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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

Gadget27 Re:Voliunteer workers for the IRS? (246 comments)

You are absolutely correct. I don't see much difference, fundamentally, between whats happening here and if protesters showed up at my house after they found out I took a mortgage interest deduction, put a portion of my income into a tax deferred account, and leased a car through my business in order to lower my taxable income.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

Gadget27 My HTC One experience... (259 comments)

I recently traveled to France, England, and Ireland. I have a Sprint HTC One which Sprint unlocked for me in order to use a foreign SIM card while on my trip.

You will not need 4G, so do not concern yourself with that. I quickly discovered that their 3G speeds throughout the region easily and quite regularly surpassed 4G speeds I have measured here in the US on several providers.

My memory may be off on this a bit but I could swear, while running a speed test, that I was pulling down 20Mb/sec. I've yet to get that result on Sprint's 4G network. I recognize that Sprint is not the standard by which all others should be compared, but still... I was impressed and surprised.

about 4 months ago

Why Are We Made of Matter?

Gadget27 A question for someone smarter than me... (393 comments)

If we're sure everything started as 50% matter and 50% anti-matter, and now we are nearly a pure matter universe, my uneducated guess would be that there is something in the nature of matter-antimatter collision that, in addition to creating energy, would also leave behind a small amount of residual matter. That could explain how over these billions of years, we are left with a mostly matter universe. If this has been proven impossible, please someone yell at me and tell me otherwise. I recall reading that they often generate antimatter in particle accelerators... have they ever done specific research on the results of matter-antimatter collisions?

about 5 months ago

Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

Gadget27 Re: Brazil (455 comments)

I recently returned from the UK, with nothing but my mere magnetic strip AMEX card. I had no problem using it at hotels, restaurants, theaters. Perhaps they are a bit more accepting of the old school card within city centers.

about 6 months ago

South Park Game Censored On Consoles Outside North America

Gadget27 Get over it already.. (221 comments)

Whats the point point in censoring something that clearly labelled as 18+?

Hopefully the South Park guys will replace those scenes with obvious 'censored' graphics and text that lampoon the government/entity that caused said scenes to be removed from the game. They are good for doing things like that.

about 7 months ago

'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Gadget27 Re:Boy Howdy! (606 comments)

I agree with you on the public transit experience, specifically with the nature of people they tend to employ. It seems as if these jobs are given away to people as some last ditch effort to try to keep them out of the legal system and/or our jails.

Imagine my shock the first day I arrived in London and had to interact with one of the service men behind the glass in one of the tube stations. He was helpful, well spoken, detailed, and treated me as well a maitre d' of a 5 star restaurant would. The difference in competency was stupefying. This may be just an isolated incident, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

about 7 months ago

Massive Storm Buries US East Coast In Snow and Ice

Gadget27 Re:meh (290 comments)

I'm in Connecticut. I don't see what all the fuss is about. Ya, I've had to take out the snow blower a few more times this year than last year, but nothing happening here could be consider atypical. I understand the news it makes down south, as it has been lately in the Atlanta area, but this shouldn't be big news for New England. Up here, I think its just an opportunity for the local news broadcasters to drive up their rating, and for our governor to get some face time in front of the TV cameras to assure us that he's in charge of the situation.

about 7 months ago

Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

Gadget27 Re:Meh... (387 comments)

Cutting out the middle man is not a crime, its an achievement.

What would be the problem if Ford or Honda sold directly to the consumer? Are you suggesting that it's anti-competitive to set the price of your own product? In a scenario without dealerships, there would still be competition... not between dealerships, but between manufactures instead. If you could only buy a Ford from Ford, and the only cars on the market were Ford, then there could be a problem, but there is no shortage of auto manufactures to keep the market competitive.

about 7 months ago

With HTTPS Everywhere, Is Firefox Now the Most Secure Mobile Browser?

Gadget27 Re:Idiot (279 comments)


about 8 months ago

IE Drops To Single-Digit Market Share

Gadget27 Too little too late for IE. (390 comments)

For all the things that it couldn't do (or neglected to do) properly, Internet Explorer has deserved all the negative criticisms it has amassed over its lifespan. The software was slow to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and in some cases it seemed as if it was stubbornly resistant to such adaptation. With that said, recent versions of IE are good browsers, much improved, just not enough to give people a reason to switch back. The brand had taken such a beating that using IE evokes an immediate negative response for most of us. All hands have abandoned that ship, and we've all grown comfortable with our Chrome/Firefox/etc. browsers that swooped in to save us.

about 8 months ago

Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Gadget27 Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (338 comments)

Plenty of people out there are already using Google Search, Chrome, GMail, Hangouts, Google+, YouTube, Google DNS, Android and more. I can't imagine what additional information you'd risk exposing by using their Internet service as well. I suspect maybe they would be collecting data regarding your TV viewing habits as a result of this. After some thought, I think that I would welcome that collection of data if it were put to use. I have a hard time believing the accuracy of Nielsen ratings based on their results, or has taste in this country declined that precipitously? At the end of the day, I think its in Google's own interest that more people have fast as possible internet. The more bandwidth available, the more its users consume its products. In this case, its a win-win scenario.

about 8 months ago

Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Gadget27 Re:Bad call (611 comments)

And no one has shown one shred of evidence that Star Wars did not actually happen a long time ago in a galaxy far away.

about 9 months ago

I'd rather pay for my space latte with ...

Gadget27 Re:Buckazoids (265 comments)

Can't play Astro Chicken without them.

about 9 months ago

What Would It Cost To Build a Windows Version of the Pricey New Mac Pro?

Gadget27 Another way to look at it... (804 comments)

Ok, building a comparable PC will cost nearly the same as what you'd pay for one of these Mac Pro's, give or take a few dollars since you cannot make an exact clone of this thing. The real question, in my opinion, is one more based on cost per performance.

When building out a PC, if you specifically set out to have top of the line, best at the time components you will pay a premium for that. Often, you can get 'the next best' component for a substantially lower price, which would only be a minor decrease in performance. From a performance per dollar perspective, getting the top tier stuff is wasteful.

I suspect that one could build a machine that generally performs 80%-90% in comparison, but cost half of the base model. It would've been nice had Apple offered such an option, but I can see why they wouldn't want to dilute their brand by doing so.

about 9 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

Gadget27 Re:Simple: just turn off the wireless (161 comments)

When I first thought of the idea of the printable QR code, I was actually thinking along the lines you are... as an insert to a larger landing zone. I do think you idea is better, having the address information hard coded on the landing zone and having more of an authentication code printout being added per delivery.

Regarding multiple deliveries on a day, or not knowing what day something will deliver, I don't know if such things will be much of an issue when I think of typical uses cases for such a service. I am going to assume that 30 minute deliver will come at a premium price. Perhaps they will end up offering a subscription service like they do with the current Prime accounts. In either case, I imagine that opting to have something delivered that fast would likely mean, or perhaps require, that you are there to actually receive shipment once the drone arrives. I would think if you wanted something that fast, you would already be there in order to make use of said package that fast, otherwise why not just opt for standard 1 or 2 day delivery? As far as knowing what shipment is what, I'd would think its a safe bet to make that drone deliveries would have very accurate, high resolution tracking, perhaps similar to how one can track the location and status of any commercial airliner that you know the flight number of. I don't think there would be a question what is being delivered when. Why not even use its on board camera(s) to stream a private live video of the flight as it approaches your house, assuming there is adequate mobile coverage between point A to point B. That would be fun, at least the first couple times you see it.

As for the bird shit problem, I admit you got me stuck on that one. I suppose there would have to be some sort of backup authentication mechanism in place to handle such incidents. Maybe if primary authentication cannot be made, a photo of your LZ and/or current GPS coordinates on a map are sent to your mobile device app/email for you to approve. It may have to even make an automated call so it gets your immediate attention... I dont know, that is a tough problem to crack.

about 9 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

Gadget27 Re:Simple: just turn off the wireless (161 comments)

That's an excellent point, regarding hijacking other people's QR code addressed landing zones. It would be easy to imagine that such an action would be considered theft, or at least can be successfully argued as being so. Putting out a duplicate landing zone with a code that is supposed to be uniquely identifiable is a sort of misrepresentation and fraud I would imagine. It seems it would be the same as if you pried the numbers off your neighbors house and applied them to your own in order to confuse and trick the local UPS delivery man. Doing so also implies the intent to steal. At least, that all seems like common sense to me, but IANAL either. One way I can see to combat this is to have unique QR codes for each delivery that you print out at the time of order... it would be more difficult, though not impossible, to hijack shipments this way. It does create an extra burden on the recipient, as well as on the guys who write the software for the drones, as Im sure reading a code from a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper poses a bit more of a challenge versus something much larger printed on nearly all the surface of a landing zone.

about 9 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

Gadget27 Re:Simple: just turn off the wireless (161 comments)

Right, I was thinking the same thing when trying to help explain how this might work to my wife. I suspect that there would be a large landing zone 'card' of some sort, something that can be stored, unfolded and put out on your property. It would probably be provided for free. I'm imagining a black background with Amazon logo, and a large QR code that the drone can use to identify the landing zone. The drone would know how to fly to the general coords of the recipient's shipping address, at which point it would then locate the proper landing zone for delivery.

about 10 months ago

US Government Shutdown Ends

Gadget27 Re:Thank goodness (999 comments)

I don't think it's fair to equate the US's lower life expectancy to the quality of healthcare provided here. There are other factors involved, many which actively make the job of health care providers more difficult. Essentially it comes down to lifestyle. Many of us have very poor diets here, as there is no shortage of unhealthy options to choose from... often these options are the cheapest and most convenient as well. Unless you live in or around a major city center, you're likely getting in a car to do almost any task required outside of your house, so you're not getting around and walking much either. Having regular trips to various spots Europe over the last 10 years, those are two of the main things that I've learned that stand out for me... its unbelievable how better I eat and how much more exercise I get just doing day to day routine type stuff when in an environment that allows for it. Its seems, without any direct intention, I live a healthier life there than I do when I'm back home in the US. I can help but think that such factors significantly affect the life expectancy rate of a populous.

about a year ago

NC School District Recalls Its Amplify Tablets After 10% Break In Under a Month

Gadget27 Re:Why oh why? (177 comments)

Agree on every point you make, except that I lack your optimism about any savings to be realized by switching to a tablet-only model. The absurd costs of books they would no longer be subject to will likely be offset by the absurd cost of licensing the software/e-book versions of the texts they are replacing.

about a year ago


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