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Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 1) 125

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment I've had Samsungs since the GS2 (Score 2) 206

I've had a GS2, GS4, GS5, and my wife had a Note3/

We just recently bought Asus' Zenphone Laser3. Thus far I've noticed that performs just as well as any other phone I've had, with the extra features of Android 6. It also gets *much* better battery life than any Samsung I've ever owned. At $270CAD, it's significantly cheaper than the major Samsung models, but has better specs than their "cheap" models (e.g. better CPU, 32GB instead of 8GB storage), and comes factory unlocked (with none of that lock-to-the-first-SIM-card-used BS either).

The only downside I've seen to it thus far is that it doesn't have a removable battery like the ZF2 had, lacks wireless charging (Asus: PLEASE add this to the next model), and you can't have a second SIM card if you want to use a MicroSD.

Least to say, I don't see myself with any need to buy an S8 or any other Samsung. The more recent models already did away with removable batteries and don't support dual-SIM, so the only advantage they seem to have is the wireless charging. While I do love the charging, it's not a feature that I'm willing to pay double the price for nor submit myself to Samsung's dearth of updates for any non-current device.

Comment What do you print? (Score 1) 272

I won a 3d printer (M3D) at a conference as a door prize. The big issue is: what to print, and how do you get it into a format for printing. For most stuff I've seen, you need a 3d scanner or something that can get [existing thing] into software to create [new thing].

I've recently been trying to build a case for my new phone because:
a) It would be cool to have a custom case
b) Cases for Zenfone 3 are not so common

Thus far I've had some luck scanning the phone to image, building the layers as 2d templates, and then converting to SVG in Inkscape. However, going to Inkscape to anything else is pretty much a f*** up as it does not map the dimensions properly, so my SVG ends up being imported as 2.335x (or whatever) the size of the actual item.

Apart from that, I've been using Octoprint and the M33-Fio module for actual printing, which works quite nicely. The next issue is that my tray is only 5"x5"x5" so a lot of items end up being too big. The software has the ability to "cut" meshes into pieces but it would be cool if it could do so in a way that wasn't straight so the joints could lock together better.

Comment News flash: Average income is deceiving (Score 0, Flamebait) 151

The average income of 10th through 70th percentile - in other words, most citizens - is $32,245 / year (source, EPI Data Library - Wages by percentile.csv, 2015 [latest] row).

Over 40 million (out of 319 million, or about 12%) of US citizens are going hungry (

The social safety net isn't safe, nor particularly social.

I'm sure we can expect relief from the Trump administration (cough... choke.)

But hey, let's worry about tech interns. My blinders need a workout anyway.

Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 3, Insightful) 125

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Only during usage (Score 1) 88

So don't start the app, and don't enable it on bootup when you don't want it (my Asus phone has built-in software to control startup apps, really helps battery life too), and turn off the telemetry settings in general when not in use.

Honestly, they've had similar functionality which used to be baked into maps anyhow. I used the former when on long trips down icy highways so that my wife/family could see that I didn't end up in a ditch somewhere. If the cost of such is that Google wants to watch my 8h+ haul during those times, I don't really care much.

What are they going to do, advertise that McDonalds has discount hot coffee and suggest a pit-stop partway through my trip?

Any other time it's turned off and the locator functionality for the whole phone is turned off to save battery life anyhow.

Comment Not quite dead yet (Score 1) 367

It means that we are now far more removed from access to the metal to even do a lot of the optimizations that we've done in the past.

Well... no, it means that you are, perhaps. Some of us still write in c or c++, and keep our attention on the details. You can tell you've run into one of us when the many-functioned app you get is a couple megabytes instead of 50, runs faster than the fat ones, and doesn't suffer from black-box bugs inherited from OPC.

I always thought that the user's CPU cycles and memory were things a developer was obligated to treat as the user's valued resource, and so not things to waste.

I know, totally out of date thinking. It's ok, I'm old, I'll die soon. :)

Comment machine code ate my neurons (Score 1) 367

But can you program in Z80 and 6502 machine code?

Yes. But more importantly, I can program in 6809 machine code. Including building all the index modes. Which, back in the day, is one of the things that saved me from having to design in, and then program, CPUs like the 6502 and z80, both of which are seriously anemic by comparison. But I prefer to program in assembler. Because I'm sane.

My affection for the 6809 ran so deep that I wrote the 6809 emulator you'll find here, which required me to implement the entire instruction set from the ground up.

But yeah, I can write machine code for about 10 microprocessors. And you know what? In the day... that was useful. I could read (E)(P)ROM dumps, I could cold-patch... but today, I just wish I could get the brain cells back. :)

Comment Re:Sad, as a pebble owner (Score 1) 93

There's no guarantee, indeed, but a company can still be in trouble if it's found they were deceptive or mis-used funds. In this case though they also promised refunds to anyone who asks before shipping, so I guess we'll see.

There's a lot of hate on the Pebble KS right now, with people ranting about how they "ruined Xmas", which IMHO is pretty extreme and overall quite pathetic. I'd say even without the acquisition or other issues, expecting a KS to ship out fully by an exact date is pretty wishful thinking. It may be that they won't fulfil the Time2 at all, which would be a black eye for both Pebble/FitBit, but realistically it's pretty up-in-the-air right now. Certainly a few weeks or even a month delay aren't exactly unusual in the world of crowdfunding.

Comment Re:Security is an illusion (Score 1) 153

There's just too much volume to track all the content everywhere.

There are 350 million people in the USA, more or less. Including kids not of age to use computers. One computer, just one, operates at billions of instructions per second (when the code is written in anything efficient, like c.) The NSA has a newish huge data center located on the main trunks.

You do the math. If you still think they can't sieve that amount of data effectively, why then, good on you for your optimism. :)

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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759