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Comment: Re:This device! (Score 1) 249

by randomaxe (#38098492) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Tools To Aid When "On Call"?
I actually purchased a similar product for precisely this reason, and unfortunately, it's not sufficient. Not only is the vibration not enough to wake a sleeping person, but it also doesn't vibrate on text messages, only on phone calls (much in the way that a non-A2DP headset will generally alert you to incoming calls, but not text messages. I presume this is a limitation of the Bluetooth profile). Ultimately, the only things it's really good for are alerting me to calls (which are rare, since the alerts are all text messages), and keeping me from leaving the phone behind (the bracelet vibrates when the signal is lost).

I don't know how strong the vibration is in the model featured in the article, but I suspect that it probably still doesn't vibrate for text messages.

Comment: Re:Drugs over a border anyone? (Score 2) 87

by randomaxe (#37241708) Attached to: Delivering Medicine By UAV
Well, there is a problem, but it has nothing to do with UAVs. The problem is that there is a market that is not served by legitimate means, and that this market is large enough to float operations that could potentially afford to purchase/build UAVs to smuggle/distribute their product over borders. The solution is not to ban the UAVs, but to satisfy the market via legal means, such as legalizing regulated sales of the more popular controlled substances. But then, we've known that for a while now, the end of prohibition being a shining example.

If memory serves, it is generally the opinion of everyone with a functioning brain that, for all situations wherein technology makes an illegal act easier, the correct solution is not to ban the technology.

Comment: Re:Foolproof my arse! (Score 1) 208

by randomaxe (#36766674) Attached to: Build Your Own Time Capsule Work-Alike For $200
It's funny you should say that. I bought a Mac Mini just to test the OS X waters about three or four years ago, and found myself switching entirely to Mac within just a few months. I now have a Mac Mini in my office and a Mac Mini as part of my home theater system, each directly hooked to an external Time Machine drive, and my wife and I have MacBooks that use a DroboFS for wireless backups, approximating the experience of using a Time Capsule. Every one of these machines has performed Time Machine backups hourly for the entire duration that they have been powered up, and I have yet to have a single issue backing up or retrieving data from a backup.

I am not an Apple fanboy, but I am a "things that work exactly like they're supposed to" fanboy. YMMV of course, but in my experience, Time Machine has been nothing short of stellar.

That said, and back to the topic at hand, a DroboFS on your network makes a fantastic Time-Capsule-alike, especially since you can expand the capacity as needed.

Comment: Re:Could be worse, could be eBay Giving (Score 1) 235

by randomaxe (#35603240) Attached to: Carriers Delay Paying Japan's Texting Donations
FWIW -- and please don't take this as a slight, as clearly your heart is in the right place -- donating blood is not as big a help as people tend to think it is when it comes to disasters that occur outside the US. That blood will not go to Japan. The expense of properly storing and transporting it overseas would make it impractical.

That said, if you were donating blood for its own sake, good on you. Just know that if your goal is to aid the victims of a foreign disaster, making a monetary donation to the American Red Cross is a better choice than donating blood.

Comment: Re:Soon to be rectified (Score 1) 186

by randomaxe (#35166676) Attached to: iPhone Attack Reveals Passwords In Six Minutes
Perhaps you didn't read the part where I wrote "an issue with makers of Android handsets".

I agree, the Android OS itself isn't at fault, I don't know how one could get that out of what I wrote. My point (and one that I thought I was clear about, but apparently I was wrong) was that the Android OS is plagued with handset makers that sit on OS updates either out of laziness, out of a need to protect the bottom line ("adding functionality to products we've already sold doesn't make us any money!"), or out of a desire to sell the features in the newest version of the OS as "features" of the next iteration of the handset.

Apple does not have this problem, as they will offer iOS updates out to every device that can handle them (and, as you and I both seem to have learned the hard way with the iPhone 3G, even some devices that cannot properly handle them). This is a unique problem for Android handsets at the moment, but I suspect we will soon see this issue across Windows Phone 7 handsets as well, should anyone actually buy one.

Comment: Re:I hate having to be the one to say it... (Score 0, Troll) 551

by randomaxe (#33123564) Attached to: The Recovery Disc Rip-Off
Given that the hardware in every Dell I've ever used has been utter shit (seriously, they shipped my employer several dozen desktops, and when they couldn't get dual monitors working via DVI, they comped us a bunch of VGA splitters. THAT WAS THEIR SOLUTION.), I like that "Apple Tax" very much, thank you.

Comment: I hate having to be the one to say it... (Score 4, Insightful) 551

by randomaxe (#33123168) Attached to: The Recovery Disc Rip-Off
...but every Mac I've ever bought has had install discs for the OS and any additional applications in the box. They are rarely needed, since Time Machine does a fantastic job of providing a backup that I can restore to, but they are there.

That in itself might be worth the so-called "Apple Tax".

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 764

by randomaxe (#33086004) Attached to: To Ballmer, Grabbing iPad's Market Is 'Job One Urgency'
While I would normally agree with you, Apple seems to be the exception to the rule. Apple has this yearly release cycle for each of their product lines, and even without pressure from competition, they are driven to improve their product lines with each iteration to keep their customers coming back for the latest & greatest. Each year they are competing with their own products, and they have to provide an impetus for customers to upgrade.

Look at the iPod. Apple has never, ever had any real, serious competition in the PMP space. Yet they continued to improve the iPod generation after generation. Larger capacities, color display, smaller form factor, video playback, Genius playlists, touchscreen, apps... Apple has made it their job to ensure that their customers always have a significant reason to upgrade, regardless of what the competition is doing.

Comment: Re:Anger. (Score 4, Insightful) 764

by randomaxe (#33085786) Attached to: To Ballmer, Grabbing iPad's Market Is 'Job One Urgency'
Tablets PCs have been around for a long time, indeed. However, tablet devices as a distinct platform -- and not as just another PC but with a touchscreen instead of a mouse & keyboard -- have not.

And if there's anything that Microsoft as a company should be angry about, that's it. Bill Gates stood there ten years ago and told us that tablet PCs were the future of computing, that a significant portion of PCs sold would be tablets within a few years, and Microsoft failed to make it happen. They failed to make tablet computing sufficiently different from a laptop PC experience, and consumers didn't give tablet PCs a second look.

Now Apple has succeeded in a major way at what Microsoft completely failed at, and boy, that must be embarrassing.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky