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What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

Amtrak PLEX + 9TB Raid 5 = Media Heaven (152 comments)

So I don't get much content from the internet, well unless you count ordering blu-rays off Amazon getting content off the internet, but I almost never place any physical media in the machine I watch it on. When I get a new movie in I rip it down to my hard drives as a loss-less mkv, add meta data, and then update my PLEX library. This lets me have a large library of movies that I can watch anywhere I have a reliable internet connection via the PLEX app on my phone, tablet, PC or HTPC. It works great and I get to keep all my physical media locked as a hard backup.

about a week ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

Amtrak Re: Bullshit (198 comments)

I was just about to say the same thing. I've lived in 4 different states and the Indiana DMV is the best run government office I've ever had the displeasure of working with. On a side note the Illinois Secretary of State was the worst.

about a week ago
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Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

Amtrak Re:just follow the rules people (229 comments)

Obviously you don't live in Chicago and have never driven on it's roads. But odd driving practices aside as a Chicago resident I have to say that I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that the city was quietly adjusting the thresholds on intersections occasionally to make a quick buck. I mean it is Chicago we are talking about, the only city where the officials are more corrupt is probably Detroit and the corruption never stops at the top.

about two weeks ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Amtrak Re: why would anyone cancel comcast? (401 comments)

When I lived in a Chicago apartment I got unwatchable reception on every channel but pbs and WGN even though I could see the antennas on top of sears and Hancock towers out my window. Sometimes living in a concrete canyon works in the cable company's favor.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Amtrak Re:Caregiver... (509 comments)

Whoa! Wait a minute who ever said anything about solving overpopulation. I'm just saying that from a career perspective caregiver can be rewarding. Also, to really be a caregiver you are going to probably have to be married with your partner working, unless you want to be one of the government dependents but then why are you asking about jobs.

However, I do have some issues with your points.

Food scarcity is normally not caused by society not being able to produce enough food. Well maybe we can't produce a enough meat for everyone to eat like a fat American, but we could meet the current worlds total caloric needs with some work. However, due to war, oppression, terrible government, stupidity, and callously choosing to say screw the poor I want double Steak we make that hard.

Energy scarcity: We have tons of Uranium and Thorium. If we could get off our asses and actually use it to build useful things like Modern power plants instead of bombs we might be able to have a sensible energy agenda.

Pollution Levels: The modern world needs steel and steel is dirty. Unless you want to go back to a pre-steel world we are going to have to put up with some pollution for the foreseeable future. But with good management we can limit the pollution.

Disease Susceptibility: People get sick. Always have always will. Poor people get sick more than rich people due to malnutrition or improper hygiene. Things are still better now than they were though. Maybe we should raise the standard of living in the rest of the world some.

Psychological Disorder: Always existed, society just killed people with this because they were "Possessed by the devil" before the enlightenment. I am not for a return to that idea even if it puts stress on society.

Political unrest: Come on wars are as central to human activity as breathing. As long as humans exist there will be war or at least arguments over something. If you think otherwise have fun in your utopia fantasy land. I welcome getting proven wrong.

Overpopulation in the Western World: Most of the western world is in demographic decline. (I'm assuming this is a predominantly western audience being English language and all.) The US and EU only skirt by with immigrants. So clearly we are not prolific reproducers anymore. Now for the rest of the world, they may have to tone down the reproducing, but unless we want to use that war thing to stop them I'm not sure how we could. And I'm not sure I can support a government that would go to war against the breeders it sounds to Nazi like to me.

Though in the end I agree with you. If we keep growing our population we will eventually run out of resources to support that population. In the end the only real answer is to get off this rock and colonize space. But that's not really an answer to the problem. It's just kicking it down the road for a really long time. (Universal Entropy and what not) Any other form of forced population control will require some form of world government. Otherwise the countries that don't comply will just swallow you up in a few generations.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Amtrak Caregiver... (509 comments)

Seriously, I know it's all anti-fem movement and all that but someone has to take care of children might as well take care of your own.

However, if having kids isn't your thing then you want to be somewhere in the robot design/maintenance track. So, something like Engineering or Computer Science would be best. Not everyone is good at math and abstract problem solving. Learn to do that really well and get some people skills and you should be able to stay at least marginally employed.

Another option might be to join the Military. There will always be a need for Generals even if all the grunts are robots. Someone, has to tell squad A to attack point B, and I'm not convinced that the lowly soldier will ever really be replaced with robots. Someone will always fight once the robots are defeated.

Also genetic engineering of crops might be a good thing to go into. We are going to need better yielding crops if we are going to support all the unemployed TV zombies the Robot's replace in the job market. Otherwise, someone might get the idea in their heads of limiting the population.

about two weeks ago
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Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

Amtrak Re:"Lower quality"? (214 comments)

My wife and I love to go to movies actually. But what the movie really is, is an excuse to ship the kid off to Grandma's and then spend an afternoon with just the two of us. We normally go to a noon showing and then get lunch. It's always less crowded than at night, sometimes we even get the theater to ourselves, and the ticket prices are cheaper. But that's mostly for movies we don't want Jr. seeing. If it's a kids movie we just rent/buy it unless it's a special treat. Normally for a kids movie it's better just to buy it anyway. Your kid is going to want to watch it over and over again and they normally don't sit through the whole thing. (Now if I have to hear the Frozen soundtrack one more time I may break the blu-ray but that's another thing altogether.)

about three weeks ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Amtrak Re:power consumption (394 comments)

Cutting the cord is already a no-brainer when you look at the big picture (I think live sports fans are the only exception remaining?); TFA is about how it's starting to make even more sense in new ways, such as energy bills.

It's no wonder the cable company needs to buy so much government; with their current approach there's no way they could survive in a free market. I wonder how long until their non-customers are going to have to start paying subsidies to them through our water bills or something else that can't be reasonably opted out of.

I hear that. The only reason I keep Comcast around any more is for 1. Internet and 2. HBO Go. And honestly if I could buy HBO Go from any other provider I would. (You hear that HBO! I'd pay you directly if you would let me!) I mean no PS3 or Roku support come on Comcast!

It has been months since I actually watched live TV, and the last time was because my Dad was over and wanted to watch the news. I get all of my media from either online streaming sources or DVD/BluRays (Almost all scanned to my Plex Server now). I do record a few shows now and again still but for the most part I have lost interest in most Cable TV only a few big shows ever get me to watch like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones and by the time I hear about them I can usually watch them on Netflix or Amazon Prime anyway.The wife loves HBO though so I'm stuck with that going forward most likely.

about a month and a half ago
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Chinese Gov't Reveals Microsoft's Secret List of Android-Killer Patents

Amtrak Re:If generic and common behavior patents are... (140 comments)

No, a communist country where the state is a big player in the marketplace through state owned companies. Think of it as Fascism without a conscience.

What about socialism?

about a month and a half ago
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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

Amtrak Re: He also forgot to mention... (343 comments)

I believe you have just invented the credit card company.

about a month ago
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What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

Amtrak Re:Trains? (301 comments)

The CTA trains actually have two automated systems that should have stopped the train. The first is a dead man switch that when not being actively held causes the train to immediately stop. This failed.

Interestingly this is the second time this has failed in the past year. First time.

The second is a system that communicates acceptable speed to the train and if the train is over that speed it automatically slows the train. At the O'Hare station this speed is 15 mph. At the end of the O'Hare station is a bumper that should have stopped a train traveling at 15 mph even if still under power. It failed.

The problem with the CTA train at O'Hare wasn't just a negligent driver who dozed off but bad maintenance of safety equipment on the tracks as well. Classic case of more automation wouldn't have solved the problem.

Article about O'Hare.

about 2 months ago
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Anti-Virus Is Dead (But Still Makes Money) Says Symantec

Amtrak Re:To easy to make new viruses (254 comments)

You are exactly correct. There are very few programs that couldn't run completely in user space on a modern version of Windows (Vista SP1 or higher). The problem is that developers don't want to take the time to handle tokens and user permissions when the develop a program so they just require admin and since it's been going on for years no one complains.

I think that M$ is keenly aware of this too. It seems to me that every time they do a major update they try despratly to get developers to switch away from admin all the time and into trusted computing. I mean first it was "Click Once" and now it's Windows RT and the M$ App Store. It's just hard to get people to spend money on a system that they think won't let them run there stuff.

Also with quickbooks, something tells me that you found a DRM scheme that looks like an updater. I mean why the hell else would it need to call home so often?

about 3 months ago
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Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

Amtrak Rand Paul invents new currency (404 comments)

Rand Paul invents new currency called the SPIDERCOIN. It will be pegged to the S&P 500's value..... and wait am minute this already exists. (See stock symbol SPY.) Why would I buy crypto currency that is just a stock pool sounds like an awfully complicated way to set up an ETF.

about 2 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Amtrak Cable Companies would love this.... (482 comments)

Look you ask why other companies don't do this and the answer is simple, they can't get away with it. Every cable company on the planet would love to have invented the practice. I could even see this ad happening:

"Super Def TV"! Only Available on Xfinity! Get your Super Def TV today with 2 year cable contract.

Hell, they already do this with DVR's. Why don't people just buy a TIVO or TV with cable card slot instead of paying Comcast $15 a month for a DVR? Because they don't think that way.

The real answer is that companies have figured out that most people won't sit down and do the accounting to figure out what the true amortized or depreciated cost of any item is over the long term. They instead just look at the advertised price and compare apples to cats.

American's don't think, "I have enough cash for that." They think, "I have enough credit for that." and could give two shits that the item costs them 200% more over 2 years. The only way to fix it is to make credit harder to get but then our economy would collapse (sooner) so.... yeah bring on the credit bubble baby!

about 3 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

Amtrak Re:Err, no really (384 comments)

My prediction is that eventually History will look like this:

The Anglophone Empire existed from 1215 to -. It's primary form of Government was constitutional democracy, it's capital was at one point London, England but eventually transitioned to Washington D.C. USA around 1948 after a schism that started in 1776 ended around 1918. It existed as a tight alliance of English Speaking countries and a treaty bound alliance known as NATO. There are also various non-NATO client states such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and South Korea who are all under varying forms of control or influence of this Empire.

about 3 months ago
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How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

Amtrak Re:Economic reasons (384 comments)

You are creating a false dichotomy here by assuming that the only way to buy a car is to buy new. Today, any used car that was built 4 years ago that has a clean crash history and under 50,000 miles is a better car that could have been purchased for the same inflation adjusted price in 1974. There are many reasons for this, improve quality, higher safety standards, ect.

The reason new cars cost comparably more than 1974 cars is that cars have become so reliable that it is no longer profitable to sell cars at that price point. Also, auto companies figured out that they could lease cars to people and then sell them after 2 years at a lower price. The net effect of this is that the average buyer can get a car that's cost was partially subsidized by someone who leased it if they are willing to not have the newest model. If I buy a used 2012 car that has 50k miles on it that costs less per mile in maintenance than 1974 car with 0 miles on it and the 2012 car will reasonably go at least 180K I come out ahead as a consumer vs the 1974 car at the same price point.

about 3 months ago
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The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

Amtrak Re:Buggy whips? (769 comments)

If we stopped using coal for power generation tomorrow we wouldn't stop using coal. What do you think they use to add carbon to iron to make steel?

The question is how much coal will we use not can we stop using it. And if we can make electricity cheap without coal then it will lower the price of steel. Allowing us to build more stuff. Coal will suffer short term but long term it will survive just a little less profitable I would bet.

about 3 months ago
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The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

Amtrak Re:Buggy whips? (769 comments)

Ever heard of nuclear?

The problem is, you still have to mine for it, and there's a finite supply of nuclear material.

And yet according to this article and this wikipage we won't run out of Uranium or Thorium for reactors any time soon (30,000 to 60,000 years) if we take the unnecessary measures to recycle as much of the fuel as possible. If we are not off this rock exploiting the solar systems resources by 30,000 years our species is doomed anyway. (i.e. a big dumb rock will hit us eventually.) So what's your point.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Amtrak Amtrak writes  |  about 3 months ago

Amtrak (2430376) writes "MIT has created designs for a nuclear plant that would avoid the downfall of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The new design calls for the nuclear plant to be placed on a floating platform modeled after the platforms used for offshore oil drilling.

A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions — overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island — would be virtually impossible at sea."

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