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  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Seeking enlightenment

    File sharers often cue up multiple simultaneous downloads concurrently.

    But they don't need 5Mbps for each one (I think HD video is something around there). I don't know that much about P2P programs, and maybe they generally make a best effort to saturate the connection if that makes the download faster, but that could be throttled anywhere along the route without major degradation of the usefulness of the application:

    - downloading peer software/computer/router
    - home ISP
    - any ISP/interconnect peer in the middle
    - seeding user's ISP/router/computer/P2P software

    That's all theoretical, but for whatever reason bittorrent is way behind Netflix in aggregate (up and down) traffic, and accounts for less than 3% of downstream. I don't know how much of that is because of the way the technologies work and how much is due to the number of people using them, but either way bittorrent (which I assume is the bulk of p2p traffic) is not a particularly large part of downstream traffic. It is, however, at the top of upstream usage, which is not surprising. affic-on-the-north-american-internet/

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The left constantly say the right are uninformed and follow that up with the idea that the right also keeps the voter base of the left uneducated.

    Well I'll say this much, people who watch Fox News are actually less well informed than people who watch no news.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 7:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So someone who murders only 5 people is less worse than someone who murders 6?

    Is that a trick question? Obviously murdering 6 people is worse than murdering 5.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: This is embarrasing...

    Austin is the sane part of Texas. Weird but sane.

    I think the state legislature split Austin into a bunch of districts to make sure the Democrats there don't get represented.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 4:09pm


    People get the games patched for modern systems, Night Dive gets to keep 100% of the profits from selling the patch and there's not a damn thing that any of the companies can do about it, since selling a patch/installer for a copyrighted piece of software isn't illegal.

    That would not prevent one of these companies from suing them and costing them more money than they made from the patch, even if Night Dive eventually won the suit. It's just not worth the risk unless you can get some kind of agreement ahead of time. This is one way the intersection of the US civil court and copyright systems leads to messed up results.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 6:29pm


    whatever it is that the industries have on politicians, on governments and on law makers, it must be pretty damn good

    Not so much what they have on them as what they give them.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 5:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    Techdirt is also a shopping blog now?

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Painless

    To be guaranteed painless requires that you be vapourised before your nerves have time to respond.

    That does require a nuclear device.

    "Nerve impulses are extremely fast, with some myelinated neurons conducting at speeds up to 120 m/s."

    "When detonated, C-4 rapidly decomposes to release nitrogen and carbon oxides as well as other gasses. The gasses expand at an explosive velocity of 8,092 m/s."

    You would be mush before a nerve impulse could get to your brain and be interpreted as pain.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Legally, the inventor is required to understand the application

    Yeah, and constitutionally the patent system is required to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, but that isn't happening either.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure I oppose zero rating

    Any time you apply any regulation to a market, it's going to distort the market.

    In a tautological sense, yes. But good regulation improves competition, information balance, etc. Leaving markets entirely to themselves doesn't turn out well - and it often doesn't turn out to be a free market.

    Making a bunch of rules about what ISPs can and can't do is one way to work towards that goal, but I'm really not convinced it's the best way.

    No, it isn't the best way, but the best way isn't available right now, so we need to do other things. This is one of the things that is necessary IMO in lieu of the ideal solution.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Profit from crime?

    (2) the original "owner" (victom) can be identified so that the entire "asset" can be returned to the "rightful" owner (no withholding or "fees" by the LEO).

    That would only apply to stolen property. It seems reasonable to me to have illegally obtained money and goods forfeited, and maybe items used to commit a crime. There must be due process though, and I don't think what we have now qualifies. It would also be nice if this were applied to bankers as well as drug dealers.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Conference table

    I dislike excess spending by the government quite intensely... but I also know that quality office furniture can be ungodly expensive.

    If so, then they should have no trouble providing a few competitive quotes that they obtained at the time and explaining why they went with the one they bought.

    Mostly, I think that the Senator from Iowa shouldn't focus on $10K conference tables... but rather that said tables were funded by even two red cents of essentially stolen funds.

    Quite true, that is the much more important problem.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 11:07am

    Re: Painless

    It consists in being placed near to a large atomic bomb which is then detonated.

    Being instantly vapourised is as close to painless as you can get.

    A bomb doesn't need to be all that big to instantly kill someone right next to it. Certainly not atomic scale. A few pounds of C4 would definitely do it - probably a few ounces could do it if applied properly.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure I oppose zero rating

    Startups, nonprofits, and small ventures are always at a disadvantage in terms of marketing and other treatment.

    But that's a natural consequence of a market economy. Zero rated apps are a feature of an uncompetitive market where each player controls access to huge groups of potential customers. Imagine if instead of four national cellular carriers, there were 30. How far would one of them get trying to do business this way when some of their competitors were instead running a state of the art network with high speeds and no caps, and thus no need for zero rated apps? They'd be out of business in a week.

    We're not at the point of having strong competition in wireless or fixed broadband, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do something to limit the problems this lack of competition causes until we can get there.

    I don't think that banning zero rating deals is the right way to deal with it.

    What do you think is the right way to allow zero rated apps without penalizing services that cannot afford to buy them? Or do you find that penalty acceptable?

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure I oppose zero rating

    There is also the problem that the people paying are not the customers. If it were a situation of me paying to exempt a particular service that I like from my usage cap, that would be a different story (still a bad one, but different). Instead, the service has to pay, and since I only have one cell carrier*, if the service wants to get to me and everyone else on that carrier, they're at a disadvantage if they don't or can't pay. So the market gets distorted.

    * replace with ISP if that's what we're talking about

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:49am


    "nitrogen hypoxia" would be the best option.

    I've wondered why that isn't the standard. Breathing nitrogen, you pass out and die without even noticing anything is happening. And I would think it's pretty simple to do: face mask hooked to nitrogen tank, open valve.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Firing Squad? Waste Of Taxpayer Money!

    It doesn't matter if your gun had the blank. You aimed and shot with the intention to kill.

    It's not a legal issue, it's about allowing the executioners to consider that they might not have killed someone. I'm wondering who the shooters would be in a Utah execution by firing squad. Cops? Not sure that sounds like a good idea, but who else?

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Firing Squad? Waste Of Taxpayer Money!

    Though it would seem that the guy with the blank would immediately notice substantially reduced recoil, so it would hardly be secret who got the blank.

    Maybe, maybe not. What kind of guns do they use? A small caliber rifle can have minimal recoil to begin with. And how much of the recoil is due to the bullet, and how much to the charge? If the blank had the same charge as a regular round, you still have the same explosive energy with nowhere to go but out the barrel. Would it make that big a difference to the recoil whether it was pushing air or a bullet?

    Talk about off topic. :-)

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure I oppose zero rating

    Why don't we just punish those hypothetical bad things when they actually if and when they come to pass?

    The bad things are good things that might have happened but now don't. Can't really prove such a thing to punish it, so we need to set up circumstances that allow those good things to actually happen. The good things being new services and companies having a chance to reach users, and zero rated apps make that a lot harder, because it introduces a huge barrier to entry.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 9:41am


    As bandwidth is a finite resource, the flip side of allowing pay-TV streamers users to pig-out on bandwidth means that someone else will have that bandwidth taken out of their allotment.

    Only if people are trying to use more bandwidth than is available.

    Although ISPs might not be as vehemently anti-P2P as they were 5 or 10 or 15 years ago, we'll see if that class of users will serve as the sacrificial lambs whenever network congestion becomes a problem.

    Netflix is a bigger bandwidth issue than file sharing, and I expect streaming video will increase as a percentage of internet traffic, not decrease.

    And it's a foregone conclusion that neither the FCC nor anyone else in the government will ever make a peep of protest if ISPs should again go on the warpath against P2P users and throttle them down -- 'network-neutrality' be damned.

    Personally, I think throttling latency-insensitive traffic such as bittorrent and email a bit to favor things like VOIP and streaming video and audio is better than letting everything degrade evenly - as long as all senders and receivers are treated the same. The best thing would be if the network could support everything without any throttling or degradation of course.

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