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Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones

aaarrrgggh Re:I'm betting on balloons (25 comments)

There was an article a few years back on /. about a network of weather balloons with hotspots, forget the name of the system. It is a bit labor intensive, since each unit only stays in flight 3-5 days, and the shoebox needs to be recovered and returned.

Zeppelin ROVs have also been discussed on /. before, and offer substantial improvements over the system, but not really lower costs-- just trade offs.

Traditionally, wireless always makes sense when you have limited subscriber density or portability requirements. Where it usually fails is that it can't scale as quickly when bandwidth needs increase. As an old codger, I will also recall the discussions of MetroLink's Ricochet Wireless system here on /. 15-17 years ago-- same basic concepts, same challenges.

Wireless is always great for yesteday's use cases. Time to market from yesterday is what kills them, which airborne solutions can improve on if done right... but I won't hold my breath for low latency gigabit connections from a UAV.

5 minutes ago
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Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

aaarrrgggh Re:"Fear" (197 comments)

If you don't want to believe what someone is saying is the truth, you will not trust them. Your opinion is set from sources you do trust, which does not necessarily have your best interests at heart. Politics- next election; news- next ad; military- next budget; church- blind following; nobody is impartial.

What you can control is your own behaviors to ensure the people you trust have common goals that are important to you. A Talking Head can never be in that position. Seek out experts...

45 minutes ago
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32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

aaarrrgggh Re:Boston (165 comments)

Verizon isn't seeing the return on capital for FIOS; that is well known. They think they can increase subscriber rates in areas they have covered and recover the capital that way.

What they completely miss is the fact that the use-cases that will drive more valuable service plans only exist when ~gigabit networks are available everywhere.

The problem I see with either approach is that business internet costs aren't going down fast enough to push that evolution. You get better speeds for less in a co-lo, but that doesn't help enough if you use a single office location.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

aaarrrgggh Depends on if you want to get calls... (105 comments)

If you don't need to receive calls, you can control use pretty well and maybe make it work for slightly less money.

Speaking from personal experience while traveling though, it is really a pain, especially for a prolonged period of time. If you have a specific need to use multiple devices for non overlapping functions (laptop, phone, tablet) where the functions really can't be done on a single device then the MiFi is cheaper than getting three SIMs. The only time I broke down and went this route in the last 10 years was in Sydney, where the hotel charged around $25 for wifi, and I only had one Australian SIM card that would work.

Convenience or cost...

2 days ago
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If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

aaarrrgggh Re:You don't need the bandwidth (150 comments)

Lease payments, power, bandwidth are all expensive in a colo. If you are out of cash, you are in trouble. Your assets could be used to wind down operations gracefully... Or to your point to repay your creditors.

Hopefully Google, Amazon, or Microsoft would give reasonable notice of a pending cancellation of a service, but there are no guarantees.

about a week ago
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If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

aaarrrgggh Re:Local Backups (150 comments)

Removable drives work well to a point, but you need at least 3 for a proper rotation. You also have the issues of failure rate and potential for theft, which eventually drive you to the SAN/NAS route which gets expensive quickly. Cloud services for our business have a sweet spot around 4TB of live data; businesses with highly distributed workforces may nap have a much lower threshold.

Cloud services seem to make sense to me for small companies not wanting to invest in servers and to minimize consulting, or companies of any size that just don't want to bother with it, and are willing to pay more for fewer distractions. Out of sight (site) out of mind. Buyer beware...

about a week ago
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If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

aaarrrgggh Re:Legally binding? (150 comments)

Moreover, if a big cloud vendor quickly closes shop, interdependencies and network effects are likely to have an impact on your contingent vendor.

We have hosted email, and will likely move to Amazon Glacier for DR backups; we have local snapshot backups that give all the information locally that would go to Glacier; it is just the earthquake/sprinkler/sabotage scenario that offsite would protect us against, and Glacier is starting to get competitive for our needs.

Like everything, it is a scenario you need a plan for. Depending on the impact, the plan needs to be developed, tested, and re-validated as appropriate.

about a week ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

aaarrrgggh Re:Developer unhappiness or Marketshare loss? (229 comments)

AutoCAD LT is $800.
I think Omni Group had something on there for $140 a while back.
Generally speaking I don't have a need for many $5 apps on my Mac; if that is all it is worth I can use a spreadsheet or something for the functionality. The impulse buys just aren't there.

about a week ago
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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store

aaarrrgggh Re:Developer unhappiness or Marketshare loss? (229 comments)

There are times where the Mac App Store is actually useful to me. It just isn't enough that I spend any reasonable amount of money on it. Not having trial versions for $100+ software is a bit of a deal-killer for me.

about a week ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

aaarrrgggh Re:Overstated or misrepresented? (403 comments)

The problem though is that someone that is a hyper-miler in one car will be a guzzler in another car with the same behaviors.

about two weeks ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

aaarrrgggh Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

What I actually care about is how many gallons of gas I need to put in the tank to go x miles. I don't buy a car every day (haven't in 20 years...), but I buy gas at least once a week.

People's needs vary.

about two weeks ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

aaarrrgggh Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

A Swedish mile is 6.2 American Miles.

about two weeks ago
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Snowflake-Shaped Networks Are Easiest To Mend

aaarrrgggh Re:When drawn... (38 comments)

Actually, a number of analysis over the years have shown that you need to limit non-isolatable nodes in a system to a maximum of six, there is also a substantial body of evidence that N+1 redundancy only adds redundancy for less than 6 units total. It would seem their analysis also relies on the ability to limit the number of nodes post-repair.

The idea may not be new, but the expression is interesting.

about two weeks ago
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Bangladesh Considers Building World's 5th-largest Data Center In Earthquake Zone

aaarrrgggh Re:Largest is probably in an earthquate zone (65 comments)

I think largest would be The SuperNAP in Vegas in terms of power-- I think they are close to 80MW of UPS. No one facility in California compares to that. I would doubt Tokyo would have anything at that scale; it would be well outside the city.

about three weeks ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

aaarrrgggh Simple Solutions (1 comments)

The issue is that the energy and distribution costs are bundled, primarily for residential customers. Un-bundle the two, and have a specific demand charge (max kW power flow, either direction). The demand charge covers distribution, and you continue to net-meter energy.

The problem today is essentially that a residential user produces 4x their peak demand for a few hours a day, which forces the utility to have 4x the distribution capacity but they end up with zero revenue.

For the end user, if you aren't happy with it, go off-grid and provide a sufficient battery to make it work. As long as the utility is charging less than about $10/kW demand charge, it is cheaper to connect to the grid than provide your own batteries. The balance stops working when the peak PV component of production exceeds some magic number, but that should be over 40%.

about three weeks ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

aaarrrgggh Re:The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (602 comments)

The secret is that you have to open the door and detergent tray on the washer, and the heat exchanger and lint tray need to be removed on the dryer, also with the door open.

We had a nightmare with our washer when first installed due to bad controller boards, but it has been working reliably for several years now. Not sure if I would go Bosch again, but it does the job pretty well.

about three weeks ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

aaarrrgggh Re:Found the IBM link. (268 comments)

Wind loading... why not just put it on an axle and let it spin to make even more kW per day and possibly even more cubic liters of water!!

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

aaarrrgggh Re:Training Budget (182 comments)

Forcing someone to train without paying them is illegal in most states. If someone like the OP wants to go to a conference for fun, professional development, networking, etc., that is all well and good; it is a shared benefit. Threats of being fired if you don't have certification X is unacceptable, but denial of future benefits is more fuzzy.

The real problem is some people want to be life long students and milk professional development funds, and policies need to protect employers from that.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

aaarrrgggh Training Budget (182 comments)

Public and companies with government contracts are different than the private sector, and selling taxpayers on a conference in Las Vegas can be difficult.

In the private sector, companies should budget about 5% of annual salary for training. That includes time and expenses. Usually our approach is to make sure the employee has some skin in the game-- either pay part of the cost or take PTO to attend if it isn't after-hours.

As an employer, I am generally torn on the matter though; much of the benefit is to the employee rather than the employer; I care that you can do your job not that you have a piece of paper that says you can do your job. New technologies, keeping skills sharp, networking... all of those things have a split benefit.

about a month ago

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