Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 256

That article from The Atlantic that you linked to basically says exactly what I'm talking about. We are much "richer" than we were before. But it has come at a high cost. We have become slaves to our own success. Most of our spending now goes to transportation and housing, whereas 100 years ago, it mostly went to food and clothes. The "necessities" take up a much smaller percentage of the total than they used to.

And the fact that salaries are falling relative to GDP should come as no surprise. A lot more of the GDP is generated with a lot less human intervention. We're producing a whole lot more food with a whole lot less farmers. Just because the average farmer can now maintain a 100 acre lot, as opposed to a 1 acre lot 100 year ago (numbers made up), does not mean that the farmer should be paid 100 times more.

Comment: Re:No mention of iPad in the summary? (Score 2) 149

by CastrTroy (#49559807) Attached to: Google Officially Discontinues Nexus 7 Tablet

In some cases it's almost needed though. There is still no native support for displaying 2 apps at the same time on Android devices. That may not be such a big issue for phones and 7 inch tablets, but once you get into 10 inch tablets, the ability to continue watching your movie while you look something up on the web is a very nice feature to have. iPad suffers from the same problem. I have a Surface 2, and I love the fact that I can do 2 things at the same time makes it so much more useful. And there are now Windows tablets with full Windows OS from $100 to $2000 depending on what you want to spend and what your uses are. At this point, I fail to see any point in going with Android or iOS. For the price of the iPad, you can get the new Surface 3. Which will do everything the iPad can do, and a whole lot more. And it comes with a whole bunch more storage, and the ability to add more with a MicroSD card or even a USB 3 hard drive if you prefer. Just the simple ability to hook up a network drive and have it work in every app is a huge advantage.

Comment: Re:Incorrect. (Score 1) 117

Or maybe musicians should just stop selling out to the publishers in hopes of fame and quick money. It seems to me that we don't hear similar stories about authors losing the rights to the books they write when they get a book published. Maybe I'm wrong here, and authors get it just as bad, but it certainly seems to me like they get a much better deal.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 256

I think the hard part is for people to make the switch themselves within the context of society. A lot of the homework my kids have to do requires the use of a computer. A single computer for the entire house isn't enough anymore. Now we need a computer for each kid. Same goes for a cell phone. If you don't have a cell phone, you'll be left out of a lot of things simply because people couldn't reach you. Then again, you could probably get by with a $50-$100 phone on a pay per minute plan, and spend a lot less if you keep your usage low.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 2) 256

People say the average worker isn't making as much as they used to, but I think that people are just buying a lot more stuff than they used to. Strawberries are a great example. They used to be something you would buy once in a while. We buy them pretty much every week when they are in season, and I don't think of myself as that well off. Cellular phones, cable TV, Internet, and computers. None of this stuff existed 50 years ago. Our budgets may be stretched, but a lot of it is because of the things we have decided are necessary. The other bad thing is that people are much more likely to go into debt to get these luxuries using credit cards and other sources of financing. They spend a lot of money servicing their debts.

Comment: Re:sage (Score 1) 330

by CastrTroy (#49558601) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher
They are also babysitters. Not to diminish what good teachers really are, but let's remember, we are talking about K-12 here. That's kids from 5-18 years old. Kids who are 5 years old need constant supervision. you wouldn't be able to just sit them in front of a computer and have them learn. Kindergarten is more about learning how to socialize than it is about learning actual material. Sure, a parent could teach them at home with the right tools, but many families can't afford to have 1 parent not working, and then there's the question of what happens with 1 parent homes.

Once they get to grade 9, some of the good kids could probably learn quite well on their own, but a lot of kids will still need constant supervision. I even saw this a lot in university. Kids, adults actually, who were on their own for their first time, showed no discipline, and couldn't get work done because they were too busy having fun. I saw many intelligent and capable people end up dropping out because they didn't have the discipline to just do the work.

Comment: Re:My prediction for the Apple Watch's success (Score 1) 171

by CastrTroy (#49547547) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches
Then again, I think that a $700 phone is kind of a novelty item, but people keep on buying the iPhone. Even people without a lot of money seem to think it's worth it for some reason. I'm due for an upgrade soon, and I'm trying to decide between the very new Moto E for $150, or the somewhat new Moto G for $250. I'm pretty sure I'm going for the $150 option. I really don't see the appeal of carrying around $700 worth of electronics in your pocket.

Comment: Re:Many small solutions through a day (Score 2, Insightful) 171

by CastrTroy (#49547469) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

It extends the battery life of your phone because you are not powering it on as often.

So constantly communicating wirelessly with a device on my wrist is more battery efficient than turning the screen on once in a while?

It's like a fitness band you wear all the time but without the single minded pointlessness.

Except that you can't wear it all the time because it's not waterproof. You even have to take it off in the shower. Also, it only gets around 18 hours of use on the battery, which means you have to plug it in every night, which means it can't track your sleep like a lot of other fitness devices.

Comment: Re:Dubious (Score 5, Informative) 115

See, it couldn't possibly be him, everybody knows the real Konami Code is:


The Start/Select-Start isn't part of the actual code, but rather just get's you into the game. You need to use Select if you want to play 2 player.

Comment: Re:Might have bottomed out (Score 1) 72

by CastrTroy (#49528109) Attached to: I predict that by next Earth Day Bitcoin will ...
I don't think you can really ban BitCoins. Sure some may try, but it really doesn't make any sense. You can trade whatever you want for whatever else you want and the government can't do anything to stop you. You could trade 50 bushels of wheat for a cell phone if both parties agreed they were getting a fair deal. There are obviously some restrictions such as drugs, but those are basically illegal just to own, regardless of whether you are trying to sell them or not. Banning the trading of certain goods which aren't inherently harmful by themselves seems like a dangerous precedent to set.

Comment: Re:And when capped internet comes then people will (Score 2) 279

by CastrTroy (#49527217) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal
Not sure about the US, but in Canada, here's how it has been since the advent of the internet
  1. Dial-Up limited by hours connected
  2. Dial-Up unlimited
  3. Cable/DSL unlimited time, unlimited throughput
  4. Cable/DSL with limited throughput
  5. Currently: Cable/DSL are slowly ramping up, offering more speed and throughput as time goes on.

Really, there was a period when everybody was just switching over to broadband where they could essentially give everybody unlimited because there just wasn't that much content out there to saturate the network with. Now, with the amount of stuff delivered online, it's quite easy to go through quite a lot of bandwidth. My kids were eating up a ton of bandwidth watching YouTube videos on their iPods. I set a speed limit on those devices in my router, to about 1 mbit/s and was able to cut their usage to 1/3 of what it was. If there was no limits, people would end up using a lot more bandwidth than they currently do. I have my Netflix set to low quality most of the time because if I don't, it eats bandwidth, and I don't really care most of the time when I'm watching on my tablet. If I had unlimited internet I would probably just leave it on HD all the time, and not set any limits on my kids YouTube, and we could probably easily get to 500 GB per month of usage. Having a limit forces people to think about how they utiilize the resources they are paying for.

Comment: As it should be (Score 1) 279

by CastrTroy (#49527031) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal
Even if we ignore the main use of Adblock Plus, which is blocking advertisements, and looking at the broader functionality of "users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web", then it would be quite detrimental if users were force to render content on web pages. I personally don't use Adblock Plus, as I like to support the sites I visit, and most of the sites I frequent have only a moderate number of ads. However I do use stuff like Flashblock to stop things like autoplaying movies and animations. I also don't like running Flash by default as there are a lot of exploits. Not allowing users to run what they want, and being required by law to run whatever script the webpage sends at them is a recipe for disaster.

Comment: Re:$100 billion for 150 miles? (Score 4, Insightful) 189

by CastrTroy (#49522293) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record
Not if you count the time getting through security. For me, this is one of the biggest comforts of riding a train. I use it for short city to city trips. Show up 20 minutes before scheduled departure to make sure you aren't late, walk on, walk off. Most train stations are in the middle of the city while airports tend to be on the edge of the city, which, depending on where you are going, can often add even more travel time to travelling by air. Also, sometimes minimal travel time isn't the biggest concern.

Comment: Re:Giving the customers what they want (Score 1) 214

by CastrTroy (#49518505) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming
Did you also notice how the episodes aren't scripted around the commercials? This is one of the biggest problems I have with network TV. The entire show is scripted around the fact that there are going to be commercial breaks at designated times throughout the episode. You can't have a 20 minute continuous sequence because they would have to shove a commercial in there every 10 to 15 minutes. And because they want to make sure you don't want to leave, they have to spend 2 minutes leading up to the commercial building up suspense, and then they usually put about 30 to 60 seconds of filler after the commercial to make sure nobody misses anything. So, not only are the episodes shorter, they waste even more time just working around commercials. The amount of actual story you get in a "1 hour" network show could probably be compressed to 35 minutes if they didn't have to work around commercials.

Comment: Re:$30 per month (Score 1) 214

by CastrTroy (#49518465) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming
HBO does have an online only subscription now from what I understand. However, it's $15 a month, which I consider to be quite expensive. At least they are starting to get the idea. If ESPN did the same, you would see huge swaths of people cancelling cable. The only problem I see in the future is that people will end up paying almost as much as they are with cable once they've signed up for all the content they want. If it's all ad free, then it's probably still a plus to the consumer, but it still doesn't mean any extra money in my pocket.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"