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Comment Re:More details please (Score 1) 175

When I was looking into the various options (numerous as they are, ha ha), I was really impressed with how the business model is socialized in terms of the infrastructure costs (I can't imagine the actual cost per user in Grise, and also by the delivery model, i.e. having local boots on the ground everywhere in a way that's accessible to end users. Mind shooting me an e-mail if you get a minute? I'm paul.wye at osgoode dot yorku dot ca.

Comment Re:It's a clear case of NIMBY, but I agree with th (Score 1) 533

I'm going to call you out on a couple of things here.

1. It's true that there are no wind turbines (of which I'm aware) in the Muskoka region, where I'm from. This almost certainly has a lot less to do with the fact that it's an affluent area than the fact that there's no location in the district that comes to mind which would be suitable for a wind farm of any size; it's just not a very (consistently) windy place. By comparison, the Bruce wind farms or the Wolfe Island wind farm are adjacent to large bodies of water and are thus able to take advantage of the more consistent wind. People who build wind farms actually study this kind of thing, and they don't build turbines where there isn't enough wind for them.

2. You know what Muskoka does have, though? Hydro-electric dams. And they've been there a long time, longer than any Ontario wind turbine of which I am aware, by a margin of several decades. They're situated on rivers, obviously, and I suppose you could argue that they're a blight on the landscape. One of them sits at the foot of downtown Bracebridge. I'm sure that, all other things being equal, it would be nice to not have it there. But it's there because, over a century ago, we figured out that we need electrical power in order to live our lives the way we want to live them (and that's much, much more true today than it was then). I presume they understood that a hydro dam was the less-distasteful option relative to, say, a coal plant, so they built the damn thing. So your assertion that the affluent areas of the province are somehow excluded from consideration during the site-selection process is, I think, incorrect.

3. The CANDU reactor is absolutely a solid, safe design, particularly given its age. But you'd seriously prefer to have one of them in your backyard, instead of a wind turbine?


Comment Re:What kind of congress is that? (Score 2) 435

Thanks for the incredibly informative comment. The OPs topic is obviously critically important (and, speaking as a Canadian, just another item added to the long list of reasons we're collectively shaking our heads at your government, even if ours is not exactly a gem). But some of the technical background is incredibly interesting to me, as is the information about Alaska generally. I'm fascinated by almost every fact I learn about the state, and it's on my list of places to visit.

The thing that really jumped out at me, though: you have a Rotax-powered airplane that you fly (or flew) **in Alaska**? Aren't those things notoriously unreliable, even once you get them going? And isn't an unreliable plane in an incredibly unforgiving environment a bit of a scary prospect?



Comment Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (Score 1) 757

And they're right, just as alcohol prohibition was responsible for the wars in Chicago and other cities. The only reason there wasn't violence in Canada was because alcohol was legal in Canada.

As much as I'd like to be able to say "Of course there was no prohibition in Canada! We know what's what," it would be inaccurate to say that alcohol was legal in Canada--or, at least, that it always was. A quick glance at the Wikipedia article suggests it took 50+ years to actually get prohibition enacted, though some areas adopted it much earlier, while our French province overwhelmingly rejected the idea (~80%; what can I say, Quebec knows how to have fun).

Now, that being said: a few little pockets of the country notwithstanding, it lasted only a few years before everyone sort of collectively acknowledged that it was a joke and the laws were repealed.

On that last note, cue the discussion on the legalization of pot...

Comment Re:Make broadband a tariffed, regulated utility (Score 1) 208

Wow, nice to know that those of us in Canada aren't the only ones stuck with lousy telcos. I assume there's nobody doing fixed terrestrial wireless in the area? If not...can you? It sounds as though you're physically close enough that if you could get a decent link to them, you could effectively be the ISP.

I've seen links on various types of equipment handle 10mbit synchronous, with really good latency and packet delivery--good enough for a 384 kbit/sec video call, for example. I think I read somewhere that some of the gear is good for up to 30km (um...18 miles?), though I'm not sure what the quality/distance graph looks like.

Based on what the various ISPs are (not) charging for installation, the gear is not that expensive (not relative to what you're dealing with, anyway), and I think the biggest expense I've heard of thus far is a buddy who had to have an antenna tower installed (think OTA TV antenna height) in order to get the signal up over the hill which sits between his house and the ISP's tower (I think they charged him $1k or so). It sounds as though the valley will create a similar problem; any chance of putting in a relay tower at the edge of the valley, in order to get signal down into it?

Comment Re:Don't rely only on system restore (Score 2, Informative) 449

I don't believe anything that runs under Windows will make a perfect duplicate of your boot disk-- if you want to have a spare drive in your desk that can be swapped in for your failed C:\ drive without a hiccup,

Nope, Acronis (and I assume others as well--I specify Acronis because it was mentioned, and I use it) disk images can be used to do a bare-metal restore in the event of software or disk failure. You'd need either (a) previously-created rescue media, or (b) another machine with Acronis and (i) a spare SATA/IDE port or (ii) a USB disk enclosure. Works like a charm. In fact, IIRC, the replacement disk doesn't even need to be of the same size, except under certain circumstances.

Comment Re:Poorest Turnout...... (Score 2, Interesting) 324

Basically, the conservatives held an election because they wanted a majority

Ah, so they're like...every government in our history? Every government heads into an election hoping for a majority (though some are more delusional regarding their odds than others). The grandparent complains that:

the "last election" came to be from the government at the time being dissolved by the Governor General

but in fact this is what happens prior to every single election, and what will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. The grandparent is also points out that the election was held 'early', however given that the current Prime Minister introduced the law which demands fixed election dates, and included in it a provision in which the PM can call an election at will, the law differs rather significantly from the American system. There's also a provision whereby a minority government (as is the case with the three most recent governments) can be toppled by the opposition parties.

In other words, the law is silly.

Comment Re:2 Months is very fast (Score 0, Offtopic) 436

I think it's interesting that you assume a birth in the public system will cost triple what it does in your already ludicrously expensive private system; in fact, the cost of a birth in Ontario is ~CDN$5000, and that's if you're Jane Texan and you just show up. I don't have numbers, but I suspect the actual cost to the healthcare system (i.e. the taxpayers) is lower (as I can't believe we give a better deal to non-Canadians than we do ourselves). I just don't understand where the fiction about the public system costing so much comes from. I suppose the private insurance companies are doing a great job with the negative campaigning.

Submission + - Poll: What movie to watch while stuck in space?

paulwye writes: "You're stuck on the Space Shuttle for an extra day, and the only way to kill time is to watch a movie. What do you select?

(a) The Wrath of Khan
(b) Event Horizon
(c) Starship Troopers
(d) 2001: A Space Odyssey
(e) Apollo 13
(f) Other
(g) CowboyNeal Does Dallas

Feel free to toss other suggestions in there...I just picked those out of thin air.. Cheers, -Paul"

Comment Watching movies? Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 464

Um, am I the only one who read that and thought, "They're aboard the space...and they're going to watch a movie? Really? That's the first choice for how to spend a day in a circumstance that basically nobody else on the goddamn planet is going to have a shot at for a really, really long time?

But perhaps more importantly: what were they going to watch?

Actually, I just got an idea for a poll.

Comment Re:Net Neutrality vs QoS (Score 1) 213

I don't think that's quite what he meant, but I accept your point. That being said: what happens when they decide they want to throttle a particular protocol that doesn't directly compete with anything they offer, but the throttling of which would still have a benefit to them? I.e. throttling my Hardy Heron torrent because I *might* be pulling down last night's episode of Dollhouse, which they would prefer to sell me via their VOD service? I say again: open pipe.

Comment Re:Net Neutrality vs QoS (Score 3, Insightful) 213

Um...I would disagree. Net Neutrality should (and, I believe, is generally accepted to) mean that my provider cannot screw with my traffic because it suits their interests to do so. What happens if they decide to throttle voip traffic due to 'network congestion', but the start of such throttling just happens to coincide with the launch of their own voip service? It has to be an open pipe, period.

Comment Re:"Designed"? (Score 1) 213

Yeah, that's a pretty bullshit-y thing to say--an HTTP download of a driver package or a POP3 download of some attached JPGS will naturally run at the fastest possible speed--that's what TCP was designed to do. So by that logic, anything I use my connection for is 'designed to cause network congestion'...whichever asshole came up with that statement needs to be smacked upside the head.

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