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Comment Larry Niven agrees (Score 1) 148

Elon Musk: "In the distant future, I think people may outlaw driving cars because it's too dangerous. You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine."

Larry Niven cited turning off autonomous driving features as a reason to be given the death penalty in his "Known Universe" stories written in the 1960s. Society benefits from safer use of automobiles and an increased supply of spare parts.

Comment Eastlink's Reason is Bullshit/they want the handle (Score 3, Insightful) 365

I just did a quick boo at Eastlink's website and no where are there guidelines for email handles.

Maybe if the handle meant something different 20 years ago than it does now they could come back and say something, but I suspect the real reason is that "noreply@eastlink.ca" is a damn useful email address for eastlink.ca

Comment Technology to Migrate to other Samsung Products? (Score 2) 65

Unlike the other talking box providers, Samsung makes TVs and other consumer devices.

I would think the incremental cost of adding this technology to something like a TV would be very small, making it something that you couldn't avoid unless you were to avoid Samsung (which isn't that a horrific prospect in itself).

Comment So, if you don't like Creationism taught in school (Score 5, Interesting) 484

Complain to get it removed. What is the reference supporting the claim that God created the Earth and creatures that live upon it? AFAIK, it's only one book.

And the bible is full of pornography. Easy to find examples.

I would think for sufficiently creative people with appropriate resources, this law could easily be turned around to cause all kinds of problems for it's proponents.

Comment Author Looking to Extend "Moore's Law" (Score 4, Insightful) 95

Yes, I know "Moore's Law" isn't a law but an observation.

When I RTFA, it seems the author is looking at different technologies to continue growth of computing capability for a given unit of space. I also get the impression that Mr. Williams is looking to fund projects that he has an eye on by saying that Si based chips will soon no longer be economically improved and VC/Investment Money should be looking at alternative technologies rather than continued shrinking of Si chip features.

Unfortunately, I don't see a fundamental shift in what Mr. Williams is looking for the resulting devices to do. I would think that if he was really planning on dealing with the end of Moore's Law, he would be looking at new paradigms in how to perform the required tasks, not new ways of doing the same things we do now.

Regardless, the physical end of our ability to grow the number of devices on a slab of Si has been forecasted for more than forty years now - Don't forget that as the devices have gotten smaller in size, the overall wafer and chip size has grown as have yields which mean a continuing drop in cost per Si capacitor/transistor along with an increase in capability per chip. I would be hesitant to invest in technologies that depend on the end of Si chips' trend of becoming increasingly cheaper with increased capabilities over the next few years.

Comment Just bought my first Record Player in 35 years (Score 4, Interesting) 136

I still have a few albums from when I was a teenager that never went on CD (Remember "The Secret Policeman's Balls")? My wife has a ton she wants to get onto her iPod.

And to get them onto digital I got a USB turntable. Using the Audacity software to convert the output to .mp3s.

I've just done a couple albums so far - I was pretty anal about keeping them clean and free of scratches while putting them on good quality cassettes (they've been played two to four times at most) - and I have to say I prefer the sound of CDs. The occasional pops and pickup hum that many people/hipsters find endearing, I find annoying and distracting from the music. I used to be pretty good at nailing tracks but it's not like riding a bicycle, I need to relearn it (although I'm breaking up the tracks fine using the software).

I was surprised at how the quality of the turntables don't seem to match the quality of 35 years ago. My previous turntable was a direct drive Technics that was built from solid aluminum castings; Shure cartridge and I can't remember who made the needle. I bought a highly rated Audio-Technica which is more than serviceable and produces nice sound, but I definitely prefer what comes straight from a CD, iTunes or Amazon.

I know my son will be scandalized at this post but I grew up in the age of (great) LPs and despite not having the same album artwork, I don't miss LPs at all.

Comment "Technically Challenged"? (Score 2) 185

Very unfortunate term and I it sounds like something that cannot be cured with a telethon to help those afflicted with it.

The obvious joke here is that if you're using Windows, you're clearly "Technically Challenged" but I think it goes further than that and parodies legitimate physical and cognitive handicaps (both of which are PC'd down to "challenges").

Probably a better and more accurate term would be "not technically proficient".

Bash away.

Comment Gaming imitating Hollywood? (Score 1) 127

Is it appropriate to spend money recycling them into a new platform? I would think that rather than coming up with yet another console, wouldn't it be more effective for the customers and more profitable for Nintendo to make these games available on DVDs/cartridges for current systems?

That would leave more money & engineering talent for developing new and better hardware instead of recycling the same things over and over again?

I love playing Super Mario Kart and a number of the other games they're bringing back, but I don't want to pay for another console if it doesn't bring me any new capabilities for the future.

Comment No surprise; India hasn't raised it's game (Score 3, Interesting) 165

We seem to be in the third phase of Indian tech growth:
- Phase 1: Talented Indian engineers and programmers were recognized with opportunities in the US and other Western countries
- Phase 2: The inevitable over generalization that ALL Indian engineers and programmers are superior to Western engineers and programmers with the added benefit that they work for substantially less than their local counterparts
- Phase 3: Recognition by Western companies that they've been sold a bill of goods, the average Indian engineer and programmer is not superior to Western engineers and programmers and, due to the fact that they've been set up to fail because of incomplete specifications and non-existent training/onboarding, they have been hurt by indiscriminate hiring of Indian tech workers

Rather than reaping the profits through Phase 2 without concern for the future, the Indian government should have been upping its game in terms of the quality of the workers being made available to Western companies as well as establishing more stringent standards for workers along with better education for them. What has happened is that the initial good experiences has been overwhelmed by bad and hurtful experiences leading to companies eschewing Indian tech workers for "the next best thing".

Comment Canada is on another planet, in the future (Score 5, Interesting) 632

We've had the kiosks in Canadian McDonald's for at least a year now and:
- It's a much nicer way to order, no lines and no shouting to be heard
- No worries that the clerk screws up your order
- There doesn't seem to be less staff behind the counter, just more of them filling orders rather than taking them
Overall, it works well enough that we prefer going to McDonald's.

When it comes to dining payment technology, it seems like Canada is light years away (as well as well into the future) than the US. Payment is made at the table with chip reading cards that take debit or credit and we have had the McDonald's kiosks and Canada's economy hasn't collapsed.

Yet when these things are talked about in the US, it seems like they are job killing ideas coming from the devil himself.

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