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Comment Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (Score 1) 413

RS was an interesting place for audio back in the 70s. What was fun about them was that they'd source audio components seemingly without considering the quality, but for the price point they wanted to reach. So the quality in a particular receiver, say, might be fantastic or just crap. But there were some real corkers: I found a Sherwood-made receiver with MOSFET output stage, one of the very first with digital tuning, with amazing, warm 60 *real* watts of power that they sold in '79. And there are various speaker systems that are still looked for by the vintage audio crowd, to just name a few examples.

As for components, in addition to restocking the components themselves they need to hire staff who are enthusiastic about DIY as well, so when you go to ask if they have a particular type of relay in stock you don't get the deer-in-the-headlights, thousand yard stare.

Comment Re:Finally... (Score 5, Insightful) 410

The problem with Ballmer is that he's a strictly corporate type, with no real vision of his own. All of his decisions are informed by corporate thinking, which means he looks at already established and emerging markets and reacts to them. Unfortunately, by the time MS has created a product in reaction to the market the market is already dominated by someone else and/or the public rejects the MS product due to the perception of MS being uncool.

MS has had very little forward-thinking tech make it to the mainstream in the past 20 years considering the size and and intellectual resources at its disposal, and I believe this is what Einhorn is addressing. What MS needs is a leader who can leverage the best and brightest in the company and allow the best ideas (and there's a lot of great ideas floating around in their labs) to see daylight and be marketed properly.

Comment Re:as said before here many times (Score 1) 456

"after all, an Orwellian state might break out the nukes in response to a terror attack"

This is why others in al Queda were objecting so strongly to Osama's pursuit of large-scale attacks on the US. They realized that the more extreme their attacks the greater potential blowback.

Sadly though it does seem that the goal of bankrupting the US is a very real one. They are counting on the fact that eventually the US will simply not be able to afford to wage war against them, and there will be lessened political and public will to lead incursions into other lawless regions of the world in pursuit of al Queda.

Comment I read about why people enjoy Conspiracies (Score 1) 869

They like to think that they are a bit smarter than the next guy for knowing something he doesn't. And often these theories are far more intriguing than reality; thus it becomes a perverse entertainment for most.

The thought that there is one world order manipulating things behind the scenes also helps makes sense of an often confusing world where the apparent chaos can make one feel nervous. In that way it is like religion.

Comment Mine flew off of a moving car (Score 1) 222

I had left it on top of the car and forgot. It flew off into the road at some point and was picked up by a thankfully very honest person. Again, not a scratch. I believe this was one positive result of the monolithic design of the iPhone, in that it remained in on piece as it impacted. Another phone with a removable battery would have probably been in pieces scattered all over creation.


Comment Re:Depends (Score 1) 417

Indeed I've "disarmed" a few trolls using the techniques mentioned in the article, and I've sometimes found that there are quite interesting people behind the troll mask. As you say, if one approaches another human being as an adult, you're more likely to get an adult response.

That said, I've had great fun firing back with well worded mega-sarcasm, crafted to be so over-the-top and overwhelming in length that it acts as a nuclear option. It's also lots of fun to write *grin*.


Comment Regarding the mouse issue (Score 1) 432

I had a jailbroken iPhone with a mouse app, and believe it or not it was quite handy. To set up a keyboard *and* mouse, and to be able to click on icons and screen areas when necessary was quite handy as it gave a certain amount more precision than my meaty sausages. There are many programs where the touchy-feely thing is extremely good, but when one needs to be precise, such as selecting text etc., the mouse is a real help.

Comment Re:what? (Score 1) 778

I only use distros you've never heard of.
                                                                                          - Hipster Geek

Comment Re:That's what I've observed at work (Score 1) 549

I find that it really does have business uses. In our IT department we take one with us as we do our rounds and have instant access to our personal email, web and internal system documentation and knowledgebases, and even our workstations' desktops if necessary. We can also check on the service desk queue to see if there are any service calls in our current location if we're out and about to more efficiently deal with issues.

On the domestic front there's no end to the possibilities. I have apps to control my home theatre system, stream media to the iPad whilst relaxing in bed or on the couch, read books with interactive content, games of course, and... you name it. Also, some apps are actually more fun and cool on the iPad than their desktop versions, Google Earth being a good example. Using one's fingers to manipulate the planet is as close to playing god as most people are going to get.

All of this in a package which is far more convenient, lightweight, and with greater battery life than a typical laptop; not to mention the fact that most of the apps are vastly cheaper than desktop versions, and sometimes free.

Oh, and lest we forget, these are very rugged devices. I've tested mine in an environment that's tougher than that used for stressing military hardware: kids. And not a scratch. Give a kid a netbook and I guarantee the hinges will be utterly destroyed in minutes.

Comment Re:Not necessarily a good thing (Score 1) 416

Hmm, you raise a good point I didn't consider. Whilst, under this system, a candidate preferred by the ordinary people may get into power, he or she may not have the support of the legislators, or themselves be a good or strong enough personality to rally the legislators to enact legislation which they were put in place to do.

Comment Re:I'm sure it will be as successful as the W7 Pho (Score 1) 249

That's the best summary of Ballmer's tenure I've read yet. He's not a techie, so he's always reacting to trends instead of taking a chance to set new ones. And those products which actually do push the envelope often get short shrift.

Contrast that with Steve Jobs who, whilst not a techie himself, is tech-savvy enough that he can dictate a major change in the computing landscape and stick with it.

Comment Re:Not the most flattering portrayal... (Score 1) 378

That opens a huge can of philosophical worms. But from my observation, evil is usually ascribed to those actions which push forward evolution. To wit, when a particular ethnic group decides to attempt the elimination of another, we go to great lengths to prevent that (or at least we do it when it's politically or economically advantageous to us). However that very ethnic rivalry is the keystone of evolution, and has made man as strong and dominant as he is today.

That said, man has become intelligent and self-aware enough that I believe that sort of behavior can be deprecated from our bag of instincts, as shown by such horrors as the Holocaust and events in Rwanda some years ago. I could go on, but I think you all get the drift.

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