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Comment: While I wouldn't mind (Score 1) 496

by mordred99 (#46662677) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

There are two things I see as issues.

1) For us old timers who have been driving a while, we are trained to turn left and right to see when we need to make changes and see other cars. Now taking your eyes off the road ahead of you to look down at a screen will take some getting used to.

2) For anyone who lives in foul weather climates and already has a backup camera knows they gum up when there is snow, sleet, rain on the road. Every backup camera has issues with this and I have to clean them off every time I get into the car as an added task when driving. Adding more cameras will just add to the task.

Comment: How will this be implemented (Score 2) 518

by mordred99 (#46629683) Attached to: Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

Here is the problem from an implementation stand point (which I think others have the "should this be done" covered in previous posts). Right now most vehicles have two radio systems in it. One is the "el cheapo" and the "whole enchilada" which usually costs a grand more with a screen and everything else. What is going to happen is that now cars are going to come mandatory with the screen and thus the "choice" for a cheaper car will be taken away from the drivers, thus making the car another 1000 dollars because they have to implement this with a crappy business model.

I don't know at the end of the day if everyone will implement in this style, but now days there is a race to the bottom for cars in terms of price and options so that they can hit a price point. When government mandates came about the last time (in the 1996-1998 era), requiring anti-lock brakes, traction control, and dual air bags, cars got expensive (like 2-3k more expensive) immediately. I foresee the same thing happening here.

Comment: Main reasons I see between my son and I (Score 2) 635

by mordred99 (#46006543) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

I have a teenager and I can answer these questions from his perspective vs. when I was in high school 20 years ago.

1) Home entertainment is so much better. He can play his x-box, talk to friends on live, play on the internet. All of this is in lieu of personal contact or face-to-face conversation. When I was a kid, if I wanted to play with someone, I had to do it at their house. The only way to get there was driving or riding a bike.

2) Cell phones allow for faster communication. Relationships which were either face to face or on the phone when I was a kid. Now you can have face to face, Skype, video chat, etc. on your cell phone along with texting and other forms of media on your hand held which makes it much easier for them to maintain a relationship with much less effort.

3) Effort. When I wanted to do something, I had to leave the house or host people at my place. This was effort and sometimes was taxing. Most kids now days see the effort in hosting people at your house or going to someone else's house as a waste due to the reasons #1 and #2 being the way to get your human interaction.

4) Legal issues. Shit I used to do when I was a kid is now illegal. I am not talking drugs or anything like that, I mean like meeting up with friends at a jr. high and playing some ball, or 100 other things I used to do. We live in an extremely litigious society and as such things that were simple when I was a kid, you cannot do anything and kids are trained from a young age to rely on mommy and daddy to do things for them as they are the only ones who can take a risk.

5) Cost. While this is somewhat true, I don't think it is that much different than when I was a kid. While gas costs 3 times more, they also make double the amount of money at work due to minimum wage increases. Insurance is the same (dollar for dollar) as when I was driving and when my son is driving. Cars cost the same (a good $3k car is still there for people to get for kids). It all depends on the quantity of money and how much you make your kid responsible for their costs.

At the end of the day, there are many other things, but I remark #1 and #2 as the biggest differences between generations. If I didn't see a friend, I didn't talk to them. Now there is a dozen way to talk to a friend, and never leave the couch. Thus driving was the only way for me to see them.

Comment: Re:Efficient? (Score 1) 176

Yes they would if A) they were totally educated on the issue. B) those non-incandescent lights didn't cost an arm and a leg just to buy one or two. C) people's experiences with the first generation of those bulbs were positive (ie. no warming up for a minute before the light got up to proper lumens)

This is the same issue today with Americans and Diesel engines vs. traditional gasoline engines.

Comment: Nope .. (Score 3, Insightful) 453

by mordred99 (#45595403) Attached to: The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!

I don't know where and why this keeps coming up, but at the end of the day, the death of the PC won't happen for a while, for many reasons:

1) Creation vs. Consumption
        I hear this bullshit a lot as the main driver for the death of the PC. This is a particularly specious argument. The whole creation vs. consumption aspect comes from creating content. While I can type on a tablet or other device, it is not as good (no matter the method) as a keyboard. I can type this entire post in 20 minutes on a keyboard but would take hours (and having fun with spell check, etc.) on some tablet device.

2) Ownership of content
        This a huge one. With a desktop I can own what I own, and it is mine. With any always connected, remotely managed device I never can control what they manage. Cloud apps just scare the hell out of me as you don't own anything. You buy a song on ITunes, it is yours until Apple says it is not. You buy a movie from Amazon, it is your until the movie studio sues Amazon and they get a take down notice. This is why if I buy something, it is a physical device. You can not take my Blu-Ray copy of Skyfall without a warrant and coming to my house.

3) Ownership of information
        The next thing is who owns your data. Have you read many of the EULA for software? Try turbo tax. You would think that your data is yours. Nope. Well I can control how the software works and how it calls home for information my data is stored locally. It never sends that information out. Now use the online (cloud) app from them, they store your information for you. Let me see my tax information is probably one of three things I never want anyone to see (for identity thief protection). This is stored somewhere where you trust them to keep it safe. This is why a desktop (or laptop) is best for this as it is stored local and you have control.

4) Form Factor
        Yes at the end of the day, you can consume any form of media on any form factor. I can watch netflix on my tablet or my phone, but is that the most enjoyable experience? Hell no, it is just the most convenient. If I am going to watch a netflix show I would rather watch it in all its glory on my 52" TV with dolby digital sound system. However when I am sitting at an airport, yes I have to watch it on my portable devices since pulling a 52" TV through an airport w/ associated 7.1 system would just be unfeasible.

5) Gaming
        While some stupid little game like candy crush or angry birds work on those form factors, you cannot tell me that a high FPS FPS (heh .. frame per second, first person shooter) will never work on your dinky 4.3" Iphone screen. Yeah games can be made for those form factors, but at the end of the day, are those the games which are going to be what you want to spend 60 dollars on and want to spend hours playing on a larger screen. Nope, that is a console or a desktop.

Comment: Re:Bank fees (Score 1) 1103

Simple, it costs the bank money to do these transactions. The issue is that the banks used to just eat the costs and pay less on the back end in terms of interest to the banks customers. However, what has happened (same with the airline industry) is that people notice that banking is a comodity. Whoever provides the best XYZ combination wins my business. I don't care if it is BOA, Key, Fifth Third, etc. Whoever provides the best serivces, rates, and fees package wins my business. As such, people are not loyal to one certain bank, and can easily change banks. So banks have to compete with the best "services" and people are in general stupid. If they get a 0.5% better interest rate over at this bank .. then hell lets open up an account over there. However the hidden fees and what not wipe out that 0.5% quickly and you really got screwed on that deal. As I said, same thing for the airline industry. Seats for $199, but extra fees for e-ticket passes, peanuts, drinks, and luggage that puts the cost of the ticket at $259. They are creating a competitive market pricing strategy through asterisks, offuscation, and disclaimers.

Comment: Simple Rant (Score 2) 376

by mordred99 (#43884145) Attached to: Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas?

The simple answer to all of this is choice, and the consequences of choice. I consider myself one of the "best and brightest" and why don't I go out and do what author is describing? Simple, myself subscribed to the philosophy that I needed to make a decent living (aka, I made a choice to live comfortably). I then chose to have a child with a woman who eventually split with me. I chose to get full custody of my son. Based on those choices, I was then told by society (a judge) that I had to live in central Indiana, and not in Washington, if I was to have my son live with me. Now Tell me how I can sit here with all those choices, and tell me how my life is going to work out.

I cannot work on the coasts, I cannot travel, I have to be home every night at 5-6pm, I want to live comfortably, I have to work in central Indiana. Tell me what a highly intelligent person is to do if they want to "change the world" or "help the underprivileged". Straw men such as the original author stated only work when things can work out for the person doing the work's favor.

Lets go with another example. Smart person wants to do a company which helps people. Great. They need money. They go out and they have to get into bed with VC or some angel will give them money for costs. This is great until said money giver now wants a return or worse yet, profit. So they have to find a way to make money. Giving things away does not make money (as poor, disadvantaged don't have a lot of excess cash to pay for things). So that means, companies who have altruistic intentions, must create a marketable application/device/item/widget and then sell that, make money, pay back the original shareholders, pay expenses/taxes, invest in R/D, and then finally with what ever is left, give money away for the original altruistic intentions were to begin with.

I cannot stamp my feet in the street and say "I want millions of dollars to create a company to help poor people, with no chance of paying back the original investors." The only way I can see that is if you hit the lottery.

Comment: Re:Time to Retrain People to Ignore the "Work Ethi (Score 1) 808

by mordred99 (#43747719) Attached to: Rice Professor Predicts Humans Out of Work In 30 Years

Yes and no. While in the entire star fleet example you state the entitlement ethic, I wonder about other worlds that dont have people who want to work for the betterment of mankind. Not all people are naturally curious, nor do people naturally want to spend their entire life to help/entertain/etc. other people. The issue becomes no matter what kind of society you live in you will have some sort of trade. Do you think all those bottles of Romulan Ale that those star fleet officers came because someone could walk down to a store and get them without paying for them? No they had to offer services to get them. As such, you will naturally have the "haves" and "have nots". No matter what society you create in your mind, you will have people who will not contribute due to the one immutable law of humanity, people will do the least amount they can to get the most they can get by with.

Comment: Hope this did not stand up to peer review (Score 1) 256

by mordred99 (#43688195) Attached to: Spoiler Alert: Smart Kids Become Successful Adults

Everyone is asking "what is a successful adult" and that is valid as that was not presented in the case study. However I am also wondering what is determined as "successful" in terms of schooling? Are you talking arbitrarily the grades someone made? Are you talking scores on standardized tests?

All I can say is that people who do well in school at a young age tend to do well as an adult. That is what the study states. However I would also add that it is not necessarily all inclusive as many people don't do well in school (at a young age) but succeed in life as well as academically.

Comment: The real reason it won't pass ... (Score 1) 614

The real reason it won't be liked by the content providers (dish, direct tv, cox, comcast, etc), and the channel providers (espn, tnt, discovery, etc.) are all tied to how they currently have their systems. The content providers won't like it much as they have to upgrade their network. They have this aging dinosaur of legacy cable in the ground, and have oil can type filters on their channels. This will require every TV to have a digital box on it to work. Yes they can amortize the cost by charging you $10 a month (or more), but that is not what the customers really want. They want to pay as least amount they can. Imagine a house that has 4 TVs (as many do), and now you are paying $20 a month for service (what is going to be required, just so you can be billed), and $40 just to watch shows on your 4 TVs. That is $60 a month before you pay for the content ... Now you are going to pay for each channel you want. Lets say you are a professional sports enthusiast, and want your channels. You need ESPN, TNT, TBS, NFL, MLBtv, plus the locals just to watch all the games and playoffs. That is probably $20 a month right there (according to cost (before markup) that is paid to each channel by the content providers). We have not even gotten into the costs that are there to watch "shows".

Channel providers have tied their contracts to "cost per seat" style licensing. This means if a content provider has 1.2 million subscribers, they have to pay 1.2 million times the going rate monthly to the channel provider to "carry" that channel, regardless of number of people who actually subscribe to that channel. They love this model as if they can get a critical mass of people (look at AMC and when it was not carried on a cable network, and they almost had a revolt when "walking dead" came back on), they can force more money from the content providers. This is exactly what they want, and don't want to have to deal with real world market forces. In fact, many channels would go away for good if people had to pay to get them. Look at things like FX, which does not have original programming (to my knowledge, it might now, I don't have cable, and use appropriate channel for my point), but only shows re-runs. Who is going to pay for that? Not many people. But since they are now bundled, and at little cost to the content provider, they ride on the coat tails of another company. If they had to compete directly, they would be ruined in months, and disappear.

This is what they have to address with this bill, should it be good for Americans. They need to provide a way for the content providers to have a service, and they pay for as you go, and pay for the services you use, and not screw the customers for the costs of the upgrades that have so long been needed to their decaying systems. Secondly the channel providers need to realize that they have to fight for time and eye balls now. They have to provide content and actually have decent programming. I don't know how they are going to pull this one off, as these two markets are already established, and the massive changes needed will not be in the final bill passed and we will get some bastardization which wont help anyone (like the health care bill).

Comment: Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 1) 374

by mordred99 (#43636203) Attached to: Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

This is because of the fuel system typically have vapor let off and your fuel is literally turning to vapor and leaving the car. The measurements at the fuel injector is always right (if the car has proper parts) but you loose MPG based on the fuel staying in the gas tank and floating into the world before it actually gets injected into the motor.

Comment: You Don't (Score 1) 159

by mordred99 (#43635529) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Teach IT To Senior Management?

Sr. management have a limited amount of time to devote to this and they want to be trained in the system and will allow them to do their day to day tasks better. Take one of them aside (after asking for a volunteer, or who ever the project sponsor is) and run them through your training, exercises, reports, etc. and validate it is what they want. Based on their feedback, you can deploy that training (with tweaks from feedback) to the rest of management. You don't want to spend your time telling them superfluous information, just the facts as they want to know what it will do, what buttons to click, and what it will do for them. If they want more info, say you can be reached for info about this or any other IT questions.

Comment: Doesn't bother me .. (Score 1) 234

by mordred99 (#43630219) Attached to: Fedora 19 To Stop Masking Passwords

If you are following standard security protocols. Most people are up in arms about this in the work place, but if you are following standard protocols at a work place, then it would not matter. An OS is always installed in a non-production network, with a different root password (typically the development network root password as it is distinct from production). Then the new OS is patched, configured with check lists, connected to LDAP servers (or what ever connections you need). The last three steps are to change the static IP to the new production network, Change root password to production root, and shut down the server. Then it is re-patched on the production network and when it comes up, it is secure, and only the admins know the root password.

Comment: Re:Proper procedures (Score 1) 178

by mordred99 (#43624459) Attached to: Ex-Employee Busted For Tampering With ERP System

You disable all but base corporate access to systems. You have the person who is leaving begin the knowledge transfer (or if you are a decent company, you were doing it already) and have all the information put on team shares, etc. So the person still does not have access to any mission critical systems, only has email and basic network share access, and then they can do nothing but damage their PC (which will be ghosted anyways) and maybe some file share or email servers. None are mission critical (yes, email is not mission critical, however much management think it is).

That is if the person is on good terms, and you want them to help you through the transition. Many companies just walk them to the door the second the two weeks is given and pay them for that two weeks immediately. No reason to risk anything.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach