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Comment Fiber not expensive? (Score 4, Insightful) 255

Installing fiber isn't that expensive. I live in a semi-rural area several miles outside of the nearest small town, and 25 miles from the nearest big town, ~50 miles from a city, and ~100 miles from a major metro area. And I have three fiber pedestals near my house, from two different cable companies.

Nice anecdote. By the way, have you ever trenched fiber for a local telecom? It's not cheap. Two minutes of Google searching gave me this neat data. A couple installs in Florida ran about $10,000 per mile back in 2013. Let's use that as a base cost. Wikipedia then tells me that Google needed 4,000 miles of fiber to setup in San Antonio. So, $40 million dollars, just for one city. And if there already was one or two other providers there offering services, able to price-cut their services to maintain their subscriber base, that would give me even less reason to start breaking ground.

I've spoken with two different telecoms about their fiber install over the last five years. Both of them say that there's a substantial initial investment, just to develop a core community of subscribers, which then provides the profits necessary to branch out into neighboring territories, especially in rural areas. (Both teleco's said that rural areas don't turn a profit. The urban areas subsidize the costs.)

No, it is expensive.

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 287

Not really. Human thought is directed by emotions as much as anything. Your personality and your basic behavior, preferences, decisions, the lot are all ruled by how strong various memories are. Your event memories wind together an emotional preference for certain outcomes, aversion to others, and indifference to most of the shit that happens; correlating things together has an impact, too, such that making a desirable outcome occur alongside a particular behavior causes you to engage in that behavior more-frequently. Greed is only another factor: you've learned that having things (and money) reduces adverse conditions and increases desirable conditions.

Using what people have learned by interacting with other people, by the common contexts of language, and by selecting words and phrases in patterns which emphasize some facets and de-emphasize others lets you change how people think. Largely, people think for themselves on a basis of information collected over a lifetime, and have sets of facts which are thusly distorted. They start gathering these facts before they have a frame of reference to analyze them.

That's why you get stupid shit like people believing readily-debunked myths such as that minimum wage increases cause additional spending and job creation or primarily takes money from the rich. No matter the argument, these things are learned-axioms that are used to quickly determine the argument is invalid--unless you carefully manipulate their emotional response to program in new facts that don't get vomited straight back out, but that cause their existing ideals to fail hard. It makes them uncomfortable pushing back, so they just accept this new information until someone makes a better argument.

Comment Reasons (Score 4, Informative) 305

Decades of saltwater intrusion, subsidence and rising sea levels

No, that's not why the delta's disappearing. Here are the reasons why:

1) Levees and flood protections prevent silt from the Mississippi from depositing into the delta to maintain it, and
2) Oil drilling required dredging up the delta to permit pipelines and shipping lanes, destroying wetlands that help capture and build-up the silt.

Comment Very confusing article (Score 5, Insightful) 255

As a technology director for a public K-12 school, I'm very concerned about what I'm reading in the headline. But the "article" is an extremely biased report, citing just as equally biased an article, and neither article really gives me a clue as to what's going on here.

So, let's start at the source: Here is the actual FCC draft order specific to this change. Now, in the course of working on and completing E-Rate filings with the USAC to receive reimbursement for internet and network services for our school district, I've read a few 60-70 page FCC reports before. They're not fun, but they're necessary. That being said, I'm about 20 pages in, and already I'm disturbed. Here's why:

FCC reports that I've read in the past are boring, dry reads, but at least they're factual and unbiased. Not so with this one. Three sentences in, and we get this: "The FCC has historically subjected the provision of business data services by incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) to price regulations." And the spin continues..."eases the regulatory burdens"; "spur entry, innovation and competition in the vibrant business data services market"; "competition is robust and vigorous in the markets." And this is still just the first page. The draft order is littered with biased political spin, something that has not been present in my reading of previous FCC draft orders. Because of this, I can't even depend on a government document to give me an unbiased report of the rationale behind the decision, nor can I depend on it to help me determine what the consequences of the decision will be. So, I'll have to create my own... here goes.

Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) price regulations have been there historically specifically to protect subscribers from LECs that had monopoly or near-monopoly controls over their service regions. Most regions throughout the United States historically were not served by competitive broadband providers. Recently, this has begun to change, where some communities now have competitive service providers come in, giving subscribers a choice. The FCC began to look into this issue back in 2012, before Trump. According to the report, "In December 2012, the Commission released the Data Collection Order FNPRM, to collect data, analyze how competition, “whether actual or potential, affects prices, controlling for all other factors that affect prices,” and “determine what barriers inhibit investment and delay competition, including regulatory barriers." By not controlling pricing, the FCC claims in its report that LECs will no longer be limited entry into a potential market, where capped rates would not allow for a sufficient recovery of the investment necessary to build into a new market area.

But, here's the flaw in their reasoning: trenching fiber costs a lot of money. A lot. If service provider A already has fiber, service provider B is not going to install fiber if it does not believe that it can earn back their investment in a reasonable amount of time. Even if prices are artificially inflated by provider A, just because they can, if provider B tries to compete and trenches their own fiber network, both A and B know that A can lower its rates to a competitive level to drive out provider B. So, B has no incentive to trench, leaving A with the monopoly.

The easiest solution: make internet a utility. It's silly to think that it's a smart idea to run multiple fiber lines to a building. (I should know; our school has two of them, and both are dark.) It would be just as silly to have multiple electric taps, or multiple water pipes. But, that's not happening anytime in the near future.

And as far as what affect this will have on the cost of internet access for schools? Not a whole lot. Because, with E-Rate, everyone is reimbursing schools for the cost increase. (The reimbursement percentages vary, but our district is at 70% reimbursement rate. So, if rates increase 25%, we only pay 7.5%, and taxpayers pay the rest.)

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 287

It's not the only thing that matters. You can sell an enormous lie to people without ever stating a factual inaccuracy by changing the way they interpret the information. Manipulating people so that you can shout loudly that 2+2=4 and have them hear that as meaning that you're giving them 2 apples and 2 pears and they're getting 7 fruits is a common and powerful rhetoric.

Basically, the statement semantically reads: "the discovery of 50% Chicken DNA is meaningless in terms of how much chicken is in the food" and "DNA testing generally gives you a reliable measure of how much DNA is in the food."

The reader will generally hear: "the discovery of 50% chicken DNA doesn't mean it's EXACTLY 50% chicken" and "chicken DNA is a measurement of about how much chicken is in there".

Those are two different statements. What's said and what's heard are different; and the structure of the sentence is to ensure that most people--even highly-intelligent people like the Slashdot crowd--generally hear the second set of information.

Comment Re:Knowledgable (Score 1) 102

For someone who says others are unable to follow a conversation, you certainly show yourself to be unable to do so

I'm following the current discussion. Let me remind you that my post above was in response to your post:

He said the electrolytes have a small window for a stable voltage range. The most likely means that if you charge the electrolyte to (for instance) 3.4 volts it will be stable, but you can't charge it to more than 3.5 volts or less than 3.3 volts.

So my response on state-of-charge and the desirability of a stable voltage range is appropriate for the context of this discussion. Good try, but I have a bullshit-cutting katana.

But he was aked about the FAILURE mode of the batteries. And in answer to that he said there is a narrow WINDOW which will produce that stable voltage range. The WINDOW is refering to the CHARGE voltages that are required in order for the battery to produce that stable range on discharge.

Actually, the voltage at which you charge the battery only affects the rate at which it charges (and the amount of overcharge you can get when nearing/exceeding 100% capacity). Discharge voltage is controlled entirely by battery chemistry.

In other words: Everything you said there is factually-incorrect, technically-inaccurate, and wrong.

By reading ALL of his answers

I'm only interested in the response he gave to the question of why Lithium chemistry batteries suddenly lose capacity as a failure mode, which he answered by spouting a bunch of irrelevant and inaccurate bullshit. If you ask, "Why is the sky blue," and a guy starts talking about how the sky on Mars is red during the day and oceans reflect heat off the surface of the planet due to their mercury content, he's 1) spouting irrelevant bullshit; and 2) wrong. The content of the rest of his diatribe in a forum of further questioning is irrelevant to that inquisitive cycle.

he is saying that in order to keep the DESIRABLE stable voltage range

He suggested the stable voltage range is a problem caused by flammable electrolytes. You claimed that the stable voltage range is the charging range above, and have now changed the definition (fallacy of equivocation).

You're really not good at arguing with people who can think and comprehend, you know that?

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 287

The "usual" way is to measure actual protein content, which indicates a relative measure of proportional mass of biological material.

The way they used was to measure DNA content, which indicates content of in-tact DNA. DNA content of 1kg of uncooked, well-preserved, small-cell biological material will be higher than DNA content of 1kg of cooked, large-cell biological material.

Comment Re:Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 1) 287

The "But" conjunction is special. It suggests to the listener that the prior statement had no meaning, and thus that it can be safely ignored.

The structure of that statement is to say that 50% Chicken DNA doesn't mean 50% Chicken meat, but the testing is a good measure of proportion.

Take that statement without the first part: "DNA Experts have told Marketplace that the testing is a good indicator of animal and plant DNA in the product." Sounds like it's a reasonable measure, right? Another nice trick: the last statements made--end of a paragraph, end of a sentence, and so forth--carry the most weight.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 167

Actually, they haven't. You can clone the mag strip, but most cards now register that they have a chip. The bank won't authorize it by mag strip if a smart card is present; you can still copy the mag strip and use it for offline attacks (e.g. use it to buy crap through Paypal).

A smart chip--the type of tool embedded in an EVM card--is a miniaturized computer with an I/O protocol. When attached to the reader, it's powered up and accepts commands. It doesn't release the key, and only performs digital signing within its own memory space and returns the result.

Some implementations in early chips used DES, which has cryptographic weaknesses. It's possible to crack DES in a few hours and recover the key by analyzing signed known-plaintexts, allowing for cloning. Most early implementations used 3DES or RSA at a currently-unbroken level, making this attack impossible.

Amusing: SD cards are also microcomputers and communicate over an I/O protocol. Direct access to SD card NAND is not possible; loading an operating system onto an SD card and making it perform computations is possible.

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