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Comment those are taxiways (Score 1) 321

Look more closely at the diagram.

The dual-circles around the buildings are taxiways. (Notece that, in addition to being far narrower than an airplane and too close in, they're also not circular, but have a flattened area at the right side, making it more like a "D" than an "O".

The runways are the wide, straight, "roads", of which you see just a tiny chunk at the very boundary of the picture. They're essentially tangent to the taxiways - slightly out from them.

This is just a standard airport designs with straight runways.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 543

Documents 6 bankruptcies, and 13 businesses that closed up shop - at the very least suggests he doesn't know what he's doing.

Business has something in common with war and engineering:
  1 You try a bunch of stuff that looks like it might work.
  2 Some of it works, some of it doesn't.
  3a. You stop doing (and wasting resources on) what doesn't work
  3b, and continue doing more of what does (transferring any remaining resources from the abandoned paths.)
  4. PROFIT!

In business, step 3a is called "a large business environment, major projects are done in separate subsidiary corporations. This uses the "corporate veil" as a firewall, to keep the failed attempts from reaching back and sucking up more resources from what's succeeding. Dropping a failed experiment in step 3a (when it's failed so badly that there's nothing left to salvage in a different attempt's 3b) is called "bankruptcy". It lets you stop throwing good money after bad and move on.

So bankruptcy is NOT necessarily a sign of weakness, stupidity, or lack of business acumen. On the contrary: It shows the decision-maker was smart enough to spend a bit extra to erect the firewall between the bulk of his holdings and the iffy project.

So a successful large-business-empire-operator who is also innovative will usually have a number of bankruptcies in his history. It's no big deal, anyone in business at or near that level knows it, and took it into account if they risked some of their resources in someone else's experiment that failed in the hope of profit if it succeeded.

Also: Someone starting out may have to few resources to run many experiments simultaneously. (Or even a big guy may be reduced to a little guy by too many failures - not necessarily his fault.) So he has to try serially, doing only one or a few at a time. This may mean total bankruptcy, even multiple times, before coming up with something that does work. Lots of successful businessmen went through total bankruptcy, sometimes several times, before hitting it big.

Comment Re: Gravity waves != gravitational waves (Score 1) 56

"Gravity waves" seems misleading or confusing. Maybe it stuck for historical reasons?

It stuck because it is accurate.

Labeling their cause as one force among multiple is problematic communication.

All scientific communities have their terminologies, and "gravity waves" is an accurate use of the words for fluid dynamics. It is not gravity that CAUSES the waves, it is gravity that moderates them.

Comment Re: Gravity waves != gravitational waves (Score 1) 56

Let's see if I got this straight: Cloud particles gravitationally pull on each other

No. At least not to any significant amount.

It seems we normally don't see these on Earth because our thicker atmosphere and magnetosphere overwhelm gravity's direct influence.

What is it you think that keeps our "thicker atmosphere" where it is if it isn't "gravity's direct influence"?

Gravity waves are waves in something that are moderated by the force of gravity. E.g. regular waves at the beach are gravity waves. The properties depend directly on the difference in densities between the two layers in contact. For surface waves this is air/water. For subaqueous (or "internal") waves, it is a water/water interface.

There are also infragravity waves. Those are waves created by wave-wave interactions that occur at frequencies very much below those of gravity waves. A surface gravity wave may have a period of 10-15 seconds. An infragravity wave may be 100-200 seconds in period. Think "sneaker".

And while you might think that the ripples on the surface caused by wind are called "ultragravity" waves, they are actually called "capillary waves".

Comment Re:Municipal/County Fiber (Score 1) 172

The municipalities are not competing/wanting to compete with Cable TV providers or violate their contracts by laying their own fiber and providing internet.

You cannot condemn Comcast for being a rotten, expensive ISP with one voice and then deny that Comcast is an ISP with another. Yes, municipalities that are trying to run their own internet service are in DIRECT competition with a company that they have a contract with that demands all kinds of other things that the city doesn't want to provide.

The big broadband providers, including cable companies lobbied states to get special laws passed designed to kill the municipal projects.

Of course. Incumbent ISPs that have contracts that demand levels of service and types of services are at a direct disadvantage to local governments that don't have those contractual requirements. If the city wants to play in the ISP market, it should have to follow the same rules they enforce on commercial vendors -- ALL of those rules.

No: municipalities are only able to do this for Cable TV Service,

Which is how the Cable internet providers get access to the rights of way in the first place.

the franchise agreements don't apply to other services that the municipalities are not empowered to create a monopoly in for the first place.

The franchise agreements absolutely apply to services that municipalities cannot create monopolies in, like Cable TV. Exclusive franchises are a violation of federal law and have been so for a very long time.

Telecoms that put in and own fibre optics on the other hand are federally regulated and cannot be franchised by a municipality.

That's pretty funny, since I'm looking at my last CenturyLink (telecom) bill and it contains a specific line item fee for "franchise at 3%." Apparently my city can, and does, franchise the local telecom, despite this special "federal regulated" status they hold.

Comment Re:Yeah, maybe (Score 1) 172

"highway construction project that gets federal funding"

And it is the local government that is managing the rights of way (not "highways") where "dig once" conduits will be most useful.

State highway construction is currently pretty rare (at least in my part of the country), and when it happens it covers only a short stretch of road that is being replaced outside city limits.

It's pretty useless to require "dig once conduits" for a small stretch of state highway since that is usually where the major internet distributors run fiber anyway, not the local cable company. And it would do little to nothing to help improve last mile distribution in rural areas, and nothing at all within a city.

Comment And now maybe we'll know why ... (Score 5, Interesting) 113

And now maybee we'll know why it's been so hard for Open Source developers to get information on writing their own against-the-metal drivers for telephony radios and startup modules (BIOS, EFI/UEFI, etc.)

It has long been suspected that was not just proprietary info-walling, but to reduce chances of discovery of backdoors and persistent threats imposed in the name of spying.

Comment Re:Why federal law? (Score 0) 172

Speculation: because the local governments have already signed their souls over.

Translation: because the local governments have already entered franchise agreements with the incumbent cable provider.

Sadly (not really), the existence of a franchise agreement between the local government and the cable company is not a reason that this is a power granted to the federal government. "We don't like the way you exercised your local prerogatives" isn't grounds for federal preemption.

Comment Re:Municipal/County Fiber (Score 0) 172

Or, you know, you could just eliminate the laws that prohibit/restrict Municipal and/or County fiber projects.

That would be a major change to contract law. The issue with a city competing with an incumbent cable provider is one of contracts. The cable provider has a franchise that has all sorts of conditions and requirements, which would be patently unfair for the city to ignore when it wants to compete. If a company has to do X to operate within a city, then the city itself should be required to do X when it wants to do the same thing.

Of course, the big boys (Verizon et al) Hate it, because it dramatically lowers the bar to their competition.

No, they hate it for two reasons. First, it costs them a lot of money (in franchise fees, for one thing) to comply with the terms of their franchise, none of which will be an expense to the municipal provider. Second, they have to operate at a profit in order to exist; the municipality has the general fund (taxpayer's pockets) to dip into if they operate at a loss, and no requirement to be profitable at all.

Comment Re:Yeah, maybe (Score 1) 172

And, IMHO, it's an issue for the states, not the feds. Communications which enables Interstate Commerce is not itself Interstate Commerce.

And more important, it is an issue of how a municipality manages it's own rights of way. Since the conduits will be empty, as you point out, it cannot be enabling interstate commerce.

I can see this at the state level, but not federal.

Comment Re:cheaper to keep 'er (Score 1) 143

The conglomos want to get you into thinking that by bundling you're saving money when you're not.

For what definition of "save"?

For Comcast in my area, I can get Internet alone, 25MBps, for $30/month for the first 12 months, $60/month after that. I can get "140+ channels" of TV for $50/month for 12 months, $55-$75/month after that "depending on area".

I can get a bundle with both for $80/month for 12 months, $100/month after.

If I bought them separately I'd pay the same $80/month for the first 12 months, but then the rates jump to $115-$135/month, which is $15-$35 MORE than the bundled rate. So, while it is true that you don't save with a bundle for the first 12 months, the cost is considerably less after that 12 month ends.

I'd call that "saving money".

Of course, if you don't WANT TV, then you cannot possibly save money by getting TV. It's pretty obvious, it's not a "sale" if it is something you don't want. The "save money" condition is that you want both services and would buy them individually without a better priced bundle, which does save you money.

Comment Pity, since I can't accept the EULA (Score 1) 147

Google's Chrome browser, on the other hand, remained unhackable during the contest.

Unfortunately for me, I can't accept Chrome's EULA.

It incorporates Adobe's, which (if I recall correctly from my AT&T Android-based smartphone) has several clauses I can't abide - including a never-compete, don't block updates, don't work on circumvention tools, we can change the license without notice, ...

I don't intend to do anything that might come back to limit my future software work or employability. Clicking through such a license (even if every bit of it is struck down by the courts - which I'm not holding my breath expecting), especially on a device that "phones home" in a way that is easily identified with my true name, is an invitation for an all-versus-one gladiatorial match with two multibillion-dollar corporations' legal departments.

Comment GitHub is in California (Score 1) 75

I struggle a bit to understand why this isn't a bigger issue. ... I wonder why some politician hasn't attempted to differentiate themselves by even mentioning the stifling effect on innovation [company-owns-all-your-inventions] policies impose.

Because it's already been adressed, long ago.

GitHub is in San Francisco, which is in California and governed by California labor law.

California labor law says that (paraphrasing from memory):
  - As a compelling state interest
  - overriding anything in the employee agreement
  - if an employee invents something
  - while not on company time or using company resources
  - and that invention is not in the company's current or immediately foreseeable business
  - then the invention belongs to the employee
  - (and the employment agreement must include a copy of this information as an appendix.)

(IMHO that law is THE reason for the explosive growth and innovation in Silicon Valley and why other states have been unable to clone it. Invent something that your current company won't use, get together with a couple friends, maybe get some "angel funding", rent the office across the street, and go into business with your new shiny thing. So companies bud off new companies like yeast. And innovators collect where they can become the inventor, the "couple of friends", or the early hires, creating a pool of the necessary talent to convert inventions into companies when they happen.)

What GitHub has apparently done is say to the employees:
"For the purposes of us claiming your IP, your lunch time and breaks are your time, even on company property, and your use of our computers and disk storage for things like compiles, storing code, and web research in aid of your project, does not count as 'using company resources'."

In other states, and other companies even within CA, that might be a big deal. For a company in CA, whose whole business model is providing archives for other people's software projects - and giving it away free to small groups, while charging large groups (or small groups that grow into large groups), it's not a big deal, and right IN their business model.

Comment Re:So that means (Score 1) 54

You've hit it almost on the head. This isn't about better security, it's about worse. It's a Chinese plot to force us all to untape the cameras on our laptops hoping we'll forget to retape them after logging in, and then they can spy on us. And they'll get to see whatever the background is while we're logging in.

Remember, don't leave large blueprints containing intellectual property taped to the wall behind you when you log in to your terminal or all your bases will belong China.

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