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  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: I can see the future.

    Non-standard cable box support fee: $35.00

    And everyone would have to pay the fee regardless of whether or not they rent their box

    Exactly. Might not be a separate fee but a greater the usual increase in subscription fees to cover the lost revenue.

  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 3:47pm


    TV sets have basically become video monitors with multiple inputs - cable/satellite boxes, Blu-ray players, Chromecasts, Rokus, gaming consoles, computers, etc. The only real requirement is they contain an over the air broadcast tuner. I don't even know why they need to have "smartness" built in and from my experience the smart TV UI is horrible. If the built in cable box were to die or need hardware upgrade to get the latest video experience, you'd probably have to throw the whole thing away or get a new attachment anyway. Keep the TV as a video monitor and let folks buy the attachments they want.

  • Jan 28th, 2016 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I see a future business

    "covering a license plate with anything is illegal."

    Is it illegal to drive in a snow storm?

    In Colorado, it's illegal to drive in a snowstorm if you don't have the right kind of tires or traction gear (chains). If drivers block traffic or skid off the road and don't have the proper traction the fine is something like $600 or more. Commercial vehicles must carry chains, whether it's snowing or not, from something like Oct. 1 to May 31. The fine there is $1,000. Accidents have decreased greatly since this law was enforced.

  • Jan 28th, 2016 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: I see a future business

    "in plate overlays that do not make human-unreadable but machine unreadable.

    IIRC, in my state of Colorado, covering a license plate with anything is illegal. One other use of license plate readers here is the toll roads use them to bill drivers.

  • Jan 21st, 2016 @ 12:49pm

    The Internet of things including thermostats

    Didn't I read somewhere that Google's connected thermostat update drained the battery and prevented access. The result was that there was the possibility of a cold house and maybe frozen water pipes. Bad for folks who went to a warm place to get away from those Northern Minnesota temperatures and couldn't use their cell phones to warm up their houses.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 7:04pm

    Others have noted...

    I read that the recent Paris terrorists used unencrypted phone communictions which were obtained by the authorities but it was never recognized for what it was. Just because it's readily available doesn't mean it'll be read and even then any action taken. One of the problems with all the enormous amount of information collected there's just too much to analyze. When one collects billions and billions of phone calls, emails, SMSs, MMSs, etc., finding the 10 or 100 that might be significant is almost impossible. There's information overload. Then again, the San Bernardino terrorists apparently never communicated about what they were intending using technology. My guess is that in the future terrorists will not use discoverable communication methods.

    I'm not sure Bernie Madoff would be considered a terrorist but it is estimated his "clients" lost ~$18 billion over many years starting in 1970. His activities were in the open and the financial regulators didn't find out until ~2008. If someone can hide their nefarious activities in one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, why can't violent terrorists do the same despite the intense surveillance by all these three letter agencies?

    Looking at everything isn't going to work. Perhaps an implication of the quotation above from the NY state constitution and the US Constitution about probable cause and the sanctity of personal documents suggests a very narrow, focused search for the bad guys. It might even require spies infiltrating organizations before getting proper search warrants. It might even cost less than what's being done now.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 3:09pm


    This is too monumentally stupid to have any hope. People should really be upset at the waste of time and effort on the part of the senator and his aides. They should spend their resources on issues that matter.

    Remember: we get the kind and quality of government we elect.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 2:58pm

    What streaming providers could do

    I wonder if Google, Netflix and others could show up T-Mobile by noticing that they are streaming to T-Mobile and display a popup noting something like:

    "You are using T-Mobile to view our video stream and the quality of the stream is degraded to the point that your experience will be unacceptable. Since we wish you to have a great experience viewing our video we will stop the stream. Contact T-Mobile to fix the situation."

    On the other hand, these streaming companies make money when one views their product they may not care about the quality of your experience. That is, unless, of course, you stop watching or cancel a paid subscription.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 2:31pm

    Provice the user with encryption software

    As Tim suggests, nothing in the bill would prevent the purchaser from providing encryption software. I'm not sure if the encryption software could be provided by the phone's manufacturer or an independent company set up by the manufacturer. Apple could set up Baldwin,Inc. or Granny Smith, Inc. Google - or is it Alphabet - could have a company called Green Robot, Inc. The 5th avenue Apple store might end up in New Jersey as well. Think of the sales tax losses. And, what about mail order purchases?

  • Jan 7th, 2016 @ 4:41pm

    German publishers can set up a pay wall

    Folks interested in the German publishers' valuable information can pay the publishers directly for it. Cut out Google out of the middle. Then they will find out how valuable it is to folks. If it's really worth much to the audience the publishers will make a pile of money.

  • Dec 21st, 2015 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Cisco fiasco...

    Wasn't there a similar problem where purchase of Chinese made routers was highly discouraged because of potential for Chinese capture of traffic? Then again, the NSA could just as easily intercept Chinese made routers and Internet information available to two governments.

    IIRC, wasn't it recommended that purchasers of Cisco routers send a vehicle to the Cisco manufacturing facility for transport? Maybe they're made outside the US.

  • Dec 21st, 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Re: No, they won't

    Exactly. They will build an even more difficult to find backdoor and install it if they haven't already.

  • Dec 15th, 2015 @ 10:28am

    Roberts said something like Internet data is like gasoline

    Not long ago gasoline where I live was ~$3.50 per gallon. I filled up the other day and it was $1.65. I haven't noticed my Internet subscription monthly cost drop by more than half.

    I don't think Roberts can reason.

  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 8:19am

    Misuse of the seals may generate confusion

    By using official DOD seals in advertising, especially for fundraising, could be confusing for prospective readers and donors. Folks would certainly believe an advertisement is an official DOD solicitation. There is allegedly one support- the-disabled-former-warriers group that uses 95% of its donations for fund raising meaning only 5% goes to those in need. If they're using official DOD seals in solicitation literature (and they may not) it would seem to me to be more than misleading and allows some folks to become wealthy.

    Imagine if some fly-by-night company started using the Apple logo in its ads an on its products what would happen.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 10:27am

    It appears as though they WOULD provide service

    The problem is it would cost $117,000 to provide the initial byte to his house. If one could get a letter out of the service provider, better include the cost of installation without any weasel words.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 11:49am

    Sounds like retransmission fees

    Maybe have their subscribers get a page that says "Your ISP is blocking our ads, the very ads that pay for the services that your trying to access, please contact your ISP for removal of these blocks, and we will restore access to these services."

    One could rewrite this: Your Cable TV company is blocking our content, since it is not paying us the retransmission fee we require, so please contact your Cable TV provider and ask it to pay for our content, and its attending ads, and we will resume providing you with our entertainment.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 11:18am

    Recently had bad exerience w/ ProXPN

    Received a new credit card w/ embedded chip and new expiration date. Tried to update my credit card information using a previous link and couldn't do it so wrote customer service. I was told it was impossible to do that and must cancel my account then resign up with the new credit card info. I also noted to them that billions of US credit cards would be reissued in the near future with new expiration dates because of the requirement for chipped cards and if they continued with this policy they would be losing customers to other VPNs. Other sites make it trivial to update credit card info. Why not ProXPN?

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 6:36am

    Haven't watched Weather Channel for years

    And I'm not likely to start again. I think they got rid of most of the their knowledgeable in studio weather folks a long time ago and there's nothing there to watch. My go to weather info comes from It's now owned by the Weather Channel and seems to have kept its focus on weather, though their new web site design is terrible, slow and hard to use.

  • Sep 11th, 2015 @ 12:42pm

    How's the typewriter business doing?

    In almost every area when new methods or technology is better than older ways of doing things the older methods suffer and sometimes disappear. There are too many situations like this to mention here but readers of these threads know of many examples. Evolve or go away.

    Oh. Didn't I read that the Russians have re-instituted the use of typewriters in areas needing high security to avoid capture of information through Internet hacking?

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Local Weather Forcasts...

    Ho, Ho, Ho!

    I was listening to a local weather forecast on one of the big four network affiliates when the weather person said that we would have a north wind and explained that this meant the wind is blowing towards the north. The anchor sitting at the desk asked about it and said she thought that a north wind comes out of the north. The weather person said the anchor was wrong. This weather person is the main meteorologist for the station. Yikes!

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