top PC Game Prices — Valve Starts the Race To Zero
Price seems to be about the same. For me, the big differentiator is the level of DRM. I avoid Steam as much as possible because it's a pain to let my kid play a game that I'm finished with. GOG is always my first choice.
top Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires
Given that most XP users probably don't have a quality source for tech support, and most of these old XP machines are in a terrible state with untold numbers of programs installed and removed and installed again, I can't imagine a worse idea. Most of these older users will be perfectly happy to keep using XP until they have a real reason to use something else. Most likely because their old computer finally died or became horribly overrun with malware (which it probably already is, they just don't care).
top RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
I think they've lost their connection to the hobbyist market. Most guys I know start at SparkFun or other similar hobbyist site. RadioShack has a long way to go to catch up to where the hobbyist market is these days. And even at that, I don't know that you can make a viable retail business at it. As a cell phone kiosk, they're now having to compete with Best Buy, Target and WalMart. So what is the business case for RadioShack then?
Right now, they've got a brand name and a lot of small retail locations. I just don't know what they should be doing with it. Maybe just close down and liquidate. That may be the best way for them to return value to their shareholders. I hate to see anyone fail, but it may just be their time.
top Code.org Resurrects 'Flappy Bird' As Programming Lesson
I started doing some of the lessons. Like any good programmer, I set about trying to do things in a way that was not intended. I was most disappointed to see that my modifications didn't work in the sandbox. Instead I was just prodded to do things in the approved fashion. It's a wonder that anyone learns anything these days.
top Crowded US Airwaves Desperately In Search of Spectrum Breathing Room
Yeah, it would also double the cost of cell service. You'll just have to get used to getting most of your data needs from WiFi sources. I've got WiFi at home, work, most places I go to eat. That's the more small low power towers. They just aren't run by the cell companies. Actually, look for Comcast to become a major player in this space. They've been rolling out hardware to customers that functions as a WiFi hotspot for their other customers. It would be a small matter for them to adapt that for use on the major cell networks. Imagine Comcast picking up an extra $2/month for every cell phone in the US, and they don't need to deploy any extra infrastructure to do it, either.
top Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws
However, while it's perfectly fine to remove your Google Glass while driving, leaving your screaming kid at a gas station or duct taping their mouth shut is somewhat frowned upon. The safety of Google Glass while driving is unknown at this point. And, as other commenters have pointed out, it's better to legislate distracted driving in the abstract than to try and define every instance that could cause impairment.
top House Committee Approves Bill Banning In-Flight Phone Calls
Nope. Smoking is prohibited under the guise of aircraft safety, which does fall under federal regulation. And even if it didn't, at this point in time, no airline would allow it. The FAA has already cleared phones on safety grounds, so this law banning in flight calls (as opposed to in flight data communications) is probably on shaky ground. It may be mooted as I think most airlines will ban voice calls anyway.
top The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer
And it's even more embarrassing when I realize that I'm the idiot that wrote it.
top California Regulator Seeks To Shut Down 'Learn To Code' Bootcamps
I generally agree that regulation should be minimal in any educational environment, but how do you differentiate?
top What Killed the Great Beasts of North America?
There are wolves, bears, snakes, mountain lions, and alligators out there. There are plenty of things to eat you without introducing new problems. One more thing to consider is that these creatures don't respect boundaries on a map. If you introduce lions to the US, they'll probably find their way into Mexico and even further south.
top Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold
Electricity is a funny thing. Had a problem with a piece of electronics that we make. The CPU wouldn't boot up if it was colder than about 20F. It turns out that the CPU has an internal voltage regulator that relies on an external capacitor. My engineer used an electrolytic cap, and at around 20F, the series resistance of the cap exceeded the tolerances of the CPU's voltage regulator and it went into a perpetual brown-out reset. Now, if the chip was up and running, it was happy and kept running, even if it got cold. So it's fixed now, but for some older hardware in the field with the problem, we don't send firmware updates between December and March. That's just one of many bits of stupid we've encountered over the years. In short, every piece of electronics you develop needs to be tested in the most absurd conditions you can find. And even that won't be enough. Never underestimate the creative stupidity of your customers.
top Building an Open Source Nest
I thought the hard part was convincing morons to pay $249 for a thermostat when you can buy something functionally equivalent at the hardware store for a tenth of the price.
about a month and a half ago
top FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court
They're judges. It's not their job to make policy. If they're all united against reform, then they all need to be removed from the court. Then again, the FISA court should be disbanded anyway. I can hardly think of anything more un-American than secret courts.
top Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve
It's something that wouldn't have passed in the first place if it had been a stand alone bill. So while the problem may also be the cure, the damage may already be done. There may now be enough of a disruption to supply that incandescents are dead anyway.
Either way, I've got my stockpile and most of my house is converted to LEDs which I'm very happy with. CFLs still suck and should be banned.
top Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.
I rather like Windows 8. The only thing I really want is to integrate Metro apps with the desktop and run them inside of a regular window, which will allegedly be added to Windows 9.
Also, when you go to 'All Programs' on the new start menu, it's a horrible mess. Sort it alphabetically and let each group start a new column. Otherwise, I'm very happy with 8.1.
top Experiment Shows Caffeine Boosts Long Term Memory
Sleep? Nah. But caffeine is also one of the leading causes of diarrhea. So I'm off the stuff. Too bad, a cup of coffee or tea was a nice way to start the day.
top FDA Seeks Tougher Rules For Antibacterial Soaps
It is a given that soap kills bacteria.
My understanding is that soap does not kill bacteria, but rather removes them from the skin so they can rinse down the drain. A quick search seems to confirm this, but I haven't found a quality citation.
top NuScale Power Awarded $226 Million To Deploy Small Nuclear Reactor Design
The biggest problem with wind is that it doesn't adjust to demand. Even in reliably windy areas, you sometimes get a calm day. At least with solar, you get peak output during peak energy demand (hot summer days, although the demand is shifted more to the late afternoon. There's a time lag as buildings and the air heat up. Peak production is 10am-4pm, peak demand Is noon-8pm). Ultimately, if you don't want to burn fossil fuels, nuclear is a very dependable strategy. Wind is fine if your alternative source can ramp up and down very quickly (natural gas). If you don't have that, nuke it.
top How long do your computer mice last?
The maker definitely matters.
I've been using the same mouse for the past 5 years, when I replaced the Logitech 3-button mouse that I purchased in 1994. So, that's 2 mice in 20 years. And that old mouse was doing just fine, but I needed something that was USB, and the switch to an optical mouse was a nice upgrade. However, I'm starting to think about going wireless on the mouse and keyboard. Not sure if that will work well with my KVM switch.
top Desktop Browser of Choice in 2013?
No, I use Internet Explorer because that's the number one browser among my customers. Chrome is #2 and FireFox is #3. Those are the 3 browsers that we do most of our testing against. We also divide things up around the office with different people expected to use different browsers as their default. We don't test on mobile browsers as much as we should. Maybe we need to give everyone in the office a tablet for x-mas this year.