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Comment How can you compete with a home experience? (Score 2) 865

Either of these options beats the hell out of a movie theatre:

1) I visit my friends house, with his 46 inch tv, large living room and we watch a rented Blu Ray on his Playstation 3 with a small group of good friends, followed by gaming.

2) I watch a movie with friends on my 27 inch iMac, often a torrent as movies are delayed/no longer available in my cities only theatre. I own over 100 DVD's, I buy all my music, but will often torrent older movies, new releases as I simply *cannot* buy them. The same goes with TV episodes, if I want to see The Big Bang Theory etc, its a cinch to download by the season, compared with, what, spending 80 USD on some damn box set collection of DVD's, which I'm just going to rip in Handbrake to my harddrive?

Theres a few times now where I've gone to a movie theater, each time telling myself it would be the last time ever, and keeping the ticket. I saw Iron Man 2, Avatar and as a fan, Michael Jacksons "This Is It". I plan on seeing The Hobbit ASAP, as I love supporting local New Zealand movies (ha!), and my local cinema finally has 3D.

But overall? Why in the hell would I pay ~20 bucks to sit in an uncomfortable chair (and these are "new"), with 10 other people in a theatre designed for a couple hundred, as they laugh and snort and cough and bang their seats up and down, as we have to sit through minutes of ads at the start, including made for tv ads which look awful on the large screen, and then the movie itself is dim and blurry!

I'll take the perfect Blu Ray quality (not often, bugger physical media) or more commonly a good experience with a ripped movie/torrented movie on my 27 inch iMac, for essentially free.

Comment For the love of Jobs man, get an iPad (Score 1) 356

You *really* cannot beat the iPad, all other "tablets" are a bloody disgrace, thicker, plastic, *more* expensive than The Apple Product, with zero support two months after they come out, and a glitchy ass operating system with no apps.

*PLEASE* do yourself a favour, and get an iPad. You wont regret it.

Comment What the heck is wrong with you people? (Score 1) 349

I graduated from my high school in 2005, and I *still* remember the nightmare of our school "computers". They were locked down, pieces of crap which were expected to last forever, and they were HORRIBLE to use. And guess what! Students hated the machines, hated the chores, and hated the class. I am sure most of them hated the subject, and will continue hating everything to do with using computers for work the rest of their lives.

I'm talking about old ass IBM's with CRT monitors running Windows NT, until FINALLY being upgraded to Windows 2000 around 2005 or so. The actual Windows desktop was in some way disabled, so all we saw was a heavily locked down gray startbar (ugh!), with a blue background, and that was it, you saved to your personal drive on the server.

As many functions as possible were disabled, "oh, we cant have the children slacking off!", so what did we do? We spent all our time finding out what was left, ways to tie into the inbuilt messaging system, in some way manually writing little scripts to send a message to a designated computer, you'd open the file in Notepad, look around the room and count computers, "ok, so Jimmy is sitting one, two, three, four.......FIVE computers down, so thats CR23", you'd type in what you HOPED was the correct computer ID, save the file and then "run" it. A second later, a Windows prompt box would pop up on that computer, do be dismissed with an "ok" button. "I think you're fat and smell bad, ha ha!", "hey, lets skip Science next period" etc, poetry it was not!

When I left in 2005, we were still expected to save on school floppy discs, you know, because floppy discs were not exactly a household item in 2005! ;-) Being a nerd, I had a personal 128MB flash drive which I'd saved up to buy, and other students hated me for using it. One class involved my "special" group having to burn a CD, using the single computer with a 1X CD Writer.......it took literally the best part of an hour, to copy over ~600MB.

Have some damn faith in students! Work *with* them, not against, dont treat them like convicted murderers (I'd also be in favour of rehabilitative work in prisons, treating everyone with respect, but thats another story).

Yes, the computers have since been updated somewhat, but they are no doubt still a joke compared to what most students use at home. Some schools in my area are using iPads, handed out to every student, and they seem to be very successful. The was a trial of multiple devices, notebooks, netbooks etc, and the iPad won for ease of use, battery life, cost, "coolness" *and* usability.

We are days away from 2012, every student has an entry level smartphone, an iPod, perhaps an iPad at home. They have gaming consoles, they use Skype, they use iTunes, YouTube.....so why plonk them down at some ancient, yellowing beige plastic box, with a frigging ball mouse connected via Serial, and do everything you can to make school work miserable?

The best teachers in the world cant work well with crap tools, would the janitors want to only have access to toothbrushes? Its not a matter of "blowing out the budget" on every student, but christ, cant they at least have *functioning* computers, perhaps allowed to use their own netbook/iPad, for schools to have lease programs on standardised netbooks/iPads (including 3G access) for X dollars a week?

Many of the school computers we were expected to use were broken, and the "working" machines were usually vandalised in anger, once a kid booted out of the best school in the area was introduced to "the resident nerds". Within a week, the kid had bought "napalm" to school in an ice cream container, had lobotomized several ancient computers of their hard drives and CPU's, and that left our class with even fewer working machines.

Who you want to teach in this environment? Each hour, to tell the same nonsense to a new class, "ok, we're missing some decade old computers, so share with your neighbours", to have *three* people watching one flickering old CRT, while Excel spreadsheets were used, and classes ending in "ok everyone, turn out your pockets, someones been stealing mouseballs again" ?

Comment Re:Doomed to fail? (Score 1) 259

Wait, theres a USB3? Whens it out? ;-)

I'd be hugely happy if this thing killed USB for good, Firewire was always vastly superior, USB was the bastard spawn for little clickers and printers, Firewire ran data transfer, high end video...it couldnt be beat!

Oh, except on price, which would have come down with scale, what have you...

Call it "Light Peak" too :-)

Comment Re:Sony Viao Z-series (Score 1) 259

I'll forever curse Sony for that damn thing, I remember my first iPod, Firewire only, as a Windows user I was a second class citizen on my laptop, an iLink port on the front, I needed to use the provided 4 to 6 Pin *Firewire* adapter to connect the iPod :-)

All in an attempt to save a buck or two on the Windows PC end...its shameful. Damn them to hell for frigging up such a wonderful standard...

Comment Re:What's the outcry? (Score 1) 250

Apple software generally gets *better*, seriously, this current version of Skype for Mac is a bloody nightmare...I cohost podcast shows, while sounding incredibly pompous, Skype is an essential part of our "workflow", how the Call Recorder recording plugin ties in with the Skype application, general setting up calls etc, its important stuff.

And the latest versions of Skype have RUINED everything! :-) Simple things are now incredibly irritating, for example, when someone sends you a Skype message, instead of a new window popping up, you need to switch to Skype, see a little tab...and click it. Why not have multiple windows, a new window that would pop up? Sure, give people the option to "tab it" instead for limited screen space, thats reasonable, but DONT make reading messages a huge pain! The whole interface frigs up frequently, sometimes it loads "off" when the screen redraws, it will outright refuse to add people to a conference etc.

Even the new "ringtone" is annoying! :-)

One friend simply couldnt take it, he reinstalled his prior version of Skype, but get this, even THAT causes friggin problems for the rest of us, when he rings, it will inform us all "this version of Skype is incompatible with text chat..." or something, we are effectively locked out of text chat because the host has "The Old Skype" - which had bloody text chat working fine for YEARS...some weird change...we have to ask him to "start a text chat" while we're in the call, a new, SEEMINGLY IDENTICAL text chat "tab" pops up, and just works...we cant initiate the new text chat with him... I could name 5 annoying ass glitches/changes in this new version of Skype for Mac, any one of which is a huge frig up when you know and love using the software each and ever day. Basically, the UI moved everything into one place, dumbed it down, and made it annoying, everything works "fullscreen" rather than separate windows, the program constantly has glitches on top of these "simple design changes", core functions like adding people, text chat fail, its locked me out of Skype before with service outages... unreal that I couldnt so much as *load* the program before it would crash, you'd expect it to load, and then display a "sorry, I cant connect to the Skype servers, please try again later, or try skype.com/support for more information...", no, it wouldnt so much as bounce in my dock before literally crashing, asking to send a report to Apple. What the hell?!?

I personally cannot remember an Apple UI change thats pissed me off to any extent, true, I preferred an older version of GarageBand to the latest, a few years ago iMovie "lost features", those are important tools for many Mac users, reasons to buy the machine in themselves, sure. For me, those are nothing compared to the constant irritation that is the current Skype for Mac.

Comment Re:Lead. (Score 1) 140

Just like dedicated mainframes, right?

Times change, IBM ruled the world, MS came in and just RULED with an iron grip, then Apple reclaimed its spot with iMacs, MacBook Pros...iPods, iPhones, iPads... but as much as I love Apple, they also will falter, always happens, a new near monopoly will arise.

IBM and Apple each "limped along", IBM is a COLOSSAL company still, but who even knows what an "IBM compatible" is these days? Nobody outside tech. IBM doesnt matter anymore, they dont play the game, much less dominate.

Comment Re:This is why Apple is a dangerous company.. (Score 1) 292

Thanks biglig2,

I had agreed with friends that the Nexus One was the way to go, back in the day, its an iPhone 3GS era phone, no way near the new "big boys and girls" of Android. I wouldnt want to get an old clunker.

I had high hopes for the Nexus line, I thought it was really cool of Google to make such a product, "this is what Android REALLY is", a benchmark, pushing the state forward, however, you can also see it as an act of "shit, these no good hardware partners we signed suck, we need to kick them up the ass over hardware, make one ourselves". It was a commercial failure, but I was seriously considering getting one about a year ago... until I realised that it was extravagant to have TWO cellphones worth over a thousand dollars each...

The Nexus S was a disappointment to Android fans, who generally dont like Samsung, seeing them as cheap and nasty? Although, Samsung have much of the best tech, the fastest CPU SOC's, screens nearly comparable to Apples etc.

Heres my thing with Android, theres never a stand alone phone, that really sticks out, the N1 and NS were supposed to be just that I guess, but look at the Nexus S now... lets face it, its a Galaxy S phone, with the stock operating system. Cool, its the BEST of the Galaxy S line then! No problems with me... except the Galaxy S II comes out soon afterwards, making "The Second Official Google Phone" look like crap, screen wise, the new chips SCREAM along, the design is better in my opinion, its possibly the best smartphone around, so sayth Engadget etc. I still despise the software on it (its not stock Android, of which I'm also not keen on), and it looks clunky compared to an iPhone, but it seems overall a decent job.

If I'd pulled the pin on a Nexus S, paying over a thousand dollars for it, I'd feel like a moron a couple months later, which seems to happen so often with Android devices. With the iPhone, you know its a new one every year, roughly at the same time, no big deal. With Android, theres a new "best" every month, often from the same company! They only compete with one another too, none compete "against the iPhone", its just "theres a new chip/screen/extra G available, lets use it for a new phone!".

Like buying an iPad right before the iPad 2 came out and make it look crap, much thinner, dual core, the (crappy) cameras etc, you'd feel ripped off, and when we're talking a thousand dollars plus, I'd be pissed.

It seems the Galaxy S line were always the closest to the iPhone in terms of size, spec, with this new Galaxy S II the "latest, best Android device".

Thanks for your comment, thanks for your help, and stay the hell away from those rabid Wolverines! :-)

Comment Re:They were our best hope.. (Score 1) 179

Whatever I say is going to be mean, I'll try and be nice! :-)

Oh, its built on Debian is it? Because Linux is soooo successful for consumers, right? It took off on the Desktop after all ;-)

However would Google and Apple competed, what with a product "solidly based on Debian" out there! :-)

I agree it seemed half baked on release. Sorry for my snarkiness, enjoy the weekend, its Saturday here in New Zealand, so that might mean its Fryyyyyyy daaaaaay, frrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyy daaaaaaaaay.... in America?


Comment Re:That's five minutes I'll never get back (Score 1) 638

This has nothing much to do with your comment, but thought I'd reply here.

I've long been puzzled by this whole "...they're elitists" meme in America, we have it in New Zealand, its called "Tall Poppy Syndrome", we generally dont like anyone who stands out, who does something different. If someone has a nicer car than you, "they must have an overpaid job, where they sit around in an office, pushing paper for three hours a day...."


I dont get it, whats soooo bad about someone being moderately "richer" than you? I have no car, my best friend has a BMW thats his pride and joy, I'm single, he has a stunningly beautiful girlfriend, should I hate him for having what I do not? He doesnt flaunt either, "oh yeah, so I'll just be taking the Beemer out for a spin with Sarah....", why would I find that offensive? So what if someone is "middle class"? As opposed to what, the only other American choices, "the working poor" and "billionaires"?

I'd go so far as to call being an "elitist" or "middle class" a GOOD thing, rather like when people find out I'm Vegan. "Oh, you Vegans are just a bunch of rich jerks, who are always standing up for what you believe in, even when you're not supporting by a large crowd, I bet you had a better education than me, and make more money than I do, you probably have a big expensive car...."

I dont "push" my Veganism on others, I do quite a lot of Vegan activism, through my show, posting on news stories, always being willing to speak about Animal Rights. *I* never went to university, *I* help out my father at our family business. *I* restore furniture, *I* "work with my hands". *I* dont have any car, and *I* am not rich, yet, if these were true, why would they be some "debate winning insult"? "You're richer, more educated with more material possessions! So I win this silly little argument, ha!" :-) I usually ask about answering in a "Non Politically Correct" manner, asking if I can imagine The Ultimate Non Vegan stereotype, "hey, isnt the usual Non Vegan stereotype about being inbred, always carrying your "hunting" rifle, of driving an old, beat up ute ("pickup truck")....?" The "stereotype" doesnt seem funny both ways to the person who started it all!

I'm not being critical of your point so much, just picked it as the comment to reply to with my useless 2cents.

A little like the charges of Obama being "Arrogant", as Jon Stewart put it, "yeah, he thinks hes capable of being the most powerful (in terms of position) person in the entire world... just like all the other candidates", who cares if someone is "more qualified" or has "more money" than you? Who reall

Comment Re:As a vegetarian.. (Score 1) 68

I'm trying to take your comment as genuine Arterion, although it is difficult.

We kill some 56 Billion* other humans each and every year, for our pleasure and/or profit? I don't think so. I'm not thrilled on "sweatshops", however that is in no way similar to what we do to other animals, who have no choice whatsoever, who are indeed locked inside their confinements, be it by a gate, a wall, a cage or what have you, to await their miserable deaths.

Who decides where we are classified? Did Chickens invent some "food chain", and put us at the top of it? Do they justify "the way the world is" by this image they've concocted? Or do we tell ourselves this, with a design of our own invention, "conveniently" placing ourselves at its pinnacle? :-)

Sociologist Roger Yates has an interesting podcast and blog on this issue, http://human-nonhuman.blogspot.com/

Yes, other animals do indeed kill and eat the remains of further more animals. They also do *many* other things you and I would consider unethical, yet we do not use "all the other kids were doing it!" as an excuse for polygamy, incest, murder etc. If we are indeed capable of caring for others, does that not become an obligation? Is an adult not obligated to care for a child? Lets say, you're driving your car past a school, and some idiot child runs in front of your vehicle, oblivious. Are you obligated to *attempt* to stop, to avoid them? Or, is it "shit happens", with no course correction ethically obligated on your part? Are we to instead ACCELERATE, knocking them into the back of our "ute" (in American, "pickup truck")? I dont think so, I dont think you would either.

I do not believe in a "mother nature".

I would again suggest Professor Gary Franciones "Abolitionist Approach" website, http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/ , his podcasts and articles are fantastic, his work is often published in American media, such as his "We're All Michael Vick" piece from a few years ago, why are we so concerned about a rich African American who made dogs hurt one another, when we believe in harming and killing many billions of *other* animals each year? Why do we hold a moral worth on the life of dogs, yet not pigs?


If its not crass, can I shamelessly plug my own podcast? My last episode was about American tv shows coming to New Zealand to record, tying this into perceptions given by television, using clips from many episodes of King of the Hill, as related to Animal Rights. Finally, I wrap up the episode with Barbara DeGrande, the founder of Animal Rights and Rescue North Texas, to ask about Texas stereotypes portrayed via TV, aware to those living at the bottom of the world, and of promoting Veganism in Texas.


Best wishes Arterion! *56 Billion land animals killed each year, 2007 FAO figures, PDF here http://bit.ly/56billion

Comment Re:As a vegetarian.. (Score 1) 68

Hi Arterion,

Such a life you give others, to live as property, tagged as such, in a dark shed, filled with cockroaches, life amongst cages and incandescent bulbs, thanks! :-)

I dont believe we would use such an example in other situations, "yeah, we abused you every which way, we kill you at our whim, but cmon, damn, I mean, we made you live in the first place, you should be thanking us!"

RE other nations, not at all, I'd say we should encourage contraception to reduce out of control birthrates, as well as teaching methods of self sufficiency. Both of which are actually happening now.

Best wishes!

Comment Re:iPads are cool and all (Score 1) 456

the school has fallen prey to that myth that they need to have the latest gizmo or the kids will fall behind.

I can assure you, the schools here have never heard of that idea! :-) My highschool, each "open day", they'd show parents and potential students around one "typical class room" in the three story block... each open day - and no other time - it was "spruced up" beyond belief, nice posters etc, they'd actually put carpet on the floor (instead of the linoleum).... speaking of posters, the holes punched in school interior walls had posters placed over them, the day before the event! The year I served as guide (I didnt want to BS people a second year), I thought about "accidentally" knocking the posters down, to have a nearby teacher stutter "um, errr, uhhhhh, well, that damage just happened, all around the school... it must have been done in one day, by some ruffian! why...we're just about to patch it up, the day AFTER Open Day.....it'll be gone soon! Certainly before your daughter starts at our prestigious school, I assure you!..." :-)

The technology was used until LONG after it had passed its use by date. The schools ancient computers were locked down beyond belief, and students HATED it. Internet Explorer *curses*, the schools "disabled right click on the desktop", so students essentially had no desktop, just a green background, with a start bar. You could only make folders on your particular drive, which was regularly checked for "contraband", and each time students found out a "hack", like when we worked out Windows Messaging to send messages to a certain computer, "c4e14" etc, "teacher sucks!", they'd clamp down further.

All that, and the students would HATE the "computer labs", they'd steal the balls from the mice, ah the good old days Pre Optical :-)

We had one student shown off, as a new "asset", as if he was a 15 year old professor, he'd just been expelled from All The Good Schools, we were the only one who'd take him. Well, after being introduced as "gifted" to all the "nerdy kids" in the class, he'd stolen hard drives and RAM before the week was out, he'd disabled a handful of machines, when we were already "computer sharing", students watching from their chair as others used The Computer that was being "shared".... and he brought an icecream container filled with "homemade napalm" to school, had been carrying it around in his backpack for the morning, until it was discovered and locked in the science labs chem storage.

I think our dilapidated schools have more to worry about than "the horrors of giving the little shits decent equipment for once"! :-)

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