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Comment: Re:Another ignorant fearmongering article (Score 2) 90

by toonces33 (#47535975) Attached to: The Truth About Solar Storms

I wouldn't rely upon the circuit breakers being able to fully protect you. If high voltages are induced on the lines, it can arc across a closed breaker. What you could do is pull the breakers out of your box - that will prevent arcing from energizing your lines, and it can also ensure that the breakers themselves aren't fried.

Comment: Re:You can just buy a sim (Score 1) 146

by toonces33 (#47341603) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

I have seen SIM card vending machines near the luggage retrieval at some international airports in the U.S.

U.S. phones aren't so much frequency locked to carriers - they are what they call "subsidy locked" to one specific carrier, but that happens when you purchase a phone from a U.S. carrier. If you are coming from outside of the U.S., and have an unlocked phone, then all you should need is the SIM card.

Some older phones had a more limited set of frequency bands - my old Motorola Razr was a "quad-band" phone that could work anywhere that I could find a GSM signal. But even older phones had fewer bands, which typically meant that they might not work in some locales.

Comment: Re:You'll want either AT&T or T-Mobile. (Score 1) 146

by toonces33 (#47341585) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

With my ancient Razr not-so-smart phone, I had to manually change the settings for the phone to select a different set of frequency bands. But it was doable.

WIth my current smartphone, I don't seem to need to do anything. I got off the plane at Heathrow and it just worked.

Comment: Amenities wars.. (Score 1) 538

by toonces33 (#47293557) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

I graduated from college back in 1980, and college tuition has gone up roughly 10-fold in the intervening years. But peoples earning power has not gone up by a similar amount over the same period.

I think part of the problem goes back to the era of easy credit. Parents could take out loans on their houses, and students could borrow all kinds of cash - thus the students and parents weren't all that price conscious. But what they looked for were amenities - nice student centers, athletic centers, all kinds of bells and whistles. Some were academic (new libraries, computer centers), others were just to make the place look like a cool place to be. The thinking was that colleges would be better able to attract students if they had this stuff. But it all came at a cost - in particular higher tuition.

In the current climate people are far more aware of the costs of colleges than they were before. But the colleges have already spent the money on all of the amenities, and need to pay back the bonds. Thus they can't easily drop tuition.

Comment: Re:Did they fix the memory-hogging bug? (Score 1) 270

by toonces33 (#47211207) Attached to: Firefox 30 Available, Firebug 2.0 Released

They seem to fix some, and then others crop up. Whenever you complain, they insist that it must be the addons or something else outside of the core. Or it is poorly written javascript. The upshot is that nothing ever changes. Except for pointless changes to the UI.

I had to kill/restart Firefox just this morning. It was up to well over 1G in memory, and it was burning CPU in the background for no apparent reason. People have been pleading for years that they should give us the tools to help identify the offending tab that is burning CPU, and all we get are crickets.

Comment: Re: Chip and PIN (Score 1) 210

by toonces33 (#46881557) Attached to: Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security

That's clearly part of it, but there is a lot of backoffice related stuff that needs to be present for it all to work as there is encrypted information that needs to get passed back and forth from the card to the issuer.

But a small merchant might not have that much to do in that I am guessing that their own bank would handle all of that.

Comment: Re:Merged back or fork? (Score 1) 379

by toonces33 (#46799697) Attached to: OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

If you want to remove portability to only truly dead OS versions, that's one thing. But I saw a patch that removed portability to Windows. And most certainly something sort of like that would need to be added back again in some form or another. And by doing all of this, what have you accomplished other than potentially introducing new bugs?

In every non-trivial program there is at least one bug.