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Comment Re:Sounds awesome except.... (Score 4, Interesting) 191

FindTheBest probaby will spend the money. The good part of this ruling is that there are law firms that will seek out small businesses to defend them from deep pocketed patent trolls. They will develop the methods to aggressively pursue the money, and will even be happier if they find trolls that send out nearly identical letters to multiple companies and can achieve class action status. In my opinion, this may be one of the few good reasons for these law firms to exist.

Comment As a bus driver (Score 1) 516

I see a lot of distracted drivers in my job, from an angle that allows me to typically see what the distraction is. I can honestly say that I have never seen someone distracted by staring at their GPS. I have seen people nearly cause collisions while trying to program a GPS (typically while getting directions from a cell phone), but never just staring at the GPS. I wish they would just focus on enforcing the current laws that exist rather than add more useless regulation.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 362

Even if they are selling non-antique violins they don't deserve them. When I married my wife we ended up with two artist quality violins. We kept the better of the two and sold the other on consignment through a violin shop (one that does extensive business with out of town clients). Even after consignment fees, we received more money than e-bay would have ever resulted, and no dealing with provenance of he violin as the store puts its reputation on that. Interestingly, even though they have violins that are more than $100,000 plus, they also have used beginner models starting at about $75.00 indicating they will take just about any violin on consignment.

Comment Re:And this obsession with bass (Score 1) 674

A good sub-woofer allows for crisp clean bass - not loud and thumpy. I build my own speakers, primarily because I don't like black boxes and can build something out of my woodshop for substantially less money. I can demonstrate good base by using the Titanic soundtrack - My Heart Will Go On - not a favorite, but part of the feeling in the movie was they used a pipe organ in the piece that gets down to the 15 - 16 Hz range to represent the feeling of the ship moving through the water. If you compare the exact same music from the CD, in MP3 (256K), AAC (256K), Apple Lossless, and FLAC, you only hear it in the CD. But as it has been mentioned, people like me are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to audio. Most people will be happy with their downloaded compressed music on an iPod with $2 earbuds. Also, my primary music system is $600 worth of homemade speakers hooked up to a 1974 Pioneer Quadrophonic Receiver with a pair of 1975 McIntosh amps and equally high end turntable, reel to reel, CD player (1986), tape deck, EQ, and for a humorous conversation piece - a component 8-track deck.

Comment Re:Discouraging Science and Technical studies (Score 3, Interesting) 532

The solution is to artificially make top-level education available at the cost to provide that education, not at what the student is willing to pay. You'll end up having to subsidize it though so you can attract top-level professors away from schools making a lot more money per student. So this becomes a public university. Yes, that's right, a conservative slashdotter advocating public universities. In this case, you're using one market distortion (government funding for a public university) to try to cancel out another market distortion (a school essentially having a monopoly on students wishing to attend it).

You are dead on with this. I teach technical classes (Large GIS Database creation, usage and manipulation) on an adjunct basis. I have watched promising STEM students drop out or postpone their education due to a factor of higher costs and harder classes. They receive the same financial packages as a social science or liberal arts student, but have to pay more and have less time to work part time to support themselves. The original purpose of public universities was education for the public good, as a conservative as well, I see little public good in graduating 50 history majors for every electrical engineer. Yes the engineer will make more out of college, but they will also contribute more to the economy a through their work. The 50 history majors consume public resources for a degree that has little chance of landing them a job. Last time I had lunch with one of my history professors (which was my minor in college as I enjoy it), in an average year there is one history related position for every 2500 graduates - so I question the purpose of a public university wasting resources in such degrees. Should they offer degree minors and classes in areas like history? Yes. Should they spend money on an entire program, probably not. Take where I teach, a university of 16000 students, they have 11 full time history faculty and use 5 adjunct faculty to graduate 50 majors and 7 masters a year. If they were to scale back to a history minor and have enough faculty to cover general education and interdependent majors, they would need 4 full time faculty and a couple of adjunct. The savings could hire 4 STEM faculty (they cost more - 35k for a starting history PhD v. 70k - 80k for a STEM PhD) and would better serve the purpose of a public institution. I have no problem letting the small liberal arts colleges pick up the students that really want to study history as they graduate more than enough to cover what the market needs. This would require a shift in thinking about how public universities are run, but it needs to be looked at. It is my personal belief that societally, making STEM degrees cheaper to obtain is good for all parties involved and represents a solid investment by society.

Comment Re:Discouraging Science and Technical studies (Score 3, Insightful) 532

I agree as well. As someone who teaches in academia on occasion, the university should reverse their thinking. It should be significantly cheaper to get a degree in a field where their is demand - the STEM degrees - and should cost significantly more for all other degrees. Coffee shops like Starbucks may have fewer History majors to choose from in hiring, but I think they would be able to adapt.

Comment Re:Syfy is to science fiction... (Score 1) 742

Unfortunately true. I remember in college being able to turn on MTV in the background and study, as they played a good mix of music videos both in style and content. You actually had more music on than some of the music radio stations. Then came Real World (aka cheap to produce TV) - and the beginning of the end for MTV as far as I am concerned. Then MTV2 was launched to play videos only to repeat what happened to MTV, then MTV bought VH1 because they played videos, repeated what happened again and it continues. It seems that this is just the accepted business model for cable TV. This is one of the reasons that I don't have cable or satellite anymore, they would advertise a 100+ stations, some of which sounded interesting, but have little to do with what they are suppose to be about (try finding history on the History Channel), I ended up watching maybe 5-6 shows with any regularity, not worth the price. I put up a good aerial antennae and now get two music video channels, four PBS stations (including one that focuses on cooking / crafts / home improvement) and all the regular network garbage I can handle. Add to this my DVR and Netflix, and I have more TV than I can watch.

Submission + - Cell Phone Use Tied to Changes in Brain Activity (

Takichi writes: The New York Times is reporting on research linking cell phone use and increased metabolism, with high statistical significance, in the areas of the brain close to the antenna. The study was led by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The impact, good or bad, of the increased stimulation is speculative, but this research shows there is a direct relationship between cell phone signals and the brain that warrants further study.

Capcom 'Saddened' By Game Plagiarism Controversy 163

Capcom's recent release of action platformer Maxsplosion for the iPhone caused indie developer Twisted Pixel to call Capcom out for copying the concept from their successful Xbox Live game 'Splosion Man. Twisted Pixel said they had no plans for legal action, since they were "too small to take on a company like Capcom." The indie studio had even pitched the game to Capcom for publishing at one point, but were declined. Now, Capcom has released a statement denying that Maxsplosion's development team had any knowledge of the meetings and saying, "MaXplosion was developed independently by Capcom Mobile. Nonetheless, we are saddened by this situation and hope to rebuild the trust of our fans and friends in the gaming community."

Comment WHY????? (Score 1) 185

If they aren't bringing back a retro style BYTE Magazine (a hardware persons monthly reference), why bother. Call it something else. If they brought a BYTE like publication back that was an electronic publication formatted for e-readers and tablets, then I would be excited.

Comment Re:So, the system works? (Score 1) 725

As the owner of an older (well built) house, I went to Lowes to find a couple of parts to fix a 60 year old laundry faucet. The manager of the plumbing department looked at them and sent me over to the local hardware store. His comments, first, they sure don't build faucets that well any more (he thought if taken care of, they should last another 60+ years) and that the big box stores just don't carry parts for older items. The owner of the local hardware store backed that up when he told me that since most the houses in the area were built in the same couple eras (1920's - 1950's) he specifically stocked that parts needed for that age of house.

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