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Are Lenovo's ThinkPads Getting Worse? 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the laptop-market-slowly-drying-up dept.
writertype writes "Over the weekend, Lenovo launched the ThinkPad T431s, a ~$950 notebook with chiclet keys, no trackpad buttons, an integrated battery, and Windows 8 but no touchscreen. The T431s is also thinner and lighter than the bulletproof bento boxes we all know and love. The argument ReadWrite makes is that ThinkPads are becoming slowly, but significantly, worse. Do you agree?"

Comment: Re:Careful you don't run afoul (Score 1) 299

by schmiddy (#42195295) Attached to: Murder Is Like a Disease (No, Really)

So I could get a T-72 tank [wikipedia.org] with a smoothbore 125mm gun [wikipedia.org], and it would be legal to keep armed?

No. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destructive_device for more information. The reason you can have a muzzle-loading smoothbore cannon (i.e. Civil War era) is mentioned at the end of the article. Your tank gun is not muzzle-loading.

Actually, you can sometimes buy functional tanks as a civilian, but they weld the barrels of the big guns shut :-(

Comment: Re:Warrant for looking at your house with IR? (Score 2) 451

by schmiddy (#41830731) Attached to: Supreme Court Hearing Case On Drug-Sniffing Dog "Fishing Expeditions"

Yes, like alcohol.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but alcohol is pretty darn cheap in the USA. Compare the cost of a can of cheap soda ($0.50, give or take) to a can of cheap beer ($0.80, give or take). Then factor in the alcohol taxes which go to the state and Federal government for the beer. In many states, revenue from alcohol/cigarette taxes are a major portion of the state's revenue.

Comment: Re:School is worthless... (Score 2) 309

by schmiddy (#41767581) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Going To a Technical College Worth It?

I've donated my time/skills to charity (I've got ~20 years in IT). I received "payment" in value (tax write off). I get far less than what I'm worth (in the form of the write-off), but that's not why I'm doing it.

Uh, you do know that you're not allowed to claim volunteer time worked at a charity as a tax write-off, right? Source: http://www.hrblock.com/free-tax-tips-calculators/deductions-credits/charitable-giving.html#2

You can't deduct the value of your time or services spent on charitable work, but you can deduct mileage or vehicle expenses if you use your car for charitable purposes.

Comment: Re:That's great and all, but . . . (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by schmiddy (#41296533) Attached to: PostgreSQL 9.2 Out with Greatly Improved Scalability

There is a serious problem with this patch on BSD kernels. All of the BSD sysv implementations have a shm_use_phys optimization which forces the kernel to wire up memory pages used to back SysV segments. This increases performance by not requiring the allocation of pv entries for these pages and also reduces memory pressure. Most serious users of PostgreSQL on BSD platforms use this well-documented optimization. After switching to 9.3, large and well optimized Pg installations that previously ran well in memory will be forced into swap because of the pv entry overhead.

I don't see your comment on the blog (maybe it has to be approved?), but the same issue was raised here during review of the patch. The concern was mostly blown off (most PG developers use Linux instead of BSD, that might well be part of it), but if you had some numbers to back up your post, the -hackers list would definitely be interested. Ideally, you could give numbers and a repeatable benchmark showing a deterioration of 9.3-post-patch vs. 9.3-pre-patch on a BSD. If that's too much work, just the numbers from a dumb C program reading/writing shared memory with mmap() vs. SysV would be a good discussion basis.

Comment: Re:AT&T bugs me (Score 1) 307

by schmiddy (#40689507) Attached to: AT&T Introducing Verizon-Style Shared Data Plans

You do realize they still have to pay for that thing that syncs to your phone. You know the tower and its upkeep, and the lease for the land the tower is on, electricity to run the tower, and all the network to run to that tower, and permits, and taxes on that tower...Its not just the cost of the bandwidth...Why do people not get this...

So after all the towers have been put up, and the investment in infrastructure has been recouped, we should see prices go down. That's why the monthly prices for plans have plunged over the past few years, data allotments and minutes have become more generous, the price per text message has fallen to almost nothing, and you no longer have 2-year contract lock-ins. Right?

Comment: Re:More stupid laws. (Score 1) 342

by schmiddy (#39973223) Attached to: Wear a Mask During a Protest In Canada: 10 Years In Jail
Yeah, just like these destructive no-good anarchists destroying perfectly good Starbucks tea for the hell of it:

While disguising their individual faces was imperative, because of the illegality of their protest, dressing as Mohawk warriors was a very specific and symbolic choice.

Sure, let's make masks illegal... can't have people getting away with anything which might possibly be illegal without direct and immediate repercussions.

Comment: Re:Over priced and bad selection (Score 3, Insightful) 513

by schmiddy (#39633207) Attached to: Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns After $1.7 Billion Loss

In my more entrepreneurial moments I've been thinking of setting up a GC exchange corporation where people could trade cards they don't want for a modest fee say 1% off the top. My wife for example would enjoy trading cash for your GC, assuming that store isn't the fat chick mall store (don't recall name sry).

Too bad your idea has already been done, and it works quite well: see plastic jungle.

Comment: Re:great, take 'em all down a notch (Score 1) 220

by schmiddy (#39410195) Attached to: Boycott of Elsevier Exceeds 8000 Researchers

always ask permission from authors and researchers, but no longer from publishers, as they just want to monetize and gouge.

Careful. Though you may have the permission from the authors to redistribute their works, they may not legally be able to give you such permission. See the rules for journal Cell, one of these Elsevier publications, under "Copyright" section:

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to transfer copyright. . .

They spell out further rules under Authors' Rights: the author does not retain the right to grant arbitrary redistribution rights to other individuals/corporations (i.e. to you). And these rules are actually some of the more lenient ones I've seen...

Comment: Some suggestions (Score 5, Informative) 225

by schmiddy (#39181457) Attached to: Suggestions For Music Hosting?

I recently did some research into a related topic -- I was looking for hosts for a decent sized (200 GB+) database with generous bandwidth, on a shoestring budget (under $50/month, for the 2-3 machines I need).

First, choose your provider wisely. Your choice of provider may seem like it doesn't matter except for the pricing, but as your post about "unlimited" providers hints, it can and will become very important very quickly once the shit hits the fan (i.e. provider thinks you are using too much disk I/O, or too much bandwidth, or too much space, or whatever -- and promptly kicks you off).

Second, Slashdot actually isn't the best place to ask this question. Hang out in webhostingtalk for a while (e.g. this thread).

Finally, my recommendation for hosting provider: honelive. Take a look at their offerings, and particularly their specials. I jumped on the dedicated Intel Atom dual core, with 250GB storage, when it was $39/month a few months back. Today they are offering a dedicated Core i7 Quad Core with 24 GB RAM, 1TB disk, 5TB bandwidth, for $100/month. Yes you read that right -- these are dedicated machines, and these guys are for real. I sleep easier at night knowing I'm not going to wake up to an email of "we disabled your server because your VPS was using too much I/O and loading down our horribly oversold machines". It's my machine, I run what I want. I know VPSs are all the rage now, cloud computing yadda yadda yadda. And sure, they're great for hosting your personal photo gallery or blog. But take it from me, once you start burning through TBs of monthly bandwidth, and the disk I/O of a 200 GB database, they start looking flimsy real fast, and hosting providers get anxious to see you and your piddly monthly payment gone.

BTW I'm just a happy honelive customer, I have no affiliation with them, no referral codes in this post, etc. I've been burned by a lot of shady VPS providers. Don't get me wrong, there are some great providers (Linode) out there, but you will have to shell out the $$ for them, and I haven't found ANY reputable VPS provider providing the bang for the buck and stability I'm getting with honelive.

Also, I do pay for 2 or 3 other VPSs affiliated with my site, but the needs for these are comparatively tiny, so I suggest just hanging out on lowendbox and grabbing one of the deals there, if you need a few small VPSs with decent bandwidth. You can easily find several providers who will give you a few TB of bandwidth per month for around $5/month. I've used 5ite for such purposes, though I can only give them a lukewarm recommendation. I have a $2/month VPS from Securedragon right now for a similar purpose, and it works well enough (for a 100% expendable machine).

Comment: Re:It's a facebook account/details farming scam (Score 1) 340

by schmiddy (#38351698) Attached to: Site Offers History of Torrent Downloads By IP

an impossible (!) captcha

Thought I was the only one who noticed this. The captcha can not be solved -- I tried three times, and each time I was pretty sure I had the captcha correct. Each time, it simply refreshed the page with a new captcha. Something about the site smells mighty fishy, like they really really want your Facebook account details for some reason...

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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