Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Re:Another vote for build (Score 1) 321

You're generally saving yourself trouble in the long run by building it yourself. As other have said, buying a pre-built system means you're going to have to worry about bloatware, firmware issues, and dealing with support if something goes wrong.

On the other hand, if something DOES go wrong there is a single company responsible, which you can call and demand a resolution from. If you put together your own components then the video card manufacturer will blame the motherboard, the motherboard manufacturer will blame the memory, and the memory manufacturer will blame the power supply -- it will be a LOT harder to get anyone to admit fault and actually resolve the problem, and randomly replacing parts yourself is a whole lot more frustrating and blows away any potential savings there may have been. (which in unlikely in this day and age in the first place, since pre-built machines tend to be cheaper than buying your own components, especially after you factor in a new windows license as well)

In the end, "dealing with support" is a lot less frustrating than dealing with NO support.
Pre-built machines from large companies are presumably designed and tested before mass-marketed, and there's less chance of random incompatibility interactions than if you put together a handful of random components yourself.

The main advantage of building your own is that you can pick and choose your individual components, presumably without making as many compromises -- but it WILL increase the chances of interoperability problems, and it likely adversely affects the total price as well. In the 90's it was a lot cheaper to built your own -- that hasn't been the case for a long time now.

Comment Re:Intel compute stick (Score 1) 224

You can get an Intel HDMI Compute Stick with way much better specs at nearly similar price point.

On intel's compute stick page ( https://www-ssl.intel.com/cont... ) it only lists one processor configuration, the Atom Z3735F. That CPU scores 905 of the Passmark CPU benchmark (cpubenchmark.net)

By comparison, the the Kangaroo uses a x5-z8500 processsor, which scores 1,652 on the same tests.

If anything, the kangaroo has almost twice the processing power of the compute stick.

Comment Or... (Score 1) 82

"[P]eople with the highest level of social integration had less than half the decline in their cognitive function of the least socially active subjects."

...Or the less the decline of their cognitive functions, the easier people find it to continue to keep with their up their social interactions?

Comment Re:Scammers (Score 4, Interesting) 286

The idea that you can make it to the shelter is ridiculous. If by some chance we need one, we won't have enough notice to do more than move 50 miles

Even if you could make it there -- what are the odds that the on-site maintenance people are even going to let you in, rather than their own families?

Comment Re:Write yourself in as a character... (Score 2) 95

Yeah, it's an odd thing. I'm always seeing continuity errors that I find obvious. Others might either say Hey that's right, but more often they just get irritated. Probably part memory, part pattern recognition.

One thing that is easily overlooked by viewers of a long-running show, is that the writers for such a universe have a LOT more information to digest -- because in addition to all the finished episodes the viewer has seen, they have also gone over hundreds or even thousands of other (proposed) stories and storylines that never did make it to finished form. That makes it ever harder on the creators to keep to remember what's actually canon and part of the 'published' universe

Another difference: The viewer watches the finished product, start to finish. The writers on the other hand will often jump around between section when writing a story, or it may even have several different writers altogether who wrote different parts of the same story. It''s easy to end up with some continuity issues that way.

In addition to actual mistakes/oversights, some of the 'continuity errors' will also be in place just for comedic sake -- Even though it may conflict with the 'actual' layout of the town, conveniently moving things around can set the stage for a joke, etc. Most viewers won't be bothered by some creative freedom like that.

Shows that don't take themselves too seriously can be a lot more entertaining than ones where everything is very rigid and formulaic. Who cares if it's technically correct when it's no longer FUN?

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 103

Who needs something that can move short distances at walking speed, but can be carried around when walking?

Some people with medical issues like arthritis can find if much less stressful on their joints to just 'stand' rather than actually walk... Chronic joint inflammation that gets made worse by the repetitive stress of walking. Just because someone is capable of walking doesn't necessarily mean that comes always easy to them. For example: With arthritis, you can be perfectly fine walking around at one moment, with excruciating pain in your joints the next. Any further ongoing joint movements at that point increases or prolongs that pain. A personal transporter that can keep you from rotating your ankle or hip joints unnecessarily can make a huge difference, both in pain control and personal independence.

Also, it could be useful if you have a morning commute by public transportation -- you still need to get TO the train/subway/bus station after all, and from the last stop to your final destination. This is something that can take you the first and last parts of your trip, while easily carried on board of the bus in a bag without taking up a ton of room.

Comment Re:Give me my Home key back (Score 1) 698

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

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

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

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

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.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN