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Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

As far as rural... rural is often shockingly expensive. Mostly no one wants rural customers without heavy subsidy. The subsidies and the desire for a more complete network is why rural gets service.

You are correct though that given low population density a genuinely unlimited (or very high limits) is possible.

Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

There is a simple technical reason:

A) there is a limited amount of spectrum
B) technologically we need to use a non zero portion of spectrum per connection
C) we are close to capacity today
D). Given a zero cost per byte usage would skyrocket.

Ergo it has to be rationed. T-mobile rations via inconsistent connections and slow performance. Verizon rations via price.

Comment Re:Verizon is gradually coming clean (Score 1, Insightful) 196

And tomorrow you'll be making the same apologist excuses about today.

I'm not certain will see another surge like we just went through but if we do then yes most likely the context will have changed and today's plans will contain clauses that in the new context don't make sense.

Nice excuse but you're conveniently forgetting that no matter what the max bandwidth of the time was capable of transferring, it was still the same percentage of their overall bandwidth.

That's simply not true. The relationship between a heavy user and the max bandwidth was lower. Landline connections to the towers and available spectrum were relative to today less constrained. Heavy users of data (excluding extremes) were still not going to tax the towers as much as moderate users of voice. The vast majority of people had no desire to consume much bandwidth. Under those circumstances one can be quite cavalier about offering "unlimited". I can offer free unlimited drinking water at a restaurant, I can't offer unlimited farming water.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1, Interesting) 196

First off Verizon's model is to take long term fixed costs and break them out as per byte costs. If you aren't willing to incur the full costs for the fixed cost model, for example 20 year contracts and being charged for heavy static usage you don't get to complain about the fact they aren't charging you based on other aspects of the fixed cost model like most bytes incur almost 0 cost to Verizon. You don't get to mix models to your advantage.

Nobody would argue with throttling on specific towers WHEN congestion arises. It's funny how that isn't their solution

Because they didn't design their system to support that. The towers don't know about your rate plan when they serve you signal. That's computed after the fact.

Comment Re:Unlimited? (Score 0) 196

Its not pipes to the towers that's the problem. There are technological limits on interference given a limited range of frequencies. The problem for the carriers is the amount of spectrum available and the current limits on sensitivity of phone antennas plus some algorithm limits based on using TCP/IP. There is going to be quotas based likely on money for over the air internet consumption for a generation at least. Improvements will continue but they will be moderate.

Comment Re:Verizon is gradually coming clean (Score 1) 196

The context changed and this changed the meaning of what they were selling. At the time of EVDO it was almost impossible to use 1GB/mo. You had phones with very limited internet features using a terrible data network. The use case was infrequent internet for short bursts. From there there were use cases like Blackberry which had all sorts of compression features to limit data usage....

Today's phones have rich applications which can consume almost unlimited data and the network is quite good.

Comment Re:Not a huge surprise... (Score 1) 228

It counts for a lot. I used to figure OSX was worth $1k for me. However:

a) Virtualization kills a lot of the advantages of having a business system on top of Unix
b) fink and darwin getting less attention kill a lot of the advantages
c) The quality of web applications and the move away from desktop kill advantages
d) The new windows form factors are a real plus. I use laptops because I like portability and Windows takes portability much further.
e) Azure integration is a real plus. Microsoft now arguably has better ties with Unix / open source than Windows does because of Azure.

I don't know about speed I've been reading the review and it doesn't seem better. I certainly could use more SSD space. I certainly would like more battery life. I certainly wouldn't mind 32 or 64g of RAM. But it doesn't have any of those things.

Comment Re:The golden age was around 2010 (Score 1) 228

I really like the touch aspects. Note taking is a particular strength of the dual form factor and that is useful for college. As far as most users I think the Azure integration features are rather awesome. The core of Windows is office and many Windows users didn't have good sharepoint until recently.

Comment Re:Apple bet the farm on iOS. (Score 1) 228

Agree with everything you wrote except for Tim Cook. Cook has continued in his manufacturing role. Apple manufacturing is really good, and the complexity of the products has skyrocketed. This has continued and is now far better than under Jobs. They now make very complex products reliably, affordably and quickly.

The problem is that many of the other areas of Apple are stagnating. Cook is doing stuff but he is still acting like head of manufacturing not head of Apple.

Comment Re:Not a huge surprise... (Score 1) 228

Agree and I say this as a guy who has been with OSX since 10.1. You used to be able to make an argument that while Apple gouged on some areas they were a reasonable buy. Today you just can't. They are mostly inferior across the whole line. Meanwhile PCs in the last 2 years have gotten much better. I had planned on buying a replacement for my 1st year rMBP this year. The new systems aren't much faster and better. There is simply no excuse for the Mac Pro having gone almost 4 years without a refresh. There is simply no excuse for the how bad the rMBPs are in terms of comparable performance and battery life.

Meanwhile as you say the PC market has gotten quite good. At $600-1200 price point there are some very good machines. Not comparable to a $3k mac but good machines with some innovative features. I'm buying a PC for my daughter this year. And I'm seriously considering that my next machine be a PC unless next years models are a lot better.

Steve Jobs always made the comment that people vote with their dollars. I hope the message is being heard.

Comment Re:depends (Score 0) 343

LISP evolved on mainframes of the late 1950s. Many of the ideas underlying LISP predate digital computers and were used in mechanical tabulators and analog computers. Those system requirements are fine. The more interesting question is what would a LISP or Smalltalk make better in a microcontroller? If you had to model new behavior and the cost of programming relative to the cost of the device was high then it would make sense.

On the larger end I've yet to see anything even hinting of replacing C, C++ or FORTRAN for numerics and scientific code, especially back-end performance intensive libraries, because nothing can touch them for speed.

I have. Mathematica, Matlab are commonly used. I certainly use PIG all the time for numerics. C and C++ have serious problems with the complexity of implementing parallelism that quite often make them unusable.

Your arguments cut both ways.

Comment Re:depends (Score 1, Insightful) 343

The magic is how you approach solving problems. One of the problems with Common LISP is that it lets you write imperative like code. The old joke about a FORTRAN programmer being able to write FORTRAN in any language comes to mind. That's why I prefer to teach with Haskell because it takes away so much of how you commonly write code that it forces the mental paradigm shift.

Passing blocks of code by itself is not a paradigm shift. Genuinely understanding that all code is data, that you can think of data as a function that acts on functions through duality is the paradigm shift. As the abstractions build the complexity falls away. And from there you really do see the silver bullet.

Comment Re:Systems are too complex (Score 0) 449

Don't you think the Mac introduced a new kind of black-box mentality to the PC world?

No. I think the early Mac was a failure at doing this. It certainly was the intent but Mac sold poorly for many years and ended up in niches liked education and desktop publishing. If you look at the early business PC users they frequently mostly ran one application: WordStar / WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Harvard Graphics.... These applications had OS features (like a mini shell) so you never had to exit. Microsoft would in the 1990s push the office suite but again that hadn't happened yet. A Word Perfect user had a very black box experience. A Lotus 1-2-3 user had a very black box experience. It wasn't the Mac that created this attitude it was the success of office productivity applications in attracting non hobbyists to the platform and that mostly happened on the MS-DOS PC machines.

What changed was during the later 1980s was the attraction of non-hobbyists who saw the machine as a tool. Then came the mainstreaming to corporations as the interface of choice and suddenly the overwhelming majority of users were non hobbyists.

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