* Posts by Jeffrey Nonken

214 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007

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Comcast: We're twice as fast as Google's 1Gbps Fiber (for x4 the price)

Jeffrey Nonken

Currently my choices are Comcast and AT&T. I'm lucky to have that much, considering I live in this little backwater called Sacramento, California.

Sorry, that wants scare quotes. My "choices" are Comcast and AT&T. That's like choosing between getting your left nut cut off and getting your right nut cut off. Both are near, if not at, the pinnacle of Worst Customer Service Across All Industries. (Apparently Time Warner holds that distinction. In the US, at least. But I digress.)

Currently I'm on AT&T's DSL network via a local third party provider (Omsoft) that actually DOES provide customer service. For $40/mo (plus all the extra taxes and regulatory garbage) I get about 15m down and 900k up. Note that these guys don't choke the throughput; if I went directly to AT&T I'd get at most 12m down and 768k up -- I'm getting my current stats because it's what the connection supports. And I'm paying less. I can double my throughput by doubling my cost, for $80/mo (plus aforementioned garbage) I can get a second line, they tie them together and I'd presumably get 3m down 1.8m up.

For $70/mo I can get about 25/2m from Comcast, along with their customer service. No thanks, been there. If Google showed up here with $70 gigabit service I'd be all over it like white on rice. "Need" gigabit? It's got nothing to do with that. What we need is competition. Comcast and AT&T isn't competition, it's a duopoly.

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Sprint: Forget all we said about strangling your web video streams

Jeffrey Nonken

If Sprint wants to become more relevant, then they need to find better ways to distinguish themselves from the big boys than finding cleverer ways of screwing their customers.

Sprint, what you need is more customers, not more money from the customers you have. Give your customers what they want at reasonable prices, add in good support and you'll grow your customer base.

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Answer

Ratfox, thank you for expressing thoughtful conjecture instead of just bashing Google.

6
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Congratulations! You survived the leap secondocalypse

Jeffrey Nonken

Let's see... UTC-8, give or take DST... I was at work, blithely not noticing the time. Shame on me.

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Jeffrey Nonken

"I also would have thought asking a question like "Tell me about nine eleven" could quite easily be sorted from a statement like "call nine one one," and the second layer applied only to the first, more ambiguous questions."

Pretty much what I was going to say. I've never heard anybody pronounce the two any other way; nine-one-one vs. nine-eleven. I'm pretty sure those are phonetically different; perhaps I don't know what "phonetically" means.

10
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Verizon promised to wire up NYC with fiber... and failed miserably – audit

Jeffrey Nonken

Both AT&T and Verizon are well known for their Fiber To The Media rollouts.

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US Air Force drone pilots in mass burn out, robo-flights canceled

Jeffrey Nonken

Ledswinger

"...the drone is the most expensive part, and the most expensive cost of the mission is the munitions."

nematoad

"What you do not seem to see is that these foreign victims are actually real human beings..."

I think Ledswinger was being cynical, not compassionless. Rather than suggesting that human life is cheap, he's suggesting that the drone program leaders think that way. Collateral damage? Pfft. Whatever, as long as our budget isn't harmed.

He's not saying human life has little worth, just that it's seen by the decision makers as having little cost.

Don't shoot the messenger.

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The insidious danger of the lone wolf control freak sysadmin

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Never let one person hold all the keys

I do firmware, not IT (well... some IT but not much), but most of these principles translate. My own motivation is that I don't want the next guy calling me up all hours asking questions. And in 6 months I don't want to be reverse engineering my own work!

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Wholesale price cap: Take THAT, BT, says (now toothy) Ofcom

Jeffrey Nonken

“More regulation could discourage future investment in the UK's telecoms infrastructure," she added.

Funny, the American major ISPs always say the same thing, and look at the mess we have now.

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' – from his PASSENGER seat

Jeffrey Nonken

Yes, they could be that [dumb]

"Strange been programming commercially for about 32 years now and never heard that rule..."

So have I, and I've heard it. I also understand it.

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Google pulls plug on YouTube for older iPads, iPhones, smart TVs

Jeffrey Nonken

Entered from my iPhone 3Gs.

Oops.

The good news: I already have a pair of newer (Android) phones on order to replace this and my daughter's. These work but are getting long in the tooth.

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Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: How many of these are using Google as their address bar?

"Duh?

Am I the only one who just clicks on a URL in my favourites list?"

Yes.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

Re: @ AC -- Rubbish driving

"It works best in English. Not so much in American."

True, but some of us benighted Americans have studied foreign languages such as English. It made perfect sense to me. I even gave it an upvote, generous person that I am.

Side note: "rubbish lorry" translates to "garbage truck" in American. In case any of my benighted fellow colonists were having trouble understanding the story.

3
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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Jeffrey Nonken

"The ISPs say the plans are unworkable."

Which ISPs? The major incumbents who hold monopolies or duopolies in most places in the US?

1
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If cities want to run their own broadband, let 'em do it, Prez Obama tells FCC

Jeffrey Nonken
Mushroom

"'...is the wrong path forward,' industry body CITA claimed."

Hey, he's absolutely right. The correct path forward is for incumbent service providers to actually compete by offering superior service, instead of abusing the legislature by bribing them to pass laws preventing competition.

And it would be nice if they didn't lock out any further competition. Open up their infrastructure and charge reasonable rates so other businesses can build on them.

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It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

Jeffrey Nonken

Eh, may be too late. I've got Denyhosts running on a LAMP server and have noticed an uptick of lockouts from 10-25 per day to 10+ per hour. I'm guessing that somebody has infected a bunch of PCs and swelled the ranks of his Zombie PC army.

Dunno if this is the vector but SOMETHING has stirred up the anthill.

2
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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Jeffrey Nonken
FAIL

Re: Security questions...

8 characters or longer? Doubtless this is the same bureacracy that only leaves 5 letters' worth of space for names like Wawrzyniakowski on their paper forms.

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Russians hear Tim Cook is gay, pull dead Steve Jobs' enormous erection

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: Cheap dig

Um... you do realize this is The Register, right?

19
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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: LED Bulb price

"Why should I spend a lot more for LED?"

I do because I find that CFLs don't last as long as their marketing claims, contain hazardous materials that require careful handling, and are easy to break. I find that LEDs are both more robust and easier to recycle. Even if I did manage to break one the cleanup would be easier.

Also, CFLs don't work as well in the cold, though that's not much of a problem here in Sacramento.

I believe LEDs are a better long-term investment than CFLs.

If none of those reasons appeal to you, then by all means, stick with CFLs.

10
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T-Mobile US lobs sueball at Huawei: Claims Chinese giant stole robot tech

Jeffrey Nonken

Assuming T-Mobile isn't outright lying, it seems pretty cut and dried to me: Huawei signed a contract and then violated the contract. Companies allow others to rent their equipment all the time without expecting the renters to steal the parts and make off with the technology, and nobody considers it remarkable, and NDAs are pretty common. I've signed a few myself.

Noise about "they must have expected something because they put cameras up" is a red herring; when most companies put security cameras on expensive equipment people don't call it "entrapment", they call it "insurance premium reduction."

Part 2 is a bit less simple: how much should Huawei pay for this breach of contract? T-Mobile is naturally going to high-ball the number in the hopes that it doesn't get whittled down to nothing. It's up to the courts to come up with a final figure, right after they decide if there was a contract breach in the first place. It's what they're for, after all.

My only connection to T-Mobile is as a formerly loyal customer, now a pissed off ex-customer.

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Jeffrey Nonken

"Photographer can't cash in on primate pics"

Balderdash. Stuff and nonsense. The copyright office is not saying that the photographer cannot sell the photos nor gain from them in some fashion. They are only saying that he can't copyright the picture, and therefore has no monopoly. He cannot prevent anybody from using the photos and cannot require those who do to compensate him.

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Jeffrey Nonken

KeePass + BTSync FTW

That is all.

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Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

Re: We don't need no stinkin' backups

"I deal with database backups - and restores - all of the time." ... "The point is, unless you test your backups, they are useless. How do they know if these backup systems are working if you never use them?"

Airplane backup systems aren't like the systems you're used to in that they're constantly running in parallel. These aren't offline backups; they're a separate set of instruments that are working at the same time as the computerized versions. A glance will tell you if the standby instruments are operational, and standard pre-flight checks also require they all be working.

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In the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave ... you can legally carrier unlock your own phone

Jeffrey Nonken
Meh

Yeah. Our wonderful Congress is looking out for us by putting band-aids on bad laws rather than... I dunno, say, fixing those laws?

Well, at least it's better than nothing.

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Marc Andreessen: Edward Snowden is a 'textbook traitor'

Jeffrey Nonken

Shoot first, then call what you hit the target

If you define "Traitor" as "Edward Snowden", then yes, Edward Snowden is a textbook traitor. Which is pretty much what Mr. Andreessen is doing by metaphorically using Mr. Snowden's photo as the definition.

Then there are those of us in the real world and don't redefine words to mean whatever supports our latest madness. If you use the actual dictionary definition -- or, better yet, the US Constitution's definition -- it may not be so simple.

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

(I'm not claiming that the Constitution's definition is necessarily superior to that of a dictionary. It's just that it's the definition that Snowden should be prosecuted (or not) over, and would be if our government weren't being run by a bunch of [string of expletives deleted], seeing as how Mr. Snowden performed his actions as a US citizen.)

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US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments

Jeffrey Nonken

"Your technological model is based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don't want to comply with," Roberts told Aereo attorney David Frederick, reports Deadline Hollywood. "There's no reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas except to get around the Copyright Act."

Balderdash. Technologically it's nonsense, but the entire nonsensical effort was made solely to try to fit into existing laws. If making an effort to stay within the limits of the law is obviously an attempt to circumvent the law, then our entire legal system is a sick, sadistic joke. Either it's legal or it isn't, and there's no excuse for trying to argue that it's illegal because it's legal.

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Those NSA 'reforms' in full: El Reg translates US Prez Obama's pledges

Jeffrey Nonken

"...FISC is notorious for not turning down requests for investigations – but at least there's some oversight involved, as opposed to the current situation where it's a free-for-all."

Sounds like classic Dilbert!

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Top patent troll sues US regulators for interfering with its business

Jeffrey Nonken

First Amendment? As if.

This isn't a free speech issue. Their first amendment claim is part of a shotgun approach, where they're just throwing a bunch of legal arguments against the wall to see what sticks. (OK, sorry, mixing my metaphors.) Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can say anything you want to anybody you want at any time you want with zero consequences, and it's not blanket permission to do whatever you want.

And, ignoring the validity of the patent claim for the moment, this isn't actually a patent issue. Manufacturing and selling a product that infringes on somebody else's patent is a patent violation. Using such a product is not. The end users are not liable for the patent violation. The fact that MPHJ is bypassing the manufacturer and suing the end users is a pretty clear sign that they're just a bully threatening to beat up kids for their lunch money.

Of course, the fact that they're a non-practicing entity with nothing but a large patent portfolio and making all their money by suing the crap out of anybody they can was a pretty big clue, too.

East Texas, whatever other flaws or virtues it may have, is a typical venue for such suits because they have a track record of favoring the trolls.

MHO. IANAL. YMMV.

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Is that you, HAL? No, it's NEIL: Google, US Navy pour money into 'associative' AI brain

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

Obvious to humans?

Only obvious to humans who have learned these things. At 3yo I doubt I'd ever heard of a savannah or the stock market. And were he told an airplane had a nose, my 3yo self would likely imagine a real flesh-and-blood human nose, complete with nostrils, attached to the front. It's easy to dismiss learned facts as "obvious to anybody" when in fact they're only obvious if you know them.

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Noisy qubits destroy data in order to save it

Jeffrey Nonken
Boffin

Destroying data in order to save it?

Been there, done that. See "core memory".

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Moto's DIY smartphone Ara to be 3D PRINTED in exclusive new deal

Jeffrey Nonken
FAIL

Right-o then

Closed is the new open.

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Android mobes outsell iPhones, but Apple gets MORE PROFIT THAN ALL

Jeffrey Nonken
Meh

Re: Premium market

Actually, I bought this refurb 3Gs because I needed a decent phone but I'm on a budget, and it was cheap enough for me to afford. I never wanted an iPhone, and there's plenty I don't like about it, but I've not regretted the purchase. It's kind of grown on me.

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London plod plonks, er, pull request on EasyDNS

Jeffrey Nonken

Re: This is nothing new

@Sir Runcible Spoon:

"I mean, if I use my car in a ram-raid, and my the insurance company is making money from me using that car 'they are receiving proceeds from a crime when that car is used for "illegal" purposes"

Oooh! I know this one! Also the money the DMV (or whatever appropriate motor vehicle authority applies) receives for registering the vehicle is also tainted. As is then whatever percentage of the salary or other compensation the clerk received for processing the application. And when the clerk spends that money, not only the money but the goods received are also tainted. Then the store uses that money to buy stock, or pay its employees...

Once money is tainted, it is contaminated for all eternity. It cannot be used again but must be destroyed. Oh wait, the destruction would mean the component molecules will eventually be used to make something else and contaminate that. Even if you throw it into the sun, the resulting burst of sunlight will be tainted as well... we must make a place to store all contaminated money and goods where it cannot be retrieved, re-used or in any way re-enter any cycle of life or manufacture.

Ridiculous? Of course. But at what point does this chain go from reasonable to ridiculous? Right at the start, or just wherever the authorities find it convenient for the buck to stop?

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On International Woman's Day we remember Grace Hopper

Jeffrey Nonken
Thumb Up

My father claims to have attended one of her classes, and described the bits of wire she carried around.

I know. Nobody cares. But it is a personal connection for me, if indirect. Only two degrees.

5
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White House comes out in favor of legal mobe unlocking

Jeffrey Nonken
Big Brother

"And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation..."

And if you are, then it's contractual, which is already covered by separate law and doesn't require lame-ass copyright law extensions brought about by regulatory capture.

The only reason for locking a phone in the first place is vendor lock-in, which is what you do when you're too stupid and selfish to understand how customer loyalty works.

It's the last refuge of the incompetent.

Anyway, while I'm glad to see that the White House has managed to pull its head out for a little while, it would be even nicer if it did something a bit more proactive. So far it's just smoke.

1
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Keyboard, you're not my type

Jeffrey Nonken
Joke

If you really want to go overboard then get one of the £300 Topre based ones that pretty much fellate you whilst you are typing.

I have to ask. How would that work in the case that one were of the female persuasion?

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Watching Olympics at work? How to avoid a £1k telly-tax fine

Jeffrey Nonken
Coat

Probably already been mentioned, but...

...long extension cord for your car charger. Less convenient than the aforementioned UPS but probably cheaper. :)

The US is SO much better. All we have to do is wade through 55 minutes of commercials for an hour show, and those 5 minutes of actual programming are free! Go us.

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Samsung preps anti-iPhone 5 lawsuit before it's even out

Jeffrey Nonken

This just in: Apple sues Microsoft because they have employees, too!

1
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Moms stand firm against antenna madness

Jeffrey Nonken
FAIL

Ummmmm

... Let's see. Poor coverage causes poor reception. Poor reception induces your cell phone to boost its signal. This reduces battery life and... Oh!... increases the radiation levels surrounding the cell phone.

I don't know how wide a proximity that affects (that is, other people in the same room) but your kids are going to grow up without parents because you died of cancer before you reached 40. Because that cell phone in your pocket is blasting its signal into your hip at full power. Could be doing interesting things to your potential future children, too. Congratulations.

Why isn't there a tin-foil hat icon? This needs one of those.

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Consumer Reports: 'We were wrong about the iPhone 4'

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

Duct tape and ariels

Actually, according to some sources, duct tape was not invented for taping ducts. In fact, it's not very good for taping ducts. I know -- I've tried. Totally and completely useless for taping air conditioning ducting, for example; it falls off in about 10 minutes.

There's some disagreement about its origin but some claim that it was called "duck tape" because of its resemblance to cotton duck, which is a type of fabric.

No waterfowl need apply. But the point is that there's no unquestionable source proving that "duck tape" is incorrect.

As for "ariels", try "aerials" instead. If you're going to split hairs about spelling, first make sure you have your ducts all in a row. Er, I mean ducks.

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EMC sells Retrospect to Sonic

Jeffrey Nonken
Thumb Up

Retrospect rocks!

It's a nice, clean way to automate your backups. I've been using it for years. Finally switched to removable hard drives as my backup medium when my 5th tape drive died -- DDS3 is so last century.

The key here is "automated". People are lazy, only the most dedicated (or paranoid) will regularly run backups by hand. By automating the system you get to set it up once, then just monitor and tweak it once in a while, swapping media every so often.

Retrospect does well for this.

What's more is that it's cross-platform. I can (and have) backed up Windows, Mac, and Linux clients from the same server. I just wish they'd cut prices a bit on their multi-system licensing. Raising prices sounds like a great way to make more profit, but in the long run it may just lose you customers. And aside from creating CDs and packaging (which is dirt cheap) it's not like the software is a finite resource. Make it cheap enough and hobbyists will buy it in droves, not to mention small businesses.

I was disappointed when I heard that Retrospect 8 was canceled and EMC was talking about dropping it altogether. I'm glad it's still around, and hope that Sonic will do something with it besides let it collect dust.

Anyway, enough babbling! MHO, YMMV.

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Alt rock diva's nude snap 'leaked' to tweetosphere

Jeffrey Nonken
Joke

Pics or it didn't happen!

... Oh wait, never mind.

:)

Nice little titties. Thanks.

1
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Top security firm: Default Windows 7 less secure than Vista

Jeffrey Nonken
Thumb Down

Nagging isn't security

Some of us don't consider nagging three extra times before renaming a file to actually be better security. It's just the ILLUSION of better security, and Top Security Firm seems to have been hypnotized into believing the illusion.

It also doesn't add to security to nag people so incessantly that they get into the habit of reflexively answering "Yes" to every prompt just so they can get things done. I wonder if this report took that into account?

... Not that I have any love for Windows 7. I just dislike it fractionally less than I dislike Vista.

1
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Ofcom talks to spook firm on filesharing snoop plan

Jeffrey Nonken
Flame

Let's help those industries beat up their own customers

"...new laws designed to protect the music, film and software industries."

Um, and why do they need protecting? They've proven quite able to beat up customers and cheat artists on their own.

Or are we protecting them from their own reactionary stupidity? I'm not sure I need my tax dollars being spent on that. "Adapt or die" is for everybody, not just the dinosaurs.

(Though in this case it's not my own tax dollars that would be spent, seeing as how I live in the U.S. of A. Consider it a metaphorical statement.)

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Facebook revises privacy policy

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

Grammar Nazi here

"...and with who they share this information with."

Um, try: "...and with whom they share this information."

A philosophical question: does calling myself a Grammar Nazi in a comment invoke Godwin's Law? O_o

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French cheer on €11.6m heist security guard

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

@Wilkinson et. al.

Read The Fine Article. It said he'd emptied his accounts (and his apartment) PRIOR to the heist. That means "before". So, no, he didn't rip off 11.6m and then pause to do anything.

0
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Microsoft sees no silver lining in Sidekick server snafu

Jeffrey Nonken
Thumb Down

@Ben Ruset

I happen to like the Sidekick, and until a few days ago I was considering buying an LX. I miss a lot of nice features on my old SKII, starting with the keyboard.

And for the record, I haven't been 13 for 38 years and some months.

Just because you don't find value in something doesn't mean nobody else should either. Thinking otherwise is just arrogant presumption.

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Google strips Pirate Bay homepage from search results

Jeffrey Nonken
Pirate

Oh deary me

How ever am I going to find thepiratebay.org now?

0
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Facebook kills 'Kill Obama' poll

Jeffrey Nonken
Stop

Over-reaction? No. Not really.

The Secret Service are required to treat ANY death threats to the President as potentially serious.

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Flickr!: Now! with! added! Yahoo!

Jeffrey Nonken
Headmaster

@censored

That's spelling, not grammar. Though you might be able to make a case for punctuation.

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