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Comment Wha? robocalls usually don't leave voicemail?!?! (Score 2) 619

Robocalls -do- leave voicemail. I get tons of it.
Voicemail spam is actually THE major reason I am going to kill my land-line (hear that, FairPoint?).

Sadly, you are right about the parties trying to "close the cell phone loophole". While the bill's primary sponsor is a house gop'er, it is co-sponsored by a NYC democrat.

Comment Re:Only if you had Yahoo's spam protection enabled (Score 1) 311

If this is true, Yahoo deserves to die.

It only takes half a brain cell to realize that allowing customers to opt in or out of spam checks on OUTBOUND email is a bad fucking idea.

If this is true, it would explain why Yahoo server IPs are always blacklisted at SpamCop.
Pick an article and timeline: http://www.google.com/search?q=yahoo+spamcop as many of their IPs are compromised on and off since 2007.

Comment Hooray for 3.3v (Score 3, Interesting) 144

mikejuk's submission paragraph states: "However, it's not all gain — the 3.3V operating voltage and the different I/O ports are going to create some compatibility problems. "

I respectfully disagree. Firstly, there are already a lot of 3.3v based Arduinos on the market. I own a JeeNode (see Jeelabs in EU, Modern Device in the USA). The JeeNode can run a 434MHz wireless radio transceiver and temperature sensor for MONTHS on a single 3.3v boosted AA battery. You could not do that with 5V.
Adafruit has a tutorial on converting Arduino Unos over to 3.3v, from 5v. It's popular.

Mostly all sensors these days are 3.3v.

But most most actuators (like stepper motors) require MORE than 5V. Sure, there's some relays requiring a mere 5v.. and very few work on 3.3v... but most relays require 6V or higher. The usefulness of 5V is diminishing, so what you really want is just enough power to activate a transistor or relay.

(Some Arduino compatible chips run great at 1.8v, and sensors do also... there will come a time someday where it may make sense to run at less than 3.3v)

I see Arduino more as a collection of standards and open hardware. There are dozens of Arduino designs all of which vary slightly in terms of electrical and physical (pinout, etc) compatibility. But this too is a good thing... the Arduino platform is all about ADAPTABILITY.

Comment Re:Editorial Piece Angries Up My Blood (Score 1) 247

Your comment is so well-written irony that I can not decide if you sincere in what you say, or cleverly trolling for the other side of your argument. When you are arguing for (what seems to be) more languages merely for the sake of more languages, and presenting as evidence how you personally like to dabble in every new language... well, that incites a backlash to your argument.

Google is very interested in bandwidth memory and power conservation. Google apps use a specific subset of Javascript, and they know which bits are inefficient. I would agree that Google should be free to invent a new language if it has benefits. No one gets hurt if the language runs inside JavaScript on other browsers. When it comes to working with open source and standards, Google has credibility and trust... they're not Microsoft, so I do not fear what they do in their labs. I want my phone and laptop both to be more responsive on the web, and use less power.

ECMAScript committee seems much less interested in these things, and are seem to be mostly interested in adapting ECMAScript to be the proverbial kitchen sink. I know they have some device/runtime profile stuff (somewhere), but it does not seem like a real subset standard, and not often used.

Comment Re:Uphill challange (Score 1) 157

>(Or just crazy people who fear it blindly like for Nuclear).

Unnecessary trolling. If you think nuclear is feared without merit, you are not being honest with anyone including yourself.

I am aware of the pro-nuclear argument for the last few decades that failure problems are ALL due to "those old reactors, not the new designs". Allowing that argument to slide, you still have a basic fact that neither the original design manufacturers NOR the investors are interested in paying to upgrade or refit those old reactors... so they stay IN production... and the point about possible safety improvements in new designs is not realistic. Most of these old reactors have been allowed to continue producing well beyond their original lifespan and keep getting exemptions.

The other argument against nuclear is that the private owners assume all the profit, and the taxpayer assumes all costs of waste disposal. The owners simply get to (dangerously) store the waste on-site in ways that were NEVER intended.

There's more to the problem than that, Yuca mountain storage, etc. but the reality is that most industries including energy are not required to fully bond the costs of cleanup... they can simply go bankrupt one day, leaving the taxpayer to fund the costs of cleanup. Since Bush 2 gutted Superfund, it's not like the government has much capacity to clean these things up either.

Did you know that 33-66% of all electricity generated is wasted in-transit?

This is WHY nuclear power builders always never want to build in remote areas... they always want to build nukes near large populations so there is less waste and greater profit.

Despite all this, I am not 100% against nuclear - it has it's place in the energy grid. But most of the time nuclear is proposed as some sort of utopia, if only the crazy people would stop being crazy about it. The reality is that nuclear's bad image has more to do with poor behavior, and attitudes like yours which dismiss facts.

The energy debate sadly fails to ever talk much about conservation, or the parasitic losses during long-distance transmission. Transmission losses are exactly why we need to have LOCAL wind and solar power - not wind and solar farms [which have their uses] - but actual on-site, emission-free power generation. If solar power works in Germany, it works in Maine, Vermont and North Dakota (which also happens to be quite suitable for wind power, local and farm based)

Comment Re:To expound on that... (Score 1) 157

While frozen land has plenty of sequestered carbon in the form of methane and peat.. the poster was asking about "eco" projects, which is quite opposite from your answer. You may have as well suggested an eco project based on drilling for oil. :-) Releasing all that trapped methane and carbon is the -last- thing humanity needs (although as the planet warms... it may release all of it anyways... the feedback loop danger that we're ignoring).

Regarding the poster's question, I believe Stirling engines work in extreme cold (if there is warmth at the other end). Also peltier electric cooling is interesting. There is plenty of wind power in cold climates.

There are not very many ecological projects suited to Alaska... fewer still that can be transported by air... which is a pity... I imagine heat pipes buried beneath the permafrost would have excellent utility..

Comment Re:Battle? (Score 1) 734

Your post contains a number of factual errors. I'm not sure if your post was intended to be deliberately misleading, or just generate buzz (much of it in the form of corrections). Nearly every line in your post..

>"For at least 15 years I've been hearing that various postal services all over the world are "losing battle against e-mail age" while in fact that scary "e-mail age" (or Internet age, as I would call it) should be the best thing they should hope could possible happen.

Not sure what your point was here. Was it to convey that USPS etc somehow "are not" losing the communication battle, or that this was not long-ago predicted? Either are untrue.

That we are in the "email age" being a good thing is something I would agree with... but I don't see how it follows what came before in your statement. Email is good for society, but bad for the USPS.

>Never before in human history we were buying so many goods from remote locations all over the world to be delivered by ... postal services! And now they want an end to Saturday delivery?

In the US, most goods purchased online are delivered by UPS, FedEx, and private freight. USPS carries some of that market segment, but it is small by comparison. Please do not put all of these carriers in a large pot, stir, and then strongly imply it has something to do with USPS. It's irreverent, actually.

>They should start Sunday delivery. ... and you should work for USPS, for free. Oh wait, even that would not remedy the financial issues.

>They missed the opportunity to start the biggest online payment system in the world so they should at least focus on being the best at delivering good bought on the Internet, not being worse still.

You do not understand what the USPS -is-.
USPS is a particular MODE of communication - shipping paper envelopes and some boxes. This is what Congress specifies in their charter (more or less).
USPS does not have a mandate to enter into competition with PayPal and Mastercard/Visa and therefore did not fail any opportunities to innovate.

>They [USPS] missed the train and now they want our help to survive.
No, they did not miss the train. Congress kept USPS on a short leash, even though USPS is a quasi public/private company. USPS could -never- have innovated ahead of UPS/FedEx, nor could it have even mimicked innovations by private shipping.

For example, USPS must deliver *everywhere* in the mainland USA, no matter how remote. UPS and FedEx can simply choose not to serve communities where it is not cost-effective.

If it costs more fuel to deliver letters from Miami, FL to Boulder, CO then tough shit the USPS must still charge the same flat rate. UPS and FedEx can price accordingly to cost, and they can charge more for Saturday delivery also.

USPS was never allowed to innovate much with package tracking, and as a result people simply do not TRUST them with online purchases. I never have.

USPS has to figure out where a package is going, MULTIPLE times, with no chance for error correction or detection, rerouting, or any of that. A package sent to my work was returned before it ever got here as "no such person at address". Some USPS person simply got confused it was a business address with a "attn: [my name here]" placed below the company name and above the street address. No delivery attempt was even made (though it came to the right town); No one here refused the mail at the office.

This would be no problem if the package were UPS/FedEx, and someone would sign for it... or the carrier would call the shipper or receiver phone number for instructions.

USPS was doomed for a long time.. unfortunate that those who consider USPS to be "socialism" we should not have, they fought against making USPS self-sufficient because quite simply they wanted a hole dug so deep that USPS would perish. Personally I think USPS is being forced to dig a big hole so that conservatives can force it to raid the pension fund, the way many private corporations have. Pensions, after all, are also "socialism".

(Amtrak is also being set up to fail in the same manner, and even the US federal highway system infrastructure deficit is being grown so we can give everyone tax breaks and then sell off the system to private investors when it's broke). ...Personally I think "sustainability" - both financial and environmental - needs to be in the argument. Cutting USPS delivery from 6 days/week to just Mondays, Fridays, and extra-cost Saturday delivery isn't something you have to like, but reality is sometimes like that... tough. Charging different rates for in-state and out of state delivery would be a simple fix (not a perfect fix mind you... but accurate variable postage fees would require pre-registration of the delivery address the way UPS/FedEx do... and while this is more efficient for shopping, it's hardly efficient for sending holiday cards). It costs more to deliver mail in less densely populated areas, and this should be reflected in the postage.

Comment Um, PS3 passed the XB360 AGES ago (Score 1, Informative) 276

I know way more people with PS3s than XB360s. This was not true 5 years ago, but it is now and has been for years.

Because of hardware failures, most XB360 owners I know have purchased the game console more than once (THREE times in one case).

What's more interesting to me is how both platforms have become dynamic platforms with new OS features, instead of remaining static like the old PS2 and XBOX.

Next thing you know, one of the console makers will 1up the other and start supporting Linux and homebrew. Oh wait....

Comment Re:This is gonna suck... (Score 1) 445

Why is it going to suck for Linux?
I got FireFox 5 with my latest security updates, on the currently released Ubuntu 11.

Maybe you mean to say, this will such "for anyone running RHEL as a desktop". I know people who run Fedora or RHEL (or CentOS) a desktop, and yeah... it IS hell. People only seem to do it so they can "develop" their enterprise apps inside the same OS they use for their banking and Facebook (ie, development is based on CentOS, and you can run Linux, so must be easier to combine these uses on one system.. not).

I develop for CentOS, but I push the code to a real CentOS server. For a desktop, I wouldn't ever suggest running anything besides Ubunto or OS X.

Fedora and RHEL doesn't suck.. it just sucks as a desktop. Besides getting old apps, in order to get any "media" (like mp3 or flash, for developer video casts) working you have to introduce other repos which eventually clash with the OS rpms, and then things break. As a result, those Linux users tend to not apply security updates at all. All this makes "Linux" look bad.

Sorry to beat the Ubuntu drum. I know people get sick of it. At the moment, Fedora is a test bed for RHEL, which is a server centric system with no desktop polish. It's been years since Red Hat cared about the desktop...

Comment Re:cost (Score 1) 482

Have you priced car or home charger for any USB-based device lately? Standardization does wonders for economies of scale.

If you don't care about price, most people care about clean drinking water and less wasted landfill space (even if you have to guilt them into it).

Why would I care that I can only charge one device... I don't think this is a valid question.
When I send back my phone to be recycled, I won't be sending back the chargers. Don't need to... they're standard, and useful.
You either accumulate a spare, or you can buy one off ebay cheap.

There's a bit more power variance with laptops (9v, 12v, 19v etc), but not a huge issue. A quality power supply is regulated, and could be selectable.

A lot of generic electronics and "stuff" is sold without a power supply. If you know how to read power supplies, and understand the types (transformer vs regulated/switching) you can often save those power supplies from the trash and recycle. So I have a battery powered Coleman air matress pump which requires 6v (uses 4 'D' batteries). Wire in a DC plug to those leads, remove the batteries, and plug in a (recycled) 6V DC power supply, and there ya go... it works indoors now without wasting batteries. No need to buy an AC-powered air pump.

We can't keep making stuff which is designed NOT to last. It is not sustainable.

Comment Re:Surprise, free market better than government (Score 2) 127

You are not being pragmatic. You are looking at this issue through the "filter" of partisan dogma, and then describing the problem and solution so it creates the fewest conflicts with your filter.

Libertarian principles -only- work if you can get everyone else to play along.

For example, Virginia could be competitive with rural South Korea and rural Japan without government support... IF you could convince rural South Korea and rural Japan to not ask their government to wire them up at high speed. In effect, they would be asking to get crappy rural Virginia bandwidth. Why would they ever do that?

In the US, it now looks like we will not be able to successfully lobby our government to maintain network neutrality. As a result, our Internet is now going to start moving backwards as ISPs move from common carriers to actual owners of the Internet itself. If you are building the next great Internet media project, good luck attracting fiscal and brainpower capital if your idea at all steps on the toes of Comcast-NBC (as Skype, Netflix, and Google did).

Comment Re:What's going on? (Score 1) 778

Yep. Looks to me like "inkscapee" is a brand new account created this week, almost zero posts, and already submitting stories. Hmm. More likely, the summary is really a carefully-worded link designed to either create a word-link association in Google, or simply to drive traffic to earthweb.

I liked Slashdot.org better when the editors picked the stories. Some days, Slashdot feels like Digg...

I tend to not take seriously anyone who tries to portray Ubunutu users as "fanboys" - they are usually *fanboys themselves*, or they're unrepentant software pirates whose roles as "software gurus" (collectors, really) are undermined by the real free software movement.

I've been a Ubuntu fan last 5 years, but started on Slackware ~ 1994. I still target development at CentOS (RHEL) but there's no way I'd put anything but Ubuntu on my desktop. Ubuntu's not perfect, but they've taken many of Debian's goals to a much much larger audience. Good for Ubuntu.

Comment Re:Did Nokia choose M$ or did M$ choose Nokia? (Score 4, Interesting) 246

Agreed.

I'm not a Nokia phone user, but I used to be an avid Nokia n800 user and developer. It was an -amazing- tablet OS... but then Nokia threw out the API *twice* (or was it THREE times when they switched Maemo from GTK to Qt?). Nokia pissed off all their developers and users, because they wanted to make it a phone OS. They didn't see that Google had already won the open source phone OS war, and Nokia could never catch up and beat Android in the OS space.

Ironically, Google's been struggling to get Android running on tablets well. Tablets could and should have been a Nokia market...
The n800 was awesome for it's time, 800x480 and awesome video.. it simply needed scaling up in screen size.
Gmapper would download Google Maps while you drive, but this was on maemo YEARS ago.
I would have paid double cost the n800 to get one with a 7" diagonal screen, but Nokia management threw it all away....

Even after Nokia halted development of Maemo, some Nokia engineers continued to help the open source community. On their own time of course, since management didn't seem to understand the opportunity that they blew, or the hostility caused by their constant mission changes...

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