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Comment: Re:An economic and environmental disaster (Score 1) 99

by Rotag_FU (#47648403) Attached to: Toxic Algae Threatens Florida's Gulf Coast

In Florida, they often use grass species which are pretty much impossible to keep going without these massive applications, such as St. Augustine. When you stop throwing the chemicals on the yard, the St. Augustine will mostly go away.

This might vary depending upon the area of Florida that you lived in. I lived in the Tampa Bay area when growing up and never had to fertilize our St. Augustine, nor did I have to water it. It rained almost daily during the summers at ~3 PM and the grass seemed to grow too quickly to mow. Even when there was some drought and Xeriscaping was touted as the solution, this was supposed to be to address high water consumption ornamentals rather than St. Augustine grass. There were many times mowing the grass as a kid that I wished the grass would have died or at least slowed down. :)

However, I haven't lived in Florida for 16 years so it is possible that much has changed in the intervening years.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked... shocked I say... (Score 1) 354

by Rotag_FU (#47508729) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

Hopefully, I won't be smited (smit?, smote?) any time soon. However, I guess I'm a physical disc hugger.

I'd love to give up my physical discs in favor of streaming only (I have both today), but it simply is not a viable option now. Netflix needs to make the first move and dramatically improve their streaming portfolio rather than having me make the first move and voluntarily give up my disc sub in favor of well, nothing really since there isn't much of a viable alternative. I guess I could "rent" movies online via Amazon or Apple and pay much, much more than I do for my disc sub and likely not even get better than stereo sound. I refuse to do RedBox since it is almost as inconvenient as the dark days at Blockbuster. I won't go the illegal route of bittorrent since I am willing to pay a sensible fee for legal access to content (again the "rental" fees are not sensible). So basically that leaves me with a Netflix disc sub.

Be sure to let me know when Netflix manages to whip the content companies in line so that they can stream 80-90% of recent movies (i.e., movies 3 years old). Heck, even popular but relatively ancient movies are poorly represented. I'm just not holding my breath until then.

Comment: Re:Unless you've spent $300 on a GPU... (Score 1) 210

What about Titanfall was a specific disappointment?

I've owned it since day one and thoroughly enjoyed it. In many ways it was a breath of fresh air that shook up a lot of the cruft of modern progression based multiplayer shooters. I will acknowledge that there were a couple of rough edges at launch (mostly commonly expected but inexplicably missing minor features) however just about all of those have been resolved in updates. Still, I had more fun playing it than I have a game of this genre since probably the original Modern Warfare.

I haven't played Watch_Dogs yet so I cannot comment on it.

Comment: Re:Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (Score 1) 78

by Rotag_FU (#46536559) Attached to: 'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest

I don't know. Barret was a pretty big guy. I'm not sure an ostrich or emu could successfully carry him, especially at speed. Also, I think the right chocobos could be much faster than an emu or ostrich considering how fast they could run across the veldt.

This actually sounds like a fun nerd debate topic: Is a chocobo just a friendly emu? Why or why not?!
In college I could probably have debated this with friends all night long.

Comment: Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (Score 1) 78

by Rotag_FU (#46535877) Attached to: 'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest

I am kind of surprised that I am apparently the only one that is thinking this sounds kind of like a Chocobo. I guess my brain was warped by too many Final Fantasy games in my youth.

If only we could recreate these and race them! Better yet, they could be the solution for the elimination of fossil fuel based personal ground transport. Who needs a Tesla when you have a Chocobo?

Comment: Re:Clever? (Score 1) 229

Getting the data to the cell tower is easy - the problem is that the only way they can expand the bandwidth from the tower to the phone is by having more wireless spectrum which is expensive and regulated, and there are technological limitations as well (if you wanted gigabit to your phone you couldn't really have it at any price).

It seemed to me that the GP was lumping together all ISPs (wired or wireless) since he was talking about peak usage being on Friday and Saturday nights (which only makes sense for wired, not wireless). Also, I don't buy that Netflix is the top internet traffic on wireless ISPs since most people would blow through their data caps in relatively short order watching Netflix. Although I do not have the data to prove it one way or the other.

If restricting the discussion to wireless only, then I agree that the Netflix Open Connect strategy is less helpful, but I think it still provides some value.

I agree that with wireless, there are more tangible and effective limits on bandwidth than with wired. However, I think we have a long way to go before they are realized in most places.

I would also argue there are other solutions other than simply more EM spectrum. Specifically, in most places there is room to have denser packing of cell towers. Since cell phones will negotiate to the nearest/strongest tower, adding additional towers will reduce effective congestion since less people will be communicating with each tower. Obviously there are diminishing returns because eventually the towers will be so tightly packed that there is little differentiation between the closest tower and the next closest tower which results in interference and call hand-off problems.

While this effective cell tower density may have been reached in parts of the densest cities (e.g., NY) and/or sporting events, I think there is ample room for growth in most places. Admittedly, new towers are very costly (permits, installation, maintenance, etc.), however the wireless ISPs need to do a better job of reinvesting their profits into infrastructure to address this issue rather than blaming their customers. It is like they are upset their customers want to use something that they are paying for and then not investing the money to actually provide it.

Comment: Re:Clever? (Score 4, Insightful) 229

There's a lot netflix could do to make this less of a pain in the ass for the ISPs but so far they've been total asshats about the situation.

I disagree about the claim that Netflix is not trying to help the situation. After all they did introduce Open Connect ( to address this situation. Basically they told ISPs that they would provide a content delivery network that would be colocated on their system to relieve network stresses. Netflix provides the hardware for free and all the ISP has to do is hook it up to their network and provide the space/power for the hardware. On top of that, it gives the ISP participating in Open Connect a competitive advantage since the Netflix streams can be higher resolution than other ISPs that do not participate.

Rather than being an "asshat" this seems to be going above and beyond to provide the ISPs with a solution for the claimed problems. Of course the real issue is that the ISPs (usually cable) are upset that Netflix is rapidly turning them into a dumb pipe and cannibalizing their ad revenue. However, the ISPs know that this is not a customer friendly argument so they make the, seemingly reasonable, argument about the heavy network utilization saturating. Netflix provided a solution to the stated problem, but not the real one (i.e. cable company greed).

It is also important to remember that the reason people pay the ISP for internet access is to have access to services like Netflix. If those services were not available, the ISPs would have less customers. If anything the ISPs should be thanking companies like Netflix, Google, etc. for providing content that people want and therefore compel them to want to buy internet access in the first place.

Comment: Re:let's make "Elop" a verb (Score 1) 292

by Rotag_FU (#45371617) Attached to: Stephen Elop Would Pull a Nokia On Microsoft

Did you see the article on Playstation 4? I have never bought a PS (from the beginning IMHO it was a lesser nintendo but i'm old school like that...) and I'm not any kind of gamer fanboi but the PS4 looks badass all the way around. It's going to be $100 cheaper on launch and the 3rd Party game situation will be killer

Xbox is M$'s next casualty...seriously...

I wouldn't count the Xbox out yet. At this point, I can see strong arguments for people going in either direction (PS4 or Xbox One) and think it comes down to personal preference in most situations.

My take is that the PS4 has the advantage in terms of cost and performance (based on early indications). The Xbox One has a probable advantage in terms of gaming network (Xbox Live has been a better developed multiplayer gaming environment than Sony's; although that could change in this generation). It also has an advantage in terms of pure and timed exclusives. For the timed exclusives, you can point to aspects of the new FIFA as well as map packs for CoD and for pure exclusives you can point to Titanfall. If Titanfall is anywhere as close to as good as the press has been indicating, this exclusive could be a major coup for M$. At least until Titanfall 2, which will likely be multiplatform. Finally, the exclusive launch title that looks the best to me (not counting Titanfall since it won't be out until March) is Forza 5. So either platform is a great choice depending upon what games interest you.

I had pre-orders for both the PS4 and Xbox One as soon as they announced pre-order availability. I was strongly leaning towards cancelling the Xbox One preorder and going purely with PS4, but the aspects that changed my mind were: 1) Titanfall looks damn good. 2) MS reversed course on their most boneheaded ideas (although I really liked the sharing with friends aspect). 3) I have a number of friends that are on Xbox Live and are not planning to switch. At this point, I've cancelled my PS4 pre-order and kept my Xbox One preorder, but I plan to pick up the PS4 when the inevitable price cut hits in a year or so.

So the bottom line is that while I can easily see a path towards Sony winning this generation, I think it is far too early to tell and I think either console is a worthwhile platform. However, I wish both platforms would have put more investment into their GPUs to get something more comparable to the performance that higher end PC GPUs currently have available.

Comment: Re:Is anyone giving money to Sony? (Score 1) 254

by Rotag_FU (#45360149) Attached to: A Playstation 4 Teardown

As to the PS4, as all these things are essentially just software, I'm personally convinced they will add them eventually, after trying an itunes approach or collaboration with a specific provider per country via an app. If those fail, they will/can add them.

So you are anticipating the company that took away a highly touted software feature (the "Other OS" feature) via a required system update (as in required if you ever wanted to play another game on your system) is going to add new capabilities to the PS4 that they went to special effort to prevent upon launch?

On a completely unrelated note, I have this really great bridge that I need to sell for a bargain basement price. Are you interested?

Comment: Re:like anything else.. (Score 1) 580

In my case I had a number of teachers who weren't new, but were horrible teachers at the same time (although likely excellent researchers hence the reason they were still on staff).

In at least one case (differential equations), the prof's english was so poor that he was unable to comprehensibly express the simplest of concepts. It got so bad that I realized that I was learning nothing in the class and was entirely self learning using the text book. This wasn't so bad since I was still learning the concepts and understanding them, but I was upset that I was effectively paying this professor through my tuition for nothing more than the ability to give me tests and grade them since he was not conveying the core concepts. I eventually only would go to the classes where the homework was assigned and the quizzes/tests were given since everything else was a real waste of time. I did get an A and left the course with an understanding of the material, but again this was entirely through my own efforts and there was no real teaching by the professor.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln