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Comment: Re:The cat is out of the bag (Score 1) 86 86

by CastrTroy (#50014357) Attached to: When a Company Gets Sold, Your Data May Be Sold, Too

While you obviously see it as a privacy issue, and I agree it is, many people would probably see what you experienced as great service. The fact that you could close your account and then re-open it and not have to go through the trouble of re-uploading all the data and reconfiguring all your payment information would probably be seen as a great feature by many people.

My cousin lost her phone, and upon getting a new one was very thankful that all her contacts got restored onto the new phone. She didn't care that somebody else has access to her list of contacts. She only saw the plus side. Before the advent of cloud services, losing a cell phone or PDA (when they were still a thing) mean that you would loose your contact list. Being diligent about backing up the list to your desktop was very important so that you didn't lose data. Now all data is instantly synced, making our lives a lot easier.

Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 2) 225 225

by CastrTroy (#50014041) Attached to: Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables

This deserves an upvote. It's very hard to calculate the total cost of anything. Not only do we need to calculate the number of people who died building the nuclear plant, but we also have to count the number of people who died while mining the uranium including long term indirect health issues like lung cancer from inhaling radon gas.

We also need to discount any positive things from using either technology. What is the value to increased spending money from whichever technology is cheapest for the end consumer? How does that compare to paying more for something that ultimately increases lifespans? Is it better to live a bit shorter and be richer, or live longer and be poorer?

Comment: Re:Instead of building thin bendable phones... (Score 1) 149 149

by CastrTroy (#50005639) Attached to: AppleCare+ Now Covers Batteries That Drop To 80%

It's really the screen that drains the battery when you're using it as a GPS. Or at least it should be. I've been tracking my bicycle commutes on my phone. And even during my 40 minute ride when I take the long route, the battery doesn't drop more than a couple percent.

  Then again, I have a Windows phone. It's ridiculous how little battery this thing uses if you aren't actively using is. I've finished the day with 80% battery left because I was particularly busy. Even when I use it a lot, I rarely get below 60%.

My previous phone was Android and it would drain the battery to 20% be the end of the day, even if I didn't use it. I basically had to leave it plugged in at work or it wouldn't make it through the day.

Comment: Re:diluting the market (Score 2) 240 240

I agree with this. People shouldn't discount electric cars based on the fact that they may want to drive far a couple times a year. Especially with so many people owning two cars. Even 100 miles should be plenty for commuting. If you're spending more time than that in a car every day, I wouldn't want to be you. That's way too much time wasting away in a car.

Comment: Re:104Mb (Score 1) 85 85

by CastrTroy (#49988799) Attached to: Microsoft Brings Office To Android Smartphones For Free

My phone has an HDMI port on it and it also support bluetooth keyboards. Why should I not be able to hook it up to a fullsize screen and keyboard to do a little bit of work if my phone has the capabilities? Phones are coming out with 3GB or more of RAM on them now, and Octocore processors. Probably won't be too long before we just plug our phones into docking stations and use them as a full computer for basic tasks like web browsing or word processing. I plug my tablet into my TV to play games, and I'm quite amazed at the graphics you can get out of that thing.

Comment: Re:$6K a course for a "free video lecture" (Score 1) 89 89

by CastrTroy (#49987041) Attached to: New Google and CMU Moonshot: the 'Teacherless Classroom'

Also, it's quite often the case that one can pass the classes without having learned or understood anything at all. Going to a university is a great place to learn things. But it doesn't guarantee that you will learn anything (and especially anything useful) even if you get the degree. You have to take some of your own initiative to ensure that you actually need what you want/need to learn to succeed in life.

Comment: Re:Google should move on (Score 2, Interesting) 85 85

by CastrTroy (#49981727) Attached to: Microsoft Brings Office To Android Smartphones For Free

I'm surprised Windows 8 hasn't already killed Android on tablets. Guess it takes people a while to realize how bad Android is. I have a Surface 2 RT, and the OS itself is so much better than Android. It's a shame developers didn't latch on to the Windows app store more. It's truly a joy to use this device. Android really is quite crippled. No native support for multiple apps. No native support for Google Drive (developer has to write their own code to support it). No native support for network shares. Doesn't come with a command line.

Comment: Re:104Mb (Score 1) 85 85

by CastrTroy (#49980181) Attached to: Microsoft Brings Office To Android Smartphones For Free

Maybe Android should allow apps to be installed on the SD card then. I think they used to. Did they bring back that feature yet? Maybe MS Word functionality doesn't mean a lot to you, but for many people, that's a small amount of space to give up if it actually supports viewing and editing files in a way that's compatible with the desktop versions.

Also, my copy of OpenOffice is 316 MB installed. Why would Microsoft be expected to use less space just because it runs on a phone? If it really is full featured, it doesn't really matter what platform it's running on, it's still going to take up the same amount of space.

Comment: Re:"Other types of electromagnetic radiation" (Score 1) 528 528

by CastrTroy (#49978281) Attached to: The Town That Banned Wi-Fi

Yeah, but I think it's comparable to any other unexplainable phobia. Some people are very much afraid of snakes, and even a picture of a snake will make them feel very uneasy. If somebody has huge phobia of snakes, it would probably be insensitive to put a giant photo of a snake in their field of view at work or throw a rubber snake on their desk. In the same way, these people are afraid of radio devices. There is no reasoning with them to make the bad feelings go away.

There's a woman in my wife's office who tells my wife that she's not allowed to have her phone out on the table during meetings because she is sensitive to the cellular signals. It doesn't matter that putting it away in your pocket doesn't change the amount of electromagnetic radiation in the room. It's also OK that there's a WiFi router in the room, because it's out of sight. Just because it's an unwarranted fear doesn't mean it's not real.

Comment: Re:Why use ISP email? (Score 1) 265 265

by CastrTroy (#49969061) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Effective Is Your ISP's Spam Filter?

It's so I can switch the interface without having to switch my email address. GMail is just the interface I use to read my email. Sure, GMail might be around forever, but they may decide to change their interface in a way I don't like, or somebody else might come out with a new interface that I like using more. I used to use Yahoo Mail, and even though they still exist, I'm glad I'm not stuck with them because I wanted to keep an email address.

I don't use email very much for personal communication, but many sites use it as your actual user account name, and make it difficult to change. Your email address is basically your online SSN. Technically, it's possible to get a new one, but doing so is a huge time sink and will cause all kinds of unforeseen consequences.

Comment: Re:Why use ISP email? (Score 4, Informative) 265 265

by CastrTroy (#49963143) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Effective Is Your ISP's Spam Filter?


There's no reason to use the email provided to you by your ISP. It's just another way to keep you locked into their services. Once upon a time, before web mail, and easily available domain names and hosting services, it made more sense to just use whatever your ISP gave you. But there is absolutely no reason to use it now, and it can actually cause a lot of problems as the OP has pointed out. Personally, I wouldn't recommend using a 3rd party Email provider at all. I would just buy my own domain name and figure out my own hosting solution for the email. Even if you just forward the email to GMail (This is what I do), you own the email address, and you don't have to worry about what happens when you want to switch the interfrace, and end up having to change your email address in the process. Many sites use your email address as your login, assuming that nobody would ever want to change their email address. Sure, GMail may be nice now, but they've shut down services in the path. I ended up switching email addresses a couple times when email services decided to close up, or just start offering really bad service. I don't ever want to have to switch email addresses again.

Comment: Re:Valve is the lever moving the PC gaming world (Score 1) 57 57

by CastrTroy (#49963031) Attached to: CRYENGINE Finally Lands On Linux

I don't see why they should be working. Windows can't remove the ability to install 3rd party software without breaking basically every piece of legacy (non-windows-store) software that exists. As long as you can install 3rd party software in Window, which will probably be available for a long time to come, Steam has nothing to worry about the Windows store stealing their market away. I could see why they might have been worried when Windows RT was a thing, and it only allowed store apps to run, but that's pretty much been abandoned now. It's funny that you mention the "30% tax", since it seems like that is what Steam is charging as well. I can't get why this ever became popular on the PC, since that 30% is a huge portion of the price to give up. It's easy to write your own installer and cut out these middle men. If they can do it for Minecraft, surely other games can make it big without going through Steam.

Comment: Re:Equality (Score 4, Interesting) 490 490

Maybe something's changed in CS. 30 years ago, it was probably more about research into computers. Now, almost everybody who is going into CS has no interest at all in doing computer research. They are mostly interested in doing software development. The entire field has changed focused. More than likely, if you take CS, you'll end up writing code for some thankless corporation who doesn't understand what code is and just wants to churn out stuff as fast as possible. 30 years ago, you'd be much more likely to end up working for NASA, Xerox PARC, IBM, or some other research focused company.

Which leads to another problem. People coming out of CS degrees are often very badly equipped to be doing what they actually end up doing in the real world. Personally, I'm happy that I took software engineering. It prepared me much better for real life jobs in software development than my counterparts in CS who spent a lot more time focusing on the internals of how various algorithms worked.

The rate at which a disease spreads through a corn field is a precise measurement of the speed of blight.