Windows 30 Year Timeline

Three decades ago, Microsoft introduced the Windows operating system, and though there have been some stumbles throughout its evolution, the technological changes it brought forth have been monumental.

When Windows 1.0 first shipped, it was panned by the critics for using a mouse when, well, a mouse just wasn’t popular as an input device.

It wasn’t until Windows 3.0‘s graphical user interface came along that businesses and consumers began to see how helpful a mouse is. Between Windows 3.0 and 3.1, Microsoft sold over 10 million copies — not too shabby with the personal computing industry still in its early stages.

By the time Microsoft unveiled Windows XP in 2001, the company’s OS and software were fully entrenched in businesses and in homes. An entire ecosystem of app developers surrounding Windows had been born, and Windows XP and later Windows 7 became the standard operating system for business.

Microsoft would probably rather forget the debacle of its initial Windows 8.0 launch, but the company regrouped and is now slated to ship Windows 10 this fall. New features such as a tighter integration between the traditional desktop interface and Windows tiles, as well as containers, could make the new OS attractive to businesses.

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Whose Internet Is It Anyway?

Whose Internet is it anyway?

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says he’s keeping that question in mind as he pitches the biggest regulatory shake-up to the telecommunications industry since 1996, when people still used noisy modems and referred to the “information superhighway” as a fun way to buy books or check the weather.

Wheeler has not publicly released his plan yet, and might not for a few weeks. But he has suggested that Internet service has become as critical to people in the United States as water, electricity or phone service and should be regulated like any other public utility.

Wheeler told reporters this past week that he wants “yardsticks in place to determine what is in the best interest of consumers as opposed to what is in the best interest of the gatekeepers.”

That has the industry sounding the alarms, warning consumers of an inevitable $72 annual tax increase on each U.S. wireless account. But advocates of the approach say that is not likely to happen and that your Internet experience probably will carry on as usual.

A look at what “net neutrality” means and what is likely to happen:

The issue

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not move some content faster than others or enter into paid agreements with companies such as Netflix to prioritize their data.

Broadband providers have questioned the fairness of this approach. They have invested heavily in a sophisticated infrastructure and question whether the government should be telling them how to run their networks and package services.

But what if the major cable companies that provide much of the nation’s broadband had free rein to load some files faster than others? It is easy to imagine scenarios where these providers might favor content produced by their affiliates or start charging “tolls” to move data. Consumers naturally would gravitate toward faster sites and services that pay those fees, while smaller startups or nonprofits get shut out.

The options

The FCC had used the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was intended to encourage competition in the telephone and cable industry, to enforce “open Internet” rules, until recently, when a federal appeals court knocked down that approach.

President Barack Obama and consumer advocates say a better tack would be to apply Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. That law, written with radio, telegraph and phone service in mind, prohibits companies from charging unreasonable rates or threatening access to services that are critical to society.

Industry likens that approach to cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.

 

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The FCC

Wheeler says he will circulate his proposal among the other FCC commissioners before Thursday. He has suggested it probably will apply Title II regulation to all Internet service, including wireless, but with some caveats.

Industry experts expect that Wheeler will say many rules should not apply to broadband, invoking what’s called “forbearance.”

The commissioners will vote Feb. 26. Wheeler expected to have the support of the other two Democratic commissioners. The two Republican commissioners have made clear that they do not support applying Title II.

Next stop will be the courts. Industry lobbyists and FCC officials say there’s no doubt one of the big providers will sue and probably ask the court to suspend enforcement of the new regulation pending appeal. It’s possible the issue won’t be resolved for several more years, even well into the next president’s first term.

Congress

Lawmakers could try to resolve the uncertainty, but Congress rarely is that pragmatic. Lawmakers tend to take on issues that fire up their base or bring their states money, and an in-the-weeds compromise on telecommunications law would be a lot of work with little immediate payoff.

So far, Republicans have pitched an idea that would enforce basic open Internet rules but could strip the FCC of its ability to help local municipalities build their own broadband. It’s a nonstarter for Obama and congressional Democrats who say poor and rural areas have been left behind in the deployment of high-speed Internet.

Assuming Wheeler’s proposal satisfies consumer advocacy groups, Democrats would have little incentive to revisit the issue. While Republicans have the votes to ram though their own anti-regulation legislation without Democratic support, Obama would veto it.

Consumers

Most Internet providers, except Sprint, have warned the legal uncertainty will chill future investments. FCC officials point to a recent wireless spectrum auction that has attracted some $44 billion as proof that the telecommunications industry is thriving even amid the current uncertainty.

As for taxes, the Progressive Policy Institute estimated that treating the Internet like phone service would trigger taxes and fees up to $15 billion a year, including $67 for each wired service and $72 for wireless in state and local taxes.

But that report, widely quoted by industry lobbyists, did not take into account the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibits state and local governments from imposing new taxes on Internet access, or the FCC’s ability to shield consumers against some state and local taxes by claiming the Internet is an “interstate” service.

YOU’VE seen a convertible, now check out the latest real life transformer: the AeroMobil

YOU’VE seen a convertible, now check out the latest real life transformer: the AeroMobil, a stunning prototype of a flying roadster which metamorphoses into a two-seater light sport plane.
Automotive pioneer Henry Ford famously predicted that it was only a matter of time before a flying car was invented. “Mark my words,” he said in the 1940s, “a combined airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”
That time has arrived…
From April 16 to 19th 2015 the AeroMobil will be on show at Top Marques Monaco, the world’s most exclusive supercar show held in the capital of innovation and luxury. The Slovak team behind the integrated vehicle, launched last October at Vienna’s Pioneers Festival, have chosen Top Marques as the venue to reveal the latest chapter in its ground-breaking story.
Manoj Bairstow, managing director of Top Marques, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that AeroMobil is coming to Top Marques 2015. We are certain it will prove to be extremely popular with our visitors in the Grimaldi Forum who will be able to see the vehicle as it miraculously transforms from a supercar into a plane.”
The flying car prototype AeroMobil 3.0, which is expected to be issued with its full airworthiness licence within weeks, can with the current engine configuration reach speeds of up to 160 km/h on the road and once sky-bound, accelerates to 200 km/h.
This ultimate two-seater prototype is an exquisite feat of design and engineering which runs on regular fuel and has a range of 800km. It can take off from speeds of about 100 km/h, meaning that owners can use any legal leveled grass surface to get their luxury transport airborne.
Tickets for Top Marques Monaco, a four day luxury exhibition the principal partner of which is the private bank Edmond de Rothschild, are on sale now at the venue’s website www.grimaldiforum.com or www.topmarquesmonaco.com

Lincoln Funeral Train through Albany

Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington on April 21, 1865. It would essentially retrace the 1,654 mile route Mr. Lincoln had traveled as president-elect in 1861 (with the deletion of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and the addition of Chicago). Our particular area oif interest is the the trip through Albany, New York.

In 1865, neither bridge across the Hudson River had been completed yet. So to get from the Hudson River Railroad from New York City, the train had to go North to Troy, cross the Green Island Bridge and back down the West side of the river to Albany.

One of our readers is trying to find out more about a relative who worked as an engineer for the Troy & Schenectady Railroad and has been identified with the Lincoln Funeral Train. funeral train went from Albany to Schenectady on New York Central not T&S.

We have some material on the Lincoln funeral train through New York State compiled by Richard Palmer from newspaper reports. Palmer is a former Syracuse journalist. We also have much material on the bridges at Albany. There was a foot crossing at Albany; Livingston Ave bridge not completed. Trains went to Troy, then to Green Island then back to Albany on west side of Hudson. Green Island Bridge built by and owned by D&H and predecessors. The railroad bridge over the Hudson between Albany and Greenbushwas not built yet, linking the New York Central and the Hudson River Railroads. NYC will begin running through trains between New York and Buffalo, but in summer will still deliver most freight to the river steamers.

Some highlights:

1846 The Hudson River Railroad is incorporated with the goal of building a line from New York City to Albany. Hudson River Railroad ran from New York City to East Side of Hudson river. Did not go across the river until Vanderbilt combined  with New York Central Railroad (formed by Erastus Corning in 1853). In 1869 The New York Central Railroad (1853) and the Hudson River Railroad are consolidated to form the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Company (NYC&HR) under the control of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

1845: The Troy & Greenbush Railroad opens between its namesake New York towns. It is the last link in an all-rail line between Boston and Buffalo. Troy & Greenbush extended from Washington street, in Troy, to where it intersected the track of the Schenectady and Troy Railroad, to Greenbush, where it connected with the track of the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad. On its completion trains were drawn by locomotives up through River street to the intersection of King and River streets, Troy, where the depot was situated. On January 1, 1851, the road was leased to the New York and Troy Railroad Company. This was subsequently leased to the Hudson River Railroad for seven per cent. on $275,000 its capital stock. In the 1920’s, when the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were separate, it belonged to the Hudson Division and was dispatched from New York. When the Hudson and Mohawk Divisions were combined, the T&G was still dispatched by the Hudson dispatcher, at Albany, until sometime in the 1940’s. When the Hudson and Mohawk were split in the 1950’s, the T&S went to the Mohawk Division and was dispatched from Utica.

D&H predecessor that ran from Troy bridge to Albany. Since NY Central did not run down West side, must have been trackage rights. 1832 the Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad was created. 1851 The Albany Northern Railroad was created to build from Albany to Eagle Bridge. 1860 the Albany & Vermont Railroad was purchased jointly by the Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad and the Troy & Boston Railroad. Rensselaer & Saratoga Railroad leased from Albany to Waterford Junction and the rest was abandoned.

Conclusion: The locomotive and engineer for the  Rensselaer to Albany  move would logically come from locomotives assigned to the T&S.

 

LincolnFuneralTrain

Locomotive facilities: New York Central: West Albany and Sandbank; none East of the Hudson. Troy Union Railroad and owned no locomotives (all provided by the owners of the TURR). Unclear if T&S had a facility anymore.

Troy & Schenectady Railroad ownership dates.  The Schenectady & Troy Railroad, later known was the T&S Branch, was originally owned by the City of Troy. It was the only steam railroad built and owned by a city not merely as a commercial venture but with a view to develop the commercial growth of a city.  The Schenectady & Troy was consolidated into the New York Central in 1853, after which Russell Sage represented the railroad on the New York Central board. After consolidation, the line was promptly relegated to branch status.

The D&H Troy Branch (Rensselaer and Saratoga RR) went to Green Island (from Waterford Jct), and the Green Island Branch went to Troy (from Watervliet Jct).The Troy Branch was the southern end of the original Rensselaer and Saratoga RR, later absorbed by the D&H. The Green Island Branch was a D&H connection to the former Albany and Vermont RR, which formed the later D&H Saratoga Division Main Line.

Enhanced Retail Solutions Provides Planning and Allocation Services to RadioShack

Enhanced Retail Services (ERS) expanded its planning and allocation efficiency services for RadioShack Corporation, a leading national retailer of innovative technology products and services.

“We have been impressed with the work ERS has provided RadioShack, and we are happy to continue engaging their planning and allocation services,” said Janet Fox, senior vice president of global sourcing and product innovation for RadioShack.

EnhancedRetailSolutions

ERS is a top provider of retail analytic and demand planning solutions to retailers and their vendor partners. ERS clients use their consulting and software to analyze product sales and trends, as well as to better forecast their inventory needs. ERS tools transform vast quantities of data into meaningful, actionable opportunities. Its experience in retail management, along with their extensive software development background, allow ERS to offer consulting and software aid in managing and studying the performance of inventoried items.

“In today’s environment, there is less room for error and less room for growth,” said Jim Lewis, Founder and CEO at Enhanced Retail Solutions. “We are seeing a trend where there is more interest in inventory-store optimization and rationalization as a means to growth and increased profitability. I have always been a customer and a fan of RadioShack and I am excited to work with them to optimize performance.”

About Enhanced Retail Solutions LLC
Enhanced Retail Solutions is a New York based software and consulting firm specializing in Retail Analysis and Demand Planning for the manufacturer and their retail partners. ERS’ state of the art software tools and consulting deliver critical data quickly, easily and cost effectively, adding over one hundred million dollars to their clients’ bottom line. ERS’ broad customer base includes industry leaders in the electronics, consumer products, apparel, footwear, home textile, toy, home décor, home improvement, housewares, jewelry and food industries. For more information, visit http://www.EnhancedRetailSolutions.com.

Find out about Better Life and Fair Promise

 

Electronic Invoicing Is Hot In Chili

It’s been just over two months since electronic invoicing became mandatory in Chile, but statistics show the new practice has caught on like wildfire.
The Chilean Internal Revenue Service reports that since the new mandate went into effect, 87 percent of the 9,880 large companies to whom the new law applies have adopted e-invoicing. In October 2014, just before e-invoicing became mandatory, 70 percent, or 6,911 businesses, were utilizing e-invoicing.

Despite Everything

Gerhart von Kap-herr

IMG_20150124_0002 (2) Family photo archives

I was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925, to non-practicing Lutheran parents living in a predominantly Catholic population and I was sent to a convenient Catholic grade school. Even though I was part of a secular family, we had several servants who were all devout Catholics and taught me to love Jesus and pray to him. For high school I was placed in a boarding school run by Hitler’s SA organization near Munich in Germany. There I became indoctrinated in Nazi ideology and I left all my previous beliefs behind. However, in my search for the purpose of one’s existence and surrounded by so many different beliefs, I held one principle dear to me: “I will always honour and respect whatever is sacred to other people.”

During World War II, I was trained as a fighter pilot, but the war ended before I was ever assigned to…

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With help from Penney Vanderbilt