Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Title I, Title II

Well, the broadband Internet providers may have gotten their wish, and it'll be ashes in their mouths. A while back, Comcast won a legal victory when they got a ruling saying that the FCC didn't have any authority under Title I to regulate them (and specifically their throttling and shaping of bandwidth based on content and the destination the user was trying to get to).

Well, that's all well and good, except that there's this other part of the relevant law known as Title II. Title I applies to information services. Title II applies to telecommunications services. And the FCC has specific legal authority to decide which one Internet service providers fall under. So the FCC's going to simply shrug it's shoulders and reclassify Internet service as a telecommunications service (as it was back before the Bush era's reclassification of it) falling under Title II. That gives them plenty of authority to impose all sorts of regulations the ISPs don't like, although the FCC's proposing putting in place some binding rules limiting the amount of regulation actually imposed.

Advice: don't taunt the bull if you don't want to get the horns.

.xxx domain argued for

ICM Registry, which has submitted the .xxx TLD for approval, is pushing for it's approval and adoption. The argument is that parents can then filter out that domain to block inappropriate content.

Yes, well, I suppose that'll work just as well as RFC 3514 - The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header, better known as the Evil Bit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Floating-point math

Most programmers don't get it right. They forget that floating-point numbers aren't precise, and that different numbers are irrational in base 2 than in base 10. End result: math errors and weird results.

So, on the web: a basic guide to floating point math.

And for the true math geeks: David Goldberg's paper on floating-point math, and the original ACM journal article if you have an ACM account with library access.