Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456 456

You cut $200 off your utility bill in a few weeks with a new thermostat...

My conclusion is that you could not figure out how to turn in on an went without any sort of heat or AC for several weeks.

Haha, yes! I am that stupid! No wonder I was sweating buckets and passing out all summer!

Comment: Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456 456

the new unit had pretty much paid for itself within a few weeks

Woah. You saved $200 on heating costs in a few weeks? Just your savings represents about 2 months of heating costs for me, during the winter. What, exactly, was your old thermostat doing? Did you have to use cash money to light the pilot light?

In this case, it was A/C. Like I said, the house was old: it had a very old, inefficient central A/C unit at the time (which we also replaced, once we could afford to.) It wasn't a big house, but it was a drafty house, so it didn't exactly hold its temperature all that well.

So instead of having a house that basically always kept itself cool (I'm somewhat forgetful and distracted, especially first thing in the morning; my wife and I rarely thought/remembered to crank the temp when leaving for the day), the new thermostat always remembered to turn off for half the day--and the hottest half, at that. The fact that it was a stupid-hot, stupid-humid Maryland summer counted for something, too.

Comment: Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 4, Interesting) 456 456

Pi plus some student programmers - should be done for $1500. Which begs the question - if it still works, why replace it?

In my old house, there was an analog thermostat.

This thermostat came with the house, probably cost $20, and worked just fine.

Me, being the foolhardy spendthrift I am, dropped TEN TIMES that on a fancy-shmancy programmable thing with all sorts of stupid, complicated bits inside.

As it turns out, my previous model--while perfectly functional--was really quite inefficient, and the new unit had pretty much paid for itself within a few weeks.

Doing things properly can save tons of money.

Comment: Re:What is being missed... is the $2 million part. (Score 1) 456 456

So less than 2 dozen schools need to spend upwards of $2 million dollars to... control the HVAC?

Really?

That is the bigger issue, IMHO...

Well, if the new system ends up saving them more than $2 million over its lifespan (hardly a stretch of the imagination, given the cost of heating and cooling large buildings,) wouldn't they be fools to not have done this already?

Comment: Re:And what if he's right? (Score 1) 412 412

"Just deal with it like grownups" is a cop-out philosophy of managers not wanting to do their jobs

No, its a simple matter of: The company is paying for your time right now. How you spend your own time, and with whom you spend it is your own affair, but on company time, it is not acceptable to be actively engaged in anything other than business. Acting like an adult means recognizing that your rights to become emotionally involved with any consenting adult caries with it the companies right to not suffer economic loss when you are incapable of keeping your private affairs private.

I have a friend who runs his own (quite successful) company here in Baltimore. I'm going to point you to a recent blog post of his regarding version 2.0 of the company handbook. It's a fast read, is well written, and provides a very concrete, real-world example of why I so strongly disagree with the "just be professional" sentiment.

Comment: Re:And what if he's right? (Score 3, Interesting) 412 412

The fix is for people to deal with it, like grown-ups. Office romances happen across the entire working population. If people are idiots there's fallout. So far the world has survived, and nothing needs to be done to fix this.

Significant enough numbers of grown-ups are sufficiently unable to act like grownups that yeah, the rest of us really do need to fix it.

More importantly, this is not new. Interpersonal struggles and conflict are as old as humanity itself, and we've discovered, as a species, that we really do benefit from having rules, laws, guidelines, and social norms to help us navigate these choppy waters.

"Just deal with it like grownups" is a cop-out philosophy of managers not wanting to do their jobs and employees not wanting to grow beyond what they already are. "Just deal with it like grownups" means nothing more than "I don't like dealing with the strife and drama that is the human condition, therefore I'll pretend that MY employees/co-workers are somehow magically above all that."

Lastly, if you think that the world has survived without people having done anything to fix this, well, you haven't been paying any attention at all.

Comment: Re:They still sell those? (Score 1) 105 105

Still plenty of openers from the 80's and 90's out there chugging away, and most homeowners aren't going to fix something that ain't broke. And while yes, a 10-second skeleton opener is "broke", that's still longer than it takes a practiced hand to pop a door or window open. Many folks are comfortable enough relying on the fact that doing either of these things lands you in very hot water with the local authorities that they're not too worried about not having reinforced locks and barred windows.

Comment: Re:Android to iDevice (Score 1) 344 344

...a $350 Android phone is a high-end device--or, at best, at the upper end of mid-range. Roughly 60% of Android phones retail for $200 or less. (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25037214). The $350 price point lands right near the top quintile of all Android phones. By contrast, there does not exist a low-end iPhone for sale at retail. That's a conscious decision on Apple's part, and matches their overall M.O.

Your phone is not one of the low-end phones that give such a bad user experience. Your phone is quite nice--and quite expensive--compared to the fleet of Android devices as a whole.

Comment: Re:Android to iDevice (Score 1) 344 344

...well, that's sort of one of the features of Android. It's open, and it's run-on-what-have-you, so it should hardly be surprising that a significant chunk of the install base is running on cheap, low-end devices. It's a big part of the reason Android has such a large market share compared to iOS.

If Google can't pull low-end Android users onto high-end devices instead of iDevices, well, that's partly a failure of marketing, and partly the natural challenge of living in such a diverse world of devices. If a significant chunk of your market share consists of budget devices with bad user experiences that are targeted to non-technical users, you can hardly be surprised when those users clump the OS in with the phone itself.

Comment: Re:Two quick fixes to mass replicate (Score 1) 234 234

Sure, plenty of kids and teens would not get educated, but they're probably not get anything now either. You can't make a student that won't learn educated anymore than you can make a morbidly obese person who refuses to eat right healthy. Sometimes society is better off with such people being allowed to make themselves into warnings for others.

Setting aside the sheer depravity of this argument, we have ample historical context for what happens when society cuts off the neediest. France, Haiti, Cuba, China, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, India, Scotland, The Phillipines, Mexico--just to name a few places where social and political inequality have driven massive, bloody revolts.

Wealth and political power calcify with the already wealthy and powerful. The middle and working classes slowly lose what wealth they have through attrition. Poverty becomes a virtually inescapable sink of destitution. Eventually, enough people end up having quite literally nothing to lose that you get vicious, deadly, destructive revolutions that take generations to recover from.

If you insist on taking a "pragmatic" view of not even bothering to -try- to improve the lives of the impoverished, try to at least understand the historical ramifications of what you're arguing for.

Comment: Re:Schizo (Score 2) 328 328

Then Uber comes along and creates a way to share a ride and the driver benefits a little bit as well.

Uber drivers aren't sharing a damned thing. They're charging for a service. That's called doing business, and if you want to do business, you need to follow certain rules, just like anything else in life. You can't just jump up and say "nuh-uh, this is sharing!" when you're really requiring people to pay you before you "share" anything.

If I open a gas station and call it a "fuel sharing service", does that mean that I get to bypass all those pesky rules and regulations for making sure my tanks don't leak into the ground? Or that I don't need to spend all that extraneous money to install safety cutoff switches (like anyone ever -uses- those, amirite?)

Comment: "Ridesharing" (Score 4, Insightful) 328 328

If y'all are still telling yourselves that services like Uber and Lyft are "rideshares", you're not paying attention, and haven't been for a long time.

Ridesharing suggests that people are sharing a ride from point A to point B--that is, they're both going that way, and thus are going to slug together to save gas/cost.

Uber and Lyft are effectively taxi services that uses an app instead of a dispatcher. The driver seeks out a fare, starts the timer, drives the fare to their destination, and then seeks out another fare.

The driver is not "sharing" anything, nor is the passenger. This is a taxi service.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.

Working...