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Comment Re:Geography (Score 1) 214

The Amazon datacenter the article discusses is located in Ashburn, VA, about 20 miles WNW of Washington DC and about 100 miles from the nearest Atlantic coastline. We get rain from hurricanes that come ashore down in NC as they drive their way NNE up the coastline, but nothing worse. And since Amazon chose that location because it's one of the major Internet peering points (i.e., MAE East), there won't be any way to get anywhere on the Internet when it gets blown away :-)

Comment Competition rules, monopolies suck (Score 1) 334

The only problem with Apple's App Store is that Apple makes it impossible to have other app stores on your iPhone or iPad. In the physical world, we don't allow that kind of monopolistic behavior (at least in the USA). Want to have a brush guard with a killer winch on the front of your Jeep? You can buy them from lots of places, even though the manufacturer won't sell you one and (most) dealers won't install one. You can even pay someone else to install it for you, without Jeep's permission or approval.

Lord Acton was right about absolute power.

Comment Old hat - it was a late-1980s experiment (Score 1) 181

About 25 years ago, TCP/IP experimenters on BITNET were sending IP packets as RSCS messages, which were limited to the same scale of data as SMS messages. It was slow as hell, but just like the SMS network, the RSCS network prioritized these short messages above other traffic.

This is the same network facility that inspired the IBM Reseach folks who moved to AOL to create the buddy list and everything that arose from there.

Funny how things come around over and over in the computing world - it's like nobody studies any prior work.

Comment Re:how many watts of power (Score 2, Interesting) 179

And that's why a request for a waiver isn't just a formality, dispensed with in a few minutes. The FCC needs to determine that there isn't a risk to the public or to other established users of the frequencies in the specific case requested by the requestor. Lots of waiver requests are for experimental uses (the Amateur Radio community does so from time to time), but those typically designate small groups of stations and locations. As this is a portable commercial product, I suspect it was a lot harder to decide on.

Comment Re:Can it detect plants (or herbs) ? (Score 2, Informative) 179

TFA says "the circuitry combines the echoes at different frequencies", but I suspect "circuitry" is a layman's term and that this is truly done in software. Various DSP chips would be excellent platforms with which to do so. If so, then the starting point is a "RADAR camera", which gets turned into a motion detector through image processing. In which case those plants will be quite visible, along with anything else that has edges. The stolen Van Gogh on the wall, however, will be indistinguishable from Dogs Playing Poker.

Comment Just a student with homework (Score 0) 350

Look at what he says: "I am developing an application for PDA and require a light-weight browser for it..."

ie. his boss has told him to find something they can steal.

Nope, he's coming from - the Indian Institue of Information Technology's graduate school in Bangalore. He's trying to avoid doing his own thesis work.

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One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.