* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Good god, where will the new storage experts come from?

DougS Silver badge

Good retirement plan for storage pros

Just like all the graybeard mainframe guys brought out of retirement for Y2K, if everyone switches to cloud storage and there are some huge exploits/disasters in a decade or two and everyone wants to move back to in-house storage, they'll have to open up their checkbooks!

Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

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Re: Off topic

Yikes, I'll bet you won't be buying that brand again!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Off topic

The 5K upfront cost for a battery would be quickly remedied by companies leasing batteries and their maintenance/replacement to electric car owners.

It would require some sort of automotive battery standard, but that's gotta happen anyway for electric cars to gain much market penetration.

And to the guy listing all the costs made irrelevant by a battery, don't forget the exhaust system, including muffler and pollution control. That latter is a pricey item if it needs replacement.

Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

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When do we see the eBay phone and Walmart phone then?

If Amazon has success with a phone linked to their store, surely others will follow.

Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

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The people bitching about this are not potential iMac customers anyway

The days when OS upgrades would require more RAM are past us, even Microsoft hasn't managed to bloat the OS any from Vista to 7 to 8. Few people upgrade their CPUs, RAM, or even hard drives anymore.

If you want upgradeability you don't buy an all-in-one PC. Just like if you want to add a second hard drive you don't buy a laptop, and if you want to run Office you don't buy a Chromebook.

Mobe battery flat? These ELECTRIC PANTS will pump things up

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If people are worried about lower sperm count from pocketing their phone

They're really going to be worried if they have their front pants pocket powered up all day long!

FCC boss says he'll SHAME broadband firms for fibbing on speeds

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This seems kind of out of date, since they refer to Centurylink as Qwest in a number of results.

I saw "Qwest"'s 20Mbps service shown as meeting that 100% of the time, but I noticed last year my 20/5 service had become 25/5.

I'm not sure how useful this testing is, since it shows the effect of the speed boost that a lot of cable providers have, given that it shows numbers above 100% for many of them, but it only lasts for a short time. They need to do very long tests, to not only remove the effect of speed boost but also detect which ISPs start throttling long downloads.

Democrats pitch long-shot bid for FCC ban on prioritization deals

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Re: but what does 'Common Carrier' status imply?

That's a very good description there.

I'd only add that as an example, if phone service didn't have common carrier status, your phone company would not have to provide 5 9s service like they do now (for landlines, not cell/VOIP which aren't common carrier) and have I think some minimal percentage of time when calls can't be completed because "all circuits are busy".

Imagine if back in the day your phone company had been allowed to make deals with Sears to insure your calls to them get through without a busy signal, and do "maintenance" on the circuits to Montgomery Ward's call center so you see busy signals there more often? Or if they limited how many local calls you could make in a month, by giving you a fast busy tone on some?

Researchers warn of preloaded spyware in Android handsets

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Re: The Only Real Fix

Rooting and installing new firmware is great for Reg readers, but not something a typical consumer will ever do. The solution for westerners is to not buy a cheap no-name brand you've never heard of, but pay more for a Samsung, LG, or whatever. The low end of their lines is pretty cheap, even if it costs more than the low end of the Chinese market.

For China based customers it is a more difficult problem. Those who can afford to spend a bit more can get a name brand - and obviously there are name brands in China we're not familiar with that they'd recognize and feel are safe. Those who can't just have to cross their fingers and hope, because something that's compromised at the factory is not going to be fixed or necessarily even detected by software that is added later.

Google will 'pre-select' an 'independent' competition inspector in EU search case

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Re: Never going to work....

Depends. There are likely to be future instances where the courts want to appoint a monitor for Google ala Apple. If the judge wants them to suffer a bit, they'll have the perfect candidate.

YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

DougS Silver badge

Hold on, Google is going to remove their music even when submitted by end users?

Haven't they said time and again that mass removals of stuff is way too difficult that they can't possibly do it? But somehow when it is in their own interest to as a "negotiating" (read that in an Italian accent) tactic it is simple?

I hope people are taking notes for the next time they tell the EU or whoever they can't possibly be bothered to do mass removals.

Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

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Acme Dairy products

<begin fine print on label>

Acme Dairy milk supports fridges from Amana, GE, and LG.

<end fine print on label>

<begin fine print on label>

Moocow Dairy milk supports fridges from Frigigaire, Samsung and Whirlpool.

<end fine print on label>

Slippery Google greases up, aims to squirm out of EU privacy grasp

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Do no evil*

*Except where our business model is negatively affected.

Facebook didn't infringe Dutch inventor's patents: Jury

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"Beaten off a dead inventor"?

Surely the jury would have a problem with that, if a different case were to be brought!

Apple settles ebook price-fixing damages lawsuit with US states

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Re: Errr

Some courts do - you pay the fine and go to "traffic school", which costs money that goes in the county's pocket and in exchange the ticket doesn't go on your driving record. Sounds like your country is behind the US in this regard!

AT&T has Amazon 3D smartphone on lockdown – report

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Re: The joy of the walled garden

Most consumers have no idea about "walled gardens". Only geeks care about that stuff. Most consumers asked to describe the differences between iPhone and Android wouldn't mention anything related to walled gardens, open source, or anything else that some people seem to think/wish consumers care about.

What's more, most consumers who buy Android use it the same way as they use an iPhone, to where the walled garden difference is irrelevant. They download apps from Google Play, and nowhere else. They don't sideload, they don't root.

No one is going to be attracted to buy an Amazon phone because it has a walled garden, not only is not a feature they look for or a reason why they buy iPhone, they don't even know it exists. Those who buy the Amazon phone will do so based on the same factors they use to choose between iPhone and Android, or Samsung and LG.

Ohio man cuffed again for shagging inflatable pool raft

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Reminds of something I read in the newspaper years ago

Some southern state found to their horror they didn't have a law against bestiality on the books. There was a debate in their legislature and some were advocating that no law was needed because it could fall under the jurisdiction for their law against rape.

One senator had a problem with that, because a person having consensual sex with an animal would be free to do so, which cannot be allowed. He was asked how you could tell if an animal is consenting? His reply, "if it doesn't move away"

Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

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People will buy it regardless

I'm sure there would be plenty of people wanting this even if it all it did was black and white static images ala e-ink. They could change the images every time they start their car, or maybe even at stoplights (if the law against moving images is only for moving vehicles)

After all, who would have thought there would be a market for purplish lights underneath a car, but that was a fad for a short time, like car bras were before and spinner rims since. Some people like their car to make a statement, even if that statement says "I'm a braindead trend follower" to some of us!

Apple, Cisco line up to protect offshore data

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Couldn't they get around it?

Let's say Apple (for instance) creates a subsidiary named iCloud International Storage, based overseas in some place with more privacy friendly laws (say some country in the EU, hopefully one that doesn't jump just because the US says so, or at least not as high as the others) and it owns and operates the cloud servers that hold data on non-US customers, with a contract that specifies that Apple can access the data to provide service to its customers but has no control over it otherwise.

Even if US law was supposed to make Apple hand over the data, Apple would be unable to do so, and iCloud International Storage would not be subject to US law. They could create multiple layers of subsidiary, all based in different countries, to make it even more difficult.

Seems that would at least slow them down. If the US tries to argue that a solely owned subsidiary is the same thing as the parent company, they could give partial ownership of it to some pro-privacy group, which would also act as a canary in the coalmine for any future government arm-twisting that presumably occurred to get all those tech companies, and eventually Apple on board with cooperating with the NSA as revealed by Snowden.

If they did all that then Apple might find me filing a "change of address" on icloud.com using a non-US address :)

Hacker claims PayPal loophole generates FREE MONEY

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Re: Or a seller can just scam you on e-bay

Phone eBay?

I don't think I've ever seen a phone number published for them. If they have, they certainly don't make it easy to find.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Or a seller can just scam you on e-bay

My experience is the opposite.

Not counting "buy it now" from sellers that are basically small shops with a presence on Ebay, in the last few yeasr I've bought at least 30 items ranging in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. Never had a problem. Had to file a case a few times, but every time it ended up being resolved to my satisfaction, except for when the seller mislabeled an item, and I was stuck paying the return shipping cost of $10 or so.

A couple weeks ago I ordered some rechargeable batteries from a storefront seller, was sent the wrong type, and the seller sent me 3x many for my trouble and I didn't have to return the wrong ones!

Maybe I've just been lucky.

Latest casualties of Iraq fighting: Facebook and Twitter

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Re: @Nightkiller

Not saying you do, but that's the "go along to get along" part of human nature of 98% of people. I'm sure lots of Nazis realized the evil they were doing (especially those who worked in the concentration camps) but very few have the guts to stand up and say that something is wrong and they won't participate, knowing that they'll be imprisoned at best and shot at worst.

I'm sure a lot of people are reading this and saying to themselves, "I wouldn't go along!" but unless you've been in that position, I don't think anyone can say for sure. The odds are against you being one of the few.

DougS Silver badge


I guess you missed the part of the quote where "bad people will do bad". Stalin wasn't a good person who was influenced to do bad by religion.

Of all the Islamist terrorists of the past few decades, I'm sure some were bad who would have done bad no matter what. But I'm equally sure some were good, and influenced to do bad by their religion and its interpretation by others. No different than Christians and Jews in that regard.

While I'm sure when I post this someone will come up with an example, Buddhism seems like an exception. At least I've never heard about a Buddhist army trying to conquer others and impose their religion on them.

Blame WWI, not Bin Laden, for NSA's post-9/11 intel suck

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There's a big difference though

Those WW I tactics were targeted at individuals, or small groups. Few would say the government has no power to do this if the individuals or groups are truly suspected of aiding terrorists for an attack on the US (it is a bit murkier when you talk about simply providing funding, or aiding ISIS in Syria where US lives are not at stake)

What we have now is the ability to indiscriminately target EVERYONE for surveillance. That's a huge difference, and what makes this very different from WW I or Nixon era wiretapping.

London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'

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What about tourists?

Will they require these, so you can't use cash or credit cards? They'd probably like to - they'd make a lot of money from tourists who visit, are forced to buy/carry an Oyster card for the visit, inevitably leave with some unused cash on it, and then misplace/forget it at home so the whole thing starts over again when they return for their next visit!

I suppose London can get away with that though, it isn't as though if I'm planning a trip to the UK I can say "well, London has that annoying Oyster scheme, maybe I'll visit Southampton instead"

CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

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I'm surprised this works, and wonder if it works when it matters

If amateurs can track US planes on presumably pretty dark if not completely black missions, why wouldn't they turn off the transponder? (yeah, I know they're made to not be turned off, but that should be an afternoon's work for one engineer to put a switch on it)

Then they could turn on a transponder with a fake identify, so every time it flies it is a different plane. Sort of like James Bond's rotating license plates.

Seems like it would be easy to avoid this type of amateur tracking if they wished, so given that they didn't, that means they didn't care in this instance if they were tracked. When they're on a mission that isn't already splattered over the world press, they might be a bit more subtle.

S is for SMACKDOWN: Samsung takes Galaxy Tab slab war fruit-side

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There's a big difference between "coding" on a tablet and making a quick bugfix while you're at the beach. Assuming he's just changing a few lines, while it may be more of a pain on a tablet it isn't like it takes more than a few minutes.

AT&T: We will right many of world's wrongs if allowed to slurp DirecTV

DougS Silver badge

Directv doesn't own any wireless spectrum. The promise isn't because buying Directv enables them to do this (because Directv does nothing to help) it is to throw a carrot to the FCC which is concerned about how rural customers have no broadband options in many areas.

What is stopping them from doing this now is cost. It is expensive to wire up rural customers because they're widely spaced. The payback is a lot better wiring up dense suburban neighborhoods.

Why do you think Google is targeting only certain areas of the few cities it is providing gigabit fiber to? They're doing the easy places where the return exists. Google Fiber will never come to the areas AT&T is talking about it, because Google would lose billions running a mile of fiber per half dozen customers.

DougS Silver badge

Re: It has Already Started...

Well if you'll forgive me for pointing it out, you're an idiot. The merger hasn't even been approved by the respective companies' boards, let alone the government, so Directv is still operating as a fully independent company and nothing has changed.

What you experienced would have happened even if there had never been a merger, and if you believe otherwise I imagine you're one of those deluded types who where politics are concerned you believe everything good is done by the (insert democrat or republican, depending on the party you favor) and everything bad is done by the other guy.

Amazon Prime Music opens – but where's the streaming music?

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Re: Locking out Hachette

All the major publishers were involved in that. Should Amazon lock them all out? They would take quite a hit in book sales as people couldn't find most of the books they were looking for on Amazon any longer.

I'm not sure why you think Amazon selling below cost is a good thing. It is good in the short run, but if you think that's their plan forever I have a bridge to sell you. Once they achieve true monopoly status (only a matter of time if they sell below cost which no one else can compete with) they'll jack up prices, and there won't be anyone left for you to get a better deal from.

Cisco: You think the internet is clogged with video now? Just wait until 2018

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Curious how they calculate this

I see 4x as much consumer data as business. If I stream a movie from Netflix, does it count on both ends? Or do they count it only once, and only business to business data counts as business?

DougS Silver badge

zebibytes versus zettabytes

Who cares, the difference between the 1.6 ZB and 1.6 ZiB is a mere 280 million terabytes....I lose more data than that down my couch cushions!

EU probe into Apple's taxes: It's NOT to do with double-Dutch-Irish anything sandwiches

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Re: Ireland is not even the middle man

Is that really true though? I don't know the details, but there might be some other type of way they get some money out of all these multinationals that isn't necessarily categorized as income tax. Maybe its a flat fee, maybe the contracts they work out with all these companies specify some type of payment that may be a percentage of this or that.

If you know the details, I wish you'd expand on it or post a link. Otherwise I think it is safe to assume that Ireland is getting something out of this, otherwise why wouldn't they have changed their law to collect a measly 1% or something? That would add up to real money, but would probably still be a better deal than can be had from any other EU country so they wouldn't chase anyone away.

DougS Silver badge

I think Apple's tax people are too smart to have any trouble here

They will have anticipated all possible questions and be ready with documentation that shows they're following the letter of the law (whether one agrees with what the law says is, as always, another matter)

Although I don't know the numbers, everything I've heard and seen suggests Apple leaves pretty thin margins for retailers. It is rare to see Apple products discounted at all, except for very large retailers (i.e. Target or Walmart) using them as "loss leaders". They want to get people in the door to buy the latest iPhone (this is typically done when the new one is released) and hope while they're there they'll freely spend on other things they may need/want at the same time.

That said, regulators usually don't investigate a company and come up with absolutely nothing, so I'll not be surprised if eventually it is announced that the regulators found a few things that weren't done quite to the letter of the law, as would be expected with something as complex as tax law, but no deliberate lawbreaking will be found or admitted to. Apple would then pay a token (for them) fine which will more than compensate the government for their costs involved in doing the investigation.

Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em

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This is nice but

It is going to be hard for someone to get funding for a business that uses Tesla patents based on that "good faith" language. That's as legally binding as Google's "do no evil", and we've seen how they've distanced themselves further and further from that as the years go by.

I'd like to think Tesla would not mind if someone used their patents and successfully competed against them, but even with Musk himself pledging this Tesla is a publicly traded company, and if the shareholders demanded action against a cheaper competitor who was eating their lunch using their patents, and I think we'd find the definition of "good faith" stretched bit by bit.

Intel prods PC market's corpse, corpse shouts 'I'M NOT DEAD!'

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Re: It was only a matter of time

But only as long as it takes for those who fear running unsupported XP to upgrade. The worldwide number is still down, and will continue to accelerate once this blip is past.

Many regular folks are content consumers, not content creators, and are just fine with a tablet or even using their smartphone for their internet needs, and will never own another PC. Those who do are more likely to have a single PC shared by the household, instead of multiple PCs as had become the norm in more well-off families.

Large swathes of the developing world will have their first internet experience on a smartphone, and be far less likely to aspire to owning a PC than they would have been five years ago.

Dell exec: HP's 'Machine OS' is a 'laughable' idea

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Re: all of the above

If the new machines perform significantly faster than current ones people will buy them in droves, even if it is closed hardware and even if it was only available on a proprietary OS. The open source part is probably so they don't have to do all the heavy lifting themselves as much as anything, as interested parties like Linus Torvalds would probably do a lot of the porting work themselves for the price of some free hardware just because they'd find it such an interesting problem.

The rule of thumb for getting people to switch horses hardware wise in the mini and workstation days was a sustained 2x performance advantage. That's been impossible to obtain, let alone sustain, by anyone for the past 15 years, which is why everything has slid over towards x86 as the cheapest alternative (as it offered better and better RAS features, and virtualization made RAS less and less relevant for many application types)

This radical new architecture could easily manage an improvement well in excess of 2x (maybe way in excess of) IF they can figure out how to build it. I think if they manage to build it, they'll have no problem selling as many as they can make, and no one will care that HP is the only source for the hardware.

DougS Silver badge

Hilarious coming from a company that has NEVER done any R&D

Dell just repackages Intel's reference designs and throws on MS software plus whatever crapware that pays.

HP may not be the major R&D company they were in the past, but even this husk of the former HP, and even if you ignore this big moon project effort, does more R&D in a day than Dell has done in their entire history.

Déjà spew: US would accept higher bills for less CO2 by two-to-one

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Re: All these poll articles are clickbait!

Learn some statistics. Polls like this always sample a very small portion of the population. Assuming the sampling is done properly (not that this is easy to do, but there are known techniques for doing so assuming they're followed) the results of the study have a 95% chance of falling within the margin of error of the actual number.

Whether the survey was intended to be honest or not is another matter - for this issue there are two sides with big axes to grind, and the way the question is worded and what other questions may or may not have been asked prior to it can have a measurable impact on the results you get.

So I'd take this with a grain of salt, but sampling only 1005 people is well down the list of things that will be a potential problem here.

Wintel pincers to squeeze iPads out of BYOD

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Re: Already missed the boat

Thanks for the message from Microsoft's sales department. Meanwhile in the real world, Microsoft is never as cheap as its shills claim.

DougS Silver badge

Microsoft is the thing that makes this impossible

As far as employees are concerned, want a Surface tablet, this is amply shown by its minuscule share compared with Android and Apple. I'm sure I'll catch downvotes from the MS lovers here who will harp on about how much more you can do with Surface than iPad, but if you have to turn it into a laptop for it to be more useful than a tablet, why not just get a damn laptop. That objection is always left unanswered.

The problem for Intel is that tablets are not really a necessity, so they can't push them out to everyone like they did with PCs/laptops. Maybe those in jobs where they can get by with a tablet instead of a laptop (think salespeople on the road who mostly just visit clients and take their regular orders) might get a corporate provided tablet. Unfortunately many of them have already splashed out for iPads (they visit the restaurant/bar I own all the time) so Intel is probably too late here as they've already figured out how to integrate the iPads into their business.

I'm sure Microsoft can tout better manageability/integration than iPad, as Apple isn't really known for its enterprise chops (to say the least) but it will come at a high cost - don't think for a minute they aren't going to kill you with CALs for all those tablets, in addition to the already higher than iPad pricing on them. Intel can't push their stuff they way they used to without Microsoft yoked up front pulling.

Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant cancelled

DougS Silver badge


So countries that don't already have hydro shouldn't be allowed to pursue it because of the "nice parts of nature", but it is fine in the developed world because no one remembers how nice the nature was that got flooded to build those dams? Not everywhere is as conveniently barren as the area flooded by the Hoover Dam.

I don't know anything about the project, but most dams also have great benefits for flood control and droughts, two things we're told we should expect more of as the Earth warms. So not only will they be saddled with more expensive energy, they'll be saddled with higher food prices during years where floods and droughts affect yield.

If Greenpeace wants this for less developed countries, they should ask for donations to offset the cost to countries and their residents for stuff like this. Like those who buy tracts of virgin rainforest or stands of redwoods to keep them safe from logging. But their mission seems more about self-publicity than actually having a real benefit on the environment. I'd donate money to almost anyone before I'd give a cent to Greenpeace.

Google: Why should we pay tax when we make 'intangibles'?

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I don't disagree with what you said, other than wondering whether avoiding taxes truly qualifies as "evil" behavior.

A tax dodger would hardly make for a good bond villain, while some of the other stuff Google does makes one think that Sergei might look good with a nice fluffy white cat...

Ireland accused of giving Apple 'selective advantage'

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Re: Eu = Articles of Confederation/dysfunction

He's talking about corporate and personal taxes paid to the federal government, measured against payments made by the federal government to the state and residents of New York (i.e. spending on roads, bridges, schools, welfare, salaries of federal employees who live in New York)

This is a well known statistic that isn't under dispute in the US. The same is true for California. It has been a point of political contention since the republicans (who mostly carry the "red states") believe the government taxes/spends too much and is too large, while the democrats (who mostly carry the "blue states") mostly don't agree with that assessment.

But as it turns out, the blue states pay more in to the government and the red states take more out, so the best interest of their primary constituents would be for the two parties to trade positions on the tax/spending issue :)

HP starts a memristor-based space program to launch ... THE MACHINE

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As someone who has been around HP a lot over the years

(As a consultant/contractor, not an employee) I'm happy to see them investing in the future. It seemed every time I was back the mood was worse, employees become used to the constant reorgs and layoffs similar to how people living in a war zone become used to the sound of gunfire and explosions.

I hope it works out, not just because it'll make hardware a lot more interesting than "watch us slowly close in on PC power in a cell phone" but because it'll revitalize a once-great company that is today but a shell of its former self.

FCC boss threatens to BRING WRATH DOWN on states that limit broadband competition

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Broadband is not DSL?

So the 20/5 service I have, which I could upgrade to 40/20 if I cared to isn't broadband? In some areas my ISP (Centurylink) offers 80/40 and 100/12. Are those not broadband?

The 300 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 starting to become available, or gigabit fiber that are available in a handful of places are nice, but not actually needed unless you're moving around bulk data.

In the future there might be a reason why 80/40 service isn't good enough, but I can't think of a single application today that requires it. Maybe if you need to stream more than 3 "ultra 4K" videos from Netflix at 25 Mbps, simultaneously?

Glacier's hot butt melts ice, boffins say

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Re: So the heat output under this glacier is 50% hotter than normally found elsewhere?

I agree, I wish it had been put into context. Comparing it to Yellowstone, or downtown LA (i.e. near the LaBrea tar pits) would have been helpful.


DougS Silver badge

X28 or X45 flare in 2003

The one in 2003 puts this puny one to shame, estimated at X28 and later amended to X45. If it was aimed straight at us, we'd be battling in the streets Mad Max style instead of posting on the internet!

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