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  • Mar 24th, 2017 @ 11:01am


    "[those] actually engaged in destructive rioting could blend in with and be indistinguishable from the larger number who protested lawfully."

    Ahhh, I was going to gripe about this ("destructive rioting"? WTH?) but then I remembered about the Boston Tea Party.

    Still, "No Taxation Without Representation" isn't quite the same as "Not My President" (Read: I don't like the results of the election and I'm going to do something about it AFTER THE FACT.)

  • Feb 16th, 2017 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re: Particularity

    "But they don't want evidence. They want information."

    We want information… information… information.
    Number Six: You won't get it.
    Number Two: By hook or by crook, we will.

  • Feb 13th, 2017 @ 4:06pm


    I doubt there's many of us. Unless there's some overriding financial reason, I imagine they'll just leave us alone or lump us in the new unlimited set, whatever's easier.

    I know one point in one month I used (was a 3x spike) 120G and showed up like a nail on their usage charts. The next month my target was magically unavailable, so instead I watched V NFL Sports, the unlimited free version. A LOT more than that. (After a month I got bored and stopped.)

    It's amazing how airwaves -- what you'd think would be scarce -- are free only while you're talking to a box on their internet network. **It's almost like they want to charge extra for network egress to the Internet.**

    My! That sounds like portable AOL, which for a lot of people *WAS* the internet.

  • Jan 17th, 2017 @ 5:34pm


    There's an Android app my GF and I use -- it's called Life360, and tracks our phone position in real-time and logs it for a month. Pretty maps and alerts when we enter or exit a geo-fenced area too.

    I don't care if she knows exactly where I go. I've told her that it's tracking her as well and to leave the group or uninstall it if she has problems with it. She's left it up because she doesn't care if I know where she is either.

    (If I really cared about location I'd hit "airplane mode" or leave the phone at home and use a burner with call-forwarding.)

    "Life three sixty" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue easily so we just call it the "stalker" app.

    Hell, if everybody else is tracking me, *I* might as well get some good out of it too! ;-)


    As a matter of fact, my home got robbed recently. I was able to use this to see when I left since I wasn't paying attention.

  • Jan 17th, 2017 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Re:

    "This is a system capable of tracking a limited number of cars"

    But there are only a finite number of cars on the road. Maybe they need to bill the government for a slight equipment upgrade.

    Then we wouldn't have any of these pesky limits.

  • Jan 17th, 2017 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Even better

    Don't do HOSTS. That only works with DNS lookups, not if the IP addresses themselves are actually encoded within the product -- for ALL apps, not just the OS. DNS just makes it easier.

    Instead use firewall rules as primary and HOSTS as a secondary backup. Destroy Windows Spying (DWS) has a good rule set.

    Even if you can't actually read and understand all of the code, you can still get a good impression of what's going on and what they're doing.

    File MainDwsForm.cs. Code:
    private void AddToHostsAndFirewall()
    string[] hostsdomains =

    and so on. These lines add HOSTS blocks to to stop DNS lookups. [They're actually created in the "/C" code at the end of the array.] Then later on they block actual IP addresses,

    private void BlockIpAddr()
    string[] ipAddr =

    These block the actual embedded IP addresses using the native Windows firewall. [literally adding null routes via the trailing "/C" code again.] The second Microsoft is caught bypassing it's own firewall to communicate home I think is the second they get dumped.

    This is the same type of thing that PeerGuardian / Peerblock does, only they target ever-changing RIAA/MPAA IP addresses.

    MS changes IP collection addresses only occasionally and sometimes it's not even their fault. But don't rely on this 100% to block mothership access; they'll someday add a new patch that'll not be blocked. Gee, if only there were a monthly update system in Windows that could update this.

    [GEE, IF ONLY THEY WOULD QUIT COLLECTING THIS DATA TO START WITH. IT'S ONE THING TO HOLD PROGRAM LAUNCH NAMES AND TIMES ON MY PC, BUT ANOTHER to store them all in Redmond. You don't need to know I've got VLC playing My Little Pony in an endless loop. And you SURE don't need to know I'm controlling a botnet of LOIC nodes. In this case I guess it'd be a botNOT. :-)]

  • Jan 17th, 2017 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Even better

    "... that or block those IP's on a hardware firewall rather than within Windows itself."

    Not really -- the internal Windows firewall will be good enough for blocking. The _SECOND_ Microsoft gets caught bypassing it's own firewall rules is the same second all of the security pros begin to dump Windows. You might not trust every program not to do something stupid, but if you can't trust the OS to enforce blocks then it's pointless.

    Yep, you could kill it at the outgoing border gateway but if Windows won't support it's own firewall rules there's no reason to use it. (There's less and less every day -- inertia, both programmatically and human. AD however, won't go away. Shame it wasn't Novell's NDS, out years earlier than MS.)

    Ii wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't someday an automatic AD-enforced rule that disabled some of the call-home stuff -- that way Win HOME and Win Pro non-AD could be configured out of the box that way and no one would gripe.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 10:02pm

    Re: And there's a much more legitimate argument against the gun manufacturers.

    Gun control means hitting your target.

    Lawsuits against gun manufacturers should come when a gun malfunctions, injuring or killing the operator. Other than that: NO.

    "there's a much more legitimate argument"? You mean
    * legally (an active lawsuit somewhere),
    * morally (Don't be naughty! -- wait, that's Google), or
    * you just don't like the current situation?

    I've got a gun (oh the HORROR!) by my nightstand. It's not loaded but I treat is as such, and in 2 seconds it COULD be. (No kids visit.) I take it outside going back in the woods, and when weird things are happening 1/4 of a mile around my house. My neighbors? The nearest is 1/4 of a mile away, the next few are 1/2 of a mile. If anything happens I'm on my own unless I can use the phone for help (and they're there INSTANTLY! For 15 minutes of instant if I'm lucky) or someone happens to drive along the road and notices odd things / bothers to call.

  • Dec 30th, 2016 @ 8:42pm

    I've got all of your talking points right here.

    I've just snuck into the FBI and have found them all. My God, these are all so insightful I can't believe it -- Just read three of them and you're as intelligent as Congress, all of them and forget the FBI, you might as well BE the NSA.

    Number One: People who actively use encryption are more likely to ...

    Oh, excuse me, someone's at the door. Be right back. "Hel

  • Dec 10th, 2016 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Trump: has a working time machine!

    Off Topic.

    Trump: What CAN'T he do? Now he's engineered a bunch of FBI agents to help (for various levels of help) discover evidence regarding J Assange in Iceland back in 2011.

    I'm no supporter of Assange and think he's a enemy of the US -- that being said, I like and support Wikileaks, As Long As they stay 100% above board and don't manufacturer findings.

    It's amazing that President Trump (not elect, but PRESIDENT) got in his time machine, returned, and ordered a trip to Iceland for the FBI. I didn't realize the FBI would accept orders from the future.

    Wait, he doesn't have a time machine? Well then who could have ordered this? Oh, but never mind, it's -- I'm sure they're on the Prop Or Not naughty list so not to worry as none of it actually happened. Nothing to see here, move along.

    There's nothing else to be found on the internet about this so it's got to be "Fake News" generated from evil Mother Russia. Oh, and here's some extra background from their evil brother, Denmark:

    The President is not God, no matter who sits in that chair. Stop treating him as such!

  • Dec 9th, 2016 @ 11:19am

    Re: It's all Bush's fault.

    "they are discussing it as a "who wins" situation ... from the wrong perspective ... after eight years of fraught negotiations ... But we know that won't be happening with Trump involved."

    TPP IS such a lovely document. And I didn't know Trump had been in control over it for the last 8 years. I wonder who HAS?

    Who had control of the House and Senate in 2008? (wikipedia)

    There is no question that Democrats had total control in the House from 2009-2011.

    (Senate) giving the Democratic caucus a 51-49 majority.

    Who has had control of Congress in 2012? (wikipedia)

    (Senate) the Democrats, leaving the majority party with a combined total of 55 seats.

    (House of Representatives) Republicans @ 53.79% of the vote.

    My point being, The Big O has been responsible ("The Buck Stops Here") for that. You want to blame someone, start there and include Congress. If O's not directly responsible, then indirectly, or IN-indirectly, ad nasuium. He had some influence at least over this.

    Trump might fix TPP for a "better" one for debatable values of better; let's wait and see when one appears in progress or on a finished one on the table.

    Like we'd ever get to read it:

    Secret TPP Text Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought As one would expect for a deal negotiated behind closed doors with 500 corporate advisors and the public and press shut out:

    Hmmm, WHICH party was mostly in control for the last 8 years? (Don't misunderstand me, they're both to blame. But that's my point: it's not just [evil] Republicans again [Lilly-white] Democrats.)

  • Nov 17th, 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:


  • Nov 16th, 2016 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Daily Show [shows] clip from The Lion King

    "Somehow I doubt they'll get sued over it."

    ....Because maybe they've already paid to use it?

    ASCAP and friends do (only) music; that's how all of the radio stations can play songs w/o getting sued to death. Apparently if the workers in a repair garage play songs that customers can overhear, THE GARAGE is supposed to get a license as well.

    Comedy Central's Daily Show has already covered their a$$ I'm sure -- look at THEIR Terms of Service.

    I'm not sure what group handles showing movie clips and modifications, but I'm sure CC has already signed up for it.

  • Oct 17th, 2016 @ 6:13am

    Re: It's the way it was pitched that was a problem.

    My wife and I have lots of beautiful stuff, here are pictures of it all. I live in this wonderful neighborhood at this specific address. And we're leaving the country right now for an entire month at this great resort.

    (Finally gets back home, house is completely cleaned out.) Robbers! How in the world could they have (a) figured this out and (b) done this to us?

    A: UNKNOWN: they must be psychic. Or Kreskin.
    B: With a moving van. Maybe two.


    My Facebook profile has my correct phone number. EVERYTHING else is bogus and literally says so. If you want me to be your "Friend", then you'll need to be MY friend to start with.

  • May 27th, 2016 @ 12:21pm

    Safe space

    "Popcorn Time had been seized by Norwegian police."

    Well of course. You see, it's all my doing. I'm fatally allergic to all corn products everywhere and I'm making myself a SAFE SPACE (only the world) so that I can breathe and live freely.

    You: meh.

    Monsanto / Bayer, you're next. (I'm working up to my evil nemesis: Orville Redenbacher.)

    Really, a friend of mine [Hi Lisa!] had it exactly right. She wanted to be a corporate lawyer -- not to uphold the law, but to bend it in unusual ways so as to do her bidding.

    "I'm going to take the site down; now I only need to find the best excuse to do so."

    (It's not always about the money, sometimes it's just about power. Money just helps out.)

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:34pm

    To Google. From: AdolfH.

    There's a right to be forgotten? Really? No one told me about it. Please sign me up for your informative newsletter ASAP.

    Also, it seems there are one or two or maybe more disheartening things about me -- please make them all go away.

    After all, if you don't remember it and can't read about it, it didn't happen: right?

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 4:26am

    Pushes For Broad Internet Censorship Bill because ...

    If you don't report on it, it doesn't exist. And if it doesn't exist you don't have to worry about it, or even bother to worry reporting on it.

    And about that corruption .. don't worry, we've got it ALL completely under control.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 6:50pm

    Re: How does data compare?

    I assume you're asking a actual question here. Let's take the long road; the details are insightful. Sorry it's a bad version of "War and Peace".

    TL;DR: they're trying to increase profits because they can, and watching internet "outside" data actually INCREASES their net costs.

    A) Anything that lets them earn more profit is good. Raising prices or bundling does that, as long as the costs for any new thing doesn't exceed the updated price. (And if so, just raise the selling price.) Alternatively, holding prices steady while cutting costs works as long as everyone puts up with it.

    THAT is the primary crux of their argument. We'll make you buy more and pay more, period. Whatever it is doesn't matter.

    B) NOW to the interesting part. I'll pick on Hulu and Netflix and the Duggars but the comparison is the exact same for literally ANYONE.

    Let's start a isolated home network. Poof, you have computers, routers and (virtual?) cabling connecting everything. The computers can share data between the others, or not. Bandwidth is "free", after you've spent the money to buy and install the cables and routers -- ignoring depreciation/replacement, insurance, and power costs. (Lightening strikes happen, and utilities aren't free. But they're fairly stable and cheap, so let's call these operating costs free. Equipment costs are $HARDWARE/(3*12) or maybe 5*12.)

    Let's assume we're the Duggar family with 24 kids. Each has an hour a day to use their separate computer (and thus the network.) A nice, steady bandwidth load that matches just what we've installed.

    Now let's bring up a media server -- (Or Emby. Or Kodi, or MediaPortal / Myth / whatever.) Rip your legally purchased DVD/BRs and place the files on a server (and go to jail because that's highly naughty, you bad pirate!) and now you have more to share besides cooperatively editing homework files between adjacent rooms. The kids start watching cartoons an hour a day. Server space for the DVD files increases, network load increases. But it's all good and quite manageable.

    Now you have upgrade growth costs when the kid in the bedroom completely saturates the link to a computer every day. More capital investment in more computers, routers, and wires, and management and maintenance. (But he's only supposed to be watching TV an hour a day, not all 24! He's using 24 people slots, the slacker! Spankings for you!)

    So I have to upgrade my equipment because my kids (customers) are using more than their fair share. If they *all* do, then instead of 24 hour-slots I now have 24x 24 hour-slots. Damn kids, they're not supposed to be using computers while they sleep, only while they're awake and physically ON the computer. (When I originally said "Unlimited Usage" I meant YOU, not your COMPUTER. You're supposed to just know what I meant, even if I change the terms long after the fact.)

    But it's still all manageable. You let bandwidth increase and overload until they kids gripe enough, and then you buy more routers, cables, and servers if necessary. Oh, and more DVDs too. Don't forget you have to provide that media from somewhere -- it costs and takes time to purchase, convert, and so does adding storage space.

    As a matter of fact, that's just SO MUCH of a hassle that you decide to outsource it. You add a special computer connected to a satellite receiver dish that can receive (and then broadcast on your local network) movies that someone else has encoded for you. Heck, they can even start sending real-time video down that pipe that your kids can watch.

    Everyone's happy. The kids are using their computers 1-24 hours a day, network load is manageable with a few peaks now-and-then, your local Plex media server is supplying movies while the dish receiver is feeding the Plex server movies as well as handling real-time shows.

    THIS configuration is IMPORTANT. Notice you have a CLOSED NETWORK: the users can only receive what they themselves can provide AND the media sources that YOU provide. Costs are controlled by what you store on the media server and the dish (what you purchase from your media provider.)

    In particular, notice you're watching a show (ie, copying a file) with a specific size (ignore stuff hat changes the size/quality during transmission) that comes from plex/dish over the wires through the routers to your computer. THAT'S A KNOWN STATIC COST: the purchase of the actual media and the operating costs of running the network. Power isn't $0, and capital certainly isn't $0 either -- buy they're amortized and mostly fixed.

    (Gee, this sounds like Cable-TV 30-odd years ago. I wonder why?)

    Now on to the Hulu/Netflix stuff: let's take our Duggar 24-user home network and add a second router that now goes to: the Internet.

    You're paying for that new outside connection either by: $/byte, or flat fee unlimited usage or ... peering.

    What?!? WTH is PEERING?!!? ( In a nutshell: it's a gentleman's agreement between big regional internet companies that let's THEM swap data back and forth.

    Why is that important? Because "The Internet" and "The Cloud" doesn't actually exist -- it's just a bunch of independent big, medium, small, and tiny parts all working together, all owned by independent entities.

    (The names below have been changed to protect the guilty.)

    If you're physically in NY watching a movie physically located in LA, your PC connects to your (tiny) home network to your ISPs router, which then sends data from your small (suburb) ISP to it's medium regional (state) provider, which sends your data to IT'S upstream big provider (time zone). Now, this big provider talks to systems within it's own EST timezone. But there's a large pipe between EST and CST, and CST and MST, and MST and PST, and LA's located in PST.

    So the four large timezone providers got together and all agreed: You know what? We all have a whole bunch of data running around. We all talk to each other all of the time. These humongous monthly bills we keep sending and paying to each other is ridiculous. I pay you a heap of money, then you turn around and pay most of it right back to me.

    SCREW this monthly billing money sloshing around, we're tired of it. Everyone keep track of what you send and receive to everyone (Remember, there are only 4 of them in this example, and EST doesn't touch PST. So it's not hard to figure out what goes where: as a provider, if it comes in either I keep it myself or pass it on.) SO: once a month, they all get together, compare and subtract their numbers, and THEN pay for what they've truly used. If EST and CST both ship 5 PB between them, they call it even. If CST ships 1 PB more to MST than it does, MST bills CST for 1 PB of actual usage.

    Makes sense? The big-a$$ providers, who swap data between themselves all day long, have a THIRD way of paying for their usage. Even though they might be sending Petabytes of data per second, as long as they receive the same amount from the same source they just call it even.

    (Up until a year ago, the Duggars could probably enter a peering group on their own recognizance. Not anymore though. Oops -- fame is so short-lived.)

    Back to the Duggar's net internet link.

    Let's watch a brand new show: "Forget About the President: The Stupidest People in Congress Talk to Their Even Stupider Electorates." It's an hour long with 535 episodes, each one taking exactly 1 hour and 1 GB of space and bandwidth.

    If it comes in over the dish link, we're just paying known standard media and transmission fees, and each computer receives exactly 1 GB of show over our internal network.

    If we've stored it on our media server, we've paid to receive the show and have to pay for the physical storage to store it. (And this media server, Plex or whatever, allows us to watch Video On our computers whenever we want or even on ... Demand. Gee, does a Video On Demand service sound familiar within an ISP?)

    But notice that actually watching the show uses 1 GB over the internal routers and network while payment for the media is done once and is effectively "free" from then on (And then maybe a yearly charge for longer access for popular shows -- shades of movies Net and Leaving Netflix anyone?)

    Notice that bandwidth cost ISN'T free -- $0 -- but it's mostly a static cost. More hardware = more capital tied up = more installation charges = more bandwidth cost, but it's still mostly a static cost. You provision up to the average load, and allocate more when necessary / tired of complaints about sluggishness. Or, maybe not.

    AND NOW COMES THE FUN PART: LET'S WATCH HULU. (You've been waiting for this, haven't you -- right? Anyone still here? Hello???)

    Same show, same 1 GB size. But notice the route: suddenly we're hitting that new Internet router. HEY WAIT! They're BILLING us for that! The more we use the more they want to bill. What, do they think we're made of money? And even worse: it's not even a static bill -- it changes over the amount people watch.

    So now I'm PAYING for a service that I provide (you can watch the show on my server, if it's still there, that is) and I'm not even getting anything out of it. Any payment there goes to Hulu -- NONE of that goes to me, and I'm even PAYING for them to access it. That's not right; that's just not right. Hulu is completely ripping me off -- and my kids/customers? They're not giving me any money either, they want bandwidth to support this thing. And they tell their siblings, and now THEY want even more bandwidth. Ungrateful whelps.

    Let's put that exact show on Netflix. And the exact same thing happens, they're absolutely no change to anything except that the name on the outgoing check still isn't to *ME*, the one that provides all of their bandwidth.

    Netflix, though, in the past tried to be a good neighbor. Netflix, at their own expense for a large enough provider, will set up and remotely manage a Netflix media server: one that holds tens of thousands of movies. There's still some internet access -- Netflix has to update the movies there somehow -- but it's only once per show, not one per time. The people (and computers) watching shows on Netflix talk to this box if possible, and fail back to Internet-Netflix if the show isn't available.

    So our 1 GB Politician show now runs over our local network again. Netflix is using our internet bandwidth to update their boxes, the users are using our internet bandwidth to watch non-popular shows, everyone's ALWAYS using our internal bandwidth, and we might not be making any money on this Netflix deal but we're not losing it as much as over Hulu, who ALWAYS goes out and accesses The Internet.

    So: Netflix mostly only uses the ISPs internal bandwidth while Hulu always uses The Internet and forces egress charges.

    So in summary for watching our special 1G show: A 1GB show ... is a 1GB show ... is a 1GB show.

    As long as the data is stored (sourced) somewhere on our internal network, the cost to us is effectively $0. And you pay for access!

    Netflix, even though it's on our internal network, uses our internal bandwidth, some of our internet bandwidth and doesn't bother to pay us anything -- the losers!

    Hulu ISN'T on our internal network and forces an Internet egress charge on every show that gets watched. Not only are they not paying us money, they're effectively CHARGING us for the privilege. Same with YouTube. Gaaa! THIEVES, ALL OF YOU!!

    The Internet is only to be used for blogs and emails and Facebook. Something nice and small and not-heavily used, with text and static pictures even better.

    High bandwidth things like movies need to be locally sourced and stay only on our internal networks and not egress outbound that costs money.

    Anything that costs us money is bad if it doesn't have a corresponding profit source. We've worked hard for our monopolies, and any high-bandwidth thing actually located on the real internet is costing us money. Even Netflix, located ON our internal network, is costing us money by using our local bandwidth by not paying us for the privilege.

    Sigh ... so how can we keep the users from internet egress? USAGE CAPS!

    We can't make the internet media companies pay us to support access to them, so we'll make the users do so in their stead. If they want to go outside our network and NOT use our local services, they'll pay us for the privilege to do so. We charge more than it costs, so that's all good.

    And if we can coerce them to purchase a bundled plan, we're now providing a extra service and of course can charge more. After all, the original cost of the system, while expensive, is negligible; the media costs, while expensive, are static. The only wild cards are internet media usage which use our internal bandwidth for free and even make us pay for egress access to their media.

    Now, **THAT** is exactly why 1GB "network-local" HDTV is not 1GB HDTV from (10% egress) Netflix or not 1GB HDTV from (100% egress) Hulu.

    You thief. Quit stealing our precious internet bandwidth and pay us more for the privilege, why don't you already?

    And this is why "Net Neutrality" is doomed: internet egress will never be "neutral" since it costs them money while providing absolutely 0 revenue in return. Hell, except for a mandatory bullet point ("We're the internet") it's probably negative revenue.

    "We never stop working for you" -- sorry, I meant to say stop thinking up ways to charge more and provide less. Netflix in CA? Sorry, too many users, that's all bottlenecked at egress points. Never mind that Netflix wants to install hardware solutions for free.

    "Thank you for your business; your call is very important to us, please hold" -- that's why don't hire enough call-center workers and waste your time: because you put up with it.

    I'm a Plex user, but that's as far as it goes.

  • Jun 5th, 2015 @ 9:19am

    Nomenclature Issues.

    "Michael Steinbach, [is] arguing that above all else companies should work to prevent encryption."

    Nonsense! Mike, turn that frown upside-down -- just announce and enforce a new mandatory business encryption standard. That solves all issues: mandatory encryption AND an automatic embedded security key that only the good guys* can use.

    Double ROT-13 for consumers! High security issues? Use twice-as-hard quadruple ROT-13.

    *BAD guys will be shown only the highly encrypted contents so absolutely no issues here.

  • May 22nd, 2015 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Tom Wheeler's looking less and less like a dingo every day...

    @Mason Wheeler: Don't worry -- a (giant corporate) baby will eat him soon enough. Then we can get back to SOP like the public wants us to.