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Comment: Re:Not quite a monopoly (Score 1) 97

In Denver, CO we can choose between Century Link DSL (speeds suck) or Comcast (expensive and service sucks). If the city of Denver jumped in that would at least give us three choices. Competition is good, right?

I've seen ads from Century Link that they plan on offering 1gbs fibre service in Denver. I haven't looked into it, so have no other information (timing, area, cost, etc.) In the meantime, your neighbors to the north in Longmont approved municipal gig a while ago and signup for the service in the first area has begun. Apparently a dark fiber loop was laid a decade or two ago while other work was being done, but state laws - the usual we've heard about here on slashdot - prevented the city from using it to offer service. State law changed, the city voted to utilized the fibre, then again voted to fund it with bonds for a phased but quick rollout over three years instead of using subscriber proceeds for a rollout over decades. The fiber is getting expanded to all parts of the city, absolutely anybody who wants it will be able to get it, from what I understand.

Comment: Re:Blindfolded, but can't see anything wrong... (Score 1) 258

This is what I came to ask. It seems to defy all logic, but it is an official statement - so what did I really expect?

Actually, it's not an official statement. It's something a reporter, Abby Phillip, wrote about something that was allegedly said. What the actual statement by Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson to the reporter was, is unknown.

Comment: Not all cities... (Score 1) 347

Not all cities.

As part of the November 5 election, Longmont's voters approved funding for the full development of the City's fiber optic broadband network. We would like to thank the community for supporting this move toward a future filled with progress and opportunity. As a true gigabit city, we are and will be positioned to be a leader in digital communications and a global information hub. We are lighting tomorrow, today.

Comment: Old tech is new news? (Score 3, Informative) 128

by elistan (#47130419) Attached to: Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To the Masses
This isn't exactly new. While I don't know how exactly the system works, Honda offered variable gear steering on the S2000 Type V 14 years ago. A while I don't know if any "for the masses" cars has variable gear steering, there are a number of manufacturers who currently offer it. (BMW, for example.)

Comment: Re:But is it even usable? (Score 1) 208

by elistan (#46899597) Attached to: Sony Tape Storage Breakthrough Could Bring Us 185 TB Cartridges

I don't think you can make valid estimations about the write speed of this new potential format by assuming it'll work at LTO 6 speeds. As density goes up, so does write speed.

Consider LTO 1 through 6:

  • LTO1 - 4880 bits/mm, 20 MB/sec
  • LTO2 - 7398 bits/mm, 40 MB/sec
  • LTO3 - 9638 bits/mm, 80 MB/sec
  • LTO4 - 13250 bits/mm, 120 MB/sec
  • LTO5 - 15142 bits/mm, 140 MB/sec
  • LTO6 - 15143 bits/mm, 160 MB/sec

It seems that doubling storage density yields slightly more than double the speed. (And obviously, like going from LTO5 to LTO6, speed can be increased without any sort of density improvement.) So if we extrapolate that to this new format, at 74 times the density, it perhaps can perform at 74 times the speed, and therefore fill up a tape within a reasonable timeframe. (Which, admittedly, is pure speculation - until actual speed specifications are released for this format, we just don't know.)

But if I was an IT manager, I wouldn't be looking at 185 TB tapes in order to do a full 185 TB local backup every weekend to be sent to an offsite vault. Instead, I'd be looking at 185 TB tapes if I had a remote site, at least 20 miles away, I'm connected to via a fast fiber link, that holds an active replication of my entire 50TB SAN, and I want to store a year's worth of weekly backups, plus a few month's worth of daily backups, in a 40-slot tape library instead of multiple 200-slot tape libraries. Then I could quickly restore almost any file without having to recall tapes, plus have a hot and ready copy of my data in case a flood, fire, earthquake, etc., strikes the primary site. (The logistics of setting up the network, the servers, the SAS connections, etc., not withstanding. :-)

Such a tape isn't for home use or small business use - it's for IBM, Google, Amazon and the like I suspect.

Comment: Re:"Officially," eh? (Score 1) 386

by elistan (#46833227) Attached to: iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

Interpreting your own numbers: Q1 2013 22.9 Q2 2013 19.5 That is a drop of 14.8% Q1 2014 26 Q2 2014 16.35 That is a drop of 37.1% The rate has down more than double from Q1 to Q2 between 2013 and 2014.

Comparing two different quarters doesn't tell you much - items like this sell at very different rates in different times of the year. You get much better insight comparing Q1s to other Q1s, etc. Which in the iPad's case is down, yes, but it's directly after the iPad's best quarter ever, and is a year after Apple had a particularly good quarter for iPads due to fulfilling a backlog (according to another post in this thread.)

So in my estimation - too early to claim "cooling," and definitely nowhere near "freezing."

Comment: "Officially," eh? (Score 5, Insightful) 386

by elistan (#46832463) Attached to: iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

Hmm. iPad sales:

Q2 2014 - 16.35 million.
Q2 2013 - 19.5 million.
Yes, that's a drop in sales.
But, it's after the following:
Q1 2014 (includes holiday shopping) - 26.0 million.
That's the all-time high sales volume for iPads in a quarter. 2nd best is Q1 2013 at 22.9, significantly less.

In my mind, the way to interpret these recent iPad sales numbers is that there was a huge buying spree for the holidays that somewhat satiated demand. (Only somewhat - Q2 2014 is still the 4th best quarter for sales.) These numbers don't suggest to me that the "fever is officially cooling." Maybe it is, but more than just one quarter of numbers is needed to show that.

Comment: Re:Chip & Pin (Score 1) 106

by elistan (#46077075) Attached to: Michaels Stores Investigating Possible Data Breach

Seriously... Why have the US banks not rolled Chip & Pin out yet? This wouldn't be an issue if they had, and it's almost certainly costing them a lot more in refunded transactions than a roll out would have.

It's not costing the banks anything - the costs of the refunded transactions are the responsibility of the merchants. I don't see any financial incentive for banks to do anything different. It'll have to be either a legal regulation or a consumer backlash, and I don't see either happening right away.

Comment: Re:And they wonder why... (Score 1) 562

by elistan (#45599805) Attached to: Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute
If I'm reading their 2012 year-end report correctly, JP Morgan getting fined $14 billion when they had $97 billion in revenue, $28 billion in pre-tax profit, and paid $7.6 billion in taxes, is like an individual getting fined $183k when they have an income of $1.268 million, expenses of $836k, an adjusted gross income of $375k, and $99k in taxes. Meaning after the fine, they'd still have $92k of disposable play money.

That's the sort of fine I wouldn't mind much.

Yeah, I'd say that JP Morgan's wrist stung for a few seconds. That'll teach 'em, right?

Comment: Re:Maybe replace with (Score 1) 195

by elistan (#45351119) Attached to: The Feathered Threat To US Air Superiority
How much fuel did the Shuttle use to begin its return to Earth? I can't imagine it was very much. I imagine it would take even less to start a 20 kg weight on a reentry path. And I'm not assuming the target would be within range of "the" satellite, I'm assuming it would be in range of any one of multiple satellites. :-) But your point does bring to mind a problem - time delay. Reentry would be at an oblique angle. Just like it's not good for air superiority, it's not so good for mobile ground targets, yes? But devastating against stationary ones?

Of course, another reply brings up a good point - there's probably enough time spent in the atmosphere for a 10cm sphere of lead weighing 47 kg to reach it's terminal velocity of... uh... 491 m/s (?) at sea level. So 5.7 MJ of energy - about 1.4 kg of TNT equivalent. Or a 3000 lbs car at 145 mph. Unfortunate, but not devastating.

So yeah, on further thought, GGGP's suggestion of satellites as a replacement for aircraft probably isn't going to work, either with energy beam weapons, kinetic weapons, or explosives of some sort.

Oh, and bump that sphere of lead up to 1 meter diameter, which is 11,342 kg, and it's terminal velocity is 1555 m/s, yielding 13.7 kilotons of TNT equivalent, a bit more than Little Boy.

Assuming it doesn't burn up during reentry, of course.

Comment: Re:Maybe replace with (Score 1) 195

by elistan (#45346923) Attached to: The Feathered Threat To US Air Superiority

But then... Why go flying?

Sigh ... beam and other pure energy weapons are currently many years off. The energy requirements for these devices are ridiculous compared to our power supplies currently. Perhaps that will change and they'll become more efficient, or some new (fusion?) extremely high density/light weight power storage system will be found. These weapons won't matter until someone overcomes the power density of the high energy explosives currently used. Realistically, I don't think they'll ever really make it, the physics of it just don't work out without our learning something completely unexpected, which is also likely given how little we know about the universe at the moment

Don't discount satellite based kinetic energy weapons. (Although those probably won't do much for air superiority.) One kg of TNT contains (arbitrarily defined for purposes of explosive yields) 4.184 MJ of energy - one kg of dumb mass will have the 4.184 MJ of kinetic energy when traveling at 2892 m/s - about Mach 8.5. LEO satellites orbit at about 8,000 m/s, so it's doable. Consider the 20,000 kg Albert Einstein resupply craft launched in June - given the proper reentry configuration, at, say, 5000 m/s it was the equivalent of a 60 tons TNT bomb. The most powerful conventional bomb known to exist, the "FOAB," is estimated at 44 tons.

Launch a satellite with a telescope and a thousand 10kg reentry capable masses, and you have a weapon nobody can defend against unless they too have space capabilities. (And are unlikely to happen due to political reasons.)
Of course, none of that is as powerful as the GP's payload suggestion - ninjas.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)