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Comment Re:Nuke shutdown (Score 1) 70

Still, if I prevent human intervention for 48 hours, then I render a large portion of the country uninhabitable for hundreds (or thousands) of years.

What country are you talking about? Monaco?

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is only 2,600 km^2, or less than half a percent of the area of a not-that-big country, and even it is full of thriving wildlife and tourists. Modern reactor designs would be desirable, but no commercial reactor is going to make a mess big enough to render a large portion of the country uninhabitable. FUD.

Comment The few Web 1.0 Sites. (Score 1) 12

While myself like a lot of people had moved away from Yahoo, it wasn't from disgust like I had with other site, but more to the fact that other sites just did the job better for me.
The Yahoo Name isn't unredeemable however it will take a while to get the users back. And they have to be more than on-par with their competitors they will need to be superior.

Comment Re:Uh..... the price tag?! (Score 1) 141

Well, you're paying for what we computer people call "The Microsoft premium". As we all know, Microsoft's products aren't just designed to be powerful, but to have a design aesthetic that makes them just a little bit special compared to the competition. Apple has always been known for their powerful, but pedestrian, beige or gray thrown together boxes, with no thought given to how a device should look or feel or its usability. Whereas people buy Microsoft not just for the quality, but to own something a little special and little different from the boring old me-too machines from everyone else. A machine that looks friendly, and is friendly.

It's an ethos that may mean Microsoft only gets 2-3% of the market with its Lumia phones, or Zune music players, or Surface tablets, but it ends up getting the right 2-3%, discerning customers willing to pay more for a better product, who'll eventually influence those around them to do the same thing.

For more details, see my blog, Brave Plasma-sphere.

Comment Also phone service was fucking expensive (Score 1) 186

Back in the day phone lines were so much, you didn't get to have your own phone line. You had a "party line". What's that? That's where everyone in your area as the same phone line. One line, multiple houses. It would ring a different number of times to tell you who the call was for, and if you wanted to call out and someone else was using the line you had to wait. Also this meant everyone could listen in on your calls, of course. However, that was the only way phone was affordable for most people. That's not to mention the cost of long distance, which in the old days was anything off your local exchange.

And for all the bitching about Internet service, it does keep getting better, by a lot. When I first got connected to the 'net 14.4kbps was all I could get. Faster modems were out at the time, but that's all my ISP supported. As time has gone on, I've got a steady and fairly regular set of speed increases until now I have a 300mbit connection. About 21,000 times speed increase in around 21 years. Not too bad, overall. Price is in the same ballpark too. Currently I pay $100/month for that connection. Back in the day it was $20/month for Internet and about $25/month for a second phone line, I can't remember precisely. So about $70/month in today's dollars. For that price I'd have to step down to 150mbit Internet, if we wanted to keep all things far. Still 10,000x faster. Not really that bad for a couple decades, particularly compared to a lot of other, more mature technologies. My electric service sure isn't 10,000x as good as it was in the 90s.

So ya, fiber and gig or 10gig Internet hasn't come to everywhere yet. So what? It is getting rolled out, perhaps not as fast as we geeks would like, but it is still happening, and tech improvements are increasing bandwidth on copper formats as well. What we have now works well for most people, and the improvements we've seen are not insignificant.

Comment Contact the ISPs in your area (Score 1) 186

You can get fiber, if you are actually willing to pay. You just aren't willing to pay for it.

What I mean is they'll sell you a fiber connection, as fast as you'd like, but you'll have to pay the full costs. You pay what it takes to have the line run and installed, and then you pay the full rate for an unmetered dedicated connection and they'll do it. Real enterprise class service with a nice SLA and all that. Thing is, that is going to run 5 figured (maybe 6) on the install and 4 figures or more for the monthly. That's what it really costs, that's what actually running dedicated fiber costs and what dedicated bandwidth costs.

What you want is CHEAP fiber. You want them to roll out a PON network on their dollar, and then sell you can your neighbours access to share that bandwidth for a low price. That's fine to want, but demanding it as if they owe you is unreasonable. Particularly since for something like that to be economically feasible everyone needs to be willing to pay, not just you. If it is a shared network, with the costs not being paid upfront, then a bunch of people need to pay, and need to do so for a fair bit of time.

If you look in to it, you'll find more than a few people that have no fucks to give about fast Internet. any modern service is "fast enough" for them. You can't convince them to spend on higher speed connections. My parents are like that. They have 12mbit cable. They can buy at least 100mbit where they live, maybe more (I haven't checked lately). They just won't. They are happy with what they have. They've used faster Internet, when they visit me they get to use mine which is 300mbit, but they don't care. To them what they have is good enough and they would rather spend the money on other things.

So if you are really willing to pay, and I mean pay the actual installation, operation, and bandwidth costs for dedicated fiber line, you can have that. However if you aren't willing to, and I can't blame you if you aren't, you can't then demand that they should give you stuff for cheap.

Comment That last bit is the real trick (Score 1) 186

We are pretty good these days about keeping track of shit. Probably not as good as we should be, but still pretty good. However we have LOTS of old infrastructure. The documentation can be bad or non-existent. There's not an easy way to deal with, unfortunately, since it isn't like we can just open up an access panel and have a look at what's there. It'll continue to be a problem for a long time, perhaps forever.

Comment Re:Feeding the trolls (Score 1) 830

Automobile manufacturers, and others who compete against imports would benefit, at least for a little while.

The automobile manufacturers are all international corporations now. I don't think they would benefit. Probably some home-grown industry would benefit from protectionism if he actually managed to get any enacted, which is unlikely to actually be his goal given his current use of cheap overseas labor, his importation of immigrant labor, etc.

Comment Re:A well-written headline (Score 1) 70

Getting killed falling off a roof while installing solar panels is a more common way of dying than from a nuclear accident

That's true! Being a handyman is much more dangerous than being a cop. Handyman lives matter!

On the other hand, if we embrace more large-scale solar, the deaths will go down, because those deaths are primarily from small-scale installations.

Comment Re:Coal's not cheap (Score 1) 261

You can talk about that when wind and solar no longer need endless, catastrophically-indebting levels of State subsidies.

But fossil fuels are already getting endless state aid in the form of tax breaks and access to public lands. If you want to set the bar there, I'm all for ending that aid as well.

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He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.