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Comment: Re:Samsung's slowing sales... (Score 1) 44

by rsborg (#47429795) Attached to: Apple Gets Its First Batch of iPhone Chips From TSMC

I suspect that a good part of Samsung's slowing sales is consumers that are tired of spending more money all of the time to do the same thing. I've got a Galaxy SII. It does everything that I need it to do. It's paid for. I don't foresee any needs that a newer phone would fulfill, so short of a broken phone or a paradigm shift I don't see a need to shell out several hundred dollars to have essentially the same functionality.

THere's a lot that an S4 or S5 will do that your S2 cannot - though you may not appreciate it, including things like Bluetooth4 or a larger battery, better camera or support for more innovative features on the latest Android (or TouchWiz) release.

Personally I have an iPhone and I upgrade every several years with my wife leapfrogging so one of us has the latest phone. Apple has perfected the upgrade treadmill - you're compelled but not forced into upgrading, and they make the features on each new generation worth the upgrade.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 586

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Most recent failure was 2009 (Score 1) 228

by rsborg (#47412029) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Once high-intensity blueish bulb out of probably 4 dozen bought (including LEDs). I still have a slow-start CFL from Ikea that I bought in 2005 that's still running and hasn't been broken.

More concerning is the CFL that was broken - no more stand-lamps with kids now, but that was not fun - essentially had to completely and thoroughly clean the room.

Comment: But how many bodies can it fit? (Score 2) 139

by rsborg (#47403107) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

When I need to take a cab at 4 AM to go to the middle of nowhere (I don't have a car, as I only need this like twice a year or something, not worth it), hailing a shady dirty taxi who'll bitch and moan about me asking to go somewhere unprofitable isn't exactly my preference.

I will take that recommendation, though I hear Uber SUV can fit more bodies in the rear. I wonder if heading over to Patterson incurs surge pricing? Will the driver help you unload your "luggage"?

Comment: Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (Score 1) 129

by rsborg (#47401855) Attached to: Android Wear Is Here

Leaving aside the part of my brain that is trying to figure out whether you consider only a few showers a week acceptable or are just really fast about them

If you're male and have the expected short hair, showers shouldn't take more than 5 min each (x7 = 35m), perhaps another 5 if you shave in the shower. Or are you from the Lester Burnham [1] school of showering? Regardless, still shouldn't take more than 1-2 min more.


Comment: Re:Call me (Score 1) 129

by rsborg (#47401799) Attached to: Android Wear Is Here

Why don't thy have wireless charging on these things? It wouldn't be so bad if I took off my watch, threw it on the dresser, and went to bed. Having to stop and fiddle with a charger for multiple devices is a bit of a no go IMO.

Maybe because the wireless charger circuitry will make the watch larger and more unwieldy? Because free space on a wearable makes a smartphone's cramped interior look spacious?

Personally, I'd rather more battery than wireless charging. I'm not going to carry my wireless charging dock/pad around with me and I can't imagine that a 2nd one at the office would be cheap. The Moto 360 supposed has wireless charging, but it does seem a bit ... heftier than a Pebble or even the LG one.

Comment: The threat is internal (Score 2) 685

by rsborg (#47401665) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

I've wondered why they haven't done that before. Forget about taking a plane down, or flying into a building.

Have 20 individuals at 20 airports all approach the processing line, timed to arrive at the metal detector/x-ray chute at noon. Scream the usual "aloha cracker" (or whatever those crazy fucks say), pull out the bomb from their carry on, and detonate it before anyone can stop them.

Instantly, every airport is notified about this threat, and now everyone gets screened before they even get to the airport.

If they want to fuck with the west, that is how they could do it.

The fact that this has not happened (nor have we heard of a such a plot being defused) makes it pretty clear that the real threat is the TSA itself, and "terrists" are simply an Emmanuel Goldstein type boogeyman used to keep everyone in line and their mouths shut.

Comment: Re:It's Intended (Score 4, Interesting) 136

by causality (#47389651) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

in some cases they're no better than gambling (ie: buy tokens to feed into this jackpot like system to win a random digital item!)

Not that I disagree with you, but what part of the gaming industry isn't preying off of exactly the same neurons as gambling? Nearly every game, be you buying the game itself, in-game purchases, or DLC, is getting its revenue almost entirely due to exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior.

Gaming typically relies on skill, not chance. If you play most games long enough, you'll be able to consistently beat certain levels. If you win at the roulette wheel, you're no more likely than before to win again. That's the difference. Otherwise, "exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior" could be stretched to describe every last industry in existence beyond the sales of food, water, shelter, and basic utilities.

With the model of directly purchasing the game itself (and no in-game purchases, like standard PC/console gaming) you can at least read about the game and have a reasonable expectation about what you are paying for. The real problem with in-game purchases is that the game is "free" or low-cost in the most technical sense, but after you invest many hours advancing the game you find that you can't really prosper without making additional purchases. It could be construed as a form of bait-and-switch.

The other problem would be that many of these games are aimed at children who make purchases the parents later get stuck with, but this problem begins in the home and should be solved within the home by actual parenting. That's not as convenient as using the tablet like a cheap babysitter but it would certainly be more worthwhile. If you wanted to solve this by government action, that's simple too: declare that these purchases are contractual in nature (the parent agreed to pay charges made to the phone bill or whatever) and that minors who make them cannot be held to a contract, therefore the companies cannot collect money when children make them. *Poof* - end of shitty business model.

Comment: Cargo-Cult Sociology (Score 4, Insightful) 220

by Hentai (#47375969) Attached to: IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated]

"I don't know why it's important for physical sports to have gender segregation, but they do it and people recognize them as legitimate! If we segregate by gender, maybe that's what will make people recognize us as legitimate!"

Just like in programming, this line of thinking clearly translates down to "I have no idea what I'm doing, and I have no idea what the consequences of these choices are, but I'm just going to bang at things until something works or everything breaks."

(Spoiler alert: usually, everything breaks.)

Comment: Re:He apparently doesn't fly (Score 1) 128

by rsborg (#47372417) Attached to: FAA's Ruling On Smartphones During Takeoff Has Had Little Impact

to "use the time to sleep and chill out."

Anecdotal but just flew cross coast twice last week and chilling out in my designated sq ft of cabin room did not inspire ant sense of chilling out. If not for the games, movies, content on my kids &I iPads, it would have been an almost unendurable human "trash compactor" experience. Yes I'm talking to you united airlines.

I'm rarely thankful that I'm not a tall person, but during flights is one of those times. I have no space problems with planes except when I want to use my laptop. Been very good at migrating to iPad for most stuff (even work), however.

Comment: Re:The Solution is In Plain Sight (Score 1) 578

by rsborg (#47372183) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

In some areas of Portugal we have exactly the opposite - timers applied to traffic lights instead of crosswalks. In some places we also have crosswalk timers together with traffic light timers.

Why is this a solution? Because drivers will stop paying attention to crosswalk timers and use their own traffic light timers instead, which have a security offset of 1-3 seconds. [...]

I wonder if this offset is randomized to prevent gaming? And if that's more or less safe than a constant offset?

Ultimately, I prefer traffic circles [1] for lower volume traffic intersections, however large intersections should have lights - and the method you presented seems very interesting. Especially since it's being implemented in Portugal (are there studies yet in it's efficacy?)


Comment: Malicious Compliance (Score 2) 238

by rsborg (#47372031) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

From das wiki:

Malicious compliance is the behavior of a person who intentionally inflicts harm by strictly following the orders of management or following legal compulsions, knowing that compliance with the orders will cause a loss of some form resulting in damage to the manager's business or reputation, or a loss to an employee or subordinate. It has the effect of harming leadership, or the leadership harming a subordinate.[1] A specific form of industrial action that utilizes this is work-to-rule.

Also see Lawful Evil.

Comment: Re:Indirect References (Score 1) 238

by rsborg (#47371997) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

Is Google responsible for "forgetting" all possible path to this BBC article? E.g., will this Slashdot article turn up in a Google search in the EU? How about this comment, if I include a link to the original BBC article?

Aren't requests effective-dated? If Mr. O'Neal requested at date X to remove searches against his name, that can't be future-effective can it? That would truly be onerous if it was some "standing order" that no searches should result in his name.

On the other hand, why delist an entire article? Can't they just remove that article from the keywords? I get a sense that Google is trying to obey the letter, but not the spirit of the law.

Comment: Re:Just pay him not to work (Score 1) 272

by rsborg (#47370601) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

That sounds pretty easy to take advantage of.

"Ya, my brother is starting up a finance firm that is doing the exact same thing as you, he says he will pay me 150% of my current salary to go work for him.
According to my contract this means you now have to pay me 50% more than my current contract and I can sit at home and do nothing, or maybe take on a little work on the side under the table"

Clearly in this case, the employer would look at your brother's company and simply chuckle - unless your brother happens to be running a real threat, in which case, you've just painted a target on yourself and burned bridges before you crossed them.

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne