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Comment Re:It's not just IT (Score 0) 152

I agree with you, just not your example. Pharmacy Techs are on-the-job trained in a few days and get paid just north of minimum wage. The technical skills required to do that job aren't complex and those leading the area should have to do the same on-the-job training as the staff. Comparing that world to most IT specializations is a HUGE leap.

Comment N1500 / VCR came out same year, wasn't skip field (Score 1) 92

To be fair, most "portable" video recording systems in the early 70's were skip frame.

I remember reading about the Cartrivision, and being willing to cut the limitations described some slack on the basis that it came out in 1972, which is *very* early on in terms of domestic videocassette recorders.

That was, until I'd remembered that the Philips N1500 also came out in 1972 and didn't have a lot of those limitations. It was the first model to support their flop "Video Cassette Recording (VCR)" format. In particular, it doesn't appear to have been skip frame. In fact, from what I've read, the N1500 appears to have been far closer in design and execution to later video formats like VHS and Betamax.

That's not to say it was perfect- apparently there were problems with the design of the reel-on-reel tape mechanism and feed, and later formats increased tape efficiency by removing the need for a guard band, amongst other improvements. Still, it looks to have been more advanced than Cartrivision.

Not only does the current article itself mention the N1500, but reading it more closely it actually makes basically the same points I made above about its technical superiority and closer resemblance to later machines!

In Cartrivision's defence, the OP's comment that it had "no rewind" is incorrect; the "no rewind" only applied to rental tapes used in domestic recorders; i.e. it was an anti-feature designed to ensure once-only viewing, but didn't apply to regular tapes.

Comment Re:Betteridge's law of headlines (Score 1) 264

According to Betteridge's law of headlines: No.

Yawn... years later, there are still oh-so-clever people kneejerk yelling "Betteridge" in response to every headline phrased as a question, not understanding what the original point of Betteridge's law actually was.

Hint; this isn't it, it's a (probably) legitimate question, and even if it was a crap attempt to kick-start a discussion by phrasing it in that form, it's still not an example of Betteridge.

Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Insightful) 288

The law should NEVER, EVER, EVER, provide protection over any data available behind public sector activity.

The public sector frequently claims the release of information will be burdensome; however, the public sector actors are not always forced, by statute (as they are in Minnesota) to ensure records should be held in a way which the sector cannot claim burden in failure to comply.

This needs to change.

Comment And yet, even at 24, it's not the year of Linux (Score 0, Flamebait) 152

I've been using Linux, in varying capacities in both my personal and work life, since that fateful day in fall of 1996 when I popped a Slackware CD into my Dell Latitude P-133 laptop. Yet, I still don't love it as much as I should.

Why? Because, as I found out this week when I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a VM to power a SAS installation at work, it still sucks in so many ways. Is it better than it was 19 years ago? Not really. I still had to think; still had to work to get the damn thing to run; and grub still gave me a rash and a shit to get up and running.

Yeah, the Debian install I originally made back in November of 2002 is still running, after many a dist-upgrade, and it's going strong; however, I still have my love/hate w/Linux after nearly 20 years living with it daily.

I've always been excited for the next big thing. The next moment when it would be that system I could easily use on my desktop or laptop and interoperate w/the rest of the world; yet, here I am, typing this on a machine, provided to me by my company, I never thought I'd use (a MBPr), ever.

Yeah, Linux runs the Internet and many of our phones, yet, I still hate it as much as I did when I was 17 years old, for many of the same reasons.

I'll be happily waiting for another 24 while it continues to grow and do its thing but, unlike the visions many of us saw for Linux back in the day, it has not shaped up like we thought it would. Successful? ABSOLUTELY. But as successful and brilliant as it should be 24 years later, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Comment Awiiaboo? No thanks... (Score 1) 70

On the flip side, there are less serious gamers like myself (*) who might consider the buying the 3DS, but would be put off by the fact that to access certain hidden features- or, more seriously, advantages- in games *that you'd already paid for*, you then had to shell out more for these figures which you have no interest in, nor space in your house for.

If some people like that- good for them. But personally, if I'm expected to buy into this sort of thing to get full use out of a 3DS, I'm not even going to bother.

Probably Nintendo have done their sums and research and estimated that they'll make more from tying their consoles to the Amiibo than they'll lose. Maybe they got those sums right, and maybe they didn't- but even if they did, it's possibly not the 100% win that you think it is.

(*) Or rather, people who are *only* interested in the games- casually or otherwise. There are probably many "serious" gamers who have no interest in collecting "Sailor Moon" Happy Meal toys with embedded RFIDs either.

Comment Re:Who owns it? (Score 1) 46

I have a page where I put up a bunch of info about my experiments and memories of my Commodore systems. In the years that page has existed, the ownership of the C= logo/name/etc changed hands FIVE TIMES!

It's not just that, it's that- as far as I can tell- the rights to Commodore's various products and brands have not only been split up, but also sublicensed over the years to the point of being a confusing mess.

The company (*) that made the "Commodore 64x" around four years ago- you remember, the PC in a case that at least *looked* like a C64- also released the "Amiga 1000", "2000" and "3000". These had sod all to do with the original Amigas of those names. In fact they weren't even computers in their own right, but just home theatre PC cases, spuriously claiming to be "revivals" of the originals.

What makes this more stupid is that, at the same time, other companies were still making- under license- "real" Amigas. When I say "real", I mean they support the current version of the AmigaOS- also produced under license!- even though they aren't remotely low-level compatible with the original Amigas. (In fact, the only reason for having AmigaOS run on that overpriced, underpowered custom hardware, rather than commodity PCs seems to be as a means to subsidise AmigaOS via the very small- but incredibly diehard- remaining userbase).

Of course, these are two different things- the HTPC "Amiga" was an utterly second-rate, shameless attempt to exploit the nostalgia market with something that didn't even look like an Amiga, whereas the AmigaOne et al is aimed at the rabid diehards who are still using AmigaOS almost 20 years after it died as a mainstream proposition. But the point is that they were happy to whore out the Amiga name for two entirely different "Amigas" at the same time.

And then there's the fact that AmigaOS itself was the subject of a legal dispute. Or the fact that the current Amiga Inc. (the apparent owner/licensee of the Amiga rights) notably *isn't* the same company as the "Commodore" that owns the rights to *that* brand.

This isn't remotely complete, and doesn't even touch on the passing around and splitting of the rights in the wake of Commodore's demise. (Nostalgia-related exploitation of the brand goes back as far 1998- just four years after Commodore's demise- when the "Commodore 64" name was used on a crappy low-powered web PC). The point is that the rights are all over the place and have been whored out all over the shop.

It hardly matters if this latest b******t attempt to slap a "Commodore Pet" badge on a mediocre Android smartphone and claim it as a revival of the Pet (even though it was to come with Vic 20 and C64- not Pet!- emulators that any Android device could run) is "officially" endorsed or not. It's all crap, who gives a toss anyway?

(*) "Commodore USA", who were themselves just a company that had licensed the "Commodore" name from the rights holders and are now no more.

Comment Re:Seems silly. (Score 1) 66

The cooler thing would be if you have enough high speed printing capacity that you could manufacture and assemble a 1000 drone swarm in a very short period of time and overwhelm an adversaries defenses without requiring a ship big enough to carry a 1000 completed drones. And then another one, and another one. You would need a tanker full of plastic and a freighter full of batteries, electronics and propellers.

âoeKill decisionâ baby.

Comment Re:You just described SoylentNews. (Score 2) 552

I would mostly agree with parent. Soylent is fine execpt the community isnt big enough so the comments are barely there or worth reading, the name is kind of bad and the stories are routinely just old enough to be yesterdays news on Slashdot or Hacker news.

Their Twitter feed, which is where I get my news feeds, also puts these really annoying lame "from the deptâ attempts at humor in the tweets instead of just the title of the story and the link:

Razer Acquires Ouya Software Assets, Ditches Hardware from the kicked-down dept

They will even thorten the title to make room for the utterly stupid âoefrom theâ.

The best solution to replace Slashdot would probably be if Hacker news grafted the classic Slashdot look, commenting and moderation system on to their generally good stories and great community.

Comment Re:Whistle blower (Score 4, Insightful) 608

There is a high probably no Sunday talk show would have let him speak once they found out what he was going to say. They are all owned by giant media conglomerates you know. They wouldnt risk the wrath of the Federal government. Pretty sure Snowden went to Greenwald because he was one of the few journalists with the balls to do the story. The Guardian was hammered by the UK government for running it.

Remember when the CEO of Qwest defied the NSA plan to tap all data and phones lines after 9/11. The Federal government pulled all their contracts from Qwest, hammered their stock and then put him in prison for a phony securities rap. Qwest was a rare corporate hero among telecoms, long since swallowed up by CenturyLink who are just as bad as all the rest.

Comment Re:Is my time free too? (Score 1) 654

Here in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro, as long as you're going to either downtown and, honesty, downtown Minneapolis more-so that StP, it's faster to take the bus. However, pretty much anywhere else, it's way slower.

That said, my family of 4 only has one car and I take mass transit or carpool w/others. I see absolutely no reason why those working downtown should go there in any other way. It's faster, cheaper, allows you to sleep/read/etc, and it's better for the environment.

Comment iPhone5S w/VZW (Score 3, Interesting) 129

I have an iPhone5S w/VZW and find their tools to be 100% spot on. Between my wife and I, we end up right at our 4GB limit each month and sometimes we're in airplane mode + wifi for a day or more in order to make it under the wire. I feel VZW's own tools are just fine for monitoring my bandwidth, at least at this point in time.

Many of you will ask why we just don't add more to our plan. Well, that's simple: I don't believe that carriers should be able to charge what they do for the limited amount of bandwidth they provide; data is the new SMS (something I also refused to pay for when I was on AT&T and instead forced the carrier to block all incoming SMS to my phone and I used Google Voice + iMessage to avoid paying for it).


Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.