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Comment This show made my brain sad (Score 5, Informative) 193

I watched 10 minutes of it the other night (on accident I swear!) and had to spend another 10 minutes explaining to my wife why I was laughing so hard. They were tracking down some cyber-bad guy (ugh) through the internet and one of the characters stopped working to do the obligatory "I'm going to explain how the internet works to the seasoned tech-illiterate detective who fears technology" part of the episode. He then proceeded to explain how data flows through many points on the internet to get where it needs to go (okay so far). He told the cop that these points are called (I am NOT kidding) "Router-hubs". These router-hubs each keep a "shadow copy" of every document (shut up shut up SHUT UP!) that flows through them for months (what the hell?) and that they could find the document they needed by going to some random data center with one of these router-hubs (it hurts to type that) and getting the shadow copy.

Then they went to some random building start doing things on a computer next to a long row of what appeared to be rack-mounted LED lights. Oh, and there was a smokey haze in the DC for some reason. Probably some atmospheric bullcrap. Anyway this show does have entertainment value, but only if you look at it as a parody.

Comment I got scared when I started counting... (Score 1) 260

2 laptops, 3 phones, 1 iPad, PS3, Wii (not really allowed on the network anymore since it's 802.11b only), sprinkler controller, 3 Rokus, 2 surveillance cameras, 1 Kindle, 1 Apple TV, Nest thermostat. The cameras, PS3, and one of the Rokus are usually on ethernet, but I move things around occasionally.

Comment Yep (Score 1) 258

I live just outside of Provo, UT and I had Comcrap install my internet service about a week after Google announced their fiber service was coming here (I had just moved). I'm not in the service area (dammit) but I asked the Comcast tech about how his office is feeling about it. Basically he said the bosses at the local Comcast office are scared to death. In Provo Comcast started offering cut-rate prices about 2 months after the Google Fiber announcement. My grandparents took their offer of $75/month for 30 Mbps internet, cable TV, and home phone service.

Comment Stay in education (Score 1) 451

I'm not saying that you shouldn't change careers - but look at the business end of IT in the education market. I work for a large university and I just switched roles from a SysAdmin to a Business Analyst for our Office of IT and I'm 33 years old. I moved from the front-facing tech side of things to where I am basically the interface between the engineers/technicians and the "customers" (deans, departments, students to a much lesser extent). I get the project requirements from the customers and work with the engineers to provide what the customers need. I'm still in IT, but I'm in a position where I'm having a large impact on the infrastructure and our service quality (we have 32k students). Being already in education you'd be at least basically familiar with some of the unique things that occur with licensing, purchasing, etc. We tend to get better/cheaper terms than corporations and individuals. It's a challenge, but it can be a fun challenge. You don't sound like an engineer, but you DO sound like you can at least be conversant with them. Being that translation layer between engineer/normal person can be a lot of fun.

Comment I'm sure it would be cheap too... (Score 1) 305

My father-in-law has a very nice Lexus he bought 3 years ago that has a built-in GPS. Unfortunately his GPS has gotten out of date, so he took it to the dealership to ask about getting it updated with new maps. The dealership wanted $800, half of that was labor. Turns out there is NO WAY to update the GPS in his car. They have to open up the dash board and replace the stupid computer. They're not smart enough to have a mechanism to update a built-in GPS - you think they'd do something as logical as OTA updates? Hah!

Comment Re:Contrary to widespread thought... (Score 1) 274

Exactly. It will be one day, just not right now. New products need curb appeal. A cool factor. It's really hard to wow a first time user with a product filled with ads. Once they get enough users things will change. The original google search engine did the exact same thing. Once it was in common usage they started inserting "sponsored links." First you develop the technology, get everyone to use it, THEN you squeeze them.

Comment Re:Just means they will make their money another w (Score 2) 274

They are going to eat some costs. This is like video game console development. You eat some costs upfront to get the entire ecosystem out there. They did the same thing with Android. Facebook did the exact same thing. If the platform is a cesspool of ads, no one will want to use it. Once it's in widespread use they can do what they want with it. I doubt they have a lot of interest in developing hardware either. They want to get the ecosystem into widespread usage any way possible, then take a step back and be the masters of that ecosystem, letting everyone else do the work for them. Then they'll begin figuring out how to integrate ads, but that is 5 years away I'm sure. Ads are like step 30 and they've just barely reached step 1.

Comment Florida resident here (Score 4, Informative) 53

This story has a long history. Basically these places were operating with a variety of names (cafes, arcades, sweepstakes, probably others) for many years. They operated based on loopholes in Florida law and their sole purpose was for gambling. A very large one got shut down because they crossed the line from simply unethical to illegal. They were operating under the premise they were a veterans benefit organization and not actually giving veterans and significant amounts of money. The lieutenant governor was involved with the company somehow so the story exploded. Rick Scott is already wildly unpopular and the Florida Republican party is on the path to possibly losing 2014 so the hammer came down to make a point that the legislature can still get things done.

It's pretty telling that the company that was shut down was run mostly by lawyers. They operated along the cracks and loopholes of Florida laws. These places are usually in poor and retired neighborhoods so I'm not that sad to see them go away. Maybe if we can do something about the "WE BUY GOLD" and check cashing places we can start to clean up these communities.

Comment Re:Just set it to clock speed (Score 1) 400

I don't think it's such a black and white issue. There needs to be specific algorithms for determining speed limits. In America, speed limits vary WILDLY from county to county for equivalent roads. I'll give an anecdotal story...

Where I live, there was a road that had a speed limit of 35mph. All the state guidelines said the speed limit should be faster. It was 35mph because the mayor lived on that road and he blocked it every time anyone tried to raise it. When he left office, all of a sudden it was 40mph. So all the people that got tickets for going 40mph on that road were in the wrong 6 months ago, but are not wrong now? Nothing has changed except a sign. The road is no more or less safe.

In the Gainesville, FL area the surrounding towns know there are a lot of people passing through that don't know the local speed limits (that's where the University of Florida is). That area of Florida is very poor and for some small towns, speeding tickets are a significant source of revenue. They will do things like post a 35mph limit, then soon after a jump to 50mph within a few hundred feet. When people see the 50mph sign they begin to speed up even though 50mph doesn't technically begin until the point of the sign. They hide behind billboards trying to see how fast they can clock you before you've technically reached the new speed limit.

While in most places it's illegal to have an official ticket quota, I know for a fact all tactics just shy of a quota are used. I've heard of whiteboards with all officers tickets for the month on display for all to see. Enforcement programs get very aggressive during times of budget shortfall. There needs to be a disconnect between funds raised by the legal system and where they go. If the money stopped going to police departments and say directly to the federal government, the police departments would lose motivation to try and cheat people out of money.

Comment Re:Damn, I missed it (Score 1) 259

Oh my gosh...I typed a huge long reply to this and then the comment system ate it.

I have had this happen to me a lot. Enough so that my cousins and some of my friends refer to it as my super power. We saw two different types of lights (same day, different times of day) turn off in a movie theater parking lot as I walked past them, or parked under them.

My original reply was much longer and more detailed than this, but I don't want to retype it.

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