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Comment Re:"like phone" "massive competition". Smoking som (Score 1) 410

Yes, common carriers do have competition. I don't know how old you are, but I remember when the choice in long distance providers came. Then sometime in the early 90s, more companies sprang up where you would enter a numeric code first, and then they would bill even less for long distance. Back in the 80s and 90s, a long distance call for an hour could easily cost you $6 on top of your monthly fees for basic service and long distance service. So going from 10c a minute to 4c a minute by entering a code or switching providers was a big deal.

Today, who even thinks of long distance? Back before competition, making a call from the county into town a mere ten miles would cost a dime a minute. How much do you pay for a long distance call now? Do you even think about long distance or instead do you think about the flat monthly rate for unlimited calling? I suspect it is the latter. So instead of paying $30 for basic service, another charge for a long distance plan, and then 10c a minute on top of that, you pay a $20 to $30 flat rate and never even think about how long you talk and how far away the endpoint of your call is.

That's what happens when there is competition.

Comment Re:Court only pointed to the plain language of th (Score 1) 410

This is all rooted in the notion that the internet is not like a phone, a decision made in the early 2000s. Of course, the internet actually is a phone, among other things. If the FCC had decided to treat the net like a phone, we would have massive competition, lower prices, and better service. What we have instead, is non-regulated monopoly cable providers.

This planet money episode gives a neat little history, and a comparison with how much better it is in Britain with respect to internet service:


Comment Re:you missed the point (Score 1) 397

Except that average 2% reduction figure you site comes out of the Government's and Corn Farmer's corn holes.

In Britain, where E10 is still up and coming, some car mag site did some testing:

We then put them through rigorous emissions tests using the E0 and E10 petrol to gain a clear picture of the effects of ethanol. E10 proved less efficient than E0 in all our tests. The average fall was -8.4%, equating to more than two extra tanks of petrol every year. Assuming both fuels were priced the same, it would represent an extra cost of £170.


In our tests, the 89bhp Dacia Sandero struggled most, returning an 11.5% drop in mpg. That's an extra cost of around £202 every 12,000 miles. The 99bhp Hyundai i30 was nearly as bad, managing 9.8% fewer miles on E10 than E0, an extra £16 a month.

The 134bhp Toyota Prius+ with its bigger hybrid engine fared better, using 6.4% more E10 than E0, while the 181bhp Mini Paceman was least affected by the ethanol; its fuel consumption increased by 5.9%.

E10 test conclusions
This would seem to suggest that more powerful cars cope better with a higher ethanol content, leaving small-engine models -- often bought by drivers on tighter budgets -- worst affected. It could explain why our results differ from the US Environmental Protection Agency's estimate; many US cars still use big V6 and V8 engines.

Comment Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 397

I lived in Maine for a while in the 80s. During the winter I'd pour in a bottle of "dry gas" ... at least I think that is what it was called. If I recall, an 8 oz bottle treated 10 gallons (or maybe it was more than that). Even on the low end, that would be 1:160 mix (if it was good for a 15 gal fillup, that would 1:240). To get to 10%, even at the low end, I'd have had to pour in a gallon of the stuff per 9 gals of gas.

Comment Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (Score 1) 702

Well, the Federal reserve disagrees with you. Many banks still use MICR readers to sort and route checks, so not having that on your checks could very well slow down processing of those checks.


The extra cost for MICR toner is so negligible anyway, why wouldn't you make your checks as compatible as possible? The only real issue, as I mentioned, is that you can't get MICR toner carts for all printers, so you have to pick a printer with the availability of MICR replacement carts in mind (unless you want to fill your own carts).

Comment Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 2) 336

The Democrat label means nothing. If Nixon was running in an election today, they'd have to put him on the ticket with the greens or something. Even Obamacare is basically Nixon's health care plan with the liberal parts eliminated. These Democrat and Republican labels have become so meaningless, they should just change their names to Blue Team and Red Team. It's much more accurate to say that GOP ideology, as put in practice by DNC candidates, is the poison in the system.

Comment Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 336

You aren't giving Texans a good name with the "tropes fed to you by your Democratic overlords" bit. Real liberals recognize that the DNC is nothing but the New GOP, and you falling into the party-labeling thing, suggests you haven't made that connection and still think of the Old GOP (i.e., parody of itself) as a conservative party or something or other. If you are representative of Texans, it demonstrates a kind of political illiteracy.

Comment Re:HP LaserJet 4M+ (Score 2) 702

I have a Laserjet 4L from 1994 or 95. Until about a year ago, I was still using it in my office to print checks -- it's one of the few printers it's easy to find MICR ink carts for. Anyway, it finally started making terrible screeching noises and so I replaced it because it would be a real pain to be without a check printer. Plus, the 4 page per minute print rate was getting sort of old -- but there is no question, that thing was built to last.

Comment Re:Model M Keyboard FTW (Score 2, Funny) 702

November 6, 1989 is the date on the sticker on the back of mine.

I found it in a thrift shop while killing time walking around in a small downtown area waiting for an appointment. It was in a pile of used crappy bubble keyboards. I paid either $5 or $10 for it -- can't remember which. I should have asked if they had any artwork or old vases too.

Comment Re:I wonder how much damage... (Score 4, Informative) 285

The users see the mail client, calendering, and the like, as essential.

Calendaring is one a business task that is critically important to many businesses, but is quite widely ignored in the open source world, at least with respect to easy setup.

In my small office, we use Apple's open source Darwin Calendar Server: http://trac.calendarserver.org... It'll serve calendar data to the mac calendar client, as well as Mozilla's Sunbird client, probably others too.

It works great and it has been extremely stable (I have it running on a debian VM), but it isn't totally trivial to set up. Not hard exactly, but certain OS defaults don't work (e.g., requires extended atrributes, which requires editing fstab, and if you don't, it will never ever work): https://wiki.debian.org/HowTo/...

Anyway, a simple to set up calendar server would be a substantial contribution to the open source business software stable.

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