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Comment: Experience (Score 1) 503

by Alcoholist (#34097262) Attached to: Is the ISS Really Worth $100 Billion?

Because when we do find that habitable exoplanet we're going to need people who know how to get us there. We need to get some of us off this rock. In terms of space research, that space station is the best we've got right now and if we let it fall into the weeds, we've got nothing. I say we push that sucker all the way, because if you really want to get out to the stars, you better goddamn know what it takes.

Comment: Practical Work (Score 4, Insightful) 380

by Alcoholist (#33940614) Attached to: What If We Ran Universities Like Wikipedia?

How does that work in such a college.

So guy shows up on campus and says he's a electrician and he's going to teach anyone interested. All kinds of students flock over looking to learn a trade. He's got a whole bunch of references, but half of them don't answer the phone and at least a quarter of the rest are just references that lead to the other references.

He explains that this course is just a stub and hopefully some better electricians will come along and make it better and safer. But hey, let's go and get you your ticket!

Canada

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

Posted by samzenpus
from the balance-the-humors dept.
St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

Comment: Re:Don't do it (Score 1) 606

by Alcoholist (#33930596) Attached to: Generic PCs For Corporate Use?

You're right on the money about the being forced to maintain them and be the scapegoat. I had this problem with an entire city. I own a computer shop and in addition to service and parts, on of the things we did was build our own computers and for a while we were the biggest game in town. We built well over a 1000 of these things, as many as 7 a week. We had five product lines at one point.

I even did some custom rollouts at factories (those sales amounted to least 175 machines). That was around 2000 and the money was rolling in.

But somewhere around 2006 I started to notice sales dropping off but a more disturbing trend was that warranty and support claims had skyrocketed. We were now fixing our own computers and our own parts as often as we were getting new orders and we weren't getting paid for it. Also, people would start to blame you for stuff you had no control over (eg. it's not my fault your hard drive failed and you lost all your family photos because you didn't back them up). It's not that big a city - people would start to talk.

Prices for new towers had dropped to the point where it was becoming too expensive for a serious upgrade. I also figured out why sales were down. The local big box store could sell you a computer with the same specs as one of mine for $100 less and tech support was 24/7.

I gave up building in 2007. These days when clients ask me to get them a machine I get them Dells.

Comment: Re:lol (Score 1) 240

by Alcoholist (#33922846) Attached to: Why the Web Mustn't Become the New TV

I don't think they can change it now. Increasing numbers of people like me are watching 'TV' using the Internet.

As to what financial model, I think the CBC here in Canada is on the right track. Pretty well every show they make you can watch it online. They scatter little ads through it and sometimes there are banners on the right, but whatever. It's just like TV, only I have the freedom to look at past shows whenever I want and they have the freedom to put ads from their current sponsors in those shows. As a bonus, they are much more likely know how many people are watching because it is easy to count the number of streams.

As the number of viewers increases, they'll be able to charge more for the ads. Really it's a win-win situation.

Comment: War... (Score 1) 315

by Alcoholist (#33850952) Attached to: UK Scientists Leave Labs To Protest Expected Cuts

One could always quit fighting wars in far away lands that have no real relevance to you. You'd save a whole pile of money right there.

It mystifies me why the Western World spends so much money on the Middle East. Oil? Trust me, if you come with cash in hand, whichever tyrant/dictator/overlord is in power will sell it to you. Do it for the people? Seriously, are you going to bankrupt your own nation to save a bunch of foreigners who hate you?

Comment: Re:old hardware, probably (Score 2, Insightful) 931

by Alcoholist (#33777688) Attached to: 66% of All Windows Users Still Use Windows XP

There is also little point in upgrading the operating system either. From my point of view, XP does everything I need, which is "be an operating system". It runs nice on my Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM (tho I do have a monster Radeon 2900XT supplying the graphics).

I use Firefox for web, Miranda for IM, Winamp for music, MPC for movies, Nero for disc burning, Paint Shop Pro for picture stuff, Audacity for audio stuff. I have a bunch of other little programs I use and sometimes I play video games. I have a Fedora box with a massive RAID array inside to store my files. What else do you need? The idea that an operating system should have more 'features' makes little sense to me, because I don't use any of those features.

Other than looking fancier, 7 doesn't have anything more that I need, so why would I spend the money on it? I think a lot of computer users are thinking the same way.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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