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Comment Colin Furze had a more entertaining presentation (Score 1) 148

of a similar thing. Less rich people who can afford lake houses and sit around sipping microbrews, more garage hacking, moments of sheer terror, exhilaration and proximity to death and/or loss of a limb. Better soundtrack than yoga studio lite.

http://www.colinfurze.com/hove...

For the impatient: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Re: Stupid Anti-TRUMP FUD (Score 1) 256

My daugher's school uses iPads for pretty much every subject. Twentyish kids in each class, 1000 in the school building (2 grades). Each kid has an iPad and it's connected to wifi when the kids are in class. Town has a population of 35K. The iPads are on all the time and used all day for every lesson. Our high school has about 2000 kids with iPads. Plus desktop computers and laptops used by the staff. We are not a wealthy district, either. We aren't dirt poor but we are not even top ten in the state for things like house prices / median income -- we are pretty much right on the median for the state.

Even at the level you suggest of simultaneous access (560), AC/OP's suggestion of a 20 Mbps cable modem shared would fall over, too. Not to mention putting in the infrastucture to provide wifi to each classroom and salary for network/IT admin.

So even in my example, not everyone is accessing simultaneously (much like a business) but my point still stands -- a 20 Mbps line might have been sufficient for a business 10-15 years ago but those days are long past. A school isn't going to have *exactly* the same demands as a 2000 person business but it's not going to have what would be considered crappy household Internet, either. Plus paying the people to run it. I'd expect people on Slashdot to understand that supporting a network with 2000+ users (or more if you support a whole district) plus desktops, laptops and tablets is not something someone can take on in their spare time and using 20 Mbps internet.

Comment Re: Stupid Anti-TRUMP FUD (Score 1) 256

It may surprise you to know this, AC, but:

- A "medium sized" high school may be 2000 students, 100ish staff. So that's 2100 people accessing a network. A 2100 person business isn't going to have one 20 mbps line. Heck, nowadays a 20 mbps line can be barely adequate for family use -- one HD youtube stream can consume 4.5 mbps alone. You are going to bring that to its knees if you have 2100 people sharing it.
- Students access web sites like wikipedia, news sites and other curriculum related sites. These are by no means text based websites. Any professional site is going to be loading up a lot more than text.
- Students taking programming or web design classes are largely using the same tools, sites, resources and references that professional programmers and web designers use. They aren't teaching BASIC and Logo on Commodores and Apple IIs with floppies or tape drive anymore. Kids are learning Java, Photoshop, etc and are looking up problems on Stack Overflow and such.
- Plenty of curriculum-related apps are cloud-based. My daughter's school uses iPads and they are an essential part of the curriculum. She can access assignments, grades, calendars, etc all from her tablet (and as her parents, we can, too). I don't know how much those apps consume but even 20-30 kids in a classroom are going to be hitting a server somewhere.
- OP also included "support". How much is your salary? How many users do you support? How much do switches, routers, wifi access points that will support 2100 users cost? How long do they last before they need an upgrade? It's not like they throw up a Linksys and call it a day. It's also not something you can expect a teacher or admin assistant to do, as there are security and privacy issues that need to be maintained, in addition to web filtering for appropriate sites, etc.

Comment Guilty as charged? It's my GPS. (Score 2) 344

Since Waze allows me to select routes based on real time traffic data and also share my ETA and current position with my wife/friends, I am a horrible person since I'm "using" my smartphone while driving.

Since Waze added the "share drive" feature way back when, I don't receive calls asking "when will you be here" if I'm delayed by a traffic jam. Not only does the app automatically send notifications of ETA changes, it also lets recipients click a link to see exactly where I am. I use the hell out of that feature, sending links to friends and family when I'm on my way to meet them, it saves having a conversation about ETA while driving.

I recall driving without a phone, having to use a paper map, etc. I wonder how many people ran into things while trying to use a paper map and looking for road/street signs. I live in the Boston area where they rarely have a street sign for the street you are on, and where the color scheme of the street signs can change based on the town you happen to be in at the moment.

Comment You are missing QE/QA in your process. (Score 1) 313

You are missing a quality engineering or quality assurance group -- a group that's independent of the developers and specializes in developing appropriate tests, test harnesses, test automation and also provides another set of eyes on features and bug fixes.

Our process:

Bug is reported or feature request is approved for developer to work on.

Development cycle:
Developer implements feature / fixes it. Ideally based on design of fix/feature, QE develops test plan/tests. A lot of work can happen concurrently. Some people even write the tests first, then code second.

Code review code and fixes with other knowledgeable developers (and QE)
Repeat this cycle till feature/fix and tests are ready.

Fix is submitted to integration system with appropriate tests.

QE (most definitely NOT the developer) verifies 1) software works 2) regression test actually ran. Ideally this is a completely separate QE from the one who did the submission, but this depends on resources.

Software enters customer release process (dev and qe largely forget about it and move onto something else)

Customer release process runs tests (or some representative subset of) against a consolidated build of "everything" to check for integration issues.

Comment Reminds me of "Wagon" vs "SUV" vs "Crossover" (Score 1) 131

Vehicle sales have similar weirdness. There are some legal/regulatory terms of what constitutes a "light truck" versus a "car" and so on. Not to mention that the term "station wagon" became a death sentence for a vehicle. So you end up with a PT Cruiser being a truck for fuel efficiency standards but as a car for others. Subaru markets their Outback as a SUV, but it's really a wagon, or as they call it, a Crossover/SUV, and it's also a "truck", but never, ever a "wagon" ... which calls up memories of giant domestic precursors of minivans that stylish people want to avoid.

Nowadays you have the laptops, convertible laptops, tablets designed to replace your laptop, tablets that are nearly laptops, etc. There's some really nice thinking going on out there in the laptop space. My wife went from a traditional laptop to a HP Spectre and is really enjoying the convertible aspect of the thing and the touch screen. Sure she doesn't use the touch screen much in laptop mode, but when she's watching videos she uses it all the time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
http://www.subaru.com/vehicles...
http://www.thecarconnection.co...

Comment I have a municipal ISP (Score 1) 113

I live in a town with a municipal ISP. Our town has a municipal light and power, and it's a part of it.

Pluses: Price, speed, support are good. Certainly better than I experienced other other commercial ISPs. By extension, our power rates are also very low compared to the rates of other towns that use commercial power providers. They also provide VOIP phone for a decent price. Reliability has been decent. You can unbundle or bundle cable TV, phone and Internet as you like with no significant penalty. A lot of the employees live in town so they are quite literally your neighbors.

Minuses: We still don't have more than one provider in town. ISP support hours are not 24/7, they are "business hours" only. The electric side of the organization does respond quickly to outages.

Comment Tesla is cool. GM not dead. (Score 1) 289

Tesla is undoubtedly cool. Their cars seem to be holding up well, despite some hiccups and a weird amount of hate from the 'MURICA folks -- especially given that Tesla is

1) on track to be the most "domestic" of domestic automakers -- 90% when the gigafactory is fully working.
2) creating jobs in America
3) creating EVs that are sporty, fun to drive, etc.

I do see them as the future -- but they are a growing niche player. As an American I'm happy they are here and I'm happy to see what they are doing. It's good someone is out there pushing the envelope. Plus with Elon you get all the fun of Space X, solar, battery storage, tunnel boring and he's a fan of Iain Banks, so much so he names his recovery drones after Culture ships. Add powered armor and you can get to Tony Stark pretty quickly.

GM, though, is not dead yet. Not by far. I drive a Volt every day and it's probably the nicest small sedan I've owned. Decent power, very efficient and used models are very reasonably priced. Plus they have been really putting money and resources into EVs -- the Spark and Bolt are recent additions. Sure, it's not a pure EV, but also at the same time it's not as expensive as it would of been if it was and long distance travel is very possible in it. I know EV range is getting better and charging times are decreasing -- but for many Americans it's not anything approaching reality. I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford a house with a garage and have an employer that has on site EV charging. Therefore, I have easy charging at home and work and I do 85-90% of my driving on battery. For many people this isn't reality -- they park on the street or live in an apartment/condo complex with no access to charging infrastructure. Or they don't have the ability to spend the money to install a charging station at home, as it can approach $1K.

The other big money maker is trucks and SUVs. Tesla has the Model X, but honestly at its price point it only competes with top of the line Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac and Lexus SUVs. GM has a full range of SUVs and pickups -- and Chevy pumped out ~700K Silverado/GMC Sierra pickups in 2016, plus 215K Equinoxes, 200K Mailbus, and 171K Cruzes. That's well north of 1M vehicles delivered in the US alone. Tesla delivered 76K worldwide.

Of course, that's apples to oranges since Tesla competes in the luxury segment exclusively at this point. Not to mention that I can't recall people pledging $1000 to get in line for any GM vehicle launch. Maybe people put payments in advance on the next Corvette, but I've never heard of someone prepaying on the Cadillac that competes with the Model 3.

Comment Re:Oh, my sides (Score 3, Informative) 132

Lobbying amounts are in the millions (for example, $14M for Comcast). Revenues are in the billions ($80B for Comcast's 2016 yearly revenue), margin of 40%. So they are spending fractions of their revenue to drive legislation that they can in turn use to drive more profits.

Profits aren't inherently bad (I work for a private company, after all) but combining granted monopoly power with buying legislation to increase profits is just obscene.

Sources:
Lobbying spend by Comcast: https://www.opensecrets.org/lo...
Comcast earnings and margin: http://www.cmcsa.com/earningde...

Comment Oh, my sides (Score 5, Insightful) 132

"voluntarily agree"

I can already hear the evil villain laughs from the boardrooms of our monopolistic content masters, lighting cigars with $100 bills and slapping each other on the back with hearty gusto.

If I could take my business elsewhere, this wouldn't matter so much. In the designated local monopoly for ISPs that most Americans exist within, it's just pathetic.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 46

Yep ... devices it plays on at our house have no wireless. Kindles and iPod Touch are wifi only. Tick the box for "download this" and it downloads whatever you like. I also had mp3 player(s), but carrying around multiple devices, maintaining multiple playlists and so on got old after a while. I download playlists on my phone all the time, and Spotify doesn't use any data when I play those songs.

They also let you change the quality - you can pick 96, 160 or 320 kbit/s in the quality preferences on your device.

Let's also be clear that original AC doesn't need to resort to privacy ... they could actually BUY the recordings to get what they want, and rip them to FLAC using one of the many methods available. Even if Spotify added a FLAC, DRM-free option that worked with a MP3 player from 1997 and came with a free OC3 Internet connection to their house, and a fiber drop to their MP3 player, there would be some other excuse -- "their UI isn't like Winamp, right back to the torrents" or some such.

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