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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

Ritz_Just_Ritz About a year late (215 comments)

I picked up an Acer C720 about a year ago that was good enough that I don't even carry around the Mac Air that my company gave me. 2GB RAM, Celeron 2955U haswell processor, 8-9 hour battery life, hdmi/USB3, SD slot, 16GB storage, same video resolution as the HP above. All for US$199 and in a 2lb package.

I thought I'd need more storage, but it's a year later and I haven't used more than about 10GB of the internal storage. One of these days, I'll upgrade it to 32GB or 64GB, but I've just been storing my personal files on either a 64GB SD card or 64GB USB 3.0 fob.

Having something this thinly provisioned running the bloat that is Win 8.1 wouldn't be attractive for me at all, regardless of the price point. However, it's great for ChromeOS and Ubuntu Trusty.

about a month ago

No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Ritz_Just_Ritz laying off...but needs more H-1B's (282 comments)

For those needing another reason not to purchase Microsoft products...they just fired 18,000 people but are lobbying the government for an ever increasing number of wage slaves from India and other countries. They can hire these poor saps at lower salaries, bully them into working long hours for no additional pay (it's that bad 'ol offshore middleman that's blamed for the sweatshop hours) while backhanding profits to cronies in these offshore companies. Meanwhile, they whine that they can't find any qualified local staff. Actually, they just can't find local staff willing to work for third world salaries while living with first world expenses and taxes. Just say no.

about 2 months ago

NSA Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images

Ritz_Just_Ritz Folks do this to themselves (136 comments)

The flip side of posting the most innocuous details of your life online for all to see. What did you THINK would happen?

about 4 months ago

UK Ballistics Scientists: 3D-Printed Guns Are 'of No Use To Anyone'

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:polymer AR lower recievers... (490 comments)

Actually, the law is ambiguous. You ARE permitted to sell your handiwork, but you can't do it with the "intent" of being a business. So passing down that milled 80% receiver that you used to roll your own AR-15 to your heirs or selling a one-off seems to be within the law. Milling one a week and selling them on ebay...that's likely to lead to your arrest.

about 4 months ago

China May Build an Undersea Train To America

Ritz_Just_Ritz No Thanks (348 comments)

I rather like the status quo where they need a usable navy to get to resources that they will eventually want to take by force. They're about out of fresh water and other key resources aren't far behind.

about 4 months ago

Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:What the police have (664 comments)

A few years ago, I had a car stolen right out of my gated/locked driveway in NJ (cue the Jersey jokes). It wasn't an expensive car, but still worth about US$10k. When I reported it stolen and informed the police where they could ask for surveillance video that would likely show the crime and culprit, they treated me like a nuisance and never investigated the crime. I know they never investigated because the owner of the surveillance cam was never even contacted, even when I followed up with the cops a couple of times. The insurance company just paid out immediately and the adjuster said the odds of ever seeing the car again when stolen from northern NJ was almost zero.

So I can only chuckle when I'm told that the cops will show even a cursory interest in helping someone recover a phone, even if the EXACT location is known.

about 5 months ago

Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re: Americans don't have guns? Or jackets? (664 comments)

You're joking, right? Just try to get a pistol permit in NYC. While technically, it's possible, it is neither cheap nor easy. Long guns are only slightly easier (permit still required). Meanwhile, anyone who is cheeky enough to steal and then use your phone is probably not going to be disinclined to buy any of the easily available illegal firearms that can be purchased from a local street thug for a song.

about 5 months ago

UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (433 comments)

Nuclear waste disposal from conventional fission reactors is a solved problem. Unfortunately, the storage of said waste kicks the NIMBY crowd into high gear. Here's an about converting it to relatively inert ceramic blocks (already available tech) and sink it at some remote subduction zone fault where it gradually gets folded back into the mantle? That ought to suffice until the perpetually "50 years from now" fusion energy generation crowd catches up.

about 5 months ago

China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Cuts Off Exchanges' Bank Access

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:Chinese getting uncomfortable... (100 comments)

I think their real fear is that it's a perfect vehicle to circumvent capital controls and allows people to transfer significant amounts of cash OUT of the country.

Many of those doing the transferring are part of the government. So how to reign it in without any official "enforcement?" Eliminate the ability to deposit cash into the exchanges. Solves their immediate problem without any embarrassing prosecutions.

about 6 months ago

UN Court: Japanese Whaling "Not Scientific"

Ritz_Just_Ritz It all winds up on a dinner table (188 comments)

So I'm shocked....just shocked, I say, that there was no scientific objective .

Perhaps the science part was developing more efficient harpoons.

about 6 months ago

China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Ritz_Just_Ritz Corruption in China (26 comments)

Corruption in China is a fact of life. It's systemic and pervasive. As much as the government talks about stamping it out, they only inflict pin pricks. They make WAY too much money through corruption and it's widely known/accepted in Chinese society. One need only look at the sheer numbers of government functionaries who send their kids overseas to school and who keep huge sums of ill-gotten money in foreign bank accounts. These are kids who have parents with official salaries are often less than US$15k a year and they're parked in posh apartments (paid for in cash), studying at top 20 universities (paid in cash), driving around in fancy cars, living a lavish lifestyle, etc. There's very little effort made to hide it.

The people who benefit from this system are shitting their pants about potential discontent from those who aren't benefiting from the game. One of Mao's rallying cries was stamping out corruption. Once he got into power (by force), those folks were systematically rooted out, jailed, and often killed. Small wonder more and more of these "government officials" are sneaking money and family out of the country and applying for foreign passports. They know there will be a purge following this binge.

Fasten your seatbelts.

about 6 months ago

New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

Ritz_Just_Ritz People's Republic of New Jersey Strikes Again (342 comments)

NJ has demonstrated time and again that corrupt politics rule the day. The state car dealer association controls a substantial amount of contribution budget.

Hopefully, Tesla doesn't knuckle under and just encourages NJ purchasers to head over to NY or PA and buy their cars there.

about 6 months ago

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Ritz_Just_Ritz The transactions are public...follow the money (704 comments)

So how exactly does one "steal" the coins? The blockchain is public. If you know the wallet ID of where the funds went TO, it's not that hard to follow those coins around until they (someday) exit the system as hard currency entering someone's bank or being spent on goods/services that are delivered to a physical human being.

about 7 months ago

Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

Ritz_Just_Ritz Corruption (92 comments)

Corrupt company in a corrupt country succumbs to the free market. I'm shocked...just shocked, I say.

Slow news week?

about 7 months ago

Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:Cellular is the business model (424 comments)

What about those of us that want to use the Internet but have no use for TV programming? Of the several hundred channels available to me, I probably watch maybe 3 or 4 more than once a month.

If all the TV programming fell into a chasm in the Earth tomorrow, it would likely be a week or so before I noticed. So why should I have to subsidize it for the rest of the boob tube crowd?

about 7 months ago

Surrogate Database Key, Not Bitcoin Protocol Flaw, To Blame For Mt Gox Problems

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:Wait... (81 comments)


This is a few months ago, but they've been circling the drain for a while.

Nice cameltoe on the portly Mark Karpeles (MtGox's owner)... :)

about 7 months ago

Surrogate Database Key, Not Bitcoin Protocol Flaw, To Blame For Mt Gox Problems

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:Wait... (81 comments)

Indeed. MtGox has been tainted with (at best) incompetence or (at worst) fraud for quite some time now. It could potentially be both.

In any case, bitcoin owners/miners have voted with their feet to the extent possible and MtGox has gone from the largest to one of the smaller players in the bitcoin exchange arena. There are still quite a few unfortunate folks with their funds trapped within MtGox. We'll see if those funds are eventually released or become part of an eventual bankruptcy proceeding. That might be great in the longer term since the courts will eventually sort out the role of BTC in the world of finance, but it might be bad for people who put their trust in one of the early exchanges.

Time will tell.

about 7 months ago

US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

Ritz_Just_Ritz "Is this a money play by Comcast/NBC to get..." (578 comments)

Do you honestly think a "cord cutter" is going to spend any cycles contemplating "plugging back in" just to watch the winter Olympics?


As a cord cutter, I could care less.

about 7 months ago
top Give Us More H-1B Visas Or the Kids Get Hurt

Ritz_Just_Ritz Re:They're not even trying... (271 comments)

Not particularly realistic. Every"fee" is being glommed to band-aid the yawning budget deficit. Prying those funds away from the pork salesmen just isn't a realistic goal. Once fees/taxes pass through the US government's fiscal event horizon, it just disappears.

about 8 months ago
top Give Us More H-1B Visas Or the Kids Get Hurt

Ritz_Just_Ritz Hire locally (271 comments)

If I had a nickel for every "consultants by the pound" pitch where they sent in just barely competent coders for me to review, I'd be a millionaire (all of the big subcontinent body shops are guilty of this). Then they've got the balls to pay these poor saps peanuts and attempt to bill me $100-200/hour (depending on how many hours they've spent in front of an Idiot's Guide to C## training video). Then you see all the even poorer saps who are going through 2 or 3 layers of additional consultancies before they make it to our HR dept's door. I feel bad for them, but...I'd rather just recruit at local universities and get people who have identifiable skills, already speak English that most folks can parse, and won't get rotated back to the subcontinent randomly as one or more of their handlers has "visa issues."

Talk to your local university with a decent Engineering or Comp Sci curriculum and start recruiting. Save time, money, aggravation, and help our own college grads get into the game. I refuse to even take calls from the body shops anymore even though my corporate overlords are trying to force the issue. It's just not worth the hassle.

about 8 months ago


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