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Comment: Re:I used to donate blood... (Score 1) 172

by NewWorldDan (#47221951) Attached to: Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

By law, all the blood donations in the US have to come from volunteers -- donors are not allowed to sell blood

Then fix the law. I'll give my blood away for free when everyone working at the blood bank and the hospital start working for free as well. Until then, my O-Neg blood is staying where it is. Frankly, it takes balls to ask me to donate when everyone else in the system is in there for the money. Pay people for blood and the shortages will disappear. At least in the US. 3rd world countries may have other institutional problems getting in the way.

Comment: Re:By mistake? (Score 1) 711

by NewWorldDan (#47155275) Attached to: Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'

Oh, I've bought a few phones that were, in hindsight, mistakes. I knew what I was buying, I just didn't know it was crap. Android prior to Gingerbread was crap, and even Gingerbread was kind of iffy. Fortunately, smartphones have reached a point where even the cheap phones are pretty nice. My S3 is approaching 2 years old and I may continue to use it for another 2 years.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 147

by NewWorldDan (#47112425) Attached to: Virtual DVDs, Revisited

He's a columnist. He's probably more qualified than the idiots who write for my local newspaper. But his job is to write something even if he doesn't really have anything to say.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Haselton

And in this case, there's not much to say. Movie streaming, DVD sales, rentals, etc., are tied up in a web of contracts and distribution agreements, and it's entirely possible that a studio couldn't sell streaming on some things even if they wanted to. Also, a lot of movies are available on Amazon Instant Video as 24 hours rentals. Ta Da. The challenge for Amazon, Netflix, and the studios is how do they milk the most money out of consumers while at the same time satisfying all of their existing contractual obligations. They're all smart companies, it's just more complicated than poor Bennett understands.

Comment: Re:Surface: the only Hope (Score 5, Interesting) 379

They're a fantastic business machine. They really are.

But at the same time, Microsoft is losing a whole generation of users who are learning that they don't need Microsoft. I would argue that a lot of Apple's success today stems from the fact that they were the dominant machine in schools 30 years ago.

Kids today are running around with 7" tablets. Sure, they're infotainment, but they do everything on those tablets. Web, Skype, Netflix, they type up homework, and of course, play games. It is a major strategic mistake to ignore the 7" tablet market.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Informative) 42

by NewWorldDan (#47056201) Attached to: Silicon Valley To Get a Cellular Network Just For Things

It's called equipment monitoring. I make a monitoring system for stand-by generators. It turns out that there are laws about how often you can run your generator in a non-emergency fashion in some states. My monitoring service costs a tiny fraction of the fine for an incomplete log book. As an added benefit, it can automatically notify your maintenance company that the generator needs repair or fuel.

No one cares about connecting your toaster to the internet. However, there are a lot of monitoring applications that can really benefit from a low cost low bandwidth service.

Comment: Re:Just Tack on a Fee (Score 5, Insightful) 626

by NewWorldDan (#47048921) Attached to: Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

Taxing EVs makes perfect sense. They still need roads to be built and maintained.

Adding an enforcement fee for a car that doesn't need enforcement is just absurd. If the number of tickets being written drops because there are no more speeding cars and reckless drivers, then just reduce the size of the police force. You don't need patrol cops any more and that's a good thing. Instead of employing people as patrol cops, they can instead work as artists or scientists or something that makes the world better instead of being a necessary evil.

Comment: Re:How do I check my level? (Score 1) 466

How do you check your level? Here's a little test...

Test 1: write a program that loops through the number 1 to 20. If the number is a multiple of 3, write "Fizz", if the number is a multiple of 5, write "Buzz", if the number is a multiple of 3 and 5, write "FizzBuzz". For all other numbers, just write the number.

Test 2: read a text file full of numbers, sort it, and write out the sorted list of numbers back out to a second text file.

If you can do both in under 15 minutes, you're at least a 7/10, and I may have a job for you. Seriously. I hire programmers and 3 out of 4 can't do that. One guy with 5 years experience took almost an hour to produce 2 programs that were almost correct. I rate myself a 9/10, which says less about my skills than it does about 90% of the people working in the industry.

Comment: Re:Beer with bacon fat and maple syrup (Score 1) 46

I've tried the Voodoo Maple Bacon beer, and that was enough to halt any thoughts I might have had about brewing with either bacon or maple. Lately, I've been working on making light beers (a very challenging task!) that are still interesting (an even more challenging task!). Ultimately, the problem with home brewing is that it was starting to make me fat.

Still, I make a few full bodied beers to keep me happy and sane during the cold winter months.

Comment: Re:That's why Atlanta (and other cities) ... (Score 1) 227

by NewWorldDan (#46939603) Attached to: Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible

Close... What cities actually need is a functioning marketplace for internet service. Right now, the driving cost, the barrier to entry, is putting wires or cables in the ground. If you uncouple the last mile from providing service, it gets really easy for ISPs to get in to the market. Google Fiber is just like any other ISP. They want to run the competition out of town so that they can get top dollar for their service. They want to be a monopoly. I assure you, if they had the same market penetration as Comcast, they would be just as bad. The best way to prevent this is to make the last mile a local utility. The ISP only needs to run fiber to the neighborhood and then cross connect their own customers.

Comment: SpamBayes (Score 1) 172

by NewWorldDan (#46939459) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Beginner To Intermediate Programming Projects?

The SpamBayes email filter hasn't been updated in forever. The actual filtering part works great. The problem that needs solving is that it needs to be updated for Outlook 2013 (using the Ribbon) and for 64 bit platforms. It's open source, and written in Python.

http://spambayes.sourceforge.n...

Comment: Re:Not the phone (Score 3, Informative) 243

by NewWorldDan (#46931541) Attached to: The Feature Phone Is Dead: Long Live the 'Basic Smartphone'

When I think about it, I really don't need a data plan anymore. 95% of my data is coming over WiFi networks anyway. My phone is already set up for data at home, work, the coffee shop, several restaurants, and my kid's school. The only time I really need data is if I'm lost and I need a map.

On the other hand, I'm probably not all that typical. All I'm using for data is mostly email and weather. I don't play games on the phone and I'm not an app junkie. But even if I was, I think I could get by without an actual data plan.

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_

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