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Comment Re:Who do they think is going to buy their product (Score 1) 537

Mod parent up. This is the limiting case we're heading for. Not everyone can design robots, or fix them, or be trained to, and we really don't have any smart ways of paying people who can't to just sit around and stay out of trouble, and even if we did...that money would come from...those same corps and people still creating value. They don't win in the long run without a complete re-think of how things are done. And this is from a card-carrying super-capitalist.

Comment Same credibility as a **IA-paid report (Score 3, Insightful) 137

Really, this should be obvious. Outfit that sells stuff pays for a report that says they're being ripped off - likely inflated numbers - as a background to get legislation to tax DVR owners or whatever other skim they can easy-street or litigate from. "Look, we lose x-zillion bucks from every recorder". Sound familiar? Remember the "tax" on blank CD's and so forth, since "they can only be used to pirate"? This is how the big boys operate, we should have learned long ago.

Comment Re:Bipolar transistors (Score 1) 74

Mips or flops/watt, and easy-cheap manufacture. I did some work in the real bipolar world, from discrete to ECL to - IIL (integrated injection logic, a TRW thing)....it was "hot stuff". Easier to make complimentary cmos such that you can make an inverter with just two transistors tieing the gates together - gotta drive both high and low some way. Enhancement mode CMOS is a lot easier to do that with.

Comment Re: I was born with the microprocessor (Score 2) 74

Could but usually doesn't. As the hardware was more costly and slower, and labor relatively cheaper, mainframes ran in some sense "better" code with far less bloat and frillage. An A was just an A (ascii or baudot or ebcdic) - not a picture of a letter in some font taking many times the bits to store and draw for just one example. Audio or video which were (And still are) largely irreducible to small bits/second were right out for real time use.
Mainframes had "acceleration" hardware to compensate. Line printers took a few bits and did the drawing parts (as did plotters for other uses).
Now phones and modern PCs use accelerators for crypto, audio and video codecs, and for sure, don't bit bang the screen pixels.
This leaves enough CPU, admittedly faster now - to handle crap interpreted scripts, HTML rendering...a long list of silly stuff.
And no matter how much faster CPUs get - or in a possibly more important measure now, mips/watt - rather than code efficiently and use a low power cpu, we just accept shorter battery life, as the periodic table for some reason isn't driven my Moore's law - no new more electropositive or negative elements are to be found, period. (I see what I did there). No matter how much, we still waste enough to want more for the same results.
I'm enjoying my lawn. Having started with a PDP-8s, and today just working with all of the might of intel, down to arm (pi-3) and esp-8266 and teensies, this is a new world. But you still get more out of things if you write good code than most others would.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 3, Interesting) 239

In the boonies, where many of us heat with woodstoves, snail mail spam is called "free fuel". Some of us even write letters (though I tend to print mine as my handwriting isn't great, or maybe even include a gasp - paper check - for record keeping that doesn't have bit-rot and isn't subject to hacking quite the same as e-transfers are. Selection bias much?

Comment Re:USPS (Score 2) 239

I get more and more of my Amazon stuff via USPS, and it's a good deal, it seems. for all concerned. The USPS has to drive the route anyway, so why not carry something? On our rural route, UPS, FedEx etc can't make money, UPS in particular has a bad attitude as mentioned elsewhere and a high rate of damage to the product. I'm not sure how Amazon actually gets things to the local USPS so fast - clearly they didn't just mail it, as regular mail is never "two day" around here, but I'm getting the stuff on time. Fedex has been super good from McMaster-Carr, sometimes under 20 hours from mouse click to delivery - in good shape and with good attitude - on *ground* shipping. I also have no clue how they manage that, other than that McMaster has warehouses all over. And they are good the few times Amazon uses them. But really, in my case nothing beats the USPS these days (wasn't always so, they don't like big stuff) "out here". My mail persons are all nice as can be, know where to leave stuff if I'm not home (will even lock it in one of my cars if it seems valuable), don't get fiddly about details and make me go somewhere (at my further cost) to get what I already paid to have delivered to me. One of my mail people is a retired physicist doing it "for fun" and often drops in just to chat about my physics work. It's another world from what most city folk experience. We'd really hate to lose them "out here". No way Amazon is making money off me. A small order every few days on prime - if you figure the UPS rates *I'd* pay, prime pays for itself in a month or two. Maybe that's what's driving them.

Comment Re:Drug delivery device (Score 1) 312

Of course they are a drug delivery device. One with far less damage than combustion versions, and easier to taper off with. I was an utterly addicted 3-pack a day smoker of full strength cigarettes. At age 62, couldn't make it up a flight of stairs - yes, they are bad for you. Vape, less bad. Smoking == stupid, I agree. But if you were addicted at age 14, it becomes hard to stop, and there's tremendous medical consensus that it's about the hardest addiction to kick. (having kicked a few others, I agree with scientific consensus on this) Been vaping, gradually diluting the nicotine fluid with USP glycerine for two years now. And now I can RUN up and down the stairs. Anecdotal, but I feel like it's winning. And damn, with the cost of cigs what it is and the cost of juice - it paid for itself in a month (fancy temp controlled rig and a few months worth of juice cost less than a month's cigs).
.

I'm dead sure, having tried a few, that those e-cigs at the convenience store are BAD, and maybe worse than plain tobacco. It's easy to cherry-pick data, ain't it - troll.

Comment Real news. Uncompetitive company has billions. (Score 1) 206

In cash to by a worthless piece of junk. Yet also has money to fight the FCC to avoid any hint of being fair to consumers, keep other companies off their "turf" and so forth - can't even let you have a set top box they don't get rent on - they'll die. Yet they can afford this loser?

Comment Re:Backups...other issues (Score 1) 465

Curious, I'm in about the same situation. Though I point out that even the attny general (Holder) pointed out that the big banks, who bought laws that allow legal co-mingling of their derivative bets and depositors money are "too big to jail". And yeah - "Free Jon Corzine!"
I note that the FDIC is ridiculously underfunded. Can't get blood from a turnip. You could print more, but we know where that goes.
I note that while we have a defense department that seems at least to support a lot of large defense contractors, and theoretically my stuff, we also have civil asset forfeiture so bad that last year it exceeded all losses by theft and burglary - 4.7 vs 4.2 billion bucks. (!)
So yes, it's good to have non money assets and especially ones that are NOT liquid enough to be desireable for thieves in uniforms to steal.
This is probably not the right thread to discuss this, but I was reacting to the "OMG, no backup - what an idiot" for something a lot less meaningful to most than "my next meal/rent or my kid's next doctor appointment".
Seemed kinda silly in terms of getting priorities straight.

Comment Backups...other issues (Score 1) 465

I'd bet just about zero percent on this thread have "backed up" their money - which is bits in some bank's computer - at most. Their "TOS" were recently changed to "bail-in" by lawmakers. Yet you all seem to be perfectly happy with money that's basically fake and which only exists as bits on a computer you don't own. Which can be taken from you -legally- if the bank makes bad bets (yes, they are allowed to co-mingle funds now too). Don't take my word for it, but don't be surprised if more than GIF's go missing at some point.

Comment Re:Arguing over the subjective (Score 2) 523

It's also moderately trivial to re-format comments in source using many available tools if one desires to do so. Some already-rolled ones, almost any language that supports regex, even, gawd, bash scripts with sed and awk etc can do this. If you don't like it that much, make a tool that fixes it. It ain't rocket surgery, it's a job for an otherwise boring afternoon. I don't recall any compiler whatever having an issue figuring out which of the input was comments. Go to town, how hard can it be?

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