Profile

Cover photo
Dan Shield
Works at Allstate
Attended Oxford High School
11,195 views
AboutPosts

Stream

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
tl;dr - Read the whole thing. All of it.
 
About That "Last Mile" Thing...
 
Not too long ago, a blogger on a somewhat popular tech blog posted a pretty scathing post here on G+ about how people complaining that Comcast demanding payment on that last mile were stupid and didn't know what they were talking about and other things that aren't worth going back to quote directly. He posted a blog piece by someone who pointed out that, indeed, Netflix and ISPs already have been paying in a mutually beneficial manner to maintain an interconnect network that allows for everyone to have some advantage (in economic terms, a win/win/win situation). Based on this incomplete information, said blogger decided to lambast people who complained, presumably because now said blogger Knew A Thing Or Two About This Sort Of Thing™.
 
I humbly submit the words of Ken Florance, VP of content delivery at +Netflix:  http://blog.netflix.com/2014/04/the-case-against-isp-tolls.html 
 
Comcast does not carry Netflix traffic over long distances. Netflix is itself shouldering the costs and performing the transport function for which it used to pay transit providers. Netflix connects to Comcast in locations all over the U.S., and has offered to connect in as many locations as Comcast desires. So Netflix is moving Netflix content long distances, not Comcast.
 
Nor does Comcast connect Netflix to other networks. In fact, Netflix can’t reach other networks via Comcast’s network.

For all these reasons, Netflix directly interconnects with many ISPs here in the U.S. and internationally without any exchange of fees.
 
In sum, Comcast is not charging Netflix for transit service. It is charging Netflix for access to its subscribers. Comcast also charges its subscribers for access to Internet content providers like Netflix. In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other.
 
It is true that there is competition among the transit providers and CDNs that transport and localize data across networks. But even the most competitive transit market cannot ensure sufficient access to the Comcast network. That’s because, to reach consumers, CDNs and transit providers must ultimately hand the traffic over to a terminating ISP like Comcast, which faces no competition. Put simply, there is one and only one way to reach Comcast’s subscribers at the last mile: Comcast.
 
There cannot be an “intensely competitive” market when Comcast alone sets the terms and conditions for access to Comcast subscribers. Comcast can simply refuse to provide capacity to any network at any time, constraining the ability for Comcast users to use the services they want. Comcast’s ability to constrain access to Netflix can be clearly seen in the following chart, which shows how Netflix performance deteriorated on the Comcast network and then immediately recovered after Netflix started paying Comcast in February.
 
I bolded the important parts in case the description was too long and technical. Basically, Comcast is charging twice for the same service. Comcast is essentially double dipping in order to provide a "fast lane" that is really just "the lane Netflix is providing" in less than technical terms. Said blogger mentioned earlier claimed that this had nothing to do with Net Neutrality. Clearly, said blogger doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. Well, unless his definition of Net Neutrality completely ignores the whole "pay extra for a fast lane" part of it, which is the most important part for consumers in the first place.
 
Look at the image I'm sharing. The green is the base infrastructure that Netflix pays for to handle their massive throughput on a daily basis. Notice how Charter and AT&T (and tons of other providers) have interconnected points of connection to provide their subscribers access to that infrastructure. Notice how Comcast doesn't. That, right there, is the problem and is the danger that people were and are pissed about. That's not conspiracy theory or bullshit or lack of understanding. That's Comcast being total assholes and taking two payments for one service. Imagine if Comcast decided to start forcing Amazon to pay so that people accessing their online store could do so without everything being at a crawl. That's exactly what Comcast did to Netflix
 
So maybe said blogger should stick to telling us which app is worth downloading or which new phone is nicer than the other new phone, and stop pretending they understand how content delivery networks operate and interact with Internet service providers.
 
[EDIT to add] To provide more detail, here is the article that was linked originally: http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014/03/netflix-level-3-telling-half-story-wont-detail-changes-want-net-neutrality.html
 
The person in that link asked: " So why did Netflix continue to push their traffic through Cogent even though they knew the link was congested?"
 
The answer is that Netflix had no choice. Comcast controls the portal to their last mile. No sharing available, at the behest of the ISP. Besides, Netflix doesn't "win" either way in this situation, and they don't "lose" either. A company the size of Netflix is going to get theirs regardless. The people who wind up paying (and losing) are the consumers/subscribers. Comcast double dips because their business model of being the sole portal through which paying customers get access to the Internet is based on 20th century infrastructure planning. The biggest cell phone companies often suffer the same fault with their cellular networks. So while the original article that the blogger linked raised a question that deserved an answer, the conclusions that came from the unanswered question (and the blogger's faulty assertion that it had nothing to do with Net Neutrality, which we now know is false [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html ]) were just the kind of distraction from reality that Comcast would like. In fact, Comcast liked that question without an answer so much they used it as their response to Netflix's criticism of their Time Warner merger ( http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/comcast-response-to-netflix ). Since Netflix has supplied the answer to the question, an answer that still makes Comcast look bad, this is now all about ISPs marketing to you and me that they're the good guys and big, bad companies like Netflix (and Amazon Video, and YouTube, and Vimeo, and so on) are the bad guys who are hurting people.
 
[Image credit blog.netflix.com ]
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
We built a portable lagmachine using a Raspberry Pi and a Oculus Rift.
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
The new release from +TheHoldSteadyVEVO alternately reminds me of Hüsker Dü and Kings of Leon. This is not a bad thing. Thoughts?
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
We keep hearing the same talking point from the Republicans responsible for the government shutdown: President Obama won’t compromise.

Liberals wanted single-payer Medicare-for-all, but the president settled on a Republican plan instead, a plan Republicans supported until Obama got on board with it. Republicans didn’t like the public option, so he compromised by removing it. He compromised on abortion coverage. He compromised with the “Cornhusker Kickback” (which was later removed by the Senate). He compromised on Medicare drug price negotiation, and drug reimportation.

He compromised by delaying the employer mandate. He compromised on the CLASS Act, and the 1099 requirements.

Democrats asked Republicans 19 times, starting in April, for a conference to negotiate on the budget, and were told ‘no’ 19 times.

For the budget, President Obama wanted one funding level, and the Republicans wanted a much lower level, so the president agreed to the Republican level. Not some middle-ground between the two proposals – he accepted their number. After getting literally everything they wanted, Republicans said ‘no’ to the deal anyway, deciding they wanted more.

They demanded defunding of Obamacare, or they’ll blow up the country. Then they said, okay, instead of defunding it completely, just gut part of it – they call that a ‘compromise’ because they would only get some, not all, of what they want in exchange for not destroying the country.

Obama says no, you don’t get to demand something in return for not destroying the country. “Not destroying the country” should be sort of a baseline expectation, when you’re in Congress.

And that, folks, is what Republicans call ‘refusing to compromise’.
1

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
Posting mostly so I can find it again. Also to remind some people that C++ ins't a dead language.
The Programming Language Popularity Index shows the popularity of programming languages using data from both GitHub's APIs and StackExchange's API. ...
1

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
traceroute 216.81.59.173 and read the names of the hosts in the route. It made actually lol. Like for real.
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
This is what I want to build w/ the fire phone.

People saying that you can do "dynamic perspective" with just a gyroscope completely do not understand the technology.
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
Celebrating American Craft Beer Week with +Stone Brewing Co. 
1
Tammy Sinner's profile photo
 
Celebrating the water rising this week.
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
My Sunday night. Game of Thrones and Game of Stone, Double Bastard.+Stone Brewing Co. 
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Jack Hoffman is a 7-year-old brain cancer patient.

Yesterday, Nebraska football made his dream a reality.
1
Add a comment...

Dan Shield

Shared publicly  - 
 
I can't afford one, but I sure would like one.
 
Toys, toys, toys..

Hey, I've joined all the cool kids in having one of the new Google "Pixel" laptops (aka Chromebooks).  And it is a beautiful screen, to the point where I suspect I'll make this my primary laptop. I tend to like my laptops slightly smaller, but I think I can lug around this 1.5kg monster despite feeling fairly strongly that a laptop should weigh 1kg or less.

Because the screen really is that nice.

And I really appreciate not just the pixels, but the form factor. I despise widescreen displays, but I had gotten resigned to them. Until now. 3:2, baby!

I don't understand why people complain about "black bars", when I can't see why it would be any different to have "no pixels at all", which is what the silly widescreen displays do. 

I'm still running ChromeOS on this thing, which is good enough for testing out some of my normal work habits (ie reading and writing email), but I expect to install a real distro on this soon enough. For a laptop to be useful to me, I need to not just read and write email, I need to be able to do compiles, have my own git repositories etc..

Side note: I also have the Nexus 10, which also has tons of pixels, but on that one I didn't get the feeling that I could use the pixels very well... Sure, I could run a web browser and make the text smaller, but without a keyboard I can't reasonably write anything, and without the option of installing a full Linux distro I couldn't see it replacing my laptop anyway, so getting a BT keyboard didn't seem all that relevant either. 

One thing that the Chromebook Pixel really brings home is how crap normal laptops have become. Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more? No wonder the PC business isn't doing well, when they stick to just churning out more crappy stuff and think that "full HD" (aka 1080p) is somehow the epitome of greatness.
1
Add a comment...
Story
Tagline
Surfing the web so you don't have to.
Education
  • Oxford High School
    1984
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
    Math, 1984 - 1989
Work
Occupation
Software Developer
Employment
  • Allstate
    Software Developer, present
Basic Information
Gender
Male