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Comment Re:Give me my Home key back (Score 1) 677 677

For a (short) while years ago Microsoft tried redesigning their keyboard layout as well, and in their infinite wisdom they got rid of the normal 'insert' key -- instead they gave you a double-height 'delete' key, and the 'Insert' functionality became a 3rd feature of the printscreen/sysreq button, provided you're in Microsoft Office. On all of their keyboard lines at the same time: 'standard', 'office', 'gaming' and 'ergonomic'.

The big problem with that: no more "shift-insert" shortcut to paste text, and it's -very- hard to break that habit.

Luckily, their experiment didn't last very long and they've since switched back to a standard keyboard layout.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 301 301

Rightsholders keep pushing the fact that we're buying a personal use license to the media when we buy a CD/DVD/etc, so why is making a mere copy for personal use unlawful in any way?

Likewise: Why won't they exchange damaged physical discs for new ones at cost? After all, you already payed for the 'license'

Comment Power (Score 1) 557 557

We had a house built a few years ago, and in hindsight the biggest thing I would have done differently are the power lines. A standard A/C PowerLine is 15 amp, which isn't much when an average laserprinter can easily pull around 9 all by itself. Two pc's and a laptop on the same circuit = tripped breaker when the laserprinter kicks in.

In hindsight, each wall in our office room should have been on its own dedicated circuit, just to deal with the incidental spikes in power draw.

Another thing would be to keep a close eye on the work performed by the contractor that pulls the cables - even though we had a pre-install walk through on what kind of cabling to put where, we realized long after the fact that some of them had been skipped during installation, including cable & ethernet drops in the large hallway closet where I intended to put the cable modem and WiFi router down the road.

Last but not least: don't skimp on actual wiring, the price difference between a high-grade cat-6 and blue light special cat-5 is insignificant, but can save a lot of headaches for years to come.

Also, depending on where you live, consider landscaping options. It's a lot easier to do things right the first time, rather than try to move things around later. Depending on where you live, it can save much troubles to go with some drought resistant / low maintenance options.

Comment Re:Since when (Score 4, Insightful) 136 136

Since it's bittorrent, they aren't "merely downloading" because it is automatically sharing the (partial) download with others at the same time -- meaning that they're uploading as well. Since the average user doesn't have the right to (re)distribute the movie in question, they are violating the copyright of the owners.

Comment Communication? (Score 1) 536 536

In my experience cable company internal communications are pretty much epic in their non-existence.

A few years ago, I needed to sign up for internet with Charter Cable, which had been available in my neighborhood for many years. However, I knew that there was no physical cable in place between my house and the cable junction box in the neighbors yard (Maybe 50 feet, tops. Previous owner accidentally ripped it out during landscaping work) But because of that, instead of just signing up for service online I actually went to their local office to order it in person, making extra sure so explain that the old cable that used to be there was damaged beyond repair and would need to be re-run to the distribution point in the neighbor yard -- sure, no problem!

Yet despite being very clear about what needed to be done, it took no less than four separate installers to show up at my door, each of which would stand there scratching his head confused by the lack of the main incoming cable and escalating to a supposedly different tier of installers to take care of that issue first

(Of course, cable company appointments give you a time window of "some time between the dawn of time and the death of the universe" in the first place, so that also entailed four separate wasted days of having to hang around the house waiting for them to show up)

In the end they got everything connected and activated, but it was blatantly obvious that there was some HUGE structural failure to communicate within the company itself... There is no excuse for the exact same issue to be "discovered", "diagnosed" and "escalated" four times in a row, despite me spelling it out to them in the first place and also calling the main office in between appointments to supposedly verify that the next person coming out understood what needed to be done, and would be capable of doing so. It also shouldn't take a month for them to finally get their act together.

Comment Cannibalizing their market? (Score 1) 86 86

One issue they will have to face is that on mobile platforms, the going rate for most games seems to be anywhere from "free" to $2.99 or so, with VERY few games charging more than that..

The cheapest Nintendo game you'll currently find on either the wii or DS / 3DS at this point in time is $19.99, which many of their bigger titles selling for $49.99 or even $59.99 on the wii u

In order to make any significant headway into the mobile market, more than likely they'll need to put the price-point of the game significantly below their current console & handheld levels in order to even remotely compete with existing mobile games..

That means that either:
1) They'll try to sell some Mario/Kirby/Whatever game for Android and ask an almost absurd $19.99 for it in an attempt to keep the status quo that is likely doomed to fail.
2) They'll be forced try to sell it for $2.99 or less to compete with other mobile apps, destroying their DS ecosystem from the inside out by directly competing with themselves at much lower profit margins.

Modern tablets and smart phones really flipped the entire gaming ecosystem upside down, and at this point in time Nintendo is either damned if they ignore that, and damned if they go along with it. They need to be careful or they'll be reduced to another Sega in the long run.

Comment Re: I'll never give up incandescents. EVER. (Score 1) 328 328

You better stock up then, since incandescent bulk are actively being phased out at the moment, with the federal government prohibiting both manufacturing and imports of bulbs that consume too many watts per lumen. Expect it to become very hard to find 100w and 60w incandescent bulbs before long. So.. You will be forced to give them up kicking and screaming when you can no longer find them in the store, or pay an insane premium for old stock on eBay. (there are some pretty nice 60w alternative led bulbs available these days, although I do find a huge range in color among bulbs that a all advertised as 2700k temperature.)

Comment Keep in mind... (Score 3, Interesting) 529 529

... That is an advertised 18 hour battery life on day one with a brand new device. That means you'll probably be lucky to get 12 hours a day in a year or two, since rechargeable batteries tend to age poorly. By comparison, the upcoming Pebble Time advertised a week of battery life for the base model, and ten days for the Steel version.

Comment Brightness? (Score 3, Interesting) 141 141

I can't help but notice how over-exposed most of the live videos of the actual display are (brightly washed out hand/wrist in the background), which makes me wonder how readable the screen really is without using the backlight...

(The first generation pebble has a pretty low contrast ratio too, using a Memory LCD screen -- not true e-ink, although it was advertised as such)

That said, the new model does look interesting.

Comment Re:Chill out (Score 4, Insightful) 327 327

Yeah, I have a suggestion. Chill the fuck out. Watch your 2 year old, and when he/she's asleep, don't worry about it.

While you can probably delay the situations with the highest risk factors (e.g. baby's bath time) until both parents are home, there's a lot of things that potentially could go wrong while unattended. For example, A sudden onset seizure could cause the wife to drop the baby, or hit her own head on the coffee table, or who knows what else. Having a way for the 2 year old to call for help on her own in such situations could make a tremendous difference

This was a reasonable question looking for help mitigating very real risks -- don't be a dick about it.

That said: perhaps the easiest way would be to have a very basic speaker phone set up somewhere with a one-push button to actually CALL dad in case of emergency. A benefit of that over a silent email/sms/whatever setup is that it could give the 2-year old instant feedback that help is coming if there really is a problem, and depending on the verbal skills of the kid dad can save precious time as well: "mom fell and isn't moving!" vs. wasting time to try to remotely view your cameras first and see what happened.
(Although a possible downside is that she may just start hitting it anytime she wants to talk to dad during office hours)

Comment Re:Incredible! (Score 1) 204 204

What? That doesn't sound right ... because I'm pretty sure I've seen a board which comes with both chess and checkers pieces.

I'm not buying that at all -- they're both 8x8.

You're just making shit up.

There are different versions -- American Checkers is 8x8, the most popular international version is 10x10, and Canadian Checkers is 12x12 apparently:

There's double-sided chessboards to account for this: 8x8 for chess on one side, and 10x10 for checkers on the other side.

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)