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Comment Jersey Boys sing a swan song? (Score 1) 219

Most of these sites have the word "jersey" in them. It looks as if the NFL's licensing squad went a-hunting, and gave the list of unauthorized vendors to Uncle Sam. What's not obvious is whether all of these sites simply sell unauthorized jerseys, or whether other jersey vendors, or people from a certain island or state, also got nailed in the crosfire.

Comment They're both lying (Score 1) 199

ITU is not the primary standards body for this, and their definition of 4G is irrelevant. Geeknet doesn't write COBOL standards either. 3G was defined by 3GPP (GSM -> WCDMA/UMTS/HSPDA) and 3GPP2 (CDMA2000). All 3G is based on CDMA. Now 3GPP has defined LTE, which is different and newer technology, OFDMA, so it's a genuine generational shift. That's 4G, no matter what the speed. It gets more bits per Hz though.

ATT and T-Mobile are flogging their HDPDA+ (WCDMA) networks as "4G", because under really good conditions, they can get more speed than older forms of 3G. But it's just a late-life kicker for 2000's technology. VZW, to their credit, already has LTE, which is the real 4G, while ATT will have it later. And Sprint/Clearwire's WiMAX is sort of 4G, though not equivalent to LTE.

Comment Re:It only took them HOW many years... (Score 1) 499

But they really should get rid of the "C:\" convention for disks. Sure, you can do some remapping, but it's homage to the floppy-disk days of MS-DOS.

Cutler's previous OS, VMS, got it right, and better than Unix (dare I say it here!). A drive had a physical name that was based on its hardware:
But that was normally hidden and mapped to a Logical name, which could refer to any node in a directory tree, including a cluster of disks, or just a directory:
SYS$SYSTEM: (which might point to DJA1:[SYSTEM]
SLASHFILES: (which might point to DJA2:[CMDRTACO.SLASH]

Applications could then use the logical name, and if drives were added or subtracted, nobody worried about things breaking, so long as the logicals were correctly mapped.

Comment Nice if the US had such a thing (Score 2, Insightful) 120

The Telstra-NBN deal illustrates how the telecom industry should be restructured.

In the US, recent policy has moved in exactly the opposite direction, towards more vertical integration, so the telephone companies, who own wires built with monopoly money, don't have to let competing ISPs use them at all. They only have to let competitive phone companies (CLECs) use them under certain circumstances, which are shrinking; this basically is limited to old copper wire in urban areas and town centers.

A "LoopCo" would be a company that owns the outside wire and leases it equally to all comers, building fiber for all who want to rent it, even cable. One fiber plant is a lot easier to afford than two or three. The original NBN plan would have built a new fiber plant to compete with Telstra; as customers moved off of Telstra's old copper network, Telstra would have lost money. Telstra blinked: They're selling their existing plant to NBN, so that they will be the biggest wholesale customer, not a competitor. Telstra wins: They get to use the new network, and get paid A$11B for their old wire. The country wins: They get NBN's new fiber, and don't have to fight Telstra all the way, or pay twice.

The Bells in the US do not see it this way. Nor does the FCC, which is squarely in their pocket. Expect the US to fall farther and farther behind, as the farce called "National Broadband Plan" leads to more of the same, just with higher taxes to subsidize CenturyTel, TDS, and other rural subsidy whores who can use the subsidy money to put local wireless ISPs, who are not eligible for subsidies (only one subsidy recipient in a given place - it's literally a monopoly fund) out of business.

Comment Radiosport (Score 1) 368

HR is really popular in Russia, where it is called Radiosport. It has a lot of geek-friendly sporting activities. For instance, DXing is trying to talk to as many countries (loosely defined!) as possible. Contests take place many weekends, to try to make as many contacts according to some set of rules (to a given place, to as many lat/long squares, to as many countries, on a certain band, etc.). Some people do fox hunts (hide a transmitter and try to find it with a portable radio and direction antenna).

And yes, there's the ability to just chat with fellow geeks, anywhere, without depending on somebody else's network.

Comment Re:Unique ID (Score 1) 368

You're really out of date.

It used to be true that the station license specified a location, and if you operated anywhere else, you were "/3" in code or "portable 3" or whatever district you were in. To get around it, you could pull "secondary" licenses, with separate call signs, at each address. I had a couple of those. But that went away by the early 1980s, or late 1970s. (I've been licensed a lot longer than that.) Now you get one call sign and can use it anywhere in the country, and take it with you when you move across district boundaries. So call districts really only apply to how they assign you a new call sign, based on mailing address.

Comment Modern software vs. old bit-bumming (Score 1) 499

What does the Toyota source code look like?

Back in the 1960s, when the space capsules were being designed, 16k words was a lot. So programmers wrote tight code, optimized down to every instruction. It wasn't perfect but it was fairly easy to examine.

Nowadays memory is cheap. And we have programming techniques that take advantage of it. Object-oriented code, for instance. This speeds up some kinds of programming but it puts more effective distance between the source code and the executable. And the mere act of using an OS API, as noted in the original story, makes the application vulnerable to subtle bugs in the OS.

It's laughable that Toyota could have thoroughly debugged code that was written using modern, large-memory techniques.

Still, it's unfair to single out Toyota. There's too much drive-by-wire in a lot of cars.

Comment One click only (Score 1) 499

If the engine accelerates suddenly and doesn't respond, you turn the ignition key one click to the left, to the off/unlocked position. This is how you listen to the radio when parked, for instance. The key stays in the lock and the steering wheel is unlocked.

A Prius is a special case, with its electronics.

Comment SIngle vs. dual frequency (Score 1) 128

WiMAX is optimized for single-frequency (time division duplex) use. It works on single channels in the 2.3, 3.65 or 2.6 GHz bands, for instance. Clearwire has lots of 2.6 licenses.

LTE is optimized for dual-frequency (frequency division duplex) use, as are cell phones. It will eventually replace TDMA (GSM) and CDMA. It will initially coexist with them; the carriers will roll out LTE on some frequencies while preserving their legacy digital networks. This is sort of how the analog-digital transition (and the 2G-3G, for GSM operators; CDMA 2G and 3G are compatible) worked.

Yes, there is dual-frequency WiMAX and there might even be a spec somewhere for single-frequency LTE. But the two specs are similar. Both (this refers to the later "mobile" WiMAX) use OFDMA transmission and multiple antennas (for range or speed). They license some of the same patents. So if a licensee (Clearwire) is sitting on unpaired spectrum, they'll use WiMAX, and if they're paired, they'll used LTE.

And it's thus likely that in practice, WiMAX will act more like the Internet, while LTE, owned mostly by VZW and ATT, will be constrained to "wireless web" crap, charging by the message or picture, restricting the "app" you're allowed to use, etc.

Comment Not in router fast path (Score 1) 315

While many routers "support" IPv6, it is software support, not the hardware support for the "fast path" that IPv4 uses for standard packets. IPv6 packets are the slow exceptions. The total packet capacity is low. This isn't noticed yet much because v6 carries roughly 1/100 of 1% (i.e., 1/10,000) of the total traffic of v4, and a lot of that is just IETF dorkwads throwing around experimental packets to show that it can be done.

Comment Re:IpV6 reality check (Score 1) 315

Right. The transition must fail because at every stage, everyone needs v4 addresses, and thus there will be more v4-reachable destinations, and thus no need to move to v6.

But then v6 is so frabjulously flawed, so stupid in so many ways, that it will fail on its own. It is just a way for Cisco to force costly new hardware on people.

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