B.S. in Political Science from University of Kentucky. Minor in Philosophy from
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Verizon support rep admits anti-Netflix throttling

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Robbo sez, "Dave Raphael of Dave's Blog has an interesting post about a conversation he recently had with Verizon support and discovered some uncomfortable - yet wholly unsurprising - truths about how Verizon is selectively limiting bandwidth to AWS services and adversely affecting the quality of Netflix. The open admission of this by Verizon support was unexpected - but the fact it is happening should be of no surprise to anyone but the ignorant and naive."


Frankly, I was surprised he admitted to this. I’ve since tested this almost every day for the last couple of weeks. During the day – the bandwidth is normal to AWS. However, after 4pm or so – things get slow.

In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix. Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this.

Verizon Using Recent Net Neutrality Victory to Wage War Against Netflix [Dave Raphael/Dave's Blog] (Thanks, Robbo!)

    






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esiahc
2417 days ago
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Manchester, Kentucky
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1 public comment
zippy72
2417 days ago
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So why would anyone use Verizon as an ISP any more?
FourSquare, qv
economyaki
2415 days ago
when your alternative is time warner cable
zippy72
2415 days ago
Ouch.

Bachmann, King and Gohmert in Egypt

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The three dumbest people in Congress — Michele Bachmann, Steve King and Louis Gohmert — went to Egypt last week and held a bizarre press conference. The Daily Show had a lot of fun with that in a sketch starring Samantha Bee, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk.

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esiahc
2561 days ago
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Manchester, Kentucky
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September 16, 2013

1 Comment and 4 Shares

Hey geeks! If you want a nice poster of the comic about raising a geek, it's only available for 2 more days. I will probably not keep this in store, so this is the only way to get it for relatively cheap.
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esiahc
2561 days ago
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Manchester, Kentucky
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adamgurri
2561 days ago
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or a government bureaucrat
New York, NY

TSA is officially allowed to lie to you in order to cover its ass

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The TSA is allowed to lie in its responses to Freedom of Information Requests. Its court-granted ability to lie to the public it nominally serves isn't limited to sensitive issues, either: they're allowed to pretend that they don't have CCTV footage of their own officers violating their own policies, even when they do.

U.S. District Judge Joan A. Lenard granted the TSA the special privilege of not needing to go that route, rubber-stamping the decision of the TSA and the airport authority to write to me that no CCTV footage of the incident existed when, in fact, it did. This footage is non-classified and its existence is admitted by over a dozen visible camera domes and even signage that the area is being recorded. Beyond that, the TSA regularly releases checkpoint video when it doesn’t show them doing something wrong (for example, here’s CCTV of me beating their body scanners). But if it shows evidence of misconduct? Just go ahead and lie.

Court: Federal Law Allows Lying in TSA-Related FOIA Requests [TSA Out of Our Pants]

(via Hacker News)

    






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esiahc
2572 days ago
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Manchester, Kentucky
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3 public comments
emdot
2571 days ago
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Grrrrr
San Luis Obispo, CA
adin
2572 days ago
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this is exactly the problem with the current surveillance and 'security' regime.
Pagosa Springs, CO
tekvax
2573 days ago
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...of course it is!
Burlington, Ontario

The Libertarian Fantasy World

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We had a Skeptics in the Pub event in Grand Rapids over the weekend and one of the people there was a libertarian. As most of my longtime readers know, I have some sympathies with many libertarian ideas and I have long argued that liberals should take libertarian ideas more seriously and build alliances with them on the many issues where we have common ground. But the discussion I had with this guy had me arguing against the libertarian fantasy of the magical free market that prevents every problem.

Don’t get me wrong, markets are wonderful things. They are a very good means of allocating capital and they have a great many beneficial effects for consumers. But that doesn’t mean that the market, operating all on its own, is going to magically do nothing but good things and prevent all the bad things. We talked about the example of pollution, for example, where regulation is necessary to prevent serious damage to the environment and to our health. Pollution is an externality, a cost that is imposed on the public whether they have any involvement with the business transaction that took place or not.

The libertarian argument is that in a free market, consumers would choose not to do business with a company that caused a large amount of pollution and, because the company knows that, it will have an incentive not to pollute. This is so absurd that I consider it a utopian fantasy. It fails on several levels. First, most consumers have no knowledge of what any company has done to damage the environment, and when they do know, the overwhelming majority simply doesn’t care.

How many people are now refusing to buy gas at BP stations because of the Gulf oil spill? That was the probably the most widely covered environmental disaster in American history, perhaps in world history (Chernobyl is probably up there too). There was a massive amount of negative press aimed at BP. The next year, 2011, they had a profit of $25.7 billion. Even the most widely publicized environmental disaster did almost nothing to hurt the company responsible for it.

Has the company responsible for the Love Canal disaster been punished by consumers for their behavior? Hell, could more than 1% of the public even identify that company? I had to look it up myself. It was Hooker Chemical, now called Occidental Petroleum. It made more than $10 billion in profits last year. Is there even a single major company that has gone out of business or even had a serious dent put in their profits by being responsible for an environmental disaster? I can’t think of one.

A free market does not prevent such disasters. In fact, it may encourage them. Given the numbers above, a company is probably far better off not installing pollution abatement equipment that regulation currently requires, boosting their profits by huge amounts of money and then using a small portion of that money on a PR campaign, as BP has been doing since the Gulf spill. The profit motive alone is likely to encourage more pollution rather than less. That’s why regulation is necessary.

Now where I think liberals can learn something is from the libertarian critique of regulation, particularly the emphasis on rent-seeking. It isn’t about more regulation or less regulation, it should be about smart regulation. Well-designed regulation will not shut new, innovative companies out of the market. It won’t operate to the benefit of a few large corporations who can then use that regulation to keep competitors out and protect or expand their market share. The goal of regulation should be to prevent the negative externalities, keep the market competitive and benefit consumers and the public.

But here’s the problem. Because politicians must raise such massive amounts of money to get elected and reelected, they are forced to kowtow to corporate benefactors who are then able to ensure that the regulations that Congress passes are favorable to them. And if they don’t get everything they want from Congress, they can bribe and coerce executive agencies to weaken those regulations when they write the implementation rules for the law. Since the people writing the regulations are often former executives in the industries they are supposed to be regulating and overseeing, and those who aren’t will be angling for a job in that industry when they leave their positions, regulatory capture is very real and very difficult to get rid of.

The solution is to eliminate the need to raise huge amounts of money to win an election and to limit the ability of powerful moneyed interests to influence both Congress and the regulatory agencies. The reason that solution won’t happen is because it would have to be passed by the same people who benefit from the system being the way it is.

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esiahc
2579 days ago
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Manchester, Kentucky
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Palin Took Huge Pay Cut at Fox News

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Well this is interesting. Sarah Palin was making about a million dollars a year as a Fox News commentator but turned down a new contract because it didn’t pay well enough. When she quickly found out that no one outside her Facebook page really cares about her anymore, she went back — for a 75% pay cut.

It was widely reported that Sarah Palin took a pay cut to come back to Fox News. What wasn’t known was how large of a cut she took. Now we know, and boy did Roger Ailes sock it to Palin.

In a report on TV Guide’s list of the highest paid people on television, TVNewser revealed how big of pay cut Palin had to take in order to get her Fox News gig back, “Other notable names: Megyn Kelly’s new deal is estimated to be worth $6 million a year, twice what Hoda Kotb draws, and more than three times as much as ABC’s Josh Elliott. Ann Curry is still one of the highest-paid reporters at NBC, drawing $5 million a year, while Sarah Palin’s new FNC contract is believed to be in the $250,000 range.”

My, how the not-so-mighty have fallen.

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esiahc
2582 days ago
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Guess she learned it's not so great outside the echo chamber.
Manchester, Kentucky
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