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Comment: Re:401k (Score 1) 313

by JMZero (#46774659) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

401(k) is a place to play the market, which is a lot like playing poker: it's not the cards and the luck that make you win or lose, but rather the other players shaking your inexperienced ass down so you make bad decisions and lose all your cash.

It's not really much like poker, because it's not a zero sum game. Stock value has gone up fairly steadily over a century. Sure you can find ways to lose money if you're trading actively and poorly, but passive stock investment has outperformed other investment options consistently for a long time.

To be clear, I'm kind of "you in the future". I paid off my first house when I was 28 or so; I also started investing in stocks. The money in stocks did a lot better than the money that paid down my mortgage (you can measure this easily; interest is interest - and when mortgage interest rates are as low as they are, they're not hard to beat). It's riskier too, but when you're young is the right time to be taking that kind of risk (assuming you have your basic obligations covered); over time, stocks will win out, so they're the right choice for long term investment even if they may entail short term setbacks.

I mean, say 5 years ago today you had put $50,000 into a vanilla ETF (we'll say QQQ). You'd currently have $128,860. I didn't cherry pick that or something, I just picked a round number time frame and an extremely common ETF. In the same time as you gained $78,000 on stocks, you could have, instead, saved $10,000 of interest on a 4% mortgage.

That's not to say that there isn't other things worth doing. Maybe you want more education or windows or who knows what. Lots of things can make sense. But eventually, you'll almost certainly want money in the stock market if you're ever going to retire.

Comment: Re:The Economist (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by Penguinisto (#46774215) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Done right digital versions offer some advantages print cannot. Does print offer any advantage over digital beyond not needing a powered device?

One small disadvantage: When I was a kid, I remember a HUGE stack of National Geographic magazines that stat around my grandparents' house. Many of them dated back to IIRC the 1940's and 50's, and some older still... I could sit around as a kid in the 1970's and leaf through them, no problem.

Would we be able to, 30-40 years hence, be able to even open some of these digital mags without paying (again) for the privilege of doing so? What if the website dies off? What if didn't, well, archive it?

Paper may be inefficient at many things, but even magazine publishers that died off a long-assed time ago likely still have one or two copies of their editions floating around somewhere (even if it's sitting in a flea market or antique store...)

Comment: Re:The sad part here... (Score 1) 158

by Penguinisto (#46774103) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

This, right here.

Back then, anything starting with http:/// was good for news, yahoo (for search), early discussion forums, downloading something, or pr0n.... and not much else. Banking hadn't come around yet, and flash games were barely in their infancy (heh - I can only imagine what it would take to run Flash on that thing.)

Video, really? Animated GIFS often had better resolution and didn't take half a day to download. Speaking of download speeds, remember that DSL was just being rolled out - at a blazing 256k if you were lucky. Most folks still had 56k dial-up, and mobile speeds made 24k dial-up look good.

Apps? Really? Nobody except maybe Palm had any kind of mobile app ecosystem, and getting those apps procured and installed would involve a process that most non-geek users would likely describe as rather painful (we're talking colonoscopy-with-a-chainsaw levels of painful). I remember watching executive types blow hundreds of bucks just for one or two productivity apps.

Also folks, remember that battery life was 100% pure unadulterated shit (even on laptops - oh hell, especially on laptops). You were forced to balance between usability and battery life. Palm did it by staying monochrome and using a resolution that most folks would completely hate today. Not until around the time that the iPod Nano came out (with an incredibly tiny OS footprint and obsessive power efficiency) did you start seeing improvements.

Comment: Re:Yeah, probably a VGA screen (Score 1) 158

by Penguinisto (#46773819) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

I remember using an old Compaq iPAQ PDA... but with Familiar Linux on it instead of WinCE.

One thing I noticed, no matter the OS, was that you occasionally had to re-calibrate the stupid screen so that it was accurate enough to use... and it was a fairly widespread thing (I think only Palm had their engineering together enough to not constantly require that.)

I guess what I'm getting at is that not only was the capacitive screen a necessity, but so were drivers sufficiently tight enough to insure at least a modicum of accuracy.

Comment: Re:Yeah, probably a VGA screen (Score 1) 158

by Penguinisto (#46773725) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Actually, I don't miss the stylus much. On a Wacom pad it was perfect, because its stylus detected subtleties that mimicked a pen, pencil, paintbrush... things like that. But, on a tablet or phone (or PDA if anyone remembers what one of those were), it just becomes something that actually slows down texting, gets lost easily, and is nothing more than a glorified stick.

WinCE and WindowsMobile needed a stylus becuase, well, Microsoft sucked mud when it came to UI design on such a small footprint - they figured you could just recycle the same UI framework and elements that the desktop had... and thus you UI actions the user had to make that only a stylus could accomplish.

Now if someone comes up with a stylus that is, say, bluetooth enabled and can detect pressure and such like the Wacom styluses did, then I could see where it would have some applications... but honestly, not much with regard to the UI itself, but within applications. Otherwise, even with large-ish hands like mine, I have no problems exhibiting a sufficient modicum of hand-eye coordination and just doing without a stylus.

Comment: Won't everyone be a millionaire? (Score 1) 313

by swillden (#46773349) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

At least, won't everyone who's paid a middle to upper middle class wage, buys a house and saves for retirement eventually be a millionaire?

If you want to retire at 65 and have enough money to live a decent life for 30 years after that, you need pretty close to a million dollars plus a paid-off house. And, frankly, it's not that hard to accumulate a million dollars of net worth over a ~40-year career, assuming reasonable returns on your retirement account and modest appreciation on your home. I'm actually targeting net assets of two million for retirement, given that it's still 20 years away and I expect that inflation will roughly halve the value of the dollar between now and then.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 327

by swillden (#46773097) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained
Regardless of the number of exclamation points you use, Mountain View and SF housing do affect one another. I know several people who have lived in both areas and who have opted for one over the other based on questions of price and convenience. Said (insane, IMO) prefer to live in SF, but some choose MTV because SF is too expensive. Lowering the cost of housing in MTV further -- and making it more convenient to the Google campus -- would induce some more to leave SF.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1117

by Penguinisto (#46772957) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

How about terrified that it's another civil war in the brewing, and that these thugs appear little different from the thugs in eastern Ukraine or northern Nigeria who take power when the government is weakened?

Dude, seriously? I thought GP was reaching for hyperbole - you've not only reached for it, but have taken a double-handful. I'll explain:

Most of these folks participate fully in the democratic process (such as it is), and spend more time politicking and posturing than in doing anything that could be called combat training. the "thugs" in Eastern Ukraine are most likely Speznaz plants, and Nigeria is chock-a-block with wannabe warlords.

Comment: Re:ARM is the new Intel (Score 2) 86

by causality (#46772195) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

Intel-powered Android tablets can run almost all Android-ARM apps. Those that are native ARM apps are handled through binary translation. It works very well. I've used a Dell Venue 8 (Intel CloverTrail+ Android) and did not find any apps that wouldn't run just fine.

Is that done in hardware? Is there a performance penalty?

A related question about the programs you tried: were these computationally intensive games, or things like office apps and file managers?

Comment: Re:Way to lose an easy case... (Score 1) 111

by amiga3D (#46771013) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

People fail to understand. The legal system is not about right or wrong. That's where they get lost, it's about legality. The rules are more important than anything else. This is why lawyers are almost universally hated. To normal people it's about what's right but in the courts it's about what's legal.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 650

by Rob Y. (#46770903) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

When you get a refund it is not a hand out from the government, it is YOUR money being returned because you paid too much

Well, that's the exact argument used by GWB to justify his tax cuts. But it's idiotic. You didn't pay too much if you (or your parents) elected successive governments that built up debts in your name. It's not YOUR money, you OWE it to the country's creditors. So rather than taxes being an immoral taking of your money, tax CUTS are an immoral shirking of your debts.

If you want a different government that spends less, elect it. And pay attention to all the things the government spends money on that you want, because that's what's likely to get cut unless you also elect a government that spends on what people want and need - not what corporations and military contractors want.

Comment: Re:ARM is the new Intel (Score 3, Interesting) 86

by Penguinisto (#46770811) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

I thought Windows 8.1 was the defecto standard.

Never have I seen a more apt typo - funny thing is, I saw a commercial last night for one of those PC repair/registry/whatever apps that practically shouted about how "Microsoft is using fear to make you buy Windows 8" (as opposed to your beloved XP box, natch.)

It all ties back to why Intel is now (should say, now more than ever) casting about, looking for new markets for their chips... PCs ain't selling, server lifecycles are getting longer (VMWare pretty much helped stretch that out), and there's not much outside of those two which would encourage PC sales.

(I wonder if Intel will ever stop navel-gazing at tablets and fire up their now-dead Digital Home Group again; they had a fairly decent idea with the chip-in-a-TV thing. Fun group of guys to work with as well...)

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.