Query for readers from Yves:
Readers, per my post yesterday, Verizon is getting rid of copper in my local central office. Some readers have confirmed my take that this is illegal under common carrier regulations, and separately also not be allowed under the recent New York state copper settlement agreement. But Verizon appears to be taking advantage of the fact that the deal has been agreed but not yet approved by a court to establish “facts on the ground.”
So I’m still limping on the connectivity. Both my options, FIOS and Spectrum, get generally crappy reviews and have bad customer service. My experience with cable, and it seems to be true with FIOS, is they have just as many outages as DSL, and the outages last longer when they happen. I know some readers have piped up and claimed they’ve never had outages, but my building staff says tenants have complained about both FIOS and Spectrum outages. There are more complaints re FIOS, but that could be sample bias (with only 65 units in my building, having even one or two tenants with high service expectations on one or the other would skew results) or the caliber of customer service once you have an outage v. the amount of actual downtime. The latter is far and away the most important consideration for me, and despite DSL being antique, it performed well, including relative to cable from Spectrum when I’ve been staying with family or friends who use that for their broadband. (And do not forget that I listed wanting POTS for safety as a big reason to want to stick with copper, but that’s beside the point going forward.)
But for NYC readers only: If you have FIOS or Spectrum, how many outages have you had in the pst year or two? How long have they typically been? And can you get answers from tech support or customer service when they happen?
Back From the Brink: The Exmoor Pony EcoWatch (GF).
Whistleblowers Sue City’s Top Health Insurance Providers WNYC. “The case was brought under the New York State False Claims Act. If found guilty, the three companies could be on the hook for three times the damages incurred by the government, up to $4 billion.”
Nota bene: Toys don’t fung Felix Salmon, Nota Bene
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Inequality Town Hall Draws 1.7 Million Live Viewers HuffPo (video). Not front-paged online at WaPo, NYT, or Google News. Odd.
Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam NYT. An “emergency backup driver” was behind the wheel.
Intelligent to a Fault: When AI Screws Up, You Might Still Be to Blame Scientific American. Important, if AIs are going to drive our robot cars.
The Machine Learning Reproducibility Crisis Pete Warden’s Blog. Ditto.
CalPERS retirees are suddenly worried about their pensions. What happened? Sacramento Bee. With video. CalPERS management? Just a thought…
California treasurer thwarted in push for CalPERS gun divestment Reuters. “Thwarting” a California treasurer in a public vote is a big deal.
China, US flex muscles at G20 meeting as trade war looms South China Morning Post
India struggles to discipline its state-owned banks Nikkei Asian Review
New Cold War
(See Terry Pratchett’s The Truth for a discussion of “fracas” vs. “rumpus.”) I’m actually a little baffled about where to file this material, since as an event the fracas begins as a “2016 Post Mortem,” but then ramifies outward to questions of valuation, the melding of the press, opposition researchers, the political class, and the intelligence community, besides raising privacy issues.
Revealed: Trump’s election consultants filmed saying they use bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians Channel 4. Cambridge Analytica, who bought the Trump campaign’s Facebook advertisements. Among other things?
Top hole crisis management:
— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) March 19, 2018
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Trump campaign phased out use of Cambridge Analytica data before election CBS. So if they were that good…
Follow-Up Questions For Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and Trump Campaign on Massive Breach Just Security. “Breach” is a misnomer, since that implies that Facebook’s database was hacked via an intrusion. Instead, data was gathered on the Facebook platform under false pretenses.
Facebook may have violated FTC privacy deal, say former federal officials, triggering risk of massive fines WaPo. At $40K per violation, that raises questions about Facebook’s valuation.
Trump Hires Lawyer Who Thinks the FBI is Framing Him New York Magazine
Imperial Collapse Watch
Happy Fifteenth Anniversary:
“Bush Orders Start of War on Iraq”–15 years ago tomorrow: pic.twitter.com/mW5AX01yHA
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) March 18, 2018
This War Will Destabilize The Entire Mideast Region And Set Off A Global Shockwave Of Anti-Americanism vs. No It Won’t The Onion. From 2003, still germane.
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The Pig Empire Prepares For War Nina Illingworth. “[H]istory shows us the inhuman political calculus of a major military conflict with Russia, Iran or both may actually represent a short term boon for all of the floundering right wing governments involved.” Strangely, Illingworth doesn’t point out that it’s the Democrats who have made the running on the Russian War scare. Like Iraq, the war effort is bipartisan!
Happy Tenth Anniversary. Thread:
10 years ago today — 3/18/2008 FOMC [Fed policymaking] meeting
comes days after Bear Stearns rescue but real news –> Fed staff thinks America is in a recession
Fed cuts from 3% to 2.25% but 2 hawks – Plosser and Fisher – dissent
— Sam Bell (@sam_a_bell) March 18, 2018
A Cartoon History of Colonialism in Puerto Rico Village Voice
Which Towns in Puerto Rico Should CBS News Correspondent David Begnaud Visit? The Puerto Rico Data Lab
Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence From Online Vacancy Data NBER (PDF). Important.
Charting History–With a Little Voyeurism–in Google Maps The American Conservative
Five Minutes Motherboard. “After the big one.”
Antidote du Jour (via):
My mother caught a hawk while it was diving to get her chickens and it just has the most confused face ever that this could have gone so wrong pic.twitter.com/qTwApCVmsW
— Herro: CA 🔜 NM 🔜 FL 🔜 GA (@Jackalcakes) March 19, 2018
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here