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Comment: Re: the grass is decidedly not greener (Score 1) 144

by Maow (#48415695) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy

My DSL started out at $39 in 2012 (not counting the new subscriber discount), and has steadily increased about every 6-8 months to its present price for roughly the same level of service.

Sounds exactly like my experience in Vacouver with Shaw.

When I found out that one of the brothers in charge got highly intoxicated at the AGM and insulted investors, and was fired - kidding! - was paid to go away - to the tune of an $80,000,000 retirement package, well that was the final straw for me.

Bonus - TekSavvy as ISP over cable modem in Vancouver uses Shaw's quite decent infrastructure, but it's much cheaper.

Comment: Re: the grass is decidedly not greener (Score 1) 144

by Maow (#48415685) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy

Wow! That is a good deal. Out of curiosity, what is the non-roaming coverage like for Wind outside of major urban centres like Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto? Also, is the 4G/LTE coverage fairly consistent?

Sorry for the late reply.

Whistler is covered. Barrie is covered. Oshawa to London is covered, I believe. All around the western shore of Lake Ontario.

No LTE (not an issue for me in the slightest). HSPA (sp?) is okay for my purposes - I've run my whole home network through my tethered phone while between cable internet providers. has a map of their supposed coverage. CoverageMapper app has very specific details as reported by users of the app on various networks (download and help fill in your carrier's coverage! (no affiliation)).

As for actual roaming, Wind customers roam on Rogers' network at what used to be $0.20 / minute (CRTC decisions of late might have changed that). When I was a Rogers customer myself, and my measly 180 minutes expired, I was charged $0.25 / minute. So... screw Rogers even though their network is good.

Wind also has apparently excellent US roaming (unlimited for $5 or $10 / month). I've never looked closely at it, but some people seem to like it.

Finally, Wind will provide the network unlock code for your phone if you get it through them, once you've been a customer for 3 months. So overseas travel is easy - swap SIM cards at your destination.

CoverageMapper allows users to report on their carrier's coverage world-wide... A great app that should be recommended by all mobile providers.

Comment: Re:the grass is decidedly not greener (Score 2) 144

by Maow (#48408309) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy

We pay the price for the bit of regulatory advantage we have.

Not in my experience.

I see US commercials for home internet and mobile data and am blown away.

Canadians get offered advertised rates that are enough to "blow one away". In the small print, it's always "for the first 6 months, then it doubles". See Telus and Shaw for examples.

Data rates are so expensive up here in Canada compared to what is advertised in th US. My cell bill is 80 bucks a month, and I get a measly 1 gig a month shared with my wife's phone - she still has to pay 65 bucks for her phone service itself even though she shares my data (granted we get unlimited nationwide calling and texting, but this seems to be the norm for most plans).

Then shop around. I pay $40 / month and get 5 GB / month on mobile before throttling, unlimited global SMS, unlimited North America-wide voice calling, free MMS, voice mail, call conferencing, call display,... Wind Mobile. Oh, and the wife gets unlimited nation-wide calling for $25 too. Our accounts are entirely separate, there's no family plan or discount involved.

My DSL internet is 63 bucks a month at 15 mbps speeds and a 150 gigabyte cap (it was 60 gigabytes until six months ago).

I pay $30 / month for 7.5 mbps with a fuzzy 300 GB cap, which isn't really enforced and may only count during the hours from 08:00 to 02:00 -- never encountered an overage so I'm unclear. TekSavvy.

Don't even get me started on the cost of TV...

Yes, TV is a rip-off. Not sure that it's worse than in the US, so won't comment.

This site, Ars Technica, and others, are full of absolutely abhorrent behaviours and pricing from the US telecomm giants; I don't understand how you can look at them with any envy, or anything other than perhaps pity.

Comment: Buried the lede: SENATOR agrees (Score 4, Informative) 231

by Maow (#48353857) Attached to: Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet

The Ontario Provincial Police was part of the law enforcement panel and was asked by Senator Tom McInnis, a Conservative Senator from Nova Scotia, about what other laws are needed to address cyberbullying.

That's when Scott Naylor of the OPP gave the response outlined in TFS.

Of course, the Ontario Provincial Police have little influence nation-wide.

A Conservative senator, on the other hand, does.

Naylor’s comment was approved by Senator McInnis, who stated that he “absolutely agreed” with the recommendation.

Of course, the Supreme Court of Canada sides with anonymity on-line. But Senators and MPs have the ability to (attempt to) pass legislation that would attempt this lunatic idea.

Comment: Presentation as seen on YouTube well done (Score 2) 61

by Maow (#48343625) Attached to: Researchers Simulate Monster EF5 Tornado

That was a very well done presentation even if it was so far over my head that I understood little but, "oooh, pretty".

The pacing was fast, confident, and even had the audience laughing at times. Congratulations.

Now I feel an evil urge to make a joke about how, since your model didn't properly account for "hydrometeor centrifigal whatzits" then it is therefore worthless and you, Mr Orf, like those climate researchers, are in it for the big bucks in grant money to fund your lavish Toyotas and suburban middle class homes.

Or something. I've likely failed at humour. But you've succeeded in your research, kudos.

Comment: Re:Hey - works for me! (Score 1) 150

by Maow (#48329129) Attached to: Smartphone App To Be Used As Hotel Room Keys

"Civilized country" . . . by which you mean somewhere in the "Old World", I assume? Or perhaps you meant the Third World? I always get those two confused.

Wrong on both counts.

No, thanks. I'd rather stay here in the "New World". You remember us - we're the guys who bailed y'all out something like seventy years ago when you were busy doing the genocide thing?

Actually, while "we" (us New Worlders) were bailing out the "Old World", "you" were sitting on your asses watching the whole thing unfold for half the first instance and until the fight came to you in the second instance.

It sure woulda been nice if the locals had been able to oppose governments that did things like that - but being "civilized" apparently means that would be a no-no, doesn't it?

Yeah, and how's your armament helping you oppose the gubmint these days? Doesn't seem to have been working out for y'all, whether y'all includes American-borne slaves, anti-Vietnam protesters, civil forfeiture victims, Ferguson protesters with .50 cal rifles pointed at them, victims of the War on (Drugs | Terror | ...).

But y'all manage to keep your own numbers in check with all the guns, so carry on.

Comment: Re:Question for btrfs users... (Score 1) 42

by Maow (#48329033) Attached to: OpenSUSE 13.2 Released

I am using OpenSUSE 13.1 right now with ext4 partitions and I am pondering migrating to OpenSUSE 13.2 with btrfs or simply updating the distro with ''zypper dup'' and keeping my ext4 fs.

If you are using btrfs, what has been your experience? Better performance? As stable as ext4?

I set up OpenSUSE 13.1 in a VM and chose BTRFS on the root (and home?) file system(s).

Since it was a VM for testing, I didn't assign it a huge image space, maybe 8 GB.

Well, after installation and then updating all the packages, I'd run out of disk space before the updates finished.

What a PITA. "snapper" can be used to delete some of the snapshots, but I disagree with the snapshot taking after every package update. I understand it can be useful in some scenarios, but it's something I'd rather have on my /home partition.

That's the sum of my experience with poking at it a bit, other than the KDE version of OpenSUSE is probably the finest looking and most-polished OS I've every had the pleasure of using.

Comment: Re:Butlerian Jihad (Score 1) 583

by Maow (#48246151) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Or read the back story of Dune perhaps?

Or saw this CGP Grey video entitled "Humans Need Not Apply":

Makes an excellent case that expert systems will be putting white collar workers and professionals out of work real soon now.

Think IBM's Watson applied to medicine, law, engineering, etc.

Comment: Re: This is silly (Score 1) 720

by Maow (#48225517) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

So we should retain inefficient practices and increase costs to the consumer because otherwise we'll have a glut of unemployed low-skill workers that may commit crimes?

CGP Grey has an excellent video entitled Humans Need Not Apply which makes a strong case for not just low-skilled workers becoming replaced by automation, but skilled workers, and even professionals.

For example, a lot of lawyer work involves sifting through massive document dumps during disclosure. Solution? Automation.

IBM's Watson is being focused on the medical field for research and diagnostics.

Perhaps it can be "taught" engineering to a sufficient degree to create a glut of unemployed humans in that field too.

Think you can compete with Watson?

The unskilled workers are merely the canary in the coal mine. Your turn is coming.

Comment: Re:A truly smart person ... (Score 0) 391

by Maow (#47653543) Attached to: Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Not true. I work with EE faculty, and a number of them can't seem to grasp the concept that the being a brilliant engineer doesn't automatically confer one with expertise in diverse other areas such as patent law, accounting, videography, etc.

I'll agree and add a couple more topics that engineers often make fools of them self in: politics and climate science.

And, to be fair, it's not just engineers that suffer this; it's any highly trained individual who lacks humility.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra