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Comment: Re:Ripoff (Score 2) 78

by captjc (#48178361) Attached to: Robot SmackDowns Wants To Bring Robot Death Matches To an Arena Near You

1-2 years? This was going on for a while. I remember watching Battle Bots on Comedy Central (Vlad The Impaler FTW) back around 2004. There was on on the Discovery Channel around the same time as well (Robotica, I think?), each with all types of merchandising behind it. Hell, Robot Wars was started in the early-mid 90's

Comment: Re:Won't anyone think of the corporations? (Score 1) 401

by captjc (#48169949) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

They can just get into the education sector. You already have a captive clientele, School nurses are even cheaper than prison doctors, and cheap meals are still cheap meals. Plus you have ample facilities for punishment and detention, A yard for "recess," and if you don't want to deal with public schooling, plenty of room for boarding students as a private school.

Schools are practically part-time prisons as it is, might as well go that extra few steps and use actual former prisons.

I am joking, but sadly that case could easily be made.

Comment: Re:My Anecdote: (Score 1) 344

by captjc (#48167339) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More

I bought my white Macbook in 2007, paid $1200. One of my family members made the remark that they only ever buy the Walmart special, (whatever is on sale for around $300) and told me that $1200 for a computer was a crime and I was stupid to ever pay that much. In that time, the longest they have ever had a computer was 2 years meanwhile my Macbook is not only still kicking, it still works pretty damn well, though I did max out the RAM a few years ago, install Lion, and am on my third battery.

After all these years, it still works great as my portable computer, Software Radio terminal, and music server though my desktop PC is my primary computer.

Comment: Re:There is no "working AI" at this time (Score 2) 98

by captjc (#48150733) Attached to: First Demonstration of Artificial Intelligence On a Quantum Computer

Of course it is AI, not cutting edge AI, but it is still AI. Just because it is now a mature solved problem, doesn't make it any less valid.

It is like saying that someone doing the old "calculate the landing position of a cannonball fired at X velocity at Y angle" problem isn't doing physics because modern physics now involves super-tiny particles and / or traveling at speeds near the speed of light.

Comment: Re:Why are slashdotters such idiots? (Score 1) 395

This issue?

Slashdot has become just another cog in the internet hate machine. It is gotten to the point that for any story, 70% of the comments now are just bitching and moaning at the topic, even when it is really unwarranted. I am starting to wonder if this place had devolved into trolls and trolls trolling the trolls.

Comment: Re:Never made an honest dime (Score 1) 181

by captjc (#48123977) Attached to: The Cult of Elon Musk Shines With Steve Jobs' Aura

One thing that does bother me a little is that all the successes of any company get attributed to the CEO. They have a lot of hard working, very smart and creative people working for the company, who have their accomplishments left in shadow because of the the CEO being the public face of the company. It's not all The CEO!

FTFY. I mean, it isn't like Eric Schmidt wrote every line of Google, Gmail, and Youtube. Jeff Bezos didn't sit down and engineer the Kindle. And Steve Ballmer sure as fuck didn't build the XBox or write Office. Like it or not, these guys are the public faces of their companies, and in good times get all the credit and in bad times get all the blame.

Comment: Re:I really hope... (Score 1) 482

by captjc (#48051949) Attached to: Online Creeps Inspire a Dating App That Hides Women's Pictures

You could always take a look at Japan. While I wouldn't say it has gone that far, it isn't too far off. That is one big reason why the birthrate is so low. Of course, those who aren't obsessing over their dating sims and sleeping with their anime-girl pillows can probably get all kinds of 'tang and from what I hear, adultery is pretty much standard operating procedure for any married man.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 602

by captjc (#48003485) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Plus it isn't that hard or expensive to "retrofit" a toilet to use less water. It can be done with either a pair of pliers (bend the rod that the float-ball is connected to so that it stops at a lower water level) or a bag of rocks (Place a sealed bag of rocks or really anything that is heavy and takes up volume in the reservoir tank to reduce the amount of water the tank holds).

No real point to buying a brand new toilet just to reduce water usage.

Comment: Re:I keep hearing about all these outlets (Score 1) 144

by captjc (#47970259) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

I'm sorry that you feel that way. As an Engineer who has experience with 3D CAD modeling, I love my printer. If I can design it, I can print it. I can understand that this is an extremely niche market right now and I don't expect everyone to want to run out and blow a grand or two on a personal printer, however that doesn't mean that the whole technology should be painted as irrelevant.

I don't expect these to be in every home in the next 20 years, but I can see them in more than a few garages. Just as most people don't need woodworking and metalworking tools there still plenty of hobbyists with table saws and welding gear in their garage. However, I think the real promise is going to be companies with high-end (think multi-million dollar printers able to print everything from ceramics to metals to plastics) catering to cheap one off or personalized knickknacks. It is already happening with outfits like Shapeways and as prices keep falling it will eventually become competitive with more traditional forms of manufacturing for low volume items.

Comment: Re:Dissolution of the middle class! (Score 1) 261

by captjc (#47965639) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

When I graduated college, I got something like that. I graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from an ABET accredited college, near the top of my class. I had some projects and job experience on my resume and professor's recommendations out the ass. However, It was also during the recession, so jobs were a bit hard to come by.

I went to one of those recruiters / contractor agencies and was in no uncertain terms told that no company would hire me (not like I had a criminal record or tattoos or anything) and that all of my skills were not only not in demand but were about 50 years obsolete (I specialized in low level system programming in C++ and programming language design). When he saw that my minimum asking salary was $30,000 a year (research showed that in my area, near the center of a major North-Eastern tech hub, the average starting salary for a Programmer / EE was between $35,000 and $45,000 a year), he laughed for about 5 minutes and told me I was horribly unrealistic.

After I left, about 45 minutes later, I was called with a job offer scrubbing toilets at a Masonic retirement home for minimum wage. I promptly told him to to shove it but was told that, "that was about the best I was ever going to get."

About 6 months later, I finally found a job doing systems programming on microcontrollers and robots. So fuck those recruiters.


Comment: Wifi-Dialup Router and Chromebook (Score 4, Informative) 334

by captjc (#47933251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Apparently there are Wireless routers that are designed to connect via dialup (for instance This Router.) With that, I would go with a Chromebook / Chromebox or an iPad.

Given the constraints, that is probably the best you can get. However, you could probably experiment with an old Win CE Thin Client or an old WebTV and try to get either to work, but neither are particularly great solutions.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.