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Comment 100% availability by 2017 (Score 1) 536

There is no good reason for everyone to have the option for at least residential class internet service in the US. In unserved areas, the property assessment and tax should be reduced, and document the deficiency for buyers doing research. If it takes public funds to reach 100%, so be it, but keep track of where it is missing and get it done in the next year or so.

Comment RCA Spectra (Score 1) 134

Wish I had had access to Plato. So much came from it, including the genesis of Lotus Notes. Computer education was just starting in the late 60's. My 1968 high school physics class had a student teacher from a local college that taught us FORTRAN, on a RCA mainframe. We used punch cards the first year and then in 1969, a paper-tape teletype was installed. Kids will be kids. We quickly learned to save ASCII art on paper-tape and sent a foot long rendition of the finger to the operator's console. This was also before the days of using ***** to hide passwords, so a fish into the garbage can yielded the teacher's password and eventually the system admin's. A few grades were changed with no consequences, but when we tried the admin "shutdown" command before dismounting the drives - and it took a week to reboot the system - that was the end of my early computer training.

Comment Some day - not yet (Score 1) 131

The main problem with corporate social software today is that the business dynamics are different than public social apps. With Facebook or Google+, you are a user, not a customer, and advertising is the business model. With corporations, you buy, not build the software and typically it is bloatware, trying to meet the needs of a selection committee with vague goals. So, if you can find anything good, it will be expensive (SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, etc).

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) had a vibrant social network from the mid-80's to the mid 90's, based on a rewrite of the CDC Plato software. It eventually evolved into Lotus Notes and bloated into crapware. In it's day at DEC, over 400 "notes files" were active, half business related - and non-business topics to encourage use by everyone. Below the management level, the company ran on "VAXnotes". Management hated it, because it wasn't the way they were comfortable working and disrupted their authority. Did this kill the company? Perhaps. It sharpened the disconnect between management and the workers.

Today, combine bloatware social tools that basically suck when compared to public sites, with corporate rules that discourage non-business use, combined with the spyware culture that social tool reporting provide - and we see failures due to non-use. Once those that grew up with social tools grow into management positions, the popularity of corporate social tools will likely grow. Use of social business tools "CAN" be a powerful tool if the corporate culture embraces it. It "WILL" make companies more competitive if the culture can act in a more coordinated way. Just, not yet.

Comment Cellular wireless - really? (Score 1) 156

The comment "build out broadband infrastructure, including cellular data networks in those areas." seems like a waste of money. Metered bandwidth is good for mobile applications but a home needs unlimited data volumes. While today, 30 gig a month is fine for most and 100 gig /month should suffice for the next few years, the concept of caps will be a bucket of cold water on continued innovation. Wireless is not in itself a bad technology for the rural build-out, but it is unlikely that Verizon and AT&T will change their ways. Cellular wireless is lifeline quality only for the home.

Comment Neutral to 100 meg? (Score 1) 410

If neutrality is a lost cause, I hope at least for a baseline on neutral performance, say the high-end of what we can get today. This would drive investment towards gigabit+ speeds and new applications that come with it, what ever they may be. This would be a good time for a disruptive technology to come along and give the mega carriers some competition, but sadly, I don't think it will. The placement of a lobbyist into the FCC decision chair is disappointing.

Comment Nuts to me (Score 2) 192

My allergy to peanuts and cashews has been going strong for over 50 years and I'm still alive. Peanuts and cashews are the worst, and to me, the difference is like between a bee (peanut) and yellow-jacket (cashew) sting. Similar reaction, but stronger and nastier. Peas, lima beans and lentils also cause an allergic sensation, but won't get me sick

As a kid, today you get protected, but once out on your own, shit happens. In third grade, I knew I couldn't eat the peanut butter candy we were making in class, but wanted to help, so I stirred it. That got me sent home with my eyes swollen shut. Later in life, I've been hit by a "maple frosted" donut, learned about mole sauce and sate sauce the hard way (note to self; watch out if the E on the end of the sauce's name is pronounced as A). Those cut up garlic pieces in the dipping sauce at the Thai restaurant were actually chopped peanuts. Those rice crispy squares only had 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in the batch, but it got me. The chicken salad sandwich with cashews did too. I could probably die from a large dose, but sense it pretty quickly. What gets my goat is the warnings on packaged goods saying the product was made in a factory that uses peanuts. I ignore those labels and only sensed peanuts in M&M plains and a Hershey White Chocolate candy bar.

For me, the smallest bit ingested means I'm going to puke. It might take 10 minutes or three hours, but it is going to happen. Normally, once I know it is in my system (seconds after swallowing), I'll drink a bunch of water and try to puke it out of my system. That sort of works. I also get wheezy and my throat closes a bit, but not as bad as others report. Then, I get sleepy. Even the dust in the airplane gets my eyes itchy. Years ago, I tried the desensitization approach on my own, but didn't like the reaction and stopped pretty quick.

Comment Re:Halifax too! (Score 1) 161

So in every area, they have a good estimate of how many cars have Bluetooth and have it turned on? For example, our household (HS senior, college sophomore, my wife and I) have 4 cars total and only one of them has Bluetooth. It is turned on. But, the rest of us have BT headsets - which are not in pairing / discoverable mode. So I guess they only "see" one of us on the road?

They don't need many samples to determine road speed conditions. On a busy highway, even if only 1% of the cars have bluetooth discovery enabled, there will be valid data. More valid as the sample size increases. Similar technology is used in airports to understand the speed of the people moving thorugh the security line.

Submission + - Using data analytics in education could create a new class of have and have-nots ( 1

mattydread23 writes: Every student learns differently. Some educators are starting to use data analytics to figure out how to tailor teaching techniques to individual students, rather than using the "one size fits all" approach. But Alec Ross, a senior advisor on innovation at the U.S. State Department, worries this would create a new class of haves and have-nots. Speaking at the Schools for Tomorrow conference last week, Ross said, "A lot of what I see is the ability to productize and commercialize very intensive assessments of individual limits. So what I imagine is parents getting their kids essentially a $30,000 educational checkup where they extract enormous amounts of data about the kinds of learners their children are, the kinds of education deficits they have."

Submission + - 5 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Small Business (

havishowen writes: Cloud computing is all the rage, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for every business. While the cloud has been dominated by larger businesses, corporations, and enterprise companies that require secure data storage and constant access, small businesses and startups have many of the same needs to a smaller degree, making the scalable cloud an affordable option.

Submission + - About 20% Of New Titles On Steam Support Linux (

Dega704 writes: There is some interesting news over at Phoronix regarding the state of Linux support among game developers.

"Phoronix reader Casper Gielen wrote in with some interesting information that may have been overlooked by other Phoronix readers. Casper wrote, "While browsing the 100 newest releases on Steam I noticed that 20 supported Linux. That's quite a lot. Of the 18 games under "coming soon" 6 support Linux. That's even better, which suggests that it's not just a lucky day but a real trend. Only 13 of the best selling games support Linux, but even that is a rather nice number."

So right now 20% of the new releases support Linux, 33% of the current "coming soon" titles support Linux, and 13% of the "best selling" games advertise Linux support. Those wanting to check out the games for yourself can visit and click on the various tabs.

These numbers are only likely to rise given Valve continuing to push more game developers to support Linux, SteamOS and Steam Machines will drive game developers and gamers to the Linux-based operating system, and Valve continues to work on new initiatives to help developers in moving their games to Linux — e.g. continued Source Engine optimizations, LLDB improvements, joint work on a new Linux debugger for game developers, etc.

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