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Comment: Re:There are none (Score 2) 175

by skelly33 (#45330243) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?
I'm no space-radio expert, but.... wouldn't the latency be double that estimate? If it's 25K miles in altitude, and since, last I checked, the Internet itself is not in orbit, then it would be 25K up, 25K down to the target host, then 25K up and 25K back down again for the reply for a total of 100K and more than half a second for a full round trip. Que no?

Comment: It's only a matter of time... (Score 1) 115

by skelly33 (#45255903) Attached to: Is Google Building a Floating Data Center In San Francisco Bay?
it's only a matter of time before they get shut down by environmentalists. The problem with using sea water as cooling is that the net result is the warming of the sea water. Even only a few degrees can alter the local ecology. It would be one thing if what they were doing was a net zero effect, but if they are pulling energy off the grid, then they will be putting grid energy into the water as heat, and that is not good...

Comment: Got `em. (Score 1) 372

by skelly33 (#45239091) Attached to: NYC's 250,000 Street Lights To Be Replaced With LEDs By 2017
The LED street lights have shown up in my neighborhood in CA over the last year. Frankly, now that I see them in place, I don't like them one bit, for the same reason that I don't like LED brake lights on vehicles (as if we need to conserve energy on brake lights, please!): each super-bright LED is a very intense point of light which immediately makes its mark on my retinas and I see the spots for quite a while. I can't be the only one with this problem, and I can't imagine it not having a long-term effect. Sodium, fluorescent, and other kinds of lights seem to more often be accompanied with some sort of diffusion that eliminates the high intensity pinpoints from direct view. Not the street lights: one glance at those and I get a lovely 8x20 matrix of dots in my field of view for the next several minutes (or a 1x40 string in the case of brake lights). I think some improvements need to be made before they continue rolling out en masse.

Tangentially related, I don't particularly feel like we need street lights on all night long. What if we just lit up side walks with low posts (perhaps lower even than the FOV of a typical driver - enough to light the path and cast enough ambient light for pedestrians to take advantage of, but WAY lower power than the street lights, and with no intent of lighting the entire community? If my car's headlights are sufficient in the back woods where there are no street lights to drive safely on the most treacherous of roads, then why would I need street lights to guide my way in town where the roads are all flat and predictable? I, for one, would welcome a far less lit night sky for star-gazing and total overall reduction in energy consumption.
Businesses

Apple Retailer Facing Class Action Suit Over Employee Bag Checks 353

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the unpaid-labor dept.
aitikin writes "Former Apple employees say the company requires workers to stand around without pay for up to 30 minutes a day while waiting for managers to search their bags for stolen merchandise." The filing. It looks pretty illegal: mandatory unpaid checks of personal belongings before and after work and all breaks.

Comment: Re:I tell them I feel the same way! (Score 1) 597

by skelly33 (#43916939) Attached to: Why Your Users Hate Agile
With respect to a stable, useful life for software, while I agree that it would be nice if, as an industry, software were mature enough to not have to continually struggle to keep software running and just, plain get things to work for now, much less for an extended period of time, it would be a shame to do so at the expense of industry progress. New frameworks, platforms, languages, etc. I see as a necessary element for the progression of the industry - something that the automotive industry you compare it has shown to be distinctly lacking. The 1989 Geo Metro performed about as well as today's advanced Toyota Prius at a fraction of the price and complexity; by and large, I'd say the automotive industry has been very busy indeed, but made little real progress. As for reliability, I'd venture a guess that there are more fix-it shops out there for busted cars than there are for software. I suppose I am equally dissatisfied with the lack of progress in established industries such as automotive and banking as you are with the excessive activity in software...

Comment: Re:I call it waste (Score 1) 128

by skelly33 (#43712453) Attached to: Samsung Testing 5G Phones With 1gbps Download Speed
Ditto. I'm completely beside myself with this Droid and just want to drop-kick it half the time. Until there is ubiquitous, reliable service on any basic level, technology advancements are almost pointless.

And on top of it, I am completely fed up with Android rearranging how the entire user interface and basic applications function every time they update my damn phone. I went into the Verizon store and complained about my earlier Android phone, (the LG Ally) and how slow it was and the salesman showed me how blazingly fast the new droid 4 was for even basic functions like dialing. It has been all down hill ever since leaving the store. Sometimes the damn thing won't even answer an incoming call. I have literally downloaded like three small games for this thing too, so it's not like I'm loading it down with a bunch of crap. Back up all your contacts to Google and then restore and have it automatically import a phone book entry for everyone you've ever emailed in the last 10 years - yay!

The current consumer-facing model is completely asinine and I'm just about ready to go back to 1992 and get a pager.

Comment: All I know is... (Score 1) 121

by skelly33 (#43100225) Attached to: Protecting the Solar System From Contamination
We can't even prevent cross-contamination from occurring here on Earth. The commercial overseas shipping industry has introduced countless, destructive, invasive species into other ports that wreak havoc on the local ecosystems - and have the potential to impact local economies. Off-planet is not going to be any better; spreading Earth dust is unavoidable. As Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, "Life.... finds a way." I say give it an honest effort, but don't dwell too long on attempting to thwart the inevitable. When some commercial space-entity decides to conquer the heavens and does not adhere to your strict standards, who are you going to call, the Space Police?

Comment: Farmers... (Score 1) 223

"If people were influenced by video games, a majority of Facebook users would be farmers by now"

This made me laugh for the "in your face" factor, however quip hardly closes the door on the debate. I would submit that generally it is much easier to influence socially undesirable behavior in people than it is to influence desirable behavior. It's human nature - the forbidden fruit is always calling. The appeal of the easy score, and "being bad" for real excitement has no substitute in farming vegetables, paying taxes and enjoying a good round of Go Fish. Just because Farmville players are not easily subdued into actual farming, it does not follow that more violent games cannot have a subversive effect on its players...

Comment: "regulate"? (Score 1) 212

by skelly33 (#42790477) Attached to: Why It's So Hard To Predict How Caffeine Will Affect Your Body
I'm not so sure regulate is even the right word. They might make a recommendation for maximum daily allowance, but unless they're going to make it a federally controlled substance (i.e. on par with cocaine), the FDA will in fact have no degree of control - or "regulation" if you will - over people's personal intake. Even alcoholic beverages are not "regulated" for quantity of consumption. They may charge a tax on it... they may make a test that measures how much is too much when operating a vehicle... but they can't regulate the amount that an individual consumes - over-consumption regularly lands people in the hospital or the morgue.

Safe (relative) caffeine intake, like alcohol, comes down to one knowing their own limits and self-regulating. Awareness is important, and the FDA could certainly have an impact on that. Personally, I have discovered in recent years that I actually have zero tolerance for caffeine after that last cup of coffee landed me in an urgent care facility. I can't even enjoy my favorite, Dr. Pepper any more because there is no caffeine-free variant of it. It wasn't remotely a matter of over doing it, it was simply an unusually high sensitivity to caffeine that developed over time. Occasionally I will try a decaf coffee or a Coke to see if the reaction is still there and I am quickly greeted with difficulty breathing.

Comment: Re:Corporations should not pay taxes on profits (Score 3, Interesting) 592

by skelly33 (#42415027) Attached to: Facebook Paid 0.3% Taxes On $1.34 Billion Profits
"Making corporations paying taxes on profits is double taxation and should not be done. Rather the profits should pass through to the owners (investors) and then the investors should pay taxes as if that was their earned income."

As I have no mod points I will simply bump this post with a response. This is an interesting assertion that I have not heard before. Anyone have any solid counter-arguments? I'm not sure I buy the whole "double-taxation" aspect - where is it doubled? If you are referring to the revenue coming into the company being taxed and then paying out to employees who are also taxed on income, then that situation is false. The cost of wages is a tax deduction for the company and they would not be taxed on those dollars that are paid out as an operating expense.

Regardless, I think the premise falls in line with the argument that "corporations are not people", and therefore should not be able to own property, have rights, or, in this case, be taxable. It's the owners of the company who bear those resources/responsibilities.Personally, it seems to me that eliminating corporate tax on profits would substantially benefit the growth of a company and could consequently lead to a number of beneficial side effects including higher employment rates, higher wages, and overall national economic growth. It would most certainly help small businesses which struggle the most and which are among the top sources of employment in the U.S. Since the biggest players are already skirting around this responsibility anyway, why not formalize the model for the betterment of all?

Comment: Re:Totally missing several points. (Score 1) 735

by skelly33 (#42289811) Attached to: Solar Panels For Every Home?
And if some jackhole isn't sending power to the grid when the lineman checks, but then begins sending power once the lineman has his hands on the connections in mid-repair? Momentary testing would not be sufficient for safety - there needs to be a guarantee that there is no path that can place power on those lines while he is working on them.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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