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Comment Same for small plane crashes (Score 1) 269

The media are all over small plane crashes much the same way, giving a highly distorted view of just how safe aviation is. Aviation organizations like AOPA have started to get on the media's case about this.

If they reported car crashes with the same enthusiasm the "news" would be nothing but car crashes.


Submission + - How the Web Became Unreadable (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: If you've found yourself squinting at your computer and wondering if your eyesight is starting to go, fear not: you're probably just suffering from a design trend. As computer screens have achieved higher resolution, web design has trended toward paler, lighter-weight type that often doesn't meet accessibility requirements. At Backchannel, web developer Kevin Marks breaks down the history of this trend, and offers an impassioned plea for designers to go back to the typographic principles of print: keeping type black, and varying weight and font instead of grayness.

Comment Re:$2.3m dollars... (Score 1, Funny) 116

Total load of bullshit

Somewhere, in a dark smokey room, Democrats are laughing their asses off that you keep buying their spin. Both parties are corrupt as hell, but Comcast in particular is in bed with Democrats. Your own link says this. But let's add this:

How Comcast Bought the Democratic Party
Lots of good reading

Forget the paltry $50k or $100k donated directly, let's examine the *millions* raised by Comcast for Obama and the DNC, and the "Comcast Foundataion" (sound familiar?) that channels donations to the needy as long as they support Comcast's initiatives.They are a dirty dirty dirty company (and not in a good way). A lone notable exception: Al Franken, who despite taking $15k from Comcast lobbyists still spoke out against them.

Comment python or (i guess) javascript first (Score 1) 370

Do you think Apple could encourage young programmers more by also shipping their Macs with BASIC?


I think coders should start with something like Python (and I *guess* Javascript but I wouldn't advise it) then move down to C, then progress from there depending on their interest.

Most coders know only one method of learning to code: excruciating brute force trial and error

There's no *rational* reason for learning to code to be annoying at all, but we do this to ourselves because it reinforces difficulties we overcame in the past.

One example, this code.org Star Wars Javascript tutorial: https://studio.code.org/s/star...

It's perfect...also there are a few great "getting started with programming Python/Javascript" books by No Starch Press I would recommend.

Comment On the flip side, we have the modern IBM System i (Score 1) 60

On the flip side, we have the modern IBM System i. All software written for the very first System/38 in the 1970s runs unchanged and without recompilation on its followup, the AS/400.

This same software also continues to run on today's IBM System i running the very latest hardware.

A similar situation exists on the System/360 line, which also continues to run on modern hardware today.

Think of all the many rehosting failures that could have been avoided.

Comment Re:Your cable TV provider? (Score 1) 314

And, yes, the battery backup power supply is required and included for the service to work.

Now I do have some corrections for my post. Today, FiOS uses a dedicated VoIP network on its own fiber line for regular phone service and it uses QoS and a very high bandwidth codec so fax machines, modems, etc. work just fine. They can do this with their extremely high bandwidth and low latency. In many areas it's on its own fiber cable and in others it's one of the three modes on multimode fiber. In both cases it's separate from the TV and data networks. Verizon formerly sold VoiceWing which was a true VoIP service and it was unreliable. It was terminated when FiOS was deployed.

Depending on the area, hybrid fiber copper cable companies like Cox and Comcast offer Digital Telephone using either the old DOCSIS or the newer PacketCable. This is a newer technology that adapts traditional digital telephony to use IP networks instead of DOCSIS. It has some practical problems if the underlying IP network does not honor QoS the same way cable telephony already does. It's "sort of" VoIP but works more like traditional telephone system. The advantage is you can use your IP network for your voice traffic. The disadvantage is higher bandwidth and overhead which, like FiOS, can be handled with higher speed networks and dedicated "channels" for the data. In my area, Cox doesn't use IP yet, but FiOS always has. Comcast depends on the area.

In conclusion, the FiOS, Comcast, and Cox solutions all work even when the internet is not working. They all need power and a battery and fully support 911 and all traditional calling features. The underlying transport may be be ViOP, PacketCable over IP, or straight digital telephony over DOCSIS.

Comment Re:Your cable TV provider? (Score 1) 314

And, for that matter, Verizon FiOS telephone service is a very similar concept, except it's sent over a dedicated fiber optic mode (for multi-mode fiber service areas) or over a dedicated fiber optic line (for single-mode fiber service areas). It likewise doesn't use VoIP. Like cable telephony, FiOS telephone service also works perfectly with security systems, fax, etc.

Comment Re:Your cable TV provider? (Score 1) 314

The telephone land line you get from traditional cable companies like Cox and Comcast *is not* VoIP. It is digital telephony over dedicated cable TV channels. This is similar to how cable modems move data over multiple cable TV channels.

So, unless you specifically subscribed to VoIP service, you are using digital telephony, and that's not internet.

The land line still requires power and a backup battery at your premises, but it does not use the internet, and it works *perfectly* with security systems, fax machines, TTY for the deaf, and just about everything else that uses copper phone lines.

Comment technical person shouldn't be surprised (Score 1) 103

built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information

So basically they wrote a function to search for certain words. A text search.

This is not news, we've known for awhile now that the Feds can search our email.

The fact that they wrote "a custom software program" is not some new revelation. It's always software that searches.

While we're on this topic, let's remember that in Snowden's info was released in 2006:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime.

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Whom the gods would destroy, they first teach BASIC.