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Comment: Re:Tried the AppStore help form... (Score 1) 162

by dgatwood (#47533347) Attached to: Mac OS X Yosemite Beta Opens

I got the same error after a glitch. Turns out the redemption was successful the first time, but because the server was too slow responding to the redemption request, the App Store app timed out. For whatever bizarre reason, it appears that the app store server infrastructure doesn't treat redemption requests as idempotent (clearly a bug), so subsequent attempts to redeem the same code from the same account fail. Ideally, those subsequent attempts should do nothing, but should return whatever magic value tells the App Store app to update its list of purchased items and then do whatever other work it needs to do.

To make a long story short, if you quit the App Store app and relaunch it, the Yosemite beta should appear under the Purchases tab in the App Store. From there, you can start the download.

Comment: Re:Sad (Score 1) 158

by plover (#47533113) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

The vandalism in question is coming from someone who has access to a congressional staffer's computer, not necessarily a member of congress. This could be anyone from a member of congress to a teenage page to the 12-year-old nephew of a congressman's chief of staff to an intern to a night watchman. Apparently, there are about 9000 people with regular access to the machines in this address range. Given a sampling of 9000 people, how many are going to be as impolite as an internet troll? That there is at least one uncultured moron in the crowd is not particularly surprising.

Yes, it's sad that anyone would either sink to this level, or fail to grow beyond it. It's just not surprising.

Comment: Re:raise money privately? (Score 1) 183

A nonprofit competitor is required by law to spend any profits they make on upgrading infrastructure. So unless they massively overhire or have higher expenses because of economies of scale or renting a more expensive building, the nonprofit is pretty much guaranteed to be able to undercut any for-profit competitor while providing better service, because it doesn't have the extra overhead of profit taking.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 183

Since the city is still going to have to tie into someone's top tier backbone to carry their traffic to the rest of the world, they'll still likely have to route it through Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or some other provider's network, and the NSA's taps are on those top tier providers. I also don't know if a city would fight against a National Security Letter any more or less than any other provider, so they would still never tell you about a tap. But at least they could go in claiming to start from the moral high ground: "Support Cleveland's new city-wide Internet service - We Have Never Tapped Anyone's Data (only because we haven't been asked.)"

Comment: Re:Colorado has California over a barrel (Score 1) 358

by dgatwood (#47532221) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Particularly if all you need is heat. You could potentially build an almost entirely passive desalinization plant fairly readily by building a greenhouse atop the ocean and making the roof slope towards the sides with catch basins that then flow downhill towards the shore. The only thing required is an insane amount of glass (and an insane amount of space to dedicate to it).

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 183

I have to say something on Comcast's defense here. I have never had bad customer service from them, and I've had cable through them for a very long time. Do I pay through the nose? Yes. But they answer the phone when I call, they get a service guy out to my house in hours, not days, and they hit their promised windows. The technicians are competent, and they're friendly: "hey I've got a 1TB DVR in my truck, if you want I can swap out your old 200GB DVR, you'll get a lot more hours of storage."

I have had no problems with Comcast's customer service. (That said, I haven't had to cancel my service with them for about 25 years, and haven't had to go through the horrors of talking to a "Customer Retention Specialist".)

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 5, Insightful) 183

Actually, communities tend to run infrastructure remarkably well. Look at water systems. When is the last time you were in a location with city water, turned on the tap, and nothing came out? (Assuming you weren't cut off for lack of payment, of course.) Towns know how to keep the water flowing. If a town is without water for a period of time, it makes national news. (Yes, there are developing nations that do not have potable water coming out of their taps. The US is not one of those nations, and this is a US topic.)

Governments are not incapable of running such a program, and they are not inherently guaranteed to suck at it.

Now, is this different because it will require tech support? Sure. Are cities prepared to deal with the calls, the service interruptions, the network attacks, etc? The cities that are asking are going into this eyes wide open. The FCC is not mandating that cities must carry their own networks, they are simply being asked to rule on a non-competition clause that unfairly prevents the city itself from providing said competition.

I think the biggest problem the cable companies face is that cities now know exactly how much it costs to run a network, and it's nothing like the extortionate rates the cable companies are charging today. If the city has a competent manager leading the project, and good engineering staff, they will deliver fast data along with great customer service at a price that is not only going to be competitive, it's going to dominate. Everyone wins, except for the shareholders of the cable companies - and as they've been winning for a couple of decades already, my sympathy for their plight is not exactly overwhelming.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!

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