secret court? There's a way around EVERYTHING if you're a government.

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Charles 9
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Re: Half the problem @Charles 9

I'm talking Faraday-proof in the sense a nicker would just stuff the phone into a Faraday bag. Without radio reception, how's the phone supposed to receive the killswitch signal before it's rooted and retooled to not respond to the killswitch?

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Charles 9
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Re: @shovelDriver

The reason you start in California is that, because it's the most populous state in the nation, anything you do in California tends to ripple for the simple reason that it's easier to abide by California's tougher standards universally than to have two lines.

Here's two words that spring to mind: "California Emissions".

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Charles 9
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Re: Half the problem

"In reality, like all the prototype iPhones that were stolen, almost half (44%) were left behind somewhere like a bar, a bus or at work and only 11% were actually taken off the victim's person according to a survey conducted by mobile security outfit Lookout."

Hmm? I've heard of incidents where the owner was killed and the ONLY thing taken was their phone. Statistical outlier or not, that's pretty extreme in my book just to nick a phone.

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Charles 9
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You're assuming they don't have the ability ALREADY.

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Charles 9
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PS. To anyone who thinks this is a way for the government to get a backdoor inserted into your phone...

What makes you think they don't have such a mechanism ALREADY?

Plus, as others have said, there are other ways to stop cell phones in their tracks: taking over the towers, radio sniffing for picocells, etc. Once all networks are down, the plods can just round everyone up and take the phones physically. Plus this has the advantage of also picking up non-networked devices like dedicated cameras. Look what happened in Iran. Not much communication once the towers went down, eh?

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Charles 9
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Re: Half the problem

Plus I'd be interested in seeing a killswitch system that was Faraday-proof.

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London cabbies to offer EVEN WORSE service in protest against Uber

Charles 9
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I don't know about London, but some cab companies (particularly in the US where taxi services are usually private and compete with each other) have wised up and set up their own Web systems for requesting services. They can use GPS both to track the cabs and the hails, the hail knows where their cab is and how much longer they have to wait, and no matter what the address, a cabbie will know just where to go (plus the hail can check the route and note it's fair--it need not be shortest if it's avoiding traffic).

If not for the rumors I hear that London cabbies intentionally take roundabout routes, I'm surprised they haven't decided to fight fire with fire and wire up the cabs.

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FCC MUST protect net neutrality to preserve AMERICA, say Google et al

Charles 9
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Re: what about Googles own private internet

As long as it's a closed private intranet, that's their business. Hook it up to the Internet at large, though, and we'll need to talk.

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Charles 9
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Re: Problem is monopoly bound setups

The only problem to your problem is there was a reason for those monopolies in the first place. NO ONE wanted to reach them OTHERWISE. For many small towns and rural communities it was a Hobson's choice. Getting all the way out to the boonies like that took some serious money that may not be recoverable, so anyone who made an offer demanded a sweetheart deal or it was no deal at all. Even now you have to wonder if anyone else would bite if rural monopolies DID come to an end. There are plenty of places in the US where the norm (if any) is the old-fashioned POTS modem (DIALUP, IOW).

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Charles 9
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Re: Uh-oh...

One of the companies listed is Google. Last I checked, they DO have a ton of infrastructure investment. So much that they're trying to become last mile ISPs themselves.

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Watch out, Yahoo! EFF looses BADGER on sites that ignore Do Not Track

Charles 9
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Re: everything will start falling behind paywalls.

Everything you DO want to read sea or hear on the internet will start falling behind paywalls.

There. FTFTFY. It was right the first time, as I can speak from experience. More and more important and exclusive content is starting to get locked down.

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Charles 9
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Re: @BlueGreen @Terri Terrapin

Do you make any effort to systemically deal with ads?

Whether you do or now, the ad companies make every effort to systematically deal with people who systematically deal with ads. They employ broad ad-blocker-blockers and start having host sites and other legitimate domains host the ads, meaning if you block the ads you block the content, too. And with more and more exclusive (and perhaps even important) content being hidden behind these cookie minefields, it increasingly reaches the point of "Do You Dare?"

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Charles 9
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Re: Armor up

That may well be possible if you have an alternative, but I note you left out the key word exclusive. In this case, it's down to a take it or leave it. If you turn them down, you have to go without the offer since you can't get it anywhere else.

And it gets dicier when you're not talking about something cosmetic but important stuff like exclusive drivers, security patches, and so on. What if the only way to keep your system safe is to submit to the cookie minefield? (And yes, I've personally experienced such a dilemma for an old driver)

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Charles 9
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Re: What do you want for free?

No, it's a true dichotomy because the ONLY ads that matter anymore are tracking ads. All the dumb ad networks have since disappeared. And as for an explicit relationship, that's a loophole one could drive a lorry through. They'll FIND a way to make the relationship explicit, and then all bets are off.

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Australian government apps access smartmobe cams but 'don't film you'

Charles 9
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Re: Major overhaul needed

You're assuming every Android user encountering an unfulfilled intent can go to an App Store. If a phone is locked down, that may not be the case, meaning the app becomes less than useless: it becomes deceptive. THAT'S why most apps roll their own: because they don't trust the Intent system to work on anything but STOCK apps.

As for the premission issue, I'm thinking of a case where "ALLOW A AND B" changes into "ALLOW A" and "ALLOW C", where C replaces B but is not a direct analogue for B. So it gets complicated because a blanket case can't apply anymore. There's also the matter of "ALLOW A" changing itself slightly but significantly: altering its rules just enough that previous assumptions no longer apply. Then there's another matter: MANAGING all those permissions.

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Charles 9
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Re: Android app permissions

Except that network and GPS are ways to AUGMENT the compass, which is why most compass apps use it. Anyway, the network access is probably for the ads.

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Charles 9
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Re: Android app permissions

Thing is, if they lie, you can file a legal complaint of false advertising. And I want it compulsory, which is why I don't just want it in the description but attached to EACH AND EVERY PERMISSION. If a permission cannot be justified, it cannot be permitted, full stop.

And yes, it's a Hobson's Choice: put up with it or go without. The only other option is to go to Apple...which has conditions of its own. So if you want true privacy on a phone, you better be ready to do your own coding, because you can't trust anyone but yourself in that matter. And you better be prepared to be coding AGAIN when things change under the hood, which is why you can't have too granular a permission tree.

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Charles 9
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Re: That's exactly the problem

Remember, it's the DEVELOPERS who insisted on this model to begin with. If there was no difference between Android and the Apple model, the developers would've just stayed in Apple's walled garden. It's kind of a lose-lose situation. You either put up with them or you put up with Apple. No one else can compete with them, and anyone who can is going to play dirty.

Basically, yeah, you're down to a Hobson's choice. You either have to put up with it or just go without and lose the edge.

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Charles 9
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Many of the permissions have a reason.

Storage is to read media files and maybe outpug pmaylists.

Phone state is to pause on a call. SMS is probably similar.

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Charles 9
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Re: Android app permissions

Iwas thinking the same thing: a justification field for each permission.

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Charles 9
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Re: Major overhaul needed

Correction, as for point 3... Intents are usually only used when an app like Gallery is standard on Android. Things like barcode scanners can't be safely assumed to be there.

As for point 1, make the permissions too fine and you face a moving target as under the hood stuff changes from verdion to version, breaking lots of stuff.

IMO what needs to be added is a justification field for each requesyed permission: not just what you neef but WHY as well.

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Charles 9
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Re: Major overhaul needed

Point 2 was DELIBERATE, at the request of the devs. Otherwise, they would never have been tempted to leave Apple's walled garden.

As for point 1, there's a fear no third party app to, say, scan a barcode is installed and one csn't be added because the phone is locked down and the user isn't the owner.

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Charles 9
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Re: "Its specific responses to permissions sought"...

Odds are it is either e-filing documents like prescriptions or for barcode scanning. Both have legitimate uses and both need ths camera.

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Inventors: Feast your eyes on fuel cell tech that'll power up Internet of Thingies

Charles 9
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Re: Methane

It won't be adopted, I think. Using methane in a fuel cell is still carbon-positive. At which point, why not just combust the stuff?

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Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

Charles 9
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Re: Google doesn't own Android, its open source

But it's the SERVICES that make Android worth it. Without access to the Google Play Services and everything attached to it, what's the point? Last I checked, the only trusted supplier an Android device will accept (the one that's still allowed when "Allow Untrusted Sources" is unchecked) is Google Play. For the average Joe, Google Play is as important to the Android experience as the OS, and nothing we do will change that (Remember, you can't fix stupid).

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Mozilla asks FCC to unleash the nuclear option on net neutrality

Charles 9
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Re: Agreed

The answer is simply: If your ISP is throttling you, change to one that doesn't.

Easier said than done. Many people are in captive markets where the only way to switch from an ISP is to switch to NO ISP. It's like the concession stand at a ballpark or theater. They can deny outside food for health reasons and then charge a mint for the food inside because it's the only source available.

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Super-heavy element 117 DOES exist – albeit briefly. Got any berkelium handy?

Charles 9
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Re: Start of the new chemistry?

It goes to the atomic arrangements. Noble gases are supposed to be the most stable because their proton and electron arrangements form complete patterns, but it kinda breaks down with Radon (it's supposed to be a noble gas, but it's radioactive).

Looking at the current periodic table, one hot goal right now seems to be confirming element 118. This is because it's supposed to be a noble gas, but because it occurs after Radon which is radioactive, it's hard to say just how it will behave. Any data on the matter will help to explain further whether or not atomic stability can still be maintained at such a high weight. Could also help to explain the Strong Force better.

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