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Comment Re:In the 80's (Score 3, Insightful) 60

The current AT&T is not the original AT&T. It's the company that bought parts of AT&T and renamed itself AT&T. Also, Comcast and the original AT&T had already merged years ago...

If it was the original AT&T, their service would be more reliable and their network better engineered.

Seriously, Southwestern Bell sucked in all aspects of its service. When it bought PacBell customer service collapsed and general reliability problems started coming up out here in CA. I had the original AT&T Wireless mobile service here in San Diego and I seriously don't ever remember going under 3 bars anywhere, and this was over a decade ago. After SBC sucked up the old AT&T and took on its trade name, it didn't adopt old AT&T's engineering or reliability practices, or even AFAICT its work ethic....

I do sometimes wonder what it's like to work for AT&T Corporation now, which lives on as the long distance subsidiary...

Comment Re:No. Vendor. Lockin. (Score 3, Interesting) 258

Sure, but we're now replacing that with ecosystem lockin on the Linux side. Thanks, systemd.

Linux was a free-as-in-speech, *and* free-as-in-beer version of Unix... The Windows devs who've invaded seem to want to bring lockin back by standardizing the Vendor layer across their own userland middleware, and FreeDesktop locked we shall be.

Comment If Steve Jobs were still around... (Score 1) 81

... I would actually be expecting something pretty amazing right now.

The "Pro. Go. Whoa." tagline of the introduction of the original (Bondi Blue) iMac was something that was actually pretty astonishing and well worth the -- rather low-key, in retrospect -- hype going into it. The iMac itself was advertised displaying the infamous 1984 "hello" image on its front: via

Since we don't have Jobs around any more, I'm not really sure what to expect. New form factors, perhaps, but it's weird to think of Apple caring much about its Mac line nowadays.

Whatever it is, it better be good.

Comment I use Linux because... (Score 1) 258

... it's an efficient server platform and offers a *nix environment with an easy-to-grok underpinning that a human can eventually understand, until systemd entendrils itself everywhere because non-determinism is cool now.

Ohhhh... You mean "Why do I use Linux on the Desktop?"

I don't. I use a Mac laptop and a Win10 PC desktop. I want to get work done and/or play games, not fiddle with crap.

Comment Re:To the Secret Service? (Score 4, Informative) 204

Is the officer very well connected or does the Secret Service widely offer the service to scan gift cards?

I'm surprised the Secret Service just takes these requests as part of their duties..

Gift cards are a modern way to perform money laundering, which is part of the financial crimes that the Secret Service is in charge of when it's not protecting the President.

Old and Busted: Money Orders
New Hotness: Applebee's Credits

Comment Re:Here's a better question (Score 2) 204

why do cops have a Credit Card reader in their squad car? I'd heard stories of some cops taking payment for tickets when they pull you over and threatening jail time if you don't pay then and there...

It's not a credit card reader per se, just a magnetic stripe reader. The *vast* majority of magnetic cards of any type have their data encoded in one of only a few different ISO standard formats. Anything can read them, although they may or may not be able to make sense of the data encoded on them.

Comment Re:As a Verizon subscriber... (Score 1) 56

Obviously, it's not truly "unlimited" (hint: nothing is), but

Then maybe they should stop using that word in their advertisement of services. Most other industries get called out if they outright lie in advertisements. Pretty sure there are even laws about it. Why the special pass for carriers and ISPs?

A better word would be "un-metered". This is a time-definite plan, however, so it's not very relevant... Unlike with a physical 100Mbps port that one might purchase, here you're going to be getting LTE speeds and competing with however many other users are on your cell tower. So yes, feel free to download away for your half hour. They probably actually don't care too much.

Comment As a Verizon subscriber... (Score 0) 56

... I think this is a pretty good idea. The use cases are exactly that -- you know you're about to do something bandwidth heavy for a (relatively) short period of time, and you want to signal to your upstream provider this fact so that you can negotiate an effective resource allocation.

This really isn't any different from going to a metered to a port-based uplink for a certain length of time. Obviously, it's not truly "unlimited" (hint: nothing is), but if it's not being held against you and the speed is sufficient for your purpose (eg, streaming videos, downloading a ton of apps, tethering to your computer as you're about to do an OS upgrade, etc.), this is a great option for a savvy user.

There are probably a fair number of users whose data usage is somewhat spiky -- low usage most of the time and then a day or two when they use 4GB livestreaming something. This'll be good for them.

Comment Re:Now is the time to prepare (Score 0) 83

Extensive first aid kit (at minimum, take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class)

... Also, take care of any medical and dental issues NOW. Doctors will be in high demand when TSHTF.

If you want something effective after TSHTF -- and also effective in virtually any other large scale disaster (the "earthquake or other emergency" of EBS fame) -- go beyond this and take a Wilderness First Responder class and get certified. If you have spare time and can find a convenient class, take an EMT class (~128 hours) and then take an EMT-to-Wilderness EMT upgrade instead.

Wilderness protocols go into effect when you're more than 2 hours away from "definitive care" -- that is, what most of the time think of as a local, functioning hospital in a city. Rather than just maintaining the stability of the patient for transport, in the wilderness/backcountry/whatever you have to worry about possible issues coming ahead (hypothermia, decompensated shock, etc.), and improvising equipment from whatever might happen to be around you. In short: it's about problem solving.

A problem solving medic who can improvise as needed in the field is a valuable asset to any group that needs to cope with unexpected events. They're not a doctor, or a combat surgeon, but you can bet they'll be wanted.

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

There's no problem with philosophical analysis. I have a degree in Philosophy; I'm fine debating the Simulation Argument all day long.

I'm also a SysAdmin and live in the real world (no pun intended).

If tech billionaires want to get people to help solve a problem, how about they build out infrastructure in Africa, fund self-starting economies, and stop working on apps of use only to those who live as marginal consumers of pretty much everything in their parents' basements, while they themselves trade ad-display algorithms for obscene amounts of stock.

Comment Re:Do a little fucking Googling, douchewad (Score 2) 220


From the second fucking paragraph:
"Because of its large area, it is of very low density (4 particles per cubic meter), and therefore not visible from satellite photography, nor even necessarily to casual boaters or divers in the area. It consists primarily of a small increase in suspended, often microscopic, particles in the upper water column."

Or are you going to take the conservative approach and pretend it doesn't exist?

That's exactly the point of the grandparent post: The news article and press conference has a scary dump of trash in a pile. The only other photo is a close up of a pile of trash. Saying "we opened the window and saw trash every half second" without context gives the impression that they're puttering about over the East Coast's dirtiest industrial marina harbor.

If the reality is that there are 4 micro-beads of plastic every cubic meter and every square mile or so someone finds a floating shoe that's very, very, very different.

Giving (or tacitly allowing) a false image because you think it'll be more effective at persuading people to agree with your argument isn't science; it's propaganda.

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