* Posts by Fred Goldstein

173 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

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Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, oi oi oi! Tech zillionaire Ray's backdoor crypto for the Feds is Clipper chip v2

Fred Goldstein

20 years ago I went to work for a company that used Notes internally for email. I have been using email since the ARPANET days, and have used many products, but Notes was particularly bad. But I think I understood its reasoning. Back in the 1980s, before the Windows desktop monoculture (with Mac as the official opposition), there were a lot of different desktop environments. VMS, Unix, Wang, DG, IBM PROFS, etc. So there was a push for programs to be consistent across OSs, in case the user was shfted from VMS to Solaris or something like that. But that made the programs inconsistent with their host OSs. So Notes Mail on Windows was more like a foreign application. And not a well-designed one at that.

Conceptually, however, Notes was good. Ray had apparently worked on DEC Notes, a very different and simpler text-discussion program that did what it did quite well. Lotus Notes let you design database applications in it. But many people instead just used its half-baked mail program. I used it, but did more using my unofficial Eudora client on an outside system.

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OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

Fred Goldstein

Re: "Nobody uses it..."

Right. Friends don't let friends use IPv6.

Adding an octet to the address field alone won't do the trick, though, a 40-year-old IPv4 carries a lot of other baggage, none fixed by IPv6. Better to keep using NAT where it's suitable, use the secondary market to buy and sell IPv4 space, and migrate over time to RINA ( pouzinsociety.org )

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They forked this one up: Microsoft modifies open-source code, blows hole in Windows Defender

Fred Goldstein

Microsoft thinks they're a five man electrical band:

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

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Vanity, thy name is: M1SCO company car reg plates for sale

Fred Goldstein

I guess the UK doesn't have ham radio license plates. In most US states, an amateur radio licensee can order plates with their call sign on it. M1SCO would be a call sign from England.

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Mohawks fling patent infringement sueball at Microsoft and Amazon

Fred Goldstein

Yes, this week's Allergan ruling invalidating the patent on Ristasis is the key precedent that kills the Mohawk scam. Perhaps the court could also have held that the immunity in question only protected the patent on the reservation itself... so the Mohawks would have to license things from themselves. The patent system is stupid but trust a patent-holder's lawyer to make it seem even stupider than it is.

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BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

Fred Goldstein

I like my Blackberry phone, but the company is moving in a different direction. Yet a couple of years ago it changed the company name to Blackberry Ltd., after its famous phones, just as the phone line was going downhill from, frankly, mismanagement. So the company's new name is more of a liability than an asset.

So I think they should change the company name to one that better illustrates their role in developing automobile software. Hey, I have a suggestion. How about Research In Motion Ltd.?

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Atlassian kills God, rebrands as a mountain, a structurally unsound 'A' or a high five

Fred Goldstein

Re: Charlie Sans?

The first thing that entered my mind when I saw it was Comic Sans. It looks like a watered-down version, perhaps Comic Sans crossed with boring old Arial. Still not a "take me seriously font.

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

Fred Goldstein

Re: What's the constitution got to do with anything?

Nobody wrote false and damaging stuff about Shiva. True and damaging, sure, but under American law (thanks to the First Amendment, which brought about this distinction from British law, which we inherited), truth is an absolute defense against libel.

Leon Uris wrote the novel QB VII about a libel case in England brought by an exposed Nazi. Spoiler: The court found for the Nazi, because the true statements harmed him, and awarded him damages of one whole pound.

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Fred Goldstein

Re: Take a look at his Wikipedia page...

> He married Fran Drescher (The Nanny) in 2014. 'Nuff said.

Not 'nuff said. They split up in September, 2016; only together for two years.

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Fred Goldstein

After Shiva got roundly criticized by any sane person for his ridiculous claim about inventing email, and after his brief marriage to former TV star Fran Drescher, he became a Trump acolyte and decided to run for Senate against Elizabeth Warren. He has no chance, but it gives him an opportunity to have a big campaign bus with his name on it parked in front of his Cambridge office, to go on right-wing media around the country, to collect campaign donations from banksters and others who don't like consumer advocate Warren, and to keep the unspent campaign money when he loses (Massachusetts is pretty lenient in that regard).

In other words, keep grifting.

I do note, however, that US libel law makes it harder to sue for libel if you're a "public figure". If you are running for high office, you probably have become a public figure. I am aware of a man whose ex-wife's divorce lawyer wrote and self-published a *hilarious* philippic against him when he put his name on the New Hampshire primary ballot for Vice President (which takes negligible effort). This made him a public figure and he could then only sue if the book contained "actual malice" (knowledge that it was false). Hence he opened himself to the book and could do nothing about it.

If Shiva wants to sue anyone who calls him out now, he has to pass a higher hurdle than before.

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At last, a kosher cryptocurrency: BitCoen

Fred Goldstein

Re: Oy! What dreck!

It's gantze meshuggeh, that's what it is.

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Fred Goldstein

Re: more needed than ever

I like Pale Moon and I'm using it to write this reply. But it is not the simple Firefox rebuild that it once was. It started as a fork of a version of Firefox that kept the add-on bar at the bottom, among other things. But they've rewritten a lot since then. It's now very much its own browser, just one that looks like what Firefox used to look like, and still has some things Firefox gave up.

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I've got a verbal govt contract for Hyperloop, claims His Muskiness

Fred Goldstein

Musk's plan won't happen in the US because, frankly, he'll never get a suitable right of way. Hyperloop will require an even straighter track than high-speed rail. And the fastest passenger train in the US, the Acela, hits its 130 mph (if that) peak speed on only a few short stretches. Mostly it putters along on 19th century tracks just as slowly as everything else. Land between NY and Washington is all very expensive. The 1950s highway boom required the condemnation of a lot of land, which was expensive at 1950s values when much of it was still farmland. Now that has largely, thanks to the highways, become suburban sprawl. (The US has virtually unbroken sprawl all the way from Virginia to Maine, suburbs interrupted by cities.) And eminent domain takings are far far rarer than they used to be, and harder. So laying out a super-straight path is about as likely as building an elevator to orbit. At least that only has to overcome the laws of physics.

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Pastor la vista, baby! FCC enforcers shut down church pirate radio

Fred Goldstein

What a waste of time. The FCC is in the sway of NAB and ClearChannel (IHeartRadio), who have destroyed the commercial medium. Pirates are more interesting.

I live in the Boston area and when I go into the less-wealthy areas of the city (and Mattapan is possibly the poorest part of the city itself; it's not a suburb, and it's not gentrifying like so much of the city), I can hear several pirate stations. Most are broadcasting in Haitian Krio, which sounds sort of like French. Occasionally English. There is sometimes a high-powered English-language station on 87.7. One station operated there for years, with a signal that could be heard well for 10 miles and faintly a lot farther (I once picked it up into Worcester), and a studio quite visible to the public. Eventually the FCC found the transmitter. Another station then picked up the channel... and both of them sound better than a lot of commercial stations.

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Broadcasters, advocacy groups and nonprofits weigh in on Microsoft's magical broadband

Fred Goldstein

The current US TVWS rules are very difficult to deal with because the NAB has too much say. TVWS must be absolutely certain to never, ever potentially cause one whit of inteference to any TV broadcast channel, ever, even if the TV owner misconfigures his antenna. It's ridiculous. And yet the NAB continues to try to make it even harder. Then along comes the fool Dampier who thinks that everyone should have fiber, only not on his dime, since in rural areas fiber can cost >$10,000/home while fixed wireless is a fraction of that. TVWS is especially useful for wooded areas where the higher frequencies more often used by Wireless ISPs are blocked by foliage.

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Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86

Fred Goldstein

Unix was meant not so much an anti-Multics as a mini-Multics. Unix had to run on a PDP-7, after all, and then a PDP-11, vs. a mainframe that could have a whole megabyte of memory. In other words, by today's standards, big fat Multics was small.

But it had features still missed. Security was central. It had rings of protection, enforced by the hardware (unlike Unix, it was not meant to be portable). The zillions of Unix exploits that plague today's descendants would not be likely to work in Multics. Frankly reviving it for modern hardware might be a useful exercise in security.

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Small carriers aren't showing up to IPv6 standards chats, consultant warns

Fred Goldstein

Re: There are fundamental technical reasons for it

Amen. Friends don't let friends use IPv6, the Children's Crusade Protocol.

IPv6 is one of those Milgram-style psychological tests, wherein people are told that some "authority" said to do something, so they set aside their own judgment and assume that the authority is right. If those young people trained in the TCP/IP monoculture only knew the history and background of IPv6, they might begin to question the authority.

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What is dead may never die: a new version of OS/2 just arrived

Fred Goldstein

Re: It was the third version to be called "Warp"

The Warp name was assigned to OS/2 version 4. Version 3 was Borg. I don't think v2 had a name, at least not a Trekkie name. They advertised Warp using a different meaning of the word, and it didn't, well, fly very well.

The debate over supporting Windows applications was ongoing in the OS/2 community. On the one hand, if there was good Windows support, there'd be less reason to write native applications. On the other, without Windows support, who'd buy it? Chicken, meet egg. I started with OS/2 when v2 came out. It was billed as a "better DOS than DOS, better Windows than Windows". And it was, compared to Windows 3.1. It did after all have the real Microsoft Windows code in it, under a license that expired in 1992, and it ran Windows applications in separate processes over a solid kernel, unlike Windows 3 which ran over DOS.

But when Win32 came to dominate, the lack of application support killed OS/2 for desktop mass market applications. That and Microsoft's licensing policy, where PC makers had to pay for a Windows license on every PC they sold, even if it had OS/2 instead of Windows.

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Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

Fred Goldstein

Re: Yup

The President has no immunity against state charges, even if he has some immunity against some federal ones. The NY State AG is investigating Trump.

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Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry's KEYone is one hell of a comeback

Fred Goldstein

Re: So—why not a flip?

I agree. The cleverest of the flip phones was the Samsung Alias 2. It opened both ways, with a clever dual hinge. Its keyboard half had e-paper buttons which could be a dial pad when opened vertically or a QWERTY keyboard when opened horizontally. I'd love to see a similar phone, with just a bigger screen (and thus a bit wider overall), running a decent version of Android.

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Fred Goldstein

Re: Listen to all the Android whingers....

True enough. But the tragedy is that they let BB10 die because Google wouldn't let them run full Android on it. I have a Classic and the BB10 OS, with its QNX kernel, is far smoother than anything copied from a patent office's 1969 TTY-machine time sharing word processing system. It runs some Android apps, and can even access the Play store if you install the modified version that somebody called Cobalt posted. But without full Google Play Services, many apps fail.

Well, now BB and Google seem to have made peace enough to do a BB-flavored version of Android, so why couldn't Google also let the whole subsystem run in BB10? It wasn't exactly taking away much market share.

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Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

Fred Goldstein

Re: So? - Addendum

ChromeOS is a reincarnation of what we used to use back in the 1980s, under the name "computer terminal". Like the Xterms of the late 1980s, it is graphical, not 24x80 text only, but it is not a computing platform, just a front end to someone else's computer. So while it may be useful for classroom settings where the school wants to keep control,l it is no more a substitute for a desktop OS than is a Lyft app a substitute for a car.

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Staff, projects shed as Ubuntu maker Canonical tries to lure investors

Fred Goldstein

I can't say I'll miss Unity. Linux on the desktop has always been marginal; it's really a server OS that works okay in embedded applications too, which is why Android could use it. Desktop Linux always has that taint of being one of two things, a geeked-out home for 31337 hax0rZ who worship the "free Unix" model, and a 31337 hax0rZ idea of what "luzers" should have, dumbed down insultingly -- that's Ubuntu. When I did try Unity a couple years back, it was a useless desktop with meaningless hieroglphics that, if you looked hard, had meaningless names. Do I need a picture of a finger in a nose to start a program named Snoxxyfllu whose purpose, say to inventory wine bottles, is not given? Feh.

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Minnesota, Illinois rebel over America's ISP privacy massacre, mull fresh info protections

Fred Goldstein

Re: Always growing government

The FTC did have jurisdiction. Wheeler screwed up by claiming Title II over ISPs -- he was trying to please activists panicked over "network neutrality" while not actually fixing the underlying mess created by his predecessors. So he broke the FTC's authority, then tried to reassert it within the FCC, which is non-expert in privacy matters. Thus there are no more federal regulations, and the previous federal pre-emption of state regulation (and court action) has also gone away. Thus states only now have the authority to enforce it. This is no doubt not what the big carrier/ISPs wanted, but now they have to face all of the states, any one of which could give them real heartburn. Not to mention private lawsuits, which had been preempted.

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BlackBerry admits dying BB10 is in pain

Fred Goldstein

BB10 is mostly good, but incomplete

Verizon pushed out the update to my Blackberry Classic last month. It improved things. Now the browser is fast enough to be usable, vs. using QBrowser before. Battery life is at least as good as it was, which is better than any Android phone. BB10 was a good OS that would have been a winner had Google allowed Google Play Services to run on it. There is a hack that lets the Play Store work on it, but too many apps don't work right without the Services, and the patch published in the BB blogs by Cobalt, which involves patching the apk's on a PC, doesn't work for me.

But Link is awful. On my Win7 Pro desktop machine, installing it breaks the Ethernet port. I ended up installing it in a separate Win7 VM inside the Win7 pro machine. Ugly, but less to break.

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BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Fred Goldstein

Re: @Yank Lurker Legality

Well, 35 or so years ago I worked for a company that gave (in the US) 2 weeks vacation time to new employees, and 3 weeks after 5 years, and more later. Plus a real pension plan.

But the company picnic (it wasn't proverbial then; they rented out an amusement park) was among the things discontinued in the early 1990s as the company's fortunes turned, and the company itself went down the tubes not long thereafter. You've heard of them but I don't have to name names, as the pattern was common. What passed for a job today isn't what it was back then.

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Japanese team unveils terahertz band 100 Gbps wireless tech

Fred Goldstein

Rain fade is severe up there

These frequencies have very short range. And I don't know why the reporter thinks that rain fade ends at 55 GHz! We manage a bunch of 80 GHz links and I can tell you how hard it rained at a given time by the amount of rain fade. Fun detail: It snowed in most of the Boston area this morning. Snow doesn't cause rain fade. So most of the 80 GHz links stayed pretty steady. But two of them faded a lot, about 25 dB. Those were right near the seacoast, where it was just a tad warmer and the precipitation fell as rain. The rain fade chart tells me. In fact from one building, an eastbound link faded while a westbound link didn't. Yep, very sensitive to rain.

While (as someone else noted) it may not be precisely characterized, rain fade still rises with frequency. At 300 GHz expect very short range or depend on very sunny weather.

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AT&T ready to trial latest attempt at pumping internet over power lines

Fred Goldstein

Re: What everyone here seems to be missing

The article was wrong, indeed, to confuse this with BPL, which runs below 30 MHz. It is "over" power lines in the sense that a millimeter wave dish is placed at the tippy-top of the utility pole, higher above ground than (and thus literally over) the power lines, which occupy the top berth on a utility pole.

But it is a waveguide-type hack: AT&T claims that the proximity of the wire (usually 15kv primaries) to the path of the mmwave signal reduces attenuation. It's sort of a passive conductor or refractor -- the physics have not been published, so far as I know. But the range is still mmwave, like a kilometer or less per hop.

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Ruh-roh! Rick Ruhl rolled out of Ham Radio Deluxe in software kill-switch aftermath

Fred Goldstein

Re: A step in the right direction

I don't think this has changed in the over half-century that I've been licensed: Ham radio is available just in case other media aren't, and hams are prepared to support emergency communications when all else goes down. This did come into play during Hurricane Katrina, to give one example. Everyday ham activity is different but the overall concept is to be able to use radio when all else fails.

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Amateur radio fans drop the ham-mer on HRD's license key 'blacklist'

Fred Goldstein

Back before 1973, before CB was so big, hams used handles. It was a quaint piece of hamdom, to say "Handle here is Bob", or whatever it was. (Lots of hams were named Bob. I'm not one.) CBers also had handles, which tended to be anonymous like "dishwasher" or "brownie" or "Texas slim". Hams looked down on CBers, of course... But then the CB boom happened in the mid-1970s, and "handle" entered the public vocabulary. So hams stopped using the term so regularly, and if someone asked that ham his handle, he'd likely reply, "Handle here is broken but the name is Bob." (Hams don't all make the best comedians.)

However, the article didn't even abuse handle that way. They called a call sign a handle. Call signs are what the governments issue, per ITU assignments. So somebody's call sign would be GM4xx (GM is a prefix used for Scotland) and his handle, if that term were still in use, could be Bob, as well as broken.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Fred Goldstein

Re: Yeah but no but yeah but

Bloated is too nice a word. IPv6 was just a flat-out mistake, a political reaction by k1dd13z at IETF who could not accept a working, cleaner approach, TUBA, when it was approved as the new IP. TUBA was a profile of OSI CLNP and just the mere taint of OSI, even though it was the part of OSI that worked (came from DEC, not the CCITT), was enough to drive them as apoplectic as a Republican facing Obamacare. So the B-team was set out to write what became IPv6.

TUBA, of course, was originally proposed by Ross Callon.

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Fred Goldstein

Ross has a good point, but it's endemic to the IETF way of doing business, and to the TCP/IP suite in general. It's all about specialized little protocols rather than looking for a general model. John Day recognized this over 20 years ago and began work on what became RINA, Recursive InterNetworking Architecture. It uses only two protocols and recurses them as many times as needed, no more no less, with many adjustable parameters for scope and requirements. Check out the IRATI and ICT-PRISTINE projects and the Pouzin Society sites:

http://www.pouzinsociety.org/

http://irati.eu/learn-rina-vs-the-current-internet-architecture/

It shrinks the complexity and code base requirement by orders of magnitude. And it's actually easier to adopt than IPv6, since it can support unmodified IP applications (as well as native ones using its single application protocol), or run inside an IP backbone if necessary.

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Has Samsung, er, rounded the corner with Apple court win?

Fred Goldstein

Maybe the author is one of those old folks who doesn't quite get computers, and couldn't tell a Galaxy Note 7 from a "Galaxy 7.0". So when the column-72 warning tone on his VT-100 beeps, or the little bell on his Underwood typewriter clangs when the carriage moves near the end, he follows what was taught in typing class back then and splits the next word with a hyphen at a syllable break. Then it gets repaginated when a real computer scans it in, hyphens and all.

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'Inventor of email' receives damages from Gawker's collapsed empire

Fred Goldstein

Re: Definitely earlier than 1978!

Ray Tomlinson worked for BBN when he invented *networked* email; it existed within systems earlier.

I worked for BBN in 1978 and we all used email; it had been around for years. They had one client program, IIRC called HERMES, which ran on TENEX (their PDP-10T OS, which became TOPS-20 after DEC bought it), which did amazing things. It had "all of the headers" -- you could invent headers of your own choosing, as it really was a small database program that let you sort and query on any header field. No doubt it did al of the stuff that Shiva claimed to have "invented". While I used it within BBN, I believe it was used by government clients too. Of course there was still SENDMSG for simple stuff, and a number of lighter, faster systems.

Shiva did not invent anything. Denton probably paid him off because his lawyer said it was cheaper than litigating. Gawker has to take down the articles. But others no doubt will keep them in an archive, where they can get more publicity than ever.

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Just a little FYI: Small town ISPs want out of FCC privacy rules

Fred Goldstein

ISPs themselves are not deeply involved in surveillance marketing. That's the domain of what the FCC now calls "edge providers", the big web sites and consumer via-the-net service providers. Facebook is probably the most intrusive, though Google probably has the biggest trove. The FCC can't regulate them, however. So they're focusing on the "broadband" provider. And a small ISP not only doesn't have the resources to do surveillance marketing themselves, but it wouldn't be big enough to be of value. Nonetheless the FCC wants to pick on them because it thinks it can.

The FTC, not the FCC, is the expert agency on privacy in the US. But the FTC loses its authority over a common carrier service. The FCC last year redefined "BIAS" as a common carrier service, simply to please "network neutrality" advocates. That took away the FTC's authority, so the FCC is playing Keystone Kop trying to figure out what to do.

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Fred Goldstein

The proposed rules are much, much stupider than you imagine. For example, they treat IP addresses as "customer proprietary information", as if you could actually send packets without revealing it. All sorts of dumb stuff like that is thrown in. The FCC has a legal mandate to guide "customer proprietary network information", which specifically refers to telephone metadata. They are trying to extend this to the Internet, well, because, but they don't understand the Internet at all, and it shows. Read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking if you don't believe me.

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Fred Goldstein

The FCC did a disservice in naming the new Part 96 "Citizens Broadband Radio Service". It does sound like CB, but it is nothing like it. The 3550-3700 MHz band was established in 2015, but isn't usable yet. The idea is that it has three priority license classes, Incumbent, PAL, and GAA:

Incumbents are the federal (mostly Navy) radar systems that must be absolutely protected. Existing 3650 MHz ISPs are also protected incumbents until 2020.

Priority Access Licenses come second. These will be auctioned. But they don't license a channel; if a PAL is not being used, then it's available for GAA users. No spectrum banking.

General Authorized Access is "Licensed by right" -- sort of like unlicensed but with higher power allowed and more specific rules.

The whole thing will be run via a set of Spectrum Authorization Systems, so most devices will need to get a channel Grant from the SAS before transmitting.The SAS enforces the priorities. With some luck the first SASs will be operating by early next year. Breaker Breaker this isn't.

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Google's brand new OS could replace Android

Fred Goldstein

Re: QNX?

QNX is not getting much use nowadays, but it works really well (I am a BB10 user). BB should do something to open it back up, since they are not making much with it any more. Fuschia may well be similar, but not kept locked up by a company that can't figure out how to tie its own shoelaces even when it does have good products.

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Fred Goldstein

They're saying the right things. A microkernel with drivers in userland is a good thing, so long as the microkernel implements IPC, which is where Mach went wrong. Linux is a clever and well-modified homage to a 1969 minicomputer timesharing system. A modern kernel built with security (don't put much into the kernel) and networking (all networking is IPC) in mind would be welcome.

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So. Farewell then, BlackBerry Classic. You were a classic ... of sorts

Fred Goldstein

The Classic's battery is pretty good. Mine usually goes the day with 70% or so left. Totally better than the typical Sammydroid. It does much worse when out of coverage -- all cell phones have that problem, which happens a lot in the rural US -- but it's much better than average.

It was expensive at list, but there were some deals in the US. BB killed themselves with pricing, though, both on the Classic, the Passport, and the Priv. They make less money at $700 than they would at $500. I think it's somebody's ego keeping the price o high.

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Fred Goldstein

I have a Classic and plan to hold on to it. It is a candidate for Best Phone Evah. No, it's not an App Monster. Its browser is sluggish on some sites. But BB10 (QNX kernel) in general has a far smoother response than Android, whose kernel is still based around doing 1960s TTY time-sharing. The hub works great. As a phone (voice), it works very well, something most Android phones don't bother with. Its main weakness is a lack of Google Play integration, which boils down to a business dispute between the vendors. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

There are many of us out there who simply cannot use touch screen devices, and will always find a keyboard. BB should focus on that niche, not on being the 93rd largest Android vendor.

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Dr Craig Wright lodges 51 blockchain patents with Blighty IP office

Fred Goldstein
FAIL

Re: I laugh yellowly!

They only look up other patents. If something was invented and not patented, then it doesn't exist so far as the patent examiner goes, at least in the US. So all sorts of old common crap gets patented. And if the application is sufficiently well obscured, which is fairly normal, then the same thing can be patented over and over. It is a total farce. Math itself is not patentable, and a blockchain is math.

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FCC swivels to online privacy, gets bitten in the ass by net neutrality

Fred Goldstein
FAIL

They're actually very different.

A telephone number is a name. It has permanence (you keep it over time and can move it to other carriers). It is the input to a lookup process -- the carrier switching system that reaches you has an address (location routing number) and that is looked up in a database before the call is delivered. This is transparent to end users but very visible inside the network.

An IP address is an alias for a single MAC address. It may be transient -- consumers get them temporarily "leased" by DHCP or PPPoE. It may be non-unique -- consumers often get RFC1918 non-public addresses in 10.x, 100.x or other such blocks -- and thus translated in the network to a shared public IP address. Consumer clients generally don't receive connections directly, so there's no equivalent of a phone number -- it's like just calling out.

The FCC screwed the pooch when they declared ISPs to be Title II. That removed them from FTC jurisdiction. The FTC is the expert agency in privacy. The FCC had other options (like moving just the bit-transporting lower layers to Title II, as the law intended) but instead bowed to political pressure from technical know-nothings. This is the type of mess that results.

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Microsoft half-bricks Asus Windows 7 PCs with UEFI boot glitch

Fred Goldstein

Re: and after disabling UEFI...

> There is always an alternative to Windows that is not Ubuntu.

What a dumb statement. There's always an alternative to something if you don't need it. Like starving to death is an alternative to eating. But it's not a *good* substitute.

Likewise, while there are other OSs besides Windows, there are a ton of valuable Windows applications that do not run on other OSs, and don't have compatible substitutes if even any substitutes Since people who are not hermits and use their computers for work often have to share documents with Windows users, an incompatible "alternative" won't suffice, either.

What would be nice is a genuine fully-compatible Windows substitute that could run all Windows applications, but Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make that virtually impossible. WINE is a cute toy but doesn't cut it in the real world of business computing.

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American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout

Fred Goldstein

Re: Thanks FCC

The FCC did not force TWC to raise your rate. Speeds are not regulated, and many ISPs offer slower plans. The FCC is only doing a statistical report on the highest rate offered to Americans, not what they sign up for. TWC chose, as a competitive matter, to raise the rate at a given price. The FCC under both Bush and Obama has however gutted most competition, which held up the rate at which companies felt the need to do that.

As to the article's alleged requirement that the FCC must act, the actual law gives them rather little authority to do anything, and since it's all voluntary private investment (except for subsidized rural carriers), they can't make anyone invest any more. All they can do is tweak rules that are supposed to be "barriers to investment", and mostly that means throwing consumers under another bus.

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Dust off those White Space devices: New rules finalised by Ofcom

Fred Goldstein

Re: White Space devices

No risk if the new rules are a tenth as strict as the new, supposedly looser rules in the US. A device here can't use a channel if within some miles of the outer edge of a co-channel protected contour, or, except for 40 milliwatt portable devices, within a much shorter distance of an adjacent channel's protected contour. Until a recent change you thus needed a gap of three adjacent empty channels to use the middle one. Now you can straddle the boundary between two adjacent empty 6MHz wide channels (US channels are narrower than 8 MHz UK ones), leaving 3 MHz of protection, with a whopping 100 mW. These sorts of power levels are as likely to interfere with over the air TV as a squirrel is likely to knock over a tower by flying into it while looking for a moose.

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Activision to buy Candy Crush developer King

Fred Goldstein

Just curious... is there an inversion going on here? If Activision is incorporated in the US, then it might be using King's incorporation status (Isle of Man or the like) as a tax dodge. This is becoming common among US multinationals, as a way to move their nominal HQ outside of the US in order to avoid being taxed as a US company.

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Mohawk Valley, NY to become the new Silicon Valley in fab fab deal

Fred Goldstein

Yep, let's compare the valleys.

Earthquakes aren't good for chipmaking. Score for NY.

Plentiful water is needed. Score for NY.

Plentiful electricity is needed. Probably score for NY.

Cost of living? Score for NY.

Local wine: NY is catching up (the days of cheap labrusca are over).

Snow. Score one for CA if you hate the stuff, but upstate folks love the outdoors, skiing, skating, etc. They do have snow plows, boots, and warm coats.

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What is this river nonsense? Give .amazon to Bezos, says US Congress

Fred Goldstein

Re: Where?

Perhaps because the legend was of female fighters who apparently came from the steppes north of Iran, Kazakhstan should have first dibs on the name.

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

Fred Goldstein

Rotary dial phones here in the Colonies went 1-2...9-0, so 1 was the shortest dial pull, and the number on the dial represented the (mod10) exact number of dial pulses sent to the switch (with 0 being 10 pulses). But 911 came about because the N11 space in the North American Numbering Plan (yes, we have one) is where special services go. 411 for directory assitance. 611 used to be the business office (sometimes still is), and 211 sometimes got long distance operators (0 being more common) long ago. So 911 was picked for emergencies in the late 1960s. And 311 is now used for non-emergency calls to police or local governments.

999, in contrast, would just be a prefix code (first 3 digits, indicating originally what switch to go to) for some switch or other, possibly given a name, pre-1962 all-number-calling, like "Wyman 9" or "Wyncote 9".

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