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Comment Cheap chargers (Score 4, Insightful) 189

I agree, it's a genuine possibility. I've ordered enough things off Amazon to be genuinely concerned about the state of cheap Chinese chargers being sold through there. There's no good reason to allow a vendor to sell a product that is unsafe, uses counterfeit labeling to bypass US electrical safety inspections and regulations, and easily threatens the safety and welfare of consumers. We can hang Samsung out to dry when its batteries catch fire, but we can't do the same to Amazon for selling us this junk?

My own anecdote: Our school district ordered 10 HDMI-to-VGA adapters recently from Amazon. They were Chinese-direct w/ Engrish instructions and the like, but I knew I was going to get that. What I didn't know I was going to get were incredibly, incredibly cheap 5V 1A chargers, only one of which was spot-on 5V, three more were within +/- 5% of 5V, five were about 5.5V (which still worked, but is not as safe and out-of-spec), and one that would start at 5V for about a minute, then float up to about 20V, before floating back down to 5V. Needless to say, the video adapter paired with the one that floated up to 20V had its display glitch out every-so-often, and even after I tried using a good 5V power adapter, the video adapter was permanently glitchy at that point.

About a month prior, I bought some other video adapters that also were powered by 5V 1A power adapters, but the stickers on the power adapters said they were 9V 1A adapters, even though my multimeter said they were running at 5V. (Sticker also said they were UL listed. Probably just as truthful as the 9V spec was.) I didn't trust those adapters worth a dime, but I wanted to see what was inside them. Unlike the wall-warts of yore, most cheap adapters now (including these) can be opened with a single screw. Inside was a little PCB stuck to the inside plastic cavity with simple double-sided tape. Most shocking to me: The PCB boards were hand-soldered, as evidenced by two of them having etches scraped into the board where solder appears to have overflowed onto other joints, plus that some joints were cold, some were gigantic blobs, and it was generally very sloppy solder work. Also concerning: the wires connecting the plug to the PCB were also hand-soldered on both ends, and more-than-half the joints were cold. One of those wires was also rusted out, and broke off the plug as the device was opened. (There was no tugging on the wire; just twisting it snapped the wire off.) Finally, one of the transistors had leads about 1/2" long off the PCB, and the transistor was bent so hard that one of its leads was dangerously close to a capacitor lead, all on the high-voltage side of the PCB.

This explains why Amazon can make a profit selling 5V USB adapters for $1.50 each, or 5V power adapters for $2.50.

Comment Does it really matter? (Score 4, Insightful) 146

About half the users in my network just go to Google and type "youtube" anyways. When I say, "Go to the address bar, and...", it's a foreign language to them. And mobile devices now hide the address bar, sometimes making it incredibly frustrating and difficult trying to locate it. With half of all users just Google the link, and the other half expect it to be a .com, why pay that much money for a specialized web address?

Comment Shall we talk about FOIA or this game? (Score 4, Funny) 116

Because I'm playing the game right now, and it's the funniest thing I've seen in a while. Play a game trying to steer a greased sheep through a Dire Straits music video, all the while being told that the enemy is trying to brainwash me. It feels eerily similar to old-school public service announcements that have a message completely unrelated to the content delivered with it.

"Don't be a puppet!" Hilarious. Who in their right mind would think this would stop terrorists?

Comment Agreed, and a Message to Slashdot Mods (Score 1) 410

Galaga, I agree completely.

And to Slashdot Mods and community members, this is the first time I can say in my 16-year membership here at Slashdot that I can say I'm honestly disappointed in its behavior. What I'm seeing displayed here is a mob-mentality peer censorship at play. And while I do not disagree one iota that this man does not deserve the criticism he receives on a daily basis from the public for what he has done, I think it's a rare and unique opportunity that we can actually engage in discussion with this man. He is a quintessential example of the dangers of capitalism, and I have no doubt that he would sell you the rope you would use to hang him with if he could. ** Understanding his mentality can be incredibly beneficial to our society and our community, and I urge you all to exercise a more civil attitude towards this interview.

Or, to put it another, more blunt way: Don't let this man drag you down to his level. He'll beat you with experience, and we're better than that.

** To inject a little humor into the conversation, if he did sell you something to hang him with, he'd probably insist on using this.

Comment Wow... (Score 0, Troll) 410

I'm not even sure if the word "vitriol" is strong enough a word to describe the attitudes Slashdot commenters have towards this man. And I don't blame them.

I'm curious if that means that anyone who will asks an honest question will be modded down as Troll.

But I must say I am surprised and intrigued. If this man will be honest with his answers, then let me be honest with my questions.

Mr. Shkreli, your many business decisions position you as a strong capitalist, and you have had many successes in your career. Yet you have received much criticism for many of your decisions, actions, and opinions, which often place profits ahead of individual interests. Do you believe leaders with a strong sense of empathy can succeed in business?

Comment Oversaturation (Score 1) 250

I like being able to pick what I want, rather than reality TV shows being on every channel and that's my only option. History Channel reality TV, discovery channel reality TV... ARGH!

Without a doubt, there's too many options and not enough variety in the content. The service is over-saturated. The market needs to contract, and now's a great time for that to happen. I hope we can get rid of all the bloat and wasted programming out there and concentrate it down to less channels with better programming.

Comment My recollection of Kindergarten, circa 1986 (Score 3, Insightful) 228

We had only half-day kindergarten. We went outside at least twice a day. During the day, we sang songs, did water coloring, played with clay, construction paper and scissors, the sandbox, sock puppets. There was lots of arts and crafts. There was always story time, where our teacher would read aloud to us. The only academic work I can ever recall was studying the alphabet, learning how to count to ten, how to count money, and learning how to write our name.

I still work in a school, in Minnesota, and now kindergarten is full day. Kids are expected to learn how to read. They do lots of worksheets, spelling tests, spend time learning how to use computers, and learn basic adding and subtracting. There's also lots of social behavior practice (how to stand in lines, how to be quiet and raise your hand, how to take turns, not interrupt others, etc.) And writing...lots and lots of writing. Long story short, what I covered in 1st grade 30 years ago is now what is expected in Kindergarten. Play is a thing of the past.

At this rate, expect them to be bringing home Algebra textbooks by the turn of the century.

Comment And that's the problem (Score 1) 367

Whether it's Monsanto and RoundUp-resistant weeds, or bananas and Panama disease : Nature adapts, while man-made genes don't. If humans modify their genes, the "most-popular genes" will become a larger and larger portion of the population, leading to a lack of genetic diversity, making for a wonderful opportunity for some disease to conquer them all, or some natural change to make it difficult for that portion of the population to adapt. As it's been said before, "Nature finds a way."

Comment Re:Publishing mediums have changed (Score 1) 465

You want the old, print media publisher rules to apply.

Can't they? Twitter doesn't allow child porn; they seem to do a good job policing that. What if Twitter had said, "Well, I guess we can't do anything about child porn, because, well, we're Twitter." Even in the digital realm we can establish and enforce limits.

I work in school districts where kids everyday get bullied into oblivion, the majority of it of the digital form. To see them brought to tears because they're called the worst of names from cowards who would never say such things to their face leads me to believe that there must be a better solution than tolerating this filth. Because, if we don't, any of us could just as easily become the target one day.

Comment Publishing mediums have changed (Score 2, Interesting) 465

But publishing standards should not.

What anyone posts on Twitter is, by every definition of the word, publishing. So, if People Magazine makes a statement like, "Pollux is a child molester," they are making an untrue public statement that may easily be subject to a libel suit. Trolls everyday on Twitter say the same, so why don't we hold Twitter to the same standard? They are the medium and should be held as equally responsible as any paper printing of the same libelous statement.

"We'll do it if we believe we are required to by law." No, you aren't.

Comment I can't tell if you're trolling or not... (Score 1) 1145

Because I know there are tens of millions, if not at least a hundred million Americans, that believe your statement sincerely. I even have a few family members that have espoused such sentiments. And so I will reply accordingly.

We Americans have been bred to honor and respect property rights. It is ingrained so deeply, even so far as our honorable Constitution itself, that the hard-working-man's "honest wages" are as sanctimonious as Holy Communion in the eyes of the red, white, and blue. So, no matter how absurd and adulterous ones income, I understand that taking money from those that "work hard" to distribute among those that "hardly work" is no different than the priest taking a piss into the chalice as his way of blessing the wine.

I get it. Really, I do.

But I just have one question for you: Are you OK with 20 people in our nation controlling more wealth than one hundred and fifty five million? Are you -really- OK with this? Because that's where our continued ignorance and/or unwillingness has gotten us. Your bull-headedness is putting the ridiculous wealth of 20 individuals in our nation ahead of the general welfare of 155 million. In any other nation throughout the course of human history, this level of wealth unbalance has instigated violent revolt and revolution among the masses. And it's only a matter of time before it happens here, as long as people like you continue to believe what you've just said.

Comment If you own an Acer G73j... (Score 2) 126

...let me save you some time. Don't bother updating the laptop to Windows 10. It has driver compatibility issues that cause the laptop to freeze minutes after you boot the machine.

My mom has one, and I spent six hours over the 4th of July weekend trying to upgrade it. After a bunch of searching online, I came to the conclusion that some geeky workarounds like disabling the network port and using unsigned drivers was just not the right solution for mother. Instead, I just installed an SSD into the spare drive bay and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7. She says it runs like a brand new laptop. I figure that will buy her another two, maybe three years.

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I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. -- Albert Einstein, on the randomness of quantum mechanics