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  • Jan 21st, 2016 @ 5:39pm

    Not necessarily...

    It could be that when Netflix license content, they are required to report back to the content holder the number of viewers on the content. The license could be structured that the content holder gets paid different different amounts when the views crosses predefined thresholds.

    This would incentivize content creators to produce shows that people want to watch.

    It would also let a content owner figure out what the content is worth. When the license expires, they could use that information to decide what to price the next license agreement at.

    What is different here from the networks is that Netflix needs stats for content owners, not advertisers. The content owners don't care about the demographics. Or at least they don't have to have that info like an advertiser would.

  • Jan 20th, 2016 @ 8:27am

    This doesn't solve a fundamental problem

    The problem is timing. People simple don't want to arrange their lives around a broadcast schedule.They want to want their content in the volume they want, and the time they want.

    This is why web based on demand delivery of content wins.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 @ 9:04am

    Why are ISP and Telcos meters not regulated?

    In my state (Cal), and I suspect most states, there is a state government level department who audits and regulates meters. I see their inspection stickers on the gas pumps and the scales at the grocery store. They even have a website: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/dms/

    If a business chooses to sell their product by some unit of measurement, then they should fall under the jurisdiction of this department.

    When AT&T sells me mobile service by the Gigabit, why can't I demand that my state audit AT&T to assure that they are measuring the bits correctly?

    When Cox/Comcast/TWC implement datacaps, why can't I check with the CDFA to assure that their meter is correct?

    I suspect the sad truth is that somehow Telcos and ISP's have managed to get themselves exempted from regulation.

  • Nov 10th, 2015 @ 11:48am

    (untitled comment)

    Wow. And I thought I was a bad speller.

    That cover letter is a computer print out. That means he used some sort of editor. Why didn't he run the spell and grammar check before hitting "Print"? At least he would't appear to be a 8 year old turning in his first English assignment.

  • Nov 5th, 2015 @ 8:46am

    Mission Creep

    Here is an idea that might help the TSA. Stop with the mission creep. Focus on doing one thing, and one thing well.

    Specially, why is the TSA now involved in drug interdiction and money laundering screening. Even their own blog boasts of finding pot, coke, bongs, etc. I've read many stories of TSA agents questioning people who are carrying cash, or seizing it.

    So we now have a bunch of illiterate high school dropouts acting as sworn law enforcement officers.

    I don't care that a fellow passenger might have coke in his bag. Or is carrying $15K in $100 notes. And they TSA shouldn't either.

    By limiting the scope of their job to keeping weapons off of airplanes, and NOTHING more, then they might actually get a little better at it.

  • Oct 19th, 2015 @ 8:15am

    Tuition Ate Their Lunch

    Sorry Cable. They don't seem the realize that the explosion of the student loan industry in the last 10 years has burdened their future customers with debts that will go on for 20 years. If they can even afford to have children, there won't be room in the budget for $150 a month of crap via cable.

  • Oct 14th, 2015 @ 10:12am

    (untitled comment)

    This describes AT&T's attitude perfectly.


  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 4:26pm


    In addition to trying to starve the USPS, I wonder if Congress even thought to fund this mandate? I bet not. Well then, they get what they paid for. Nothing.

  • Sep 24th, 2015 @ 9:44am

    (untitled comment)

    Has Superior Moving met Ms. Streisand?

  • Sep 17th, 2015 @ 4:52pm

    Slow going

    Does anyone remember that GM ad where they were tooting their own horn about implementing daytime running light? They were bragging that it took 10 years and millions of dollars of research.

    This was pre-bankruptcy, when GM was at their zenith of incompetence. I think mid 1990's or so.

    I remember watching that ad and my jaw hit the floor. The US Army managed to invent and deploy an atomic bomb in 4 years. We managed to get to the moon in less time.

    I remember thinking to myself "It look 10 years and millions of dollars to figure out how to leave a light switch on? And you want to brag about that?".

    I was embarrassed for them.

    If anyone knows a YouTube video of that ad, I would love a link.

  • Aug 27th, 2015 @ 12:27pm

    Dogs don't use RFID

    Here is an idea. Rather than use RFID tags, why can't they just put good audio microphones at road checkpoints. The same place where they planned to put the RFID readers.

    Anyone who has owned a dog knows that your dog knows when you car approaches the house within a block or two. That must mean that each car has a unique audio print that doesn't vary much. Perhaps it is a combination of the car and how the driver operates the car. In other words, not just the sound the car and motor make, but the pattern over a couple of minutes as you approach your own home.

    Anyhow. Seems like using an audioprint as a second factor to identify a specific vehicle might be a good idea.

  • Aug 13th, 2015 @ 3:58pm


    My god, its like reading a bad Hunter Thompson impression.

  • Aug 4th, 2015 @ 3:57pm

    Other constraints

    Working for them, or the NSA, also puts you under constraints that you don't have to worry about in the private sector.

    Specifically, they can't read about what Edward Snowden has reviled since it is considered classified. I'm pretty sure it was mentioned here at Tech Dirt about how NSA staff were ordered to never read any news about.

    That would suck being told by your employer that you can be criminally charged for reading something in a newspaper.

  • Aug 3rd, 2015 @ 1:25pm

    Mission Creep

    From what I've read, the TSA sometimes gets some success enforcing laws that have nothing to do with flight security. Specifically money laundering, narcotics, and immigration enforcement.

    Somehow these TSA idiots, who are NOT trained law enforcement officers, have either decided to, or were told to, enforce laws way outside of their core mission.

    I don't care that a passenger has some drugs on him/her. I don't care that a passenger is carrying $100K in cash. Nor should the TSA.

    I suspect this is the real reason the TSA is still here.

  • Jul 16th, 2015 @ 2:06am

    OK then. Lets try that!

    Regarding the liability question. If a crime is committed using technology (they made a phone call!), then the company is liable?

    If they do that, then they are going to hold every gun company liable for every murder done with a gun. How is that different? What if someone gets stabbed? Are they going to sue Victorianox for making a "weapon"?

    Are they going to sue Ford for making the car that that kidnapper used?

    The government better be careful what it wishes for. If if gets it, it is going to bit them in the ass.

  • Jul 7th, 2015 @ 4:46am

    Sounds like it will be a major CF

    All India has to do is look at the US and our Social Security numbers for a preview of the horrors they will face.

    You can't get a drivers license in the US without a SSN. Technically, you are suppose to be able to, but good luck with that. They make it almost impossible.

    Obama Care requires that your health insurance have and report you via your SSN.

    You can't open a bank account with a SSN.
    You can't get many utility services without a SSN.
    Your credit history is keyed on your SSN.

    SSN's are stolen, faked, and abused all over the place. The fact that they are the keys to interfacing with government services is almost criminal.

    Has any country managed to implement a national ID number system that hasn't gone sideways?

  • Jul 7th, 2015 @ 12:35am

    Trademark? Seriously?

    They sued over trademark?

    Don't trademarks have to be registered? Did they register "No one puts baby in the corner" as a trademark? If so, the how? What product do they trade under that name?

    I could see this as a COPYRIGHT infringement suit. They own the copyright to the movie. But I feel that this fair usage of copyrighted material since it is a creative derivative.

  • May 12th, 2015 @ 5:06pm

    Split the difference?

    Perhaps there is a kernel of trust to the claims. But Hersh's story exaggerates and extrapolates one small detail. However, it doesn't change the core facts.

    It is very obvious that ISI was hosting OBL in Pakistan. They didn't arrest him. He was their protected guest.

    It is pretty clear that the raid did happen as described. And it is pretty clear that Pakistan did not learn about it until after it happened.

    It is also obvious that OBL had a trusted courier network. OBL was involved with al Quaida while living in the compound. Yet he manged to avoid detection via signals monitoring and spies. He had to relay everything through a courier.

    So that only leaves the question of how the US learned of his location.

    The walk-in ISI agent selling the information to the US is plausible. Learning of and monitoring the courier is another plausible explanation.

    A rouge ISI agent could have sold the info about the courier. And the torture claim was just a cover to protect the agent. I think that this is the detail that was blown up into a new narrative by Hersh.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 11:02am

    How is this news?

    I don't understand why Motel 6 is being picked on for this. This is not news. Nor is it unique to Motel 6.

    Many cities, states, and countries require hotels to track their customers and report them all to the police. So I always assume that my information given to a hotel is being passed directly to local law enforcement because in most cases, it is.

    For example: in Italy you are required by law to leave your passport with the innkeeper. They, in turn, are required to allow the cops to rummage through the passports and take whatever info they want.

    It sounds me to like Providence, RI is just late the game in realizing that they can demand this data. Motel 6 is very used to this, because they already do it any many, many other places. So do all the other hotels.

    And yes, the local vice squads are the LEO's that are most interested in this data.

  • Apr 23rd, 2015 @ 10:34am

    What about the financing?

    I've mentioned this every time the subject of the LAUSD iPad program comes up. The major crime is not incompetent vendors. It is how the LAUSD paid for the program. This article hints at this, but does not come out and say it.

    The district floated bonds to pay for this. In other words, they borrowed money. Let that sink in. They are financing consumer electronics with bond money.

    School bonds are for building schools, and other capital expense with long service life.

    I found this article about the bonds used in this program. In it, the LAUSD claims that they are allowed to use a blend of long and short term bonds to pay for technology. And they also claim that the bonds won't exceed the expected service life of the iPads, which they estimate at 5 years.

    http://www.bondbuyer.com/issues/122_153/los-angeles-schools-plan-bonds-for-ipads-1054488-1.htm l

    I get the sense that this is all smoke and mirrors, and that at the end of the day, the taxpayers are going to be stuck paying interest for years on iPads that no longer exist, or are usable.

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