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Comment Re:Has to be better than USPS (Score 1) 83

Amazon has been in bed with the devil for a couple of years now. Nearly everything I order comes by USPS - the slowest, least reliable delivery service on Earth.

This is in direct opposition to my experience.

The Post Office doesn't seem to understand that this is their last best chance to stay relevant and possibly get out of the red. Nope, they're sticking to their old ways - yesterday's technology delivering your packages tomorrow (or next week).

Huh? Oh I see - your experience of their service is essentially filtered by your dogma (that the post office as part of the "government" is not hip enough). Keep in mind, that the USPS as a private entity that's highly controlled by Congressional edicts and orders (like this one mandating that they essentially have to run in debt to pay retirements for employees not even hired yet [1]. If you have an issue with USPS maybe you should take it up with your representative.

Another thing you have to keep in mind, is that the USPS actually fulfills a lot of orders for UPS/FedEx - UPS/Fedex simply can't compete with the USPS for hard-to-reach areas, whereas the USPS has mandates to do so, and so has found a way to do it. [2]


Comment Re:Again: Big Dumb Co (Score 1) 148

After I win All The Lotteries, I will form Big Dumb Company, with the principal division being Big Dumb Appliances, such as clothes and dish washers that are so well built, they can be handed down at least two generations, stupidly fixable with decades-long part availability, and that are designed to accomplish one task: WASH THINGS.

Same with TVs - or should I say monitors - with the best display possible, replaceable power supplies, interface ports (sans wireless nor Ethernet) out the kazoo, AND DUMB AS A BAG OF HAMMERS. Tuner? game console? Roku? Fantastic: PLUG THEM IN. What will the TVs do? DISPLAY THINGS, PERIOD.

Now, onto phone / Internet service: BIG DUMB PIPE.

Sadly you will likely go out of business - profit margins to sustain a business that doesn't sell out its customer base must be pretty big unless accompanied by a cult-like early adopter crowd.

Comment Re:Will NBC, ABC, and CBS pay my overages? (Score 1) 232

It's just OTA sources that will go away -- unless you count cellular video streaming to your phone followed by Chromecasting to the monitor

I'll count that once advertisers pay for all the data that such streaming uses.

Don't give them any ideas. Zero-rating ads seems like a very plausible move in the war for your eyeballs.

Comment Re:How would sport matches become unscheduled? (Score 1) 232

The future of television is on-demand and not scheduled programming

Good luck getting the sport leagues to play matches when you want to watch them.

Many people years ago recorded matches for watching later. TiVo/DVR culture has long ago hit mainstream. It's not like VCRs couldn't do this - most 25 years ago could record on a schedule - just a PITA to set it.

Comment Re:For the foreseeable future, right where it's at (Score 1) 232

The problem is that the screen itself is a large, beautiful, and relatively expensive piece compared to everything that puts content on it. The price point makes it impractical to upgrade and replace on the same cycle as an XBox, Playstation, Roku, Apple TV, etc. Personally, I replace the screen every 7-10 years, and the connected devices every 3-5 years. Until the screens drop sufficiently in price to be replaceable in sync with the content devices, it makes exactly zero sense to cram more stuff into them. Especially when you consider the security issues.

At some point, when more money is made from the connective devices and services than the TV itself, there will be one or more players (perhaps including Apple) who merges the set-top box into the TV while keeping upgradability separate.

One way this might come about while keeping the existing ecosystem intact might be to have a "made for AppleTV" or "made for Roku" type licensing scheme so TV features like video cams (e.g. FaceTime for TV) or 3D support or basics like screen size/refresh, etc may be bundled into a single approved profile that the smart device attached can use the features properly.

Comment Re:The IRS keeps its hooks in US citizens who leav (Score 1) 365

The U.S. Expatriation Tax is not a hardship by any reasonable definition of hardship...

It's not a question of "hardship". Stealing from people is wrong. Even when the victim has some money left over afterward.

Only tax cowards think the government is simply stealing from you. All your wealth you created in the USA was done because the USA has roads, public infrastructure and police, hospitals, and the *rule of law* to prevent others from stealing your wealth, or just stabbing you in your sleep for their own pleasure.

In short, your wealth was not created in a vacuum and it costs money to keep this infrastructure in place. You may bicker with the details or even a major part of how that tax is collected and spent (I sure do), but to claim it's stealing is to show ignorance of why it exists.

Or do you really think you'd have been better of born in Sierra Leone where there aren't such pesky taxes?

Comment Delaware corporations pay taxes in other states (Score 2) 365

until our politicians wake up and realize all costs are pushed onto the consumer anyway nothing will change

  its not a "loophole" its the law, and until the law is favorable to business, business will continue to move to places that are business friendly. We see it on a microscale in the USA as it is, look at all the companies who are based in delaware.

Delaware is only for corporate law adjudication. Taxes are still collected for revenue or operations in other states (i.e., if you have a footprint or customers there, you still pay).

Comment Re:This is only true (Score 2) 365

if you believe all income belongs first to the state. All this is legal, and the whining that inevitably goes on after such transactions reflects the belief that the "fair share" of a corporation's income is less than whatever the speaker wants it to be.

When what's legal and what's sustainable for the society are not aligned, there are likely one of two results: 1) Law is changed to be more sustainable or 2) the society suffers.

But hey, more power to those who can screw over everyone else for their tax free money!

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 111

So the three-letter-agencies and the local yokels will have to just continue using parallel construction. Isn't it amazing how many detailed and accurate "anonymous tips" the police receive?

Not sure how Stingrays wouldn't be supremely helpful to parallel construction. Sure they can't prove it with the call records, but now they might be taken to task for even using them at all.

Police State no-likey this.

Comment Re:Has this actually affected anyone here? (Score 1) 143

Call me strange but I find it hard to imagine that a computer clock being a second off for a moment is anything but invisible to your average software developer/IT worker/server farm.
I mean if your computer's clock is set up to sync with an NTP server every now and again, your system is probably already seeing corrections of that scale and more.

I would imagine that advanced scientific calculations as well as high-frequency-trading algorithms would be affected. Clearly the scientists can go fuck themselves, but I'm surprised that the needs of something as important as HFT has gone unheard in the WRC/ITC.

Submission + - Google: Too Many White/Asian Males Play Computer Scientists on TV and in Movies 2

theodp writes: In partnership with Gallup, Google has released a second report with its take on the state of U.S. K-12 CS education. Entitled Images of Computer Science: Perceptions Among Students, Parents and Educators in the U.S., the report suggests tech's woeful diversity can be traced back to Hollywood's portrayal of Computer Scientists. "Students and parents perceive that there are few portrayals of women, Hispanic or Black computer scientists on TV or in movies," the report explains in its Key Findings. "These groups are much more likely to see White or Asian men engaged in computer science. They also often see computer scientists portrayed wearing glasses." In an accompanying post at the Google for Education blog, Google's Head of R&D for K-12 Education adds, "The results show that there's high value and interest in CS among all demographics, and even more so for lower-income parents. But unfortunately perceptions of who CS is for and who is portrayed in CS are narrow-White, male, smart with glasses. Even though they value it, students often don't see themselves in it." As a result of this and other factors, the report notes that "among the 49 states with at least one student taking the [AP] computer science exam, 12 had no Black students participating in 2014." It's an alarming factoid, but also a misleading one. As Gas Station Without Pumps explained two years ago, it is hardly surprising from a statistical standpoint that there are no Black student test takers in a state if there are essentially no test takers at all. So, let's not forget about girls and minorities, but let's also not forget that pretty much everyone is underrepresented if we look at the big AP CS picture — only 46,344 AP CS scores were reported in 2015 for a HS population of about 16 million students. So, shouldn't the goal at this stage of the game really be CS education for all? Towards that end, perhaps Google might want to look into commissioning a free programming book for kids from O'Reilly instead of another point-the-finger report from Gallup. But if Google wants to continue its search for things that have discouraged kids from coding, it might want to look in the mirror. After all, dropping a programming language for kids — as Google did with App Inventor in 2011 after CEO Larry Page ordered the plug pulled on projects deemed unworthy of Google 'wood' — didn't exactly send kids (and their perplexed teachers) the message that CS was for them, did it?

Submission + - How To Convince a Team to Undertake UX Enhancements on a Large Codebase 1

unteer writes: I work at a enterprise software company that builds an ERP system for a niche industry (i.e. not Salesforce or SAP size). Our product has been continuously developed for 10 years, and incorporates code that is even older. Our userbase is constantly expanding, and many of these users expect modern conveniences like intuitive UI and documented processes. However, convincing the development teams that undertaking projects to clean up the UI or build more self-explanatory features are often met with, "It's too big an undertaking," or, "it's not worth it."

Slashdotters, help me out. What is your advice for how to quantify and qualify improving the user experience of an aging, fairly large,but also fairly niche, ERP product?

Comment Re:Weasel Words (Score 2) 79

"Carnegie Mellon wrote that its Software Engineering Institute hadn’t received any direct payment for its Tor research from the FBI or any other government funder."

Now if that word "direct" had not been there I would have a little more faith.

As well know , there are hundreds of ways to indirectly pay for stuff...... "Hey here's some money for your sports team", "hey here's some money for your building funds", etc etc etc etc etc

You forgot government grants. As the government gets more corporatized (even the good "public servants" are just less corrupt), you sure as hell can bet that the grant proposal/acceptance process can become part of the corruption (oh, look CMU - such nice grants proposals you have there ... )

Submission + - Texas narrowly rejects allowing academics to fact-check public school textbooks (

jriding writes: AUSTIN, Texas â" Top Texas education officials rejected Wednesday letting university experts fact-check textbooks approved for use in public-school classrooms statewide, instead reaffirming a vetting system that has helped spark years of ideological battles over how potentially thorny lessons in history and science are taught.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.