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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:when? (474 comments)

there are a LOT of people who dont live in cities in the US

There are also a LOT of people who do live in cities. They don't have anything like European-normal broadband value either.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:Government Intervention (474 comments)

I think there's more going on here than just European "socialism" vs. American "capitalism". Demographics, for instance, are wildly different for the US.

Average population and population density for countries 1-15: 34 million and 193/km^2
United States population and population density: 316 million and 34/km^2

Well, that explains why all of our large cities are so well-connected with gigabit fiber for $50/mo, at least.

Oh, wait, they're not are they? The simple fact that Montana exists shouldn't be used to excuse terrible service and pricing in NYC, Houston, Seattle, or any other major US city.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:Government Intervention (474 comments)

That'd be similar to trying to privately build the portion of the road system to get to your front door, then driving a subsidized car over them to help defray the costs.

Infrastructure is one of those things that actually does work better when left to the society as a whole. Service providers, on the other hand, work far better privately in competition with one another over government-secured infrastructure.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:Government Intervention (474 comments)

But the others subsidized the build. We subsidized the service. There's a difference.

Yup. We've made that mistake before, too - running government-funded trains over privately held tracks is ludicrous compared to the alternative, yet that pattern the "compromise" we keep making again and again resulting in nothing more than guaranteed payments from taxpayers to some of the largest corporations in the country.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:Government Intervention (474 comments)

The natural outcome of any limited "free market" given enough time is a monopoly. This is a case where regulation, while not perfect, greatly improves the overall situation.

Playing the "last mile" game is remarkably difficult and expensive. Without regulation there'd be very little preventing Comcast from just buying everyone out and making it up over time with high rates and crappy service.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re:Government Intervention (474 comments)

Run it like modern utilities then - municipal-owned and -maintained fiber backbones, solving the "last mile" problem, with multiple choices for access (or even just multiple choices for billing with matching capacity requirements).

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

rjstanford Re: Government Intervention (474 comments)

So explain to me why internet access in LA and Manhattan is so bad compared to comparable European cities. Besides, with a comparable density, a larger area should result in better overall efficiencies, not worse.

2 days ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

rjstanford Re:The Dangers of the World (784 comments)

No. The stats change according to context. So if your the 'free range' parent, your children are much more likely to be abducted.

Any actual evidence of this?

Considering that by far the majority of abductions are done by a family member or well-known acquaintance, you could easily argue the other way too, that being around 20 other kids in a public park is far safer than hanging out in your fenced front yard.

3 days ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

rjstanford Re:The Dangers of the World (784 comments)

What happened to your family was terribly unfortunate.

It bears repeating though that it is also terribly unusual - more so now than it was in the '80s. We live in a far, far safer (although not perfect) world today then we did when we were kids by almost every possible measurement.

I'm sure that the independence you got from your paper route and your relative freedom helped to make you the strong person that you are today, even though it wasn't without some small risk.

about two weeks ago
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Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

rjstanford Re:It's never been a "real" dictionary (174 comments)

In what way would the 2-3 word dictionary definition of acorn actually help you, really? Bearing in mind that you wouldn't be able to figure out what that oak nut was if you didn't already know its name, so that doesn't count.

The random online definition from google is "the fruit of the oak, a smooth oval nut in a rough cuplike base." Very useful I guess assuming that you know the word acorn, you don't know what it is, but you do know what an oak tree is.

This is also just the "top 13K" words edition - think of it like a cache rather than long term storage.

about three weeks ago
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Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

rjstanford Re:Mmm... (174 comments)

Really? When I was a kid, I caught minnows (and tadpoles-- are those in there?) and collected acorns. We had a blackberry bush. Seriously, these are rather everyday words in the Western world.

Everyday words that everybody knows would actually be great candidates for removal from a small pocket dictionary. You want moderately common words that not everyone would understand, but where a few word definition is more useful than an encyclopedic explanation.

about three weeks ago
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Authors Alarmed As Oxford Junior Dictionary Drops Nature Words

rjstanford Re:Mmm... (174 comments)

"From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks"
In the future kids will see that poster at Spencer's Gifts and say, "WTF?"

That's good then - puts it in the same category as everything else at Spencer's Gifts.

about three weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

rjstanford Re:Secret Ballot? (480 comments)

Its simpler than that. Present ID, get a token. Use an electronic voting machine (eliminates multi-language issues, hanging chads, etc) to do two things - generate an electronic record of your vote and fill out a nice human-readable record of your vote. Read the human-readable portion, if you're not happy then you can swap it for another token (it gets shredded and your electronic votes get invalidated). If you are happy then you post it into a one-way slot into a sealed box.

Votes are counted electronically. Some percentage of all polling places have their boxes opened in public and the votes counted by hand; this is then compare to the electronic record to ensure accuracy. In case of a dispute, the human-readable versions win.

95% of the advantages of (in-place) electronic voting, better-than-ever transparency, no abusable audit trail to tie your votes back to you.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

rjstanford Re:MicroSD card? (325 comments)

Turned out USB-only wasn't so nice as advertised. Broken USB drivers? No keyboard. Oh, and the drivers on the Windows CD might be broken. What fun that was figuring out why the keyboard worked in BIOS but not in Windows at install time.

Wow. Sounds like Microsoft released a really shitty implementation of the USB only switch. Why would breaking the USB driver be any more likely (or even possible short of deliberate sabotage) than breaking the PS/2 driver anyway?

about a month ago
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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

rjstanford Re:MicroSD card? (325 comments)

So, no. The much vaunted "Apple showed their foresight by ditching floppies" was a red herring if everyone needed to rush out and hang an external drive off the USB port anyway.

I'd agree that lots of people did go and get external floppy drives, I knew quite a few of them myself. The vast majority used them rarely, if ever, but wanted the perceived security - and since they were external, most of them ended up in a drawer gathering dust after a little while anyway. Those habits generally lasted far less than the lifetime of that form factor too, which helps everyone else who comes along.

Again, somebody has to be first - and the first major provider to do something always ends up getting slammed by their competitors since spreading FUD is easier than dismissing it and it makes for great checkbox-advertising points.

about a month ago
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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

rjstanford Re:MicroSD card? (325 comments)

Bullshit. That is the same excuse Apple fans have been using for Apple for the last 15 years. Apple leaves out a VERY common feature and choice that everyone else but Apple has and uses with little to no problems and people claim it is for YOUR benefit. How many different things in this world have the ability to plug in some type of standard memory card? How many does Apple have? It has nothing to do with support and the overall the overall experience.

You know, somebody always has to go first.

People acted like the sky was falling when Apple got rid of PS/2 ports and moved to USB only - then when they realized what a superior experience it gave, they all followed suit. Similarly when Apple got rid of the floppy drive and then, years later, the optical drive and on some of their machines even the Ethernet ports. In all cases there were adapters available for the (very) few people who actually needed them, and in all cases despite the massive FUD being produced everything worked just fine.

about a month ago
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Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Shrinking Storage Space In iOS 8

rjstanford Re:MicroSD card? (325 comments)

Apple wants to avoid cases where users blame Apple for sluggish application performance, skipping music/video, bugs, etc... that are a result of something that Apple can't control or exert influence over.

Than how about they add some memory dedicated to the OS? The stuff is not that expensive these days...

And if they did people would be complaining about Apple using up memory that they paid for that's currently vacant just to handle a once-yearly iOS upgrade. At least this way most people can get use of the memory most of the time, its a damn sight simpler, and it allows Apple to report bigger numbers legitimately. Why wouldn't they do it the way that they are, especially knowing that they'd get abuse for it either way?

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

rjstanford Re: tfa says carry-on, one-way (349 comments)

Yup. When my last company was a fledgling and we had more time than money, I was flying from Austin to Boston (through Dallas) and it saved several hundred dollars for my coworker to hop a SWA flight from Dallas to Austin and then join me on the AUS-DFW-BOS trip. Really stupid, and yes he simply got off the plane in Dallas on the way back.

about a month ago
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United and Orbitz Sue 22-Year-Old Programmer For Compiling Public Info

rjstanford Re:Luggage? (349 comments)

I would like to fly Delta leaving my destination, but Southwest on my return. Can't do that with a round trip purchase, despite the availability of flights! Absolute bullshit!

How is that bullshit? You want to buy two different things from two totally different merchants!

That's like complaining that you want to get a Chipotle burrito for lunch and an In&Out burger for dinner and its bullshit that you can't do that with a single transaction.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source .NET Up To the Job?

rjstanford Re:MS has been late to every recent tech movement (421 comments)

Someone as simple as YouTube could probably handle that, but for any complex interactions I'll be damned if I'm going to take my time statefully rendering HTML pages on the server (about the most expensive and restrictive operations you can do) just for the truly minute fraction of one percent that won't trust their browsers to execute dynamic code in a nice secure sandbox. Sorry, but I'm with those guys now. You're gonna need a lot of rakes.

about a month and a half ago

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