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Comment Re:NO, it's TV (Score 1) 79

You mean to say there are still people that watch commercials on TV? Or are you referring to those annoying ads in Hulu? ;-)

Between Online Sreaming (Netflix,Hulu) and DVRs (MythTV with auto-flag+skip commercials) TV commercials are quickly losing their relevance as the best place to be "seen and heard." News outlets, social media, retail stores - that's where the real PR action is nowadays.

Comment Re:That name takes me back.. (Score 2) 91

Same here, though I kind of knew they were still around from a few random encounters with their website or magazine in the store (on average once every other year...).

Anyone remember SwatPro, their spinoff magazine printing just game cheat codes? Short-lived, but memorable in the days before the net took over.

I also recall at some point in the late 90s losing interest in GamePro when I realized that 3/4 of the magazine seemed to be nothing but ads...

Comment Re:If Everything was "security"? (Score 2) 206

The same thing is true for the MP3-based audio books from OverDrive. Overdrive has a nice little quirk in it though that you can't actually renew items - only delete them and check them out again. If downloading to a mobile device, this can be slow and also seems to delete any reference to where you left off in it.

I now just use OverDrive to download the books, but then open the MP3s in my phones native app to listen to them - which has a better interface when driving to. Now, is it still a violation of the rules if I don't re-open the OverDrive app to delete them until after I finished listening to it ... which may or may not be a few days past the original "due" date.

Of course, I haven't used the OverDrive system in a while now because it doesn't support DRM on Android, and the collection of non-DRMed audi-books is abysmally small . . .

Comment No Homers Club Still Allowed in Proposal (Score 1) 624

Bullying has been around since time immemorial, and will be so for the foreseeable future - it's part of the darker side of human nature. The only difference today is that now its "cyber", utilizing digital tools that have a potentially greater reach. There are other options here besides curtailing free speech - cyberbullying is one of those things that should be handled internally by the school. (And if parents are involved in said matter, then refer it to the police under existing laws: wouldn't some of the child endangerment laws imply under the category of verbal/emotional harm?).

What's next, are they going to ban the kids on the block from forming the "No Homers" club, or equivalent.

Homer: But you let in Homer Glumplich.
Homer G.: [pops head out window] Hyuck hyuck!
Boy: It says no Homer_s_. We're allowed to have one.
Homer: Oh...

Comment Re:Nothing to surprising (Score 1) 1271

Precisely. My understanding of Marx's communism is that it is a description of the utopian (perfect/ideal) society. It is meant to be an ideal that we (as a species) endeavor to reach, not an actual government to implement today (for that, we have Marx's Socialism). Humanity needs to evolve a bit more to eliminate (or control) greed before the ideal can even be contemplated as attainable - but as the ancient proverb goes, it is not the destination that's important, but the journey there (which in this case may take millenia).

Comment Re:typing class in school (Score 1) 362

Funny, I had a similar class in High School and it was the most useless class I ever took. Of course, I already knew how to touch type by then (my Mom taught me starting when I was ~10).

It was also only the first or second year since they transitioned from old typewriters to actual computers. I think I taught the teacher a few things in MS Word in that class ... in between playing some silly typing game. Given that I finished every assignment before he finished explaining it (which did result in a few issues), I spent a lot of time on that game. At one point,it clocked me at 120wpm . . .

Back to topic though, touch-typing is definitely important for anybody using a computer professionally to write documents or code. Unfortunately not many people recognize that as an important skill lately and perhaps, to some degree, their right. I have a number of (non-technical) friends who never learned how to touch-type properly, but through years of hunt-and-peck can type just as well as some of those that have learned the proper way.

I absolutely hate typing on pure touchscreens ... but at the same time I know it is the future. Virtual traditional QWERTY keyboards are not, but eventually we'll figure out an alternative touchscreen interface that might actually be more efficient than traditional keyboards and takes full advantage of its strengths. (QWERTY in comparison was designed for the strength and weaknesses of old-fashioned mechanical typewriters).

Comment Re:Paging Darth Vader (Score 1) 951

+1. Or if it was a supplement to traditional menus (like the old toolbars were)

Old-style menus at least let you tab through them and were somewhat organized by sensible category and/or alphabetical order. In the Ribbon, if you don't know what the *icon* for the command you want looks like and where it is, your relegated to mousing-over icons arranged in seemingly random order. Old-style toolbars at least let you re-arrange icons to your liking and insert them wherever you want - the Ribbon has limited customizabiltiy options at best.

Yes, if you use the ribbon every day you'll quickly learn where all the important buttons are. But what about that arcane command you use at most once a year? What about those of us that use non-MS environments 90% of the time and on occasion need to do a quick task in the MS world?

Then again, MS does say this "approach offered benefits in line with our goals." Those goals likely being:

1) Profit
2) Re-arrange menus to ??? system
3) Sell training/support contracts (profit)
4) Minimize chance of users switching to competitive products via UI/Training Lock-in
5) Profit!!!

Comment Re:Pretty stupid approach. (Score 1) 194

Not true, there is no "re-" in the definition of an FPGA. if you look at the types of FPGAs available about half of them can only be programmed once. A significant portion of those in commercial use may be re-programmable, but definitely not all of them.

An FPGA means it can be programmed at least once, by the consumer, in the field. Being able to erase and re-program is not a requirement, and in a number of cases not allowing the FPGA to be changed after initial programming is in fact a design requirement.

Comment Re:Pretty stupid approach. (Score 1) 194

Just because they're FPGAs doesn't mean they can't be upgraded over time. Most FPGAs can be re-programmed many times in the event that they improve upon their algorithm. Further, while FPGAs are improved upon at a slower rate, they are improved over time and I would suspect that their design could be ported to newer FPGA versions as they become available without to much trouble - just the expense of buying a new system. And given how much money the banks have, and the value they seem to be placing in this system, I don't doubt that they'd have any hesitation about purchasing a second "super-pipelining-machine" that's "even better" a few years down the line.

Comment Re:Higher Taxes? (Score 1) 1173

Roundabouts likely have a significantly higher cost for initial installation (over stop signs), but at the same time cost a lot less (maintenance,electricity) than traffic lights. So, if their used properly, it really shouldn't be a net difference in costs to the taxpayer, or if anything a long-term savings.

For busy intersections, their usage can be a bit tricky. In general though, their great, as long as drivers know how to use them. Unfortunately, too many US drivers not only don't understand the usage of a roundabout, but don't even grasp the concept of a "Yield" sign . .

Comment Re:What exactly is illegal about those apps? (Score 1) 601

Actually, it might of questionable legality to use the app in certain states.

One GPS software I used had an option in it for notifying you of when you were approaching a speed trap. Before enabling that option though you had to click through a disclaimer that the feature may be illegal in certain states. Whether any state has actually outlawed it, or if that was just the developers CYA policy is another story.

Comment Re:Aside from hype, Apple's real policy... (Score 1) 601

Yep. And it's an automated speed camera to. Just past the point where the speed limit drops after you've left the highway proper, but long before you can even remotely consider that road anything but a highway itself.

At least in MD when they've been setting up speed cameras in construction zones, they actually leave the speed limit at a reasonable 55 or 65 (on one stretch of I-95 by the ICC, it actually feels like they raised the official speed limit to 65 when you enter the construction zone . . . :-)

I've never heard of that usage of flashing headlights before, normally I only see people flashing lights when their being impatient idiots not looking at the road ahead . . .

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