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Comment: Cell Phone Data Plans (Score 1) 318

by matt328 (#45080485) Attached to: The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying
I hate that you can't have a smart phone without paying at least an extra $30 a month for a data plan. I like my smart phone, its a single device that makes/receives phone calls, holds all my music, photos, camera, calendar events, bathroom games, all that stuff, but I don't need a mobile data plan. My usage patterns are such that I'm rarely out of range of a wifi access point, and in the rare instances I am, I'm fine with waiting like 20 minutes till I get back to a wifi hotspot to sync back up. $30 might not seem like much, but both my wife and I are in the same boat, so that is $60 a month that we're paying out and not getting anything in return.

Another poster mentioned pretending it is a deal breaker and getting certain bullshit fees waived, but has anyone ever tried this with a data plan and have a voice-only plan on a smartphone with Verizon? It seems my only option is to use a 'dumb' flip phone for calls, and carry around an additional wifi-only device for all the functions I listed above, and I am fully ready to get my flip phone from a different carrier just out of spite.

Comment: Worthless Photos (Score 1) 1191

by matt328 (#45007513) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)
Websites in general need to stop just pulling similarly tagged photos from flickr or wherever just for the sake of adding color or whatever they think they do. If a photo is directly covering a story, for example a photo of a new piece of tech, or something that is better when seeing rather than reading a description of, that is helpful. A stock photo of security cameras pointed at some dude adds no value to a story about cryptography, it just wastes space.

Comment: Re:It incorporates some interesting concepts, but. (Score 2) 317

by matt328 (#44973707) Attached to: Valve Announces Steam Controller
Touch screen/pad, maybe I can see being kinda cool for use on menu screens, but when you're in action, you need the precision of physical sticks and buttons. When things get intense, I always find myself pressing buttons harder and trying to tilt sticks further than they can move, and that style of play hasn't ever worked well with any kind of touch input.

Touch pads for joysticks just feels too much like the on screen joysticks people pretend are legitimate in mobile games. The issue on touch devices is as I said before, there's always the 'shit shit shit go further/faster/turn sharper' moment when you want to push the virtual joystick further but there is no boundary so your thumb/finger slides all the way off of it and you stop moving altogether. These touch pads do have physical boundaries it seems, but I wonder if they are so precise, what happens when you want to simulate tilting a stick all the way in a certain direction, but where you initially contact the touch pad isn't exactly center, leaving you with that offset as lost range.

I'm also skeptical of the buttons being split on either side of that screen or whatever it is. If you are moving or looking or whatever with your left thumb, the two buttons right next to that touch pad are essentially useless. I don't know it is only 2 buttons, it says there are 16 on the thing so maybe that isn't so big a deal.

I'm with you though on the XBox 360 controller. 2 full joysticks, analog shoulder triggers, even a D-Pad for when you don't want to trust the joystick for explicit up, down, left, or right inputs. It has all the bases covered for a wide variety of games without being overcomplicated.

Comment: Re:While all the hate? (Score 1) 139

by matt328 (#44972647) Attached to: Microsoft Shows Off Its Vision For Gesture-Controlled PCs
All the hate is because I have enough RSI just using a keyboard and mouse for 8 hours a day. Get comfy in your chair, now hold your hands out 6" above your keyboard for 60 seconds. Next try 5 minutes. How uncomfortable will you be after physically gesturing with your hands for 8 hours? How about after a week of 8 hour days doing that? 6 months or a year?

Windows isn't a thing I use when I'm bored at home and want to surf the web for a bit. As a professional engineer working at a company where its use is mandated, it is my toolbox. I use Win7 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, and it works well enough the way it is, so its natural I feel a bit protective of it.

Playing devil's advocate and sensationalizing a bit here, but hopefully I've explained at least some of the hate for this particular piece of tech.

Comment: Are you kidding? (Score 1) 12

by matt328 (#31113246) Attached to: Explosion Injury Lawyer
This guy's offices are in my hometown. He has a whole series of ads of the same format, intensely violent images in the background, and him yelling at me for not calling him when I'm engulfed in flames up or my car is cut in half by a train or some other terrible thing.

They must work, we've been getting a kick out of them on local TV stations for probably 20 years now.

Comment: Re:unreasonableness? (Score 1) 793

by matt328 (#28384033) Attached to: In Round 2, Jammie Thomas Jury Awards RIAA $1,920,000

Based to this verdict, you should be able to look at all the music shared on filesharing websites, multiply by $80,000, and get the "real" value of the music industry. According to this article, 5 billion songs were shared in 2006. That means that the music industry, if it weren't for those pesky pirates, would be raking in $400 trillion dollars more than they are right now. I find that unlikely.

The world is now driven by greed my friend. Logic has no place in it anymore. Nothing happens by logic anymore, it all happens because it makes someone richer.

Comment: Work smarter, not harder (Score 1) 474

by matt328 (#28372309) Attached to: Getting Beyond the Helldesk
Fix the problems, not the symptoms. I worked in a similar situation for almost 3 years. When I first started, it was the same, printers jammed, machines frozen, virus infestations, generally someone's hair was always on fire. It being a nonprofit, there really was no IT budget, but money would be available every once in awhile. I made a list of thorns in my side, and what was needed to buy when the money was available. I consolidated printers to a could of networked copy machines (which were managed and serviced by a local company, that was a bonus), spent an hour here and there getting enterprise wide virus control deployed, and prioritized freezing machines to be upgraded. By the time I had left that job there was not much work beyond routine maintenance I had to do.

Your computer account is overdrawn. Please see Big Brother.

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