Kal Zekdor’s Techdirt Profile


About Kal Zekdor

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  • Nov 23rd, 2015 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: A streaming service named "Stream"!

    Well, to be fair, the common naming style for '80s Computer Software was short, descriptive names. It was still a new industry, so there wasn't much confusion. They weren't marketing decisions like "Stream". Even today a fair amount of Linux software follows that paradigm.

  • Nov 22nd, 2015 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright History [was Re: Re: Re: ]

    You have a claim, but do you have a point? Seriously, I cannot fathom what relevance any of this has to any topic currently being discussed here.

  • Nov 20th, 2015 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Welcome to nanny-net

    If you use Chrome, you'll get that warning if you attempt to visit a site that has been flagged as a malware distributor.

    This is a good thing.

  • Nov 20th, 2015 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Actually, they kind of did

    True, but for a time it was. I'm sure now that the EFF actually own it they can go ahead and remove it from their blacklist, but expecting that to happen automatically is a bit much, don't you think?

    If an email contains a reference to a blacklisted url, that's a valid metric to use in marking the email as potentially dangerous.

    False positives happen. It's not the end of the world.

  • Nov 20th, 2015 @ 4:22pm

    Curing congestion...

    Glad somebody else gets why these zero-rating programs are not pro-consumer.

    Data caps are completely arbitrary, with the sole purpose of bilking every last dollar from customers. As I've said elsewhere, lauding T-Mobile for these moves is like thanking someone for only punching you once. Yeah, he could have punched you twice, but that's not really a good deed.

    There's a better way to deal with congestion (fairly) if the telcos actually cared. You just need to throttle the heavier users on towers approaching capacity. Bandwidth not used is wasted. There's no reason to place a cap on data transferred when what you're trying to balance is bandwidth.

    T-Mobile already has mechanisms in place to throttle certain users. They just need to make it dynamic in response to current load. When load is light, everyone gets full speed without arbitrary caps. When load approaches capacity, those users who have historically added the most load get throttled down.

    Solves congestion, no arbitrary caps, and fairly allocates bandwidth between heavy/light users.

    Oh, one other thing. The Binge On program lowers the quality of any zero-rated video. So claiming that it's an improvement for customers is rather disingenuous. It's a trade-off, at best. (And only because customers can opt-out.)

  • Nov 20th, 2015 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re:

    Did you just imply that Donald Trump or Ben Carson would be a better president than G.W. Bush? I'm gonna have to disagree there. Bush was a bad president, but he wasn't the worst president we've ever had. Obama hasn't been much better, but at least he's balanced out his aggressive authoritarian overreach with a couple of good initiatives.

    Some of the current candidates, though...

    Clinton would be Obama, but worse.
    Jeb would be Dubya, but worse.
    Trump would probably lose half the country to China in a poker match.
    Carson is just bit-shit crazy.

    I do like Sanders, though. He's an independent, so is less likely to push for the political super-class. He might be a socialist, but Congress is not, so any reforms he could get through would be small, incremental steps. Just because he wants to go 10 miles, and I want to go 5 miles, doesn't preclude us from agreeing on making that first mile.

    He's not likely to win the Democratic primary, though. I'm an Independent, and my state has Closed primaries, so I can't do a damn thing about it.

  • Nov 19th, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Pshah...

    Kinda reminds me of the short-lived X-Files spin-off (lot of hyphens there...) The Lone Gunmen. The first episode was about the US pulling a false flag op, flying commercial planes into the World Trade Center in order to justify a war to increase arms sales and defense contractor profits. This aired in March of 2001.

  • Nov 17th, 2015 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Madness!

    Wall street to the rescue? Yay, I guess?

  • Nov 10th, 2015 @ 5:43pm

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

    Except you still miss the point that it doesn't matter what baseline you choose. In your example, YouTube is $65/mo more expensive than baseline before zero-rating, and $65/mo more expensive than baseline after zero-rating.

    $65/mo - $65/mo = $0/mo = No change.

    The act of implementing the zero-rating does not change the price of a non-zero-rated service, by definition. The only changes in price are to those services which are zero-rated. This is a bad thing, because it gives those services an unfair advantage.

    Netflix Data Costs:

    Z-2mo (2 months before zero-rating): $35
    Z-1mo: $35 (-$0 difference)
    Z-0mo: $0 (-$35)
    Z+1mo: $0 (-$0)
    Z+2mo: $0 (-$0)

    YouTube Data Costs:

    Z-2mo: $35
    Z-1mo: $35 (-$0)
    Z-0mo: $35 (-$0)
    Z+1mo: $35 (-$0)
    Z+2mo: $35 (-$0)

    As shown, only the zero-rated service (Netflix) experiences any change in cost. I really don't know how to explain this any clearer.

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 7:59pm


    Yeah, there's a reason we got off the gold standard. The reason, though, why some people like the idea of a gold standard or BitCoin is Fiat currency is complicated. Anybody of reasonable intelligence can figure out the economic rules of BitCoin. Understanding all the effects and secondary effects and tertiary effects of Fiat currency takes a degree in macroeconomics. What happens if you introduce 10% more currency into circulation this year? Will it increase spending? Will it raise prices? Will it cause a panic? Hell if I know.

    We're creatures of patterns. Simple systems appeal to us.

    I think BitCoin was an interesting experiment, but I don't really think it will ever become "mainstream". (And I say that as someone who made ~$1000 during the early days.)

  • Nov 6th, 2015 @ 11:10am

    Compound words

    Not trying to defend this decision, but 7 words in German can convey a hell of a lot more information than 7 words in English, thanks to the crazy compound words you'll find in German.

  • Oct 31st, 2015 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Additionally, say that you do want to compare the cost of zero-rated (say, Netflix) vs capped services (say, Youtube) to an arbitrary baseline of $1000/mo. Focusing only on the data costs, of course.

    If you're charged $10/gb (again, arbitrary number, doesn't matter), and both services use 10gb/mo, then, before zero rating:

    Netflix - $100/mo - $900/mo cheaper than baseline.
    YouTube - $100/mo - $900/mo cheaper than baseline.

    After Zero-Rating:

    Netflix - $0/mo - $1000/mo cheaper than baseline. Decrease of $100/mo relative to baseline.
    YouTube - $100/mo - $900/mo cheaper than baseline. No change according to baseline.

    In summation, it doesn't matter what baseline you choose to compare against, zero-rating one service does not increase the absolute price of another.

    Now, if you could stop complaining about completely meaningless semantics for a second, you might actually finish reading my original post to see that I was agreeing with you.

    **shakes head**

  • Oct 31st, 2015 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When you're referring to changes in price due to a specific change (e.g., zero rating certain services), then obviously the baseline price is the price at the point in time prior to said changes.

    Yes, the "baseline" can be arbitrarily decided, but contextually it's abundantly clear what should be the comparison point.

  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 4:29pm


    I dunno, they both look like a plastic rendering of a vaguely female form.

  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 3:04pm


    Not quite. These types of things get lauded even by some net neutrality advocates as "consumer friendly" because the cost of some services is being dropped compared to the existing baseline. This does not, via an absolute measurement, cause other services to cost more. The problems are:

    1. Relative costs certainly are changed, putting the ISPs in the position of picking winners and losers. This kind of influence usually results in antitrust actions.
    2. ISPs often provide competing services. They certainly should not be allowed to zero-rate their own services.
    3. That they are able to zero-rate the most bandwidth intensive services proves that Caps were never about Network Congestion. They have been abusing their market power for years to gouge consumers. This, to me, is the most damning piece. That they've decided to gouge a little less is not something to be applauded.

  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Unless it's a hoax...

    URL box is for a link to your website. The duane in your first post is now a link to techcrunch.

  • Oct 29th, 2015 @ 8:33am

    Fertility Bridges

    Is that where baby trolls come from?

  • Oct 29th, 2015 @ 3:40am


    Assuming everything in your in post is accurate (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), censorship is still taking place here. If someone in the Chinese government contacted Lego and said "If you give this guy Legos we'll ban you from doing business in our country.", then China is abusing it's economic position in order to censor political speech. (Concerning, though not exactly breaking news.) On the other hand, Lego might be self-censoring out of fear of Chinese reprisal, but without a direct threat. I'd argue Lego holds a bit more of the blame in that case, though obviously China is at the heart of the problem.

  • Oct 16th, 2015 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Even if it is Gambling, so what?

    You're undoubtedly correct, but there are a bunch of laws on the books prohibiting Internet Gambling. Mainly due to interstate concerns, as each state has decided for themselves whether or not gambling is ok, and allowing Internet Gambling would enable citizens in those states who don't like gambling to still do so with out of state partners. Overruling state's rights is never a popular decision, especially in a Republican controlled congress.

    So, Internet Gambling (at least interstate internet gambling, anyway), is expressly forbidden by law.

    You might ask, then, how are these Fantasy Sports gambling sites getting away with this?

    There is a specific exemption in the statute for Fantasy Sports, 31 U.S. Code ยง5362(1)(E)(ix):

    participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization (as those terms are defined in section 3701 of title 28) and that meets the following conditions

    FanDuel and DraftKings were specifically designed to abuse that loophole. I assume that exemption is only there because some senator absolutely refused to give up his Fantasy Sports addiction.

  • Oct 11th, 2015 @ 7:58pm

    Re: Re:

    No, I'm voting for Lucifer, thank you very much!

    I get the attraction of a headstrong and vain rebel, but are you really going to vote for Trump?

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