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Comment Where is end-user fiber optics the capacity limit? (Score 3, Insightful) 72

I don't know if things are better in the UK, but here in the US the bottleneck for fiber-to-end-user is rarely the link from CO to end-user. The bottleneck is aggregate traffic capacity from CO to the backbones, an amount that has to be shared among all users. Giving individual end users more capacity to the CO sounds like it would make the current bottleneck even more apparent.

Comment Headline might be news if it was 2003 or so (Score 1) 49

"The cloud" being pushed by a tech company's leader might have been news a decade ago. Today in 2012 it just seems a little lame.
Although of course what is behind the headline is more interesting. Interesting that Fujitsu is involved. Maybe the Japanese "Fifth Generation Computer" vision is finally coming together? Like 30 years late.

You don't see many headlines about "Fifth Generation Computing" anymore although they were all the rage in the 1980's!

Comment Re:Economics of labor in China (Score 1) 117

Having just spent several weeks in China I tend to agree: It is hard to imagine the hundreds of skyscrapers I saw in construction around the outer ring roads, being commercially succesful. There were just so many skyscrapers and roads under brand new construction that I was in total awe.

But I have to observe, the Chinese can be very innovative and resourceful, many of the folks my age and younger were out hustling EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY to boost their own business, perhaps they will be able to use the surplus construction and infrastructure better than any western society could.

Comment Economics of labor in China (Score 3, Interesting) 117

40 years ago the super-major purchases that an affluent family might make in China, would be a bicycle, a radio, and a desk.

Today (thanks to assembly shops like Foxconn) the standard of living has been raised so that those lucky enough to get employment at a place like Foxconn, can often buy a car, a computer, and a TV.

Every major city in China is building hundreds (and I'm not kidding, HUNDREDS, it is astonishing) of skyscrapers on its edges to accomodate rural, farm poor folks who are moving to the city to get jobs at place like Foxconn.

That doesn't mean that everything is always on the level or that Foxconn is pure at heart. Far from it, corruption is widespread and so many of the jobs are incredibly dangerous. But construction work is far and away the most dangerous work environment in China today.

Comment One factor: Trees still lying across roads (Score 1) 813

This AM (four days after the storm), there are still giant trees lying across major roads.

This might be why the power isn't back on everywhere.

In several cases, homeowners were out Saturday and Sunday clearing away trees from state highways.

In at least a couple cases, trees have been removed and Pepco is starting to drill holes to put in new utility poles where the utility poles were snapped off.

Comment Reminds me of stills during prohibition (Score 5, Interesting) 99

During prohibition in the US, stills could be owned and sold, just not used to produce alcoholic beverages. There were still legitimate purposes for stills, e.g. malt extract for baking.

The manufactures helped out, by giving very explicit instructions on exactly what NOT TO DO, because if you followed all the steps, you'd end up with whiskey. And you wouldn't want to do that.

Comment Do the analysts even understand what a website is? (Score 3, Informative) 471

Do the analysts even understand that websites sell advertising and data mining on their users, a very different business model than people buying software from Microsoft?

“We believe in the potential of the Facebook platform. However, even on the traditional PC/Mac platform, advertising remains nascent,” Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, wrote in a research note.

Comment "Choose the best answer" (Score 3, Informative) 663

Oh man, everyone's turning a multiple-guess test, into an essay question.

When there are multiple answers that could be correct, the job of the test-taker is to choose the "best" answer. Almost invariably "best" is "the one that the test writer was thinking of". Clearly you have to put yourself in the head of a high school or middle school or grade school teacher to understand "best" in that context, and someone with a PhD or even just graduate coursework in the subject is going to be at a disadvantage.

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