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Comment: Where is end-user fiber optics the capacity limit? (Score 3, Insightful) 72

by shoppa (#41894217) Attached to: Welsh Scientists Radically Increase Fiber Broadband Speeds With COTS Parts
I don't know if things are better in the UK, but here in the US the bottleneck for fiber-to-end-user is rarely the link from CO to end-user. The bottleneck is aggregate traffic capacity from CO to the backbones, an amount that has to be shared among all users. Giving individual end users more capacity to the CO sounds like it would make the current bottleneck even more apparent.

Comment: Headline might be news if it was 2003 or so (Score 1) 49

by shoppa (#41514199) Attached to: Oracle Open World: Ellison Preaches Cloud Religion
"The cloud" being pushed by a tech company's leader might have been news a decade ago. Today in 2012 it just seems a little lame.
Although of course what is behind the headline is more interesting. Interesting that Fujitsu is involved. Maybe the Japanese "Fifth Generation Computer" vision is finally coming together? Like 30 years late.

You don't see many headlines about "Fifth Generation Computing" anymore although they were all the rage in the 1980's!

Comment: Re:Economics of labor in China (Score 1) 117

by shoppa (#41315503) Attached to: Foxconn Says Vocational Students Aren't Being 'Forced' To Work
Having just spent several weeks in China I tend to agree: It is hard to imagine the hundreds of skyscrapers I saw in construction around the outer ring roads, being commercially succesful. There were just so many skyscrapers and roads under brand new construction that I was in total awe.

But I have to observe, the Chinese can be very innovative and resourceful, many of the folks my age and younger were out hustling EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY to boost their own business, perhaps they will be able to use the surplus construction and infrastructure better than any western society could.

Comment: Economics of labor in China (Score 3, Interesting) 117

by shoppa (#41313443) Attached to: Foxconn Says Vocational Students Aren't Being 'Forced' To Work
40 years ago the super-major purchases that an affluent family might make in China, would be a bicycle, a radio, and a desk.

Today (thanks to assembly shops like Foxconn) the standard of living has been raised so that those lucky enough to get employment at a place like Foxconn, can often buy a car, a computer, and a TV.

Every major city in China is building hundreds (and I'm not kidding, HUNDREDS, it is astonishing) of skyscrapers on its edges to accomodate rural, farm poor folks who are moving to the city to get jobs at place like Foxconn.

That doesn't mean that everything is always on the level or that Foxconn is pure at heart. Far from it, corruption is widespread and so many of the jobs are incredibly dangerous. But construction work is far and away the most dangerous work environment in China today.

Comment: Isn't this what a T1 is for? (Score 1) 70

by shoppa (#41222979) Attached to: Business Tier For Australia's NBN Brings Big Possibilities For VoIP
In the US, a business needing a bunch of phone lines would buy a T1 or multiple T1's, provisioned for 23 voice channels each, from the phone company. Don't know the Australian telco tariffs but they must've had this sort of service for the past 30+ years in Australia too. ???

Comment: One factor: Trees still lying across roads (Score 1) 813

by shoppa (#40528827) Attached to: After Recent US Storms, Why Are Millions Still Without Power?
This AM (four days after the storm), there are still giant trees lying across major roads.

This might be why the power isn't back on everywhere.

In several cases, homeowners were out Saturday and Sunday clearing away trees from state highways.

In at least a couple cases, trees have been removed and Pepco is starting to drill holes to put in new utility poles where the utility poles were snapped off.

Comment: Reminds me of stills during prohibition (Score 5, Interesting) 99

by shoppa (#40180891) Attached to: Google Highlights Censored Search Terms In China
During prohibition in the US, stills could be owned and sold, just not used to produce alcoholic beverages. There were still legitimate purposes for stills, e.g. malt extract for baking.

The manufactures helped out, by giving very explicit instructions on exactly what NOT TO DO, because if you followed all the steps, you'd end up with whiskey. And you wouldn't want to do that.

Comment: Do the analysts even understand what a website is? (Score 3, Informative) 471

by shoppa (#40066033) Attached to: Facebook Shares Retreat Below IPO Price
Do the analysts even understand that websites sell advertising and data mining on their users, a very different business model than people buying software from Microsoft?

“We believe in the potential of the Facebook platform. However, even on the traditional PC/Mac platform, advertising remains nascent,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, wrote in a research note.

Comment: "Choose the best answer" (Score 3, Informative) 663

Oh man, everyone's turning a multiple-guess test, into an essay question.

When there are multiple answers that could be correct, the job of the test-taker is to choose the "best" answer. Almost invariably "best" is "the one that the test writer was thinking of". Clearly you have to put yourself in the head of a high school or middle school or grade school teacher to understand "best" in that context, and someone with a PhD or even just graduate coursework in the subject is going to be at a disadvantage.

Comment: Handheld PC-clones of the 90's (Score 2) 184

by shoppa (#39693305) Attached to: Microsoft Passed On iPhone-Like Device In 1991
In fact there were many companies making battery powered, wireless connected, handheld PC-clones in the 90's.

Where I saw them, they most commonly were used on local wireless networks in industrial/warehouse/trucking settings but I also know they were being used in some retail and manufacturing settings. The wireless local area networks back in the early 90's were in reality not much more than radio channels with analog modems.

They had small text displays and ran MS-DOS applications that were hardcoded to the proprietary wireless network. Certainly nothing like a real network stack.

Part of the difficulty is that AFAIK they were never usable as phones and barely usable as data network devices in the wide-area sense. The "data network" concept with cellphone networks in the early 90's was exquisitely awkward in the US, with the most common access method being to have an analog modem hooked up to the cellphone network (which was all analog in the early 90's and just beginning to move to digital in the late 90's) and you called your ISP's phone number. That was really super sucky.

Certainly Windows CE had some concepts that were more high-minded than the custom-built MS-DOS applications, but in most ways it was even more sucky to the end user (who just wanted to run the same application over and over again, scanning barcodes, taking inventory, etc.) I think it's not even ironic that even Apple is having a hard time making inroads into these single-purpose applications with their multi-purpose iPhone/iPad platforms; the specialized platforms being used in this area for the past 20 years are not sold on computing buzzwords or brand cachet but on pure utility.

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