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Comment Re:OK. Next? (Score 1) 588

customizability is not the crux definition of a PC. I can't tell you how many ways I've had laptops unupgradeable over the years (NEC UltraLite, anyone) but they've all been PC's.

I don't really have a dog in this hunt, btw. Haven't decided whether I consider a pad a pc or not. I say 'not' when it involves software compatibility, ability to edit word docs, etc. But when I start getting into how I'm using it, it starts to feel like a business device used personally for computing and that acronyms down to business PC. When I'm at home and surfing, that's home PC taskage. When my kids take a turn, it's a game PC, etc.

It's a candy mint / it's a breath mint.... fuck it and accept that netbooks, notebooks, smart phones, desktops and smart appliances are all PC's. The acronym PC is dead, long live the acronym.

Comment Re:OK. Next? (Score 1) 588

they didn't. 2 of the 3 pie's fat slices involve the OS.

From http://www.microsoft.com/investor/CompanyInfo/SegmentInfo/ServerAndTools/Overview.aspx
"Server and Tools product and service offerings include Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio, System Center products, Windows Embedded device platforms, and Enterprise Services. Enterprise Services comprise Premier product support services and Microsoft Consulting Services."

To be fair, you're both going semantic and offtopic: rerun this argument like the monty python spanish inquisition script, and say that OS and business and servers are the cash cow yadda yadda...

Bloatwarepad is subsidized, just like Zune was.

Comment Re:Maybe the over reaching US legal hand (Score 0, Troll) 203

And by saying so, you get pegged with one word, which is unprintable and would just get me troll-rated..

Seriously, this isn't even on the top ten list of characterizations of the Obama administration. Then again, the top adjective list from Fox reads like political word salad anyway: Fascist, Communist, Socialist, Liberal, Nazi, Bankster, Corporation-owned, Wall-street, AntiGun, Islamic, anti-religious, imperialist, weak, etc.

Given the sheer number of absurd words chosen and mutual contradictions and the centrist-right nature of the Obama administration (ask any liberal or progressive, we can quantify the ways we object to his stances as too-conservative), let's face it: your party needs to rediscover how to use a dictionary.

Comment Re:The suppression of speech is not speech. (Score 1) 323

Sit-ins are intrusive. Picket lines are intrusive. Lockouts are intrusive. Boycotts, tea parties, monkeywrenching: intrusive, intrusive, intrusive. One could argue that defending oneself against negative political cartoons gets in the way of controlling one's message: intrusive.

Shouting from atop a soapbox: intrusive.

Unfettered political speech / expression routinely gets messy. Several of these are reprehensible in comparison to pamphleteering and other more civilized methods of getting one's message out, but each has shown they have their places. Asymmetry (an imbalance of power) forces asymmetric counterattacks.

That's why these are common. Now we just have to debate whether it's entirely depressing or a necessary evil...

Comment Re:I dunno... (Score 1) 776

Third 'if' is obscure (works for a reason that isn't evident/obvious). It also fails for m,n where m is a multiple of n (3 and 6), might fail for other patterns but I'm not seeing a solid proof either direction. If spec changes, your cleverness might introduce a bug.

Note, I really do think what you did is clever. If bytes still cost 1000x man-hours, you'd win. But for real-world use, do the else. It reads sanely. Yours made me start contemplating math proofs. Clever is a great measure of deep hackerly understanding. We just spend years unlearning 'clever as fuck' because it bites us on the ass eventually.

Comment Re:I dunno... (Score 1) 776

This extra time* is just techno-foreplay.

Going full anthropomorphic, the computer doesn't CARE how long (2, 4, 8 or 60 mins) we take to warm up, as long as it's balanced by how hard we rock it's world when we get busy. Four lines? Hope they're the model of code elegance and wisdom. Take an hour just to get started? Better be awesome, with deep penetrating insights ("yeah, I've never though of it that way before"). Done in sixty seconds in an elevator? Sweet.

* am torn between whether chasing 'damn kids off my lawn' IS or ISN'T worth counting. Depends on the mood, I guess.

Comment Re:What do they do? (Score 1) 212

A: $140?! At near-zero bandwidth, unless storage is large (i.e., you're storing 10+ gigs of data on the site for public access), find a cheaper provider. Asmallorange's lowest plan is a few bucks per month. Amazon's cloud stuff may be almost free, too, based on a hit/day metric.
B: I'd presume FIL is writing off the expense, so real after-tax cost is down roughly a third from there. $30 bucks becomes $20.
C: With domain registration, you'll still end up having some cost. Back up to $30.
D: If all you get is a hit a day, focus on correct info on various high-scoring results: (yourstate) (your name) (your specialty). Don't obsess, but think about it occasionally.
E: 9/10ths of local advertising mechanisms that are begging (BEGGING!) for your business will create little web-presence improvements free with any ad purchased. Instead of considering $140 a year expensive (!), do little PR things: clean up or add data for local-hospital / local/state registries / WebMD / yelp / yellow page / local newspaper / chamber of commerce presence. Analyze where clients come from, and do 80/20 effort on the sure stuff and the stuff I just mentioned - The ROI for small psych practices might be negligible, but he WILL pick up clients based on people stumbling across his name in these places, or by recommendations.
F: look at his home broadband contract: running a server from there could get DOS'd by the ISP noticing him, could get a price increase for violation of a 'no hosting' clause, and could just get DOS'd because the ISP doesn't notice him: my self-administered exim server got to be too much of a PITA eventually, with my ISP doing random things to silence rogue spam daemons.

Having said that, I'm also running tiny sites or daemons from a wrt54g, from a few Amahi servers, a Shiva (and have friends doing everyhting from FREESCO to PWNIE to RPi). Rock on. Just recognize that $140 a year isn't a good business motive.

Comment Re:Serious advice (Score 1) 64

Think I replied to you elsewhere, said you didn't know shit. From here, I can see it ain't that you're ignorant... you've just been burned. My apologies.

I completely get where you're coming from. Any championship starts to get burdened with side values/costs, whether it's olympics or these sorts of academic leagues or even amateur sports. It's the golden rule, in reverse: Money corrupts, more money corrupts things more. Maybe I'm lucky: my kids are so far down the damn well that merely qualifying for state boggled our minds and will expand their horizons immensely. Some of these kids come from entire families that have never set foot on a college campus or seen knowledge work as a career possibility. I don't want them to strive to almost win and then get nuked by the money-centered cheaters club. That'd sting bitterly, and again my condolences -- most of us have this happen occasionally. But that's not the only possible takeaway. I just want my kids to see more career options than their parents saw.

BTW, you're still wrong about FIRST w/r/t FIRST Lego: entirely preprogrammed minibots. The bots may seem lame, but what were you expecting for 5th and 6th grade kids?

Comment Re:Serious advice (Score 1) 64

An old boy scout leader friend once called himself a ponderosa pine: a big tree, offering shelter and somewhere to lean. As a type-A nerd, it's one of my toughest lessons, to step back and make the kids do all the work. To ask good leading questions, or explain an engineering concept succinctly in a tangent. To keep them from hurting themselves. To praise good hacker insights, or doggedness.

Comment Re:RC car or "real" robot or ? (Score 1) 64

Check my prior comment. FIRST Lego is: limited # of sensors/motors, fully autonomous, and designed by kids (5th and 6th graders). Hit the 'net, do some research, and you'll see just how full of s**t your imagined description of the FIRST leagues is.

Better yet, attend a competition (the whole day... listen to the opening/closing ceremonies, sit in on presentations). You'll see they're pushing for engineering prowess MORE than for robotics solutions. As for 'learning something about robotics', even when a system is remotely-controlled, servo feedback and calibration become a big damn deal. When things break, or during co-op rounds, kids have to know what they're doing. These kids learn WHY robotics is tough, and begin to create compensation techniques, even if they don't master robotics enough to do full-autonomy on new hardware on a strange challenge in a few weeks on a few-thousand-dollar budget... or, in my kids' case, on a few-hundred-dollar budget.

Yes, having good sponsors, team members or parents is crucial to some aspects of the competitions. But coming from mentoring a huge team (nobody is turned away) in a disadvantaged neighborhood, I'll personally attest that your post couldn't be more wrong. Or more insulting.

Comment Re:RC car or "real" robot or ? (Score 1) 64

You're reporting what you remembered from your ear to the ground? WTF, doesn't google and wikipedia work where you are?! Did you attend a single FIRST contest? What about the junior or Lego FIRST leagues?

Thanks for admitting you were doing the usual slashdot thing of just spouting off random unsubstantiated b.s., but please... your rant is what is being discussed. You somewhat pwned the conversation with your imagined warrior killer-bot claims.

I'm still reading the thread, but haven't seen mention of FIRST's younger levels yet. And from experience, I can vouch that FIRST Lego are diametrically opposite what you imagine:

The earliest tiers of FIRST are done using Lego. The tier I'm involved in (with a large team of 5th and sixth grade kids) is fully autonomous, involves 'flip switch', 'move object', 'select/gather and return to base' type goals, has a ridiculously-short 3-minute round for nearly a dozen goals (forces prioritiziation), and that part of the competition is sandwiched in with challenges geared toward demonstrating teamwork, public presentation, and learning about and solving some problems geared to some contemporary theme (this year is challenges old people/seniors face, last year was food safety). All of this is wrapped up with a loud, steady mantra of 'graceful professionalism'. I'm mentoring kids in a very-poor neighborhood whose school is working to become a small-city science/tech magnet school (my 2nd year), and was dumbstruck when our team qualified for state (barely; 12th out of 40+ teams in our regional competition).

The senior-high-school FIRST competitors often are judges and support staff for our competitions. This year's emcee was a geeky/charismatic local high-school math-olympics coach. Last year, I saw one of the high-school FIRST team's robots: they had a dozen interesting bits of good-prototyping best practices I never got close to being taught until college: an adjustable chassis (L-channel with holes, like giant erector set parts), deep-cycle batteries and tires and servo-driven motors, a data bus and carefully-built wiring looms for each mechanism, design for field-service/redundancy/spares, onboard and remote diagnostic frameworks, feedback mechanisms, etc. They used an inverted wifi home router (a modded wrt54g or similar) on the robot to talk to their laptop for data/communicatiojn. The chassis was bigger and weighed more than I expected (about 75kg, a meter per side, more than a meter tall). I forget the goal: collect and bin many balls on the playfield, maybe? Gather, scoop, lift, dump, plus motion and detection.

Full disclosure: IANA First representative/spokesperson. For the record, I loved battlebots. My team's kids geek out when they see 'em on youtube. But I can completely see how shifting to combat-competition would drown out or destroy attention on many of the fundamentals being sought here. There's competition in FIRST, because adversarial competition is motivational/educational crack. It's that once you introduce combative sorts of competition, it seems damn hard to not lose ALL of the attention on the other harder-to-teach ideals FIRST is after.

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