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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Good Technology Conferences To Attend?

Rifter13 Re:Must be nice to have free money (131 comments)

Hmmm, I work for a non-profit, and I don't have the money for conferences. I'm currently doing some training (the first I have been OKed for, for years) and I get 1 month to cram in as much as I can.

Not all non-profits are money sinks. When I worked in the corporate world, we had trainers coming to us a few times a year.

about 4 months ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Rifter13 Re:~50% have no degree... (174 comments)

I've got a good friend that is a pretty spectacular programmer. He was almost released from one job, because he didn't have a degree. His co-workers and boss put up a big fight to keep him around. I've been passed over for a job, when another friend got it, with far less qualifications, because he had a degree.

A degree doesn't make you a good or bad worker. It gives you some sort of base line. It also opens some doors, and keeps others open. Those two reasons above are the primary reason I went back to school to get my degree.

about 5 months ago
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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

Rifter13 Re:Good (626 comments)

I think most are hired to go after "infractors" in traffic. I talked to one, once. I live in a decent sized city. They had 3 officers looking to thwart crime in the city. I see traffic cops regularly. I think the numbers of traffic cops would go down, with no better quality of law enforcement.

about 7 months ago
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Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

Rifter13 Re:Higher profits (351 comments)

I said salaries remained stagnant... so 30% increase vs 65% price increase = 35% less buying power. That was my point. We don't have the buying power we did 20 years ago. The recession is a small blip, and hasn't dropped wages 35%. No matter HOW you look at it, our income has gone down, vs what things cost. Games are very much luxury good. People Will A) not buy consoles and keep with the old hardware, and game mfg will have to deal with that. B) buy new consoles and buy used games (which console makers and game studios are trying to stop, or C) people will pirate. That is pretty much the long and short of it.

If game companies go down this route, I think it will ultimately hurt them more, than help them. They need to look at the long term health of the industry instead of short-term profit increases.

more than 2 years ago
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Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

Rifter13 Re:Higher profits (351 comments)

You are talking about PREMIER titles. There are a handful of those launched a year. I am talking about the 20 titles coming out this month, during the spring doldrums. There will always be those VERY top-shelf franchises. But, you are starting to really see some push-back on these titles that are released yearly, with very minimal updates. Studios are looking to maximize profits. Core gamers are caught on the fringes of main stream gaming, and few games cater to them. The main-stream gamers are good for big purchases on these big titles, but the smaller titles suffer. We won't see another Steel Battalion type game that requires a specialized controller, even though it totally sold out (not enough profit margin). We don't see nearly as many innovative games, outside of the indie market...

more than 2 years ago
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Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

Rifter13 Re:Higher profits (351 comments)

One of the MAJOR problems, though, is that inflation has gone up, while general salaries have remained stagnant. So, people don't make a LOT more than they did 10-20 years ago, but things cost more. It's getting to the point right now, that charging $60 for game is going to slow sales for many, MANY titles. I think the REAL gaming success story, over all, is Steam. They are very aggressive on pricing, and they just send you games, when you want them, day or night.

more than 2 years ago
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Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers

Rifter13 Re:Higher profits (351 comments)

Console games used to be $50. They bumped them to $60, and the secondary market took off, after that. They took the market past what it could handle. I do believe that this will hurt consoles more than anything. Most "kids" I know, buy used. That is a fairly large demographic to cut out.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

Rifter13 Spending is the answer??? (568 comments)

Lets start this out with a question. Has our education system gotten 3.5 times better since the 1960s? No, while you ponder that, have a look at this:

Here are the links I used to put this together:
#1) Near the bottom, this page ranks several nations on Reading/Math/Scientific literacy. I just took the 3 scores, added them up, and took the average to get my ranking. (http://www.siteselection.com/ssinsider/snapshot/sf011210.htm)

#2) How much do nations spend per student? Not all the nations listed in the first part are listed. There are a few notable exceptions, unfortunately. (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_sec_sch_stu-spending-per-secondary-school-student)

Putting this together, I came up with this list of countries, ranked on their Education:

1. Finland - ?
2. Korea - ?
3. Japan - $5,890.00
4. New Zealand - ?
5. Canada - ?
6. Australia - $5,830.00
7. Ireland - $3,934.00
8 United Kingdom - $5,230.00
9. Austria - $8,163.00
10. Sweden - $5,648.00
11. France - $6,605.00
12. Belgium - ?
13. United States - $7,764.00
14. Iceland - ?
15. Switzerland - $9,348.00
16. Norway - $7,343.00
17. Czech Republic - $3,182.00
18. Denmark - $7,200.00
19. Spain - $4,274.00
20. Italy - $6,458.00

It doesn't LOOK like spending lots of money is the key... once again, spending it wisely, seems to be the key for the best education.

So, back to my original question, has our education gotten better, or worse, since the 1960s? Have a look at this URL, that adjusts how much we spend per student, since the 60s. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

Does that make you think that we need to look at paying more for education helps? I am ALL for cutting admin costs, quit cutting teacher's salary, cut superintendent and district level offices. Usually, they are overly-filled with bureaucrats, and not in it for the kids. I DO think that teacher unions are a problem as well. Ultimately, it is the parents, and what WE allow. Who WE vote in...

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

Rifter13 Re:Poor people exist (568 comments)

Here's the thing. Your child does not generally EXCEL in school, without heavy involvement at home. I DO fill in the gaps, but I am divorced, and finding out things from Mom is inconsistent.

I would like to see more communication from the teacher. On the flip side, because my daughter is in a classroom with kids that don't have the advantages she does, she is "dragged" (see, I did read other posts) down to the other students level.

I will admit, the classroom has CRAPPY computers. I have volunteered to come in and work on them if needed, since IT is what I do for a living.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

Rifter13 Re:Poor people exist (568 comments)

I understand that. I see it at my daughter's school, unfortunately. What really sucks, though, is that my daughter's education is drug down because of that. Equality is all fine and dandy, until you realize that your own child doesn't get what she needs, because she excels... and I don't have the money to move her to private. :-(

more than 2 years ago
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The iPhone Is a Nightmare For Carriers

Rifter13 Re:Perspective (438 comments)

But, should that change airtime costs? My airtime costs, before data, are pretty damn high, still!

more than 2 years ago
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The iPhone Is a Nightmare For Carriers

Rifter13 Re:Perspective (438 comments)

I always think back to a conversation I had with my uncle YEARS ago. He was fairly high up in one of the cell carriers that Verizon bought. By his estimate, pricing on cell phones would be a flat $30, for unlimited service in 10 years. That conversation was close to 20 years ago. I think the carriers are making a LOT of money off of everyone, and keeping their prices inflated, not realistic.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors 'Cheating' On Board Certifications

Rifter13 Re:Rote learning is the tragedy we will always fac (238 comments)

#2 I have normally seen that applied to college professors. I haven't seen it applied as much to lower-level teachers.

#3 That is the key.

#5 Most conservatives I know, would STRONGLY disagree here. Maybe disagree with Evolution, but don't discount ALL science because of that. Especially the ones that are atheists. I would say the fundamentalist nut-jobs fall under your broad stroke, but not main-stream social conservatives.

# 6 You write what you know... With a very limited scope... well, you see what happens.

more than 2 years ago
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5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons Announced

Rifter13 Loosing THAC0 was the greatest innovation ever... (309 comments)

You know, I've played D&D from the red box on, and 3rd edition, is when I felt it really came into its own. I honestly really enjoy 4th ed, too, but in a very different way. I wish that WotC had kept development going on 3.5, or, had thrown in with Pathfinder and officially licensed their materials. I don't really see the NEED to stick with one iteration. Heck, books with 4/3.5 stats/rules are pretty nice as well. The rules give structure to the story. Good GMs and players can bend them as needed. I will admit, I am still sad that the saga system that was developed died. It was one of the most creative ways to tell a story I have seen. One of my favorite systems from "D&D".

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Rifter13 Re:Big cars suck (891 comments)

Well, you put 3 photographers and a passenger in... plus our equipment, and the back gets full. And my MAIN argument, was that I go back into the mountains where a hatchback CAN'T go. End of story. I had a shorter SUV, that I sunk in a river crossing. Trucks made it through just fine, mine was a little low, and too much of the engine went under water. Sorry that you don't live someplace with majestic beauty like I do.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Rifter13 Re:We've had an increase in gas prices... (891 comments)

And, let me guess, you live in an area that gets little to no snow, and does not have rugged mountains.

The problem I see with a lot of these types of articles, they are written by (and comments like this made by) people that have not experienced the west. The snow, the mountains, etc. Most people I know, have 4wd vehicles. That is because 2wd, even front wheel drive, are not good at handling really bad roads.

I've NEVER seen an SUV that had trouble getting over speed-bumps. If you are talking about vehicles cut down, you are not looking at a SUV. You are looking at a toy.

I can't afford 2 cars. Jumping gas prices would just hurt me. I don't think that FORCING higher gas prices via taxation is a good idea. As it has been shown. With our economy, jumping the gas prices also sends us into a recession.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Rifter13 Re:Big cars suck (891 comments)

*sigh* unfortunately... you are under-estimating my weight. But, that is not here, nor there. One of my hobbies is photography. I live in Idaho, and the mountains make for some great backdrops. Well, getting to some places can be dicey. I can also haul a LOT in my SUV. The gas mileage SUCKS... but the convenience is great. I have enough money to choose 1 car... the SUV wins out for my life.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Fuel Efficiency Advances Haven't Translated To Better Gas Mileage

Rifter13 We've had an increase in gas prices... (891 comments)

The increase in gas prices hasn't drastically changed what vehicles we buy. Many of those that really would rather buy more efficient vehicles can't afford them, and are stuck with older ones, so the economists would just be hurting the poor.

As consumers shouldn't we choose what vehicle economies we use? Where I live, SUVs are all over. But, it makes more sense. Adverse conditions favor SUVs. An economist, you would think, would say people buy what they want.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera Advice?

Rifter13 Re:DSLR (402 comments)

I was going to post this too. I think it is VERY interesting, and really has me looking at my future purchases.

more than 2 years ago
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Justifications For Creating an IT Department?

Rifter13 I work for a Station, we have seperate IT. (214 comments)

So, where I work, we are part of Engineering. I think it is kind of logical. But, my boss and I are specialized in our roll. The engineers work on the broadcast side, we work on the computer side. By being specialized, we can work faster and better. We have roughly 100 people in our organization, and my boss is full time, and I am 1/2 time. (The other half of my job is on web development).

So, my boss and I are responsible for:
Desktop machines
Intranet and Internet infrastructure
All serves not used in broadcasting
Avid computers
Streaming/encoding computers for online "broadcast".

My boss has some cross-training with the engineering side which makes things easier. I got hired on because I was an IT guy that had radio experience from years back.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Rifter13 Rifter13 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Rifter13 writes "With references to RIAA's action against grandmas and young children Weird Al's new song, Don't Download This Song has a funny take on today's pirating of music. This is the first song released from Weird Al's imminent CD. This goes along with the current poll question very well."

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