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Comment Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba (Score 1) 164

Works both ways, though; a strong national government can screw things up everywhere. Consider somethig like low-flow toilets. In hilly, arid California, these are an excellent idea. In flat, wet areas east of the Mississippi, this means that sewage lines get clogged more easily. Regulations that make sense in some places can be lunacy in others, like the old British imperial rule that public buildings' roofs must support the weight of six feet of snow - even in Malaysia.

Comment Re:Yes, "line rental" is for POTS (Score 1) 82

US-vs-EU divide here, then. In the US, you basically have Panasonic on the high end (it's a Matsushita brand, so might have a different name there), and VTech (based in Hong Kong) on the low end. Never heard of Gigaset until now. Go to Amazon US, look at cordless phones, and you'll see how completely those two dominate. I think the last time I bought a cordless home phone set that wasn't Panasonic was over twenty years ago.

Comment Re:Yes, "line rental" is for POTS (Score 1) 82

The last few generations of Panasonic cordless phones (which have basically taken over the entire market for good-quality cordless phones) have the ability to use one handset to power the base. I have VOIP, and my internet infrastructure isn't on a UPS, so I'm still toast, but if I wanted to pay AT&T's rapacious prices for a traditional landline, it would work.

Comment Re:Yes, "line rental" is for POTS (Score 1) 82

It strikes me as somewhat odd that the British market doesn't have the same basic phone models we have in the US, but these mostly have the same functionality as the one I have in the US. Multiple handsets, plus the base has the ability to Bluetooth to two cell phones. I have a larger home, and we have the five-handset version (the feature is Link2Cell in the US version if you want to check out Amazon's offerings on this side of the pond for comparison). You can leave your cell phone plugged in and charging near the base, but you can still make and receive calls on it (in addition to on a landline, should you still have one - I do, although it's VOIP). I believe the newer ones are able to notify you if you get a text - though not able to read it remotely, which would seem to be a likely feature for the near future.

FAX machines are covered under a different standard, T.38, which just has to be implemented at your VOIP adapter/ATA. The Obihai 200 and 202 both support it, and they're not exactly expensive. If you have a modern hybrid service, where the telephone adapter appears to be analog to you but is VOIP from the internet provider's box upstream, it should already be doing this for you.

Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 1) 331

In an era in which type was set by hand for printing, eliminating the Oxford comma made great sense for printers - they needed fewer commas on hand, and it did save a fair bit of time. In an era in which typesetting is computerized, that no longer applies, and using it is more akin to the British than the American style of punctuation inside/outside quotation marks.

Amusing way of phrasing yourself, though.

Comment Re:Berkley didn't do this to be jerks (Score 1) 553

Trainspotting the book was easy. You have all the time in the world to sound things out, search for unfamiliar words, etc. Trainspotting the movie... well, let's just say that I probably didn't understand 2/3 of the dialogue when I watched it the first time. After I read the book, the accent was still tough - but I knew what they were saying (the dialogue is almost verbatim), which made it much easier to start to understand the accent.

Comment Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 160

I haven't been with my shop long enough for them to cover it gratis, but considering that what I paid for the tow was about 1/3 of what I would have paid as Joe Shmoe, I don't care if they made a few nickels on it.

And I really wish that my preferred mechanical and body shops weren't 20 miles apart, but...

Comment Re:Time To Invest In Infrastructure (Score 1) 469

And there's a pretty interesting counterexample: Atlanta. Atlanta has - by far - the least bad traffic of any city of its size I've experienced. And the traffic is least bad on the highways with the most lanes. It's usually faster to go through Atlanta than around Atlanta, because the Downtown Connector is six or seven lanes each way, and the Perimeter is three or four.

Yes, induced traffic demand happens. Sort of. Go build a 20-lane freeway around Minot, ND, and see if it attracts traffic. (Probably not.)

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