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Comment: Re:Fever? (Score 1) 692

by Elbowgeek (#37218398) Attached to: Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble

Just replying to say Yes! I agree with you. In fact, the tablet, with it's current capabilities, is the sort of thing that you don't *think* you'll have a use for until you use one. Then you find all sorts of uses, as I have. Quickly checking multiple email accounts whilst lounging on the sofa watching telly (vastly more convenient than opening a netbook or laptop, or using the TV monitor), reading many news web pages can actually be more pleasant because you can sit off on the sofa instead of upright at a computer desk or balancing a laptop on your belly, the many apps for doing business and entertaining ones-self.

Heck, I even found an app which recreates the TEAC Tascam 244 multitrack cassette recorder I had when I was a teeny-bopper, for me the most awesome thing ever. It kills me that the app cost about $5 whereas the original was about $1,200!

Comment: Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (Score 1) 692

by Elbowgeek (#37118010) Attached to: Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

Indeed, it's right up there with communism as a utopian answer to all our problems. Unfortunately we humans are animals, and as such will succumb to the same foibles and power structuring as all human tribal groupings, whether it's on a continent or a lifeboat.

Comment: Re:Short-Sighted (Score 1) 225

by Elbowgeek (#36996782) Attached to: Saudi Arabia Constructing World's Tallest Building

Well as one of those hyper-rich myself, I can't wait to buy a whole floor of the place so I can enjoy the many benefits of the Kingdom:

  - Amazing views. Of sand. Lots and lots of sand. Then again, at the height my floor will be I will probably only see the curvature of the earth, but still...
  - And that's about it...

Seriously, what is it with these insane projects? They seem to think that if they build outrageous, futuristic super-luxury developments all of the world's super-rich will suddenly flock to them. Maybe they should phone Dubai and ask how their palm thingy is doing, or that world islands bit of silliness is playing out.

Comment: Re:observatory (Score 1) 225

by Elbowgeek (#36996694) Attached to: Saudi Arabia Constructing World's Tallest Building

I would anticipate that there will be a certain number of suites and apartments bought, but they will not be occupied as they will have been purchased as investment properties - pure speculation. However the fact that the place appears unoccupied will deter further investment and thus it will grind to a halt. Either way, I will be *very* surprised if it meets the expectations of it's developers.

One need only look to Dubai to see a business case for *not* building it. But I guess the Saudis have the money, so I say go for it; as I'm into urban exploration I encourage this as future UE enthusiasts will have the ultimate explore.

Comment: Re:Goes to prove the point . . . (Score 1) 496

by Elbowgeek (#36882002) Attached to: Gates: Not Much To Show For $5B Spent On Education

What the education system needs, that all the money in the world can't buy, is just good teachers who are good communicators that are enthusiastic about their subjects. Just that enthusiasm alone will rub off on students and inspire them to be curious about the subjects being taught. As an extremely rich dude Gates is used to just throwing money around to get things done; trust me, I know the type. But you can save a ton of money by simply picking the right educator for the job. Unfortunately the current education system scares away or outright sacks many good teachers for stupid reasons, so really reform of the bureaucracy is desperately needed.

Comment: Re:DJ Hero (Score 1) 144

by Elbowgeek (#36846526) Attached to: Activision Trying To 'Reinvent' <em>Guitar Hero</em>

There is actually software for doing your own mixing. It's quite sophisticated and a lot of fun to play with, but a bit more complicated that one would probably want for casual playing around. It can also interface with external, professional controllers which work extremely well.

That said, Guitar Hero was the same: one could just go out and buy a guitar and make one's own music. But hey...

Comment: Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (Score 1) 413

by Elbowgeek (#36285984) Attached to: RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

RS was an interesting place for audio back in the 70s. What was fun about them was that they'd source audio components seemingly without considering the quality, but for the price point they wanted to reach. So the quality in a particular receiver, say, might be fantastic or just crap. But there were some real corkers: I found a Sherwood-made receiver with MOSFET output stage, one of the very first with digital tuning, with amazing, warm 60 *real* watts of power that they sold in '79. And there are various speaker systems that are still looked for by the vintage audio crowd, to just name a few examples.

As for components, in addition to restocking the components themselves they need to hire staff who are enthusiastic about DIY as well, so when you go to ask if they have a particular type of relay in stock you don't get the deer-in-the-headlights, thousand yard stare.

Comment: Re:Finally... (Score 5, Insightful) 410

by Elbowgeek (#36262338) Attached to: Steve Ballmer's Head On the Block?

The problem with Ballmer is that he's a strictly corporate type, with no real vision of his own. All of his decisions are informed by corporate thinking, which means he looks at already established and emerging markets and reacts to them. Unfortunately, by the time MS has created a product in reaction to the market the market is already dominated by someone else and/or the public rejects the MS product due to the perception of MS being uncool.

MS has had very little forward-thinking tech make it to the mainstream in the past 20 years considering the size and and intellectual resources at its disposal, and I believe this is what Einhorn is addressing. What MS needs is a leader who can leverage the best and brightest in the company and allow the best ideas (and there's a lot of great ideas floating around in their labs) to see daylight and be marketed properly.

Comment: Re:as said before here many times (Score 1) 456

by Elbowgeek (#36153222) Attached to: The Cost of US Security

"after all, an Orwellian state might break out the nukes in response to a terror attack"

This is why others in al Queda were objecting so strongly to Osama's pursuit of large-scale attacks on the US. They realized that the more extreme their attacks the greater potential blowback.

Sadly though it does seem that the goal of bankrupting the US is a very real one. They are counting on the fact that eventually the US will simply not be able to afford to wage war against them, and there will be lessened political and public will to lead incursions into other lawless regions of the world in pursuit of al Queda.

Comment: I read about why people enjoy Conspiracies (Score 1) 869

by Elbowgeek (#36012826) Attached to: The Internet's New Alternate Reality

They like to think that they are a bit smarter than the next guy for knowing something he doesn't. And often these theories are far more intriguing than reality; thus it becomes a perverse entertainment for most.

The thought that there is one world order manipulating things behind the scenes also helps makes sense of an often confusing world where the apparent chaos can make one feel nervous. In that way it is like religion.

Comment: Mine flew off of a moving car (Score 1) 222

by Elbowgeek (#35598746) Attached to: IPhone 4 Survives 1,000 Foot Fall From Plane

I had left it on top of the car and forgot. It flew off into the road at some point and was picked up by a thankfully very honest person. Again, not a scratch. I believe this was one positive result of the monolithic design of the iPhone, in that it remained in on piece as it impacted. Another phone with a removable battery would have probably been in pieces scattered all over creation.

Cheers

Comment: Re:Depends (Score 1) 417

by Elbowgeek (#35404490) Attached to: Disarm Internet Trolls, Gently

Indeed I've "disarmed" a few trolls using the techniques mentioned in the article, and I've sometimes found that there are quite interesting people behind the troll mask. As you say, if one approaches another human being as an adult, you're more likely to get an adult response.

That said, I've had great fun firing back with well worded mega-sarcasm, crafted to be so over-the-top and overwhelming in length that it acts as a nuclear option. It's also lots of fun to write *grin*.

Cheers

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