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Comment: Re:Better than the Worst? (Score 1) 151

by bengoerz (#49775165) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable
The worst case is that Time Warner continues to gouge consumers and offer worse and worse service. A merger may be better than that.

For reference, current business pricing is:
$501.95/mo for 100/5 from Time Warner in Dallas
$199/mo for 100/20 from Comcast (not in DFW)
$99/mo for 100/7 from Charter in Ft Worth

You can't have less competition in broadband unless you start with some.

Comment: Better than the Worst? (Score 2) 151

by bengoerz (#49774711) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable
According to ASCI's 2014 poll of Internet Service Providers (see coverage by Ars), Time Warner had the lowest satisfaction of all broadband companies (54% and dropping faster than any other company). Comcast was 2nd-worst (57% and dropping 2nd-fastest), and Charter was 3rd-worst (and dropping 3rd fastest). So, this may lessen Time Warner's decline.

Personally, I have used both companies for coax services in the DFW area, and I prefer Charter. Business services are similar, but Charter is much cheaper (currently $40/mo promo for 60M/4M versus Time Warner at over $300/mo for 50M/5M). Time Warner's aging infrastructure in Dallas definitely does not warrant the premium. Plus, Charter service is no-contract.

Comment: Re:Or.... (Score 5, Interesting) 239

by JanneM (#49772627) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

You follow the local accepted customs, whether you think they are ridiculous or not.

Let's take a parallel situation: In some countries, such as Australia I believe, you wear your shoes indoor. In some countries, such as Japan or my native Sweden, you always take them off.

If you come to either country, would you find it acceptable to basically say "In Australia we always wear our shoes indoor. If you want to take them off, no issue. Why should I be forced to take them off?". Then proceed to try to walk in wearing your outdoor shoes? Would you be surprised if you were (politely in Japan, not so politely in Sweden) thrown out as a result?

Comment: Re:280km (Score 1) 189

by JanneM (#49523715) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record

For the Osaka-Tokyo route, the Shinkansen made the difference between an overnight business trip or return the same day. That made it insanely popular. With the new train, you can not just make a set of meetings; you can do a full days work and still get back the same day (even more so for Nagoya of course).

Many people here get stationed at offices in other cities for months or years, and leave their families behind. They effectively do a weekly commute, and come home only on weekends. For a lot of people this would let them get home more often or even stay home and make this a daily commute. Expensive, but on the other hand the company doesn't have to pay for a second short-term apartment and the other costs of two households.

Comment: Re:Wasn't quite the revolution ... (Score 1) 134

by JanneM (#49481743) Attached to: Chinese Ninebot Buys US Rival Segway

I appreciate your idea, but I don't think it's that good a fit for the Segway.

People that can't walk a mile most likely needs their own assistance tech - a walker, a wheelchair - on the bus or train as well. And people that don't have time to walk a mile or two won't be helped by a thing that barely moves above walking speed. A bicycle rental spot (or free city bikes) would be more helpful and less costly.

Comment: Re:We aready have this (Score 1) 33

by JanneM (#49377095) Attached to: Hand-Drawn and Inkjet Printed Circuits for the Masses (Video)

I solder SMT components by hand as well. Don't even need a microscope; just head-mounted magnifier glasses is plenty. Make sure you have good light and plenty of flux and you're good to go.

But the problem is the board. Sure, if you have a finished design already, and you intend to actually use it in the future, then sending off for a finished PCB is good. But if it's just a hobby, and you're prototyping or just playing around to better understand a particular circuit, then spending a good chunk of money and weeks of time for a board is simply not feasible. You really want to set something up, try it, then tear it down and try the next idea.

With that said, I don't know that this is the answer either. Hand-drawn does not sound precise enough to handle SMT, and a whole separate device just making prototype boards sounds like too much money and space for a hobbyist. Perhaps the answer is desktop mills that become cheap and precise enough that you can use them to cut out boards from copper blanks along with other building tasks. At least that would not be a single-purpose gadget.

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