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Controversial opinion time: Comcast sucks a tiny bit less this year
Thursday, 02 June 2016 04:24

Comcast sucks less than last year, but still has a pretty miserable customer rating, according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

The organization's new report [PDF] for 2016 shows a remarkable increase in satisfaction with the cable company – up 15 per cent, or eight points. But then it was starting from pretty far down: it went from 54 to 62 per cent.

Perhaps it's a little unfair to pick on just Comcast, because as a whole ISPs and cable companies continue to provide the lowest levels of customer satisfaction across the 43 industries covered by the ACSI.

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Minimal MQTT: Power and Privacy
Friday, 03 June 2016 13:01

In this installment of Minimal MQTT, I’m going to cover two loose ends: one on the sensor node side, and one on the MQTT server side. Specifically, I’ll tackle the NodeMCU’s sleep mode to reduce power and step you through bridging MQTT servers to get your data securely out of your home server and into “the cloud”, which is really just other people’s servers.

If you’re just stepping into this series now, you should really check out the other three posts, where I set up a server, then build up some sensor nodes, and then flesh-out a few ways to …read more

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NBN leak pits minister against AFP commissioner
Monday, 23 May 2016 09:00

The Australian Federal Police's (AFP's) raid on Australian parliamentarians and their staffers over leaked documents on delays to the National Broadband Network (NBN) leaked-documents raid had more fallout over the weekend, with the AFP criticised for allowing an nbn TM staffer to photograph documents seized in Thursday night's raid, and the communications minister acknowledging he knew about the investigation.

The row first blew up on Thursday night, May 19, when AFP officers raided an office used by Senator Stephen Conroy and the home of a staffer to the opposition Labor party's communications spokesperson Jason Clare.

Australia's Communications minister Mitch Fifield

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NBN raid fallout continues, with Conroy formalising privilege claim
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 09:03

The Australian Labor Party's (ALP's) senator Stephen Conroy has formalised his claim of parliamentary privilege over documents seized in last week's Australian Federal Police raid of his office and the homes of two of his staffers.

Conroy has sent a letter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), a procedural step required to formalise the verbal claim of privilege made at the time of the raid.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) says Conroy's claim for privilege “extends to all words spoken, and acts done, in the course of, or for purposes of, or incidental to, parliamentary proceedings”.

To Vulture South, that

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Republicans move to gut FCC and crush its net neutrality crusade with paralyzing budget rules
Friday, 27 May 2016 08:54

A new budget proposal would effectively bar the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from enforcing its net neutrality provisions.

Buried deep within the House Appropriations Committee budget proposal [PDF] is a set of new rules that limit the FCC's ability to use its funds for activities including the regulation of "prices, other fees, or data caps and allowances" for broadband internet providers.

Additionally, the budget proposal calls for the regulator to be blocked from enforcing any of the rules it laid out in its February 2015 order on open internet access until a handful of court cases filed by telecom

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Comcast slapped with eight-figure tax bill after package fails to impress
Saturday, 28 May 2016 06:41

The US state of Oregon says it will charge Comcast tens of millions of dollars in taxes after revoking a tax break the cable giant had claimed on its broadband service.

The state's Department of Revenue (DOR) has denied a request by Comcast that it be granted an exemption reserved for companies that offer gigabit internet service in the state.

Written to lure Google's Fiber service to Portland after years of courtship , the tax break would give exemptions to reward the installation of high-speed fiber broadband.

Comcast had claimed the exemption for itself in February , arguing that its

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