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Comment: Re:Its Like That Because... (Score 1) 803

by Overzeetop (#46765705) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Most of those who do vote, don't think. If you were to take the R and the D off of the names and eliminate television advertising (which provides generally no insight into policy issues), you would find that most voters would pick whomever was on the top of the ballot or - in a more cynical case - whomever they saw the most yard signs for, because they have no idea who stands for what. Otherwise intelligent people simply follow the masses, taking little or no time to actually read the candidate's positions and records.

This isn't limited to a single party, and both have the bulk of their constituents who would not vote for the candidate with the opposite party designation even if their beliefs lined up perfectly.

Comment: Fly Economy - tragic! (Score 5, Insightful) 145

by Overzeetop (#46756287) Attached to: How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

We're supposed to be surprised that everyone is supposed to fly coach?

And, if you're custom rolling your backend at the scale of AWS, I wouldn't expect anything *but* sourcing yourself. Outsourcing is for organizations that don't have the expertise in house and want a finger to point if things go wrong. Vertical integration is more cost efficient if you have the scale to make it work.

Comment: Re:Upgrade, don't update. (Score 2) 574

by Overzeetop (#46754999) Attached to: Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

If it's taking *that* long on a fresh install, you've got something else going on wrong on your system, either ram timings, spread spectrum, or something esoterically weird going on.

It sounds like a bad driver or hardware enumeration. But, yes, if windows takes more than a few seconds to get to a login on a SSD based machine (so, what 30-40 seconds on a spinner?) then it's a hardware problem. W8, once I restored the start menu, is no less stable or responsive than my W7 machine. Most of my complaints are over install of OEM versions of the OS that aren't auto-authorized by the bios (most of my machines are Dell, and the Dell OEM OS just installs; no games, no keys, no mess).

FWIW, my favorite version was NT 3.51, and I go back to Win 1.02 days (on windows, at least); I still even have the install disks - though no 8086 or 720k floppy drive to read them.

Comment: No it releases updated for hardware (Score 1) 574

by Overzeetop (#46754959) Attached to: Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

You don't get security updates for 6.1.5, you have to upgrade to 6.1.6, and Apple only provides this because their own hardware won't run 7.x.

MS saying that they won't provide patches for 8.1.0 now that 8.1.1 is out is trivial. The only PR fuck up is giving a date instead of "after reinstatement of 8.1 Update (8.1.1) availability).

And don't get me started on Apple. You know the first thing that happens when you call Apple with a problem? They have you wipe the device clean and reinstall the OS from scratch. Which, I suspect, would work fine on nearly any windows machine except for the annoyance of the reinstall. (I don't bother calling Apple anymore for iOS help - I don't have a couple of hours to reinstall the whole goddamned phone and set everything in it back up)

Comment: Dead wrong (Score 1) 184

by Overzeetop (#46739075) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

Dead wrong. Driver mode should be a UI mode which is tuned for hands and (mostly) eyes free usage. Allowing communication, navigation, and entertainment (audio) to seamlessly be integrated with the automotive head unit. The use of simpler prompts keyed through the steering wheel (like volume on head units or set/coast/resume cruise control) and large format feedback/UI viewable with peripheral vision.

Phones *could* make the driving experience safer by bypassing the distraction of the modern touchscreen headunit which is mounted way outside of peripheral vision. But because there is no dedicated mode, it's simply not suited for the task. Yet.

Comment: YES - and the mobile ecosys needs to perk up (Score 1) 184

by Overzeetop (#46739051) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

Mobile phones *could* make much of driving safer than it is today instead of making it more dangerous. For the first time, we have devices which be an effective co-pilot (mapping, traffic, entertainment, communication) and yet most of them are unusable in a voice-only mode. Part of that is standardization - every app requires a different set of commands, or an incomplete set of commands. Part of it is parochialism - OS developers allowing only their own offspring apps (most of which are, at best, middling compared to 3rd party) integration with the OS. This speaks nothing of the hideous integration with head units in cars, both OEM and aftermarket, which have the same problems - and don't even get me started on the microphones in cars.

Nobody seems to have really put a team together that has been tasked with making the experience safe for use in a car. They've bolted on weird, disfigured additions that make demos possible but which are not really useful in regular usage. It needs to be a core functional operating mode.

FWIW, I don't consider a ban on personal computers useful in cars. The distractions of text messages and the idiot watching movies is no different than the woman putting on lipstick or the guy reading a paperback while driving, and the presence of music and navigation and communication is no different than the music and navigation that gets built into head units today and the husband jabbering away or the kids yelling at each other in the back seat. Until we are no longer driving it's better to manage distractions than think we can eliminate them.

Comment: You are the exception (Score 1) 578

by Overzeetop (#46726723) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

Okay. So, honestly, look at the people who work the mines. Not the engineers or supervisors, but the bulk of the 9-5 guys. What percentage of them, in less than a year's worth of school/retraining, would be really good coders - the kind you could put on a project in an office in SF and expect to get a similar result to someone who's first chosen profession from their teens was coding and spent 4-6 years in post-secondary school learning the art, science, and math of coding?

I say this because Bloomberg is probably right. I'll bet at least 80% of them can't make up for lost time in a year or less (which, if you want to completely fund their retraining, including costs and living expenses is going to run towards $100k each). I'd bet more than 50% couldn't do it in 4 years. I say that because more than 50% of the general population wouldn't make it, and coal miners are no different.

As you said, coal miners are the product of their families, and often families where higher education is neither valued nor rewarded. It's not about better or worse, smart or stupid, it's about expectations and preparation. Take a 35 year old who hasn't done more than 3rd grade math in the last 20 years and put them into a math-intensive program. Most will fail miserably. Doesn't matter if they're a farmer, a coal miner, an automotive assembler, a construction worker, a retail cashier, or a salesman.

Bloomberg's words may feel like a put-down, but they're about as straight forward realistic as it gets. It's hard for "smart" people to understand that mere's applying yourself to a higher field of study often isn't enough to master it.

Comment: Because it isn't (Score 1) 133

Note that they didn't say - "Hey, we're going to do this merger, here's a check for $50k to help you do the right thing." Money that is considered for this "story" goes back to 2009, long before anyone was talking about a merger, or even the NBC/Universal acquisition.

That's not to say the whole system isn't corrupt - people and corporations buy influence with congressman all the time through donations. But this isn't a case of a bribe - it's buying recognition and face time. Something which is not illegal but should be as it skews the perspective seen by those who are making laws.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.