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Comment Re:With a $15 dongle? (Score 2) 136

I know!

And they never even account for the costs of the person's education or years of experience.
They don't list the cost of the the facility where a project like this can be built without being rained on.
Or the health care over the years to ensure that one's hands and mind function adequately for the task.
They don't even account for the cost of the calories of food required for thought and motor control.

This project would actually cost >$1,000,000

Seriously though, if you are committed to a hobby, there are many projects that will be much cheaper for you than for a person who has not yet entered that hobby. It is normal to only list consumable components in the list of prices. Tools, for example, are a sunk cost and not consumable so they are not listed. I often see this frustration from visitors to hacking and hobbyist sites. People who are upset that getting into a hobby requires an upfront investment in time and money that then makes everything else cheaper.

That said- I agree that the rPi and amp should have been listed. Even if it is likely that a person would have an rPi around- it is still consumed by the project.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 102

At best there was some mild griping about it in tech circles.

To be fair, outrage in tech circles usually results in nothing but mild griping anyway. But the severity of the outrage is a matter of personal opinion. I remember quite a few people being very put out.

Actually it did.

*sigh* No. You rebutted an argument that you imagined. One that the OP didn't say:
He didn't say that trademarks aren't important.
He didn't say that Microsoft's trademark should now be revoked.
He didn't say that he dislikes Microsoft.

He simply said that at the time the trademark was issued it was for a generic term and shouldn't have been granted.

Regardless of what was thought about it way back when, Microsoft owns that trademark now.

No one is arguing that with you.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 102

If you really did have a beef with Windows getting its trademark, the time to bring that up was long before Windows 95 came out and became a household brand.

Yes that was the time- and people did.
"windows" was an industry standard term to describe windowed interfaces. Microsoft successfully stole it and there was outrage in the technical community.

The OP used this event as a very effective example of a time when a generic term was inappropriately granted trademark status.

You attempted to rebut his excellent example by explaining why trademarks are useful which doesn't at all refute the OP's point.

At this point you might consider apologizing to the OP for the "symptom of your misunderstanding" comment as it is obvious which of you actually misunderstood..

Comment Re:Scratch (Score 1) 315

Scratch is a good idea but it is too simple.

My 10 year old started with scratch, got excited, and started making his own games and animations.
Very quickly he got frustrated. Simple features like reusable subroutines were left out "to keep the language simple".
After a couple attempts to create something sophisticated, he became so sick of copying and pasting code and updating the stale copies that he abandoned the platform.

He's getting started on Minecraft mods and I see a lot longer-term potential there.

Comment Re:interesting that so many AC call NSA the... (Score 2) 308

Foreign governments?

Surely you must have noticed all the bad press the NSA has gotten lately with the Snowden leaks.

Even the most patriotic American might be disturbed upon learning that a trusted government agency has been illegally spying on American citizens for years.

Frankly I'm surprised that you seem to be standing up for the NSA. That takes some guts.

Comment Re:Advertising's Big Flaw (Score 1) 271

You make good arguments but I feel like that is a different goal of advertising.

I agree that I could learn of the existence of a product from an ad. I see your point that just knowing about it adds the product to my list of candidates. Searching for a list of brands is not how I buy products in a store or online but I can see how it might be a positive for the product in general.

What I am talking about is the assertion I hear from business people that advertising somehow makes me want a product. That I would be swayed, given the choice, to choose one product over another based, in any part, on whether I've seen an ad.

Your example of the HDMI cable is exactly the opposite of what I am talking about. It wasn't just a funny TV ad- it was an employee recommendation. That has real information and weight to it.

Incidentally- I've noticed that I feel a pang of anger when I am accused of being susceptible to subconscious manipulation. ie "Lots of people, you among them."
Objectively I realize that this might be the case and it would be hard for me to know without testing myself.
I have tried to recognize them to stamp them out.

Comment Re:Advertising's Big Flaw (Score 1) 271

A strategy like that will result in a lifetime of gross, expensive bread.

Seriously- what kind of people use, as a primary input into their purchasing decisions, whether they've heard the name?
Does anyone actually think that a particular beer will get them invited to parties with attractive women?

There are a lot of variables I use for purchase decisions and brand recognition isn't one of them. The exception, of course, is if the brand is associated with reliable evidence of higher quality. An ad is not reliable evidence.

I am actually curious about this. Am I in the minority because I think about my purchases? Do most people just impulse buy everything based on brand recognition? Are there people who actually believe ads?
Am I just in denial and subconsciously I'm actually more influenced than I think? (That's hard to believe- but of course it would be.)

Comment Quality over quantity (Score 3, Insightful) 140

For a long time it hasn't been about how to "kill more people" but rather how to kill "the right people" more efficiently.

We put a huge amount of effort and money into weapon systems that will minimize collateral damage.

As much as it is popular to vilify the US- none of our opponents seem to care as much who they blow up.

Comment No-ip isn't shady (Score 5, Insightful) 113

I've used No-ip for non-mission-critical dynamic IP services and for domain registration for over 10 years. There's nothing "shady" about them.

They offer a free service that is sometimes exploited by criminals and are very responsive to reports of abuse.

Microsoft not only didn't report these criminals to no-ip- they actually sealed the court order so they could seize the domains before no-ip found out about it.

It boggles my mind that a vigilante corporation can get a court order to simply seize another companies assets.

Comment Re:First Question (Score 0) 36

I don't mean to be rude but if you haven't heard of JoCo, at least in passing, then you might consider whether you belong on a site with the tagline "news for nerds".
Code monkey was a meme of sorts among programmers many years ago. I don't know a programmer who hasn't heard of it.
Portal was a huge hit among gamers and the theme song, Still Alive, was talked about in gaming blogs all over the place. I'm not a gamer and I still saw it often.
JoCo has been featured extensively on geek sites and several times on Slashdot because of his unique approach to monetizing his music.

Of course none of this means that you are obligated to have heard of him but it does undermine your first three paragraphs. As an anecdotal counterpoint: I for one was happy to see him interviewed and interested in his responses. You can't expect to be interested in every person they interview.

Comment Re:Be good. (Score 5, Insightful) 312

I hate it when people say this. At the risk of feeding a troll...

You might be doing nothing wrong and still have plenty to hide from some people. I don't consider going on vacation wrong but I don't broadcast to the internet that my house will be vacant.

What if you don't support the controlling political party? You might value some anonymity.

Sure if the government, and all the individuals within it that have access to that data, are always perfectly honorable you might never have a problem. Does this seem like a likely situation for you to stake your life or wellbeing on?

Giving that much power to the government is just begging one power hungry corrupt individual to abuse it to gain more power.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.