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Comment $20? (Score 1) 199

You are bitching about $20 a year for a $200 device that does 24/7 monitoring of a million dollar asset?

I'm curious: do you turn off your water heater between showers? Do you power your phone down at night? Do you unplug your TV and microwave between uses? Do you manually power down your wifi router and modem when you're not actively on the internet? Do you unplug all the ac/dc converters when you're not using them? Do you disconnect the positive terminal of your car battery when you're not driving?

All these things take power. All are wasteful. And yet we leave them on because it is inconvenient not to. I realize that you, personally, may be rationing your power in your off-grid bunker, keeping time by counting your prepper stores of jerky and ammo, but the rest of us in the civilized world waste $1.60 a month on far less useful things than keeping a home security camera running 24/7.

Comment Re:FUD at least sort of. (Score 1) 199

Even more appropriate might be the hot water recirculating loops you can create with a small pump. The hot water is off, but the pump continuously circulates water through the system so that as soon as you turn the water on, the water out of the tap is hot. It's a convenience for which you pay an energy penalty, and the flip side is almost zero startup time.

Comment Pick the Game first, then the Console (Score 1) 374

When shopping for any new gaming console, NEVER pick the hardware first. Since this is for some kids, figure out which games the kids are going to want to play. If any of them are exclusive to one console or the other, then your decision has been made for you. If Gears of War or Halo is on the list, your getting an XBox. If Gran Turismo or Ultra Street Fighter IV are on the list of games that they want to play, get the PS4.

If the games that they want are multi-platform, then the next things to consider are which controller is better in the opinion of the players, and what platform their friends play on (if online competitive play is a drawing point for the kids).


Comment The most shocking thing about spying (Score 1) 259

Are they really scouring the world for terrorist activity, or are they too busy spying on their own citizens?

From Fox:
"Three of the seven Islamist suicide bombers have already been identified as French citizens, as was at least one of seven other people arrested in neighboring Belgium in connection to the deadly attacks."

So four of fourteen were, in your words, their own citizens. I can pretty much guarantee that the intelligence agencies don't really care that much about the nationality of who they spy on; they spy on everyone to try and get intelligence. But, of course, you would like them just to spy only on the "bad guys". But if they knew who the bad guys were to begin with, the wouldn't really need to do any spying now, would they?

Comment Re:on the flip side, what the Surface fails to do (Score 1) 337

"Microsoft has, year after year and in new and amazing ways, failed to put the end user experience first."

Look around at the computers people use. 95% run Windows. Its not about user experience, it's that for 95% of the work people do, Microsoft provides the tools to get it done. Their UX sucks from a warm-fuzzy, on the go lifestyle perspective (I just got a surface and they've got quite a way to go to smooth out the software edges), but they can be exceptionally efficient work machines.

FWIW, when I stop into most coffee shops I see phones (typically of all types, but primarily flagship models from the majors: Apple, Samsung, with the occasional LG or Moto) and I see MacBooks. Very, very few people are using ANY kind of tablet.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.