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Comment: Re:Sure.. that will build 1 thousandth of the towe (Score 1) 501

by wmguy (#29710803) Attached to: Why AT&T Should Dump the iPhone's Unlimited Data Plan
The maximum range of a cell tower is only useful if you are in the middle of nowhere where you don't expect many people to be using their phones. The real limitation is that a tower can only support a limited number of simultaneous connections. In order to solve this problem, the carriers adjust the radius of the tower, by adjusting the downward tilt of the antennas and probably the transmitting power as well. In very high density areas the radius will be very small, so that they can install lots of towers to support the large number of users. This means that calculating how many towers you need is not a simple mathematical problem, but has to factor in population density, subscriber density, and knowledge of which areas are currently experiencing problems--as I am sure that are lots of areas where data speeds are just fine.

Comment: Trying to switch convinced me to stop trying (Score 1) 366

by wmguy (#29489627) Attached to: Forkable Linux Radio Ad Now On the Air In Texas
One of the selling points of this ad was that if you have old hardware that is too slow to run Windows, you should switch to Linux. I had just such a laptop sitting around, and decided to load Linux on it to see if it was worth keeping around. After wasting about half a day, I finally gave up and trashed the machine. I am a computer professional who has run Linux at home and on servers in the past, but I still ran into the following problems:

1. The Ubuntu and SuSE installers wouldn't even run. Debian was the only installer I could get to work.
2. After install, the network interface wasn't enabled by default, and I had to figure out how to automatically enable it on boot.
3. My PCMCIA wireless adapter was only sporadically detected, and even then I never got it to work.
4. I could never get Xorg to use my LCD's native resolution of 1024x768.

I know that many of you Linux gurus will say that I just didn't know what I was doing, but that is exactly my point. I am a very computer literate person--with some moderate Linux experience--and I had all these problems which weren't worth my time to work out. If I have this much trouble, how is a "normal" user supposed to just install it and get everything to work? You may bash Windows all you like, but the fact is, once I point it to the right device drivers, everything pretty much just works. Mac OS X doesn't even have this problem since it is built for a proprietary hardware platform. Linux may be fine for servers and specialized applications, but I don't expect it to replace Windows and Mac OS X on the desktop any time soon--if ever.

Comment: Re:I believe it's totally worth it! (Score 1) 409

by wmguy (#26637639) Attached to: Umbilical Cord Blood Banking?
Everyone is talking about cord blood banking as if it is insurance, but it is not. Insurance contracts guarantee a payout if certain events happen. Cord blood banking mostly depends on future research making it become useful.

It sounds more like an investment in a startup company than an investment in an insurance policy--and I don't have $2800 to invest in a startup company.

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