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Comment: I bought a PS3 because of XBOX Live... (Score 1) 204

by MikeD83 (#40644263) Attached to: The Ugly, Profitable Details About Xbox Live Advertising
I bought an XBOX 360 even though my friends had the PS3. I figured that by paying for XBOX Live I was paying for a quality service. I play Call of Duty online and the service was fine. Most of the time I was the "game host" thanks to my FIOS internet connection from Verizon. Everything was fine until Call of Duty Black Ops. There were constant issues with online play. It was so bad I called XBOX Live and they created a trouble ticket. After two weeks of no improvement I called XBOX Live to check the status of my ticket. The person on the phone told me that they didn't have a ticket for me and that if I had a problem playing the game online I should call Activision.

There was no was in hell I was calling Activision; I told the representative they would either fix the problem or I would buy a PS3. The XBOX Live representative told me to buy a PS3. That night I purchased a PS3 and Call of Duty Black Ops for PS3. I haven't turned on the XBOX since and my only regret was ever buying an XBOX in the first place.

Microsoft is crafting an interesting strategy with XBOX Live and I can only expect it will alienate their customers. Increasing advertising, poor quality; why the hell would anyone want to pay for that crap?

Comment: Re:Sensors ... (Score 1) 257

by MikeD83 (#38432002) Attached to: NFL: National Football Luddites?
The glowing puck in the NHL was called FoxTrax I believe there was two reasons it did not gain traction:
1. You're correct in saying HD televisions solved the problem of not finding the puck. But more importantly...
2. Hockey fans didn't like it.

Given the topic of this article, it is interesting that when this technology was brought to the NHL, people didn't like it. I'm an NFL fan, I don't want more technology. What I want is less commercials and to actually watch the game.

This past Sunday, CBS decided to cut the first 7 minutes of the Patriot game by showing the final of the Buffalo game (which no one besides fans of the teams involved cared about.) Then they missed one of the kick-offs because they were at commercial. The NFL is looking for whiz-bang technology when they really need to get back to basics- show the freaking game.

Comment: My List (Score 4, Informative) 153

by MikeD83 (#38417980) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Entry-Level Robotics Kits For Young Teenagers?
I have about 10+ years of experience with the FIRST Robotics competition. For an "all inclusive robotics" kit you will need to increase your budget. However, electronics and software kits are in budget. Here's my list:

1. Innovation FIRST's Vex Robtic system. This is hands down the best system available. The kit is basic enough that you can get something working while also open enough that the possibilities are limitless. You can interface your own custom circuits with it. It comes with default software in source code form that you can modify to whatever you would like. It also has mechanical kits where you can build almost anything. It's also not flimsy. This is one of the most expensive options, but you can start around $300 and add on for years.

2. Lego MindstormsI would reccomend this kit for someone younger (8 or so.) It's not quite as extensible mechanically or electrically but is easier to use.

With those two out of the way and actually answering your post based on the budget, I would recommend a Basic Stamp kit from Parallax. The kits are aimed at learning electronics and software. They're not a lot to them mechanically, you need additional parts and know-how for that. The kits are low cost and require you to learn. I cut my teeth on the Basic Stamp 2 (BS2) and I turned out to be a successful software engineer.

Comment: Re:What other products (Score 1) 1019

by MikeD83 (#37548700) Attached to: Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Article 1, Section 8

An important concept, which appears lost on some people, is sentence structure. Just like in programming, if an identifier is in the wrong place, a compiler will not just compile something and assume what the author intended.

to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States;

In this particular sentence the subject is the United States. Note: The subject of that sentence is not the people of the United States. In the year the document was written "United States" referred to the states which ratified the constitution; and were therefore United. Therefore, the author intended to promote the welfare of the "states which ratified the constitution"; not the people.

Comment: Re:Amazing. (Score 2, Interesting) 121

by MikeD83 (#36670026) Attached to: @Whitehouse Hosting Twitter Town Hall On Wednesday

Unfortunately, when the entire opposition party has made their one and only goal your destruction, you can't really do anything about it. They're willing to push the country into default for the first time in history, destroying the lives of millions.

The only people who are saying "default for the first time in history" are Democrats who are fear mongering to scare little girls like you; and it has happened before. The reality is that the United States would not default; the government would use the money it brings in to service the debt and there would be a partial government shutdown.

Comment: Partisanship (Score 0) 945

by MikeD83 (#34686778) Attached to: The Right's War On Net Neutrality
The headline, summary and included link for this story is disgusting. I don't want to see foaming at the mouth liberal slanted stories masquerading as "news for nerds."

The Republicans have been injected with Libertarian blood via the Tea Party movement. Their position on net neutrality is simple: federal government stay out of the internet. They may say whatever it takes to make that happen. The Democrats often use whatever "means to the end," to get the job done (think health care reform.) The Republicans are using this tool to paint doomsday scenarios on what could happen if the federal government were to get involved in regulating the internet (think housing market.)

Comment: Re:Silly (Score 1) 605

by MikeD83 (#30365102) Attached to: TSA's Sloppy Redacting Reveals All
What's funny about redacting the aircraft operator flight crew exemption is that the public actually sees this happen. I was at a security checkpoint waiting to put by bag into the X-ray machine when a pilot jumped in front of me. He didn't take his shoes off and walked though the metal detector with his Starbuck's coffee with no questions asked. I was irate! First, these folks get to jump the line, then they're not subject to the security policies. What's to prevent a member of the aircrew from turning into a terrorist?

I guess I'm in line for security theater... and I'm not entertained.

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-jetwing-and-a-prayer dept.
Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Comment: Re:What's in it? (Score 1) 1698

by MikeD83 (#30100112) Attached to: Landmark Health Insurance Bill Passes House
Honestly, I see the "privately operated co-op" as the same thing as the "government option." If you're forced to pay into the private co-op insurance, and you're forced to pay a higher premium based on your income... there's not much different from paying taxes and having a "government option"... it's essentially the same thing.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.