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Comment Re:Lets call it what it really is... (Score 1) 945

One fiber pair is enough to serve IPTV to 1000 homes, easily. 10 gig ethernet is commodity, that's 10 Mbits per subscriber. Move to wavelength-division multiplexing and you can get 40-320gbits over that single pair. What needs upgrades is not the fiber plant but the neighborhood and head end equipment.

Comment Re:View from the ivory tower (Score 2, Insightful) 256

Being a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at one of the big name Ivy League schools, I am yet to see all these "amazing" students. Yes, practically every student get the basics (something that doesn't happen at less selective schools), but give them a problem that requires creativity and you'll see that a handful of students in the class are able to solve it. They might work hard and they are motivated, but it's not like every student is terribly smart.

Motivation to work hard is far more valuable to a future employer than genius. Past a certain size, any enterprise (for proft or otherwise) needs regular hard workers more than it needs hard-working geniuses. This is even true in specialized fields like engineering.

To understand this is to understand the appeal of an Ivy pedigree to employers.


Comment Re:MBA's vs the guys in the garage (Score 2, Interesting) 319

this goes back years. Microsoft used to do the same thing. they would visit a company, see a product, decline to buy it and then it would come up in the next version of WIndows. lately i see that Windows has a lot of third party licensed software.

Two reasons why you see a lot of licensed code in Microsoft products:

1. Other companies got wise and treated Microsoft with the appropriate degree of paranoia.
2. Microsoft realized it was often cheaper to write a check than get burned See

Of course, Microsoft was often just as sharp at negotiating those licensing deals. See,_Inc.#Browser_wars which goes back to the importance of point 1.

Comment Re:Needs a Supreme Court ruling (Score 3, Insightful) 926

I'm not sure I follow. Sufferage didn't necessarily mean more or less government. Nor did the civil rights movement. Nor gay rights. Creation vs evolution did not, as there wasn't even a Department of Education until the 70's. Vis-a-vi Brown.

Don't be obtuse. Forbidding private business owners from discriminating based on race, color, religion, or national origin (and enforcing this prohibition) was an expansion of government powers. A valid one, in my view.


Comment Re:Ok, Enigma machine ... what else (Score 2, Informative) 122

When I last went to the National Cryptologic Museum (2002?) they had at least a half-dozen Enigma machines on display, including the rarer 4-rotor Kriegsmarine version. But the really cool thing was that besides the ones behind glass, they had one in the open that you could actually use.
They even had some scratch paper and golf pencils nearby for writing out and passing encrypted messages.

I've seen a number of Enigmas behind glass but had never laid hands on one until visiting this museum. I hope it's still set up this way and they haven't removed the hands-on enigma.


Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 926

We need to fix the social problems that cause terrorism before that happens. In real terms, that involves raising the level of education and the quality of life in all parts of the globe to the point where there are no large groups of people who are still so poor that they have nothing to lose, or so ignorant that they have nothing to believe in beyond what their local preacher tells them.

Osama Bin Laden wasn't poor or uneducated; neither were the underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, or the recently arrested Americans in Pakistan. While there are recent examples of impoverished masses whipped into a genocidal fury (see Rwanda) I don't see a strong causal link between poverty/lack of education and terrorism. Indeed, access to means and anomic detachment from society seem to be common among perpetrators of mass terrorism.

(Drawing parallels to the organizers of the Iraq ware is left as an exercise for the reader.)


Comment Re:Old old story. (Score 1) 203

I like e-Ink, I don't like Amazon's proprietary lock-in, so I got a Sony eReader, which handles ePub, PDFs, LRF, and everything else I want to read, Calibre converts for me.

Avoiding proprietary lock-in by buying Sony = laff riot.

Kindle reads unencrypted .mobi, .pdf, .txt natively in addition to its own formats. LRF is Sony's proprietary DRM format and ePub is just another DRM-capable reflowable format like .mobi.


Comment Re:Sound (Score 4, Interesting) 356

But does this process create feedback over communications systems to create cool sound effects as the ship whooshes by?

Quite possibly, actually; at the very least, there might be enough radio emissions at audible frequencies as the plasma dissipates in the presence of a magnetic field (i.e. planetary orbit) to induce something audible in a speaker wire or analog amplifier. It's been speculated that such a mechanism is responsible for the phenomena of hissing, whooshing, or popping sounds heard simultaneously with the appearance of meteorites passing through the atmosphere (as opposed to delayed like a sonic boom.)


Comment Re:"... haling them into court" (Score 1) 539

"Haling" is a perfectly good word. It means to compel to go. Hauling can be a synonym in the same context - they both derive from the Anglo-French 'haler' = to pull.

Anecdotally, I believe most lawyers would use "haled into court" rather than "hauled into court," the former being more mannered.


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