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Comment China? Unlikely in the near term. (Score 1) 190

China depends too heavily on our economy. If they bring it crashing down they are crippling their biggest consumer and they will be facing huge internal problems as a result. If we get on our feet economically in the future then it's more likely.

Iran is much more of a loose cannon. It's hard to say, though, if they have the skillz required.

Comment Diversity makes you better (Score 2) 344

Well, aside from the obvious risks of everyone being beholden to the same OS if a security hole suddenly arises (but I'm sure that won't happen with Microsoft) there are reasons to build your skills with other OSs on your own.

Where I work I am already the Windows goto guy for light IT support because calling Bangalore is like going to the dentist only less productive.

However recently I changed groups and lo and behold, the designers use both Windows and Red Hat Enterprise. They already have a dedicated Linux support guy who is really good but it's almost a certainty that I'll be doing work in Linux before too long. The fact that I've been using it at home for years will really help me to adapt quickly.

Comment Driver interaction? (Score 2) 140

So if the driverless car stops in the road for a perceived pedestrian that may-or-may not be crossing the street will it give me the electronic finger when I lean on the horn?

Seriously, I see a lot of people standing close to the edge of the sidewalk that I think might be going to cross. Usually it turns out they are just chatting and aren't going anywhere. I suspect there will be a lot of false positives resulting in the driverless car slowing or stopping in traffic for someone who isn't actually crossing the street.

I can also anticipate kids having fun with this by "faking out" the autonomous vehicles for a laugh.

Comment Devoured by aliens (Score 1) 405

One of the options was to be eaten by cannibalistic visitors but that implies they are human...or at least they eat each other and occasionally the odd human as a special treat.

Being eaten by other humans is nothing new and aliens aren't really on the list so I'll settle for getting shoved into an airlock.

Comment Re:Early adoption problem (Score 2) 472

Good points but sometimes it has taken Apple a very long time to catch up to what everyone else has been doing for a long time. The one that really bothered me was no copy/paste on the iphone. How long did that last? Ridiculous. That is a basic function that should have been there from day one and they put off fixing it for what seemed like forever. When I had the phone it really felt like Apple's attitude was: "We got our money. Sucks to be you."

Comment Re:It's called a bike path. (Score 1) 1651

I read a discussion following the killing of a cyclist in a city near me. One of these comments was extremely enlightening. I don't remember all of it only the part that read: "BICYCLES ARE TOYS." Suddenly it all became clear to me. Many car drivers feel that bicycles are toys for kids and for entertainment and therefore should only be used off-road. Roads are for transportation and in this fellow's comment he said that the (US) government was to blame for encouraging the use of bicycles as a form of viable transportation.

That's how many motorized vehicle drivers feel so it's no wonder they hate having bicycles on the road.

Comment Re:Prior learning assessment (Score 1) 337

Probably right. There's a good chance that the reason the course was created and made a requirement is because instructors were frustrated by students who didn't know how to write a term paper or use a spreadsheet program to analyse data. They see it as simply getting all students familiar with the tools they will be required to use in later courses.

Comment Heathkit? (Score 1) 423

Maybe it's a dumb idea but this seems like the perfect application for a PC kit that a parent and child could build together. The parent that missed the PC boom and the kid that is just getting old enough to start learning the ropes. A crate with motherboard, hard drive, power supply, DVD drive, chassis, RAM, monitor, mouse and keyboard with step by step instructions and maybe even a DVD to watch. Video upgrade could be added later on and the OS could be pre-loaded on the HDD already configured to work with the included hardware. Does anyone make something like this?

Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 1) 553

I suspect it has to do mostly with quantity. If they pulled that with hundreds of thousands of customers with defective computer monitors the effect on their reputation would be catastrophic. The plasma market is microscopic by comparison so they probably feel it's worth the gamble. Particularly when the replacement cost is so high.

Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 1) 553

I've not personally seen issues with Samsung LCD displays. I was speaking of their plasmas which seem to be poorly engineered compared to their competition. I base this on the fact that no other manufacturer has this issue (spontaneous cracking) and also from the feedback I have received from people who service them.

This is a particularly expensive failure as it requires replacement of televisions costing $1500 or more retail. Like i said they used to pony up and honor their warranty but they did an about face around 2 years ago and have denied everything (so far as I can tell) since then claiming that the customer is essentially lying. I find this attitude particularly offensive so I will take my business and my money elsewhere.

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