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Comment: VZW appeared overloaded, not blocked (Score 2) 211

by CLorox (#43461405) Attached to: Boston Officials Did Not Shut Down Cell Network After Marathon Bombing

VZW appeared heavily overloaded and calls were not going through. Additionally, text messages also appeared to be throttled or heavily delayed. If this was a result of jamming or some other technology to throttle the network, calls were being placed, they were not however providing audio. I received about 20 calls from my girlfriend who lives in the area and her calls were ringing through and "completing", but no audio was making it over the line. Calls I was placing appeared to ring through (five or six rings?) and made it to voicemail in most cases, although I did get a couple Verizon messages instead of the voicemail box.

Text messages we were sending each other were either extremely delayed or never made it at all (some did). I would go with the disaster norm of badly overloaded. We resorted to email via wifi instead of relying on the cell networks. When she took to the car to pick up her sister in South Boston (T services were shutdown in and around Boston), she was able to start completing calls and texts were making it through.

Comment: A racket for many, a valuable experience for few. (Score 2) 716

by CLorox (#42169031) Attached to: Just Say No To College

As a never-went through age 22, I wore skipping college as a badge of pride while I tolled away at various dot coms and consulting companies. I did attempt to go back at 23, but did not appreciate the challenge and went back to work. I decided to restart my college education in my 30s and I have found a new appreciation for the courses taught. If a lesson is learned by a kid going to college, I believe it should not simply be how to buckle down and get work done, but how to critically think and logically examine the many sides of an issue. Personally, I was a pretty black and white thinker through my mid 20s---perhaps I just greyed out of that a little---and I do believe that college education helped me to recognize and analyze multiple opinions and viewpoints on a myriad of issues without being too quick to rush to judgement.

The conversion of a college degree into an MCSE style mill is undermining most of the value that a college diploma would add to a resume. In my initial college venture I encountered a lot of undergrads that seemed to believe that if you just showed up, you would get your diploma and upon graduation be rewarded with your new six figure job (pre-recession). I am not sure where that idea came from, but I felt bad for them. Tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, and limited post-college career prospects often netted well under 40k a year pay, for years, while they learned their actual career skills.

IMHO, the system has turned into a racket. There are a decreasing minority of students who try and make the most of the education and they are the ones who are most likely rewarded on a long-term timeline by their hard work. There also seems to be an increasing majority that treat it as High School Round 2. They simply show up physically, incur huge amounts of debt with no takeaway other than a piece of paper, and then move on to the next hurdle (law or grad school) and repeat the process. Having either type of student coming out into the workforce with massive amounts of debt doesn't seem like a great economy builder to me... Perhaps I am overreaching, but it seems like for-profit education and wreck-less fiscal accountability in the state schools has undermined the entire reason higher education exists, to internalize critical thinking, Socratic methods, and mold well rounded people that help the economy and civilization as a whole positively evolve.

Just my two cents

Comment: But people stopped doing rolling stops! (Score 3, Insightful) 567

by CLorox (#33061884) Attached to: Tennessee Town Releases Red Light Camera Stats

The article doesn't state how many residents of the town were ticketed as opposed to out of town drivers passing through, but lets pretend it did. Nearly 50% of people in this town flagged, and a little under a quarter were ticketed.... in 3 short months? Not sure how many were drivers from outside the town, but that is a ridiculous sum. Change the law or scrap the camera, this is not working and is a burden to the citizens. I wonder how many traffic collisions will occur because people are slamming on the breaks trying to avoid getting ticketed.

How many of these drivers were traveling at a safe posted speed limit and caught a yellow on a rainy day and had no choice but to either enter a skidding sliding stop or get a ticket. and now due to their unfortunate luck have the added benefit of fighting this in court. Burden to the court, burden to the citizen and a significant expense of time and money. What a racket.

Space

+ - Whistle While You Work? Not in Space.

Submitted by
Ant
Ant writes "ABC News report that astronauts on spacewalks will never, ever be able to whistle while they work in space. Former NASA astronaut, Dan Barry has seven hours of spacewalking time to his credit. He tried whistling during his spacewalk on STS-96 in May 1999. "It wasn't something I hadn't planned — I thought of it on the fly. It turned out that it didn't work." he said. "You can't whistle because the air pressure in the suit is only 4.3 [pounds per square inch], and normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi, so there are not enough air molecules blowing by your lips to make a sound," he said. Seen on Blue's News."
Slashdot.org

+ - super cheap solar power within a few years?

Submitted by tora201
tora201 (910302) writes "The Daily Telegraph has an article explaining that we should be able to expect super cheap solar power within a decade, as a new super thin polymer foil 200 times lighter than normal glass-based solar material comes on line. From the article: Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/ money/2007/02/19/ccview19.xml)"
Wireless Networking

Skype Asks FCC to Open Cellular Networks 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the level-the-field dept.
Milwaukee's_Best writes "Skype has just asked the FCC to force wireless phone companies to open their networks to all comers. Skype essentially wants to turn the wireless phone companies into just another network of the kind currently operated on the ground. This would require carriers to allow any phone to be used on their networks, and for any application. Users would simply purchase a voice or data plan (though these could easily converge into a data plan if VoIP calling is used) and then use the device of their choice to access the network of their choice. Think of it as network neutrality for cell networks. Given the competition that exists within the industry, is this needed?"

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.

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