the unofficial Slashdot digest

Denmark Plans To Be Coal-Free In 10 Years

Posted by samzenpus in Hardware • View
merbs writes "Earlier this year, Denmark's leadership announced that the nation would run entirely on renewable power by 2050. Wind, solar, and biomass would be ramped up while coal and gas are phased out. Now Denmark has gone even further, and plans to end coal by 2025.

Breaking the stranglehold of other countries

By TWX • Score: 3 • Thread
Russia has demonstrated that it is unwilling to engage in above-board transactions for their fuel exports. It is in every country's national interest to reduce dependency on imports when they can neither control the supply nor rely on the supplier to operate as a business rather than as a belligerent nation. If anything, Russia's recent behavior has reinforced this for Europe, and given the Europeans incentive to get off of Russia's exports.

It's a shame that Denmark can't get off of natural gas sooner than coal.

France Investigating Mysterious Drone Activity Over 7 Nuclear Power Plant Sites

Posted by samzenpus in Hardware • View
thygate writes In France, an investigation has been launched into the appearance of "drones" on 7 different nuclear power plant sites across the country in the last month. Some of the plants involved are Creys-Malville en Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the southwest, Cattenom en Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north, and Nogent-sur-Seine, close to Paris. It is forbidden to fly over these sites on altitudes less than 1 km in a 5 km radius. According to a spokesman of the state electric company that runs the facilities (EDF), there was no danger to the security and production of the plants. However these incidents will likely bring nuclear safety concerns back into the spotlight.

Re:Unless the plant is surrounded in a glass dome.

By rogueippacket • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread
That doesn't sound remotely true. Most of the important equipment (HVAC, Power, Connectivity) is made of iron and steel and sits behind concrete walls (or underground in the case of fiber), separated either by large distances or placed at opposite ends of the same buildings. So unless you have full building access to walk around and stick explosives inside conduits, raceways, fuel tanks, and generator housings (which you won't if it's a Tier 4 datacenter), there's no way lobbing a few grenades from the parking lot will do anything but force a controlled shutdown of some systems for emergency repairs.
Fun fact, even a datacenter in the middle of a desert can cool every piece of equipment inside via a process known as evaporative cooling; using a heat exchanger connected to an underground water tank or adequate commercial supply, the differential in humidity inside causes heat to be evaporated in the desert sun.

Researchers Claim Metal "Patch" Found On Pacific Island Is From Amelia Earhart

Posted by samzenpus in News • View
An anonymous reader writes Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937, but scientists may have now uncovered where she ended up. Researchers have identified a piece of aluminum, which washed up on a remote Pacific island, as dated to the correct time period and consistent with the design of Earhart's Lockheed Electra. From the article: "The warped piece of metal was uncovered on a 1991 voyage to the island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has spent millions of dollars searching for Earhart's plane in a project that has involved hundreds of people. 'We don't understand how that patch got busted out of (the plane) and ended up on the island where we found it, but we have the patch, we have a piece of Earhart's aircraft,' TIGHAR executive director Ric Gillespie said."

How did they ID the part?

By saloomy • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread
Was there a serial number? Was there an inscription? Did she leave a palm print?
If I had spent millions of dollars, and involved hundreds of people, I'd sure grab on to even the remotest of possibilities so I didn't have to walk away empty handed!
The piece, which measures about 24 by 18 inches (61 cm by 46 cm), did not appear to be a standard part of a Lockheed Electra, but TIGHAR researchers recently began to look into the possibility it might have been installed on the plane as a patch after a window was removed, he said. On October 7, a TIGHAR team examined a plane at Wichita Air Services in Newton, Kansas, that was similar to Earhart's aircraft. Because the plane was being restored, it was possible to look at its interior and see where the sheet of metal recovered in 1991 would have fit, Gillespie said.

Not conclusive... sorry!

Re:How did they ID the part?

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

They mention the plate was found in a photo in another article.

Re:How did they ID the part?

By Charliemopps • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

The linked article sucks, doesn't even show it.
Check this out:

Looks pretty good to me.

Also, Amelia Earharts crash site was never a mystery in the first place. They found her body in 1940, on this very same island

A woman's shoe, an empty bottle and a sextant box whose serial numbers are consistent with a type known to have been carried by Noonan were all found near the site where the bones were discovered.

So what are the odds that a white woman of earharts build, along with western womans shoe, and a sextent would be found on an island a few hundred miles from where earhart went missing and a piece of aluminum that would fit the window of her plane?

Earhart Click Bait

By kolbe • Score: 3 • Thread

Everything in this article is based on presumption and speculation.

A piece of aluminum was found in the Pacific?

By schwit1 • Score: 3 • Thread

Wasn't there a LARGE conflict in the Pacific during the '40s.
Wasn't there a lot of aluminum used on the ships and aircraft in this conflict?

Thank you for playing ... NEXT!

New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

Posted by samzenpus in News • View
vinces99 writes A new study shows that the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide that contributed to the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago did not occur gradually but rather was characterized by three abrupt pulses. Scientists are not sure what caused these abrupt increases, during which carbon dioxide levels rose about 10 to 15 parts per million – or about 5 percent per episode – during a span of one to two centuries. It likely was a combination of factors, they say, including ocean circulation, changing wind patterns and terrestrial processes. The finding, published Oct. 30 in the journal Nature, casts new light on the mechanisms that take the Earth in and out of ice ages.

"We used to think that naturally occurring changes in carbon dioxide took place relatively slowly over the 10,000 years it took to move out of the last ice age," said lead author Shaun Marcott, who did the work as a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and is now at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "This abrupt, centennial-scale variability of CO2 appears to be a fundamental part of the global carbon cycle."

Previous research has hinted at the possibility that spikes in atmospheric carbon dioxide may have accelerated the last deglaciation, but that hypothesis had not been resolved, the researchers say. The key to the new finding is the analysis of an ice core from the West Antarctic that provided the scientists with an unprecedented glimpse into the past."

Re:Correlation does not imply causation

By DiamondGeezer • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

It happens a lot in science. Have you actually read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"? Clearly not.

Re:Maybe something like a permafrost melting?

By PopeRatzo • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Don't we have several mammoth cO2 reserves around the planet, right on the verge of finally letting go?

Don't bring my mother-in-law into this.

Re:Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt?

By saloomy • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
Sounds like they really just don't know.
It likely was a combination of factors, they say, including ocean circulation, changing wind patterns and terrestrial processes.

But at least they are studying and learning.
"This abrupt, centennial-scale variability of CO2 appears to be a fundamental part of the global carbon cycle. "Previous research has hinted at the possibility that spikes in atmospheric carbon dioxide may have accelerated the last deglaciation, but that hypothesis had not been resolved, the researchers say.

The earth has been from +14 to -6 degrees on average from where it is today. Historically speaking, were in the "colder than usual" range of the bell curve today, and thats with using ice cores to detect CO2 levels and temperature histories. Its not like we had a thermocouple hooked up to a server recording that data for millions of years. These deductions are best effort conclusions on data that only tells a very broad stroke of the story.
What upsets me is how demonizing the argument about Global Warming / Climate Change is. The earth will change its temperature. That will happen with or without us, just look at the historical record. Earths temperature isn't stable. And for all those who argue we are burning too much fossil fuels, those carbon atoms weren't created into existence in the ground as they were today, unless you believe the earth is 6000 years old!
They were a part of the global carbon cycle, and buried during mass extinction events and processes that sequestered them to where they are today. It isn't science to say "for sure this and for sure that". Its science to say: "To the level of our current understanding...". Thats it. You can't know for certain, just like they didn't know for certain that the earth was the center of the universe, even though it was proselytized. Its not OK to attack the character of an individual when they are skeptical of your conclusions. All of science works better when there are those who are skeptical. It refines your proof if you are right, or betters your understanding if you are wrong.

As for the problems associated with climate change, it will happen. For those of us living where it will flood, there will be a new continent to live on, once it unfreezes (again!).

Causation, CO2 and Warming

By Robear • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

[quote]How do we know the CO2 spikes caused the warming? Perhaps the CO2 resulted from increased biological activity occuring as a result of the warming. [/quote]

CO2 is a warming gas in the atmosphere; in the absence of any other changes, adding CO2 will warm the atmosphere. However, as the article notes, we don't know what caused the quick ramp-up of CO2, and we *do* know that other factors (both cooling and warming) were in play. We also know that over time the atmosphere warmed enough to end the ice age in question.

What is safe to say is that CO2 has a warming effect, which could be counterbalanced *and* added to by other factors. It's the overall balance of these things that tilts the scales one way or another. CO2 is just one piece.

But it's not mistaking correlation for causation to note that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will result in increased warming. That's just basic physics. The fact that it could be offset by something else is immaterial to your point.

Re:Correlation does not imply causation

By Crashmarik • Score: 4, Interesting • Thread

Hows that luminous aether working out for you ?

Little dated ? Maybe supersymetry and string theory ?

Magnetic Monopoles ?

Science is about being aware of what you don't understand and just how vast it is. Pseudoscience is about certainty. Maybe you can get a corrective phrenology session to clear that up ?

Google To Disable Fallback To SSL 3.0 In Chrome 39 and Remove In Chrome 40

Posted by samzenpus in Technology • View
An anonymous reader writes Google today announced plans to disable fallback to version 3 of the SSL protocol in Chrome 39, and remove SSL 3.0 completely in Chrome 40. The decision follows the company's disclosure of a serious security vulnerability in SSL 3.0 on October 14, the attack for which it dubbed Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (POODLE). Following Mozilla's decision on the same day to disable SSL 3.0 by default in Firefox 34, which will be released on November 25, Google has laid out its plans for Chrome. This was expected, given that Google Security Team's Bodo Möller stated at the time: "In the coming months, we hope to remove support for SSL 3.0 completely from our client products."


By pushing-robot • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

It may still not be the year of Linux on the desktop, but it is the year of silly names on serious exploits.

Re:If lack of security updates didn't kill IE 6...

By sexconker • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

Internet Options
Use TLS 1.0

Charity Promotes Covert Surveillance App For Suicide Prevention

Posted by samzenpus in YRO • View
VoiceOfDoom writes Major UK charity The Samaritans have launched an app titled "Samaritans Radar", in an attempt to help Twitter users identify when their friends are in crisis and in need of support. Unfortunately the privacy implications appear not to have been thought through — installing the app allows it to monitor the Twitter feeds of all of your followers, searching for particular phrases or words which might indicate they are in distress. The app then sends you an email suggesting you contact your follower to offer your help. Opportunities for misuse by online harassers are at the forefront of the concerns that have been raised, in addition; there is strong evidence to suggest that this use of personal information is illegal, being in contravention of UK Data Protection law.


By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

So it auto searches your twitter friends' twitter feeds (stuff they've posted for the world to see) and people think this is a privacy violation? How he fuck is this different than wget-ing and grep-ing your friends' feed?

Yawn. Manufactured and/or Idiot's Outrage


By Threni • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Surely even in the UK it's not illegal to follow other people's tweets?

Monitors those you follow not those who follow you

By jratcliffe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

According to TFA, the software monitors the twitter feeds of people you follow, not people who follow you.

Not clear what's viewed as so oppressive about this - it doesn't gather any information you're not already getting, it just highlights certain tweets that you might otherwise miss.

The linked article makes the claim that a stalker could use it to identify when someone is vulnerable, and push them over the edge. I suppose that's a risk, but I'd imagine that someone who's focused enough on someone to actually want them dead would be willing to actually watch their tweets manually...

Vulnerabilities Found (and Sought) In More Command-Line Tools

Posted by timothy in Management • View
itwbennett writes The critical Shellshock vulnerabilities found last month in the Bash Unix shell have motivated security researchers to search for similar flaws in old, but widely used, command-line utilities. Two remote command execution vulnerabilities were patched this week in the popular wget download agent and tnftp client for Unix-like systems [also mentioned here]. This comes after a remote code execution vulnerability was found last week in a library used by strings, objdump, readelf and other command-line tools.

For all the idiots

By mcrbids • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

... to the masses of sarcastic "I though Open Source was more secure!" crowd: in an Open Source forum, when vulnerabilities are found, they are patched. Since it's a public forum, the vulnerabilities are disclosed, and patches / updates made available. The poor, sorry state of the first cut gets rapidly and openly improved.

With closed source, the vulnerabilities merely stay hidden and undisclosed, and you have no ability to know about it, or fix it yourself. the poor, sorry state of the first cut never improves. Yes, there are some cultures that take security seriously. You have no way of knowing.

This, right here, is what "more secure" looks like: public notification of the vulnerabilities and patches to distribute.

Re:For all the idiots

By chipschap • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Here we go again, more "proof" for the "see I told you Windows is better" crowd.


By MrBingoBoingo • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
Well the difference is... reading, and reading is nothing if not for rereading. A billion, thousand, or even three eyes mean nothing if they're aimed at cat videos. Instead of reineventing every API to keep it fresh a la the GNOME model, to get actual tools you have to instead make sure what you're already working with... works.

Re:what happened to obscurity

By Zero__Kelvin • Score: 5, Informative • Thread
In Open Source vernacular, we call that becoming more and more secure :-)

Vulnerabilities Found (and Sought) In MS Windows

By Mister Liberty • Score: 3 • Thread

Just to balance the slanted sensationalism a bit.
And maybe I should have said: "Vulnerabilities Found (without Seeking) In MS Windows".


Getting 'Showdown' To 90 FPS In UE4 On Oculus Rift

Posted by timothy in Games • View
An anonymous reader writes Oculus has repeatedly tapped Epic Games to whip up demos to show off new iterations of Oculus Rift VR headset hardware. The latest demo, built in UE4, is 'Showdown', an action-packed scene of slow motion explosions, bullets, and debris. The challenge? Oculus asked Epic to make it run at 90 FPS to match the 90 Hz refresh rate of the latest Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype. At the Oculus Connect conference, two of the developers from the team that created the demo share the tricks and tools they used to hit that target on a single GPU.

Re:Whatever happened to Id Software?

By vux984 • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Whatever happened to Id Software?

The graphics engine programmer from ID, John Carmack, works for Oculus Rift. It was kind of newsworthy around here.

So if you think they should source programming talent from Id... your a bit late to the party. Unless you think they really need John Romero too... ?

Re:Excellent news

By K. S. Kyosuke • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread
One thing I don't quite understand is why these headsets don't have eye trackers. I find it quite obvious that as the demands go further up, it might eventually be necessary to match the quality of portions of the rendered scene with the resolution of portions of your retina. Why waste computing power on peripheral vision? It makes even more sense as the frame rate increases to reduce the artifacts introduced by by head movements, since the extra frames mean fewer operations per frame, while the increased frame rate allows you to quickly "un-degrade" the new portions of the scene picture as you're shifting your view.

Signed-In Maps Mean More Location Data For Google

Posted by timothy in Search • View
mikejuk writes The announcement on the Google Geo Developers blog has the catchy title No map is an island. It points out that while there are now around 2 million active sites that have Google Maps embedded, they store data independently, The new feature, called attributed save, aims to overcome this problem by creating an integrated experience between the apps you use that have map content and Google Maps, and all it requires is that users sign in. So if you use a map in a specific app you will be able to see locations you entered in other apps.This all sounds great and it makes sense to allow users to take all of the locations that have previously been stored in app silos and put them all together into one big map data pool. The only down side is that the pool is owned by Google and some users might not like the idea of letting Google have access to so much personal geo information. It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy. It might just be that many users prefer their maps to be islands.

If people don't want Google to have their info

By Anonymous Coward • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Then why are they signed into Google?

Data ownership

By Animats • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

all it requires is that users sign in

Or, all your base is belong to us.

I can't speak for others, obviously

By 93 Escort Wagon • Score: 3 • Thread

But while I see the advantages for Google Corp., I don't see how this really benefits me personally. It's getting more common for websites to trigger the Safari popup saying "xxx.yyy.zzz would like to use your location data, is that okay?" when generally there's no reason for them to need it at all.

This just seems like a big end-around on Google's part to try capturing more data on you.

Old news

By Amorymeltzer • Score: 3 • Thread

It seems you can have convenience or you can have privacy.

We're just figuring this out now? Convenience means letting someone do something in your place. If you want it to be at all useful then some information has to be passed on. A drive through may be convenient, but it requires letting people know your meal preferences; not a major deal for most but it's there. The issue becomes the balance of the two and ensuring that you aren't "forced" out of your own comfort level, but it's certainly not news that there is a give and take between convenience and personal privacy.

Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Warg Faces Danish Jail Time

Posted by timothy in YRO • View
Hammeh writes BBC news reports that Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Warg has been found guilty of hacking into computers and illegally downloading files in Denmark. Found guilty of breaching security to access computers owned by technology giant CSC to steal police and social security files, Mr Warg faces a sentence of up to six years behind bars. Mr Warg argued that although the computer used to commit the offence was owned by him, the hacks were carried out by another individual who he declined to name.

Re:Find a better excuse

By MightyMartian • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Wow, worst case of injustice EVER????

Prison in Nordics

By Kumiorava • Score: 3 • Thread

Here is a brief introduction to a documentary of a NY prison admin going to Norway to look how the prison works there.

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood

By Mister Liberty • Score: 5, Funny • Thread

Nazi Walt Disney and its offspring keep ravaging your grandma's fairy tales.


By grcumb • Score: 4 • Thread

And you would be wrong about that. I'm a multi-millionaire who risked everything to create software programs that are used worldwide to make the car you drive better, the airplane you fly safer and make the heart pump that saves your lazy junk food eating ass safer.

I mean this in all sincerity: Good for you.

Those things happen only because I can protect my IP from the likes of you.

Let's be clear about this, though: When you say 'those things', you're referring to those specific things that you and your company did. Because there is a very large volume of life-changing —and life-saving— software that came about without any thought of recompense, and with very different ideas about copy-protection and ownership.

Without copyright protection, enforceable EULAs and copy protection/licensing software, I would never have created my products and all those products that impact your life would be more expensive.

I don't know why I spend my time trying to convince people like you that you are utterly, hopelessly wrong in your idea that it is OK to steal other people's work without compensating them the price they demand. I think it's because I have tons of spare time now that my wife and I spend our days travelling the world first class.

Again, in all sincerity: Good for you and your wife.

Having traveled in first class, I found it to be full of pampered, self-important twits with more money than sense, but hey, it wouldn't exist if there weren't a demand for it. I'll take business class myself, thanks.

So in summary, suck it bitch. I'm laughing all the way to the bank.

Ah, the famous 'I'm all right, Jack' defence. Astonishingly, this self-aggrandising approach to entitlement doesn't breed a lot of sympathy among those of us who have other considerations than ourselves. But that's okay. I've saved lives, you've saved lives —that's what counts. At the end of the day, the fact that the lives I saved were in the developing world and yours (probably mostly) weren't is not going to count for much when we're both rotting in the ground. The fact that I'm largely at peace with myself and don't get too exercised about what people do with the fruits of my labours is likely secondary as well. I daresay you're pretty content, too.

But there is this: My way of living and doing business is just as workable as yours, and my way doesn't serve only the rich. So fuck you, you self-satisfied, closed-minded, smug little shit. You think there's no other way but yours? You're wrong and I'm living proof.

Re:"not me" did it!

By wonkey_monkey • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

There is no way the courts should hold people responsible for something unless they can prove the person who possess it or the evidence of said action can actually be connected.

Yes, but it's not "prove" as in "any other explanation is 100% impossible." It's "prove beyond a reasonable doubt."

Without that you wouldn't be able to convict the man standing over the body with the knife in his hand screaming "I'm glad I killed him." There are endless possibilities for the accused's innocence, but most of them would be rightly considered ridiculous and would only belong in an episode of Jonathan Creek.

Someone who has seen far more of the evidence in this case you or I ever will has decided the criteria for guilt have been met. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I'm going to lean towards the conclusion that he got convicted not because the system is rigged, but because he did actually do it and the preponderance of evidence was to that effect.

First Detailed Data Analysis Shows Exactly How Comcast Jammed Netflix

Posted by timothy in Technology • View
An anonymous reader writes John Oliver calls it "cable company f*ckery" and we've all suspected it happens. Now on Steven Levy's new Backchannel publication on Medium, Susan Crawford delivers decisive proof, expertly dissecting the Comcast-Netflix network congestion controversy. Her source material is a detailed traffic measurement report (.pdf) released this week by Google-backed M-Lab — the first of its kind — showing severe degradation of service at interconnection points between Comcast, Verizon and other monopoly "eyeball networks" and "transit networks" such as Cogent, which was contracted by Netflix to deliver its bits. The report shows that interconnection points give monopoly ISPs all the leverage they need to discriminate against companies like Netflix, which compete with them in video services, simply by refusing to relieve network congestion caused by external traffic requested by their very own ISP customers. And the effects victimize not only companies targeted but ALL incoming traffic from the affected transit network. The report proves the problem is not technical, but rather a result of business decisions. This is not technically a Net neutrality problem, but it creates the very same headaches for consumers, and unfair business advantages for ISPs. In an accompanying article, Crawford makes a compelling case for FCC intervention.

Re:How many engineers does it take to screw netfli

By torkus • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Actually netflix offered to foot the bill for upgrading the bandwidth - it's literally a couple cross-connects in a datacenter, maybe a fiber card or two.

Oh, and netflix ALSO offers to drop a server in your datacenter *free* which caches all the common netflix streams. This reduces the internet bandwidth demands by something like 90+% since it lives within the ISP's datacenter and just needs to download each stream once.

But the last line is exactly the point. The ISPs are also TV providers and they don't want you to have a good netflix experience. If they can passively let that happen...well of course they will. No one can accuse them of taking any action to damage your netflix's their complete inaction that's resulting in it.

End the ISP monopolies

By Jodka • Score: 4 • Thread

from wikipedia

Franchise fees are governed under Section 622 of the Cable Communications Act of 1984.[2] Section 622, states that municipalities are entitled to a maximum of 5% of gross revenues derived from the operation of the cable system for the provision of cable services such as Public, educational, and government access (PEG) TV channels.

Franchise fees are fixed at a maximum of 5% of gross revenues. So how do municipalities maximize revenues from franchise fees? By maximizing cable company gross revenues. And how do municipalities maximize cable company gross revenues? By creating monopolies! By awarding exclusive license to one provider to extract monopolist profits from the public.

Note that there is nothing inherently wrong with permitting local governments to charge cable companies fees. That is justifiable to the extent that local governments incur costs of infrastructure repair with damage from cable installation. All that is needed is a single addendum to the law, one prohibiting local governments from creating monopolies. The law could simply mandate that municipalities must offer franchise licenses to all ISPs if they offer licenses to one and that all licencees must be be charged at the same rate.

The only reason we have cable monopolies in the U.S. is because the Cable Communications Act of 1984 created that perverse incentive. Other countries without such laws have much faster service at much lower prices.

If federal law permitted local governments to do this sort of thing with groceries, computers and cars we would have regional monopolies for those products as well. Be grateful that your town council is not permitted to sell grocery, computer and car franchises.

Re:Their answer to oversubscription as well

By thaylin • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

Except you are confusing a transit and a consumer endpoint. Transit providers normally peer, but an endpoint is going to have more traffic coming in then going out because their consumers are requesting it, ALWAYS, but this is the first time they have been able to pressure people into these types of agreements.

Peering agreements between transit providers is fine, but not when an endpoint bullies a service providor.

Re: Their answer to oversubscription as well

By GigaplexNZ • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

The problem is that the backbone provider they chose sends way more traffic than they accept.

And consumer ISPs give asymmetric speeds most of the time with EULAs that forbid running servers. It's pretty obvious that they'll accept more data than they send by design, so it's unreasonable for their peering agreements to assume symmetric transfers.

Re:Yes it is a peering problem ...

By Obfuscant • Score: 5, Informative • Thread

Why does imbalance matter?

Because when peering agreements were created, the assumption was that trying to keep track of how much data you wanted us to carry and you keeping track of how much we gave you to carry was not necessary because we'd be charging each other the same amount if we did keep track.

Large amounts of data going one way breaks that basic tenet of peering. Now it makes sense to charge the other guy for data they want you to handle.

But this view ignores the most important point, that Comcast has explicitly promised its customers "internet access" at an advertised speed.

No. From here:

Performance Starter: Offer ends 01/04/15. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Limited to new residential customers. Requires subscription to Performance Starter Internet service. Equipment, installation, taxes and fees, including regulatory recovery fees, Broadcast TV Fee (up to $3.50/mo.), Regional Sports Fee (up to $1/mo.) and other applicable charges extra, and subject to change during and after the promotion. After applicable promotional period, regular rates apply. Comcastâ(TM)s current monthly service charge for Performance Starter Internet is $49.95 (pricing subject to change). Service limited to a single outlet. May not be combined with other offers. Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed.

Emphasis mine. The same emphasized text appears in the details for all three residential service levels. My statement stands: they did not promise you 24/7 full-rate access to anyplace off their net.

There are no pharmaceutical-like disclaimers during those commercials

There are when you actually go to sign up. And common sense tells you that they cannot guarantee those speeds to every site on the planet. They can't even guarantee those speeds to every site on the Comcast network. That's why they don't.

If Comcast says you're paying for "10Mbps internet", the assumption is that you get the advertised speed to the entire internet, provided there are no technical limitations outside of Comcast's control.

That's what some people assume, but that's not backed up by the service agreement.

It's not even backed up by common sense. Suppose you buy the Blast service and get 105Mbps download. You want to connect to my system and I've got Performance Starter (6 Mbps down, God knows what it is up). You ain't getting anywhere near 105Mbps from my stream. Even trying to connect to your next door neighbor who has the same service, you ain't getting faster than his upload allows. If you think Comcast could promise anything faster, then you must think they'll upgrade MY service to Blast for free because they promised YOU that you'd get data from me that fast, and you're paying them for my data at that speed.

How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

Posted by timothy in Apple • View
Nerval's Lobster writes Apple design chief Jony Ive has spent the past several weeks talking up how the Apple Watch is an evolution on many of the principles that guided the evolution of timepieces over the past several hundred years. But the need to recharge the device on a nightly basis, now confirmed by Apple CEO Tim Cook, is a throwback to ye olden days, when a lady or gentleman needed to keep winding her or his pocket-watch in order to keep it running. Watch batteries were supposed to bring "winding" to a decisive end, except for that subset of people who insist on carrying around a mechanical timepiece. But with Apple Watch's requirement that the user constantly monitor its energy, what's old is new again. Will millions of people really want to charge and fuss with their watch at least once a day?

The airplane is a regression in train making

By Old97 • Score: 3, Insightful • Thread
As a train, the airplane is pitiful. It can't haul as much freight or as many passengers. It costs more. It needs to land and be refueled more frequently. And who needs an airplane anyway? Trains are safer as you are less likely to die in an accident. Trains may not be as fast, but what's the hurry? I like sitting in the car and seeing the country go by at ground level. You can't see a damn thing from an airplane and what you do see looks like little toys. Yep, only an idiot would build or buy an airplane because I like trains.

Re:cell phones and notepads

By bondsbw • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Would people complain as much if Apple called it the Apple WristComputerWithTouchScreenAndBluetoothSpeakerAndHealthMonitoring?

I mean, that's what it is. But Apple's marketing decided on a somewhat better name.

Re:How big a fuss is it, really?

By Beck_Neard • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

How much of a fuss? You can forget to charge. You could be somewhere where you have no charger. You're forced to carry a charger around when traveling.

Of course none of these are atrocities, they make me think why I would want such a device, when my existing watch does exactly what I want it to do and does it reliably. Is checking emails really worth it? Those who complain about 'first world problems' would do well to think about their own first world problems, of which the need to have your emails/messages on the wrist is one. The ability to tell time, on the other hand, is very much a universal and important problem.

Re:I really don't understand smart watches...

By David_Hart • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

5) You can have class and style and look a hell of a lot better for a lot less money. You just won't look like a trendy fanboi.

This.... Anyone attributing a smart watch from Apple, or any other company for that matter, to class or style just do not understand class or style. Some people easily confuse popularity or celebrity with class and style. It's been my experience that people who have true class and style do not wear gadgets or toys that can distract from enjoying people and the event, whether intimate or in public.

Personally, as a geek I think that gadgets are cool but very few actually have class or style...


By blogan • Score: 3 • Thread

You mean because there's one drawback to the traditional watch it's regression? I guess mobile phones are a regression because I don't have to charge my landline. Oh wait, you mean the added benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Exactly.

A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming

Posted by timothy in Technology • View
lpress writes I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies.

Why ads exist

By sjbe • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Yes, it will cost a fortune to skip commercials, but that is because the commercials are still tied to the legacy business model. They exist to make money for broadcast television, and have been a solid revenue stream for cable television for decades.

Advertisements make money for both the broadcaster AND for the company doing the advertizing. Ads exist because there is a market for companies that are trying to sell to customers. Broadcast TV is merely the medium and the broadcasters happen to have a platform for reaching customers. This is no different than newspapers or Google. The business model of having a platform to get ads in front of potential customers is alive and well. The only difference is WHICH platform works today. Google and Facebook are on the rise, TV is holding steady and newspapers/magazines are having a tough go of it. But they all have basically the same business model - it's just that certain platforms work better than others and thus are more profitable.

Free OTA w/ commercials or Pay w/ commercials?

By FictionPimp • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread


I can record your shit OTA for free. If I'm giving you money I'm not watching commercials. Sorry this is DOA to me.

Will Not Pay

By Scottingham • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

I have a simple rule; I will not pay a subscription for a service that also makes me watch ads. Not going to happen. Hulu-plus can fuck itself, as can this CBS trash.

'Cut the cord' long ago, OTA FTW

By kheldan • Score: 5, Interesting • Thread
I'll stick with an antenna and TiVo and skip the ads, TYVM.

Shows only exist to bring eyeballs to the ads

By DutchUncle • Score: 3 • Thread
The television industry isn't about ads being inserted into shows; it's about shows being put on to draw people to the ads. Since there are other ways to watch shows, especially if one is willing to wait, sports has become the only "must-watch-live" item, which is why the networks are willing to pay so much for the rights to broadcast sports.

That goes for Facebook and Youtube and all of the other services, too. They just stumbled on cheaper ways to produce their "shows", namely provide the infrastructure for viewers to entertain each other.

Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

Posted by timothy in Apple • View
An anonymous reader writes Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly come out as gay. While he never hid his sexuality from friends, family, and close co-workers, Cook decided it was time to make it publicly known in the hopes that the information will help others who don't feel comfortable to do so. He said, "I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy."

Cook added that while the U.S. has made progress in recent years toward marriage equality, there is still work to be done. "[T]here are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation."


By AmiMoJo • Score: 4, Informative • Thread

In the UK homosexual sex was a crime punishable by imprisonment up until the 1960s. Even those who refrained from sex were often forced to take medication or undergo "procedures" to "correct" their behaviour.

It's not pandering -- it's rejection.

By fyngyrz • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

the 'proud' crap is just pandering to a demographic

You're entirely missing the point. There are many people who feel that gay == shameful, the direct implication being that they want gay folk to feel ashamed. Proud is an in-their-face declaration that they are not ashamed.

That's all it is.

It's the same for any aspect of life for which there are detractors; some people think geekery is a bad thing; hence "geek and proud." Some people think prostitution is a bad thing; hence "sex worker and proud", and so on for a long list of "your prejudices do not define me" issues.

It's a very natural -- and correct -- reaction to a society where people are encouraged to coerce others into specific behavioral channels without regard for the consent or interest of those others.


By schneidafunk • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

Half black president. He was raised by his white mother. To call him black is just wrong on many levels. I don't care, I voted for him because I hated Sarah Palin not be cause I wanted a 'black' president.


By towermac • Score: 5, Insightful • Thread

You know, I guess the movies might say otherwise, but it was never okay to beat up sissies, once you've grown up.

Take it from somebody who was there, deep in the south, long ago.


By Tenebrousedge • Score: 4, Insightful • Thread

In the UK homosexual sex was a crime punishable by imprisonment up until the 1960s. Even those who refrained from sex were often forced to take medication or undergo "procedures" to "correct" their behaviour.

Notably including Alan Turing, who was chemically castrated with synthetic estrogen, and eventually committed suicide. I am glad to read that he was formally (royally) pardoned at the end of last year. I cannot imagine who thought castration was an appropriate response, especially given the long traditions of "rum, sodomy, and the lash" in the British Navy, but I suppose one must make allowances for the past, even if it is within living memory.

Slashdot Asks: Appropriate Place For Free / Open Source Software Artifacts?

Posted by timothy in Linux • View
A friend of mine who buys and sells used books, movies, etc. recently purchased a box full of software on CD, including quite a few old Linux distributions, and asked me if I'd like them. The truth is, I would like them, but I've already collected over the last two decades more than I should in the way of Linux distributions, on at least four kinds of media (starting with floppies made from a CD that accompanied a fat book on how to install some distribution or other -- very useful in the days of dialup). I've got some boxes (Debian Potato, and a few versions of Red Hat and Mandrake Linux), and an assortment of marketing knickknacks, T-shirts, posters, and books. I like these physical artifacts, and they're not dominating my life, but I'd prefer to actually give many of them to someplace where they'll be curated. (Or, if they should be tossed, tossed intelligently.) Can anyone point to a public collection of some kind that gathers physical objects associated with Free software and Open Source, and makes them available for others to examine? (I plan to give some hardware, like a pair of OLPC XO laptops, to the same Goodwill computer museum highlighted in this video, but they probably don't want an IBM-branded radio in the shape of a penguin.)

Figure out which ones are rare and/or special

By drinkypoo • Score: 4, Funny • Thread

Figure out before you try to get rid of them which knickknacks and giveaways are actually special somehow. Take all the other ones, put them into bags, and take them down to the your local landfill for recycling. Now put the valuable ones on eBay, perhaps in one or more lots divided by brand. Not expecting to get any notable money, but that would be a nice side effect. It's just a nice way to handle getting paid for shipping, really.

Nobody wanted most of that shit when it was new. It has never ceased to amaze me how an industry which literally creates XL and 2XL customers will have 2000 size M tee shirts made, and 200 size XL, and 0 size 2XL. I've had to see some horrifyingly hairy midriffs in various technical departments.