Time Warner Creates a Stir Again!

June 1, 2009

There has been a stir over the past few days, as Time Warner quietly updates their subscriber agreement. We all speculated that their intent was to keep going as planed, regardless of customer feedback. They claim they’re listening, but other articles show otherwise!

So, what is there to do? There is a list of alternatives on stopthecap.com, but few really provide proper competition to Time Warner Cable. We all need to watch stopthecap.com to be sure we’re doing all that we can to combat this attempt!


High latency server

April 20, 2009

My VMWare Server has 2 300GB SATA drives installed, using software RAID. I’ve recently discovered why this system has been rather slow – the jumper on the drives was set to restrict throughput to 1.5Gb/sec. After changing this jumper, and installing updates, the system seemed to behave better, but not always.

After talking to a friend, I’ve learned that IDE (yes, SATA still communicates with IDE) is a really dumb protocol. Meaning… it leaves lots of processing to be done by the host computer in software, rather than handling the data totally on its own. Being that this is a virtual server host, more than one virtual server (VM) is runing on it. Each server is accessing the hard drive for data I/O, creating a queue of work to be pushed to the disks. The host then has to process these changes, and send the commands to the disks.

During one particularly heavy load, I was watching ‘top’, and found the following:

top - 02:01:53 up 13 days, 39 min,  2 users,  load average: 24.65, 20.69, 12.11
Tasks: 110 total,   4 running, 106 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  3.2%us,  9.0%sy,  0.0%ni,  2.0%id, 84.9%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.9%si,  0.0%st

WOW! I’ve never seen a load average that high! Looking further, even though the CPU is not under a heavy load, we se that 84.9% of the CPU’s time is simply waiting for I/O to complete.

I recently ordered a 3WARE SATA RAID card to install into this machine, and hopefully alleviate this issue. Meanwhile, I wait for this process to complete, before I’m able to access the VMs reliably.

Protest Has Low Turnout

April 18, 2009
Protest Participants in front of Time Warner

Protest Participants in front of Time Warner

Located at the headquarters of Time Warner, the protest went well, but had a low turnout. The protest was scheduled to start at 11:00 AM in Highland park, off of Robinson Drive, then march 1.1 miles to TWC headquarters at 12:00 Noon, after select people spoke. Phillip Dampier, who created stopthecap.com, was interviewed for about 10 minutes by News8/Fox in the process.

Multiple other reporters were there to capture the story, including TWC’s own R-News station! This has me wondering what kind of slant they’ll put on the story. The low turnout was likely due to Sen. Schumer’s announcement at the same location on Friday. This announcement led us to believe that this cap idea was over, the press release 2 hours later led us to believe otherwise. This release was the reason for reinstating the rally, after careful review of the chain of events.

Two videos were taken from my iPhone and broadcasted live to ustream.tv. They were also archived for viewing:

  1. 12:34 PM
  2. 1:02 PM

Massa continues fight against Time Warner

April 17, 2009

It was announced yesterday that Eric J.J. Massa will be “moving forward with the legislation, the Massa Broadband Internet Fairness Act, to ensure that this unfair pricing does not spring up elsewhere.”

We should all join in together to thank him for not loosing sight of the goal, and continuing to fight for us.

Time Warner not done with limit idea?

April 16, 2009

According to the official announcement from @JeffTWC on Twitter, CEO Glenn Britt says, “. . . we continue to believe that consumption based billing may be the best pricing plan for consumers . . .”

We still need Massa to bring his bill to congress, and we still need to contact Verizon about getting FiOS competition to the area. We can’t rest on this! The battle was won, but there may be many more to this war!

Time Warner now rescinds new pricing plan

April 16, 2009


Sen. Chuck Schumer just announced that Time Warner has canceled their plans at tiered pricing! GREAT WORK on complaining to top officials!
This does not mean we’re off the hook! Time Warner simply gave up on their current plans, but are likely going back to the drawing board to devise a new way to rip us off. Take this opportunity to ask Verizon when FiOS will be available here. The more people ask about FiOS, the better they’ll see this area as a profitable market to enter, and in theory, the faster we’ll see fiber into our homes. Let’s do it!

We bought ourselves some time, but we must act now to prevent their next ploy…

Time Warner staff: “Bandwidth is basically free”

April 16, 2009

This is an excerpt that I found very interesting (from http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2009/04/15/free-press-questions-internet-limits/):

We looked at the TWC pricing schemes, and we noticed that the cost appears to bear no relationship to the price at all. According to Time Warner Cable’s Securities & Exchange Commission filings: “High-speed data costs decreased for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2008 primarily due to a decrease in per-subscriber connectivity costs.” In Rochester, N.Y., Time Warner Cable currently charges consumers $44.90 for unlimited access to the Internet. But under the new pricing scheme, consumers would have to pay $150 — over $100 more — for the same access. If it is costing the company less to connect consumers, why are consumers being charged more to connect? There may be a good answer to this question — but so far even tenacious reporters haven’t gotten it from Time Warner Cable.

The rationale being used to justify this large increase – an impending “exaflood” or Internet brownout — is not supported by the data. In fact, the argument that bandwidth is somehow a scarce resource was refuted by Time Warner Cable’s own CTO Mike LaJoie, who quipped: “Cable is like the Federal Reserve of bandwidth. … we can practically print the stuff!” LaJolie also commented that supplying consumers with more bandwidth is “basically free.”

On the whole, what we see is a major cable operator rolling out a new pricing model that looks like it has the scale to become a permanent system — which is an appropriate moment to raise a red flag. We see a bandwidth cap that is very low compared to others industry players like Comcast — and given the current rise of online video services, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest why this is happening and that it might be a problem. And we see a price that bears no relationship to cost. These things raise questions. And, when called on these questions by the media, the justifications TWC gave were weak obfuscations that just made it seem all the worse.