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Comment Re:And nothing of value was lost... (Score 3, Informative) 330

I pay like $36 a year for unlimited calls in the US. I have my own incoming number and I can call any phone in the US. That is not a bad deal at all!

I use it both in my home and my business. My telco demands $18/mo long distance to call my clients right across the state line which is like 5 miles from my home Skype is a great tool! Nobody even knows we are on skype.

My concern is I have a skype to phone adapter. I would eagerly embrace a change in the API if stand alone devices like some of the other VoIP providers have were available. I have seen little new skype hardware for use as a regular phone. I guess I need a new solution.

Microsoft can turn gold into sh-- better than any company I know!

Comment Re:Just say NO to GMO (Score 1) 328

Since there is no limit to how many genes you could add to a specific species of plant, it is still theoretically possible. It may just be easier to do so with certain plants. Why not just legalize all drugs and use our GMO skills on something useful. Marijuana is already designed. Change the laws, not the genes!

Comment Re:Power usage. (Score 2) 338

Power consumption depends on the hardware, so I use a kill-o-watt clone to test them. I have a 933mhz P3 that I use for my skype gateway and torrent downloading machine. Since, it needs to be up 24/7 I didn't want to have my main PC on all the time, over 150 watts. That P3 consumes only 45 watts. Sometimes an older machine is just what you need. Not too much power, but just enough.

Comment Re:Even if this was true... (Score 1) 1009

I agree. For a long time now, I considered the CPU, MB and RAM a matched set due to the CPUs or MBs having such an assortment of memory controllers. If either dies, finding a good replacement years after it was made is not so easy. The only thing this makes hard is making good systems from bad parts. For example, I have a 939 MB for a HTC, but it was underpowered. I just happened to have a dual core Athlon64 from a system which the MB fried. So, a quick swap and my HTC went from usable to awesome. That part of the hobby will be gone someday, but that will still be years away.

I often need to tell clients it is time for a new computer time when a CPU (clogged cpu fan) or MB dies. Simply, you are left finding used or refurbed parts which only offer a lateral move in performance or will suffer the same fate of the original. At times, you end up needing to add a video card if the new MB doesn't have one built in or the RAM configuration may need to be different due to the part you replaced. Or, you find out both the CPU and MB are dead and then you certainly need new RAM. So, unless you have limitless piles of spare parts to swap in the cost and time will not be worth fixing it when for the same cost you can get a modern computer with a lot more power and an OS upgrade to boot. Fixing the only the RAM or the drives is usually cost effective, but replacement of the CPU/MB is just a big pain unless I give away my time for free.

Comment Re:Government is more efficient than private indus (Score 1, Insightful) 585

Do not blame the free market for a law that didn't provide for a free market. A 10% dig at wholesale and another 17% at retail is not a free market. The reason is clearly the government wants your money. You should reject a booze tax as much as a income tax. You still have a sin tax, apparently on steroids!

Comment Re:Way too confusing (Score 1) 1264

I agree. The fact I use LinHES for my HTPC does not mean it is an option for my laptop. There I went with Fedora and even my wife, mother-in-law and my kids were able to manage browsing the web on a recent vacation together. I do not think having different user interfaces are such a problem, but under the hood there needs to be more uniformity. They keep trying, but no 2 distros are the same when finding stuff in the filesystem. It is better than the past, but still not the plain simple of one distro of Windows.

The only glitch I have had with Fedora has been the Open/LibreOffice transition. The installers broke hard tripping over the left over pieces of OpenOffice. I had to track down all the extra packages to remove them. Then LibreOffice installed just fine. I do not find that to be unreasonable, but there is no real similarity to that in the Windows world when an OS upgrade updates every program installed causing many more points of failure. Imagine doing a Windows upgrade and having your WordPerfect replaced by Word without asking you. Those failures are still not any worse than what I have to fix under Windows with the Malware du jour!

Another issue is where to get software and sheer number of choices is confusing to the average user. Sure there are a great number of free applications, but folks have the shrink-wrapped package mindset. Maybe a level of binary compatibility needs to be created. Something that not only software vendors may depend on, but individual developers could use to market software in a more traditional manner.

Comment Re:If I were to find one... (Score 1) 222

I once found a wallet outside my local post office. I only checked for an ID so I could see if the guy was in the PO. Unfortunately, he must have lost it while leaving. I then ran over to the police station and dropped it off. I could have scrapped out the cash and dumped it into the trash, but I didn't . I have no clue if there was anything in it. I never checked.

Amazingly, doing the right thing is not any more difficult than being an asshole. I wonder why so many choose the latter.

Comment Re:Capitalism naturally... (Score 1) 807

We do not need to keep capitalism in check. Capital changes hands all the time in a true free market. Otherwise, RIM, Sears/Kmart and other failing firms would be rich forever. Companies which fail to provide good products and services at great prices will go away.

What we need to keep in check is our government. If the people demanded that government stay 100% out of the economy and never take from one person (taxes) to give to another (entitlements to individuals, companies, states or towns), we could have a free market. Well, mostly for we will still need to get government out of licensing and regulation which tends to favor existing companies over innovative new ones which challenge (keep in check) the existing ones.

You cannot blame free market capitalism for all the problems we have when we refuse to actually have a free market.

Comment Re:Maintenance? (Score 4, Insightful) 990

If machines are used to the point that productivity becomes so high that many items become extremely inexpensive, then fewer people will need full time jobs in the first place, more people will work less and enjoy the benefits of a modern robotic world. The fact is before machines life was hard. Yes, no machines to take your place, but you worked virtually all day scraping out a meager existence which offered inadequate nutrition and limited options for shelter.

Remember that machines have made many things extremely cheap. Imagine a house being built with future concrete printing machines. A quality, strong home could cost a fraction of what a typical house is today. You could pay it off in 5 years, free and clear.

Just another perspective that shows there can be a bright side to automation. Maybe the ideal use of people is engineering and maintaining of machines and personal interaction with other people. Maybe working 70hrs a week and getting carpal tunnel is not an optimized use of a human being.

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