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Comment Filesharing sites (Score 1) 294

I've found the best speedtest solution is to choose a couple of the major fileshare sites (ie. the ones that ISPs love to throttle or block). I then upload a non-compressible junk file of about 100MB and try downloading it directly and via a VPN. I then compare those results to my ISP's speedtest.

I've seen some impressive throttling or within-ISP network congestion/lack of interconnects.

Comment Good Omens (Score 2) 111

"Note for Americans and other aliens: Milton Keynes is a new city approximately halfway between London and Birmingham. It was built to be modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live. Many Britons find this amusing." -- T. Pratchett and N. Gaiman, Good Omens

We used to go bowling there when I was little as it was the only place within an hour's drive with a bowling alley... I mostly remember parts being very empty and then almost never-ending lines of roundabouts (although at least they were in straight lines unlike Swindon)...

Comment Re:$500,00 equipment with WinXP (Score 2) 727

When dealing with certain pieces of equipment, the cost of service contracts often gets renegotiated after each expires and if the vendor doesn't want to support it anymore they just jack up the price of the contract to a non-viable level. So then you just wait until the machine stops working before you upgrade. We had this happen with a Leica confocal microscope - the contract expired, and then the proprietary board that connected the scope to the computer died. Since no more boards existed world-wide the scope was useless as a confocal and so was eventually repurposed as a standard epi-fluorescence scope.

Comment Move Abroad... Teaching is still a respected job. (Score 5, Interesting) 416

There are plenty of countries where teachers are actually respected, paid decent wages and supported by their schools - my little brother ended up in Australia, and even though he's not currently in a particularly nice school (inner city...) he still says it's a massive leap above most schools in the US/UK...

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]