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Comment Re:Not good enough (Score 1) 62

Yeah, I'm not sure why they try to force people up in the plans by eliminating the bottom ones or tweaking the prices. However, I'm one that needs as much data as they'll offer, because we don't have access to landline internet at home even though we live in a major metropolitan area (Knoxville, TN) and less than a mile as the crow flies to the city center. My workaround is using a couple of hotspots connected to the same router with WAPs around the house to get the home devices online, combined with cell data. We were doing pretty well with a 22GB general access hotspot, 6GB TV streaming hotspot, and our phones with 6GB each on T-Mobile. Streaming worked well because they don't count that data against you from Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/etc with the plan over 6GB, and using one hotspot didn't work out because when it ran out of data and went to 128Kbps speeds it killed streaming too. I usually got close or ran out of data on my phone because I can't use it at work, but my wife used less than 1GB because she'd do all of her updates and such on wifi at work.

So, the latest changes that T-Mobile made were enough to finally get me to jump with the phone lines to unlimited. It is costing us less for more data (unlimited but also 10GB tethered data per line as well). As a side effect they're also making the hotspot lines tax-inclusive so that will save us some more as well. All said and done our bill will be about $30-40/mo less than last month, with more data.

For that, I'm thankful for the competition, but I can definitely understand folks in your position that have what they need and don't want to pay more.

Comment Re:Question (Score 3, Informative) 162

Each update must be acknowledged and scheduled for installation by the user, although theoretically there might be a backdoor way for them to remotely install updates without user consent. If you ever go a Tesla Service Center you'll need to remember to tell them not to install software updates for you (since they will commonly do that as a courtesy).

However, there will also be a point where features in the older software versions may no longer be supported and capabilities may degrade, particularly if Tesla's server-side communications specific to those older versions are discontinued, particularly around the navigation features. The Tesla Service Center may also say that they are logistically unable to fix or support some issues without upgrading to a current version.

Comment Re:It's a cost-service optimization (Score 1) 105

I recently moved into a house that, while 2mi from a major metropolitan area city center (Knoxville, TN), there is no wireline broadband available. Comcast lines stop next door and AT&T installed a cabinet up the street a decade ago for DSL equipment but hasn't populated it. There's a cluster of about 24 houses that have no wireline broadband options.

We do, however, have a solid LTE signal from all carriers here. After burning through 14-18GB the last couple of months between my wife and myself, we just ordered a T-Mobile hotspot, and I'll be pairing it up with a RouterBoard router to supply our wireless network in the house with internet access, and switch to using that while here. I expect that we will see a substantial drop in data usage and have the benefit of being able to stream netflix or Amazon Instant to our TV's unlimited as well.

What some people forget, is that in situations like this, I would much, much rather have a throttled connection for video than to burn through all of our data while at home because CNN/Youtube/everything else wants to serve up my phone with 1080p HD video. As an added benefit, I'm not going to even be charged for much of that usage.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

Shouldn't have been less than 3 seconds. Federal Highway Administration Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (FHWA MUTCD) minimum is 3.0 seconds for an approach speed of 30mph (minimum tabulated). If you were contemplating slamming on brakes to make a panic stop, I would make a guess that the intersection was at least a 45mph approach speed, which translates to a minimum yellow phase of 4.3sec.

Most states (excepting CA, UT, TX, MO, IN, MI, OH, MN, MD and DE) have adopted the MUTCD or the MUTCD with a state supplement. The states that haven't have their own standards but are typically in-line with the MUTCD.

If the yellow phase was less than 3 seconds, you probably had a case to protest and win. But in reality it was probably a half-second or second longer than the MUTCD minimum, depending on traffic volume and other factors. People are notoriously bad at estimating time and distance.

Comment Re:Hooray! (Score 5, Informative) 167

A couple of comments. I worked at Watts Bar for 6 years - from just before they restarted construction until 2013. I now work out at one of the new reactors under construction at VC Summer.

First off, WBN2 and WBN1 share structures. Actually, all the structures except for the reactor building itself is shared. The units are what is considered an "opposite hand" configuration, which means that essentially a piece of equipment, piping, or valve on the far west side of the plant for U1 would be on the far east side, at the same northing, for U2 with everything matching up in the middle. The units also share many systems, and in order for them to start up U1, they had to have those systems (and many of the U2 pumps, valves and other support equipment) in service. The units also share a control room, spent fuel pool, diesel generators, and more. The only completely independent structure is the reactor building, which was structurally complete when they halted construction. Most everything inside was complete (major equipment set, piped in, etc). Most of what was lacking were control systems, instrumentation, and some valves. Also, all of this equipment was under temperature and humidity controls during the layup period.

One other thing - all of these structures are reinforced concrete. The unique thing about concrete is they get stronger with age unless you have something like saltwater causing problems. They're also *very thick* and *heavily reinforced* concrete - as in, the age isn't a handicap at all.

Comment On the other hand... (Score 4, Interesting) 365

A study on anonymous hiring practices in France showed that anonymization resulted in fewer minority candidates getting hired. Their explanation is essentially that the companies who care enough about diversity to participate in this sort of study are already subtly biased in favor of minority candidates, and anonymization put a stop to it. Considering the amount of focus big tech companies are putting on diversity, there's a fair chance the same thing is happening here too.

Comment Finally gave up my pager... (Score 1) 635

... but only because I changed jobs. As part of the radiological emergency response team at a nuclear power plant (Watts Bar), I was required to have a pager on during my duty weeks. They were in transition to an email and SMS-based system (which they were using for non-REP response primarily and in addition to the pager system for REP) but that required regulatory approval from what I understand for it to become primary. It was an old-school, 10-digit motorola pager and the utility (TVA) owned and operated their own network towers.

Submission + - China Mulls Undersea Train to the United States (

MaestroRC writes: China is considering the construction of an 8,000-mile long rail line linking China to the United States via a 125-mile long tunnul underneath the Bering Strait. The line would traverse from China, through Russia and Canada and to the continental United States.

Comment Not relevant to the web site (Score 3, Interesting) 118

Most of the Affordable Care Act has nothing to do with the web site. The site didn't have to implement those "2.8 million words of Obamacare regulations" as code: it only had to match patients up with insurance plans, which means interacting with dozens (hundreds?) of government and industry databases.

Some states, like California, managed to implement their sites without any of the problems of the federal exchange. The federal exchange mainly suffered from (1) being rushed, and (2) having to deal with a larger number of external systems than any single state exchange.

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