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Comment Re:Sureeeeee (Score 1) 301

Regarding schoolbooks and DRM. Currently, many schoolbook publishers release new versions almost EVERY year, sometimes with little or no actual changes other than chapters or sections re-arranged only to make the new version not compatible with last years' books (forcing many college students to buy new books instead of used books). An industry like that isn't going to go easy on the DRM.

Comment Recycle (Score 2) 861

The recycle rules in Nova Scotia are pretty strict, trash must be separated and almost all organic waste must be composted (the exception is animal fats because they attract animals). I travel up there frequently enough that it was initially a major pain in the ass but I've found myself more aware of the trash I generate. I try to buy things that have less packaging and also try to buy commonly used household items more in bulk.

Comment Re:I feel a disturbance in the force.... (Score 1) 548

Taxes should be assessed based on the location of the merchant. End of story. This whole "tax based on the assumed final destination" has some interesting corner-cases. Think about the possibilities with phone-in orders over state-lines (delivery vs pickup).

While I agree with you I don't think this is what the states want. If I live in CT and buy something from an online retailer in CA, the state of CT doesn't want that sales tax going to CA they want their 'use' tax.

Comment Am I missing something? (Score 1) 170

First, I'm not familiar with car racing so apologies if my observation is idiotic.

The problem I see with having bar codes or RFID measure the time is how the car crosses the finish line. Because the OP mentioned a beam being interrupted I imagine the finish is determined by the front of the car touching the finish line (not unlike any other type of racing) so if the time is measured by a barcode or image on the roof or door then how do you match that with the front of the vehicle. Also, if the time is measured by when a sensor picks up an RFID tag then again you have issues with mat / receiver sensitivity and tolerances in the transponder triggering the sensor.

Because only one car is on the track at a time you do have some wiggle room, I'm sure there would be many ways to accomplish this but it seems like you're already doing what would seem like the 'best' approach:
System where both IR beams are hooked up the same time, beam 1 starts the time, beam 2 stops the timer. Before each car, race official 'initialized' the timer system by entering information about the car racing, this would solve two issues, the first is that it would reset the timer back to zero, the other being that if the previous car didn't cross the finish beam to stop the timer, the initialize process would automagically flag the previous car as not finishing (not sure how that would effect the time for that driver though). You could also put in other beams throughout the course that would give you times up to that point in the race. So, if you have a start beam, mid course beam and finish line beam, the start beam would start the time, the mid course beam would just grab the time but keep the timer going, the finish line beam would stop the timer.

Is this feasible, too simplistic or am I overlooking something important?

Comment Re:Virtualization (Score 1) 239

Until just a few months ago I could do everything I needed on my computer running Windows. As I'm a Windows developer that was OK. But I recently had to expand into iOS development for a couple of clients and it's just brutal trying to get a Mac OS VM to run under Windows so I'm now using a Macbook Pro with Windows running under Parallels for all the Windows apps that aren't available or don't have Mac OS alternatives (such as my genealogy software and of course Visual Studio).
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Citigroup questions if US spectrum shortage exists (

alphadogg writes: For more than two years, the U.S. mobile industry has warned of an upcoming spectrum shortage, but two analysts at Citigroup don't buy it. AT&T, trade group CTIA and even officials with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission have talked frequently about a coming spectrum crunch, as mobile customers move to data-sucking smartphones and tablets. Smartphones use 24 times the spectrum compared to standard mobile phones, and tablets use 120 times the spectrum, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a speech on Tuesday. But Citigroup analysts Jason Bazinet and Michael Rollins questioned what has become the convention wisdom in the mobile industry. The U.S. has plenty of spectrum for mobile broadband, but much of it is in the wrong hands, they said.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Advice for using a cell phone in Ch

Oyjord writes: Hi all,

I am going to China in March, and I was curious what kind of cell phone hardware and plans American travelers use while there. I honestly don't like cell phones (and I currently use the Drug Dealer Throwaway Special Du Jour) but I thought I'd look into one with a good data plan, so I could perhaps take pics and upload them on the spot, and perhaps use the phone's internal GPS as opposed to taking my Garmin along, etc.

Thanks for the advice,

Comment Re:It would be different... (Score 2) 481

Much like a baby bird that once gave me great DVD streaming and rentals, now I have to decide if I should keep my poor bird at double the monthly cost, let it fly away and be devoid of a big part of my media capabilities, or instead cut it in half and have to deal with partial entrails, never quite getting the same experience.

I think this is the first time I would have actually preferred a car analogy.

Comment Re:2 weeks? (Score 4, Insightful) 591

So, following your logic: If an employee has a contract for total compensation of X dollars which includes $1000 per month in health insurance. When the insurance premiums go up 10% the following year, the union employee should then pay the extra $100 because the contract was for a fixed amount? The article mentioned that the contract had expired, I see NOTHING wrong with a new contract that requires that ALL employees pay a portion of health care costs.

In the real (non union) world you don't negotiate for 'Total Compensation' in dollars, you negotiate for salary (which is usually a fixed amount) and benefits (which are usually not fixed).

Comment Re:It seems good (Score 1) 591

Well - obviously not. But should they be denied the ability to play the game? How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

How is this significantly different from requiring a certain generation of graphics card? Or a minimum amount of RAM? Or having a PC instead of a Mac?

In order to provide the game experience they want to provide (which is what you're paying for) the developers have decided to place certain requirements on the equipment required to play. If you don't have the required equipment, you will be unable to play.

I really don't understand all the hoo-ha - maybe the people who don't have a reliable net connection should buy one of the MYRIAD of competing products which don't have that requirement?

Because I don't believe that being online can add anything so beneficial to single player mode that it is required. Oh, there is that pesky DRM thing.

Comment Re:Depends for what (Score 2) 360

if being donated for a child to OWN the system, then i agree. but if it will be used an education environment then i think ubuntu would be a better option. they don't need "most games" in that environment. further, kids shouldn't grow up thinking windows is the only option that exists, and the "educational" software available on linux (for free no less) is vastly more available/abundant than on windows. plus, i would imagine that for most /. readers the first experience they had with computers was DOS, at least having to start everything from it. the idea that a modernized linux distro would be too complicated for them is somewhat ridiculous.

Then again why not just donate the system as close as factory as possible, with the bare bones Win XP install. If the owner doesn't want to use Windows then they can install whatever *nix OS they want.

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