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Comment Where was the ECDIS (Score 2) 220

I was part of the team that shipped the first ECDIS' to the the Navy over 20 years ago. Electronic Chart Display and Information System are the marine equivalent to aircraft automated flight navigation controls. ECDIS was in response to the Valdez finding a rock and folks asking why can ships' navigation systems do that planes can do? The charts are "smart" and will not let you plan a route over too shallow of an area. I know our product was on the Enterprise and Constellation 20 years ago. Why are they not on these smaller ships? FYI, back then the navigator on these nuclear aircraft carriers (yes there was a specific officer assigned to this) also had a sextant, watch, paper charts and compass, just in case.

Comment Re:When costs rise, things tend to be good (Score 1) 285

uvajed_ekil, note that zzyzx said that net property taxes for the county are fixed. As a resident of Seattle's host county, King, I can attest to that. I live in rural King county and as the Urban core's property values went way up mine remained relatively fixed despite a increase in the county tax due to new levies. My rural property valuation has just started to increase post recession so I am now seeing my bill go up. I don't know if Washington state is unique or not, but yes, property levies are indeed based on a fixed total to be collected per year divided by property assessments. If you live in a small town and your neighbor build a multi-million dollar house and their are no new levies then your tax bell should go down. This is one reason rural towns fight so hard to get anything expensive, like data centers built in their town even if it will bring few jobs.
vajed_ekil is right about other revenues as Seattle sales tax has boomed from Amazon and the tech boom. It is worth noting that Washington has a high sales tax rate to make-up for the fast that Washington has NO income tax. Because of the lack of an income tax property and sales taxes are high result in in one of the more regressive tax systems in the country. Believe it or not, even BIll Gates has been pushing for an income tax to make the tax system more fair.

Comment Shorts (Score 2) 101

Desktop OS market - on life support.
Laptop OS market - moribund at best
Server OS market - MS's one bright spot is a bubble fighting a better free alternative
Tablet OS market - does MS even have an offering?
Phone OS market - Yep, that went well for MS Office Suite - on life support as on line and free alternatives eat their lunch - anybody write documents?
Outlook - Please somebody put this out of its (and my) misery

$600B?? Time to short and profit!

Comment Re:different problem. (Score 1) 60

I've always found that a quick search will turn up the name of the general council (head lawyer) for the company. A letter addressed by name to them is ALWAY read. Of course most technologically ignorant corporate lawyers will assume anybody outside their company that tinkers with their stuff or gasp, someone inside the company using open source software, is a criminal and the the legal eagle will go nuclear, file a lawsuit restraining order and/or send the cops after you, but heck it
will get their attention. The other place to reach out to is their PR or Corporate Social Responsibility flacks. They will not understand the tech, just explain to them that they have PR disaster the scale of bad air bags and they will at least go running to the general council.

Comment Re:Gravity (Score 1) 142

With regard to radiation: we should probably only send women. For the Y chromosomes we should send frozen sperm in a shielded and lead lined vault to protect from mutations. This way only half the genome sent would be exposed to the high radiation levels. Alternatively, a big lead lined capsule for men and women, but to get enough shielding would be impractical.

Submission + - Trump's FCC criticized for hurricane response (cnn.com)

MountainLogic writes: From the CNN Story: A Democratic commissioner and other critics say President Trump's Federal Communications Commission is not doing enough to respond to the crisis in Puerto Rico and the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida.
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democratic commissioner, questioned the agency's choice not to call for hearings yet to inform its response in the wake of a series of devastating hurricanes.
"After Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy @FCC held hearings to address network recovery. Why won't agency do it for Harvey, Irma & Maria?" she wrote on Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) Tuesday.
The three hurricanes knocked out cellular, cable and Internet services for millions of Americans over the past month. Hurricane Maria's impact on Puerto Rico has been particularly brutal. Only 20% of Puerto Rico's cell towers are functioning, according to Luis Romero, VP of the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Alliance.
"These are people struggling to make phone calls in the United States. @FCC must study networks in disaster. Stat," Rosenworcel said.
In 2012, the FCC announced hearings within weeks of Hurricane Sandy. These hearings were used to gather information to help strengthen communications networks and guide future response efforts.
But hearings can sometimes result in additional regulation for the industry, which critics suggest could be a point of concern for the current FCC. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman appointed by Trump, has been focused on scrapping regulations.
"Frankly, I think Pai is worried ... that hearings will point to problems the FCC needs to solve through regulation," says Harold Feld, SVP at Public Knowledge, an advocacy group.

Submission + - FCC orders Apple to activate FM chips in iPhones (cnn.com)

MountainLogic writes: From the CNN Story: Trump's top telecommunications official is calling on Apple to take a step to boost public safety in natural disasters. There's just one problem: Apple (AAPL, Tech30) says it can't.
Ajit Pai, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, urged Apple to activate the FM radio chips included in its iPhones to "allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information."
When cell service goes down, as is currently the case in much of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, a phone may still be able to pick up the FM signal, if the chip is activated.
"Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so. But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria," Pai said in a statement.
The FCC chairman then quoted an editorial from a Florida publication calling out Apple CEO Tim Cook by name after Hurricane Irma rammed through the state. "As the Sun Sentinel of South Florida put it, 'Do the right thing, Mr. Cook. Flip the switch. Lives depend on it.'"
In response, Apple said its most recent iPhone models do not have that option.
"iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models do not have FM radio chips in them nor do they have antennas designed to support FM signals, so it is not possible to enable FM reception in these products," Apple said in a statement.

Comment We have our work cut out for us (Score 1) 101

We are going to be spending year rebuilding and improving our democracy and civil society. By analogy, no matter how much you weed, they keep coming back. So now we go back, elect civil folks and make it better.
Get mad. Don't get mad. Get motivated, be depressed. It doesn't matter. We must do the work. We just have to go out and select some sane and civil folks for office and stay involved so that things don't drift off course again. NO magic - just dedicated work. A careful dedication to have sane conversations with other people of good will even if we disagree with their political views will do more than anything else. Now is the time to look to the center and demand the best of everyone by marginalizing those divisive brutes who would destroy our democracy. Pay careful attention to those you agree with politically and if those people are acting divisive then you have a particular responsibility to call on your friends to speaking with a civil tong.

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