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Comment Re:PCs for Kids (Score 1) 291

No, but they can reduce their tax burden while gaining some control over where their resources help the community.

Right, so they can upgrade for a cost far below full price, because they make enough money to have the taxable portion of their income reduced.

Someone making substantially less couldn't do that, since they couldn't deduct from their income tax ... but probably couldn't afford to buy it in the first place.

In other words? I just disproved my initial statement - yes, they CAN upgrade for free, if they didn't depreciate the value of the ram.

Comment Re:Ethernet! (Score 4, Insightful) 372

Lots and lots of Ethernet ports. Wireless is insufficient for the True Geek.

Well, it's not a bad idea. The wiring can be done in a way that you can thread other things when ethernet is no longer fast enough.

Though, if you're going to do that - why not send all the cords to a central part in the house, and install a command centre there? You can use it to re-direct connections, spy on internet usage, selectively disable (or re-route) certain wires ...

Comment Re:Signal isn't chaning, the noise floor is (Score 1) 615

PLEASE STOP OFFERING THIS ADVICE.

Increasing your WAP broadcast power does nothing to improve signal in the other direction, so while it will make your mobile devices show more bars, it won't actually improve network performance. TCP doesn't work unless a host can both send and receive (packets need to be ACKed), so even if the client receives further away from the WAP, it'll stop getting new packets if it can't notify the sender that those packets were received.

All that really happens when you increase broadcast power is an increase in interference with neighboring WAPs, which tends to lead other people to the conclusion that they also need to increase broadcast power in order to overcome the interference that you created.

... so you're suggesting you turn up the power on BOTH ends?

Comment Re:Several causes, but a few that spring to mind.. (Score 1) 615

1. slow burnout of emitter gear due to thermal degradation (yes, clock chips and transistors get hot, as do solder tracks and joints). Thermal runaway can occur if a solder joint fails and arcs, or overvoltage causes signal tracks to vapourise. 2. ionising radiation, particularly on unshielded components such as antenna conductors (I've seen something like this occur on an externally mounted amateur radio antenna: the sunward side of the antenna completely degraded, the result being that the only signals received (or sent) were on the shadow side). 3. component quality on consumer gear is not as stringent as it could be. Components can and do fail, and considering the number of components in a lot of consumer gear, it's a wonder any of it actually leaves the factory. 4. the noise floor of several years ago was far, far lower than it is now. The ERP of newer gear is (by design or by necessity) higher than older gear as more and more transmitters have to share the band. As a result, the signal quality taking a dive may be at least partly illusory. The equipment may actually be perfectly fine. 5. parasitic structures in semiconductor packages may be the catalyst for failure, either immediate or delayed. Such structures may be as small as a single atom of chlorine embedded in a crystal of germanium - innocuous at first (undetectable, even), but over time and use, that contamination will alter the chemistry of the semiconductor, possibly causing it to bond with the package material and rendering it useless. This might not even be an issue in high powered gear like regulators but in something like a microprocessor, it's a showstopper.

No facts, please. We're all happy complaining about signals, noise, and the general decline of the human race.

Comment Re:Flash SSD has Write Limitations so... (Score 2) 510

From what I understand, SSD die because of "write-burnout" if they are FLASH based and from what I understand the majority of SSDs are flashed based now. So while I haven't actually had a drive fail on me, I assume that I would be able to still read data off a failing drive and restore it, making it an ideal failure path. I did a google search and found a good article on the issue: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/data-recovered-failed-ssd/

Which is why you can do the same from a failed usb flash drive?

It's a nice theory, but it's highly dependent on the controller.

Comment Re:They shrink (Score 1) 510

The drives will shrink down to nothing. I believe that the drive controller considers a sector dead after 100,000 writes.

Filesystems, generally speaking, aren't resilient to the underlying disk geometry changing after they've been laid down. There's reserved space to replace bad cells as they start to die, but the disk won't shrink. Eventually, though, you get parts of the disk dying in an unrecoverable way and the drive is toast.

Yup, I had a 2nd gen kingston die. Ever had a flash drive go bad? Unless you buy one with a decent controller (sandforce, intel) then you'll have the same experience when your ssd dies.

Comment Re:Calm before the hyperbole (Score 0) 566

Before anyone starts jumping on Fox News for whatever axe they have to grind with them, please substitute Fox News with "CNN" or "MSNBC" and ask yourself if your vitriol would be just the same.

No, I blame fully blame fox. They claim to be a professional organization, when they're clearly not acting professionally most of the time. So when they don't do their job properly, it should be punished.

If an unlicensed doctor was performing surgery correctly, they'd get in trouble. But if they did it wrong? They'd get skewered.

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