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Comment: Using DD-WRT (Kong latest "old" driver version) (Score 1) 73

by aussersterne (#46782987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

on a Netgear R6300 and it has been very fast, great with signal quality, and the QoS features are working as expected.

Both the R6250 and R6300 have a dual-core 800MHz CPU, so they have the power to handle a decent QoS requirement without bogging down potential throughput too much. I'm satisfied, and it wasn't that expensive. If your situation isn't too terribly complex (many dozens of users and extensive QoS rules) then it might be a good choice.

The R7000 is even faster and supports external antennas, so I second that suggestion, but it's also twice the price of the 6250/3000, which can be found on sale from $100-$125 brand new if you're a good comparison shopper and/or patient.

Comment: I think you're missing the point (your "not into (Score 0) 244

by aussersterne (#46738441) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

FPS" comment at the end is evidence of this).

In the PC gaming world, getting it to run at the highest settings *is* the game. It's like the "bouncing ball" graphics demos on 8-bit systems in the 1980s. The actual software isn't useful or meant to occupy the user's attention for long. The challenge is in *getting it to run* and the joy is in *seeing what my super-cool computer is capable of* in processing and graphics rendering terms.

Running on last year's card/settings? Sorry, you don't get the game.

This is why I stopped being a PC gamer in the late '90s. All I wanted was a better Tetris. What I got was a better bouncing ball demo.

Comment: It's early days yet. (Score 1) 180

by aussersterne (#46639493) Attached to: A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them

There were a whole bunch of smartphones before the iPhone. Anyone remember them? I stumbled across my old Palm Centro the other day, which replaced a Treo 680. These devices were useful to some (I was one of them), but the cost/benefit calculation was finicky, and they didn't find widespread adoption.

Pop consensus was that smartphones were a niche market. Then, someone got one right (iPhone) and the whole industry took off. These days, people don't even realize they're using a "smartphone" (I can remember the early press using the term "supersmartphone") because it's just "my phone."

The same trajectory outlines the computing era in general—from 8-bit boxes that were fiddly and full of cables and user manuals and coding to the Windows era during the '90s—at first, it was a geek thing, and lots of people got in and then got out, deciding it wasn't useful. Then, suddenly, a few UX tweaks and it was ubiquitous and transparent and a market we couldn't imagine the world being without.

I suspect the same will happen with wearable tech.

Comment: I guess I don't see the reason this is on the (Score 4, Insightful) 490

by aussersterne (#46586117) Attached to: Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

front page of Slashdot. Of course this is price discrimination. Charge what the market will bear. Segment your users accordingly. Maximize revenue through each avenue, carefully ensuring that you match value offered to segments to pricing, etc.

This is not a story, this is marketing 101—it's what every marketing-driven organization (basically everyone in the modern economy) does, and the bigger they are, the better they do it.

It's not that any of this is wrong, it's just not newsworthy. We could write the same piece about any number of consumer goods companies, SAAS platforms, etc.

I guess my response to this is: "Yes. And?"

Comment: I do freelance/consulting for startups. Why? (Score 1) 225

by aussersterne (#46471119) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Youth Problem


- The pay is 2-3x what I could get paid at established firms
- The relationship-starting practices actually make sense (an interview amongst humans, often with C-levels, rather than with an HR-drone, and forms of testing that involve work on-product, rather than abstract and unrelated HR games).
- They are thankful to have me and pleasant to work with (as opposed to confronting the HR bureaucracy and middle management)
- I get better titles and better status/authority within the firm

I do good work, I produce value, and the startups that I work with see that and can measure it quantitatively. Established firms could if they wanted to, but that's the point: they don't want to. They want to pay you as little as they can get away with, and have you as silent and head-hung as they can get you to be.

I stopped working for stodgy HR- and middle-management-heavy firms years ago. It basically sucked, and was soul-sucking.

Comment: Ditto. Old-fashioned 9-5 work at an established (Score 2) 225

by aussersterne (#46471113) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

company now:

- Pays less
- Is less secure
- Is a shitty environment
- Offers dwindling benefits
- And little respect

You're cannon fodder, that's all.

At startups and companies with that "hot startup" attitude (there are a few established companies that do this), you're the core of the business, the brains of the operation, worthy of any perks or cash they can throw at you.

Who wants to work where they're completely undervalued when they can work where they're (if anything) overvalued?

Make the salary at least reasonable, the hiring practices sane, the benefits good, and the job security reliable, and you'll find that a lot of young people are willing to work at stodgy old firms, just like they used to.

Employees are just tired of being treated like shit. These days hot startup > freelance/consult > established firm when it comes to the deal you get as a worker.

Comment: Yes, yes, yes. (Score 1) 250

by aussersterne (#46449585) Attached to: Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

I paid $600 at one point for a used full-height hard drive that was made out of a solid hunk of alloy for the first hard drive for my PC.


Way to let the point fly over your head.

By the time we were mid-'90s, we could get backup solutions that were—yes—$1,000 to $3,000 for the mechanism and $15-$30 for each piece of media.

But they:

- Would cover the space of most consumer drives at the time within 1-4 cartridges
- Would thus backup your entire consumer data library for $50-$150 per complete backup

This can't be done any longer. Not even close.

My point wasn't to get into a "history" pissing match. Sheesh, yes, also back in the day there were no such things as digital computers or hard drives or printing presses or even written script and everything had to be passed along as oral tradition, which meant that the cost of a backup was the cost of a human life.

As I said, this misses the point entirely. One might have hoped that in the process of getting here from the mid '90s we'd have gone forward rather than backward on the ability to make backups on removable storage media.

Comment: Translation: Where is the consumer solution? (Score 1) 250

by aussersterne (#46449125) Attached to: Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

I can't find any data on MSRP now, but back in the day it seems to me that there were storage choices that were not so cost-prohibitive for consumers.

4mm and 8mm drives with multi-gigabyte capacities that compared favorably with hard drives of the time could be had for $hundreds to $a thousand or two, with media costs in the $10-$25 per tape range. At the time, there were also MO drives that had significant capacities in similar ranges, with slightly higher media costs.

Back then, the capacity of one removable cartridge/disk was much closer to the capacity of consumer market hard drives. You might have to go through 1-4 tapes or cartridges to back up all of your data, but that meant less than $100 for each additional complete backup set.

Now current consumer drive sizes are in the multi-terabyte range, while capacities of removable storage are such that you'll need 10-15 instances of media to back up your collection, and each media item is $50-$100. I have 18TB online right now. This means with a 300GB storage capacity, I'll need 30-45 instances of blank media for a single backup set. Back in the day, I had an Archive Python autoloader that used 4 DDS tapes and had a capacity of 96GB compressed, with a total online storage capacity of something like 40GB. In short, I had _excess_ capacity for less than $100 per backup set in a single operation.

At this level, it makes much more sense to just by a pile of multi-terabyte hard drives (4TB drives are currently less than $150 street price) and use them. Faster, cheaper, and without the up-front cost of the mechanism (backup drive) to pay for.

For consumers, dedicated backup technologies seem to have gone the way of the dodo.

Comment: Did not have this problem. (Score 1) 179

by aussersterne (#46373631) Attached to: Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In

I switched from iPhone to Android after using iMessage extensively and did not have this problem. So clearly it depends on some particular status/configuration of all the involved parties.

Does this depend on:

1) Moving the SIM from your old phone to your new phone
2) Leaving your old phone on and connected to WiFi so that iMessages still sees you as being on network

Or something like that?

I know that when I switched, it was a really quick thing—new Android phone arrived via USPS, pulled my old SIM, put it into new phone, turned off old phone, and away we went. I was in mid conversation with several people and never experienced a hiccup over the course of the day. Even talked about it over SMS—complained about the default keyboard on the new phone and all kinds of stuff.

Wasn't aware of this issue and didn't experience it. What gives?

Life's the same, except for the shoes. - The Cars