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Comment: Re:Farms (Score 1) 278

I was going to suggest that but realized that there currently isn't a way to transport the poopwater from urban areas where it's generated to rural areas where the farms are without using the existing potable water transport systems. If you're going to make it clean enough for that, there's no point in transporting it.

Comment: Dumbest question I'll see all day. (Score 1) 435

by jtownatpunk.net (#49673971) Attached to: Will Robot Cars Need Windows?

If there's no driver, will the passengers want to look outside?

What an asinine question. You don't need windows on buildings but they have them because PEOPLE WANT TO SEE OUTSIDE!!! And buildings don't even move. They added a window to the freaking Mercury capsules to get a better view. Yes there will be windows on automated vehicles.

Comment: Re:Call me crazy but... (Score 1) 515

The original cost estimate of the infrastructure was $30,000,000,000 and that it's now up to $68,000,000,000. The rail system doesn't just pop into existence. It has to be built and the debt incurred during construction should be repaid. That's around 800,000,000 riders at $84/ticket. Nevermind the cost of operating the trains. Approximately 5,000,000 people fly that route every year. Even if they pull 100% of air travelers, it's obviously going to be a huge money pit.

Comment: Re:Please explain (Score 2) 158

by jtownatpunk.net (#49643507) Attached to: Devices I have with a GPS reciever built in:

My last 3 phones (I still have the old ones somewhere), two tablets, my old GPS navigation unit, a bluetooth GPS receiver I used with a laptop, one of my quadcopters, a USB GPS receiver...I think that's about it. And I've had several more that are long gone. I've been GPS navigating since the late 90s when I plugged a Sony Etak PCMCIA GPS receiver into my Libretto and fired up SkyMap. These days, I use the GPS in my current phone most of the time.

Comment: It's the manufacturers, not Google (Score 1) 434

by jtownatpunk.net (#49625327) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

I always upgrade my android devices as fast as the updates are available through normal channels. I don't root my devices and load custom ROMs. I'm too old for that. I just want my shit to work without spending hours messing around. But the manufacturers and carriers are not pushing updates in a timely manner, even on their flagship devices. My Nexus 10 tablet got upgraded to Lollipop last fall. My S5 phone didn't get upgraded until 2/4. My Tab S 10.5 didn't get upgraded to 5.0 until 3/23. By then, my Nexus 10 was already on 5.1.

Despite being Samsung's flagship devices at the time of purchase, my phone is still on 5.0 and my Tab S is still on 5.0.2. Meanwhile my creaky old Nexus 10 (also made by Samsung) is running 5.1.

Comment: Re:big dropoff in new tech over age 70 (Score 2) 67

by jtownatpunk.net (#49588533) Attached to: Apple, IBM To Bring iPads To 5 Million Elderly Japanese

My grandpa was the most flexible-minded elder I ever encountered but even he didn't want to change the way he did things once he learned how to do something. He made the transitions from Windows 3.11 to 98se to XP well enough because I minimized the impact by using "classic view" setups and carrying forward as much of his software as possible.

He wasn't afraid to explore new things. Just that, once he learned them, he wanted it to be static and unchanging. Why would you change something that works? One weekend, I came home and he showed me the radio-fax kit he'd bought. Say what??? It was a receiver that plugged into the headphone jack of a shortwave radio on one side and the serial port of the computer on the other side. The software would record and decode faxes of weather maps that were broadcast over shortwave then print them on the DeskJet 500c. But, when this kind of thing became widely available on the internet, he wouldn't switch until either they stopped broadcasting or the software didn't survive an OS upgrade. I forget which. He didn't like using websites to get weather maps as much because they'd make small changes to the websites once or twice a year and he'd have to hunt for what he wanted. As inefficient as the radio-fax thing was, the process didn't change.

And he was doing online banking back in the 90s. No urging or input from me. I didn't think he'd be comfortable with it. But one day he was telling me how I really needed to look into this online banking thing. "It's great!" Heck, I only beat him to it by a few months.

I don't know if it's really just old people who are like that, tho. Way back in the before time, I signed up with a temp agency to get some quick money while I was looking for a permanent job. I did the Word and Excel tests because that was the software I'd used. Then I realized they wouldn't send me to a job where they used WordPerfect or Lotus123 unless I took and passed those tests. It seemed absurd. That would be like "Oh, we can only send you to jobs where you'd be driving a Toyota. You didn't take the Ford test." When I passed every word processor and spreadsheet test they had, the woman looked at me like I was a wizard. "Why didn't you say you knew those programs?" "I don't. I've never used them in my life. But a word processor is a word processor. They all do the same thing and have the same menus." "Wow. I'm not going to have any trouble finding you a job!"

I've worked with people in almost every age group who learned by rote and have no comprehension of what they're doing. I used to say most people 5 years younger than me or older are hopeless with a computer. And that was back in my 30s.

Comment: Grumble (Score 1) 67

by jtownatpunk.net (#49588193) Attached to: Apple, IBM To Bring iPads To 5 Million Elderly Japanese

I can't even get my USPS driver to deliver packages to my door for the last few weeks.

"The road's in poor shape." "We've improved the road twice since I bought my house. It's better now than it was when I moved in and it was good enough to deliver packages before we did anything at all." "We switched to LLVs and they don't get around as well as the personal vehicles did." "The only vehicles that have ever delivered mail on my route since I moved here have been LLVs." "I'll look into it."

Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC

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