Back in the 80s and early 90s I was working in New Jersey and often doing projects in DC. Taking the train was a lot less stressful than flying, and typically took only about 15 minutes longer, but sometimes I'd fly from Newark to National Airport. There were shuttle planes every hour, you only needed about 15 minutes at the airport to catch your plane, and if you missed it there'd be another one an hour later. (Except occasionally, with bad weather or whatever.) So we'd usually aim to get to the airport 20-30 minutes before our flight, and if you didn't get a bad Metro connection downtown you could walk at the airport, or if you did you could run and usually still get on.
Between Boston, NYC, and DC, Amtrak runs the really fast Acela trains, the pretty fast Metroliners, and the slower local trains. There's also lots of commuter train service in the Northeast that isn't Amtrak, such as New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad, SEPTA, DC Metro, etc. Back in the 1980s and early 90s I used to take the trains from New Jersey to DC (before the Acela started, so Metroliner if I could, or the slow trains otherwise.) Depending on where I was going in DC, it was often faster to take the train, because there's a lot less "hurry up and wait" and the train stations were more centrally located.
Outside the northeast, Amtrak runs passenger service, mostly long-haul, with occasional shorter-distance service like the trains from San Francisco Bay Area up to Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. That service runs on the same rails that carry freight trains, and freight has higher priority, so sometimes the passenger trains have to wait. I've never been on one that mixed passengers and freight, but I suppose it's possible that they're doing some of that these days.
Back when I was taking the trains, Wifi hadn't been invented, most people didn't have cell phones, and cell phones mainly worked near the city; there was a big service gap between Baltimore and Philly. I was once in one of the dining cars, and the old guy sitting across from me had the smallest cellphone I'd ever seen (a Motorola flip-phone analog), the smallest laptop I'd ever seen (a 6-pound IBM model you could only get in Japan), and an alphanumeric Skytel pager (which was also cool.) He was Professor Dave Farber, then of UPenn, and he'd just been working on the EFF founding
Lots of big corporations have more complicated tax liabilities that can't be handled by being registered in just one company. It's not uncommon to have multiple layers of corporate shells, with different layers being the ones that officially do some part of the business in that country so as to minimize overall taxes. One such approach is the Double Irish Arrangement often with a "Dutch Sandwich" in between, and Wikipedia identifies Google as one of a number of well-known large companies doing things like this.
At $DAYJOB, the IT department supports the long-term-support versions, currently at 17.0.5. It crashes a lot, and often gets into a runaway burn-the-whole-CPU trap (I've got an 8-CPU-core PC, so it shows up as 12-13% CPU utilization, so the rest of my machine's ok even though the browser stalls.)
The main add-ons I'm running are NoScript, Ad-Block-Plus, and Ghostery.
It does seem to recover much better from crashes than 10.x long-term-support did, but it's still annoying.
Lynx is a stripped-down browser, without enough artificial intelligence capability to have "feelings". EMACS, on the other hand? Sure, it's just meta-x-cokebottle and RMS's your uncle.
Back in the old days, when Netflix worked by mailing physical DVDs, their bandwidth was about 1/3 of the total bandwidth of the Internet. They had a much higher latency (~48 hours), but a huge amount of parallelism and 4GB packet sizes.
It's possible that that figure was only on Internet2, which has mostly academic users. Or is Netflix using BitTorrent for their downloads?
Thanks for the explanation; many of us here only know the Star Trek definition of red shirt
It's not like law enforcement and the prison business aren't also in drastic need of reform; there's no excuse for the US to have more people in jail than the Soviet Union did. But all the world's militaries are making their own countries worse for their own people, making them worse for their enemies, forcing their neighbors to beef up their militaries, and the US and Russia are still threatening to blow up the world with nuclear weapons. Militaries are an excuse for governments to have power over their own people, and to give lucrative contracts to their politically connected friends, and defense contractors are happy to contribute to whatever politicians will give them the most business, regardless of how bad they are on other topics.
There are a few countries out there without armies. Costa Rica got rid of theirs back in the 1800s, not because they're any more peace-loving than everybody else, but because their president realized that the primary functions of a Latin American military were to steal land from the Indians (already done!) and to overthrow the civilian president (which he didn't want to happen to him.) Most of the others are countries in civil war, where there's no single official army.
Thanks! I didn't have anything funny to say, and the previous sig was post-election snarkiness which had gotten dated, so I figured I'd do something useful with the space
When my mother was growing up, the ice man delivered ice for the icebox; they didn't get mechanical refrigeration at home until after the war (and that was in a medium-large city.) If you drank milk, it didn't keep very long, and most people didn't have cars, so delivery made sense.
When I was growing up, milk companies still delivered in the suburbs, and some bakeries delivered, as well as a few more specialized products like potato chips. Most Americans didn't have two cars, and they tended to do large grocery shopping runs on Saturday. My mom learned to drive around 1960 so she could haul us to pre-school, and my dad carpooled to work; they probably got a second car in the late 60s, and they switched over to supermarket milk around 1970, and supermarkets were starting to have enough shelf space by the late 70s to carry more variety of products like potato chips than corner stores could.
If I had had kids, they would have grown up around the time of the internet boom. Webvan and Kozmo briefly delivered a wide variety of convenience foods (and weed
Good bread can last just fine if you treat it well (and don't eat it all, of course.) Refrigeration keeps it from going moldy, plastic bags keep it from drying out in the fridge. And here in the San Francisco Bay Area (or up in Seattle), there's lots of choices of good bread, even if you don't like sourdough. (Maybe soft spongey breads don't last as long without preservatives, but I don't eat those.)
Also lottery tickets and tobacco. In much of the US, mom&pop corner stores have been replaced by 7-11 or similar chains, but the functions are still similar. Ethnic neighborhoods are more likely to have mom&pop stores with a bit more specialized food varieties, but they're still selling the high-profit-margin goods that keep them in business.