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World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

NotQuiteReal Re:Cost (117 comments)

free reign

free rein

free rain? (varies by jurisdiction if you actually own the rain that falls on your land).

2 days ago

Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

NotQuiteReal Re: Taxing the Congested Skies (221 comments)

depends on how transparent the breakdown is... I do recall some airfares that were pretty close to 50/50 fare/taxes+fees, and I certainly have long distance phone bills that clearly show pennies worth of calls and dollars worth of "fees" that are carefully described as "not taxes".

So, while everything isn't "taxes", they are larger than you think, but the "profit" part is generally pretty small. For example, the current "profit margin" for American Airlines is negative That can't be good...

4 days ago

Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

NotQuiteReal Re:Taxing the Congested Skies (221 comments)

These are not the trollsocks you want...

4 days ago

Water Discovered In Exoplanet Atmosphere

NotQuiteReal Speaking of water... (50 comments)

If you can build oil pipelines hundreds of miles long, why don't "they" build water pipelines to the desert of southern California? Maybe it is because oil is (statistically speaking) infinitely more valuable than oil)?

OTOH -- maybe driving away from a desert is more cost effective than living there...

about a week ago

GNOME 3.14 Released

NotQuiteReal Release the Gnomes (248 comments)

That doesn't sound nearly as intimidating as Release the Kraken! (or even Release the hounds...)

Just sayin...

about a week ago

Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

NotQuiteReal CRTC (184 comments)

CRTC = Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Radio? No
Television? No
Telecommunications? Maybe

In as far as Netflix is using "telecommunications" infrastructure... I guess that gets the camel's nose into the tent?

But the same could be said of any web site - why doesn't the CRTC ask YouTube, or even Slashdot for subscriber data? What's the difference? They are all web sites pushing on-demand content to users - not broadcasting. Besides, even if they were "broadcasting", one could argue they would only have an interest in making sure the content was not inappropriate, not who the potential recipients were.

If you are a fan of net neutrality then you should be just as wary of governments gumming up things as carriers playing favorites.

about a week ago

Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

NotQuiteReal want vs settle? (277 comments)

what you want vs getting what your finances force you to settle for

These are not the only choices.

about a week ago

Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

NotQuiteReal other people's money (167 comments)

Salaries in the academic world are crazy, and still getting worse - for example, rather than heralding how budget conscious the UC system is, paying chancellors "only" $319K, instead, they "fixed the problem" with a 20% across the board pay raise.

Just in time, I am sure, without making over $380K, I am sure all those administrators would just go work somewhere else and you wouldn't be able to find anyone qualified for such paltry salaries.

about a week ago

Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

NotQuiteReal CNC machines (408 comments)

But they had to buy 10k CNC machines to build 1M bodies? Doesn't sound right. Only 100 per machine.

They were battery operated, and looked cool! No seams for battery doors or holes for pesky charger ports!

about two weeks ago

Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

NotQuiteReal What do Terrorists use? (236 comments)

Obviously they are not hipster enough for Apple products, ironic beards not withstanding.

Android products are too "free", and therefore would encourage infidel proclivities.

They kill all their own intellectuals who could create a new phone, so... they must use WINDOWS!!!!

about two weeks ago

Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

NotQuiteReal Re:4 cities... (71 comments)

Yes, in Europe, the price stated, is the price you pay, but, at least while shopping via the Internet, it is common to point out that the VAT is included. For example, go to, select a European city, pick a random hotel and it will give the price - AND - the notation "Included 20% VAT" (London) or "Included 25% VAT" (Copenhagen), "Included: 6% VAT, Not included: € 2 city tax per person per night." (Bruges).

While it is nice to have an all-inclusive price, it is important to be transparent on the amount of taxes being paid. In Europe, just as in the US, taxes vary wildly state-by-state.

about two weeks ago

Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

NotQuiteReal 4 cities... (71 comments)

I live in California, but stayed in hotels in several other states in the last couple of weeks... 14% occupancy tax does seem high, but this is San Francisco, they love taxes up there...

Dallas = Room + 2% DTPID Fee + 7.1% City Tax + 6.1% State Tax
NYC = Room + Sales Tax 8.875% + Occupancy Tax 5.875% + Room Tax $2.00 + Room Unit Tax $1.55
Boston = Room + State Tax 5.7% + City Tax 6% + CCF Tax 2.75%
Philadelphia = Room + Lodging Tax 8.5% + Sales Tax 8%

In Europe they are much more civilized about it -- they just toss in some huge VAT tax (like 20%) and may or may not mention that it is "included" (how thoughtful of them.) In some places there are still more taxes - in Dublin Ireland, my hotel bill had the room fee, with VAT included, but also added "other local taxes and fees" amounting to 9.25% of that...

In general, the observation that taxing visitors is popular is accurate, and accelerating, it seems.

about two weeks ago

Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

NotQuiteReal You don't have to sit quietly (418 comments)

This situation is what belch and fart smartphone apps are for.

about two weeks ago

City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

NotQuiteReal About 1/2 of 1 percent of their budget (249 comments)

hopes to save 6 million Euro over five years by switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux in all of its offices. The move will mean installing the open source operating system on 8,300 PCs, which will generate an immediate saving of roughly €300 per machine (almost €2.5m altogether, made up from the cost of Windows and Office licences)

€6,000,000/8,300 = €723 Euro per machine. Subtract 300, up-front (OS/Office) = €85 per year savings, after the licenses.

Let's say the average city employee makes €40,000/year (I have no idea what they make, but assuming one employee per workstation, those workers are about 1/4 of the cities annual budget of €1,266,000,000)

So, the half a day's wage saved (€85) per year isn't a big deal either way - either they are happy with the open source systems and they make out, or they go back to proprietary software and spend a couple of days wages, if needed.

And why does it need to be all or nothing? People should use what makes them most productive... within the support capabilities of the IT staff. Out of 8300 workstations I wouldn't be surprised if a large share of them could get by with basically running a web browser, but for those who need Windows or MacOS to get their work done, so be it.

about three weeks ago

Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

NotQuiteReal From the summary... (269 comments)

They were looking for "academic achievement", not necessarily intelligence, per se.

about three weeks ago

X-Class Solar Flare Coming Friday

NotQuiteReal which side of Earth? (145 comments)

Didn't RTFA, did they mention which side of our fine planet will be facing the worst of it? How long is the stream going to pummel us?

about three weeks ago

UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

NotQuiteReal Re:80 million people? (198 comments)

At least these ghosts are just being kept healthy, if they lived in Chicago, they'd probably be voting too.

about three weeks ago

In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

NotQuiteReal Re:Wifi (183 comments)

Hackers will always be pinging it to see if it is vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug...

about three weeks ago

BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

NotQuiteReal Don't wear pants! (363 comments)

Everyone who wears pants is hiding something!!!! or they are modest, or cold or something... But they are for damn sure guilty of wearing pants!!!!

about three weeks ago

BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

NotQuiteReal Arrrrgh! (363 comments)

Arrrgh, matey! Debit Left!!!, Credit Right!!!

about three weeks ago



Cox announces death of USENET for Internet users

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 4 years ago

NotQuiteReal (608241) writes "Today my email had (several copies) of an email from my Internet provider that begins

Dear Valued Customer:

Effective June 30, 2010, Cox Communications will discontinue Usenet service to our subscribers.
Declining newsgroup usage in recent years has highlighted the need to focus our resources on other priorities

Is this a trend among Internet providers? Cox did offer 50% off of a Giganews subscription for $3 or $15 per month!
Appropriately enough, my "Prove yourself" capcha is "sadden"..."

California bill would make downloads "tangible

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 6 years ago

NotQuiteReal (608241) writes "California Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, has introduced a bill that would allow sales tax to be collected on "media downloads". Assembly bill AB1956 would be able to do this only by reclassifying such downloads as "tangible personal property".

My first thought is that would suck yet another tax. My second thought was — hey "isn't that how they got Al Capone?" — yes, the old tax evasion trap. If you thought the RIAA was bad, just wait until the Tax Man comes after your for your untaxed P2P!"

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

NotQuiteReal (608241) writes "I know the Slashdot crowd usually complains about John C. Dvorak columns... sure the guy needs to carp about something, let the guy make a living, sheesh.

But one of his latest columns seems to be right on. He is bitching about Microsoft Windows and is right on target. No fluff here. Even a Slashdotter can agree with Dvorak for once, right? He summarized the seemingly random, Windows issues when it comes to using the UI for simple things like "copying folders"! What a concept — have the UI ask you questions up front, rather than an hour from now! Who hasn't had this problem with Windows. [Personally I have been trained to use Cygwin for certain tasks. cough, cough.]

If you use Windows, for whatever reason, don't you think this whole column has nailed a lot of your complaints about the Window UI?"

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 7 years ago

NotQuiteReal (608241) writes "I saw a story that the AP is reporting about TrackMeNot, which sounds like a FireFox plug-in. From the article:

"TrackMeNot periodically sends fake, innocuous queries to search engines, making it harder for someone to glean your actual search habits by reviewing the companies' logs that contain your queries"

Does that seem like a good idea? Would you run such a thing. If you had some choice words in your random search list, could you not garner more attention, rather than less?

Is this just another way to waste bandwidth?"



Second Slashdot Haiku

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 7 years ago when it is darkest
even the dimmest light can
help you find the way

I'll use this for a sig, for a bit. The meaning is literal.


Obvious Haiku

NotQuiteReal NotQuiteReal writes  |  more than 9 years ago I figured I'd turn on this Journal option and see what happens. But I have nothing to say at the moment.

Well, how about this Haiku I wrote last night. I don't generally write poetry of any sort, but I was working on coming up with a few words on an unrelated topic and noticed it was real close to Haiku, so I fiddled a bit and this popped out:

Some five syllables
Another seven go here
Finish with five more

Seems like an "obvious" Haiku to me, but I couldn't google it, so I figured it must be original. Enjoy. Or not. I have no expectation of an audience here.

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