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The Almighty Buck

Do You Really Need a Smart Phone? 851

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." I stuck with a dumb phone for a long time, but I admit to loving the versatility of my Android phone, for all its imperfections.

Submission + - MIT Software Allows Queries On Encrypted Databases (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: CryptDB, a piece of database software that MIT researchers presented at the Symposium on Operating System Principles in October, allows users to send queries to an encrypted SQL database and get results without decrypting the stored information. CryptDB works by nesting data in several layers of cryptography, each of which has a different key and allows a different kind of simple operation on encrypted data. It doesn't work with every kind of calculation, and it's not the first system to offer this sort of computation on encrypted data. But it may be the only practical one. Previous crypto schemes that allowed operations on encrypted data multiplied computing time by a factor of a trillion. This one adds only 15-26%.

Comment Re:Tuition math lesson (Score 1) 359

Hey, here's the "Things have gotten more expensive" crap. I guess it depends on your idea of crap. I'm going back to college to finish getting my degree at a local public university. I had one class that required 3 books and cost about $250. One band-spanking-new "lab" book, and 2 used textbooks. There is some serious bullshit going on with books, and it HAS gotten worse.

When I was at Purdue in '99, used books cost between $60 - $90 depending and new books were maybe $110. Now the used books cost $110 and are only in use 1 year so you can't even sell the stupid things back. It's a racket.

Comment Re:Other Motivation? (Score 5, Informative) 101

Maybe if GPS manufacturers hadn't disregarded the DOD requirements on GPS, the technology wouldn't mess with your GPS http://m.lightsquared.com/press-room/press-releases/gps-industrys-failure-to-comply-with-department-of-defense/

Imagine I bought a timeshare for 2 weeks a year and noticed that nobody was using the week after mine and I started planning 3 weeks stays. A few years down the road, somebody else shows up and wants to stay during that third week. What right would I have to be pissed?

Personally, I'm more concerned to find out that it's apparently really easy to knock out military GPS.... It seems like somebody would want to fix that rather than complain about spectrum usage. Just my 2 cents.

NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448-Core GPU 127

MojoKid writes "NVIDIA has just launched the GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores. Though perhaps a bit unimaginative in terms of branding, the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores is outfitted with the same GF110 GPU powering high-end GeForce GTX 570 and GTX 580 cards, but with a couple of its streaming multiprocessors fused off. The card has 448 CUDA cores arranged in 14 SMs, with 56 texture units and 40 ROPs. Reference specifications call for a 732MHz core clock with 1464MHz CUDA cores. 1.2GB of GDDR5 memory is linked to the GPU via a 320-bit bus and the memory is clocked at an effective 3800MHz data rate. Performance-wise, the new GPU proved to be about 10 to 15 percent faster than the original GeForce GTX 560 Ti and a few percentage points slower than the GeForce GTX 570."

Comment Re:"Free" money (Score 1) 1797

"There was a time when working part time over the summer would be enough to pay ALL college expenses"

I only started college in 1981, so maybe it was before my time. But that sure wasn't the case then.

College is essentially a full-time job for 9 months a year in the US. If there was ever a time when a part time job for 3 months a year covered a full time existence for 9 months, well, I sure missed out on that era. Perhaps that was part of the mythical 1950's that everyone seems to pine for, even though if you were 15 in 1955 you'd probably be 71 now - meaning the vast majority of the population wasn't around in the "good old days" of being terrified of nuclear war, the Communist Menace, etc.

Comment Slashdot Usage? (Score 1) 417

I wonder if /. would post some stats on OS usage at /. by time of day (expect lots more XP during the day while we work for The Man), and browser usage? A percentage of the total so the /. corporate overlords don't think there's trade secrets being released (e.g., 20% XP, 15% OSX, 0.001% HURD, etc.).


Mario Gets a Portal Gun In New Indie Game 85

jjp9999 sends word of a game in development that mashes up Super Mario Bros. and Portal. Dubbed Mari0 by its developer, the game is being built on the Löve framework and will be released for free. The original Super Mario Bros. levels will be included, as well as some puzzle-style maps and a level editor. They also plan to include simultaneous multiplayer.

Comment Interesting but... (Score 1) 166

I think it's great that people have been this creative with Minecraft, and I think it's cool that Minecraft is capable of doing it. On the other hand I question the usefulness of doing bigger and bigger things like this. Of course, this is coming from an adult with a job and a half who is also married and taking classes so I might be a little more judicious with my time.

Submission + - Apple Puts $383 Million Handcuffs on CEO Tim Cook

theodp writes: There are bonuses. And then there are BONUSES. Apple's board, led by sadly frail-looking chairman Steve Jobs, signaled its long-term confidence in Tim Cook as the company's new leader, disclosing in a regulatory filing that it’s awarding the new CEO one million restricted stock units that will vest over the next decade. Apple shares closed at $383.53 Friday. From the SEC filing: 'In connection with Mr. Cook's appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units. Fifty percent of the restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on each of August 24, 2016 and August 24, 2021, subject to Mr. Cook’s continued employment with Apple through each such date.'

Comment Re:Stay Put (Score 1) 772

I'd say you nudge him out of delivering code if you can, if your team can handle the load, by suggesting you can take that project on, in order to free him up for more strategic work - like vendor evaluation, training/skills development, a standards/process review, or whatever. Praise him when possible for anything he does that's NOT coding. Send notes to him and copy his boss that his standards review was excellent and you really appreciate his taking the managerial approach to making things better. Build a pattern of rewards for non-coding efforts. If that's not possible, or he won't give it up, then either rewrite his code before it hits production, (you will eventually anyway), or switch teams. That one's rough!

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy