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Comment I can't tell if you're trolling or not... (Score 1) 1127

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.

Comment Easier said than done (Score 2) 259

Never ever believe anything you hear... and only half of what you see.

It would be nice if we were all capable of being skeptics to the truth. Unfortunately, we're not physiologically built for that. As Wired Magazine explained so well in an article back in 2009, our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex filters out information it determines to be unnecessary, including information that does not agree with our perception of the world. The vast majority of people do not understand this, so they naturally prefer to listen and associate themselves with information that only reinforces their world view, rather than challenge it.

So, yes, if the leader of a British political party says that being an EU member has a bad return on investment, and enough people feel that is true, then the society will not challenge that viewpoint. Even when individuals like John Oliver thoroughly debunk those perceptions, those opposing viewpoints are dismissed quicker than you can type "> /dev/null". And it's why, no matter how many times Donald Trump praises the leadership qualities of despots, he still has a much stronger chance than he should at becoming president. All it takes is enough people to "feel" that he's the better candidate.

Comment Some purposeful changes in PC designs (Score 4, Interesting) 75

I'm just now in the process of replacing PCs in our school. We're buying Dell Micro PC's that you can mount immediately behind your monitor. When we throw in a SSD and fast-booting the BIOS, boot time for Windows 7 is less than 10 seconds.

Now that PCs are smaller and faster, and electronic storage is becoming standard, it doesn't surprise me that they're becoming more appealing again.

Comment There's a simple answer (Score 5, Informative) 205

Sue Amazon. Well, get a patent on your product first, then sell it on Amazon, -then- sue Amazon for selling items that infringe on your patent. Wouldn't be the first time.

A related anecdote...Back in 2014, I received a solicited free iPad case to try that was a Griffin case knockoff. Looked exactly the same, just missing the logo, and $40 cheaper. I was interested, but curious why it was the exact same case w/o the cost. Long story short, the guy went right to Griffin's suppliers in China and paid them to make the exact same case for his company. His mistake was that he setup an office in the United States, and Griffin sued him into oblivion.

Comment Insight on Chromebooks (Score 4, Informative) 18

As a technology director who finished their first year with 1:1 Chromebooks, let me share a few thoughts on touchscreens:

1) They just don't fit with the OS... Chrome wasn't designed as a touch OS. The icons & screen objects are too small. Websites render pages as full-size HTML pages, not mobile-designed pages, so text and links aren't large enough to tap in an easy way. You can flick, you can scroll, you can tap, yes. But do you need to? Only as much as you need to on a Windows 7 OS, i.e. not so much.

2) Screens are more costly to repair... Our districts has New Dell Chromebook 3120's. The touchscreen Chromebooks cost about $85 more. Replacing a broken touchscreen costs $65 more than its counterpart. Is that worth the ability to flick, scroll, and tap? Our district decided it was not.

3) Chromebooks are not getting any faster... Last year, the average 11" Chromebook shipped with an Intel Celeron N2830, clocked at 2.16GHz w/ a 7.5W TDP. This year's models (for those who have released a new model) ship with the N3050, clocked at 1.6GHz w/ a 6W TDP. The processor benchmarks a few percentage points -lower-. If you'd like a Chromebook, find a model with an Intel quad-core. (Avoid the ARM & Rockchip devices.)

4) Remember that the device will only remain active for five years, at which time Google will discontinue updating the device. So don't buy the year-old devices on discount. You'll only get 4 years of life out of them instead of five, then.

Comment Supplies in Guangdong & Shenzhen (Score 2) 231

It's the same reason why 1366x768 laptop displays aren't going away. There's a huge supply of them, they work, and they're cheap.

Guangdong and Shenzhen are mass producing cheap and common tablet parts like mad. You can find and buy them yourself on Alibaba; there's tons of cheap 8 and 16GB eMMC chips, 1GB RAM chips, and ARM processors. Companies like Samsung make higher quality and newer, pioneering products, like chips that integrate the storage & RAM together. Soon, the Chinese generics will add these to their lineup, making tablets even smaller and cheaper.

If you want something different, vote with your wallet and buy something different. Then, if enough people do, that's what will become cheap and mass-produced.

Comment That's the textbook answer (Score 1) 145

For a textbook world. But in the world we live in, things are never so clear cut. Ask a small business owner whose store was broken into whether they received justice when the perpetrator was allowed to walk after the evidence used to convict him was illegally obtained (pg. 3). Ask a woman if she receives justice when the man who rapes her is allowed to walk because illegally obtained evidence is suppressed from trial. As the previously quoted article from "The Atlantic" says, "It is highly important that we protect the constitutional rights of criminals. But it appears that we sometimes forget that the Constitution was meant to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens as well."

Comment Because society tacitly asks for it (Score 2) 145

We as a society want crime off our streets. So, we want officers to do their job as effectively and efficiently as possible. If someone's in the process of committing a crime, we want it stopped. Waiting for a warrant to get processed is time the perps have to get away and for the crime to go unpunished, and nobody wants that except the criminal.

As I've said repeatedly before, Law Comic is your friend. Borrowing from this page: "Rules are respectable. They're how things are supposed to work. But police officers sometimes see the rules as obstacles that get in the way of justice. And some criminals see the rules as handicaps they can take advantage of, to get away with it. And so, in real life, the rules are often ignored in favor of a kind of rough "street justice"." Besides, as this comic notes in a later section, most arrests get plea bargained anyways, making illegally obtained evidence a moot point.

To put it another way, ask yourself this question: What would upset you more, allowing a criminal to go free because evidence cannot be obtained legally, or arresting a criminal using evidence that was obtained illegally? (For the purpose of the question, assume the person has indeed committed a crime.)

Comment Mod parent up (Score 5, Insightful) 767

(Sorry, I don't have any mod points to share.)

In most "public" neighborhoods, streets are maintained with special assessments. When I bought my home a few years back, I took over payment of $5,000 in specials for a road repaving project that was done in the neighborhood. I'd be pissed as hell to see a bunch of crazed drivers tearing up the road that my neighborhood had to pay for.

Besides, our roads weren't engineered to handle thousands of vehicles a day, and our neighborhoods weren't engineered to help traffic navigate the parked cars, kids playing in the street, narrow turns, and unmarked intersections. I sure as hell wouldn't appreciate that kind of traffic next to my home and would organize whatever kind of neighborhood brigade possible to fight it.

Comment Is this even possible? (Score 1) 327

It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world's primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status.

Hmm...This article just begs the question: Does the US have a power grid that can provide enough sustainable power to meet that demand? Doing some Googling & some math gets us...

A) 2.5 trillion miles driven annually in the US

B) "Electricity becomes the world's primary power source", so we'll call that a majority of miles driven, or 50%, or 1.25 trillion miles

C) If everyone drove the Tesla Model S, they would get 240 miles on a 70kWh battery, or about 3.43 miles / kWh.

D) In order to drive 1.25 trillion miles, we need to have available 1.25 trillion miles / 3.43 miles/kWh = 364.4 billion kWh.

E) The US generates 4 trillion kWh of electricity per year.

F) The US consumes 3.8 trillion kWh of electricity per year. (Worksheet 7.6.)

So, it looks like we have about 200 billion kWh to spare, which is, I'm sorry to say, not enough.

So, how does anyone expect to achieve such a lofty goal if we don't have the infrastructure in place to make it happen? (And if anyone else in the world knows that their nation has the capacity to make it happen within their country, I'd love to know.)

Comment Re:5$ / hr is not sane in the current economy (Score 2) 1023

I think it's a slam dunk that the automation that will suit the fast food service industries is going to arrive very, very soon...Grab the popcorn and lock your doors. Show's going to start shortly.

Completely agree. Here's the McDonalds of the future: You go on your smartphone, open the McDonalds app, tap "Big Mac Meal," and 10-20 minutes later (depending on location), a drone tracks your GPS location by your phone and delivers you your meal. Drones travel to-and-from designated locations containing automated kitchen robots creating all the food. People looking to sit down to eat will go to that location, where a small establishment will be available. You just walk up to a terminal, swipe your card or e-pay with your phone, tap your order, and one-to-five minutes later, out it comes on a belt from the kitchen. (Computers will probably do a good job tracking & preparing food to meet anticipated demand, but it cannot be perfect.) Space needed for kitchens can be reduced down to about 1/5 the size, reducing the size of the establishment by about 1/4. One staff will work on-site to clean the establishment, a second will continue to refill food supplies in the machine, and a service repair staff member will be on-call to manage multiple sites. Indoor locations, like at airports, will be kiosk-size machines, probably with a condensed menu with the most popular items, and without the drones.

Comment Sounds like a great idea... (Score 3, Funny) 242

We'll create this "human organ farm" deep underground and convince all the organisms that they're the world's last hope for survival. We'll explain that a nuclear war made the vast majority of the world too contaminated for life, but a lone island presents hope for survival. We'll convince them that we'll use a lottery to "randomly select" who to send to this "island". All the while, we'll keep them ignorant and secluded, distracting them with organizational tasks like mixing particular organic molecules together to help feed growing organism embryos, and entertaining them with VR live-action versions of X-Box video games. Then, as long as we keep them secluded in this "distraction-dystopia", we don't need to worry about their consciousness, right?

Comment An example of conversation... (Score 3, Interesting) 103

So, I took a basic dialog and ran it through Google Translator, converting it from English to German, then taking the German and converting it back to English. Here's what I got...

Original Conversation:

Person A: Look at this amazing gadget! It allows me to hear what you're saying in German in English! Here's a spare. Put it in your ear, and you can hear my English and translate it to German!

Person B: Great! Now our different languages won't stop us from understanding each other!

A: Just imagine, with this, we can break down language barriers that interfere with developing a mutual understanding of one another. This might be the answer to world peace!

B: I'm not so sure about that. Good luck getting this thing to turn what Donald Trump has to say into something peaceful.

And now, once translated and re-translated, we get...

Person A: Check out this amazing gadget! It allows me to listen to what you say in German in English there! Here is a replacement. Put it in your ear, and you can listen to my English and German dictionary!

Person B: Big! Now our different languages will not deter us to understand each other!

A: Imagine, with this we can break language barriers that interfere with the development of a mutual understanding of each other. This could be the answer to world peace!

B: I'm not so sure. Good luck always to turn this thing what Donald Trump has to say in a little quieter.


Somehow, me thinks we still have a long ways to go. Though, I can say that this is a whole lot better than what Google was producing 15 years ago.

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