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Comment Re:User friendly (Score 1) 316


Me: What's it say on the screen?

Margaret: I don't know. It doesn't work.

Me: You don't know what it says on the screen?

Margaret: No. It just doesn't work. Come fix it.

Computer screen: Operating system not found.

After popping the floppy disk out and rebooting the machine Windows NT launches.

Margaret: Well, I could have done that, why didn't you tell me that was the problem?

Comment Re:is comcast conning me? (Score 1) 141

What makes you think the lines are separate?

Experience. Phone lines, especially major feeders and trunk lines, are buried as often as possible. That's not possible for high tension and major electrical supply lines except in downtown areas where that type of very expensive infrastructure makes financial sense. The 'last mile' electrical cable between the substation and your home may be buried, but the lines to the substation are almost certainly not. Phone lines are easier to fix, don't require major equipment, and don't need to be brought up in a specific order, either.

I live near I-90 and I-405 interchange. Major traffic issues at rush hour will overload the T-Mobile and Sprint connections in our area (ATT seems to have more capacity), the end of the fireworks display or the SeaFair air show will bring them to their virtual knees. When we had the big windstorm a few years ago (2008?) we were without power for 5 days, but never lost land line. Duval didn't have power for two weeks, but had telephone service within a couple of days.

Comment Re:is comcast conning me? (Score 1) 141

I would keep the land line. People don't think about it, but in an emergency the cellphone network is almost immediately overwhelmed (even bad rush hour traffic in our area). For that matter many (most?) of the towers don't have backup generators so will shutdown as soon as their batteries run out in a power emergency. I live in the Pacific Northwest, we have earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and a 70 mph windstorm will bring down so many Douglas Fir trees that it can take two weeks to restore power to some areas. During any of these our land line will continue to work as long as the phone line itself isn't broken, while the cellphone network implodes and melts down. Cheap insurance.

Comment Re:Mobile Phones (Score 1) 161

I think that will depend on the VR industry. Currently most of the VR headsets work off a smartphone, generally a Samsung one. VR porn is supposedly absolutely amazing and studios are starting to put out titles that really take advantage of its abilities. If the VR industry starts putting out decent cheap headsets that don't require a phone (and there's no reason for them not to, the electronics are cheap now) we may see smartphones become commodity devices, the way they should be. If they keep relying on smartphones for their guts we'll probably see at least one or two more generations of "I need this new phone because of X" (X being some nominal unimportant feature but the real reason will be porn, of course).

Comment Re:Stop chasing the shiny (Score 1) 161

Indeed. My wife occasionally tells me that I "need" a new truck. I tell her that the wheels haven't fallen off yet, so it doesn't need replacing.

I'm much the same way with my phone. If I hadn't finally broken it this spring I'd still have the four year-old $60 phone that did absolutely everything that I needed. I do have to admit that the low-light performance on the camera is better on the new one, but that's just a nice-to-have, not a need.

Comment Re: Colour me skeptical... (Score 1) 298

Falling from an airliner's cruising altitude to about 15,000 feet, where air is breathable and parachutes can be deployed, would only take a couple of minutes. For most people I think that unconsciousness would be preferable to being awake for that whole time, but if the pod maintains structural integrity there's no reason why it would necessarily decompress anyway (unless that's part of the design for some reason).

Just thinking about the whole thing, while I doubt the pods would ever be deployed on a commercial airliner I can see a market for thrill-seekers who might want to get dropped from 35,000 feet.

Comment Re:Colour me skeptical... (Score 1) 298

In flight the capsule would be pressurized, even if it depressurized immediately upon disconnect in free fall it would only be above 18,000 feet for two or three minutes. Below that you can breathe without much trouble, and the parachute probably wouldn't be opened above 15,000 feet or so. But yeah, they'd be too heavy.

Comment Re:Likely won't eventuate (Score 1) 298

Increase from one to two? Big fracking deal. You're still far more likely to be struck by lightning or die from slipping in the bathtub than in **any** type of aircraft crash, but I have no intention of giving up walks outdoors or bathing. And seriously, "the Muslims"? Do any of the Muslims you know or have ever met actually want to increase the number of aircraft bombings? None of the half dozen that I work with do, nor any of the other couple score that I speak to on a regular basis. Do you also claim that "the Catholics" want to prohibit birth control worldwide? Or that "the Hindus" want to force vegetarianism on everyone?

Comment Re:Need Two Other Numbers (Score 1) 109

In the case of windmills, under high wind conditions the blades are feathered so the windmill isn't rotating at all. In large installations this is done automatically, including in response to the automated National Weather Service tornado alerts. In the case of a tornado a windmill tower is about as likely to survive as an antenna tower, at any sort of distance they're fine but a direct hit will destroy them.

Comment Re:Depends on the roof (Score 1) 109

Looked it up, as rock wool batts were always cheaper and inferior to fiberglass, besides sometimes being contaminated with asbestos. What you're referring to is a different product that I've never dealt with. Looks interesting, although wiring and plumbing would be a pain to deal with. Odd that they reused the name of a product that most installers hated.

Comment Re:Depends on the roof (Score 1) 109

tie battens, possibly a radiant barrier and counter-batten, and integrated frost barriers

None of that is necessary if you vent your attic space adequately, they're only needed if you attic is occupied living space. Vents aren't pretty so most architects leave them out as much as possible, but anyone who has worked on very old houses can tell you the dramatic difference between the state of a roof when the attic has 2'x3' gable vents in each gable end with soffit vents and ridge vents in likely dead-air spaces and a typical attic with a few pop vents scattered around. In the former case an asphalt shingle roof can last 20-40 years, in the latter you're lucky to get more than 10. Oh, and your fiberglass insulation (not rock wool, which hasn't been used much for two decades) goes between the ceiling joists, not the rafters or trusses. You want to keep the heat/cool in the living space, not the attic.

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