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Comment: Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (Score 1) 109

by EmperorArthur (#47786163) Attached to: Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

overall, very few products I've encountered are that shabbily made (in fact the only one I can think of was a portable DVD player made by a company which went bankrupt anyway a few months later, so I would've been out the warranty even if I'd bought it in the EU).

Haven't bought a Toshiba have you? They have a 3 month warranty, they DMCA repair guides, you can't get parts to fix them yourself, and repairs start at over $200 then go up. When there shit breaks within 6 to 9 months it doesn't make me a happy customer.

Comment: Re:They can already cut off your service (Score 1) 299

You don't need a kill switch built in to the phone. You just cut the service off at the carrier.
The capability already exists.

Denial of Service has happened in the past. I believe BART did this to try and deal with protesters. The thing is that cell phones still connect to towers even if the SIM card is removed, and you're excluding the phones that don't even have SIM cards. As has been previously mentioned we're going to start seeing stories about "undesirables" phones being wiped.

Comment: Re:Is there an counter to this? (Score 1) 249

by EmperorArthur (#47709251) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Does anyone have a script a customer can stick to when dealing with Comcast?

The Comcast call center script, with points values, was leaked a while ago. If you want to annoy the other person then you can just read off what number and the section heading as they go through it.

Just don't forget to record the call, otherwise they'll do things like charge you for something that they said was free.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 3, Insightful) 249

by EmperorArthur (#47709181) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Isn't it in McD's training manual to upsell as well. Not that I love Comcast or McDonalds, but if this isn't standard operating procedure, then you aren't doing your shareholders right.

This is more like telling the person in McDonalds that your burger is nothing but two piece of bread and them saying, "Sorry this isn't close to what you ordered, but do you want fries with it?"

Comcast can only get away with these scummy tactics because most of us don't have a choice. It's Comcast or no TV. More relevant to Slashdot, it's Comcast or dialup. Just think, if they buy Time Warner then almost everyone will enjoy the suffering.

Comment: Re:Follow the money (Score 1) 393

by EmperorArthur (#47660957) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Speaking as someone who's lived in Huntsville, AL, do you really think all those people joined NASA just because it's a job? Sure some of the contractors may think that way, but plenty of people I know who work on that stuff in Huntsville are cheering SpaceX on. We want cheap Human spaceflight, and we want it now dammit.

An important thing to remember is that people who are affected by something like this are smart. In many cases they actually are "rocket scientists." The politicians are listening to the corporations, NOT their constituents.

Comment: Re:EIGHT weeks??? Nukes need to be more modular. (Score 1) 120

by EmperorArthur (#47651493) Attached to: Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

These reactors are relatively new, "commissioned in 1983", but that's still over twenty years old. The main goals of reactor design are safety and efficiency. With that in mind I'm sure they've done quite a bit of design work on making these things more maintenance friendly. Especially since the shutdowns are precautionary after they found a problem at the first one. They're searching for something that may not even exist.

Comment: Re:Enough (Score 1) 421

by EmperorArthur (#47639641) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

Schools are not daycare/nanycare for your rug rats.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but for many people in the US they are just that. It's more likely to be that way for low income parents. Especially those low income parents who work more than 40 hours a week.

Classic school hours are 8am to 3pm. If the child takes the bus then add on average about an hour to both. So they leave at 7am and arrive at 8am. After school activities mean the child can't take the bus home, but typically last for about 2 hours. So, a parent doesn't need to pick them up until around 5pm.

This lets a working parent not have to worry about his or her child, and may be why some parents encourage after school activities. Of course far too many parents think their kid will be the next sports superstar and make millions of dollars. Those people are idiots.

Comment: Re:Performance? (Score 2) 136

by EmperorArthur (#47626805) Attached to: Parallax Completes Open Hardware Vision With Open Source CPU

The most interesting thing about the PP, is that the general design philosophy is to use a separate core for each task, thus completely eliminating the need for interrupts. So real time latency is drastically reduced.

So how important is any of this? Well, the PP is not very popular, to say the least, and I have never seen one used outside of a hobby project. That is probably why they figure they have nothing to lose by opening it up.

Yeah, because to those of us who've done microcontroller development the lack of interrupts just no sells the whole thing, plus it's not like polling is any less complex. Here's an example:

The system is running on battery power, and you want it to use minimal energy. In normal design, you have the chip sleep while waiting for an event that only happens occasionally. (In this context anything under 1kHz can probably be counted as occasionally. Without interupts this thing has to stay awake and have at least one of its cores polling for the event.

There are quite a few other cases where interrupts are useful. Polling can get the job done, but is horribly inefficient and needs code to be written to handle things that other microcontrollers handle in hardware.

The multiple cores are neat though.

Comment: Re:Not a private police force (Score 5, Insightful) 133

by EmperorArthur (#47620715) Attached to: City of London Police Take Down Proxy Service Over Piracy Concerns

Each body or organisation, whether unincorporated or incorporated, whose premises are within the City of London may appoint a number of voters based on the number of workers it employs.

That's straight from the Wikipedia entry on the City of London.

Here on Slashdot we often talk about corporate person hood. The City of London is what happens when you jump straight to letting those corporations vote. When the government is by the corporations for the corporations it's not surprising that the police force is also a tool of the corporations.

Comment: Re:Joystick support on Linux a mess (Score 1) 63

by EmperorArthur (#47603415) Attached to: Linux Kernel Shuffling Zombie Juror Aka 3.16 Released

Where is joystick support on Linux last time I looked was a unnecessary nightmare...trivial to set up if the program has its own joystick configuration, a nightmare to get sensible universal settings.

Depends on your application. The easy "hack" I use with my Dualshock3 and Game Boy Emulator is a program that converts joystick buttons presses to keyboard button presses. It also sends key commands when the joystick goes beyond a certain point, or can convert joystick motion to mouse movement.. It's called Qjoypad if you're interested.

Pro: Easy setup
Cons: Analog joystick and button presses are converted to digital keyboard presses. So you lose the fine control.

Comment: Re:y mine everything just like everyone else. (Score 1) 114

by EmperorArthur (#47588031) Attached to: Google+ Photos To Be Separated From Google+

Good lord people. They use your information to display ads. Just like almost every other social network in existence. Clearly this isn't a sticking point for most people or Facebook would be a ghost town.

Problem for you? Fine don't use it, but it's not like it's a secret. For most people it's worth the conveniences Google provides to have their data mined. I know it is for me.

The problem isn't the data mining or the ads, it's the potential for abuse of the raw data. Your search history is gold to anyone who wants to stalk/harass/blackmail/steal from you. The good news is that Google doesn't have police powers, and is pretty neutral about people's viewpoints and what they want to do. The bad news is at the least the NSA has/had access to it. Search for the wrong thing on Google and you'll never fly again in the US. Plus it's a prime target for hackers. Potentially worth more than a persons credit card information, and much easier to get.

Saying that I still use them as my search engine, plus Gmail, Google Voice, and my Android phone....

Think of your family tonight. Try to crawl home after the computer crashes.