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Comment Texting isn't typing (Score 2) 55

On a full English language keboard there is no way speech is faster if you know how to type. Now if you don't know how to type or you're using a touch screen, then yeah. Maybe if you're using Mandarin because it's not as straightforward as the Roman alphabet. But no, I can type considerably faster than I can talk and almost as fast as I can read, which is well over 100 wpm, and with a display and backspace key (since I'm human) my ultimate accuracy is 100%.

Comment This. Trump invested very stupidly. (Score 1) 843

Trump spent way too much building the Taj Mahal because everything had to be "the best" for his ego, and then when he was already overextended he also bought the Plaza Hotel in NYC. At the time this was all Trump's personal dealings, not public, and he personally guaranteed all the loans. 1995 was the year he took his casinos public to deflect some of the losses to the investors, but he couldn't cover it all. The reason it all went south was that a few years before Mississippi legalized gambling, and quickly became the preferred destination for everyone who lived south of the Carolinas. All the AC casinos took a hit from the new competition, but Trump was far too overextended to handle the contraction.

Comment Overage charges have been their business model (Score 1) 36

For some time I used a Verizon 3G mifi hotspot for general net access. One month I went about 1 gig over my 5 gig plan and it doubled my bill. I called customer service and they generously offered to cancel that particular charge, but I when Itold the guy (who was not in India, BTW) that if it ever happened again I'd have to drop the service, he had nothing to help me. A week later he actually called me to let me know they had added a cool feature which would send me a text when I was near the limit to warn me, but I reminded him that the mifi isn't really a phone and the only way I could use it to read SMS messages was to physically plug it into my computer's USB port, which would temporarily disable it as far as using it for internet access. Oops. Sure enough it happened again and despite my deep abiding hatred of our local provider today I have a cable modem.

Comment Re:Do Processing unit makers build alikes? (Score 4, Informative) 127

This is actually the way real computers were built in the 1950's and most of the 1960's. Integrated circuits weren't invented until the late 1960's, and integrated microprocessors in the mid-1970's. Before that if you had a computer, it was built like this (or even more primitively, with vacuum tubes and delay lines for memory). Although this video doesn't mention it the Megaprocessor is actually a clone of the 6502, based on the reverse engineering of that chip which was done by the visual6502 people. Actual discrete transistor designs were a bit more streamlined to reduce the discrete component count.

The people who built early microprocessors mostly didn't bother emulating them first because they had a lot of experience with discrete design; processors were not mysterious to them and they had confidence that they knew what would work. The 6502 was in fact laid out entirely by hand directly in MOS masks, not more abstract circuit diagrams, and had to be reverse engineered in our day because no record remained of how its fine features worked.

Comment Oh, .NET isn't going away (Score 1) 359

Like VS6 too much real work was done with it for it to go away any time soon. But it's now abandonware. MS obviously isn't interested in keeping it up to date any more. All the versions that still work will probably continue to for some time, just as you can still run VS6 apps. (Actually, VS6 apps run better than older .NET apps today, having way fewer dependencies.) But expect things to start breaking, add-ons to stop being supported and working, and expect no help from MS when these things happen. They're on to the next shiny thing. .NET isn't it any more.

Comment We told you so, suckers (Score 0) 359

Back when Microsoft stabbed the VS6 community in the back some of us told you you would be fools to migrate to .NET, because Microsoft had proven themselves to be an untrustworthy company which will sell you out for a chance to pimp their latest not even very good product. Well it's taken 13 yaers but welcome to the club. They almost sold you guys out with Silverlight as the supposed dev tool for Metro, but the howls of outrage deterred them and then Metro flopped. But hey, no 64 bit for you guys either. Sucks to be us Microsoft platform devs. Hey, there's always web development...

Comment Just a consumer version, not really new (Score 4, Informative) 153

Businesses have used these things for years, especially for heavy trucks but my company sedan has one. My company gets a healthy break on insurance rates because it's there, and they get a nifty web interface where they can pull up everyone's real-time location. Some people find it intrusive but it's kind of hard to complain since it's their car and they pay for the gas. The reporting does include sketchy errors, so it's best not to trust the warning reports too much unless there's a clear pattern. It doesn't always know the real speed limit and sometimes the GPS thinks you're in a very different place than you really are.

Comment Structuring has been a crime since the 1980's (Score 1) 510

The USA PATRIOT act did not even change this much, except for some changes to the reporting requirements for banks. Doing $9900 transactions to avoid the reporting has been a crime since the reporting requirement itself, because it's money laundering. Like civil forfeiture it's a disgusting but well established facet of the Failed War on Some Drugs. As for lying to a federal agent that's been a crime for even longer. There is nothing remotely controversial about the pickle Mr. Hastert finds himself in.

Comment Additional Equally Banal Comment (Score 3, Interesting) 172

The key to this is that Mooney is "transforming" Prince's "work" in exactly the same way he "transformed" hers. If her use is infringing, so is his. The "transformation" of simply making a large printout isn't going to fly. Copyright doesn't depend on the size or transmission method.

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The IBM 2250 is impressive ... if you compare it with a system selling for a tenth its price. -- D. Cohen