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Comment I see tons of them in this neck of the woods. (Score 1) 406

Makes me a bit sad because I'm a big believer in analog wristwatches, and instead, all the young adults and college kids are walking around with Apple Watches strapped on. Not a fan of the aesthetics, and didn't have a good smart watch experience myself (though this was before Apple Watch, with a Sony) but nonetheless, I can name at least 20 people that have one in my circle, and some of them are blue collar folks so it's not all luxury buyers either.

Comment Re:The point (Score 4, Interesting) 532

Australia is unique in that it is an island continent. You can't just drive across the border to get some smokes.

You can fly in with your suitcase full of packs of cigarettes and have them taxed to hell and back in customs, or you can use a boat to go from the northern coast of Australia to PNG / Indonesia, which is not a short trip by any stretch.

Then you have to get your boatload of cigarettes that are boxed in bright, attractive packaging to your customers without arousing suspicion, because every pack of cigarettes in Australia is plain white with pictures of mouth cancer &etc on it by law. So you stuff about and put them all into little baggies, or whaterever, increasing your labour and distribution costs further.

So what will happen is that you'll have a few large black market operators that are regularly picked off by Customs, and black market cigarettes will be hard to come by, and hopefully people will just save themselves the hassle, quit smoking, and drink themselves to death instead with the money they've saved.

Comment How does KDE compare to Cinnamon? (Score 1) 89

After years of threats, I finally managed to eliminate all the apps that were tying me to a Windows 7 desktop or a Macbook workstation. I've used Linux heavily for years, but never as my desktop OS. It was always my app, web, or build server, and I'd interact with the machine via bash over SSH.

Now that I'm on a Linux desktop, I'm fairly comfortable with Mint's 'Cinnamon' UI, which I understand is a forked version of Gnome 2.

Normally, if I wanted to experiment with a new UI, I'd just dive in, but I'm still in the phase of building my expectations and lists of needs. (Do I really need Sublime or will Gedit suffice? How do I change that default icon for Firefox to one I'm more likely to recognize?)

Does KDE offer me any great advantages over Cinnamon or Gnome? Any of you more experienced desktop aficionados have an opinion you'd care to share with a relative novice?

Comment Re:Read Only (Score 1) 215

No, ROM chips are manufactured with the data an intrinsic part of the silicon, the chip mask changes for different data. If it's writable once, it's a PROM, not a ROM.

And if it's erasable by UV light it's an EPROM

And if instead of UV light you can use a higher voltage to erase it, it's electrically erasable programmable ROM, or EEPROM.

Which these days is pretty much the same as the generic "flash memory" term that you've used.

So.... where were we again?

Oh yeah, ROM being a poorly chosen misnomer. I disagree.

"ROM" - to the end user, past and present - is software you can't change. The BASIC interpreter on your C64, the section of Android that boots and runs the basic system apps, that package is referred to as a ROM, be it a physical chip with a UV window, or these days the zip file that is sent around and then programmed into your EEPROM on your phone.

If someone gave me an OS/9 ROM for my COCO II, yes, that would be a chip. Someone gives me "Bert's Buttery Smooth Vanilla Marshmallow ROM" for my Nexus, well that's a file that gets loaded to my phone, but essentially it's the same item - the operating system.

Comment Out-of-the-box solution: battery in protector. (Score 2) 87

Instead of placing the battery inside the handset, make a handset that just has a connector on it (wouldn't have to be a bulky, thick connecter like the USB series, could be done in any number of ways, including contacts on the back.

Open up the design, then let case manufacturers include batteries in their cases, since people overwhelmingly use cases anyway. Now the phone is very thin, so the case can be thicker to accommodate a battery.

Consumers needing long, long battery life can choose a wacky big case. Consumers needing very little battery life can choose a case with a battery that gets them close to current thickness levels. Need a new battery? Replace your $60 case instead of your $700 phone. Going on vacation? Get a fat silicone case with a fat, fat battery in it, just for the trip.

Comment Ha! I had the same thing happen to me. (Score 5, Interesting) 277

I owned a small consulting company in the late '90s and we were hired to do some work for a VPN vendor. We had to sign a rather onerous NDA and then they stiffed us on payment after six months' work and proceeded to ship what we had built anyway. The "separation" was acrimonious and involved court just so we could get paid.

Two years later, the president of the company contacts me begging for archival copies of what we'd produced, as they suffered some sort of catastrophic event and had lost a lot of source code.

I rather gleefully told him that (a) I had to take him to court to get him to pay me for shipping our work last time around, and (b) as per the NDA that they made a serious issue of in court, we had dutifully wiped everything we had ever worked on for them, and good luck.

I smiled for about a month after that.

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