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  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 11:07am

    (untitled comment)

    I mostly agree with the article, but Reda is a member of the German Pirate Party, not of the German Green Party. It's just that the Pirate Party is coöperating with other parties, amongst which the Green Party, under the umbrella of the larger, pan-European group/coalition of parties called "Greens–European Free Alliance". The latter is not itself a party. Arr!
  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 8:59am


    Mmm that's not entirely true: the Commission is officially appointed by the European Parliament. Otherwise I agree with you: the problem is that they are too far removed from any electorate to listen to what actual citizens want. That's the main problem with the EU: they do many good things, but also some bad things, and there is a "democratic hiatus" in some regards.
  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I've never heard of laws "running out" in Europe. Funding normally doesn't run out if parliament is slow to act or something. It's just harder to *change* anything if parliament does nothing.
  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    How about Play Music, Books, Games, etc. etc.? I don't know anyone who uses those apps (although I'm sure there are some who do), but they usually can't be uninstalled on unrooted phones, I believe.
  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re:

    Central to this problem is the network effect. This does not apply to all big companies, but it does apply to Google and Facebook. The result is that it's hard for users to switch to a different company even if that company is better, because of the network effect. Without taking that into account, I don't think any discussion on the presumed monopolies of Google and Facebook can be complete.
  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Easily' changed ?

    Perhaps that is true on some phones, but certainly not on my Galaxy Nexus. The Google bar could me removed from the stock launcher. I had to install Nova.
  • Jan 3rd, 2016 @ 4:52pm

    The plural of "nexus" is the same, "nexus"

    Nexus is of the 4th declension, which is why the plural is "nexus", identical to the singular.

    Most words on -us are of the 2nd declension and have a plural on -i. So "nexi" is plain wrong; "nexus" is the best option; and "nexuses" is probably an acceptable alternative.

    Some words on -us are of the 3rd declension, such as prius and pectus. Then the plural in unpredictable, but usually ends on -ora (priora and pectora).
  • Sep 4th, 2015 @ 9:59am


    I thought they, too, supported CETA? (What do the polls say about Harper's government anyway: will he win or lose?)
  • Sep 4th, 2015 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Reading comprehension much?

    Perhaps people are talking about different kinds of "finished"? First the text was to be finished in English (suggested to be July this year), and then it had to be translated into 24 languages, approved by various governments and agencies, and finally ratified in the spring of 2016. So when is it finished: when nothing can be changed about the text any more (Juny 2015) or when it is ratified (spring 2016)?

    Do you remember what she said exactly at the conference, about which kind of "finishing" she was talking when she said July (of whichever year)? Ratification was clearly impossible by July 2015, but finalising the English text between the negotiatiors only might have been possible in theory?
  • Sep 2nd, 2015 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    *should not try to patch up their mistakes
  • Sep 2nd, 2015 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    At your first point: that may be true, but then it is in direct contravention of Internet neutrality. If you buy electric power from me, you should be allowed to use it for whichever device you prefer, since the cost of power is the same to me, the power plant, regardless of which device you use it on. I am not allowed to force you to use the power I supply for one purpose or another: only the total quantity used (or perhaps the time and place) matters.

    At your second point, it is the carrier's problem that it is trying to effect price differentiation. Just as with geo blocks. If the cost of 2TB of mobile data is too high for the carrier, which it very well may be, then they should limit the total data used, not try some trick and tell people how to use their data.

    For privacy, anyone might use a VPN on his phone. Then a carrier has no idea what the user agent is, whether you tether through the phone or load the web page directly on your phone.

    What it comes down to is that big companies attempting price differentiation and exposing themselves to risks that way (overuse) should stop complaining and offer prices that are based on true cost, not marketing silliness. And they should try to patch up their mistakes by violating Internet neutrality.
  • Sep 1st, 2015 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, that is exactly what I was saying. There is no direction relation between data caps and congestion, and data caps are by no means proportional to the carrier's costs. To quote myself: "just stop using those stupid caps".
  • Sep 1st, 2015 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re:

    But perhaps, while still supporting TPP in general, they will strongly object to many clauses, making it much harder to reach agreement with other countries?
  • Sep 1st, 2015 @ 9:47am


    No, measuring total data usage is easy. The problem is not that those users use too many data, but that they use them for things that T-Mobile doesn't like. If they used 2 TB of data only on their phones, then theoretically T-Mobile would be fine with that; but instead they use their phone and its SIM as a modem for their computer, so their computers access the Internet exclusively through their phone's plan. The result is that they use 2 TB, which would be almost impossible to do on a mobile device with normal usage (but quite possible on a normal desktop computer).

    T-Mobile cannot see which devices the data end up being used on, since all data go through the phone first, and T-Mobile can't see beyond that point.

    With Internet neutrality, that shouldn't be a problem, because data are data, and it shouldn't matter what you use them for. However, T-Mobile has taken the risk of basing its prices not on cost but on what is marketable: unlimited data sounds nice. If you pay a fixed price for unlimited data, at some point your usage might be so high that it costs T-Mobile more than the fixed price you pay. T-Mobile gambled on this never happening, because in practice it is nearly impossible to use so much on a phone. I believe 1 GB costs tens of cents, so you'd have to use maybe 200 GB to cost T-Mobile more than the $80 you pay them for unlimited. However, if you tether your computer to your phone, that can happen.

    What T-Mobile should have done is offer limited data at $80, but set a high, attractive cap, let's say 100 GB. Then offer 1 TB for $800, 10 TB for $800. Or just stop using those stupid caps and simply charge the cost price plus a nice profit per GB, so e.g. 50 cents per GB, no matter how much you use. If you use more, you pay more.

    One other thing to consider is that the cost of data usage is highly variable; one GB is much more expensive than another. When the network is not congested, the cost per GB for T-Mobile is low. What costs them the most is keeping the throughput at an acceptable level, the capacity of data per second. Building new towers, new cables, new interconexions, and maintaining it all, that sort of thing.

    So it would make the most sense to charge a fee per GB dependent on how congested the tower is that you're using at the moment; if you use data at night or at places where there is plenty of capacity, your usage won't cost them much extra over what they have to pay anyway to maintain the system. But that would make your bills very complicated. So perhaps you should be paying a fixed monthly amount for maintaining the system plus a small amount per GB used.
  • Aug 14th, 2015 @ 4:04pm


    That is true, but then why doesn't America see ISDS as a court that makes binding rulings for them?
  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re:

    To be fair, it *is* worse if you spy on your own people compared to spying on people in foreign countries. I'd rather have e.g. China spy on me than my own government, since China has no real power over ordinary citizens in other countries. Being spied upon by an "ally", like America, is in between (I'm Dutch).
  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's easy enough to answer

    Really? And which party does not support TPP? And how about CETA, do they all support that too?
  • Nov 8th, 2014 @ 5:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, but it would make the most sense if all certificate authorities published lists of which domains were allowed to use which certificates. (Presumably, few domains would need to use more than one certificate.) So, if the domain Bank.com suddenly required not its usual certificate from Verisign, but a certificate from Chinesegovernment, the browser should say, nah-uh, that authority is not in my list for this domain. Similarly, the browser would not accept a certificate normally used for a website of the American government to authenticate a website of the Chinese government.
  • Oct 25th, 2014 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Now I get it

    I'm sure the media have a hand in it. But why, if so many things are wrong with the American government, do the American people not vote them into oblivion? The article calls it "voter apathy", but then what is the cause of this? That is the question, I think.

    Part of a possible answer may be the fact that there isn't much to vote between. Only two parties stand any chance of winning seats, and people hate voting for a sure loser: they vote "strategically". And this in turn is largely causes by the winner-take-all system of elections, where only the biggest party in a district or state gets all the latter's representative power.

    This could be partly solved by making elections for President, House, and Senate all proportional: all citizens in the entire country vote for whichever party or person they prefer, and in the end the parties each get a number of seats proportionate to the number of votes they received.

    As a result, it would be far easier for a new party to enter Congress, so more parties would be represented there. If you are, say, in favour of economic liberalism, but also concerned about the environment, you have no party who represents your points of view at the moment; but, with proportional representation, such a party might emerge. And the current government shut-downs and fiscal cliffs, which seem inevitable when you have only two parties, will disappear.

    As an additional benefit, super PACs and election spending are less effective if you abolish winner-take-all. In the current system, suppose there are two candidates for a post, the Democrat at 48% and the republican at 52%. If nothing changes, all representative power will go to the Republicans. But if you spend just enough money to sway the results by 3 percentage points, suddenly the Democrat gets 51% and the Republican 49%: 100% of representative power has been shifted through your fairly moderate spending. In theory, you would only need to spend enough to affect 50x3 percentage points (one per state) of the voters across the country to achieve a 100% power change. That is a cost of 150 percentage points total.

    If, however, there were proportional representation, your 3x50 percentage points would only get you a 3% power change in the country as a whole (simply 3 percentage points per state equals 3 percentage points for the total number of seats a party will get). In short, the winner-take-all system provides campaign spending with a huge amount of economic leverage, which is undesirable.
  • Oct 16th, 2014 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Read and think critically before you post

    I'd say it is up to the German courts to determine how to deal with Vattenfall's projected losses fairly and responsibly. No need for undemocratic foreign lawyers with huge conflicts of interest.

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