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Submission + - How do you convince an ISP to come bury cable in your neighborhood?

EmagGeek writes: I live in a semi-rural micropolitan area that generally has good access choices for high speed Internet. However, there are holes in the coverage in our area, and I live in one of them. There is infrastructure nearby, but because our subdivision covenants require all utilities to be underground, telecoms won't even consider upgrading to modern technology. The result is that we're all stuck with legacy DSL (which AT&T has happily re-branded as U-Verse even though it isn't) as our only choice for wireline access.

There is a competing cable company in the area, also with infrastructure nearby, but similarly they are reluctant to even discuss burying new cable in our 22-home subdivision.

Has anyone been in this same predicament and been able to convince a nearby ISP to run new lines? If so, how did you do it? Our neighborhood association could really use some pointers on this because we hit a new brick wall with every new approach we try — stopping just short of burying our own cable and hoping they'll at least be willing to run a line to the pole at the end of the street and drop it into our box.

Submission + - What's a good Tablet/App Combination for Note-Taki

" rel="nofollow">EmagGeek writes: "My wife recently started back to school to finish her 4-year degree, and one of the things that we've been considering is procuring for her some kind of tablet that would enable her to take notes in class and save them electronically. This would obviate the need to carry around a bunch of paper, and could even be used to store e-textbooks so she doesn't have to lug 30lbs of books around campus.

At minimum, she would have to be able to write freehand on the tablet with a fine-point stylus, just like she would write on paper with a pen. We've seen what we call those "fat finger" styli and found that they are not good for fine writing.

Having become frustrated with the offerings we've tried so far, I thought I would ping the Slashdot Community. Any suggestions?"

Submission + - Measuring Proficiency in the Engineering Workplace

EmagGeek writes: "The current and most common paradigm for reviewing employee performance seems to be the standard annual review of accomplishments against the employee's goals and objectives for the review period. In my company, compensation is determined mostly by the outcome of the goal and objective review. However, titles and ranks (and therefore promotions and career advancement — or ending) are determined by a completely separate set of criteria, among them being engineering expertise. We do not currently have an established way to objectively measure employee proficiency, so I was curious if you've experienced being rated for your engineering proficiency, and if so, how was that accomplished, and also whether you have been promoted or demoted or received an adjustment in compensation as a result of it."

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo