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Comment: Re:I used to game... (Score 1) 79 79

I definitely think there are games out there fitting my needs - as I said, I place the blame partly on me for not wanting to do the research to find them.

I do agree that there are a lot of casual "Play this game on the bus on the way to work" games out there for mobile devices. Mobile device gameplay is a whole other ball of wax, though. I would prefer to sit down in front of a large screen and use physical buttons. I suppose I am just old like that. I can see the appeal of mobile gaming, and have played a few over the years.

I suppose one drawback to mobile gaming is the lack of socialization. I am not one to sit down and play a video game on my own very often. I would much rather play in a group. The few games I keep on my iPhone are mobile versions of board games that I play against other people via Game Center.

Comment: I used to game... (Score 4, Interesting) 79 79

Growing up in the 80's, I played video games quite frequently. Now, though, I find myself avoiding them.

One reason is cost. I realize the cost really has probably not gone up that significantly from the NES days, but at that time it was my parents paying for a new console and games. Now I have to figure out how to justify a $60 game.

Another reason is that I much more enjoy a "play for 10-30 minutes, have fun, and then walk away" type of game. MarioKart is a great example of this. I can play with 0-3 other people and have fun. We can play for 10 minutes, or we can play for an hour. When we get done I can put the controller down and not feel like there is more to do. The playability even remains after I have "beat the game". Commingled in there is an easy learning curve. Sure, the game might be challenging, but I do not want to spend an hour just getting the basic controls figured out.

I am sure there are more games that fit this description, but as a casual gamer I am not willing to do the research just to figure out what games are out there. It is far easier to load up an emulator and play the original Castlevania for NES.

The games described int he article do seem to be closer to the type of game I would like to play.

Comment: My experiences (Score 1) 595 595

Disclaimer: I work in tech, and have a basic understanding of networking. I am far from a full-time network engineer, however.

A few weeks ago I finally turned on IPv6 on my ISP-provided modem/router from CenturyLink. I confirmed using several devices that it is working.

What I have seen is that during normal browsing (almost all under OS X or iOS), there is more stalling and pages that fail to load. It is a small number, probably 1-3% of pages. This is a noticeable increase from pre-IPv6.

I do not have the interest to try to narrow down what is causing this. It could be OS X/iOS's networking stack, it could be a problem with the servers doing a dual IP stack implementation, or something else entirely.

When people ask if everyone is ready for IPv6, my question now is "Is the software ready for IPv6?"

Comment: Added responsibilities = added compensation (Score 2) 583 583

I realize this would be difficult as a first-job type, but be very careful about taking on added responsibilities without any discussion with the powers-that-be about compensation. It is very easy for a "go-getter" to take on a lot more but never be recognized for those added responsibilities.

If nothing else, annual reviews should be an opportunity for you to bring up your now changed job description. As others have mentioned, salary negotiation is a key skill. If you are doing more for the company, you should use that as a negotiating advantage.

Oh, and start saving in a 401(k), IRA (Roth or otherwise) as soon as possible.

Comment: A few points (Score 2) 509 509

1) The problem I see with the "Am I free to go?" question is that in all of the recorded interactions I have seen, the police officer more often than not just ignores the question.

Police: "Sir, can you tell me your address?"
Citizen: "Am I free to go?"
Police: "Sir, I need your address so I know if you should be on this street."
Citizen: "Am I free to go?"
Police: "Sir, do you live on this street or not?" ...and so on. Eventually the police officer will either concede the person is free to go, or will call for assistance.

2) For all of the talk about "99.6% of officers do not abuse their power", I have a problem when 99.6% of officers willingly choose to cover for the 0.4% that abuse their power. In my mind, that means that the 99.6% are also guilty of abusing their power, this time by not investigating and arresting criminals - in this case their coworkers.

If a big city police department was found to completely ignore the crimes of another subset of the population, that would be described as a corrupt police department. The fact that the subset in this question is the very same police department should not make a difference.

3) I am always confused by the "Let the investigation run its course, do not give in to the demands for immediate justice" calls that follow incidents of police brutality caught on tape. If someone records me shooting someone as they are running away from me, you had better believe I would be arrested as soon as the police located me. Putting me on paid leave for a few weeks while they "investigate"?

4) As was seen in the Baltimore riots and countless other major protests before, the police, as a department-wide policy, have no problem locking people up for 24-48 hours and then releasing them without charging them with anything.

The few people that are charged are caught in the catch-22 of being charged with resisting arrest, but no other crime. Their only crime was verbally and/or physically trying to prevent an officer from handcuffing them when the protestor was not doing anything illegal in the first place.

5) At what point do we start holding North Carolina officers responsible when they unconstitutionally pull people over for a burned-out rear tail light? NC law only requires a single "stop lamp" on the rear of a car. The Walter Scott incident should have never happened, as it is reasonable for NC officers to know by now that NC law has held being pulled over for only a failed brake light is unconstitutional.

Comment: Re:Speeding not always an issue (Score 3, Informative) 335 335

Google for 'speed 85th percentile'

A good explanation of setting speed limits at the 85th percentile. This is by a pro-motorist group, so you could claim bias. The other results on that google search are from government pages, both state and federal, and should be trusted.

For those too lazy to follow the links, countless studies have shown that the safest place to set a speed limit is the 85th percentile of vehicles on a given road. Going too slow has an increased chance of accident, and exceeding the 90th percentile also shows an increased chance of accident.

Comment: "Smart" watch? (Score 1) 471 471

I suppose you could say I have one - actually I have three.

I started with a Garmin FR 405, got a FR60, and recently upgraded to an Garmin FR 220.

I am an avid runner, and they all track my workouts. The 405 and 220 are GPS watches. I have heart rate monitors (chest-strap, which I trust a thousand times more than a wrist-based solution at this point). The 405 was fairly large on my wrist, but the FR60 and 220 are actually reasonably sized.

They revolutionized my training when I started wearing them five years ago. I can get instantaneous feedback while I run, and I can track mileage and pace information over an entire season. I run faster now because of the Garmins, and my workouts are more intelligent.

Granted I only wear them while working out. I like not having to strap a phone to my body to get additional data, and I like that they are dedicated devices for the task. The FR60 goes months or years between battery changes, and the 220 can do a long weekend's worth of runs on a single charge. As just a watch the 220 can last weeks between charges.

The rest of them time I am content pulling my phone out of my pocket to check the time, see alerts, and so on. The Pebble is interesting (mainly because I see it as letting me know how important that last vibrate from my phone was), but I simply cannot justify it yet.

Comment: Re:Well at least they saved the children! (Score 1) 790 790

Based on some of the articles I have read, Google has thrown a lot of resources at the problem and now have hashes that are capable of identifying certain photos even if they have filename changes, resolution changes, and and so on.

It does not sound like too difficult of a problem - instead of relying on SHA5 file hash, run an it through a program that gives you an array of what the image would look like when displayed and then hash that. Use some margin of error to take into account compression, etc. and you could say with some confidence that one file is the image in question, even if the original JPEG is now a half-resolution GIF.

Of course having the resources to run that on every single image that goes through Gmail's servers is another issue entirely.

Comment: Re:A Progression of Complaints (Score 2) 190 190

Agreed - every complaint about self-driving cars has been for the migration time when there are both autonomous and human-driven vehicles on the roads.

When you take human drivers out of the equation, and autonomous vehicles are the norm, utilizing things like mesh networks to keep other nearby vehicles informed, all of the complaints suddenly disappear.

Autonomous cars might wait at lights longer, and stop for more yellow lights, but imagine a line of vehicles stopped at a light all accelerating at the exact same moment and rate. Imagine vehicles re-routing around an accident with correct ratios going to alternate routes so no one alternate route gets slammed, leaving other routes empty.

Comment: I worked in retail a long time (Score 2) 419 419

I worked retail for a long time, including an Apple Store. I cannot remember the policies at Apple when I was working there, but most places will not take a verbal approval code.

If the person on the other end of the phone (generally you get to them by calling the 800 number on the back of the card) has the ability to run the transaction, they have the ability to clear whatever prevented the card from going through the first time. They would have to - they have to clear the hurdle before they can run the transaction themselves.

So policy at most places is that the telephone operator clears the issue (usually it is a daily spending limit that card issuers never mention) and then the store runs the card again. There was no procedure for manually entering a verbal approval code.

My memory of Apple Retail (this was '04-'06), however, is that they had almost every contingency covered. The POS machines all had USB modems attached so that in case the Internet went down at the store, credit cards could still be processed. We even had the old CH-CHUNK imprint devices when everything went pear-shaped. I do seem to remember having the ability to enter a manual authorization code for a credit card transaction. It is Apple Retail - there are supposed to be no hurdles keeping a Specialist from keeping a customer happy.

Comment: Prequels seem to have missed the point (Score 1) 457 457

[Note: Written as someone who really liked the original series, but merely watched the prequels.]

So you can largely look at the prequels (Episodes 1-3) as "The Downfall of Anikan". Going into the movies you knew the outcome (Anikan was going to be a Jedi, only to be turned to the dark side). They had three movies to show this.

The problem? The real turn seems to happen somewhere between the end of episode 2 and the beginning of episode 3, and it really is not that believable. So you have three movies to show me the downfall of a man, and you choose to largely have that turn happen in the time between two movies?

Comment: Clearly not the future... (Score 1) 276 276

From page 212:

Credit Cards With Intelligence? The Battelle Memorial Institute is studying the feasibility of a credit card with a built-in micro-processor. Such a card has already been developed in Europe, and will soon be tested. It is expected that intelligent credit cards will provide added security without requiring large computer networks.

Everyone who shopped at Target last fall saw how well that was implemented here in the U.S.

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning

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