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Comment Re:The interwebs! (Score 1) 259

When you use a credit or debit card at an ATM or in a store, a good chunk of those transactions now go through the internet. In 1995, they all dialed up/used leased lines to a packet switched network (DATAPAC, TYMNET, etc.) or a terminal bank. Your hypothetical Sally/Sam the Wallmart Greeter who doesn't use the internet works at a store where ordering, inventory, POS and other essential activities require an Internet connection.

Comment Re:16x20 print at 300dpi requires 28 megapixels (Score 2, Informative) 596

2450DPI on an inkjet printer is almost always a marketing number. Usually, they consider the dyes/inks separately. The paper itself can't deal with points that far either. The purpose of having higher DPIs on a printer is:

(a) Marketing.
(b) Reducing the visibility of the pixel artifacts (i.e.: supersample, blur, spray on the paper).

Comment Re: OS X and package management (Score 1) 264

Fink and MacPorts both have the same problems:

1) It's impossible to successfully compile anything complex with 64-bit compiler flags (i.e.: -arch x86_64 -m64) since all libraries will be built without said flags... So you have to manually figure out all the dependencies yourself or backtrack the 32-bit install piecemeal.

2) X11 is/was often broken and needed XFree86 compiled instead of Apple's X11. This might have been dealt with in all cases now.

3) They are hopelessly behind every major O/S release. It took forever to have a 10.5 compatible fink and/or macport that was officially released.

All in all, I had to build a 64-bit application chain for 10.5/Intel and it took me two days to get ~30 packages compiled and linked successfully and fink/macport couldn't be used. I often had to reverse engineer fink mac patches for the packages that it did have, it's silly that I couldn't use fink to build them in 64-bit!

The rationale for a 64-bit build was a 40% performance improvement.

Comment Re:"time sensitive"? (Score 4, Insightful) 282

Yes because you calling your grandmother to chit chat using VoIP is far more important than me sending Magnetic Resonance Imaging files to India via FTP.

If you need guaranteed bandwidth, you buy it. We receive hundreds of MRIs per months at work and we don't have a residential DSL. We have an optical fiber link (GigE) with an ultimate "Internet" (for what it's worth in a BGP world) link around 300mbps 95-percentile. Guess what, we get our contracted bandwidth... All the time. It's not exactly cheap though, but then we're not downloading porn torrents...

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell