They already are working on that: Automatic Train Control.
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While limited writes are certainly a factor, they probably aren't going to be a major issue for basic consumer use.
Most SSD storage drivers these days automatically spread the writes around the drive, so to hit the write limit you will need to write the equivalent of the capacity of the drive multiplied by the write limit of any particular register. Assuming 2 million write cycles per register, and the low-end 256 GB drive, that's 500,000 TB of writing before you burn out every register. Obviously the user would see some degradation before that, but there's still lots of room to play with.
Some more sample calculations are available here: http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html
Neither Rogers or Bell offer anything but cell phones in over half the country. If you live in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba in the west, and much of eastern Canada as well, you cannot get TV or Internet via Rogers with the exception of 3/4g at 500mb for $50 a month. It is the same with Bell.
But you claim to have an idea of Canadian culture.
Just because a company does not operate nation-wide, that does not mean that it cannot be a monopoly/duopoly. You just need to change your market definition from "Canada-wide Internet Access" to "Internet Access in B.C." or "Internet Access in Ontario." In fact, Shaw and Rogers did a swap back in 2000 to concentrate their networks along these lines: http://www.businessedge.ca/archives/article.cfm/shaw-and-rogers-in-4-billion-swap-4992
What the original poster meant was that, in any given market in Canada, there are at most two companies then own lines into someone's home. If you're in BC, it's Telus and Shaw. If you're in Ontario, it's Bell and Rogers. In any case, these two companies are doing their best to ensure there is not a third line coming into the house, so they can keep their prices artificially high for as long as possible.
While the PDF is not free, the core content is freely available on the Internet as a "Reference Document" under the terms of the Open Game License. Paizo hosts all of the details from most of their books themselves (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/), but there are many other websites that reproduce and compile details from different sources, including third party content (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ is one).
Under the terms of the license, all of the core rules can be re-packaged and sold in your own game. Only the proper names unique to the Pathfinder setting (characters, deities, etc) are copyrighted and cannot be used.
Although you are correct in that it is not a literal power outage, it is far more than just the "INTARWEBS", because so much in the North depends on Satellite communication.
From the article:
"People in Iqaluit are reporting they are without cell phone service and long-distance calling, bank machines and debit-card machines. At least one bank in the city has not opened today as a result. Flights are also being delayed."
Why not, say, Forest Green, or Taupe?
I wonder in 20 years how these "networks" will compare to the Morgantown PRT.
Amazon has been beta testing running Windows servers on EC2, and from what I've heard from Amazon, one of the challenges is creating a Microsoft license that will allow Microsoft to capture revenue from this and similar projects elsewhere.
I wouldn't be surprised if they used a business model similar to Red Hat's cloud image, where Red Hat gets a tiny payment for every hour the server is running.
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