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Comment As much as I dislike Trump ... (Score 4, Insightful) 424

These allegations are different from the Clinton allegations. They point to possible incompetence in maintaining a private email system, in contrast to allegations of violating govenment policies and regulations regarding a government official. Had Trump done something like this while working in government rather than campaigning for office, the allegations would hold more weight.

Comment A few things to keep in mind ... (Score 1) 101

This is a communications satellite in geostationary orbit. The typical ground station will be using fairly expensive equipment to provide an uplink in addition to a downlink. The ground station will provide internet, telephone, and television services to an entire community via more conventional means (e.g. cable). This is not the type of installation that you have in your home.

The uses go far beyond home internet access. The typical ground station will provide service for local government services and businesses. In this day in age, it is necessary for both the governance and economic development of isolated regions.

Many of these isolated regions are also within the provinces (i.e., not the territories in the arctic). Northern Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec are very much populated but much of it is incredibly isolated. There are several communities that are further south than major Canadian cities that rely upon this satellite. To give you an idea of what I mean: a town in Northern Ontario can be disconnected from the road and communications network, yet be further south than roughly 10% of the Canadian population.

For those saying that these people should live elsewhere: (a) the development of isolated regions, meaning most of Canada's territory, will not be possible without the tools needed for economic development. That includes the internet and telephone service. (b) Many of the people in these regions were born and raised there. Telling them to move would be like someone telling you to uproot your family and move to a community hundreds of kilometers away. I mean sure, you/they can do that. Just don't expect an agreeable response.

Comment Let's put it this way ... (Score 3, Insightful) 152

I prefer to start videos manually on sites dedicated to streaming video. Those are sites where I expect to watch videos, and the video is going to be visible on the screen when the page loads. It gives me a chance to ensure that I'm on the right page, a chance to read the description, and a chance to prepare to watch the video (because sometimes I'm just looking for stuff that I want to watch).

As for autoplaying video on a site that serves a different purpose altogether, after clicking a link that I may not even know links to a video, that's a definite turn-off.

Comment If you don't trust the vendor ... (Score 2) 405

If you don't trust the vendor, then it's time to look at someone else's products.

That being said, we are talking about Microsoft here. Many people disagree with their decisions, but they are more or less reliable. Their marketing may be agressive, but they aren't going to go to the point of breaking a product on purpose. They are going to test their patches to the best of their ability, and they are a large enough firm to have the means to do it well. Yes, there will be problems for some users. That is to be expected. Unlike many vendors, Microsoft has relatively little control over the hardware their product is used on or the software that is used on their operating system. So do take precautions like doing regular backups and be prepared to restore those backups if you end up being an edge case where things break.

While you can possibly do better than Microsoft, you can certainly do worse.

Comment Two big hurdles ... (Score 1) 515

I have tried KDE various times over the years, and always ran into two big hurdles:

The biggest one was that various KDE apps had a predilection for crashing. When day one of using a fresh OS installation that was shipped with KDE involves a couple of notable crashes, there is a huge disincentive to abandon it. There is also very little incentive to actually try to solve the problem because very little has been invested into the environment.

KDE also tries to do too much that doesn't appeal to broad audience. Feature rich applications may appeal, but a glut of applications that aren't even needed does not. In some cases it leads to an urge to purge unwanted components. In cases where the user has a prefered application, it lends to the impression that KDE suffers from NIH syndrome.

Comment Re:Good thing you have a choice (Score 2) 537

I'm fairly certain that it is legal in the US. The businesses that were getting in legal trouble in the US were using radio signals to jam signals. This sort of interference is illegal, and I suspect that it is illegal internationally (since many of the laws regarding the RF spectrum are a product of ITU regulations).

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 1) 117

Perhaps it's the location that I go to. It's right next to a bus terminal and near a couple of major roads used by commuters. In other words, their customers are bound to be in a hurry. I'm also basing my assessment on where I see people in the store. For that location, milk is conveniently located and there is a lot of traffic in that part of the store. Motor oil is not conveniently located, but it doesn't seem to be an area that people frequent much either.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 3, Insightful) 117

That probably depends upon the customer. The main reason why I go to Walmart is because I can be in an out in 10 minutes. At least for the store that I go to: the layout seems to put the most popular departments near the checkout, and the less frequented departments in the fringes. They also have a true express checkout lane (one line feeds six cashiers for people with small purchases).

Sure, they want to snag impulse buys and they probably want to keep customers in the store longer to browser. On the other hand, impulse purchases don't require taking the lest efficient route. Getting customers in and out quickly is also in the store's best interest if it helps them retain customers. Remember, Walmart's business is to make money. Making money doesn't always mean going against the best interest of your customers.

Comment Sounds more than fair ... (Score 1) 260

If this happened in a physical store, the cashier would call a supervisor. The customer may get the product for free, but the issue would immediately be remedied so that it would not be exploited. In this case, the customer decided to call over other customers with the full realization that it was likely a mistake. A mistake that would only be noticed by the retailer through abnormal sales patterns or by someone reporting it, i.e. after the fact. Even though the customers were being dishonest, they were still rewarded.

Comment Idle speculation ... (Score 1) 559

This sounds an awful lot like the discussion surrounding habitable planets 25 years ago. There really wasn't enough to raise the discourse above idle speculation because we were dealing with a sample of one (the solar system). The situation wasn't much better shortly after the discovery of exoplanets since the sample was incredibly biased.

The situation for planetary atmospheres is similar today. We have an incredibly small sample of planets where we have studied the atmosphere in any detail (again, the solar system) and hints about the atmospheres of a highly biased sample of exoplanets. Give it another decade or two, and maybe we will have a basis to speculate on the habitability of extrasolar planets ... but that certainly isn't the case today.

Comment Re:I think I am in trouble (Score 1) 208

I'm sure that it was perfectly clear to many people, even to those who have a marginal understanding of technical buzzwords. Part of the problem is that the buzzwords are sufficiently ambiguous that they can mean practically anything when strung together, so the investor or client may visualize a product that is completely different from what is being offered. In other words, it is little more than marketing speak.

Comment A minor concern, but still a concern ... (Score 2) 319

The processors being dropped are admittedly ancient and are unlikely to see much use. If any other distribution was dropping it, I would not be concerned in the slightest. The reason why I have an inkling of concern is because Debian is the base for many other Linux distributions, and Debian is designed in a way that is easy to adapt for many low end systems.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this decision. If I ever had the need to use hardware with such an old processor, chances are that it would require older software on top of an older distribution on top of an older kernel anyhow. (And chances are the need to use such an old processor would be to drive hardware that requires Windows or DOS rather than Linux.) Still, it is worth discussion.

Comment Re:Um, what? (Score 1) 86

I'd support such a move if it more closely modelled amateur radio: test and license operators. Break the licenses up into different classes. An entry level class would require a knowledge of the relevant laws and safe operating practice. A fully licensed operator may be able to design and build their own aircraft, as well as have additional privileges for the type of aircraft and airspace that they can operate in. Most of all, have the aircraft identified by the operator's license rather than licensing each aircraft to reduce the bureaucratic nonsense that people have to deal with.

The point of such a scheme is to provide a legal avenue through which people can operate drones, while acknowledging that there has to be some form of regulation to ensure safety. Licensing is simply a means of ensuring that people have enough knowledge to operate the drones safely. Identification is a means of tracking down operators who are not respecting the regulations. While operating without a license does not imply unsafe operations, it raises enough red flags that the FAA should be able to slap the operator with a fine and demand that the operator can prove that they are capable of operating a drone safely (by obtaining a license).

Comment Re:With 32 gig usb sticks so cheap ... (Score 1) 154

An OS installer is something that I use once, then stick in a drawer in case I need to reinstall the OS or use it for data recovery. In other words, it's not receiving much use so I would rather dig an unused flash drive out of the drawer rather than spend money on it. I most certainly don't want to go to the trouble of getting a larger cheap drive via mail order because any local shop charges a premium for it.

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