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Comment: Easily available loans (Score 4, Insightful) 538

by Cowclops (#46376141) Attached to: U.S. Students/Grads Carrying Over $1 Trillion In Debt

The problem is that anyone can get a loan, even people who definitely have no prospect of paying it back. With guarenteed loan money, schools can charge whatever they want and you'll just have to take out a bigger loan. And of course 18 year olds fresh out of high school don't understand the power of compound interest, they just know that they "have" to go to college to get a good job and they'll get a better job if they go to a fancy private school.

While you can't get a bachelors from our local community college, it only costs $2,500 a year in tuition and you're getting credits that can transfer to any state school. Why can a community college offer actual college classes for that little, but a 4 year school can charge $10,000, $20,000 or more for largely the same education? Its just insane.

Comment: Re: Nintendo is here to stay! (Score 2, Insightful) 277

by Cowclops (#45235965) Attached to: Can Nintendo Survive Gaming's Brave New World?
The Wii only achieved an odd form of success though. While lots of people bought it and Nintendo profited on the sales of the consoles, nowadays they're just sitting on people's shelves unused. Even with that kind of market saturation is it successful if the average Wii owner has, what, less than 5 games? Less than 2? I don't know the answer but if something is purchased but then rarely used it's only a partial success. They have to sell games too.

Comment: Re:Storage. (Score 1) 232

by Cowclops (#44854463) Attached to: I use spinning-drive storage media ...

The 4MB ram upgrade I put in my 386 in 1992 only cost $200 at the time... so ram prices were discontinuously high in 1995 if thats the case. My ~$1300 Compaq Presario 7180 came with 8MB ram in November 1995, and that included a 1.2GB hard drive and a P100 processor. I doubt the ram was the majority of the price of that system.

Do I think you're making it up? No. Do I think you might have been looking at some weirdly expensive memory? Probably.

Oh yeah, also, my 16MB upgrade cost about $150 the year after, in 1996... so if it was to a dollar a megabyte, I certainly got ripped off.

My own personal recollection of jumpy ram prices was that I paid about $20 for 256MB ram in October 2001 and $100 for 256MB ram a mere few months later. The prices definitely shot up after a shortage. However, I remember keeping my eyes on the advertised ram prices back in '95/'96 and $100 a megabyte sounds like way too much and $1 a megabyte sounds like way too little. It had to fluctuate around $10-$50 a megabyte, but I doubt it was ever as high as $100 or as low as $1 in the time span you said.

Comment: Some thoughts (Score 4, Interesting) 458

by Cowclops (#44797269) Attached to: Apple Sued For Dividing Final Season of Breaking Bad Into Two On iTunes

Obviously, its a problem when "Season Pass" doesn't actually get you the whole season. If I hadn't RTFA'd I might have presumed that the guy was complaining that he didn't get access to either all 16 episodes including the ones that weren't even played yet (that would be absurd) or that he didn't get access to the first 8 + the ones that have been played already (not absurd but I wouldn't be on his side)

If Apple's intention was that buying a season pass to season 5 of breaking bad would get you the first 8 episodes now, and the last 8 episodes when they were released to dvd/bluray/download, it would just be a matter of patience and I'd still be on Apple's side on this one.

Except from the sounds of it, Apple was selling a season pass to "Season 5" and not listing it as "The first 8 episodes of season 5." They had no intention of ever giving him access to the last 8 episodes of Season 5 for that price, making it "Not really a season pass." Clearly this is a problem and the guy just wants his money back for misleading advertising. If I were him, I'd be ok with a gift card in the amount of the price of the first 8 episodes, since the second 8 will presumably be priced the same anyway, effectively getting me what was advertised. The whole season for one price.

Comment: Arbitrary Resolutions (Score 5, Insightful) 286

by Cowclops (#43880809) Attached to: 4K Computer Monitors Are Coming (But Still Pricey)

Heres the real benefit I see to 3840x2160 (or 3840x2400). Whatever. I'll call it 4k like everybody else is.

The real benefit is that you can start treating your monitor like a CRT again, feeding it arbitrary resolutions. First off, 1080p would work fine on a 3840x2160, and with any luck the monitor would just display it pixel-doubled so it wouldn't be any more blurry than a native 1080p monitor. That would be awesome. You can also run 1280x720p natively, as 3840x2160 is triple that, just like its double 1080p. But heres the real kicker - say you have some old game that tops out at 1280x1024 or something. You'll have to accept the black bars on the sides for games that aren't widescreen, but given that, you can upscale 1280x1024 to 2700x2160 or whatever. It'll still look good because theres so many excess pixels - more than double. Back when we were switching from CRTs to 15 and 17" or maybe a 19 if you're lucky, we had the issue that 800x600 looked like junk on a 1024x768 monitor and 1024x768 looked like junk on 1280x1024. At 3840x2160, we can display 1080p and 720p with literally no artifacts, and anything in between with minimal artifacts. In fact, the dot pitch of a 3840x2160 24" monitor is smaller than that of a typical 21" fine dot pitch aperture grille CRT. 3840x2160 at that resolution is only .13mm dot pitch. Remember when we thought .25mm dot pitch was awesome? Obviously we've got that beat, and that's why 3840x2160 is worth it even when not displaying native 3840x2160 images.

Comment: Car washing (Score 2) 728

by Cowclops (#42982897) Attached to: For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

" 'It sure beats washing cars,' says Georgia State University graduate Landon Crider, 24, an in-house courier who, for $10 an hour, ferries documents back and forth between the courthouse and his company's office."

I work for a full service car wash as a supervisor. I wash cars. I don't have a college degree. I both make more than $10 an hour and would rather be washing cars than sitting at a desk. So this quote in the summary really made me laugh.

Comment: Nashua Police (Score 1) 936

by Cowclops (#42274859) Attached to: New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

I used to live in Nashua and I found that the times I had to interact with the Nashua police, it might as well have been the Nazi SS. Not all cops are bad, but the Nashua PD clearly has an issue with hiring/promoting scumbags and it only takes a few bad apples to ruin the batch.

Why would burly police men ever have to escalate violence against somebody just trying to buy some christmas presents? Sure, they asked her to leave, and when they ask you to leave and you don't its trespassing so they were right to call the police. But the reaction by the police was completely overbearing.

For added lulz, google "Nashua Gannon wire tapping". The officer who was harassing this guy at his own house late at night was the guy I had the pleasure of dealing with the time I got a speeding ticket. Its never pleasant getting a ticket, but he was like interrogating me about why i was going so fast and why I thought I could do that and etc - never mind the detail that he wrote me up for doing 50 in a 30 when the speed limit was actually 40 where I was driving. Got it dropped in court no problem, but if you're gonna do you your job as a police officer, don't get the facts wrong.

In short, I will definitely never, ever, ever be going back to Nashua NH.

Comment: Re:Kid Icarus (Score 1) 204

by Cowclops (#39308067) Attached to: Classic Nintendo Games Are NP-Hard
Landing in top gun is actually really easy, the thing most people don't realize is that you have to hold and release the button to speed up and keep your speed around 250 mph. It'll tell you to speed up if you're too slow and it'll tell you to slow down if you're too fast, so you sorta have to pulse-width-modulate your speed in between. The up/down/left/right instructions are pretty self explanatory, but on top of the directions you really just have to point at the aircraft carrier deck. Just like a real plane. Except way easier. Disclaimer: I can land a real plane, but that aside I still don't think its that hard to land in top gun. Its just not clear on what you're supposed to be doing to succesfully land.

Comment: Re:That's why I bought (Score 1) 672

by Cowclops (#39124291) Attached to: Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?
All US Golfs going back to MK5 were built in Wolfsburg, so if you get a new Golf TDI 100% of them are German built. My MK4 Golf was built in Brazil, and MK4/MK5 Jettas for the US were mostly built in Mexico. At any rate, if you're not sure where a VW is built, just look at the first letter in the VIN... W = Germany, 3 = Mexico.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long