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Comment Re:How do they do it? (Score 1) 80

IANAAEE (I am not an aeronautical EE?) but from my understanding, the FAA requires stringent testing of their equipment before it's allowed to be used below 10,000, where above, after takeoff and landing it is a bit more lax, on top of slow rule changes by the FAA such as allowing wi-fi to be used (which was likely the result of some lobbying by the industry). Most consumer electronics manufacturers don't want to bother with such testing for under 10k feet use, and even if they did airlines don't want to have to try to determine which are approved and which are not, so just have a blanket 'no electronic devices' policy. Gogo doesn't operate below 10k feet for one, but also, they do go through all that testing that allows them to operate in an aviation environment (they used to be aircell, which made inflight phones and such).

As for bandwidth, the fact of the mater is that domestic flights just are not that long (Gogo only covers domestic flights). Most people I have noticed don't feel inclined to pay $10 for a few hours of internet when they can just read a book, do a little off-line work, watch a movie, etc. That only leaves the hand full of people with an actual need, so it's just good old fashioned supply and demand. I fly between once and 4 times a month depending on work, and have only had to use it once, the speed was fine, certainly enough for the emails I need to do, but also for just browsing once I was done with work.

Security is of course as bad as any other public wi-fi (not very) so use a vpn or whatever usual security you would use.

Comment Re:Thoughts (Score 1) 129

We spend almost as much on the NRO alone the NASA's whole budget and it only does one thing: spy satellites. NASA gets just a few billion more and does a whole range of things, rovers, space station, weather and aeronautics research, long term research in a verity of fields at what is suppose to be the vangaurd of US Science. So yes, I think there is something wrong with all this too.

National Reconnaissance Office Budget for 2010: ~$15 Billion
NASA Budget for 2010: $18.7 Billion

Comment Re:Love it, always fascinates me people who hate i (Score 1) 475

You raise an interesting point, in fact it's Standard Time and the change between I dislike. If we were a more rational race I think most people would prefer that normal business hours be 8-4, which is in essence all we do when we go to daylight savings time. Just dump the change and leave it that way through the winter.

Comment Exessive (Score 1) 259

But that's not why Sweden's being so tough on him in prison. Authorities believe he may have played a role in the hacking of Logica, a Swedish technology company with ties to the country's tax authorities.

What does it matter if there was another crime? Of course he should be tried and prosecuted if he committed a crime, but to give someone solitary confinement before he's even been charged for a non-violent crime seems completely excessive. If your justice system has people leaving it more dangerous and damaged when they came in, you are doing it wrong.

I suppose that not every country has an innocent until guilty system though, is this usual in Sweden?

Comment Apt (Score 1) 867

It's pretty much the quality of repositories that have guided which distro I've used. As a casual user (that is, I mostly use it on secondary computers for servers or MythTV,rather then my main desktop, nor am I a developer) compiling myself and dealing with dependencies is a huge pain. So to me, the quality of a distro is how easily I can add software without breaking things or finding it broken with a distro upgrade. So far, Apt seems to be best at that, and Canonical seems to best maintain their repository.

Redhat (starting 5.2) > SuSE > Open SuSE > Debian > Ubuntu

Comment Re:To what end? (Score 2) 266

Compelling reasons: well, for starters, that colony would be insurance against an extinction-level asteroid impact here on Earth. So there's that.

I think wanting Mars-tronauts to be "productive" and whinging about the cost and the "enormous expense of keeping them alive" somewhat disqualifies you from this conversation.

I believe that we absolutely should and must continue exploring the universe, continue with probes, satellites and occasionally maned space flight. However the idea of manifest destiny is purely ego. The universe doesn't need us. It won't miss us when we are gone whether we populated one planet or a trillion.

Our advancement and betterment is for our benefit alone. I can't really see how throwing ourselves off the planet on chemical rockets to live in tin cans leads to the betterment of anybody. It takes time, resources and energy from sciences that could have vastly greater long term benefits. Yes, it might help us get a head start on future engineering hurdles, and helps improve public interest, but frankly, the really interesting stuff is going to be happening down here on earth for a good while longer. If we bite it as a race, so what? If we don't, then we have only the benefits of our long-term investments to reap.

Comment Re:The BBC isn't state sponsored media? I must be (Score 1) 250

Besides the independence that people below have noted, I also think it's a big difference between being state-run and party-run. Having connections to the state isn't a bad thing, having direct connections with just one party is. The powerful, one party countries like China blur that distinction, and so a lot of people have come to think of them as one of the same, but they are not.

There are numerous examples of decent state owned media outlets with as even of a slant as any other outlet, if not more so. On the flip side, there are several news outlets right here in the States even that though privately owned, have heavy ties to one party that are more political platform and awful new sources.

Comment Re:Depends on the music (Score 1) 405

I realized this about game and movie music a while ago. It's specifically written -not- to be distracting. It's supposed to highlight action or stir an emotion without taking away the attention of the viewer so it really works great for that kind of work.

Really though, it's just as often that i want a little distracted doing work. If I'm doing something repetitive or a bit mind-numbing, I want something that is going to be just distracting enough that my mind doesn't wander without interfering with my other work. Or if it's late afternoon and my productivity is at a low anyway, music that takes some of my attention but keeps me awake is better then silence. I guess the point being is sometimes a little distraction is a good thing, and music is probably a better distraction then Slashdot as far as productivity goes.

Comment Re:Face Palm (Score 3, Informative) 161

A pretty decent bit at least. They used to own Grass Vally and Thompson Broadcast, two big players in broadcast and cable video, as well as still being apart of cinema both digital and analog. So it's not just some holding company using a once familiar brand-name, they've been a relevant company. Of course, they have sold off a lot of that stuff now so maybe this is another sign of their decline.

Comment Re:I have no idea (Score 1) 498

Well firstly, your power company obviously knows who it is buying from and of course what it is producing itself. Here in San Diego, SDG&E gets (off the top of my head) about %50 of it's power from the San Onfre Nuclear Power plant, the next biggest portion from the two natural gas plants it operates locally, and the rest from two interconnects to the North and to the East as well as occasionally from Mexico from the south. Those outside links are a mix of hydro (hoover dam), natural gas, coal and a small amount of solar and wind. There is a break down on my power bill that pretty much lays it out just like that. So by the largest part, I picked nuclear.

Secondly though, it doesn't really matter exactly where the electromotive force coming into my house really comes from exactly. Of course it all goes into a big pool, but you are still paying the producer to add to the pool an amount equal to that I consumed.

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