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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap 349

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the should-have-stuck-to-xscreensaver dept.
jfruh (300774) writes Tech writer Tyler Hayes had never come close to hitting the 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap imposed by Cox Cable — until suddenly he was blowing right through it, eating up almost 80 GB a day. Using the Mac network utility little snitch, he eventually tracked down the culprit: a screensaver on his new Kindle Fire TV. A bug in the mosaic screensaver caused downloaded images to remain uncached.
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

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  • It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:35AM (#47367967)

    Why do we still have these antiquated data caps?

    Oh, that's right, greed.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bondsbw (888959) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:40AM (#47368001)

    Why do we still have these antiquated data caps?

    Because we still have antiquated data lines and switches and whatnot that can only handle so much total bandwidth.

    I don't care for caps either, but if they protect my paid-for bandwidth from abusers like Mr. Hayes (yes I know, it's not his fault, whatever it's still keeping me from streaming) then I'm ok with it to a degree.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobertJ1729 (2640799) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:45AM (#47368055)
    And why do we still have antiquated data lines and switches and whatnot when we are paying through the nose for internet access?
  • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:45AM (#47368059)

    Why do we still have these antiquated data caps?

    I would ask why we still have screen savers. Turning off the monitor automatically after a period of inactivity to save power I understand. Having it still draw power to put pretty images on the screen when you aren't using it is a pointless exercise. Screen burn-in is not a big problem these days, particularly if you have the monitor/tv turn off when not in active use.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @08:49AM (#47368071)

    More to the point, its 2014 - do we have to have screensavers?
    The original reason for a screensaver was to prevent phosphor burn on the old monochrome CRT screens. They make no sense in this day of digital LED and LCD screens. These days the best screensaver is turn off the display, especially on mobile devices to save battery, but it would also be good for plugged in devices, tp save power (probably generated by burning some carbon containing fuel.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bondsbw (888959) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:01AM (#47368187)

    Because of greed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:17AM (#47368323)

    I would blame the company that made the Space heater if it had a timer that was supposed to shut it off and it failed to do so.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stealth_finger (1809752) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:23AM (#47368389)

    Why do we still have these antiquated data caps?

    Oh, that's right, greed.

    Why does a screensaver, on a TV no less, need the fucking internet?

  • by ThomasBHardy (827616) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:27AM (#47368429)

    I have a hard time equating the cost center of a power company generating finite amounts of power that is sold to users with the "mostly fixed and generally stable" cost of maintaining connectivity for the IPSs.

    You do realize that we're not "consuming 1s and 0s that the ISP has to go out and manufacture, right?

    I'm not suggesting that every person should have the ability to have unlimited speed and unlimited capacity(bandwidth), but lets not paint a picture of US IPSs as working tirelessly to upgrade infrastructure and provide lower cost, improved service. It's not a competitive market, driving towards improvement. It's in their best interest to raise prices any way they can, such as through caps. It's Not in their interest to spend billions on new infrastructure to improve services and lower consumer costs, because they have no true competition driving market forces to make them improve.

  • Re:Why can't (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:54AM (#47368667)

    Bandwidth isn't like water or electricity. You either use it in the moment or don't. You can't save it for later.

    So, you don't have caches in your world?

    It's really about data, not bandwidth. Just like your utilities connection is about water or electricity, not pipes or wires.

    In fact, that's what this *article* is about--the TV should've saved data for later, but didn't.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e3m4n (947977) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:36AM (#47369033)

    Bullshit, I am a small ITSP and I cannot get any USF money. Yet when I go around into government housing I see signs everywhere about 'need a land line? cant afford it?' and those signs are for ATT. They are giving them 'free' phone service and collecting $50 from the USF for that basic residential analog POTS line. The original intent was similar to those rural electrification subsidies. Those days are long gone. Now its just another nightmare like those medicare scams "If you have medicare and want one of these motorized carts, you cant be denied for any reason" even if you happen to be on medicare but just ran the Boston marathon.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:57AM (#47369237)

    And why do we still have antiquated data lines and switches and whatnot when we are paying through the nose for internet access?

    Because we are using the wrong payment model for internet access. It should be metered like virtually everything else. Then ISPs would have the incentive to strengthen their networks, since more capacity means more usage means more profit. Under the current model their maximum profit is made the instant you pay, before you use a single bit. It's backwards.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:06AM (#47369321)

    Do you speak from experience? I am and the real roadblock is cost and market inertia.

    If I wanted to invest a lot of money into fiber optics and spend the next 10 to 20 years recouping my capital investment I do not believe city hall would be my roadblock. I would need to convince my investors and bank that we could recoup our money and make a profit despite the established carriers using their size and mostly paid for infrastructure to undercut us.

    The reason that Comcast and others are offering higher bandwidths (without raising the cap) is not because of consumer demand but to defend their territory. It's hard to convince the bank that you will offer something not available elsewhere when they see commercials for "up to 150 mbps" offered at a price below what you would have to charge just to break even.

    The only way I would be able to even apply for a permit and pay the franchise fees is by making an insane amount of profit in an internet related venture and I wanted to spend some of the profits to have direct access to my customers (or users). This would not only allowed me to experiment with services that require high bandwidth but also provide good public relations stories to advertise in my other markets. You know like Google does. Also notice how many large cities compete for their next fiber deployment.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:11AM (#47369351)

    Because we have monopolies (or duopolies) in most regions of the US when it comes to ISPs. I have Time Warner Cable where I live. No FIOS or any other wired, high speed ISP. What incentive does Time Warner Cable have to improve their infrastructure when they can just raise my rates, give me the same service they've always given me, and make more money knowing I have no other choice?

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:15AM (#47369385)

    Government bans competition. You can't very well expect an agency that claims a "natural monopoly" to not consider other "natural monopolies" both wise and judicious.

    Not true. Anyone can start an ISP as long as they are willing to pay for the infrastructure to deliver the last mile connection to their customers.

    And in instances where under-served areas tried to create their own municipal broadband network, the ISPs that weren't serving them sued to stop them or got their lobbied state officials to pass laws declaring that illegal.

    Community fiber is still the answer - there are just so many hurdles that make it slow in coming.

    You just criticized both the government and lack of competition and your answer is to eliminate competition and let the government run it?

    If a community isn't being served by an existing ISP, why is municipal broadband "eliminating competition"? If an area has an ISP but they are refusing to improve service, how is adding a municipal broadband option eliminating competition? Is the presence of the USPS eliminating competition from FedEx and UPS?

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