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Comment: Re:Last 2 planes? (Score 1) 252

by Idarubicin (#48937175) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

The oldest flying 747 is also the fifth 747 produced. It was delivered in August 1970 and is still flying today.

This is true. As the linked article notes, a remarkable number of early 747s are still in service in Iran, either with the Iranian Air Force or as part of the fleet of Iran Air. These airframes date to before the 1979 Iranian Revolution. I didn't really want to open that can of worms, though--given the diplomatic situation between Iran and the United States, one wonders at the level of support that Boeing would feel it had to provide (or even would be allowed to provide, as a U.S. company).

I would wonder if there were any parallels to the situation in, say, Cuba, with its large population of Batista-era (pre-Castro, pre-Communist revolution) U.S.-built "classic" automobiles. Though you'll still see them on the roads of Havana, I wouldn't expect Ford to still have parts for, say, the 1957 Fairlane.

Comment: Re:Plan B (Score 3, Insightful) 164

by nine-times (#48936619) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

I think this is right. They're making more investments in getting their apps on iOS and Android. I think this investment is an indication that they're interested in having their own Android distribution (or one that they can at least partner with) which will allow them control while maintaining application compatibility.

And if so, I'd say that's a smart move. It's probably not a full plan yet, but more of a hedge while they try to push mobile application development by decreasing the barriers between development for Windows desktop, Windows Tablet, and Windows Phone. One way or another, they need a mobile platform with apps.

Comment: Native UI conventions...? (Score 5, Interesting) 108

by nine-times (#48936527) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

One of my problems with LibreOffice (and OpenOffice, and some other FOSS apps) is that it doesn't fit with native UI conventions. It doesn't look like a native application, it doesn't feel like a native application, and it doesn't behave like a native application. Although it may seem like a very superficial thing, it makes it much harder to sell in a business setting. First, because a lot of business users (including "decision makers") are pretty superficial, and using a non-native UI makes it look cheap and unfinished. Second, because if it doesn't feel or behave like the applications that users are familiar with, then it's going to be jarring and confusing, requiring more training and resulting in more help desk trouble calls.

So when I read that LibreOffice "has got a lot of UX and design love", I was hoping that some of the incongruences were fixed. Looking at the OSX version, it seems that it's gotten worse. It looks distinctly like an application written for Linux that was hastily ported to OSX.

Comment: Re:that's the problem. 3/16th" hole = opened (Score 1) 346

by hey! (#48935183) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

The issue as I'm sure you know isn't "opened", but rather "opened within a certain length of time." Obviously given unlimited time you can get into anything, and you probably can get into an ATM a lot faster than a decent safe. But once you have the explosion routine down pat, you can probably be away with the ATM money in *seconds*. In terms of practicality and low risk, that's hard to beat.

Comment: Re:Population Densi.. stop asking dumb questions! (Score 1) 402

And as an IT professional working in NYC, I'll tell you that the Internet here is... not so great. I'll grant you, it's better than the parts of the country that are stuck on dial-up and DSL, but you can't get FIOS in most places. A lot of people (individuals and businesses) are stuck with TWC as their only viable source of broadband. Sure, you can run a bunch of bonded T1s and get 10mbps for something like $1k/month, but if you want something cheaper than that, you're stuck with TWC.

The problem with that is (a) TWC has slow upload speeds; and (b) TWC is unreliable and will often go offline for a few hours for no apparent reason.

NYC gave Verizon some kind of deal on the requirement that they run fiber everywhere by Q2 2014. Guess what? Didn't happen.

Comment: Re:My best guess... (Score 1) 402

I'd agree in a sense-- but that it could (and maybe should) be like roads. The federal government deals with interstate highways, and the local governments deal with local roads. Basically we could have the federal government making a high-capacity fiber backbone, and then have state and local government deal with running FTTH.

Comment: Re:Last 2 planes? (Score 4, Informative) 252

by Idarubicin (#48934689) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

So...$1.65 billion to buy the planes from Boeing, and how many millions per year to have Boeing keep a tooling line up for spare parts?

Since airlines were still ordering new 747-8s (the platform on which the new Air Force One(s) would be built) in 2014 - and might still continue to do so - this isn't exactly an obsolete aircraft. I mean, the first 747-8s weren't delivered to customers until 2011. There are still-flying 747-variant fuselages in commercial (passenger and freight) service that have been in the air since the late 1970s and early 1980s. Based on that history, it seems likely that Boeing will need to support its commercial customers through to at least 2045 or so.

Comment: My best guess... (Score 5, Insightful) 402

I don't have a lot of facts to cite that I can back this up with, but my general sense is that Europe (and a fair bit of Asia too) have the belief that it's worthwhile to have the government invest in infrastructure. They spend money to improve roads, bridges, railways, airports, telecommunications, electrical generation, and whatever else. In the US, we assume that infrastructure will take care of itself, somehow, mysteriously.

For a lot of stuff, we just get angry if the government spends money to build/repair a bridge. Railways are considered a massive boondoggle. The Internet is considered an entertainment service. To the extent that we consider the Internet "telecommunications infrastructure", we've decided to improve it by giving massive amounts of money to private monopolies, while not having any actual requirements on those companies to actually build anything with that money. There's a belief, somehow, that Verizon is a good and virtuous company that would love to provide fast internet, if only it could afford to do so, so we just keep giving them money and exclusive deals, and they keep refusing to actually roll out fiber.

Meanwhile, European countries just rolled out fiber. No outrage from the Tea Party to deal with, no big payouts to Verizon to stifle the project. They were able to do it because they simply had the government pay for it.

Comment: Re:You owe Snowden a favor (Score 1) 103

by Half-pint HAL (#48930607) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily
Clemency? That can't happen, because it would legitimise his leaks. Right now, not only is he considered unreliabl by many on simple grounds of being "a traitor", but he's in exile in Russia -- Russia! -- so anyone with a slight hint of right-wingedness will be disregarding everything he leaks.

Remember -- only 10% of anything can be in the top 10%.