Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: "Still" have followers? (Score 2) 146

by Cimexus (#49701501) Attached to: Mechanical 'Clicky' Keyboards Still Have Followers (Video)

"Still" have followers? Mechanical keyboards have been making a huge comeback for years, and are pretty much a standard for gaming and other high-end self-built machines now. You don't have to spend anywhere near $500 to get a good one either. This article/video sounds like it was written for an audience from six years ago or something.

Love my Corsair K95. Marketed as a gaming keyboard (it's got fancy LEDs and 18 macro keys etc.) but works well for long coding sessions too.

Comment: Re:I still have dial-up (Score 1) 153

by Cimexus (#49675909) Attached to: Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion

My DSL provider actually provides free dialup with every account, for emergencies and/or if you're on the road and just need to check your mail or something. I didn't even know about it until I saw a mention of it in some obscure corner of their website. Tried it for a laugh and hey, it worked! :P

Comment: Re:Exede (Score 1) 153

by Cimexus (#49675861) Attached to: Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion

It's pretty much unusable. Even what looks like a relatively simple, plain site these days is hundreds of kilobytes in size (which, when you are downloading at maybe 3 or 4 kB/s, takes quite a while to load!)

It's not just a matter of 'patience' either, as many sites actually fail to render properly as the downloading of various page elements just times out.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 532

by Cimexus (#49633797) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

How can a single payer (the government) 'screw up' that badly though? All they are is the PAYER, not the entity providing medical treatment. All they do is pay the bill. The worst screw up they could manage is ... not paying. In which case it's their problem, not yours.

Writing from the perspective of someone living in a single payer healthcare country here (Australia), where the government pays the bill (or most of it at least). Doctors clinics themselves are still private businesses - I can pick any doctor I want and switch at will. "Single payer" means precisely that: single ~payer~ (i.e. the government pays the doctor, or reimburses me for what I've already paid to them). The Canadian system is different. It is indeed single payer but the problems your extended family are describing aren't related to that aspect of the system.

PS. I've lived in Canada, the UK, Australia and the US. The former three are all 'single payer universal' systems but all are different in terms of the actual provision of treatment side of things.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 532

by Cimexus (#49633745) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

Uh, living in a country with single payer universal healthcare Australia ... that's exactly how it works. If I want to go to the doctor right now, I can pick any doctor whatsoever and just ... go there. (Obviously in reality I'd call and make an appointment first to make sure they have time to fit me in, but then, you do that in America too).

What ever gave you the idea that you can't go to the doctor whenever you feel like it? That'd be a pretty awful system - indeed part of the reason why universal health care has better health outcomes in the first place is BECAUSE there's no cost barriers to going to the doctor. You can go when you feel you need it and not put something off because of cost. Prevention/early detection is better than cure after all.

Now if you're talking about hospital treatment, then yes, on occasion you may need to wait. Same as if you showed up at emergency ... you get triaged. Waiting a month or two to get treated for something that isn't urgent and won't affect the final outcome is fine. But if you need treatment or surgery ASAP for something serious - you'll get it.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 532

by Cimexus (#49633661) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

Single payer doesn't necessarily imply single ~provider~ (though, in some countries, it does). I live in Australia, which has a single-payer universal system. But I can choose to go to any doctor I want. Those doctors' clinics are still private practices and the doctors are not government employees or members of any wider 'system'. It's just that when I go to the front counter to pay the bill at the end, the government foots some or all of the bill (depending on what was actually done during the consultation).

We have private hospitals in addition to the public ones, and you can still choose to get private health insurance if you want it (indeed, the government gives you a tax incentive to do so, since you are less of a burden on the public system if you also have private insurance). But it's not required. The point is though that 'single payer' does not mean "no options". You have just as many options as you did before in terms of ~treatment~ providers ... but you now no longer have to worry about choosing ~insurance~ as well (though, you still can if you really want).

Comment: Re:The answers show how behind the times the US is (Score 1) 125

by Cimexus (#49633461) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...

250 GB might blow, but generally markets where monthly download/upload allowances are the norm, also offer a RANGE of plans with different download allowances. His limit is probably 250 GB because he chose a 250 GB plan, because that met his needs. He could pay a bit more and upgrade to a higher limit if needed.

I'm guessing here of course, but I've lived in several countries with download allowances of this nature, and in all cases, my download 'limit' was self-imposed by the plan I chose. A typical ISP in a country like Australia will have low end plans with maybe 30 or 50 GB per month, some midrange plans in the 'couple of hundred GB' range, and high end plans with 1 TB and upwards per month. All at the same speed and identical in every respect except download limit and price.

Comment: Re:Since last move (Score 1) 125

by Cimexus (#49633385) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...

The problem is, DSL is becoming less and less a 'real' option. Vast areas which have 'DSL' service are still only ADSL1, which technically maxes out at 8 Mbps downstream but is sold in most markets in tiers up to 6 Mbps (e.g. 768kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps). 6 Mbps downstream is pretty limiting these days, to say nothing of the awful upstream bitrates (384kbps? what a joke)

ADSL2+ (up to 24 Mbps down), VDSL, and VDSL2 (which can be as fast as cable if your line length is short) are better but not available in many places. Plus it's often hard to tell what you can get as ISPs obscure the actual technology used behind a generic product name (e.g. Uverse is delivered either over ADSL2+ or VDSL, depending on location, and the only way you can find out is by applying and seeing what speeds they'll offer you).

Comment: Re:should be a long time for most people (Score 1) 125

by Cimexus (#49633311) Attached to: I've had my current ISP (disregarding mergers) for ...

I'm a Charter customer (relatively new, just under 2 years now). I just have standalone internet though. No phone, no TV. Wondering what specifically you've found that sucks about them.

For me, using them for internet only, they seem fine. I've been quite happy:

- Seems to perform as advertised (60 Mbps down, 4 Mbps up)
- Downtime so far has been in the 'couple of hours per year' range, which is fine for a residential connection.
- I have servers at home and they don't seem to block any incoming ports (or at least, none of the ports I use)
- Price was good for the first year (29.99/month). It's now higher ($47.46/month including my local taxes), but that's still "OK".

Maybe I've been lucky - any horror stories you want to share? :)

Comment: One (Score 1) 301

Just 1 would probably do it - occasionally I still have to copy some files to/from a USB stick or external hard drive, or download things off a camera. Don't think I'd ever need to do more than one of those at the same time. This is assuming that the same port ~isn't~ also used for other necessary things like ethernet and charging (ala the new Macbook).

Comment: Answered the metric option (Score 1) 172

by Cimexus (#49542709) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

Picked the metric elevation option, but my actual elevation is ~700 metres.

Being in a fully metric country, I don't have even the slightest bit of innate feel for feet, especially for large numbers such as elevation unfortunately. It's around ~2300 ft apparently. I ~do~ have a somewhat decent feel for converting temperatures to F and distances in km to miles, but that's about it. Feet, inches, ounces (both as volume and weight), gallons etc I haven't got even the slightest knowledge of...

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759