Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Gas lines vs fiber (Score 1) 202

That seems high considering the local gas utility has been replacing gas lines in the neighborhood (largely built in the mid-50s), and I would imagine that active work on natural gas lines is more complicated than laying fiber -- ie, you can't disrupt gas service and you're dealing with a flammable and potentially explosive gas.

Laying gas lines isn't really any harder than laying fiber. Easier in some ways because joining them is easier and the pipe is less complex. There are of course a few safety concerns which are serious but well understood and straightforward to mitigate. As for cost I would expect them to be roughly comparable in most circumstances. The main cost is really in the engineering and labor, not in the materials.

Comment Re:Laying cable (Score 4, Informative) 202

Great! Can you please elaborate? Particularly about equipment costs and stuff?

Cost is a complicated and depends on the situation but a very simple case probably would be somewhere between $5000-20000 per user for data cable for a simple run presuming there were multiple users along the route. High power lines can be far more expensive. Underground cable is somewhere between 4-8X as expensive to lay as overhead cable. The biggest costs are typically the civil engineering involved. Especially if you have to dig up or work around any existing infrastructure.

Equipment? Depends on what you are doing and where you are doing it. Ignoring the equipment to hook into existing infrastructure you're looking at trenching equipment, cable feeding equipment, and a variety of other goodies. You also have to watch for buried power, data, gas, water, and sewer lines which aren't always well documented. Dig by hand? Don't make me laugh. To do it right you have to lay the cable below the frost line in most cases which can be several feet deep in many places. I know code near me for a simple drop requires a minimum depth for cable TV cable of 18 inches.

Comment Laying cable (Score 4, Insightful) 202

Dammit! How hard is it to dig a trench and lay a cable in it?

It's challenging. Not in the sense that they don't know how to do it but rather that it's expensive and unless you already have customers it's financially risky. To build a whole network is enormously expensive.

I know the trench-digging part at least is easy, because where I live they manage to knock out at least one vital utility a year digging around at random.

Umm, that would be evidence that it is NOT easy.

Do I have to do it myself? Because me and at least 20 people I know would gladly volunteer to buy a spool of fiber and dig a mile of trench each with hand shovels if we knew for sure they wouldn't arrest us for it.

I don't think you have the foggiest idea what you are proposing. I have immediate family that has been in the business of laying underground cable. There is a lot more to it than digging a trench and dropping a cable to the bottom of it.

Comment Least worst (Score 1) 1001

If you want your voice heard, you should probably vote for the person who you align with best.

I think people should vote for the person who most closely fits their worldview who actually has a prayer of getting into office. Voting for a third party candidate who might get 2% of the vote is a waste of time. It just is. If it makes you feel good I won't quibble as long as you understand that it will accomplish nothing of value. If you actually want your voice heard then you should actually get involved in politics directly. There are far better ways to make yourself heard than through a protest vote for a fringe candidate.

The two-party lock-in is pure rhetorical garbage. I can't in good conscience vote for a completely unqualified demagogue or someone who is the closest thing to a living embodiment of the establishment.

I'll agree that the two party thing is annoying but it definitely is not "rhetorical" in nature. It's an inevitable function of how our voting system is set up.

I take a more realpolitik view of who I vote for. I rarely have warm feelings for either of the major party candidates and this election is no exception. I basically am trying to pick what I think is the least worst option among the available candidates that have a real shot at office. In this election Hillary is clearly the least worst option when the alternative is Trump so that is how I'm voting. It's not that I think she's amazing but she fits my worldview far better than Trump and I she is clearly far more competent to hold public office. Donald Trump is easily the worst presidential candidate I've seen in my lifetime.

Comment Nothing to gain (Score 1) 1001

Actually, my question is, what do any of these three nations have to gain by invading any of one another?

Nothing. Which is why it hasn't happened. The advantages of working together actually hugely outweigh any conceivable benefits of going to war. The only reason countries like Germany ever invaded Russia is that they elected a psychotic person with aspirations of conquering an empire.

Comment Paranoid Russia (Score 1) 1001

They are justifiably paranoid.

Paranoid yes. Justifiably no.

That's what Westerners do not get about the Russian national psyche. They trust no one, especially the US.

True but a bizarre stance since the US is actually not a threat to Russia unless Russia gets really out of pocket. Why? The US is halfway around the world. China is a FAR bigger threat to Russia than the US could ever hope to be outside of a nuclear missile exchange. There is zero chance of the US ever invading Russia. Even if the US wanted to there aren't enough people and resources to make it happen. China on the other hand has 8X the population of Russia and a physical border with them and is an emerging super power. Russia worrying about the US makes almost zero practical sense.

Comment Two candidates (Score 1) 1001

We have 4 candidates.

Not in any meaningful sense. Two of them have an actual chance at being elected with one of those doing everything in his power to lose the election. The other two have as much chance of being president as I do. So really we have at most two candidates just like always. Only way that will change is if we change the voting system and get rid of gerrymandering.

Comment Feeding the trolls (Score 4, Insightful) 1001

Nearly everything the mainstream news has been feeding you about Trump is either taken out of context, twisted, or just an outright lie.

Nice troll. There's almost nothing about Trump that is out of context. He's the one putting it all out there like a monkey flinging poo. You have to be either a troll or a completely moronic fanboi to actually believe that statement.

I'm amazed at how otherwise intelligent people can be so easily manipulated by lies that come from so-called experts that the media routinely trots out on stage.

You support Trump and you're complaining about people easily manipulated by lies? Hahahahaha.... I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while. That's one of the more astonishingly stupid things I've read in quite a while. Let me guess, you think folks like Hannity and Coulter are telling you the gospel truth too, right?

Comment Delusions (Score 3, Insightful) 69

Except that I know a guy (well.. have talked to him a few times in the past) that swears his skin starts crawling if someone has a phone in their pocket when they come talk to him. Of course, the last time I talked to him was before cellphones were common...

I just see it as another manifestation of whatever causes people to have delusional parasitosis. It's probably the same class of mental illness we find in people who (wrongly) think they have MSG or gluten sensitivities too.

I figure who am I to say what bothers a person.

I don't doubt that their brain is doing evil things to them. I worry about the ones that can't wrap their heads around the fact that it's almost certainly all in their head. I think they have a real illness and need real help, just not the with the disease they think they need help with.

Slashdot Top Deals

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken