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What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

CastrTroy Re:From practical experience... (215 comments)

I'm just waiting until I can get a Core M NUC (mini desktop) where I can run a desktop OS on 4.5W TDP. I'll replace my current 8 year old AMD and save a whole lot of power, and get a huge performance boost at the same time.

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

CastrTroy Re:Does the job still get done? (653 comments)

But that's just it. As you get more and more people on the social welfare system, you either have more and more people living as meagerly as possible because the jobs simply don't exist. You could up the amount of money you pay those on social welfare, so that they can actually enjoy their lives, but then you risk the workers jumping on to social welfare too early, and not being able to bring in enough tax money to support the social welfare system. If social welfare is too comfortable, nobody will want to work. If it's not comfortable enough, you'll have a lot of people who are on it because they have no other choice, and are therefore unhappy with their lives. These people will probably cause a lot of trouble.

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

CastrTroy Re:Good, we're not trying to create more work (653 comments)

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: Well, what about you now? What would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well, yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I would relax... I would sit on my ass all day... I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do shit.

This describes completely what most people would do if they had the option. Even myself, given the option that I could have a house, food, and all essential bills covered (heat, electricity, water), I would probably do pretty close to nothing. I probably wouldn't sit on the couch all day, but most of the time I definitely wouldn't be producing anything of value. Wake up, go for a bike ride in the morning, spend time with friends, play all those video games I've always wanted to play. I might take up hobbies and actually produce something, but I wouldn't be adherent to any kind of schedule and whether or not I could produce any item worth exchange for money.

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

CastrTroy Re:Does the job still get done? (653 comments)

But who's going to do the 10% of the work that can't be done by machines? If the system is set up to distribute the wealth, and nobody has to work, who's going to do the 10% of the jobs that still require humans. Sure, some of them will be interesting jobs, and you might find people lining up to do them, just to keep their lives interesting. But there's still going to be jobs that nobody wants to do. These kinds of jobs exist already, but people do them because they need money, and they don't have a lot of other choices.

And that's at 10% of people working. Problems will become apparent in the current system way before that. Once you have 40-50% of people not working, it becomes essential that there's a system to redistribute the wealth such that people can live their lives. But then there's still 50% of people who need to work just to keep that going. And it's going to be very hard to convince people to go to work day in and day out when they can have a comfortable life doing whatever they please.

2 days ago
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The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

CastrTroy Re:Write-only languages (100 comments)

Commenting individual lines of code, is for the most part, a bad idea. Code should be clear enough, such that somebody well versed in the programming language knows what is going on without the help of comments. Commenting functions so that you know what they do is another matter entirely, and should be done. But if a language doesn't let you write clear enough such that you can understand it later without comments, I would highly suggest using another language. If you rely on comments to tell you what the code is doing, those comments are going to get out of sync with what the code is actually doing, and be more confusing than if they weren't there at all. Except in cases like using assembly language, where you can't write meaningful code, you really shouldn't be resorting to explaining what code is doing in comments.

3 days ago
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Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

CastrTroy Re:Yeah right. (99 comments)

That video shows exactly why it doesn't work. I didn't even make it though half the video and found multiple errors in the English text, or what I assume were errors if she doesn't speak like a 3 year old. The guy broke out in laughter at how bad some of stuff comes out. And that's for simple conversation level sentences. If you picked a random person from the audience and got them to translate a random piece of text from a technical document, it would probably be 10 times worse.

3 days ago
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Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

CastrTroy Re:Yeah right. (99 comments)

I guess so. If I could effectively communicate with a Spanish speaking person who didn't speak English, then I would be quite impressed. They would hear my English speaking translated into Spanish, and I would hear their Spanish translated into English. I think the other problem is that if neither person speaks the other language, then nobody understands if the machine is saying the right thing. If we are discussing a product design, and I say it must be able to support 250 kg, and the machine translates that as 150 kg, there is no way for me to verify that the machine got it right. Even if the person on the other end repeated what the machine told them, it could conceivably translate the 150 kg they stated back to 250 kg which is what I originally said. Obviously this is a hypothetical situation, but it's just there to illustrate the point. It might work for casual conversation, but when understanding the meaning of the words is crucial, it's not something that I would really rely on.

3 days ago
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Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator

CastrTroy Re:Yeah right. (99 comments)

I would need to see it in person, along with a Spanish speaking person to tell me how well the translation worked out for me to really believe it. I haven't seen a decent system that does speech to text well enough, nor have I seen any systems that did text translation well enough to believe that this product could exist and work well. Text to speech is pretty much a solved problem, but the other two parts of the system, that is, speech to text, and translating text are so far from being good that I can't really believe that we are currently at the point where something like this can be expected to work for day to day conversations. It's hard enough getting human translators to translate things correctly.

3 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

CastrTroy Re:Sympton of a bigger problem (593 comments)

1 Hour? That's actually quite long for a 10 mile bike trip. A person in reasonable shape, on a reasonable bike could probably do that in 30-40 minutes. 1 hour would be really taking it easy, or if there was quite a few hills.

4 days ago
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U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

CastrTroy Re:One reason for that might be (176 comments)

It's funny this came up, because I don't actually own a car. I just can't financially justify it. I get to work by cycling and take the bus in the winter. I could save a bit of time by driving a car, but not a whole lot. The real difference would be in the winter, but there's only 3 months out of the year where I can't ride my bike, and owning a car for the other 9 months where I wouldn't use it is just a huge waste of money. Living in a rural area, I would most likely not be able to live without a car, but living in the city, I really don't see how people justify the high costs. You can rent a car for $30 a weekend in the winter. Insurance is covered by many credit cards. So you can have a car every weekend in the winter for less than it costs to own a car.

about a week ago
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U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

CastrTroy Re:One reason for that might be (176 comments)

I think this is a big problem as well. Cars keep on getting more complicated and adding more and more standard features. As a result, owning a new car is something that many people only dream of. Many people are driving second, third, or fourth hand cars that a decade or more old. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as vehicle production creates quite a lot of pollution, and you don't want everybody trading in automobiles every year like they do with cell phones. And it also means cars are lasting a long time and are quite reliable. The flip side is that you're going to have a lot of old engine technology on the roads that may not be as efficient as the newer stuff.

about a week ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

CastrTroy Re:You're Doing It Wrong (566 comments)

The problem is that Widescreen monitors aren't quite wide enough. So you can't fit 2 browser windows side by side without having some kind of horizontal scrolling. Sure, ideally sites would adjust, but there's a lot of websites out there that make you scroll horizontally on anything less than 1024 pixels wide.

The other problem is that the window managers don't handle high resolution wide screen monitors well enough. Ideally you could get a large 4k monitor and have the computer pretend it's 4 regular monitors and a windows would maximize to fill the virtual monitor, or have a full screen option for things that you would actually want to fill the whole screen, which would really only be needed when you are watching a movie or playing a game.

about a week ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

CastrTroy Re:Robots.txt (183 comments)

That must be wrong, or the lawmakers are incredibly stupid. How are the publishers even supposed to be aware of all the entities that are using their content? Sure they could check the usual suspects like Google News and get money from them, but what about the new and upcoming news aggregators. How is a publisher to know who is republishing their content (in whole or in part)?

If it really is that way, then can't Google News still operate in Spain but just only show content from publishers it knows to be not in Spain. I'm sure the Spanish publishers would love to only have American content featured on Google News Spanish Edition.

Also, how does this make it OK for Google News to reuse the content belonging to Spanish publishers when people go to some other version of Google News. Does the law not require them to collect money for content shared to other countries?

about a week ago
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Google News To Shut Down In Spain On December 16th

CastrTroy Re:They will either change their mind (183 comments)

Isn't that what a robots.txt file is for? Does Google somehow now obey robots.txt when spidering sites for news content? If you don't want Google to republish your content without compenstation, you should disallow their bot in your robots.txt file.

Also, I would like to know why this only applies to Google news. I'm pretty sure Google puts excerpts from the article in regular search results as well. Why are those excerpts not counted in this legislation while the ones on Google News are?

about a week ago
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$35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

CastrTroy Re:XBMC Finally? (140 comments)

The Raspberry Pi is kind of in a weird situation, and I can't understand why it really caught on. On one hand, it's overkill for little electronics projects where something like an Arduino would be much better suited. On the other hand, it's not quite powerful enough to act as a respectable desktop or media center. The disk I/O is very lacking because it doesn't support an interace with DMA. Various disk intensive applications like torrents will bring the thing to its knees. If the video doesn't happen to be in a codec that is supported in hardware, then there's no chance of it having the horsepower to decode it.

As far as media centers go, It makes way more sense to get a low power Intel board that you know will have enough power to do everything, and will be able to run just about any application and run Windows or Linux as you prefer.

about two weeks ago
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$35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

CastrTroy Re:Can it run Flash? (140 comments)

Might be cheaper in the short run, but in the long run, you have to keep on replacing them. Get a decent monitor, keyboard and mouse, and they will last for many years. Then you can replace the computer as it stops working, or as newer computers come along at really low prices.

about two weeks ago
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$35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

CastrTroy Can it run Flash? (140 comments)

Can this device run Flash in the browser? If it can, I'd be very likely to get one for each of my kids for doing their homework and general computing on. I'm not a big fan of flash, but it's necessary for some of the homework/game sites the school uses. Combine it with a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and something like this seems to be good enough to be a fully functional computer.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

CastrTroy Re:I'm sorry (415 comments)

I think the problem is with how much they charge for the upgrades. I'm not going to pay $100 for an OS upgrade on a computer that's only worth $200. I might as well just wait until I buy a new computer where the license comes with the computer and I only actually end up paying $30 for the license. The reason that you still see people running XP, is because people are still running computers they bought with XP, and people don't want to spend $100 to upgrade the OS. If it was only $30, you'd probably see a lot more people upgrade. I know I updated a couple computers to Windows 8 when they had their introductory offer of $39 for the upgrade.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

CastrTroy Re:I'm sorry (415 comments)

I can buy a gallon of milk (4L actually, but I'm Americanizing it) for $4.00. There's no reason that a coffee drink with a little bit of extra milk should cost $2.00 extra over the regular coffee. You can actually dump half the coffee out if you want, and fill up half the cup from the self serve cream/milk if you want. The real reason that it's $4.00 for the fancy coffee is that people are willing to pay it. If nobody bought coffee and milk at that price, they wouldn't sell the product, or they would have to sell it at a price people were willing to pay.

about two weeks ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

CastrTroy Re:Legal Opinion, Please? (698 comments)

Yeah, which is why I don't think the correct solution is to mount a lawsuit against people making a product that blocks ads, nor is it the right solution to mount a lawsuit against your own customers. I think it's kind of a bad situation that sites are in. Even if they only have good ads that don't take up a bunch of resources and screen real estate and aren't really that obtrusive, they still risk getting blocked because there are a lot of other advertisers that do have intrusive ads that most people don't want to see.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Shuts Down 'Flight Simulator' Game Stud

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

CastrTroy writes "Microsoft confirmed Friday that the software giant has shuttered ACES Studios, the developer of the Flight Simulator series of games, whose latest incarnation is Flight Simulator X. The simulation is considered Microsoft's oldest product, whose original version first shipped in 1982.

However, a Microsoft spokeswoman said that while the studio has been closed, the software company remains committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, without explaining how future products can be launched without a dedicated software development team backing them."
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India Threatens to Ban BlackBerry Devices

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CastrTroy (595695) writes "As yet another reminder of how much the communications industry business model is influenced by regulators and lawmakers, India's Department of Telecom has suggested it might forbid use of the Research in Motion BlackBerry device in India unless RIM hands over its encryption keys for possible use by India's security services, reports the Economic Times."
Link to Original Source
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Good games for babies and toddlers?

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CastrTroy writes "I have a 16 month old girl, and another baby one on the way soon. I've been looking for some good keyboard bashing games for her to play. She shows a lot of interest in the computer, since we spend lots of time on the computer. I've been able to find a lot of flash games, and I have some old windows 3.1/95 software which works quite well, but most of them have the problem that my daughter eventually finds a way to escape the game and start affecting the rest of the computer. Are there any games, that block out all keys so that she can just bash the keyboard, and we don't have to keep pulling her away from the keyboard every 30 seconds while we get her back into the game. The usual culprits are the windows key, alt+tab, Windows+L, alt+F4 and many of the other key combinations that will kick her out of the game. Something free would be nice, but we're planning on having 3 kids, so I'd be willing to pay for a game if there was any that actually provided what I was looking for. I'm not so worried about her messing up the computer, but the problem is more that once you leave the game, things get a lot less interesting, and hitting all the keys stops doing interesting stuff, and she tends to get frustrated when we keep pulling her away to get back in the game."
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Wii Has Outsold XBox 360

CastrTroy CastrTroy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CastrTroy writes "According to the stats at VGChartz.com the Wii has now outsold the XBox 360. It has also sold more than double that of the PS3 which was released at the same time. Current numbers as I'm writing this show 10.57 million for the Wii, 10.51 million for XBox 360, and 4.32 million for the PS3. The Wii was only released 9 months ago, and the XBox 360 had a full year as the only new console on the market, yet it seems as though the Wii will win the popular opinion poll this generation. Good graphics or not, hardcore games or not, people are buying this thing in droves."
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