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Comment Re:The Ultimate Lesson in Open Source and Standard (Score 2, Interesting) 200

Yeah, I was going to make a similar comment, since I was a sysadmin at the University of Minnesota during the later Gopher years (what I call "the pathetic self-pity era".) Highlights included being required to run a Gopher server (since until late '97 all official department content was supposed to made available on Gopher as well as HTTP, we had this bastard of a server called GN that would serve the same content to both), suffering through the "Gopher World Tour", listening to several of the Gopher team carp about how this WWW thing was overrated and people would come back to Gopher, etc. I think the best is when, in 1996, someone from the computer lab told me I shouldn't be telling my users about Netscape, I should be showing them TurboGopher VR.

Comment Re:Everybody around here hates fairpoint. (Score 1) 144

That's been my experience as well. Fairpoint has, sadly, shown me how good Comcast is.

My latest FP problem? My service goes out completely every time it rains. They insist it must be my internal wiring, even if I'm hooking up directly to the NID, so the problem is on their side of the demarc. But since my NID is inside, I have to agree to pay $65 for them to come out, and then if and when they come out, if it's not raining, there's no problem, and they refuse to troubleshoot.

Add to that the bizarre billing problems, and I'm thinking Vonage.

Comment Re:Fairpoint sucks (Score 1) 435

While I agree 100% that Fairpoint sucks (I've had no end of ridiculous billing problems from them since February...), Verizon sucked in a lot of ways as well, especially for those of us up in the rural parts of the state. Despite literally having a Verizon fiber bundle running over my land, I was never able to even get decent dialtone service from them, and as far as DSL or other high-speed service? Their official answer was that we'd never get it. Ever.

The phone companies are in the situation they are in since they didn't plan for the future. For more than a decade it's been clear that voice services were going to cell and VOIP, and they sat there and didn't figure out how to handle the infrastructure costs to stay competitive in the long run.

If comcast can run service to my place, so could Verizon and Fairpoint.

Comment Re:Unfair burden on businesses (Score 1) 784

New Hampshire. No sales tax or use tax here. And the legislature is discussing a bill to ban businesses from collecting use tax for other states, since Massachusetts is trying to force retailers with presence in both MA and NH to collect use tax on all sales to MA residents from NH stores. (Disclaimer, we do have an 8% "Room and Meals Tax" on prepared food and hotel rooms...)

Montana, Oregon, Delaware, and Alaska have no sales/use tax either at the state level, but some of these have locally-applied sales taxes.

Comment Unfair burden on businesses (Score 4, Insightful) 784

Several things both me about these proposals that occasionally get floated around:

1. They make the implicit assumption that everyone has a sales or use tax, and that people are avoiding it. That may be true in many cases, but not mine, since my state has neither. I don't

2. Similarly, it's unfair for businesses operating here. For a business located purely in my state, it's not a fair burden for them to have to calculate and collect use tax for any of the hundred (cities, counties, states, and various other revenue districts) that someone might be in when they click their mouse to order. I don't mind the "nexus" argument for sales tax (hey, the company chose to set up shop in a state? Then you can learn the tax rules and when to collect them), but extending it to use tax isn't fair. If a state really feels they need a use tax, it should be their responsibility to figure out how to collect it, and not involve companies that don't even have nexus in their state.

3. They talk about simplifying it, but there's already enough cases that I can this not working correctly (person in state A buys a gift from vendor in state B for shipment (from state C) to the recipient in State D).

I say get rid of the sales tax. They aren't necessary, we've got several states (including my own) that get along just fine without them.

Comment Re:How do you prove you created the content (Score 5, Insightful) 380

95% of what I post to various photo sharing websites, under any license, is cropped. Mostly since it looks better cropped, but a nice secondary effect of this is that I have part of the image that no infringer can have.

I already have enough problems with images I post publicy

Comment Other large parachute systems (Score 1) 226

For work, I regularly spend time out at Yuma Proving Ground, and 50,000 lbs isn't that much larger than some of the other existing systems being tested by the military.

Para-Flite's MegaFly, for example, is a 30,000 lb payload guided parachute system (GPS-steered to land at a designated LZ), with a variant of it being tested up to, IIRC, 42,000 lbs, with 50,000 lbs being a goal. It's still basically a development system, but similar systems are regularly used for 8,000 and 10,000 lb payloads.

Granted, airdrop aerodynamic issues are different than booster recovery issues, but it's still worth noting that 50,000 lbs isn't necessarily as huge as it seems relative to the existing technology.


Submission + - Hacker does a DIY Amiga in FPGA (

An anonymous reader writes: Developer Dennis van Weeren recently announced completion of his from-scratch completely re-engineered Amiga chipset. His PCB design is fully operational and compatible and his verilog code has been released under GPL. Will this finally give the Amiga community a new breath of life?

Submission + - Plastic artificial bone (

pnosker writes: "Researchers at Rutgers University have found a way to create artificial bone using a blend of usually immiscible plastics, both bio-compatible, where one plastic is dissolved and excreted creating an empty sponge-like region for natural bone to grow and a lattice of PMMA plastic for the growth to occur. The new material is undergoing further study and testing."
United States

Submission + - Highway 35W Collapses into Mississippi (

dcapel writes: "In what has been called the worst engineering disaster in decades, a bridge of highway 35W, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has collapsed into the Mississippi. The collapse took place during late rush-hour traffic, so an estimated 50 cars were on the bridge at the time. There is no evidence for terrorist involvement, but an engineering or safety flaw of immense proportions must have been involved. As someone who was working only blocks away at the time, this happened entirely too close to home."

Submission + - Battlestar Galactica Game Charting Delivery

njkid1 writes: "Battlestar Galactica has been a hit TV show from day one. Soon, it will have its first HD game based upon it. What's unique about this is that it will be available for download only, on both the Xbox 360 and PC. Based upon situations from the first two seasons of the show, the game will also have multiplayer options as well. 6&ncid=AOLGAM000500000000009"

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