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Comment Common carrier? (Score 2) 341

I've been arguing for years that if telecommunications companies take public money for expanding infrastructure, they need to be designated as common carriers.

in the 1990s, back when it was Bell Atlantic (before Bell Atlantic-NYNEX, before Verizon) got public money to build out infrastructure in the general I-95 corridor. They then didn't do it for YEARS.

We need to go back to the old ISP days -- line (physical connection) was separate from port (data to the internet), and the ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers ... ie, phone companies) were required to publish tariff rates at which people could buy dedicated lines from them. ... and I believe common carriers, they're not sell information on their users other than basic directory to third parties.

Comment iOS - WebOS? (Score 2) 223

They've had the ability to have multiple apps open at once, and to copy & paste between them for some time now.

The change to 'push home button to unlock' is relatively recent, and the switch to a lack of button had been done 5+ years ago on the Pre3. (might have been on the Pre2 as well, I only had the Pre & Pre3). And they finally get wireless charging, which was an upgrade for the Pre (released in 2009).

The UI became more WebOS-like, switching to cards that you can sort through rather than the strip of icons at the bottom of the screen. (although it's still one card per app, not one stack of cards per app, with related windows stacked together, even if it's the MS Word reader and the web browser stacked w/ mail, as that's how you opened those windows).

Now they just need to make the notifications less crappy. An alarm that you can shut off by grabbing for you phone while half asleep? Who's stupid idea was that? .... and I'm wishing I had held out for the blackberry. Finally made the cutover to iPhone this weekend, after trying to get used to it for a few months while the Pre3 was my main phone.

Comment table partitioning? (Score 1) 161

I admit, I've mostly done it for speed purposes, but my understanding is that the record limit is per partition, so you could also use it to deal with record limits.

They could either partition based on user IDs (might be faster to select by for the bulk of the queries), or by date (making it easier to manage autonumber fields).

Comment Qwikster (Score 1) 84

My theory on Qwikster was that Netflix signed something w/ the movie publishers saying that they had to pay an amount based on how many Netflix customers there were ... and so they tried to make it so millions of people no longer qualified as 'Netflix customers'.

If Netflix had come out and said 'yes, the name's stupid, but we're doing this to say FU to the movie industry', people would've loved them. (but they would've shot themselves in the foot for whenever they had to renew those contracts)

Comment The lunatics like space weather, too. (Score 1) 169

Specifically they like the space weather data from STEREO, which comes down highly compressed on 30m dishes, rather than the larger Deep Space Network dishes. (70m?).

They keep insisting that image artifacts are evidence of space ships larger than earth that travel million of miles an hour. This of course assumes that what's being seen in the images are 1 AU away, and not simply particles that are inches away from the telescope (or even hitting the detector directly)

  (I was designated 'Emergency On-Call' in the last government shutdown, because I manage services for distributing data that's used for space weather forecasting ... including STEREO)

Comment SuperCard? (Score 1) 370

I remember messing w/ SuperCard when it first came out. (if I remember correctly, it was like Hypercard, but with support for color).

Based on the wikipedia page on it, they added MacOS X support in 2002, and it now runs natively on Intel macs.

There's also a note that there's a windows runtime for it. (but not an editor).

Of course, the basic version is $179, and the one w/ extra stuff is $279 ... but if you have any HyperCard materials lying about (box, manual, install disk, etc.), they'll knock it down to $129/$199.

And it looks like you can grab the beta or 30 day demo to try it out.

The only thing that I can't figure out is how you get people the player -- do you have to distribute it w/ your stack, or is there somewhere people can download it from once and be done w/ it?

Comment Solar Flares? (Score 2) 145

I'm guessing that they've read the BOFH, but realized that there's much more reporting on solar-induced radiation ... so just decided to go with 'galactic' instead. .... completely forgetting that if this were the case, it would happen more frequently at high latitudes, due to the magnetosphere. And we'd also see a higher incidence rate after solar x-ray flares and solar particle events.

(and the disclaimer: I work for the Solar Data Analysis Center, but I'm not a scientist, and don't speak for my place of work, etc, blah blah blah)

Comment Too bad they're not up on the current studies (Score 1) 429

... like how killing city rats may cause diseases to spread faster:

http://nautil.us/issue/38/nois...

Now, it's possible that this technique manages to kill every rat in the colony, so they don't scatter ... but as rats that weren't in the burrow would realize that something is up when they come back, this could be a problem.

I'd think they'd want to use carbon monoxide, not dioxide, at the very least ... assuming that rats have the same problems w/ humans in detecting it.

Comment Might be an advantage to Apple (Score 1) 410

From what I've read, this is a net wash for Apple, because they get to reduce their US taxes by the amount they pay in foreign taxes. ... but foreign taxes would be paid out of foreign money ... whereas the US tax refund would be in US money.

Therefore, Apple would get $14B or so re-patriated, without having to pay US taxes for doing so.

Currently, Apple has a huge cash reserve, but it's not in US money ... so they take loans against it, rather than repatriate it (and pay 35% on it, minus the taxes that have already been paid on it)

Comment Re:What Envirmental Wacko caused it? (Score 1) 320

Actually, they were following instructions. There were a few articles shortly after the incident that said that LANL had updated their procedures documentation, and somehow the LANL documentation specified 'organic' instead of 'inorganic':

From http://www.santafenewmexican.c...

A typographical error in a revision to a LANL policy manual for repackaging waste led to a wholesale shift from clay litter to the wheat-based variety.

The revision, approved by LANL, took effect Aug. 1, 2012, mere days after the governor's celebratory visit to Los Alamos, and explicitly directed waste packagers at the lab to "ENSURE an organic absorbent (kitty litter) is added to the waste" when packaging drums of nitrate salt.

"Does it seem strange that the procedure was revised to specifically require organic kitty litter to process nitrate salt drums?" Freeman, Nuclear Waste Partnership's chief nuclear engineer at WIPP, asked a colleague in a May 28 email.

Freeman went on to echo some of the possible reasons for the change bandied about in earlier emails, such as the off-putting dust or perfumed scents characteristic of clay litter. But his colleague, Mark Pearcy, a member of the team that reviews waste to ensure it is acceptable to be stored at WIPP, offered a surprising explanation.

"General consensus is that the 'organic' designation was a typo that wasn't caught," he wrote, implying that the directions should have called for inorganic litter.

Officials at LANL declined to comment about whether a typographical error led to the switch to organic kitty litter.

Comment Re:What's the tax supposed to provide, exactly? (Score 1) 445

I don't know what they're planning, but subsidizing to ensure the availability of taxis is likely enough.

In many areas (I don't know about Massachusetts), taxis aren't legally allowed to refuse fares, while there's no such restriction on Uber and similar companies. So when your flight doesn't get in 'til 2am and you live in a slightly sketchier neighborhood, but none of the Uber drivers are willing to take you there, the taxis need to still be available.

(I've even had trouble w/ getting the SuperShuttle to take me home from the airport -- they're perfectly willing to pick me up at 6am to go to BWI ... but for some reason, reluctant to take me home from National at 1am)

Of course, there are likely still problems in many areas with taxi drivers passing by people of color who are trying to flag them down ... but we need to make sure that taxis who do that get reported.

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