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Comment Re:Wait, Google and Apple don't do this? (Score 1) 168

So what you are saying:

Remove projects that are open source but are controlled primarily by profit making corporations like Oracle and Red Hat because it might convince kids to go down the path of developing using that ecosystem.

Block internet access to all sites that are not 100% public domain because the content on those sites might encourage the students to use sites that are not public domain.

We take away all library books that are not public domain yet because it might get them addicted to books that are written in more modern styles with modern storylines and themes, and almost of those books are owned by profit making enterprises.

Discourage any arts, photography, or writing of the student unless that student promises not to show it to others or makes it public domain. Because proprietary individually owned copyright that is granted automatically might encourage other students to create the same, causing mass hysteria.

I'm just running this out to it's logical conclusion.

Interestingly, my computer experience in High school consisted of time on a mainframe and some time on apple II's. I also had some programming time in Basic and even some Pascal. I also extensively used a VMS VAX system in college. I wonder why I am not still using those ecosystems today, outside of a macbook that boots up windows in a VM? Must have been all of that Atari, Atari 800XL and Colecovision equipment I had as a kid. Although full disclaimer, I did play the heck out of Rollercoaster Tycoon and Baldur's gate by atari.

Comment Re:Headline doesn't mention Amazon & iTunes cr (Score 1) 168

Or Amazon, Apple and Microsoft could not donate anything and not provide incentives to organizers. Or the schools can say "hey, this isn't worth it" and not participate. It's not like is buying $10 from Amazon, Apple or Microsoft to give to the users. Those credits are donated to that organization as well to give to educators.

Comment Headline doesn't mention Amazon & iTunes credi (Score 3, Informative) 168

More headline trolling details: Amazon & iTunes credits are given to teachers too as the link above states in the freaking post timothy made. But sure, go ahead and bash microsoft for putting money into a program that is trying to teach using a tool that is extremely popular among the very population that you are targeting.

Comment Wait, Google and Apple don't do this? (Score 4, Insightful) 168

Last time I looked Apple was constantly offering discounted iPads and apple products to lock schools and minds into the apple ecosystem.

Last time I looked Google was constantly offering discounted chromebooks and pushing schools into the google ecosystem, especially with gmail and google docs.

I'm sick and tired of the Microsoft is evil crap. Yes, 20 years ago they tried to embrace, extend and extinguish their standards over open standards to the entire internet. But they didn't win. The average consumer is not a microsoft consumer, they are a Apple or Google consumer.

So what did Microsoft do? They determined their core market was Office and Servers (through azure). Everything they've done over the past few years has been geared towards furthering those goals. Windows 10 is mostly a ploy to put those two platforms first, in the same way Google and Apple serve to put their platforms first.

But you know what's different? Microsoft is more open than they've ever been, ever. Heck, their Azure cloud service even has first rate support for running your favorite flavor of linux on their servers. They've open sourced much of their codebase for C# and have been focused on allowing their system to write code for themselves and any of their competitors.

Of course they are going to lean towards supporting their own systems and will make changes to the root of the product to enhance their other offerings. They are a for-profit corporation, just like Google and Apple. But they've been far more open and less heavy handed than those two in the last 5 years.

Comment Re:Better get those lobbyists ready, Comcast (Score 1) 98

I suspect this is part of the reasoning behind having **4000 satellites**. This seems like way too many unless you suddenly see possibilities of some ISP subleasing 1 satellite at all times directly above xyz geographic area. The local ISP transmits data up, the satellite currently overhead simply passes the data back down to all of the subscribers in xyz geographic area. WIth the right steerable antennas (electronic) the beam could be very tight on both ends and not interfere with all of the other satellites that may be visible at that moment.

Comment Re:4000 (Score 4, Interesting) 98

Radio waves travel (in a vacuum) around 1 kilometer in about 3 microseconds. With Geosynch satellites that adds up to roughly 45 milliseconds at a minimum for the signal to get from the base station to the satellite and back down to you. However there is only a few base stations that transmit requests up to the satellite and it takes time for the signal to get to the station. If it's the morning on the east coast server and you are hitting an east coast server and transmitting from an east coast server to a satellite overlooking the continent US, the delay should be well under a second. However before you get to that point, you have to add the latency for the server you are accessing to the ground based transmitter and hope that it's not congested.

With spaceX's new proposal you are looking at 2.2 ms as the minimum earth to ground delay + presumably something up to 15-16,000 km (15-16 ms) if your packets had to travel to the exact opposite side of the globe. Add in a 1-2 ms delay for each hop between satellites due to the actual switching and he could be much much much faster for intercontinental packets.

Plus I'm assuming under this scenario that there will be hundreds of terrestrial transmittal points to use versus just a few base stations to make the terrestrial hops even less.

I'd wager that financial market trading traffic alone could pay for a significant portion of this bill at super premium rates, especially overseas traders. Not to mention traffic from ships, planes, rural 1st world locations all paying a premium. They can implement zone pricing pretty easily because they will always be able to able to triangulate a transmission down to the inch. With a network that dense it would greatly surpass the accuracy of the existing GPS constellation.

Comment Re:All of the major car makers are fighting EVs (Score 2) 486

Even if we replaced 80% of every car with electric, there would still be uses for ICE engines. In the case of Diesel the vast majority of shipping uses it at some level, either trucks, trains or ships. It will be a while, maybe even needing a 10x increase in battery efficiency before it's economical to have an electric powered 18 wheeler that many times doesn't stop for 800-1000 Miles for refueling.

However, a diesel engine may not be standard type of engine of the future. Multiple companies are retrofitting fleet vehicles with hybrid systems powered by a turbine engine. All of the major over the road tractor manufacturers are testing new turbine powered hybrids too. Many of these hybrids will never plug into anything but the actual motors turning the wheels will be electric with the turbine just generating that electricity and feeding it to batteries/ultra capacitors.

Comment Re:Larger landing area (Score 2) 342

Think of it as a soda can. When the rocket is pressurized with all of it's fuel it's 100 tons and can withstand very heavy vertical forces. When most of it's fuel is gone it's like an aluminum can - still strong top to bottom but on the side very easy to dent and damage. 90% of the 10 tons of weight left is in the bottom 10% of the rocket so it's not as tipsy as you'd think.

Comment Re:Offsite (Score 1) 446

One of my first helpdesk positions long ago was for a major Insurance company. The company had a mainframe based system that held all of the insurance policies (of course) but it didn't hold all of the sales-ish information that was stored as part of the quoting system they had (this was back in the 90's). So while they could pull up policy information they couldn't bring up info that helps them close the sale like your kids names (you don't really think your insurance agent actually remembers all those details when you see him/her every few years right?)

So I get a call one day to initiate the process of getting new machines built for an agent who had his machines destroyed in a Kansas tornado. As I'm recording all the details I ask him if he had backup tapes off site and he says no, his office was in the front part of his residence (common for small towns). So I then say "you know, those tapes are really durable in their cases. Do you think they could be buried somewhere intact?". The agent pauses for a moment and says "yup, I think you're right. But my foundation is a clean slab so I don't know where in the county they are."

I guess you have to have a sense of humor about storms to be an Insurance agent in the plains.

I've always relayed this story when people bring this up. There are situations that can occur that could cause you not to be able to recover this data.

The only possible solution I can think is if you have a separate storm shelter away from your house where fire (and tornado's) can't reach. But even then you'd potentially have to worry about floods.

Comment Re:Never heard of it (Score 3, Interesting) 101

The sad part is that I went to their main page and scrolled back the last few weeks of stories. It seems to have an Ars Technica feel to it, which is a good thing. I may have even bookmarked it and read it on occasion had I known it existed...

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato