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Comment: Texas Instruments calculator (Score 1) 538

by smooth wombat (#46789647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

TI-36 solar version. Came with the vinyl flip case which still has part of its spine holding on like grim death.

Bought it just out of high school (back in the day) and recently used it for my stats class (about 2 years ago).

I still take it with me every time I go grocery shopping to keep track of how much I'm spending.

Comment: No thanks (Score 1) 54

by smooth wombat (#46787619) Attached to: The Internet of Things and Humans
the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car.

I'm quite capable of driving myself, including shifting gears. I don't need or want to rely on software to get me where I'm going. It's bad enough we have rearview cameras being shoved down our throats because people are too lazy or fat to turn around and look behind them, we don't need more technology to try and solve a human problem.

Comment: Re:Government jobs (Score 3, Insightful) 415

You're missing the point. You will routinely hear from the right side of the political spectrum (and private industry) people claiming the government doesn't create jobs, it only takes from the masses.

In their next breath they whine and complain whenever the government cuts back, such as with the Printing Office or elimination of military projects (the Abrams tank comes to mind) because it will cost jobs, completely ignoring the only reason theses folks in private industry have a job is because of the government.

I only bring this up because I like to throw things back in people's faces when they make blanket statements such as this, just like all government workers are lazy or how private industry always does things better than the government.

Comment: Reminds me of . . . (Score 5, Insightful) 415

a story I heard on NPR not too long ago. The head of the Government Printing Office was talking about how their headcount was less than half what it was 20 years ago due to heavier use of digital forms. She mentioned how few copies of the federal budget they print every year and so on.

All of this sounds great because she's helping to keep costs down while increasing the availability of government documents to he masses. Who would think that's a bad thing?

The paper industry. They had the head of an umbrella group for the paper and forestry groups who cautioned about moving too fast to go digital, how some people still liked paper forms and so on.

So the next time you hear someone say the government doesn't create jobs, ask them why private industry is up in arms every time the government tries to cut costs by not purchasing things. In this case, the literal tons of paper that used to be used to print government documents or, as in the case of Intuit, all the work they would no longer have to do if the tax filings were simplified.

Comment: Re:Fuck Obamacare (Score 3, Insightful) 722

by smooth wombat (#46717073) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
how dare you expect the rest of us to pay for your health care because you don't want to.

Such as the smokers, the obese, alcoholics and drug users who can continue with their merry lifestyles, safe and secure in the knowledge everyone else is forced to hand over their money so they don't have to take personal responsibility for their actions, right?

Obamacare (as well as Romneycare) does nothing to lower health costs or ease the burden on the system so long as people are not forced to live healthier lifestyles. All they are doing is extracting money from people simply for the sake of extracting money and giving it to insurance companies who have gotten a huge financial windfall.

Considering how people on here rant about big bad corporations, this point should have been obvious, but I guess when you can take money from people, simply because you can, that never enters into the equation.

Comment: Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (Score 4, Funny) 152

by smooth wombat (#46716243) Attached to: Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield
any vehicle with relatively low ground clearance is going to have trouble in this sort of scenario

That's why when I'm driving through a parking lot and some ricer with their "ground effects" car is grumbling behind me, I speed up just slightly so they're paying attention to me and not the speed bump which they can't see because they're so close to me.

I always get a pleasure hearing a sustained, "CRUNCH!" as their car scrapes over the bump.

Comment: Re:Homeopathy Works (Score 1) 408

Astrology should be banned,

In my U.S. states, astrologers must use some form of, "For entertainment purposes only" so people (the ones not so gullible to visit an astrologer) are warned astrology isn't real.

as it probably affects human relationships in an even more negative way.

You mean more than preventing someone with a serious affliction for getting real medical help?

Homeopathy does not, and has not, ever worked. Under any circumstance. The best that can be said about it is it gets people to drink water (which conveniently "remembers" whatever substance was diluted in it but not the piss, shit, radioactivity and dead carcasses that have been lying it).

Comment: Re:I've worked with many Russians... (Score 1) 132

I do remember that time but the difference is the Japanese actually did implement better products. Witness the historic rise of Honda (and their recent epic fall) in the auto industry.

The same with camera lenses. Even today there are people who ask where a lens is made for Nikon or Canon, preferring those produced in Japan over those in China. Whether there is a true qualitative difference is debatable, but the perception remains. On this same subject, I'll leave out Zeiss and their lenses because they explicitly design high-quality lenses and the costs reflect that.

The difference, however, is that the Japanese do make quality products whereas Chinese made products are, for the most part, of inferior quality with either shoddy parts or lax quality control. Or both.

The same with Russia. While they might now be able to mass produce products, their quality is nowhere near what the rest of the industrialized world produces (with few exceptions).

Comment: Re:Good, I guess (Score 5, Insightful) 148

Where I live in the U.S., I have two choices: Comcast or Verizon.

Both charge $75/month for 15/5 which is the package available.

You will this situation in many parts of the country where competition is defined as two companies charging the same high price for the same slow speeds.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.

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