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Comment Re:Depends if you want to support it (Score 1) 290

I have experience with Alienware. I bought two systems through them, a desktop and a laptop, about 6 and 3 years ago, respectively.

There is a premium to be paid for their machines. That comes in the form of someone else putting all the right pieces together, letting it run a few days to make sure everything works, and shipping it in some cool looking cases. If something is wrong you send it back and they don't really give you any trouble.

They're solid machines, well built, and performance is quite good. For someone who wants a machine that "just works" without having to spend days putting pieces together and finding the best deals, it's really not a bad option. I would recommend CyberPowerPC over Alienware these days - they're less expensive for comparable hardware.

Also, unlike what the poster above mentions, Alienware does not load a bunch of crapware onto their systems. They usually have Steam preloaded, an application to control their lighting effects, whatever control software the video card comes with, and very little else. They're quite clean. You can get some extra stuff preloaded (like McAffe, for example) but it's all optional at the time you order the system.

That said: You WILL get more hardware for your money if you build yourself. No doubt about it. These days I just view my computer like I do my car: It runs and does what I want it to do when I turn the key. I don't really need to know, or even care, who made the engine or what material the brake pads are made out of as long as it goes vrooom.

Comment User Serviceable Everything (Score 1) 505

Phones with no way to replace the battery? Gosh, your battery is dead, you have to buy a whole new device.

The video card on your lap top is flakey? What a shame, time to buy an entirely new machine.

Your provider won't update the official version of Android (or whatever) on your device? Well it's really hard to do, I guess if you want that new version you better buy a new device, or figure out how to jailbreak the old one and pray you don't brick the thing.

Comment Re:Mobaxterm (Score 2) 352

I also highly recommend Moba XTerm, at least if your main machine is Windows.

A brief selection of features:

* Tabs. Yes, tabs! After years of using Putty, tabs are amazing.
* Integrated X11 server. No having to fuss with Cygwin and all that; it just works and automatically does the forwarding for you.
* Local *NIX functionality, again, without having to deal with Cygwin manually.
* Free (as in beer).
* Also supports VNC, RDP, (S)FTP.
* Mirroring of input to multiple sessions.

It's a great little piece of software. Never had any reliability issues. I use it daily.

Comment Re:Work-life balance thrives where it is prioritiz (Score 1) 195

I work for a company with about 250 employees, and it is rare that I work more than 45 hours a week. Our managers will tell people, "Go home, you've worked enough today," and when you go on vacation, "Don't check your mail or anything, you're on vacation, the rest of us are here and can handle any emergencies while you're gone."

My company has a TON of problems: Product owners make promises to clients we can't keep, our release process changes from product to product, logging is inadequate at best, requirements are often vague, and we have to deal with way too many terrible contractors from India, but unless there is a major emergency at least you won't be overworked.

Comment Ouya (Score 3, Interesting) 129

I had an Ouya console. It was inexpensive, had support for four wireless controllers, and was easy to use.

The biggest problem was a lack of good content at launch. A vast majority of the content was cheap, buggy, and not entertaining. The Ouya folks let anyone throw crap up into the system, it seemed. It may have been more successful with less but higher quality content.

Comment Re:WTF is "positivism"? (Score 4, Informative) 262

päztivizm noun
a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.
the theory that laws are to be understood as social rules, valid because they are enacted by authority or derive logically from existing decisions, and that ideal or moral considerations (e.g., that a rule is unjust) should not limit the scope or operation of the law.

So Sayeth Google.

Comment FedEx (Score 1) 165

My understanding is that this is how FedEx drivers work. They're all independent contractors with FedEx. They wear FedEx clothes, work a dictated schedule, etc., etc.

What IS the difference between a contractor and an "employee", really, aside from some legalese? In both cases you're agreeing to work for a company in exchange for money/benefits/etc.

Comment Re:Capitalism at work (Score 1) 168

I don't have a lot of time to spare right now, so I'll get right to the point:

There is a huge difference between moral capitalism (what product/service can I provide to make someone's life better/more convenient) and amoral capitalism (how much money can I make and damn anyone else).

Countries do not fall because of their economic policy (there are excellent arguments for each system). They fall because of a lack of principles and morality. What we are seeing in America now (and for several decades) is a huge swing towards amoral capitalism.

This is why Bernie Sanders, for example, is resonating so well for a certain segment of the population. His argument isn't a scholarly exercise. He's playing the "good vs evil" angle. He's turning it into a moral argument, saying (erroneously) that capitalism is inherently evil and Big Government will fix it all.

You can have amoral crony capitalism. You can have amoral crony socialism. The constant, and the problem, is the "amoral" and "crony" parts.

Comment Re:Why don't we just say it? (Score 1) 245

I wish I had mod points for you today. I especially feel impassioned about this line:

A government however cannot ever be punished through any criminal court

Governments only allow you to receive justice or restitution if they WANT you to receive justice or restitution. Let's go way, way, way back to the EPA turning a major river strange colors.

If a private company had done that, they'd be completely out of business. But this was done by the EPA. "Whoops." That's it. And there's NOTHING you or I can do about it.

Comment Re:Grrr (Score 2) 217

My high school had a Home Economics class that did, in fact, teach some basic economics. It wasn't how to bake a loaf of bread or whatever like a lot of other schools.

We learned things like:

1. Compound Interest and how it relates to investment for retirement.
2. How much a 30 year mortgage really costs.
3. How to budget.
4. How to eat healthily on $5 a day.
5. How insurance works.

I've rarely come across other people that had this kind of a class in their high school. It's weird to me that people are graduating high school when they're supposed to be fully functional, legal adults, ready to live an adult life, and they can't even track their own spending habits - but that's what the schools are churning out. Older children with no life skills.

Parents: Home school your kids, or at least supplement their public/private schooling with some stuff that actually matters. I know, I know, it means you have to spend time with your kids and actually be a parent, not a friend.

Comment Uh huh. (Score 5, Insightful) 479

Yeah, I'm sure, a few rogue software guys got together and said, "Gosh, how can we cover for the people who built the engine that isn't as efficient as it is supposed to be? Surely there's no legal ramifications for cheating on federal emissions tests!"

It doesn't make sense on too many levels. What a bunch of crap.

Comment Re:Harsher (Score 1) 112

I was told on occasion that "You don't belong here for asking such a stupid question".

Good to know. I guess I can cross that off the list of recommended things for my (rather bright) niece to try. It doesn't take a lot of effort to be a decent person to others. It really doesn't. It takes more effort to post some dick comment than it does not to post at all.

You see the same thing in a lot of online communities though. Massive egos, know-it-all types, people far more interested in putting others down instead of helping them up. The tech community is infamous for their treatment of non-technical users. Just yesterday we had articles about how toxic the Linux Kernel community is, and how people are making their own forks or dropping out entirely just so they don't have to deal with the condescending attitudes.

The Internet as a whole has taught that, deep down inside, most people are assholes. Selfish, insecure assholes. The relative anonymity of the Internet is what allows people to let their real selves shine through.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.