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Comment: Re:Why so long? (Score 1) 449

by Strider- (#49084957) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

In Canada, we've been Chip & Pin for at least 5 years ago. I was actually surprised when I was down in the states and had to grab some socks from Walmart. When I swiped my card (which I'm used to in the states) instead it had me insert it and do the usual chip & pin.

The contactless is for small, quick transactions. Buying coffee, a pack of gum, whatever. While Chip & Pin is more secure, it's also significantly slower. So, to move a lot of people through the line quickly, they do the paypass thing. When you have the lunch rush at Timmies, you need to move people quickly. ;)

Comment: Re:Helping Castro (Score 5, Informative) 166

by Strider- (#49064107) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

That gasoline in your car most likely comes from Saudi Arabia, and we are openly allies with other Gulf Arab states.

I've seen this repeated a bunch of times, but it's simply not true. Canada was far and away the largest source of foreign oil to the United States. In November 2014, the USA imported an average of 3.443 million barrels per day from Canada, and only imported 1.014 million barrels from Saudi Arabia. If you add up all the gulf states, and other less friendly nations, that the total imports to the US total 2.630 Mbpd (I totalled Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq, Angola, Russia, Kuwait, and Algeria in that). Additionally, the United States extracts 9.020 Million barrels per day of crude.

The long and short of this is that the gasoline in your car most likely came from domestic crude, followed by Canadian crude, or crude from other friendly nations, and not from Saudi Arabia, or other less friendly nations.


Comment: Re:This, and then some (Score 1) 439

by Strider- (#49058743) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

we can expect our apparently immortal B-52 fleet (also a system whose demise has been predicted time and time again) to perform our ground saturation missions with massive loads of dumb bombs.

The main reason why the B-52 continues to hang around is that it is a relatively cost effective bomb truck. It can carry a huge assortment and amount of ordinance, and loiter overhead for hours, delivering what's needed on call.

Submarines are in the same boat (If you'll pardon the pun). As long as there is need for nuclear deterrence, the boomers will continue to slip out to sea, and make for a hole in the water. The ocean is incredibly large, and finding the SSBN is harder than a needle in a field of haystacks. For the attack boats? There will probably always be a role, whether it's shore attack (using cruise missiles), special forces delivery, or whatever else.

Comment: Re:Have I lost my mind? (Score 1) 378

by Strider- (#49006933) Attached to: Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant

The Canadian government negotiates bulk prices directly with the pharmaceutical companies, which reduces their profit margins. So an ad for a prescription drug, that will increase sales by, say 20%, is worth running in America, but will not pay for itself in Canada.

Also, in Canada, it's against the law to advertise the condition and the prescription medication to treat it in the same advertisement. This is why you see some really cheeky Viagra and Cialis advertisements, but they don't say what it treats, and Erectile Dysfunction advertisements that say "Talk to your doctor."

Comment: Re:Vinyl sucks (Score 1) 196

by Strider- (#48960703) Attached to: Music Doesn't Feature In the Pirate Bay's Top 100 Biggest Torrents

Increased quality? I'm on board unless it requires vinyl. If it does then screw increased quality because it is not worth the hassle of vinyl.

I think his point was that Vinyl albums can not have the same level of audio compression (not to be confused with data compression) and thus "loudness" as CDs and/or other digital formats. Due to the nature of the medium in which the audio is recorded, there has to be a greater dynamic range, rather than everything just going between +/-$maxshort.

Comment: Re:Would a smaller plane do? (Score 1) 293

by Strider- (#48937217) Attached to: US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

This seems like an obvious question but why does one guy and his staff need a more than 400 passenger plane?

Technically speaking? He probably doesn't, but that doesn't really matter. Like it or not, the VC-25 is part of the image that the presidency presents to the rest of the world. If you want to present an image of strength and the supremacy of the American Ideal, showing up in a European aircraft is not the way to do it. Also, showing up in a smaller aircraft (787 or 777) doesn't help either. Like it or not, it's partially dick waving, and the 747-800i is really the only choice.

Comment: Re:"Broadband" is a stupid name (Score 1) 430

by Strider- (#48933745) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

Same reason they call it a a DSL or cable modem, despite the fact that nothing is being modulated or demodulated.

Where did you get this idea? Both Cable and DSL modems are in fact modems. In the case of cable modems, the data is carried in a set of 6MHz channels (Same bandwidth as analog TV) at various frequencies on the cable. The data being sent over these channels is encoded with QAM (typically QAM-256) and contains a certain amount of Forward Error Correction (to compensate for noise in the line). Thus, your cable modem demodulates these carriers and sends the data out over the ethernet jack, and conversely modulates the outbound data from your system into a TDMA (IIRC) uplink.

With DSL, the spectrum on the phone line is divided into hundreds of subcarriers, and the data sent/received is divided over all of these subcarriers (thus allowing the system to compensate for weirdness that occurs on phone lines).

Comment: Re:"Broadband" is a stupid name (Score 4, Insightful) 430

by Strider- (#48933215) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

Broadband is a description of the technology, not of bandwidth.

Well, to be pedantic, "Broadband" and "Bandwidth" are descriptors for how much spectrum a given signal occupies, and has very little to do with throughput. 802.11b occupies 6MHz of bandwidth to carry 11Mbps, while a QAM256 carrier on cable sends 36Mbps using 6MHz channels. Both of these are broadband, and both have the same bandwidth, but they have significantly different throughputs.

The correct term would really be data rate, or throughput, or something along those lines.

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.