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Comment: V-6 engines in affordable sedans (Score 2) 603

by bjdevil66 (#47788141) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

We've already mostly lost V-8s to tech advances, but no "turbo"-powered four banger is in the same league in smoothness and power that a solid V-6 gives you without having to floor it. Why is the V-6 becoming a luxury item not available to the middle class guy??

Others people have listed good ones further down my list:

Flip phone (privacy and cost issues with smart phones).
Corded telephone at home (for power outages)
CDs (damn carmakers have ditched CD changers)
pico in the CLI (so much quicker for some tasks)
Windows 7 (though working on a Mac at work almost has me out the door)
A handgun firearm (sorry DC and Chicago - I'll never live there because of this).

Comment: Re:A complaint (Score 1) 207

If they hire new people back from the same general neighborhoods and they make the same money, then the CEO will have done the right thing. Besides - the bottom 8% of any workforce usually has some serious dead wood in it.

If they don't fill those slots back up to increase quarterly earnings, go overseas to essentially hire the same people back at a fraction of the cost, or say a WORD to Congress about how there's a "major talent shortage" in the USA and call for more H1-Bs, someone needs to go punch that guy in the face.

Comment: Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (Score 2, Interesting) 207

Yes, the rich should be paying more back into the economy (through taxes or spending) instead of hoarding wealth, and the H-1Bs and other outsourcing of costs has to be curtailed.

However, when the poor stop getting earned income credits totaling in the several thousands every year (which goes up with the number of children claimed as dependents), while they don't pay a penny in income tax because they're unemployed for whatever reason, then you'll have a solid argument. Until then, too many of the "poor" are getting a free ride on the backs of bad government policy - and they have no skin in the game. Maybe they need to get rid of their iPhones, stop buying $250 Nikes, and cut their cable to pay some taxes back into the system that's paying for those luxuries.

Comment: Re:I have to record calls for a living... (Score 1) 368

by bjdevil66 (#47657117) Attached to: Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

The kicker is that if you have a cheap, corded phone that ALSO plays a role. I bought the Radio Shack device, plugged it into a cheapo speakerphone I had purchased at Target, and it didn't work. If you turned your speakers all the way up, you could barely hear a mumble in the recording.

I bought the JK Audio device online, and THAT didn't work well, either. Surprised, I threw out the speakerphone and got a better one - and the JK Audio device suddenly worked like a champ.

I wish I would've kept the Radio Shack device to try it out on that new speakerphone, but I guess the rule was that you generally get what you pay for when you buy the cheapest thing at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

Comment: Re:Wrong Control Variable? (Score 1) 619

I was also thinking of another control variable that's missing: religion. Communist countries attempt to instill an atheist dogma because the people are supposed to "worship" the state (in a nationalist sort of way), where capitalist countries (whether they had socialist leanings or not) generally have religious freedom in varying degrees.

I'm simplifying, but if you fear a God that commands you to be honest, then you try and be honest because you don't want to burn in hell. If you're brought up in an atheist communist society, however, and the government is your "god", you can more easily cheat or lie to it because people invariably figure out how to beat non-omnipotent/omniscient systems of governance and their punishments (which aren't eternal, either).

Comment: Re:All this... (Score 3, Insightful) 142

by bjdevil66 (#47281425) Attached to: Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

At the same time, I have found that comments on news sites were actually some of the best information out there - just like here on Slashdot. Yes, there are ahole trolls and idiots, but there aren't as many as some make it out to be - and there are usually sides to a story that aren't being told by the story itself where commenters fill in the blanks.

To be fair, though, the quality of comments overall - including here at Slashdot - has declined, simply because people don't spend the time typing up large treatises anymore. More people want a Twitter-like soundbyte more than information, and won't read comments more than a few lines long. They have better thing to... squirrel!

Comment: Don't forget privacy (Score 1) 339

by bjdevil66 (#47122511) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

If I pay with cash, it's mine and nobody has that data to sell to someone about me. Also, nobody ever knows if I ever watched it at all, or if I went back and watched a hot sex scene or some dude's head exploding over and over again.

Streaming services track this kind of info. Many just blow that off, but it matters to some.

Comment: First noticed this in Google Docs (Score 1) 521

by bjdevil66 (#47075533) Attached to: Goodbye, Ctrl-S

For public work docs we put together. I was trying to hit "Alt+F, S" to save everything for quite a while.

I personally don't like the change because not every piece of software behaves that way (yet), and that leads to confusion.

I also like having control over what is saved and when for a reason. Maybe I don't want some server having every thought I've ever had (and then deleted later because it was a bad idea, such as an angry email you never sent) stored somewhere in "Big Data". Imagine the psychological profile that someone could build about you with everything you ever typed anywhere in any Google product, Facebook, Twitter, etc...

With that said, I get why most people don't have such paranoid thoughts. It's all about convenience.

Comment: Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (Score 1) 284

by bjdevil66 (#47060037) Attached to: White House Pressures Legislators Into Gutting USA FREEDOM Act

5. For all of the talk from some libertarians, most Americans want to feel safe - and through their inaction (despite the revelations) have ratified GW's and Obama's acceptance of the spy programs.

What would be REALLY interesting to see, IMO, is if Rand Paul (by some miracle) was elected president in 2016 and despite his lineage and rhetoric even he decided to leave the surveillance in place. You'd have to wonder exactly what they're keeping from us, security-wise...

BTW - Looking at some people's defense of Obama on this topic shows that like past Slashdot articles have said, the more people are shown facts that disprove what they believe to be true, the more they clench onto their mistaken beliefs (in this case about Barack Obama's administration being a good thing for the country overall.)

Comment: Re:except your products are killing children (Score 1) 584

"or face increasing regulation of said killing devices."

Reasonable regulation is understandable, but doesn't the government have to prove at some point that they need to be regulating stupidity with guns within the walls of people's homes?

That's a key part of this debate that people sweep under the table with various gruesome statistics (4000 dead each year, etc.). What is the price of freedom from over-regulation, or taken to the extreme, tyranny?

By the way - Do you own a "said killing" device?

Comment: Re:old tech (Score 3, Interesting) 165

by bjdevil66 (#46750309) Attached to: Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

While schools had Apple computers, many 40 somethings first cut our teeth with computers at home on the C64 or Vic-20. With the C64, I first saw a modem (300 baud) and connect to a BBS system, a floppy disk drive (5.25" - holepunched to use both sides), and compressed digital music (at a C64 club meeting someone had a 10 second snippet of compressed, digital music on a C64 - sounded like crap and took (the usual) 2 minutes to load, but it was a decade ahead of MP3s.)

It also had BASIC programming capabilities with the disk drives for storage. You could draw sprites/graphics, program songs, do basic word processing, etc. Save it on your floppy disk and you were set.

Finally, the C64 had great games that made the pre-NES home consoles like the Atari 2600 look like garbage. The game selection was big enough to where a lot of good games were eventually produced: Ultima III/IV/V (or Bard's Tale, Temple of Apshai, Sword of Fargoal) = World of Warcraft. Arcade/Adventure/Pinball Construction Kit(s) = Minecraft. Karateka/Yie Ar Kung Fu = every fighter game ever. Beachhead = a 2D Call of Duty. Other great games off the top of my head -- Mission Impossible, Raid Over Moscow, Summer/Winter Games (Epyx), Raid on Bungeling Bay, etc.

It was also our first exposure to pirated software trading and beating DRM (Fast Hack'Em, etc.). To play our pirated version of archon (a great cross of chess and 2-D shooter):

load"*",8,1 (,8,8)
sys 24832

The system is a fossil today, but it was great for its time... You just kinda had to be there.

We can predict everything, except the future.