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Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

AntEater Re: Yeah, as music artists know, not so fun is it? (275 comments)

Would the best waitresses be able to demand a royalty on their waitress-bot recordings?

No, the waitress is screwed. On the other hand, the manager who filed for a patent on this robo-waitress business method will be able to retire early.

about three weeks ago

The New 'One Microsoft' Is Finally Poised For the Future

AntEater Marketing only. (270 comments)

They're still evil.

about 5 months ago

Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

AntEater Re:Of course... (164 comments)

The you buy from the next service...You probably will have to re-download all your crap, but that's life. Or use a DRM stripper, Or, if you have a program like Tunebite or Sound Taxi and don't mind a transcode, you can use that to have stable files.

In my case, you're suggesting that I redownload over 500GB of music files??? I don't think so. If you have a large collection of music, particularly if what you listen to doesn't fall into the mainstream/consumer music, then these on-line options aren't going to cut it. Also, I'm not really an audiophile but I am cursed with enough audio discernment that the low bitrate on most streaming services will sound pretty bad on my stereo where I do most of my listening - trascoding from an already poor source isn't going to be acceptable.

about 8 months ago

NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

AntEater Re:house of cards? (698 comments)

You gotta love it when economic success is defined by GDP. I've heard that hurricanes and large earthquakes are good for the economy too.

about 9 months ago

NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

AntEater house of cards? (698 comments)

Does this strike anyone else as being utterly ridiculous? "Cataclysmic"?? I mean, if a bunch of bricked computers could bring down our economy (and possibly the global economy) then isn't the whole thing in need of some serious attention? Maybe we've built an unreasonable amount of dependence on something that is entirely too frail to warrant such trust? - both the computer systems and our current economic system.

about 9 months ago

Desktop Browser of Choice in 2013?

AntEater Re:LYNX RULES! (381 comments)

Links is very cool but eLinks ( is even better!

about 9 months ago

Slackware Linux 14.1 Released

AntEater Yawn!!!!!! (136 comments)

I've been anticipating this release for several weeks now. What's funny, is that there's not much to say about it here. Predictable. Reliable. Maybe even boring. Still, Slackware is an awesome system that is a joy to administer. I'll be updating several machines as soon as my DVD arrives in the mail.

about 10 months ago

Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?

AntEater never happen (786 comments)

"... without partisan interference."

Oh wow! Good one. You had me going there for a minute.

about a year ago

How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

AntEater Re:Never gonna happen. (472 comments)

... And in 20 years, I will bet that automated cars will be safer than human drivers.

Based on my commute this morning, a well trained dog with a cell phone navigation system would be safer at the wheel than my fellow human drivers.

about a year ago

You Don't 'Own' Your Own Genes

AntEater Prior Art!! (293 comments)

I claim prior art! Well, my parents could, at least.

about a year and a half ago

Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

AntEater Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (1006 comments)

The individual who committed the crime is definitely where the blame ultimately lies. What people are looking for isn't merely the blame but some cause that can then be legislated away so that this type of thing can be prevented in the future. I don't believe it'll ever be effectively done but I think that is the ultimate motivation. Our society tends to like to find "things" to blame (guns, music, games, etc) rather than addressing some of the social, family and personal issues that lead to horrible actions like this. Banning things is an easier task and creates the illusion of "doing something" about it.

about a year and a half ago

Is Daylight Saving Time Worth Saving?

AntEater GMT FTW!! (646 comments)

The time change is and always has been stupid. If we're going to "fix" this, then lets do it right and all jump directly to UTC/GMT. The number on the clock itself is arbitrary so we would be better off going with the true time standard once and for all.

about a year and a half ago

Why It's So Hard To Predict How Caffeine Will Affect Your Body

AntEater Re:Caffeine is a drug.. (212 comments)

Be careful, you're going to upset someone's simplified understanding of reality.

about a year and a half ago

How Many Text Messages Do You Send a Day?

AntEater rip off. (217 comments)

I'm sure I'm getting old and all that but I just can't get into texting. Mostly this is due to the fact that I don't own a cell phone. If I did own one, I would still find the concept of paying for texting offensive. The data rates put the cost per megabyte somewhere around the same rates as buying Winchester disk storage in the early 1980s. The worst part is that the true cost for the service provider is effectively nothing - texting plans are about as close to 100% profit as anything ever put on the market. Even if you got unlimited texting for "free" as part of your plan, it's part of the product that they charging you for.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Webcam To Augment Impaired Vision?

AntEater Re:why webcam? (63 comments)

I'm mystified why it has to be a webcam, other than the joy of complexity.

It's more than just senseless complexity. Some visual impairments are helped significantly by having the ability to invert the colors, convert to grey scale, convert to straight up black and white, filter out certain colors, provide a reading "line" which can easily be done with software but not so easily with a basic camera - not that it is impossible. Today, a web camera and 20" flat panel monitor can be purchased for less than 10% of the cost of a commercial CCTV magnification system. I do agree that a typical web camera seriously lacks in quality.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Webcam To Augment Impaired Vision?

AntEater Re:For people who don't know (63 comments)

There are some issues here that you're not addressing and most of them are economic. I have a family member that is legally blind and can only read with massive magnification. These CCD units are great but they cost thousands of dollars. Admittedly, it's a limited market but the manufacturers price the units assuming that some state or federal agency will be buying them - not the end user. They are dead simple with today's technology but still are priced like they're wired with gold circuits. If someone can find a supporting government or non-profit agency to help them, then they're good to go. Otherwise, they need to cough up a big chunk of cash which isn't easy for someone with very limited financial resources, as most visually impaired individuals tend to be.

Ebooks are expensive. Large print books are expensive and very, very limited in availability. Traditional lense magnifiers often do not provide adequate magnification or do not address the visual difficulty sufficiently.

When I was first looking at purchasing one of these units I was seriously outraged at the prices charged for a system that has less than $100 worth of hardware. They are essentially little more than a simple flat panel monitor, web camera, LED light and some light image processing software (invert, color masks, etc) on a stand that allows the book to slide around. I would absolutely *LOVE* to see someone come up with a good system for putting a webcam and small system together for reading - it would be great to open up the opportunities for people without the means or assistance to get a reader and, almost as wonderful, would be to put the screws to these companies that are charging such a ridiculous markup on the hardware. Unfortunately, the quality of web cameras isn't that hot but maybe there are some exceptions. I wonder if this could make for a cool Raspberry Pi project.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Axing Messenger On March 15th

AntEater Re:fickle (218 comments)

Both. I find that people tend to argue with me over just about anything. I often find it puzzling that so many people want to disagree with someone so reasonable.

about a year and a half ago

How Old Were You When You First Got a Cell Phone?

AntEater 12? (330 comments)

Were cell phones even in existence in 1981?

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Axing Messenger On March 15th

AntEater fickle (218 comments)

This is why I tend to go ballistic when someone argues that we should stick with the larger vendor because they provide product stability. I've been told we can't count on the smaller guys to stay in the market and be able to provide support over the long term. Then I look at it and see the the "big guys" kill products right and left depending on their whim and the perceived profitability of a given market. Messenger is a stupid little product but I'm sure there are more than a few people out of that 100M+ base who have some dependence on it and don't want or need to use Skype.

about a year and a half ago

Compared to my siblings ...

AntEater More, but does it matter? (178 comments)

I have a B.S. in resource management (land management, user impacts, etc) I've been a Unix/Linux admin since the kernel 1.x days. While I certainly did learn many skills while in school, the degree itself has had virtually no direct application in my actual work. I'm addicted to learning on my own so it doesn't really matter what my formal education was. Would I have gotten interviews and job offers without the degree? Probably not, but you need something to get past the HR types. Sadly, that's what the value of a degree has been reduced to in many situations.

On the other hand, my siblings have nothing beyond a H.S. diploma and have struggled a bit financially.

about 2 years ago


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