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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

mlheur Re:Does it pass the test? (427 comments)

Damn, I wish I saw this before I started working on my post: http://yro.slashdot.org/commen...
A really good solution would be to forgo the use of broadband in the gov't and instead use "high speed internet". Then they can re-quantify "how high is high", and keep re-quantifying it as much as they want. Everyone wins.

2 days ago
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FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

mlheur This just in, Gov't redifines "moon" (427 comments)

"Moon now means any body of matter with more than 10^24 KG of mass that orbits any other body of matter"
So apparently the earth no longer has a moon, but is one... That's not a far-fetched idea considering we have recently redefined the word Planet to be more descriptive.

The other thing is that defining "broadband" is the same fallacy as "the Inuit have 100+ words for snow". FYI - those words are wetsnow drysnow heavysnow ligthsnow bluesnow whitesnow yellowsnow ....

Broad is already defined; band is already defined; and width is already defined.

In relevant context: band is a contiguous set of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum; width is the size of the band from wave lengths X through Y; broad is a qualitative description of the width of the band - the difference between X and Y. Thusly, broadband and bandwidth have intrinsic definitions that any reasonably intelligent entity familiar with basic English can deduce.

It's nice that a broad band width can carry more streams of information than a narrow one. It's perfectly acceptable for a government to want its citizens to have faster access to information.

IMO, to redefine a word, and not give a definition to subjects newly excluded from the definition is detrimental to society. In the 90's you basically had dial-up internet or broadband internet. These were not great labels, but they did the trick - broadband provided more bandwidth than the POTS networks could provide. These almost made sense. Would we ever see "dial-up" internet to mean only 33.6kbps or more? What happens to the people still using 28.8

What do we have with this new definition? Anyone who is somehow newly exposed to the word cannot use previous knowledge to understand its meaning. There are still users on dial-up, there are users with broadband capable of > 25Mbps down & 3Mbps up, but what about those users that are not on dial-up and have less 25Mbps down? What kind of internet connection do they have? It's not narrowband.

I think a better solution is leave the word broadband alone, and use more words to provide more description: e.g. "broadband" = "( ! dial-up ) && ( over phone || cable networks )", "basic braodband" = less than 1Mbps; "broadband-1" = >= 1Mbps && up to "broadband-3" = >= 3Mbps && ... && up to "broadband-100" = >= 100Mbps. In the future we can redefine broadband-100 to include an "up to broadband-X" clause and create a new broadband-X.

At least we had the decency to give Pluto the word dwarfplanet.

P.S. - I really hate that /. comments prevent me from using a single character to say "less than", and two characters to say "less than or equal to".

2 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Alexander Stepanov and Daniel E. Rose a Question

mlheur What's your time like? (80 comments)

How much of your time do you dedicate to computing vs doing other things; what are your other hobbies or is the work you do also your play time?

about a month ago
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Doctors Replace Patient's Thoracic Vertebrae With 3D-Printed Replica

mlheur Re:No logical benefit from this (55 comments)

Thank you very much for the reference and insight.

I was quite curious how they could gotten the spinal cord into an artificial vertebra. I guess they could make it in two pieces and then combine the two pieces in place (screws?). I'm guessing that severing and reattaching the spinal cord itself isn't very feasible.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

mlheur Re:Here comes a Karma hit.... (107 comments)

My dad had a couple of books: "More Basic Computer Games" which is now 1 cent on amazon; and I cant find the name of the other one but I'm pretty sure it was just "Programming Basic". Around the age of 7 I started by transcribing some games, play them, mod them, learn fundamentals of variables and flow control. With nibbles and gorrilas on QBasic I started learning about subroutines. By the time I was 15 I had VB under control so I moved to Delphi which meant learning Pascal, learning about data types and pointers. It wasn't until I was 18 that I learned C, C++ and Java, and started with OOP but by then I had such a solid foundation that the language was mostly irrelvant. Now I spend most of my time in ksh, awk, & perl but that's because I'm Backup & Recovery Admin for a large telco.

My suggestion: your daughter will have a hunger that will drive her to accomplish certain programming goals - try to feed that hunger and let her guide you. My parents never laid anything out in front of me, they just helped me find the resources I needed to cross whatever hurdle I found myself in front of.

about 2 months ago
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Colliding, Exploding Stars May Have Created All the Gold On Earth

mlheur Re:Not first-generation supernovae? (133 comments)

What does ET think is "attractive"? - if they find H2O attractive then we're screwed.

about a year and a half ago
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Colliding, Exploding Stars May Have Created All the Gold On Earth

mlheur Re:Get rich quickly .. (133 comments)

Holds true for hollywood stars too - smash them together, collect the gold bits that scatter.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

mlheur Golf (299 comments)

I need to pitch the ever-on-call-but-never-working idea to my boss. If I did, I'd golf 10 months of the year and snowboard the rest. Stay outdoors.
Take up kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling.

volunteer with the fire dept, coast guard, search & rescue - they always need daytime callout people.

about a year and a half ago
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The public sector in direst need of reform is ...

mlheur Re:Military-Industrial Complex makes the world wor (405 comments)

The Canadian tradition is to celebrate Remembrance Day or Armistice Day on Nov 11th, 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month. The ceremonies are largely for veterans, and the intent is to Remember those we've lost. This event is run in every community across the country and is coordinated with Royal Canadian Legion, the Canadian Forces and all levels of civilian government. This isn't even a federated holiday, some provinces and territories do declare it a civic holiday, but that doesn't apply to everyone.

We have additional days for veterans and specific events, but none of them reach the total population the way Remembrance Day does.

about a year and a half ago
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My most frequent OS migration path?

mlheur I'm uncluding un-migrating... (413 comments)

I'm on windows right now, which means that in a 1-1 situation, I've gone back to windows at least as many times as I've gone somewhere else.

it's got the widest range of device and application support and is the most ubiqutous when interfacing with other people. It's not my preference, hence the many attempts at migration away - but the fact that I'm still on it say something.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Unwanted But Official Security Probes?

mlheur Get Involved (238 comments)

Policies and Procedures exist for a reason. I support this and will always try to work within 'the system', whatever that may be. If you find 'the system' isn't working. Take the steps necessary to improve it, and carry on. Wash rinse repeat.

To that end, my recommendation is to have the doctors get involved. Absolutely, beef up their security, have good intrusion detection, prevention and reporting. Get security to advise the doctors ahead of time about the planned 'attack', and report back the findings. Be the blue team defending, let them be the red team. Make sure you've done your job right.

I would consider this to be no different than regularly restoring your backup data. You do that right?

about 2 years ago
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Compared to my immediate peers, my typing

mlheur Re:What I have noticed (240 comments)

They say, if you want a job done, give it to a busy person.
I say, if you want a job done efficiently, give it to a lazy person.

Not all lazy people qualify of course, but parent understands...

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Protecting Tech Gear From Smash-and-Grab Theft?

mlheur A: Nothing; Q: Besides the obvious 'don't leave eq (514 comments)

Besides the obvious 'don't leave equipment in the car' solution, what else are people doing?

Nothing - that's all that I do. Easy and only breaks down when I'm being an idiot.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data Remanence Solutions?

mlheur Re:Business Solution - Not Tech Solution (209 comments)

Well then the option should be explored to know what its outcome will be. Sure if "the nice government" says no, then no is the answer. But, and here's where an imagination comes in, what if they are swayed by logical arguments and understand that it could be beneficial to reuse resources that would otherwise have to be destroyed. New contracts can cause amendments to old contracts really easily.

I don't understand why you are discouraging the OP from exploring this option, and I don't really care either. You use terms like "was probably". Depending on the amount of effort it would take to find a definitive answer, it is normally worth while to turn that "was probably" into a known fact. Then action can be taken based on those facts.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data Remanence Solutions?

mlheur Business Solution - Not Tech Solution (209 comments)

The business solution is the have the original contract revised to not force you to destroy something you want to keep. You get the next contract, get them to keep the parts to save time, money, efforts, energy. If it works then your employer will see you as a multi-faceted resource with solutions from more than one discipline. If nobody agrees then stop working for someone who makes stupid decisions.

That's how I operate and I've never been fired, been promoted 4-5 times though.

more than 3 years ago
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The world will end ...

mlheur Re:when the last human being has lost hope (585 comments)

Wouldn't the person hoping the last person not loose hope be the last person, so as long as you hope that you don't lose hope we're set.

You've got some hoping to do for all our sake, it was your idea.

more than 3 years ago
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Quadruped CHEETAH Robot To Outrun Any Human

mlheur Outrun where? (177 comments)

Will it outrun a human on the open savannah or through an urban city? I know the TFA mentioned tight turns and immediate stop & go, but what about in a building, over a fence, through the neighbor's back yard, up the stairs, from one roof to the next? I'd really like to watch something like this outrun an urban freerunner.

more than 3 years ago

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