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Comment: Re:Best Buy, not the best at all (Score 1) 248

by sporkme (#31607518) Attached to: Best Buy Offers Bogus "3D Sync" Service
When I worked as a tech for an independent computer shop, we constantly got people coming in bitching about how Best Buy Geek Squad had ripped them off, failed to fix their problem or made the problem worse. The most amusing case was when some mouth breather over there snapped off a clip from the heat sink retainer. Instead of ordering a replacement retainer (or buying it used from me for five bucks) he used 20 bucks worth of thermal compound in an attempt to glue the sink to the processor die.

I am pretty sure this was socket A (image):
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/84/picture053z.jpg

We opted to order a new mobo, CPU and cooler new from the manufacturer, even though we had plenty of spares. Having billed Best Buy several times the value of the system for parts and labor, we built the customer a new system at cost plus 5% or 10%.

After the computer shop closed, I applied for a position at Geek Squad for interim employment. I was rejected on grounds that I was overqualified. What an operation.

Comment: Fairtax baby! (Score 1) 347

by sporkme (#26504299) Attached to: GAO Reports Bailout and Tech Firms Love Tax Havens
If we were to enact the FairTax plan, all of this money going overseas and all of the money roosting overseas will come right back into our economy where it belongs.

The FairTax repeals the 16th amendment

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

...and nukes other earnings-based taxation schemes and replaces it with a simple prorated sales tax structure. If you wish to pay NO taxes, you may do so by purchasing new goods up to the poverty level (as determined by the census bureau) and used goods (which would not be taxed). The tax rate is controlled by the voters directly under this plan, in that the policies of the elected are directly visible at the cash registers of the electors.

Every legal US citizen is regularly refunded the value of retail taxation--weekly, biweekly, monthly, annually, given to charity--whatever, using the existing systems of social security, welfare and unemployment, etc.

In addition to the elimination of all income taxation, gains taxes are also nuked. This is a major stumble for many, but remember that these wealth holders make major purchases of new goods, which are taxed at the FairTax rate.

The current ballpark is $13,600,000,000,000, trillion with a T, are hiding from taxation overseas. With the FairTax, these thirteen trillion dollars come back home to work for us.

You pay no income taxes. You take home 100% of what you earn. You have more control over your federal government. You pay a 23% tax on new goods up to the poverty line, but the MASSIVE supply-side taxation cost is eliminated from those goods, meaning the price after FairTax is the same. The economy booms because every-friggin-corporation opens up shop in the new tax utopia. Jobs are plentiful.

Don't believe me! Read for yourself!

Comment: WTFPOST (Score 3, Interesting) 632

by sporkme (#25091027) Attached to: YouTube Bans Gun and Knife Videos In the UK
The link in the article leads to a Slashdot 404. Wtf

The link is this

What a noodle-spined move on the part of Google! If only UN language were so effective on the rogue nations of the world!

"I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who has also stated that police should restrict photography by citizens. Indeed, why not suppress free speech in in all ways in Britain and in the rest of the world, you dunce? It would certainly decrease violence!

The hysterical myths about computer game violence have in many cases been debunked, as recently discussed, and why are YouTube videos any different? Movies, games and books which incite dissent are next on the worldwide chopping block, folks! To see Google assume the position on this debate, which includes no specific legislation, is a grim forecast on government intervening in our daily lives with their friendly companies on Politically Correct leashes opening our bedroom doors for them.

The cheeky bastards.
Robotics

+ - Robotic Telescope Installed on Antarctica Plateau

Submitted by
Reservoir Hill
Reservoir Hill writes "Antarctica claims some of the best astronomical sky conditions in the world — devoid of clouds with steady air that makes for clear viewing — that unfortunately lie deep in the interior on a high-altitude plateau called Dome A with an elevation up to 4,093m known as the most unapproachable point in the earth's southernmost region. Now astronomers in a Chinese scientific expedition have set up an experimental observatory at Dome A after lugging their equipment across Antarctica with the help of Australia and the US. The observatory will hunt for alien planets, while also measuring the observing conditions at the site to see if it is worth trying to build bigger observatories there. The observatory is automated, pointing its telescopes on its own while astronomers monitor its progress from other locations around the world via satellite link. PLATO is powered by a gas generator, and has a 4000-litre tank of jet fuel to keep it running through the winter. The observatory will search for planets around other stars using an array of four 14.5-centimetre telescopes called the Chinese Small Telescope Array (CSTAR). Astronomers hope to return in 2009 with new instruments, including the Antarctica Schmidt Telescopes (AST-3), a trio of telescopes with 0.5-metre mirrors, which will be more sensitive to planets than CSTAR."
Transportation

+ - SPAM: Ban vehicles that get less than 35 MPG?

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Here's one way to get folks to buy cars that get better gas mileage — ban the vehicles that don't get at least 35 MPG. That's what the former chairman of oil giant Shell has told the European Union today. The BBC and others reported this morning that Mark Moody-Stuart said: "Nobody needs a car that does 10-15 mpg." Gas-guzzling cars are unnecessary, he said. The BBC said Moody-Stuart's comments, which were directed at European governenments but obviously have world-wide impact, have been met with anger from various quarters of the auto industry who suggest they would limit freedom of choice for car-buyers. It's even been suggested that Moody-Stuart is declaring an opinion he would never dreamed of expressing while at the helm of the Shell Group, and betraying the drivers of sports cars and luxury cars that, as one angry motorist put it, "have been paying his wages for most of his working life." [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Snortable Drug Keeps Monkeys Awake

Submitted by sporkme
sporkme (983186) writes "A DARPA-funded research project at UCLA has wrapped up a set of animal trials testing the effects of inhalation of the brain chemical orexin A, a deficiency of which is a characteristic of narcolepsy. From the article:

The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired. The study, published in the Dec. 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans. Siegel said that orexin A is unique in that it only had an impact on sleepy monkeys, not alert ones, and that it is "specific in reversing the effects of sleepiness" without other impacts on the brain.
Researchers seem cautious to bill the treatment as a replacement for sleep, as it is not clear that adjusting brain chemistry could have the same physical benefits of real sleep in the long run. The drug is aimed at replacing amphetamines used by drowsy long-haul military pilots, but there would no doubt be large demand for such a remedy thanks to its apparent lack of side-effects."
Math

+ - 'We have broken speed of light'

Submitted by
sporkme
sporkme writes "Physicists from the University of Koblenz in Germany claim to have violated special relativity using quantum tunneling to move microwave photons more than three feet "instantaneously." This would mean that the particles exceeded the speed of light by traversing the space between two prisms at a speed higher than 186,000 miles per second.

The original New Scientist article is available to subscribers."
Data Storage

+ - Disk drive failures 15 times what vendors say

Submitted by
jcatcw
jcatcw writes "A Carnegie Mellon University study indicates that customers are replacing disk drives more frequently than vendor estimates of mean time to failure (MTTF) would require.. The study examined large production systems, including high-performance computing sites and Internet services sites running SCSI, FC and SATA drives. The data sheets for the drives indicated MTTF between 1 and 1.5 million hours. That should mean annual failure rates of 0.88%, annual replacement rates were between 2% and 4%. The study also shows no evidence that Fibre Channel drives are any more reliable than SATA drives."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Reflectivity Reaches a New Low

Submitted by
sporkme
sporkme writes "A new nanocoating material developed by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the lowest level of reflectivity ever seen, or not seen in this case. The amount of light reflected by the composite of silica nanorods and aluminum nitride is almost the same amount reflected by air. From the article:

Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45.
. . .
Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.
Suggested applications include increased efficiency in solar cells, more energy-efficient lighting and advances in quantum mechanics. No word yet on invisibility cloaks."
Software

+ - Software tweak could boost your car's gas mileage

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Think it's possible to improve your car's gas mileage just by downloading a new piece of software? Seems to be the case according to a Dutch scientist who this week said most modern cars could reduce fuel consumption by almost 3% by downloading software he and Ford worked to develop. John Kessels' software shuts on or off the car's alternator, which charges the car battery, when it is particularly inefficient for the engine to power it, thus improving the overall efficiency of the engine. A similar technique is used for hybrid cars. The software is not proprietary to Ford and can be used in any vehicle with an engine computer, which includes the vast majority of cars sold today, Kessel says. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1195 6"

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