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Submission + - Accurate broadband speed test? 2

kyrcant writes: Is there a way to accurately really test my "broadband" connection? I don't trust the usual sites, the first ones I found via Google. I suspect (and found) that at least some of them are directly affiliated with ISP's, and I further suspect that traffic to those addresses is probably prioritized, so people will think they're getting a good deal. The speeds I experience are much, much slower than the speed tests show I'm capable of. For a while I thought it might be the sites themselves, but they load faster on my T-Mobile HTC One via 4G than on my laptop via WiFi through a cable modem connection. Is there a speed test site that has a variable or untracable IP address, so that the traffic can't be prioritized by my ISP (call them "ConCazt")? If not, which sites are not in any way affiliated with ISP's? Is there a way to test it using YouTube or downloading a set file which can be compared to other users' results?

Comment Re:I'm not clear on what their case is... (Score 1) 112

I think the point of checking the S/O is a legacy procedure that was built in to ensure that they could not be blackmailed. The security people want to know you're not hiding anything so that a bad guy can't say, "if you don't hand over those pictures of alien spacecraft around Jupiter I'll tell your wife/parents/dog that you're gay/use drugs/watch manga." As long as you are up front with your past drug abuse and s/o, the bad guys can't blackmail you with it, and you're okay.

Comment Re:The Sun (Score 1) 377

The sun is a great target and a solar filter costs about $20 tops. Count sunspots during each class period on at least a weekly, if not daily basis. The moon is great day or night. Planets are very impressive, contrary to some other opinions on here. I do public and school outreach for the Howard Astronomy League ( and everyone loves the planets. Mars is good right now. A 4" will show the Orion nebula on Orion's sword quite well, with or without filters. Depending on where you are there is a good chance your local astronomy club will even put on a show for the kids, or at least have a public star party they can attend to look through amateur class scopes. Kyr

Comment Basics (Score 1) 1021

I recommend doing short stories instead of full books, especially for some of the heavier authors (Tolkein). "The Coldest Place" is a great story. Larry Niven has written many short stories, especially about Gil Hamilton and the stories about the origin of humans. Asimov has lots of short Robot stories, and I'm sure you won't have trouble finding plenty of others. What I'm getting at is that quantity is sometimes ... not necessary. There is plenty to learn comparing short stories by classic authors. my 2c.

Comment US Navy today (Score 2, Informative) 426

I'm in the Navy in a very technical field, cryptology. I see two groups of people in my office, those that are good at their jobs, and those that are good at being in the Navy. The USN consistently rewards those who volunteer for fund raisers and know their 11 General Orders over those who know how to do their job. I spend about 20 hours a week training people as a "subject matter expert", and the rest of the time gathering info and getting out to the fleet. This accounts for very little on my evaluations. "Where's your volunteering?" they ask. PTA and my astronomy club, nor my teaching martial arts to kids doesn't count. They want honor guard and donut sales. "Where's your leadership?" they ask. I'm too busy teaching the new personnel how to do their job ... err... wait, that would be any reasonable person's definition of "leadership". Not the Navy's. But the pay is good, especially in this economy, I get 2 hours a day to go to the gym, and 30 days paid vacation. Plus, I don't have to make up time lost for doctor visits, and I get to go on my kids' field trips as well.

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