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Comment: Re:'Doze mode...? (Score 1) 82

Which is quite a coincidence, because my new Windows phone is actually quite good at not draining the battery when I'm not doing anything. The other day I was still at 95% battery by the end of the day because I was too busy to use my phone. My old Android phone on the other hand would easily go through 25-50% of it's battery in a day, even if I didn't use it for much. Most of the time I would plug it in at the office because if I didn't, it would be below 20% by the end of the day.

Comment: Re:Doesn't get it (Score 2) 294

I don't think you can fix this problem by trying to teach more people how to program. Making students take math classes every year hasn't helped solve the problem of not having enough mathematicians. High level math is just something that is beyond the cognitive capabilities of most people. I'm not ashamed to admit that it's above my cognitive capability.

Programming, and more specifically, actual software development, as opposed to just being able to write a few simple functions like one would use in Excel, is also something that I believe to be outside the ability of a large percentage of the population. You can try to teach programming to everybody, and that may bring the number of programmers up a bit and salaries may go down a little bit, but it's not going to solve the fundamental problem which is that most people will never be able to write software.

Comment: Re:No kid should be forced to code ... (Score 1) 294

I think the difference is that writing is an important skill to have even if you aren't going to be writing novels. My life would be so much easier if people writing emails could just compose a few simple sentences that are easy to understand.

Programming on the other hand doesn't seem to be all that useful unless you want to actually write computer programs. And I say that as somebody who is a programmer. It's definitely not something that everybody needs to know how to do. There's so many other skills that students are lacking in. Trying to add another subject which will only help a tiny fraction of students seems like a bad idea.

Comment: Re:And all 9 Android/MIDI users were happy (Score 1) 102

by CastrTroy (#49793803) Attached to: Android M To Embrace USB Type-C and MIDI

I think that MIDI support in and of itself is fine, but Android has so many other things that would be useful to so many more people. How about mounting network drives so that you can access them in every application. How about integrating Google Drive so that applications can access files without the application developer having to write code specifically to handle it?

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 1) 267

Not as far as I'm concerned. The last space race meant we just build very large things that already existed. We basically built really big rockets. Rockets have been around for centuries. We also used computers for navigating the rockets. But computers advanced on their own without the need for the space race to really push them. We developed some pretty interesting materials and technologies to make the rockets lighter, and to make sure they didn't burn up on re-entry. But we didn't actually come up with any solutions that made it significantly easier to lift mass out of earth's gravity well. It still requires huge amounts of energy (and therefore money) to lift things into space.

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 1) 267

You're still looking at a very long time to turn around and come back. Apollo 13 was only a 5 day mission, and their oxygen system problems happened 56 hours into the mission. They were only 15 hours from the moon when they encountered problems. Turning around was a relatively simple thing to do in this case. When your turn around point is 5 months away and something goes wrong, you have to have the materials on board to fix it. You don't have the option of just aborting the mission early and coming back home.

Comment: Re:Not sure why this article was written (Score 2) 93

by CastrTroy (#49793195) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

What it really means is that it makes many have access to servers that never had them before. Before all these cloud servers showed up, if I wanted to have a place to backup my files to, I would buy another hard drive or backup to DVD. Which means I bought 0 servers. Now with cloud storage services, I just back my stuff up to the cloud. I'm using a certain percentage of a server.

A lot of things that require servers just didn't used to get done, because it wasn't feasible to buy your own personal server for yourself if you aren't going to utilize a significant portion of its resources. But with cloud services, even if you only need 1% of a server, you can still do that task because it's now possible to buy very small pieces of processing and network time.

Comment: Re:And who's going to pay for it? (Score 4, Informative) 267

This is what people don't seem to get. Even getting people to Mars is a much bigger task than just launching a single rocket. The round trip time for a Mars mission is around 2 years. You have to send everything you need along for the ride. All the food that the astronauts need to eat on the ride will need to be brought along with them. I've seen some numbers (can't find the link now), that even a single Mars mission would require 30 launches of supplies from the earth. There's also no ability to bail out like they did with Apollo 13. Once they are on their way there, there is no possibility of turning around. Even when you get there, you have to wait about 6 months for the planets to get into the right alignment for the trip home.

Comment: Re:Uber not worth $41 billion ... (Score 1) 106

by CastrTroy (#49768861) Attached to: Tech Bubble? What Tech Bubble?

Tastes are very subjective. I know people who think Pepsi tastes a lot better. I'd personally rather drink root beer, cream soda, or ginger ale given the option. Coke has a much bigger mind share than Pepsi. It had a 13 year lead on Pepsi. That's a huge gap to make up, Even if they have had over 100 years to do it. They really only started to catch on during the great depression by marketing themselves as a cheaper alternative. That may have gotten them a few more sales, but it isn't a good place to be situating yourself when the market gets good again. People will want to go back to "the real thing". Coke isn't what it used to be either. They don't use real sugar anymore and most people say you can tell the difference between Mexican or Passover Coke compared to the stuff they generally sell in the US. But people still prefer it over smaller companies that do use real sugar.

Comment: Re:Wireless charging (Score 2) 41

by CastrTroy (#49767971) Attached to: Daimler and Qualcomm To Develop In-Car Tech, Wireless Charging

If you really want to charge quickly, you aren't going to beat a cable. Just like if you actually want fast network access, you should plug in an ethernet cable. In car wireless charging would be "good enough" if it provided enough power to use your phone as a bluetooth streaming or navigation system without draining the battery. As long as the battery is maintaining a constant charge when using the phone for normal in-car functions, it doesn't really need to be able to top off the battery quickly.

My phone has been off the charger since last night at 10 PM (it's now 10 AM, so 12 hours), and it's still at 100% charge. Because I didn't need to use it for much. Sent a few text messages, read some emails, basic stuff really. It's only when I start using it for stuff like browsing the web, watching youtube videos, or doing active navigation (GPS logging doesn't seem to do much to the battery) that the battery starts to deplete significantly. A lot of that usage comes in the car when I'm using it as a GPS, or listening to bluetooth audio streamed from the web. If I could just stop my phone battery from depleting when I'm actively using it certain scenarios, I could probably go close to a week without actually needing to plug it into a wall.

Comment: Re:Remember Groupon? (Score 1) 106

by CastrTroy (#49767897) Attached to: Tech Bubble? What Tech Bubble?

Groupon had a great idea. It could have turned into a viable business. If they didn't get so greedy that they turned the businesses they were trying to help against them. There's so many stories of businesses selling more coupons than they could handle, and losing a ton of money by having to honor the coupons. Most companies learn their lesson and only use Groupon once before they decide it's not a bad idea. Try as I might, I haven't been able to get Groupon to stop sending me emails. The only products they seem to be able to get business with are online courses that cost the suppliers nothing to give a discount on. It's the exact opposite of what they used to do, where small businesses would use it to bring attention to their great product, by offering a small discount in order to entice people to try it out.

Comment: Re:Uber not worth $41 billion ... (Score 2) 106

by CastrTroy (#49767775) Attached to: Tech Bubble? What Tech Bubble?

I can see how Uber is worth a lot of money. Maybe not $41 billion, but definitely a lot of money. It's called "mind share" and "reputation". I know a lot of people don't think those are important, but I think they are very important. Look at Coca Cola. They don't make anything that anybody else can't make. Some people think they are the "best" cola, but that 's only because it's what they're used to drinking. If they were raised on Pepsi or RC Cola, they would think that those are the best.

Uber has made a name for itself as the alternative to the Taxi Monopoly. And the Taxi business is a huge market, especially if you look at it world wide. Sure, it wouldn't be difficult for somebody else to copy their functionality. But they have built up the reputation. And that make it quite difficult for somebody to get ahead of them at this point in the game. Every alternative Taxi company will be known as Uber wanna be's, just like there are a ton of people who have no idea there's any tablets other than an iPad.

Comment: Re:As big a success as the Kin (Score -1, Troll) 126

by CastrTroy (#49764867) Attached to: Microsoft Reportedly May Acquire BlackBerry

Just got the Blu Win HD LTE. Absolutely love this phone. Windows phone is such a better OS than Android. Battery life is amazing. I've been at over 80% battery by the end of the day a couple times. Has all the apps I need, and actually a better selection of games than I thought it would.

Comment: Re:Android. The "PC" of mobile devices (Score 1) 92

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a single handset among many that they offer. My Wife as the Samsung Galaxy Core LTE, which is much newer than the S4 (November 2014) and still doesn't have an update to Lollipop. So, while some handsets from some manufacturers get updates, I haven't seen an Android handset manufacturer that updates all their devices in a timely manner for 2 years.

Comment: Re:Android. The "PC" of mobile devices (Score 1) 92

The nice thing about PCs is that you can update the software yourself. I like the selection that you get with Android, but 99.9% of the handsets are a terrible choice. When I get a laptop or desktop, I can put Windows, Linux, or even BSD on it if I want to, and nobody tries to stop me. I can update the software whenever I want. I've been running the same desktop for 9 years, and it still works fine because I control the software that runs on it.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins