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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Do You Really Need a Smart Phone? (

Roblimo writes: "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Where Did Our Future Go? 3

When I was a kid our school textbooks and the general societal belief (what we would now call a “meme”) led us to believe in a future where machines would do the heavy manufacturing and agricultural tasks, which meant humans would be freed to do fulfilling tasks instead of drudgery. We were all going to work 20 hours a week and spend the rest of our time choreographing ballets or writing poetry or something, and lots of serious think-papers were written about how we’d use o

Comment His name... (Score 0) 204

Did anyone notice that this dude's name is Hackett?

I can just see the police:

"Uh, anyone have any idea who might have done this credit card theft thing?

"Sarge, there's a guy just got a traffic ticket, name of Hackett."

"HACKETT? Of course! It had to be him. Wake up Judge Alzheimer, get a warrant, and bust him right away. Search his computer for porn, too, while you're at it."


Submission + - Dear FOSS Zealots: Proprietary has a Place Too! (

blackbearnh writes: "After years of having the more extreme elements of the Free Software community imply that he and his kind are akin to war criminals for writing proprietary software, O'Reilly Radar commentator James Turner has had enough.

In an essay out today, Turner argues that FOSS has it's place in the software ecosystem, and that it naturally tends to dominate it. But, equally, there are places where FOSS makes no sense at all, and it's silly to demand that all software should be free. He's especially fed up with demands that he settle for less than the best software he can get, simply to support the FOSS movement unconditionally. TFA: "In many cases, proprietary software fills niches that FOSS software does not. If individual activists want to 'wear a hair shirt' and go without functionality in the name of FOSS, that's their decision. But I like linen, thank you.""

Comment Re: Community Myth (Score 1) 348

It's *always* better to have an archived email list or online support forum instead of one-to-one emails. It's a matter of leveraging your time. The same questions ("Will it work better if I plug it in?") are going to be asked over and over. Why reply to them over and over?

Also: IRC is the best venue for hand-holding support, not necessarily provided by a project's lead developer or necessarily by a developer at all. Sometimes a user is better able to steer a fellow user in the right direction, and IRC is great for this.

freenode and oftc are both great places to host your support channels.

And for users who expect free software developers to drop everything they're doing and provide instant, free, one-on-one tech support... suck my hairy white [Republican]. That is TOTALLY out of line. Don't even ask.


Submission + - A first look at Cisco's Cius tablet (

v3rgEz writes: "It's not a tablet, Cisco executives keep insisting, but what's left isn't much: The Cius pricey, buggy device that doesn't live up to the key features Cisco promised, and key flaws don't have a specific time table for when they'll be fixed."

CmdrTaco Watches Atlantis Liftoff 130

When someone offers you the once in a lifetime chance to see something as historic as the final Space Shuttle Flight: You go. As a child I assembled a puzzle of the Challenger illuminated by those bright xenon lights, and dreamt of space flight. And last week I went to see the last launch the world will ever see of a Space Shuttle. Atlantis. STS-135. What follows is the story of my brief stay at the Kennedy Space Center.

Submission + - IT Vendors Spent HOW MUCH Lobbying the Government? (

Esther Schindler writes: "Last week marked the public disclosure of the reports IT vendors were required to file, disclosing the amount they spent to lobby the U.S. Federal Government in the first quarter alone. It's eye-opening and mind-boggling. And with activities such as the Federal Trade Commission investigating companies like Google and Twitter, writes Sharon Fisher, it's only going to get worse. She aggregates how much money each tech company spent. Gosh, it's more than I have in my pocket."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Instead of Silicon Valley, What About Rochester? 1

I know a guy, Lee Drake, who has an IT business in Rochester, New York, called OS-Cubed. He's also part of a chamber of commerce-type group that touts Rochester as a great place to start and run a high-tech business. Why Rochester? Why not? And why not look at a lot of places besides Silicon Valley if you want to be involved with exciting, cutting edge technology?


Submission + - Do Supercomputers Still Matter? (

Esther Schindler writes: "The innovations that are redefining the way businesses compute today were made feasible by supercomputers, the first platforms to enable parallel processing on a scale anywhere close to that of the cloud. Supercomputing would have been a lost art had it not been for the capability of everyday PC processors to be stacked together by the thousands — a technology for the high end made possible at the low end. But now, writes Scott Fulton in an exhaustive technical essay, a looming engineering bottleneck may have already rendered it technically and financially impossible for supercomputers to continue evolving at the current rate. Can the cloud go forward if the “grid” on which it’s based grinds to a halt?"

Comment Re:Technically inept and Corporate apathy (Score 1) 314

I was in the third row at the St. Petersburg CNN/YouTube 2008 Republican debate, right behind Chuck Norris. Ron Paul barely spoke up. When he did, moderator Anderson Cooper gave him speaking time. And in the "press" area afterwards, where reporters were doing one-on-one interviews, Ron Paul didn't show, so no one interviewed him.

And maybe he did TV advertising somewhere, but I don't recall a single Ron Paul TV spot in Manatee County, Florida, part of the Tampa Bay regional TV market.

Ron Paul was not an effective campaigner in 2008.

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