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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

BillCable Dude... (234 comments)

Internet?

about a month ago
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Why Is Microsoft Setting More Money On Fire With Surface 2?

BillCable Re:XBOX? (616 comments)

"Dominate" as in second place for the 360/PS3/Wii generation in North America and third place globally? Or "dominate" as in a laughingstock in the upcoming One/PS4/Wii2 generation?

1 year,25 days
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How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

BillCable Re:Seems like a resource, not a threat (416 comments)

There are many groups trying to figure out how to harvest methane hydrate. So far it's been an impossible problem to solve - mostly due to the resource being ridiculously deep in the ocean. The cost to extract exceeds the value of the fuel.

But then that used to be the case with all the natural gas we're now recovering through fracking. All we need is a disruptive innovation and that methane will be viable. There's billions to be made... and lots of hard-working scientists working on making it reality.

about a year ago
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How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

BillCable Dog and cats! Living together! Mass hysteria!!! (416 comments)

I supposed the 15-year pause in global warming has prompted alarmists to come up with even more extreme catastrophes.

about a year ago
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The City Where People Are Afraid To Breathe

BillCable The Last of Us (243 comments)

And you guys thought those Clickers were fiction...

about a year ago
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Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed Until After Congressional Elections

BillCable And yet the individual mandate still stands! (600 comments)

So at this point companies DON'T have to provide you insurance, but you MUST carry insurance. So all those people who would have been covered if the business deadline wasn't pushed back will be forced to buy their own insurance on the individual market. Either that or pay the "tax." This is a recipe for real disaster.

about a year ago
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Pondering the Future of a Re-Org'd Microsoft

BillCable Re:in your dreams (400 comments)

There are ardent brand loyalists who will buy one no matter what, but based on everything I've read the reaction to Xbox One's feature set has been nearly catastrophic. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibilities for the console to be an abject failure. I think fewer than a million sold is unlikely, but it could do worse than GameCube numbers.

about a year ago
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Pondering the Future of a Re-Org'd Microsoft

BillCable Re:Sell the only post-pc success story MS has? (400 comments)

Except that the Xbox div loses tons of money. They might be smart to sell it off before the the publicity gets REALLY bad after the Xbox One presentation at E3. After then it'll be hard for MS to give the Xbox brand away.

about a year ago
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Global Warming Shifts the Earth's Poles

BillCable Re:Only if you make money out of polluting. (482 comments)

I'm not sure which fantasy land you live in, but it must be nice.

Yes - there is a price people are willing to pay for things, and yes an increase in costs can be absorbed by a decrease in profits - to a point. Margins on A LOT of things right now are razor thin. You can't decrease the profit to negative. So prices go up, and people pay more. And companies find ways to fool you into doing it.

Why is ice cream sold in 1.5 quart containers now than 1/2 gallons? Because the price of ice cream has gone up considerably. Ice cream manufacturers know you won't pay $8 for a half gallon of ice cream. But if they change the shape so it looks about the same size but only holds 1.5 quarts they know they can still get away with charging $5.99. This same thing has happened with countless food products.

Or take fast food. Used to be, there were no combo meals. You bought everything a la carte. And any price change was immediately noticeable. So they introduce combos - you can SAVE $.20 by buying a meal instead of the component parts. In doing so you create a more confusing price structure. And it's way easier to inch up prices across the board. These days when I take my family to McDonald's we spend ~$30. Five years ago it was $18.

So retailers are jacking up prices. If not for the shale energy boom, things would be far more noticeably bad. Cheap energy has been a savior of this economy. But if you institute new pollution controls, you add yet one more cost to everything to negate those benefits we've been enjoying. And it's the poor who will suffer the most.

about a year and a half ago
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Global Warming Shifts the Earth's Poles

BillCable Re:Only if you make money out of polluting. (482 comments)

Sorry, do companies actually make money polluting, as in that is their business strategy?

Because otherwise, not polluting isn't going to increase the cost of living or cause cripling distress on the poor.

Reducing pollution is expensive. If it was free, companies would already do it. The only reason to pollute v/s not pollute is because the former helps profits.

So if it costs more money for, let's say... food manufacturers to produce their goods, the cost of those goods will necessarily have to increase. And the people who need food will suffer because they'll have to dedicate more of their scarce resources to that acquisition. This disproportionately impacts the poor and lower class. Their lives become significantly more difficult.

Now expand that effect across all industries - energy, transportation, manufacturing - and the costs will be pervasive and damaging. We're not talking about $1 more for a loaf of bread - we're talking about everything.

Of course you're a well-off IT guy just like the rest of us, so you won't feel it. Who cares if the kids in the bad neighborhoods go to bed hungry, right? Praise Gaia!

about a year and a half ago
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Global Warming Shifts the Earth's Poles

BillCable Re:How will it make it worse? (482 comments)

Dramatically increased cost of living causing crippling economic distress on the poor.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Game Director Adam Orth Resigns Following Xbox Comments

BillCable Re:Why not? (261 comments)

Sony made the right decision here. If a game publisher wants to cripple their games with always-on DRM they should have that right. And the publisher will be punished through customer outrage and lousy sales. But it's all on the publisher - their games, their risk. If the PS4 gives them the option, as rumored, any game publisher is free not to utilize it.

Microsoft, OTOH, is mandating this for all games. Publishers reportedly can't opt out. The only way games can voice an opposition in this case is to not buy the console at all. Given the current backlash, I expect that's exactly what will happen.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

BillCable Re:Better answer (572 comments)

Comparing what we know so far about the PS4 v/s what is rumored/leaked about the NextBox, the NextBox looks disastrous. One wonders if Microsoft will pay attention to the backlash and revise their approach. One also wonders if they do if they'll still make a 2013 launch. Launching the NextBox with the current rumored "features" and being this tone-deaf to the community would be ill-advised. There's only so much gamers will put up with for the ability to play Gears and Halo.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources

BillCable Re:Now it all makes sense... (262 comments)

I don't know that I've ever complained about Apple before in my life. Probably not since the monitor died on my Apple IIe.

If Apple wants to do green energy thing and their customers want to pay more to subsidize those efforts, then three cheers for all involved. If Dell wants to utilize more conventional power and as a result can offer cheaper prices, making their products available to a broader customer base including to the less affluent, bully for them as well. And if you think Apple would be doing this if they didn't think there'd be a sizable PR benefit, you're hopelessly naive.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources

BillCable Re:Now it all makes sense... (262 comments)

Show me one method of shipping worldwide that uses 100% green energy. Just one. They are none.

Bicycle + kayak. Takes a while to get to Hawaii, but with a good sextant...

You've completely missed my point (and honestly, I don't know why you have such a bug up your butt about Dell...). My point is that there isn't a way to transport goods using renewables. I'm illustrating the absurdity of it. So any company that claims that 75% of their power needs are met by renewables is being criminally dishonest. Don't matter if they're Apple or Dell or HP or whoever else you want to say is worse than Apple.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources

BillCable Re:Now it all makes sense... (262 comments)

Well, I was commenting on how ridiculous it is for Apple to claim 75% of their power needs are met with renewable sources, not holding them to a different standard then Dell or any other corporation.

I do, however, take issue with your suggestion that these costs are outside Apple's control. Apple chooses the companies who transport their products to their retail stores. I presume they choose to pay for gas-guzzling tractor trailers. They could opt instead to use plug-in electric vehicles. And they could choose only to deal with transportation companies who power up their vehicles at charge stations that get their electricity from renewables. It would certainly be outrageously more expensive and far less efficient, but it is fully within their control. So in fact I was criticizing something over which Apple is 100% responsible.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Washington Redskins stripped of trademarks

BillCable BillCable writes  |  about 4 months ago

BillCable (1464383) writes "

In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the “Washington Redskins” team name because it was found to be “disparaging” to Native Americans.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote. The panel voted 2-1 in favor of the decision.

Perhaps this move will speed up the inevitable name change which was expected within the next few years."

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Google removes "Search Nearby" function from updated Google Maps

BillCable BillCable writes  |  about 9 months ago

BillCable (1464383) writes "One of the most useful and intuitive features of Google's Map tool was the "Search nearby" link. After searching for a location, users could click on a marker on the map to pop open a window with the address and other details. This window also contained a link to "Search nearby" — extremely useful if you want to find a list of restaurants near a hotel, the closest pharmacy, or any other business you might want to patronize. Google recently updated their map tool, and "Search nearby" is no longer present. The 300 posts to the Google Product Forums complaining about this omission indicates this is a feature Maps users sorely miss. Goggle's work-around (detailed by Google staff in said thread) are a poor substitute and unreliable. There is no indication Google will add the feature to their new tool. For now users are able to revert to the original Google Maps with the "Search nearby" feature intact. But there's concern that when Google discontinues support that the feature will be lost. So why would Google remove one of its best features?"

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