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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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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.

Comment: Cannibalizing their market? (Score 1) 86

by xlsior (#49281011) Attached to: Nintendo Finally Working On Games for Smartphones
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.
or
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

by xlsior (#49246189) Attached to: New Crop of LED Filament Bulbs Look Almost Exactly Like Incandescents
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

by xlsior (#49217989) Attached to: Apple's "Spring Forward" Event Debuts Apple Watch and More
... 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

by xlsior (#49125023) Attached to: Pebble Time Smartwatch Receives Overwhelming Support On Kickstarter
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

by xlsior (#49034281) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use
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

by xlsior (#48949679) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

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

Comment: Re:what China should do is (Score 4, Insightful) 288

by xlsior (#48681811) Attached to: The Interview Bombs In US, Kills In China, Threatens N. Korea
invade North Korea, depose the North Korean government, and depose & disarm the North Korean military, and once they stabilized it, hand it over to South Korea

...Except China likes having North Korea as a buffer zone between it and the much more democratic and western-aligned South Korea. Having a crackpot dictatorship on its borders helps China's own citizens from getting to many 'crazy' ideas in their head -- "Look how great we have it here!"

Comment: Re:Better comparison site (Score 2) 377

by xlsior (#48570707) Attached to: Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

The below site offers a better comparison interface than the Lena image link from the post. Drag your mouse across the image to see the effect:

http://xooyoozoo.github.io/yol...

Interesting, thanks for the link -- I must say, I see pretty much no visual difference at all between BPG and the WebP format on those sample pics, at identical file size.

Comment: Re:Big fucking deal. (Score 1) 422

by xlsior (#48182119) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres
Frankly, if I could just die at age 70 before my mind turns to shit and I can't control my bodily functions I'll be happy. Living for an extra 10+ years in the shadow of what you once were is not living. It's a cruel form of torture.

Keep in mind that environmental factors reducing your lifespan don't mean that you're going to remain perfectly healthy until you're 70 and then just suddenly keel over. Healthy people tend to not just die for no apparent reason -- the decay leading to death will likely just manifest itself at an earlier age and progress more rapidly too. Congratulations, now you can't control your bodily functions at 65 instead of 80.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.

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