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Comment: PLEX + 9TB Raid 5 = Media Heaven (Score 1) 152

by Amtrak (#47531627) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?
So I don't get much content from the internet, well unless you count ordering blu-rays off Amazon getting content off the internet, but I almost never place any physical media in the machine I watch it on. When I get a new movie in I rip it down to my hard drives as a loss-less mkv, add meta data, and then update my PLEX library. This lets me have a large library of movies that I can watch anywhere I have a reliable internet connection via the PLEX app on my phone, tablet, PC or HTPC. It works great and I get to keep all my physical media locked as a hard backup.

Comment: Re:just follow the rules people (Score 1) 229

by Amtrak (#47485851) Attached to: Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets
Obviously you don't live in Chicago and have never driven on it's roads. But odd driving practices aside as a Chicago resident I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that the city was quietly adjusting the thresholds on intersections occasionally to make a quick buck. I mean it is Chicago we are talking about, the only city where the officials are more corrupt is probably Detroit and the corruption never stops at the top.

Comment: Re:Caregiver... (Score 1) 509

by Amtrak (#47468433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Whoa! Wait a minute who ever said anything about solving overpopulation. I'm just saying that from a career perspective caregiver can be rewarding. Also, to really be a caregiver you are going to probably have to be married with your partner working, unless you want to be one of the government dependents but then why are you asking about jobs.

However, I do have some issues with your points.

Food scarcity is normally not caused by society not being able to produce enough food. Well maybe we can't produce a enough meat for everyone to eat like a fat American, but we could meet the current worlds total caloric needs with some work. However, due to war, oppression, terrible government, stupidity, and callously choosing to say screw the poor I want double Steak we make that hard.

Energy scarcity: We have tons of Uranium and Thorium. If we could get off our asses and actually use it to build useful things like Modern power plants instead of bombs we might be able to have a sensible energy agenda.

Pollution Levels: The modern world needs steel and steel is dirty. Unless you want to go back to a pre-steel world we are going to have to put up with some pollution for the foreseeable future. But with good management we can limit the pollution.

Disease Susceptibility: People get sick. Always have always will. Poor people get sick more than rich people due to malnutrition or improper hygiene. Things are still better now than they were though. Maybe we should raise the standard of living in the rest of the world some.

Psychological Disorder: Always existed, society just killed people with this because they were "Possessed by the devil" before the enlightenment. I am not for a return to that idea even if it puts stress on society.

Political unrest: Come on wars are as central to human activity as breathing. As long as humans exist there will be war or at least arguments over something. If you think otherwise have fun in your utopia fantasy land. I welcome getting proven wrong.

Overpopulation in the Western World: Most of the western world is in demographic decline. (I'm assuming this is a predominantly western audience being English language and all.) The US and EU only skirt by with immigrants. So clearly we are not prolific reproducers anymore. Now for the rest of the world, they may have to tone down the reproducing, but unless we want to use that war thing to stop them I'm not sure how we could. And I'm not sure I can support a government that would go to war against the breeders it sounds to Nazi like to me.

Though in the end I agree with you. If we keep growing our population we will eventually run out of resources to support that population. In the end the only real answer is to get off this rock and colonize space. But that's not really an answer to the problem. It's just kicking it down the road for a really long time. (Universal Entropy and what not) Any other form of forced population control will require some form of world government. Otherwise the countries that don't comply will just swallow you up in a few generations.

Comment: Caregiver... (Score 4, Insightful) 509

by Amtrak (#47459643) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Seriously, I know it's all anti-fem movement and all that but someone has to take care of children might as well take care of your own.

However, if having kids isn't your thing then you want to be somewhere in the robot design/maintenance track. So, something like Engineering or Computer Science would be best. Not everyone is good at math and abstract problem solving. Learn to do that really well and get some people skills and you should be able to stay at least marginally employed.

Another option might be to join the Military. There will always be a need for Generals even if all the grunts are robots. Someone, has to tell squad A to attack point B, and I'm not convinced that the lowly soldier will ever really be replaced with robots. Someone will always fight once the robots are defeated.

Also genetic engineering of crops might be a good thing to go into. We are going to need better yielding crops if we are going to support all the unemployed TV zombies the Robot's replace in the job market. Otherwise, someone might get the idea in their heads of limiting the population.

Comment: Re:"Lower quality"? (Score 1) 214

by Amtrak (#47450147) Attached to: Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most
My wife and I love to go to movies actually. But what the movie really is, is an excuse to ship the kid off to Grandma's and then spend an afternoon with just the two of us. We normally go to a noon showing and then get lunch. It's always less crowded than at night, sometimes we even get the theater to ourselves, and the ticket prices are cheaper. But that's mostly for movies we don't want Jr. seeing. If it's a kids movie we just rent/buy it unless it's a special treat. Normally for a kids movie it's better just to buy it anyway. Your kid is going to want to watch it over and over again and they normally don't sit through the whole thing. (Now if I have to hear the Frozen soundtrack one more time I may break the blu-ray but that's another thing altogether.)

Comment: Re:power consumption (Score 1) 394

by Amtrak (#47256127) Attached to: Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Cutting the cord is already a no-brainer when you look at the big picture (I think live sports fans are the only exception remaining?); TFA is about how it's starting to make even more sense in new ways, such as energy bills.

It's no wonder the cable company needs to buy so much government; with their current approach there's no way they could survive in a free market. I wonder how long until their non-customers are going to have to start paying subsidies to them through our water bills or something else that can't be reasonably opted out of.

I hear that. The only reason I keep Comcast around any more is for 1. Internet and 2. HBO Go. And honestly if I could buy HBO Go from any other provider I would. (You hear that HBO! I'd pay you directly if you would let me!) I mean no PS3 or Roku support come on Comcast!

It has been months since I actually watched live TV, and the last time was because my Dad was over and wanted to watch the news. I get all of my media from either online streaming sources or DVD/BluRays (Almost all scanned to my Plex Server now). I do record a few shows now and again still but for the most part I have lost interest in most Cable TV only a few big shows ever get me to watch like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones and by the time I hear about them I can usually watch them on Netflix or Amazon Prime anyway.The wife loves HBO though so I'm stuck with that going forward most likely.

Comment: Re:Trains? (Score 1) 301

The CTA trains actually have two automated systems that should have stopped the train. The first is a dead man switch that when not being actively held causes the train to immediately stop. This failed.

Interestingly this is the second time this has failed in the past year. First time.

The second is a system that communicates acceptable speed to the train and if the train is over that speed it automatically slows the train. At the O'Hare station this speed is 15 mph. At the end of the O'Hare station is a bumper that should have stopped a train traveling at 15 mph even if still under power. It failed.

The problem with the CTA train at O'Hare wasn't just a negligent driver who dozed off but bad maintenance of safety equipment on the tracks as well. Classic case of more automation wouldn't have solved the problem.

Article about O'Hare.

Comment: Re:To easy to make new viruses (Score 1) 254

by Amtrak (#46934621) Attached to: Anti-Virus Is Dead (But Still Makes Money) Says Symantec

You are exactly correct. There are very few programs that couldn't run completely in user space on a modern version of Windows (Vista SP1 or higher). The problem is that developers don't want to take the time to handle tokens and user permissions when the develop a program so they just require admin and since it's been going on for years no one complains.

I think that M$ is keenly aware of this too. It seems to me that every time they do a major update they try despratly to get developers to switch away from admin all the time and into trusted computing. I mean first it was "Click Once" and now it's Windows RT and the M$ App Store. It's just hard to get people to spend money on a system that they think won't let them run there stuff.

Also with quickbooks, something tells me that you found a DRM scheme that looks like an updater. I mean why the hell else would it need to call home so often?

Comment: Cable Companies would love this.... (Score 1) 482

by Amtrak (#46891645) Attached to: Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Look you ask why other companies don't do this and the answer is simple, they can't get away with it. Every cable company on the planet would love to have invented the practice. I could even see this ad happening:

"Super Def TV"! Only Available on Xfinity! Get your Super Def TV today with 2 year cable contract.

Hell, they already do this with DVR's. Why don't people just buy a TIVO or TV with cable card slot instead of paying Comcast $15 a month for a DVR? Because they don't think that way.

The real answer is that companies have figured out that most people won't sit down and do the accounting to figure out what the true amortized or depreciated cost of any item is over the long term. They instead just look at the advertised price and compare apples to cats.

American's don't think, "I have enough cash for that." They think, "I have enough credit for that." and could give two shits that the item costs them 200% more over 2 years. The only way to fix it is to make credit harder to get but then our economy would collapse (sooner) so.... yeah bring on the credit bubble baby!

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