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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Chrontius Re:I Agree (524 comments)

I will be expected to try to help my grandfather with his computer over RDP. His "broadband" gives approximately 1 heavily-compressed frame per second or second and a half.

While I might be okay using VIM under such conditions I am expected to give instruction on the latest GUI-driven office suites.

Welcome to the new normal.

about a week ago
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AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Chrontius Re:Not Enough (524 comments)

Try using Back to My Mac to RDP into an aging grandfather's computer and help them from home without making a day trip of it on 1Mbps up.

Hope you know how to use a mouse on a slide show.

about a week ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re:As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

I think that Apple has done much more for the security of their end users than Microsoft lately. There is evidence in Slashdot's headlines that they respond to concerns much more readily. When Greenpeace called them out, they admitted that while good, their environmental record could be better - so they made all the obvious improvements. They hold their contractors to account on safety concerns. While we might consider Foxconn pretty dismal, it stands head and shoulders and belly-button over the sweatshops that give China its reputation for cheap labor.

I don't love the company, but I must respect their drive for continuous improvement. And their customer service. And their hardware's reliability, as reported by Consumer Reports - literally half as many malfunctions as the second-best brand, and many of the other brands are closer to tenfold more prone to malfunction.

Also, my buddy the IT manager totally just bought a loaded Macbook Pro as a Windows machine after concluding it was better than any other PC laptop on the market with a high-resolution screen, and cheaper than the second-best choice. (Razer Blade Pro, I believe?)

Apple makes good stuff. Macs aren't for everyone (the gaming tower market most especially), but they do what's needful and stay out of the way better than many other computers for a whole lot of users. Astroturf? Nah, just sick of maintaining and securing a Windows PC under conditions of heavy use, and appalled by the way Windows has a Venn diagram of poorly-documented control panels sprayed around the OS.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re: As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

Apple's profit margin is also their R&D budget. In my opinion, the coolest features tend to come out of Cupertino, not Mountain View.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re:As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

It's worth pointing out that the portion of the smartphone market that's growing most rapidly is the sub-$100 chunk, which could be less-than-charitably described as "crap". Granted, any phone is better than no phone, and any internet access is better than none, but my Asha 501 lacks GPS, even though it has a mapping app. Multitouch is capped at two fingers. There's no flash on the camera, and a minimal amount of the other kind of flash (storage) since they know you won't take too many photos. The headphone wiring is either proprietary, or OMAP. All my headphones are CTIA, and I can't find an OMAP compatible replacement cable for sale anywhere.

We just covered a $35 Firefox OS smartphone. You know what? It's cheaper than the dumbphones my mother and grandfather use. Comparing them to iPhones, the Galaxy S series, and the HTC One series is somewhat disingenuous.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

Chrontius Re:As much as I hate Apple (187 comments)

I normally don't bother responding to anons, but -

Because most small businesses and sole proprietorships will be owned and operated by people who have a gadget capable of acting as a cash register in their back pocket for unrelated reasons. The transaction-processing capability is just gravy, for them.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Chrontius A few for the list. (635 comments)

Fountain pens. Desktop computers. Zip drives are on their way out, but Incandescent flashlights.

Hell, I have a Pentium 4 and a couple pre-Intel macs I can't bring myself to get rid of.

Firewire. Alt-preset extreme. 8-bit consoles and actual physical cartridges.

And the daddy of them all? My original Apple Extended 2, with its ungodly USB adapter. Most days I use the USB based reproduction, but Sometimes the temptation overcomes me.

about three weeks ago
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$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

Chrontius Re:Bad Planning (194 comments)

I'd go out on a limb - pardon the pun - and suggest that R&D can be something that the private sector "can't do or does poorly." When was the last time we had a new class of antibiotics put on the market?

about three weeks ago
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Google Expands Safe Browsing To Block Unwanted Downloads

Chrontius Razer Comms (106 comments)

Google's blocking me from downloading Razer's in-game VoIP software.

Trivially worked around, but concerning.

about a month ago
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Is the App Store Broken?

Chrontius Re:A 'No-Clones' Policy (258 comments)

I downloaded the clone of 2048, because it offered multiplayer and chromecast support.

Sometimes cloning is the only hope I (and other users) have of getting a critical but niche feature implemented if the original developer isn't interested in implementing it because it's too much effort, or clutters up their app.

about a month and a half ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Chrontius Re:Better Still? (701 comments)

You're right, it wasn't a Bushmaster; I was conflating the Stryker with a Bradley.

So that suggests it was a Browning, but I don't remember the telling of the story as perfectly as I'd like.

about 2 months ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Chrontius Re:Misquote in #1 (701 comments)

Well, the SRBs, once lit, will continue to burn until expended or sent a self-destruct command. At which point, they will continue to burn, at a significantly increased rate, until fuel is expended. Launch commit, with the Shuttle, comes with sending the ignition command to the SRBs, and you had better hope there is not a hang-fire or one of them fails to light.

That said, I've always wondered if you saw trouble coming several seconds away, if you couldn't flush the main engines with hydrogen (if there's oxygen in the lines during shutdown, SSMEs go kaBOOM!) and jettison the SRBs and the main tank as an assembly, then use the RCS jets to point the thermal tiles at the rocket plume.

It wasn't in the manual, but I'm sure someone at NASA discussed it over drinks after work at some point.

about 2 months ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Chrontius Better Still? (701 comments)

Related by a retired infantry soldier, during a Big Damn Gunships moment as a Stryker pulled a drift turn into the corner the soldiers were pinned in, and opened up with the Bushmaster: (read it in a thick Midwest accent for full effect)

"If y'all don't wanna die, GET IN!"

More awesome than the others because this one actually happened.

about 2 months ago
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Duo Sneak an Oculus Rift Onto Roller Coaster For a Wild Ride

Chrontius Re:And the point is ... (81 comments)

The point is a proof of concept for wilder rides still. Imagine "Dueling Dragons" with fully immersive VR, and maybe a few strategically placed propane burners near the track. I think you can begin imagine what that'd be like, and maybe even begin to comprehend just how much I'd like to ride it. (The ride is no longer operated as intended, and the incredibly complex process of tuning the synchronicity of the trains is wasted, since someone was killed by a flying flip-flop to the windpipe - this would preserve - and expand upon - the originally intended experience.)

about 4 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Chrontius Re:Power? (630 comments)

If we're going to give them all Aegis radars, they're going to need a lot of that juice for active sensors, the computers to run them, and the cooling to keep both from melting.

about 5 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Chrontius Re:IANA Physicist, So... (630 comments)

Shore bombardment is totally a thing.

This lets us do it from a safe range, or with surgical precision --- pick one.

about 5 months ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Chrontius Re:Ammo in a different form (630 comments)

Either a nuke, or a gas turbine; either coupled to a capacitor bank that's very close to inert when discharged.

about 5 months ago
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NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

Chrontius Re:that's why China will do it and we won't. (402 comments)

I would cheerfully ride the business end of a NERVA in a return trajectory around Luna. Others have spent longer in the Van Allen belts and beyond with no ill effects, and good radiation shielding is a simple matter of math.

I would not volunteer for an explicit suicide mission to well, up.

There is a difference between pioneers and suicide bombers. Neither has a great life expectancy, but it's worth considering the relative merits of the two professions.

about 5 months ago
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NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

Chrontius Re:Ethical is irrelevant. (402 comments)

Old men who won't die of cancer, but will die with cancer. Actuaries would probably suggest that you haven't really made their situation significantly worse.

about 5 months ago

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