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Comment Report from Fairbanks (Score 3, Interesting) 465

I have family in Fairbanks that run an industrial business that would inevitably be significantly involved in and enormously impacted by such a project, and I can tell you that there is no talk of or preparation of even the slightest increase in the infrastructure that would be required before this project even began.

The first phase of an initial inquiry into increasing railroad infrastructure from Alaska to the lower 48, about 10 years ago, rung up an estimate of about a dozen billion dollars; everyone involved did the "let me laugh even harder" dance, and a second phase of the inquiry never happened.

That short little hop between Nome and Fairbanks is 500 miles of wilderness. There are no roads in the entire western half of Alaska and nobody is talking about building any.

Comment Allowable or forbidden in competitive sports? (Score 1) 128

The Olympic Committee, professional sports of all kinds, scholastic sports, athletics, and so on. Will these be allowed? Will they be disallowed? Is there already rules in the books that cover something like this, or will there have to be a flood of new rules in every sports organization to cover unpowered exoskeletons of all kinds?

Comment Your wife is (probably) not qualified to teach (Score 1) 700

This is sounding a lot like a situation my family is now dealing with, and the results weren't pretty.

My sister-in-law attempted to homeschool her daughter. It's a bit of a mystery why, because it definitely wasn't the usual religious or political reasons. The sister-in-law did not do well in high school, barely made it to graduation. I can only guess that she didn't want her daughter to have the same terrible experience with school that she had.

The end result was that starting at age 11, she kept her daughter at home, did not connect up with local school districts while moving to two different states, and apparently went from minimal schooling at the beginning to no schooling at all. Which should not have been a big surprise since she did so poorly in school herself. Her daughter ended up isolated from other kids her age, mostly just sitting in a room bored out of her mind. The daughter is now 17, the rest of the family has intervened and she's finally getting enrolled into a good small alternative school, where she'll be assessed to figure out where she needs to catch up, but it's going to take awhile because we know she needs some refresher courses on multiplication tables, for instance.

So you have got to ask yourself and your wife hard questions about why she feels qualified to teach when she couldn't even complete high school. Maybe adult life and the GED stuff got her up to normal functioning or maybe even better than usual - but probably not. What happens in the very real possibility that she finds she can't hack it as a teacher? Because the ability to teach is not in all of us, and if it was difficult to learn, it's going to be even more difficult to teach.

Comment Re:multi-culturalism (Score 2) 305

Personally, I've found that having a two word last name is enough to confuse many systems.

You should see the violence and mayhem that an individual with the name A O (first name A, last name O) wreaks upon an HMO patient data file system for which some long-departed pre-millenial programmer decided there should be a three-character minimum for the combined name field.

Comment Divorces are declared for more launches than that (Score 1) 53

We're going to pay how much for three times a year? This should be three times a month, ramping up to three times a week. What good is three launches a year?

So you're looking for a mission that can be accomplished with three launches a year. How about you launch a drawing board up into space, design yourself a pair of brass balls, and make something that will make them clack more than once a month? We'll have no trouble coming up with missions for you then!

Comment In your typical American household (Score 1) 260

In your typical American household with 1.5 parents and 1.5 children, you'll have 1 computer and one phone for each adult and child. That adds up to 3 computers and 3 phones, or 6 devices - and as I type this, "5-6 devices" is just barely beating out the "more than 10" category in the poll.

/That third computer is a multibooter for sure
//and the third phone is in and out of jail all the time

Comment How to turn off Java's junkware install prompts (Score 1) 436

1. To prevent junkware prompts during the initial install, download the installer from oracle instead of, because the oracle installer does not have the junkware prompt:
(searching for "java oracle download" will get you there)

2. To prevent junkware prompts during the updates, disable Java Sponsors.
A FAQ claims that in 7u65 or later, you can find a "Suppress sponsor offers when updating Java" option in the Java Control Panel's Advanced tab, but I have never seen it there, possibly because I have issued the regkey fix. To do that, save the following text to a file titled "disable-java-sponsers.reg" and double-click the file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



The answer of "Don't install Java at all, problem solved" is great and I wholeheartedly recommend it for those who don't need to run it, but there are many who have no choice and must run it for work, banking, Minecraft, etc. Using the regkey fix is great to prevent clueless family (grandparents!) and friends who need to run Java from accidentally installing the junkware.

Comment Microsoft did exactly the same thing (Score 0) 214

If you think that Apple is trailblazing the neuterization of an in-house picture editor into a slide-show presenter, look at how MS transitioned what was Microsoft Digital Image in 2006 to Windows Photo Gallery 2012.

I would guess that both Microsoft and Apple lost the ability to offer competent tech support for the complicated features of photo editors, and decided to let Adobe handle that.

Comment Here's the Alaska-Canada Rail Study (Score 1) 348

Alaska, Canada and the US did a feasibility study in 2007 for connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage to the US by rail:

The Phase I report there refers to a "Nominal US$11 billion investment". This is only for connecting Anchorage to the US by rail. There has been no followup on this since 2007 that I am aware of. There are 521 miles of utterly undeveloped and unpopulated terrain between Nome and Fairbanks that includes 65 miles of mountains, 185 miles of wetlands, and the Yukon river. Just building a road between Fairbanks and Nome was estimated to cost $27 billion in 2010.

My family's small business in Fairbanks would inevitably be very much involved in any project to build railroads anywhere in Western Alaska, and there has been absolutely no indication that either the Alaskan government or the US government has ever had the slightest interest in building so much as a dirt road in that direction, much less a multi-continental railroad.

Comment Sanyo Toasty Oven (Score 1) 702

A long time ago (30 years ago? 40? I'm not sure) Sanyo made a toaster that does not break by design: the Sanyo Toasty Oven. My parents have one and I remember using it as a child. They still have it, and it still works, 30 or 40 years later. I plan to ask them to leave it to me in their will. There's a Sanyo Toasty Oven SK-7S on amazon which looks a bit different from the original that my parents have, but it's out of stock, and some Sanyo Toasty Plus ovens on some Asian shopping sites, but all of them are out of stock too.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.