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Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble

Elbowgeek Re:Fever? (692 comments)

Just replying to say Yes! I agree with you. In fact, the tablet, with it's current capabilities, is the sort of thing that you don't *think* you'll have a use for until you use one. Then you find all sorts of uses, as I have. Quickly checking multiple email accounts whilst lounging on the sofa watching telly (vastly more convenient than opening a netbook or laptop, or using the TV monitor), reading many news web pages can actually be more pleasant because you can sit off on the sofa instead of upright at a computer desk or balancing a laptop on your belly, the many apps for doing business and entertaining ones-self.

Heck, I even found an app which recreates the TEAC Tascam 244 multitrack cassette recorder I had when I was a teeny-bopper, for me the most awesome thing ever. It kills me that the app cost about $5 whereas the original was about $1,200!

about 3 years ago

Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

Elbowgeek According to TFA: (692 comments)

They want: "no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons".

I'm sure they could simply buy Somalia for a couple million and have all that and more!

more than 3 years ago

Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

Elbowgeek Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (692 comments)

Indeed, it's right up there with communism as a utopian answer to all our problems. Unfortunately we humans are animals, and as such will succumb to the same foibles and power structuring as all human tribal groupings, whether it's on a continent or a lifeboat.

more than 3 years ago

Patent Applications Hint Apple Wants To Eliminate Printer Drivers

Elbowgeek Re:postscript (323 comments)

And... ANSI? ASCII? Used to be that one could send an ASCII string to any printer; it was the best way to test a printer.

more than 3 years ago

Saudi Arabia Constructing World's Tallest Building

Elbowgeek Re:Short-Sighted (225 comments)

Well as one of those hyper-rich myself, I can't wait to buy a whole floor of the place so I can enjoy the many benefits of the Kingdom:

  - Amazing views. Of sand. Lots and lots of sand. Then again, at the height my floor will be I will probably only see the curvature of the earth, but still...
  - And that's about it...

Seriously, what is it with these insane projects? They seem to think that if they build outrageous, futuristic super-luxury developments all of the world's super-rich will suddenly flock to them. Maybe they should phone Dubai and ask how their palm thingy is doing, or that world islands bit of silliness is playing out.

more than 3 years ago

Saudi Arabia Constructing World's Tallest Building

Elbowgeek Re:observatory (225 comments)

I would anticipate that there will be a certain number of suites and apartments bought, but they will not be occupied as they will have been purchased as investment properties - pure speculation. However the fact that the place appears unoccupied will deter further investment and thus it will grind to a halt. Either way, I will be *very* surprised if it meets the expectations of it's developers.

One need only look to Dubai to see a business case for *not* building it. But I guess the Saudis have the money, so I say go for it; as I'm into urban exploration I encourage this as future UE enthusiasts will have the ultimate explore.

more than 3 years ago

Gates: Not Much To Show For $5B Spent On Education

Elbowgeek Re:Goes to prove the point . . . (496 comments)

What the education system needs, that all the money in the world can't buy, is just good teachers who are good communicators that are enthusiastic about their subjects. Just that enthusiasm alone will rub off on students and inspire them to be curious about the subjects being taught. As an extremely rich dude Gates is used to just throwing money around to get things done; trust me, I know the type. But you can save a ton of money by simply picking the right educator for the job. Unfortunately the current education system scares away or outright sacks many good teachers for stupid reasons, so really reform of the bureaucracy is desperately needed.

more than 3 years ago

Activision Trying To 'Reinvent' Guitar Hero

Elbowgeek Re:DJ Hero (144 comments)

There is actually software for doing your own mixing. It's quite sophisticated and a lot of fun to play with, but a bit more complicated that one would probably want for casual playing around. It can also interface with external, professional controllers which work extremely well.

That said, Guitar Hero was the same: one could just go out and buy a guitar and make one's own music. But hey...

more than 3 years ago

RadioShack Trying To Return To Its DIY Roots

Elbowgeek Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (413 comments)

RS was an interesting place for audio back in the 70s. What was fun about them was that they'd source audio components seemingly without considering the quality, but for the price point they wanted to reach. So the quality in a particular receiver, say, might be fantastic or just crap. But there were some real corkers: I found a Sherwood-made receiver with MOSFET output stage, one of the very first with digital tuning, with amazing, warm 60 *real* watts of power that they sold in '79. And there are various speaker systems that are still looked for by the vintage audio crowd, to just name a few examples.

As for components, in addition to restocking the components themselves they need to hire staff who are enthusiastic about DIY as well, so when you go to ask if they have a particular type of relay in stock you don't get the deer-in-the-headlights, thousand yard stare.

more than 3 years ago

Steve Ballmer's Head On the Block?

Elbowgeek Re:Finally... (410 comments)

The problem with Ballmer is that he's a strictly corporate type, with no real vision of his own. All of his decisions are informed by corporate thinking, which means he looks at already established and emerging markets and reacts to them. Unfortunately, by the time MS has created a product in reaction to the market the market is already dominated by someone else and/or the public rejects the MS product due to the perception of MS being uncool.

MS has had very little forward-thinking tech make it to the mainstream in the past 20 years considering the size and and intellectual resources at its disposal, and I believe this is what Einhorn is addressing. What MS needs is a leader who can leverage the best and brightest in the company and allow the best ideas (and there's a lot of great ideas floating around in their labs) to see daylight and be marketed properly.

more than 3 years ago

The Cost of US Security

Elbowgeek Re:as said before here many times (456 comments)

"after all, an Orwellian state might break out the nukes in response to a terror attack"

This is why others in al Queda were objecting so strongly to Osama's pursuit of large-scale attacks on the US. They realized that the more extreme their attacks the greater potential blowback.

Sadly though it does seem that the goal of bankrupting the US is a very real one. They are counting on the fact that eventually the US will simply not be able to afford to wage war against them, and there will be lessened political and public will to lead incursions into other lawless regions of the world in pursuit of al Queda.

more than 3 years ago

The Internet's New Alternate Reality

Elbowgeek I read about why people enjoy Conspiracies (869 comments)

They like to think that they are a bit smarter than the next guy for knowing something he doesn't. And often these theories are far more intriguing than reality; thus it becomes a perverse entertainment for most.

The thought that there is one world order manipulating things behind the scenes also helps makes sense of an often confusing world where the apparent chaos can make one feel nervous. In that way it is like religion.

more than 3 years ago

IPhone 4 Survives 1,000 Foot Fall From Plane

Elbowgeek Mine flew off of a moving car (222 comments)

I had left it on top of the car and forgot. It flew off into the road at some point and was picked up by a thankfully very honest person. Again, not a scratch. I believe this was one positive result of the monolithic design of the iPhone, in that it remained in on piece as it impacted. Another phone with a removable battery would have probably been in pieces scattered all over creation.


more than 3 years ago

Disarm Internet Trolls, Gently

Elbowgeek Re:Depends (417 comments)

Indeed I've "disarmed" a few trolls using the techniques mentioned in the article, and I've sometimes found that there are quite interesting people behind the troll mask. As you say, if one approaches another human being as an adult, you're more likely to get an adult response.

That said, I've had great fun firing back with well worded mega-sarcasm, crafted to be so over-the-top and overwhelming in length that it acts as a nuclear option. It's also lots of fun to write *grin*.


more than 3 years ago

Hands On With Apple IPad 2

Elbowgeek Regarding the mouse issue (432 comments)

I had a jailbroken iPhone with a mouse app, and believe it or not it was quite handy. To set up a keyboard *and* mouse, and to be able to click on icons and screen areas when necessary was quite handy as it gave a certain amount more precision than my meaty sausages. There are many programs where the touchy-feely thing is extremely good, but when one needs to be precise, such as selecting text etc., the mouse is a real help.

more than 3 years ago

Ubuntu: Where Did the Love Go?

Elbowgeek Re:what? (778 comments)

I only use distros you've never heard of.
                                                                                          - Hipster Geek

more than 3 years ago

Are Tablets Just Too Expensive?

Elbowgeek Re:That's what I've observed at work (549 comments)

I find that it really does have business uses. In our IT department we take one with us as we do our rounds and have instant access to our personal email, web and internal system documentation and knowledgebases, and even our workstations' desktops if necessary. We can also check on the service desk queue to see if there are any service calls in our current location if we're out and about to more efficiently deal with issues.

On the domestic front there's no end to the possibilities. I have apps to control my home theatre system, stream media to the iPad whilst relaxing in bed or on the couch, read books with interactive content, games of course, and... you name it. Also, some apps are actually more fun and cool on the iPad than their desktop versions, Google Earth being a good example. Using one's fingers to manipulate the planet is as close to playing god as most people are going to get.

All of this in a package which is far more convenient, lightweight, and with greater battery life than a typical laptop; not to mention the fact that most of the apps are vastly cheaper than desktop versions, and sometimes free.

Oh, and lest we forget, these are very rugged devices. I've tested mine in an environment that's tougher than that used for stressing military hardware: kids. And not a scratch. Give a kid a netbook and I guarantee the hinges will be utterly destroyed in minutes.

more than 3 years ago

Anonymous Goes After

Elbowgeek Re:Hate meets hate? (744 comments)

One thing I do have an issue with is that Anonymous actually uses the word 'fag' in a derogatory context whilst replying to WBC's challenge to them. It's a bit bizarre really...

more than 3 years ago

New Hampshire Bill Could Lead To Adoption of Approval Voting

Elbowgeek Re:Not necessarily a good thing (416 comments)

Hmm, you raise a good point I didn't consider. Whilst, under this system, a candidate preferred by the ordinary people may get into power, he or she may not have the support of the legislators, or themselves be a good or strong enough personality to rally the legislators to enact legislation which they were put in place to do.

more than 3 years ago



Elbowgeek Elbowgeek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Elbowgeek writes "According to this article the Gates Foundation, the charity set up by Bill and Melinda Gates to do charitable deeds, is, bizarrely, making investments in the very companies causing many of the social ills it aims to cure. From TFA:

"At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France — the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.""

Elbowgeek Elbowgeek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Elbowgeek writes "I was given a very nice G5 iMac with a 20-inch display. However it has a problem in which the system powers off suddenly when OS X is loaded — even if one just boots from an OS X DVD or CD. I did however get the system to run without a problem when I loaded Ubuntu Linux which is great, except that support for this platform is in imminent danger of ending soon. This lack of support means that I have essentially a brick with a beautiful screen.

I'd like to do something useful with this hardware, and one thought was that I could hack the display to plug into an external source, such as a PC video card. I've not seen any mention of such a hack in my searches on the web, but I'm sure it can be done. If anyone has any ideas on this, or has ways in which this great G5 hardware can be fully exploited before it is shamefully forgotten in favour of the Intel platform, I'd love to hear from this community.

Thanks, all."



Sumthin' 'Bout ElbowGeek...

Elbowgeek Elbowgeek writes  |  more than 8 years ago Just a bit about me for anyone who's interested, and to give you all an idea of where my brain is at when I post. My real name is Dennis (I actually detest the culture of hiding behind screen names, but that's another column for another day), and I'm a computer consultant by trade. I'm actually not a terribly knowledgable computer geek; I have very little understanding of the internal workings of the various server technologies, and have a heck of a time struggling to come to grips with networking protocols. But I do understand the basic concepts behind a lot of it, enough to BS my way through most situations *grin*. That said, I do like to comment on computer industry news, such as the the Windows Vista launch, the rise of Linux, etc. Hmm, my lack of deep tech knowledge and unquenchable urge to spout my own ingnorant views... hell, I'm the second coming of John Dvorak! (I hope he's not reading this: I actually have a lot of respect for him and find him a very good public speaker). Otherwise I'm a musician and have played professionally for over twelve years, have started teaching at a local music school, which frankly suits me far better than all this computer stuff. Lastly, I also tend to believe that not all technological steps forward are necessarily without their proverbial two steps back. For instance audio recording reached it's peak of quality around the late 1950's; the technology which came after that made the recording process more efficient and convenient for the engineer, but the sound quality has never been bettered. I'll drivel on about that another day, but I want to put to bed my first journal entry. Thanks to anyone who reads this. Cheers

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