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Comment Re:Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 27

The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

Comment Re:Sixty Years Ago... (Score 1) 27

Well, it beats making them into the world's most complicated airplanes as with the space shuttle. SpaceX has proven that they can do vertical landings of the first stage intact onto both land and a seagoing barge; after a trip out of the atmosphere and to about 1/5 of orbital velocity but not into orbit. They plan to do a parachute-less vertical landing of the Dragon capsule after a heat-shield re-entry. That turns out to be far less expensive and complicated than a space plane. It does turn out we need a lifting body for much larger vehicles. It still doesn't have to be a plane, though.

We don't need wings.

Comment Re:Recaptcha for Audio (Score 1) 110

what color is grass when it is dead? 1 green, 2 blue, 3 yellow, 4 brown.

I HATE questions like this. All those captchas, as well as text book questions back in my school days, you have to pretend to be an idiot in order to guess the answer they want (which is often different from the "right" or "correct" answer).

What color is dead grass? Yellow seems a reasonable choice to me. I've seen lots of yellow spots in otherwise green lawns everybody calls "dead patches". Green might be the correct answer in many places where owners have resorted to painting the dead grass (or dirt) to fulfill HOA or city requirements. And all these exceptions to the simplest question you could come up with!

Google's capchas are pretty terrible, too. Click on photos containing houses? Lots of squareish (possibly commercial) buildings in there could go either way. And how many people call their condo or apartment their "house"? So those high-rises might qualify, depending on your POV. And that's before you get into homelessness and photos of bridges, dumpsters, empty cardboard boxes, etc.

My physics textbook had the worst stupid questions. Some seemed intentional tricks, but I'm not so sure in hindsight, as so many others were just idiotic and wrong. "What falls faster, a bowling ball or a feather?" The supposed correct answer is both are equal, because you're wrong to just assume we're on Earth in an atmosphere. But with "Does a car use more gas when the headlights turn on?" the accepted answer is Yes, and there's no consideration of different models with massively overpowered engines which won't even notice the different in load.

I'll wrap up my rant here.

Comment Re:DSL shouldn't be considered broadband any more. (Score 1) 104

G.fast over copper = gigabit dsl

Only if you can throw a rock out your window and hit the DSLAM, are you going to get gigabit speeds over DSL. In a realistic scenario, even the best-case is less than half that... data rates of 500 Mbit/s up to 100m from the DSLAM.

Comment Re:DSL shouldn't be considered broadband any more. (Score 1) 104

broadband
(ËbrÉ"ËdËOEbænd)
n
(Telecommunications) a transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies that enables messages to be sent simultaneously, used in fast internet connections. See also baseband

When DSL stops using multiple frequencies, you can stop calling it broadband. And don't forget that Ethernet is baseband, no matter how fast or slow it may be. /. used to have a technical audience... I guess this place is all but abandoned, now.

Comment Re:No broadband competition where I live (Score 0) 104

Imagine for a second, that the municipality owned that last mile, and leased it based on the customer/subscriber and the Vendor having a contract for service.

Okay:
* Network build-out goes slower, and is even more strictly limited to those politically and financially influential areas.
* Your city goes into bond debt, which doubles the cost, and raises taxes to fund what build-out they do.
* Internet prices are higher, as the government insists on getting all their money back, up-front.
* Service is worse, as your municipal government isn't nearly as financially motivated to fix or upgrade lines, and you don't even have a duopoly with competing lines to switch to.
* The guys hired to do this will be firms that specialize in filling-out paperwork properly, with no skills to speak of.
* Those in charge will be political appointees who have no technical knowledge and do everything the worst way possible.
* You can't vote with your wallet, and in the general election, a few angry internet users is too small a voice to be an election issue or affect the outcome.
* You can forget about EVER getting speed upgrades, as there's no competition or incentive in general for the municipality to ever do better.

The gas and water lines running under major cities are notoriously over a century old, only getting replaced when they fail in spectacular fashion. Service is overpriced compared to alternatives, and frequently structured so you're required to PAY the basic rate even if you aren't hooked-up to and using them. And that's with a technologically simple, low-tech utility service.

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