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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

Remus Shepherd Same problem; decided to stay unlimited. (209 comments)

I'm not the original anonymous questioner, but I'm in the same boat. I live in a rural area where Verizon has the only coverage, and I've been on an unlimited plan for years. My phone is a Galaxy S (that's S #1) that's getting a bit old; it chokes on a lot of modern websites and apps. I never go above 2 GB/month. I don't even think it's possible, as my old phone is 3G and barely handles Youtube.

I would have switched plans before, but Verizon didn't give me any incentive other than a new phone. My monthly rate would have stayed the same (or even went up, depending on the store personnel I had) while I got less bandwidth. That's unacceptable. If they cut my monthly rate by $20 then I'd leap at the new contract. Any phone I get from them under a new contract would also be stocked with their worthless software; I'd have to root it to clean it out. It's worth it to me to pay full price for a new phone just to avoid the bloatware, let alone the loss of bandwidth that I may or may not use.

TLDR: A new contract means they're going to restrict my bandwidth, make me pay the same amount, and pile bloat on top of any phone I get. I think it's still worth it to me to buy a new phone at full price and keep the unlimited plan.

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

Remus Shepherd Re:Another take on the matter... (359 comments)

Nope. From the article, the looters were chanting that they believed Ebola was a scam. They do not believe it exists. So they're not going to bother trying to sterilize the objects stolen or 'purge' the infected. They're going to treat them as if they're going to get better. But they won't, and now the entire neighborhood is vulnerable to the disease.

about 2 months ago
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A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes

Remus Shepherd Re:What's the additional challenge here? (56 comments)

I think they're building these robots to solve the problem of how to make these robots. A pixel in a game of Life is easy to maintain -- it has an x,y coordinate and immediately knows all its neighbor's positions. A robot has to identify all its neighbors and then localize itself using infrared and communication time lags. That's a challenge. The only way to meet that challenge is to build the robots and figure out how to make them work.

about 2 months ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Remus Shepherd Re:It is the fault of.. (503 comments)

You mis-spelled 'Tribalism'. Your tribe might be your nation, your religion, your skin color or your political party.

Unfortunately tribalism was bred into us back when we were apes. Experiencing evil is part of being human.

about 3 months ago
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Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Remus Shepherd Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

You're saying that Thor is a transitive property. I'm guessing that like XOR, it's an abbreviation of 'Therefore-Or', and is some kind of operator akin to the fuzzy logic Union operator.

If that's true, then we can use De Morgans' law to state that:

NOT(a THOR b) = NOT(a) THOR NOT(b)

This is true of a class of operators M, if any M(j) in the set obeys the commutative relationship:

a M(j) b = b M(j) a

and the distributive relationship:

a (M(j))^x b = (a M(j) b)^x

But if that's true, then we can write:

(M(j))^x = THOR^x

Or in other words, any operator that holds M(j) will possess the power of THOR.

Thanks! You just cleared up forty years of Marvel comic plots for me!

about 3 months ago
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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

Remus Shepherd Re: Ridiculously stupid (501 comments)

Speaking as a physicist myself, I'm not sure he knows what he's doing. Physicists tend to oversimplify things.

Picture a massless, spherical cow.

Now picture that massless, spherical cow bouncing like a pinball around a giant tornado hemmed in by a thousand-foot wall...

about 4 months ago
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Study: Male Facial Development Evolved To Take Punches

Remus Shepherd Re:Sexual selection by the opposite sex. (190 comments)

Not faces that are easy to punch. Faces that can take a punch. This isn't an attempt at humor, I'm serious. A strong jaw, chiseled features, and a cleft (therefore padded) chin -- these are modifications that help a face receive punching with minimal injury. They have also become preferred characteristics in sexual selection.

about 4 months ago
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Study: Male Facial Development Evolved To Take Punches

Remus Shepherd Re:Nonsense (190 comments)

Perhaps God created our faces so that we could withstand a punch. Jesus did say to turn the other cheek. It could be that He knew we could take it.

about 4 months ago
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Study: Male Facial Development Evolved To Take Punches

Remus Shepherd Re:Sexual selection by the opposite sex. (190 comments)

Of course sexual selection matters. Women select for the men whose faces can best withstand punching.

about 4 months ago
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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Remus Shepherd Re:Well... (493 comments)

Mutant registration acts are fictional also. I think you have to look at this as if we're living in a comic book world. If mutants are real, then are mutant registration acts legal and ethical? Can you then compare them to vaccination registration acts? I don't have an answer to any of these questions. I think it's a very thorny debate.

about 5 months ago
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Cisco Complains To Obama About NSA Adding Spyware To Routers

Remus Shepherd Re:No. And there is a precedent. (297 comments)

Don't pin your hopes on teaching people what your religion believes. *Every* religion believes in wacky, nonsensical things that can be twisted around and laughed at.

Teach people that your religion *acts well*. That should be your central difference with Scientology -- the Scientologists break the law to spy on and destroy their enemies, while legitimate religions treat people fairly. Belief does not matter at all. The way a religion acts is what makes them honorable or criminal.

about 5 months ago
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EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

Remus Shepherd Re: damn EA.. i hate you (329 comments)

The problem is that in order to do that the original companies need to sell the Intellectual Property to the new owners. That won't happen cheap. Even the City of Heroes IP, which was shut down by NCSoft because it was no longer worth running the servers, could not be sold for less than ten million dollars. IP is expensive. The companies are all speculating that they might be able to make a new game with the same IP someday. With that kind of IP hoarding mentality, they will never let another company run servers for a defunct game that might someday compete with them for the same IP.

about 5 months ago
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Electromagnetic Noise Found To Affect Bird Navigation

Remus Shepherd Re:Magnetic particles (71 comments)

No reason to get snarky, especially when the original post is correct. There are magnetic materials in birds' eyes. However, they only register when exposed to a magnetic field under certain conditions, as a quantum phenomenon. It is an electron spin transfer that is delayed by the quantum Zeno effect to a timescale where the birds' retina can detect the difference.
It's not as simple as a compass that points them in the right direction. Birds use some seriously weird quantum tricks to see magnetic fields.

about 5 months ago
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Electromagnetic Noise Found To Affect Bird Navigation

Remus Shepherd Re:So they still find their way? (71 comments)

I think the bigger problem is that the avian electromagnetic sense is tied to their eyesight. So the electromagnetic noise isn't just causing them to fly in the wrong direction, it's interfering with their ability to see. This may cause them to run into buildings, wind turbines, and power lines more often than usual.

about 5 months ago
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Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood

Remus Shepherd Re:Isolate the Protiens (178 comments)

It might not be that the young mice have something the old mice don't. It might be that old blood has too much debris -- malformed platelets, histamines, hormones, viruses, and rubble from collapsed cell walls. That junk could be gunking up the metabolic works in the elderly. Then you're not looking for a protein factor, you're looking for a filter, which is much more difficult to develop.

about 5 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

Remus Shepherd Re:RPG Games (305 comments)

I spell it CDO, because it doesn't annoy me as much when it's in alphabetical order.

about 6 months ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Remus Shepherd Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

What you call 'spiral dynamics' sounds a lot like Machiavelli's theory of political history, which he laid out in his book The Prince.

Machiavelli postulated that Monarchy tends to devolve into an aristocratic and oligarchic Tyranny, Tyranny is supplanted via revolution by Democracy, Democracy eventually (and inexorably) falls into Anarchy, and Anarchy is solved when one person rises to lead the masses and forms a Monarchy.

History is cyclic. The question is whether we can break the cycle, and do we want to. As powerful as the security state has become, we're likely to break the cycle by spawning an eternal Tyranny instead of a sustainable Democracy.

about 6 months ago
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P vs. NP Problem Linked To the Quantum Nature of the Universe

Remus Shepherd Computable? Simulatable? (199 comments)

Hmn. This sounds as if they are trying to prove that the essential nature of quantum mechanics is not computable. I wonder, if they framed this research another way, if it could solve the question of whether or not the universe is a simulation. (I suspect not, it might just indicate that classical and quantum objects are simulated in different ways.)

about 7 months ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

Remus Shepherd Question: How to un-screw up a Windows Install? (353 comments)

Years ago I built a computer with all the right ingredients, an SSD, a good graphics card and CPU, enough fans to aerate a 747, etc. I made one major mistake. When prompted by the Windows 7 installer whether I wanted 32 or 64 bit operating system, I chose 32. I have a lot of legacy software (most importantly an old version of Photoshop) that I was worried would not work on a 64-bit OS.

That one decision has severely limited my computer. Most noticeably, it caps my RAM at 4 GB. The SSD drive has helped by providing swap space.

How can I undo this? All I can think of is to cleanse the drive and reinstall -- a hell of a hassle.

(Don't advise me to change to Linux, I have too much Windows software on this PC. I have a separate Linux machine.)

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Robots will outnumber humans by 2035

Remus Shepherd Remus Shepherd writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Remus Shepherd writes "From the Early Warning blog comes an interesting extrapolation — the global population of robots is rising exponentially, and will overtake the global human population in the 2030s. The article mentions some consequences of this, including an anti-robot backlash, the potential Singularity, and/or 'all hell breaking loose'."
Link to Original Source

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