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Comment Re:Distressed Babies? (Score 5, Informative) 123

Um, yes. It's called "self insurance". For a large company, they will often outsource the administration to a regular insurance company but they pay the medical bills out of the company pocket. It makes sense because with ten thousand employees, you have enough of a pool to lessen the statistical variation percentage wise. So some years you spend a few percent more and some a few percent less. Insurance charges for this statistical pooling so the company can save money. I guess there were a couple of outlier expenses that broke the average. CEO shouldn't complain - while he expected cost savings, he agreed to take the risk.

Comment Re:A good start (Score 1) 385

It's worse than that. They invariably uses the wrong unit for the quantity. Measuring power in Joules or current in Volts or similar nonsense. Every time I see an article with any science in it I cringe in anticipation of the incorrect units and quantities.

In crosswords, I come across the clue "electrical unit" for which the answer is "rel". I am an EE and have no idea WTF a "rel" is.

Comment home router firmware sucks (Score 1) 246

In theory, you are correct. In practice, the home router firmware is a lousy piece of work and is seldom, if ever, updated. A bug in the NAT implementation will usually cause things to to not connect. These bugs are obvious and get fixed. A bug in the stateful firewall can easily leave it open. The bug is not as obvious. It will never get fixed.

Comment 1040EZ for the win. (Score 1) 387

It's not like 1040EZ is hard. It's only got like 10 lines - 4 of which are name and address. Really, it's just copy a few numbers off the W-2 and look it up in the tax table. Do a couple of adds and a subtract. Sign. Stuff envelope and put a stamp on it. It used to take me about 15 minutes to do my taxes when I could do EZ.

If you can't do 1040EZ, I would suspect "freedom edition" wouldn't work either.

Comment Manned space flight is a bust (Score 4, Insightful) 108

People stopped going to the moon and skylab because they ran out of useful things to do there.

The reason for people in space is because it makes for better marketing.

All the science is done by unmanned probes. The Mars rovers have been a huge success. Sure they are less capable than a human, but they are much cheaper, they can stay there a long time, you don't have to bring them back and if something goes wrong on Mars at least nobody gets hurt hence you can tolerate a modest risk of failure.

Comment Re:why? How can you send to IPv6 from within LAN? (Score 1) 104

Assume that you get an IPv6 address assigned to your router. Assume that a computer on your LAN wants to talk to a internet host with IPv6. The NAT box can translate replies from the internet host to IPv4. But how are you going to talk to the IPv6 host? How can you send a packet to an IPv6 address if all you got is IPv4 on your LAN?

I suppose the NAT box could run DNS and make a look-up table mapping IPv6 internet addresses to IPv4 for your home computer to use. This seems a bit of a kludge and it doesn't help you with raw IPv6 addresses.

Clearly, we are stuck with IPv4 for legacy devices for at least 10 years (estimate based on time for floppy to die after it became somewhat useless). Assuming IPv6 does come (I am not certain we won't be living with some awful kludge instead), you will want to also do IPv6 within your LAN.

Comment Re:This is a hidden price - externalities! (Score 2) 324

The problem is that the buyer is the cable company. They don't pay for your electricity and they don't care if you do.

I mean, the end user is typically paying "rent" on the set-top box that the cable company provides, but it's not like you get much of a choice of models. Unless you go with TiVO or myth but I think those are in the minority.

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