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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

bjdevil66 V-6 engines in affordable sedans (603 comments)

We've already mostly lost V-8s to tech advances, but no "turbo"-powered four banger is in the same league in smoothness and power that a solid V-6 gives you without having to floor it. Why is the V-6 becoming a luxury item not available to the middle class guy??

Others people have listed good ones further down my list:

Flip phone (privacy and cost issues with smart phones).
Corded telephone at home (for power outages)
CDs (damn carmakers have ditched CD changers)
pico in the CLI (so much quicker for some tasks)
Windows 7 (though working on a Mac at work almost has me out the door)
A handgun firearm (sorry DC and Chicago - I'll never live there because of this).

2 days ago

Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

bjdevil66 Re:A complaint (207 comments)

If they hire new people back from the same general neighborhoods and they make the same money, then the CEO will have done the right thing. Besides - the bottom 8% of any workforce usually has some serious dead wood in it.

If they don't fill those slots back up to increase quarterly earnings, go overseas to essentially hire the same people back at a fraction of the cost, or say a WORD to Congress about how there's a "major talent shortage" in the USA and call for more H1-Bs, someone needs to go punch that guy in the face.

about two weeks ago

Cisco To Slash Up To 6,000 Jobs -- 8% of Its Workforce -- In "Reorganization"

bjdevil66 Re:While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock (207 comments)

Yes, the rich should be paying more back into the economy (through taxes or spending) instead of hoarding wealth, and the H-1Bs and other outsourcing of costs has to be curtailed.

However, when the poor stop getting earned income credits totaling in the several thousands every year (which goes up with the number of children claimed as dependents), while they don't pay a penny in income tax because they're unemployed for whatever reason, then you'll have a solid argument. Until then, too many of the "poor" are getting a free ride on the backs of bad government policy - and they have no skin in the game. Maybe they need to get rid of their iPhones, stop buying $250 Nikes, and cut their cable to pay some taxes back into the system that's paying for those luxuries.

about two weeks ago

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

bjdevil66 Re:I have to record calls for a living... (368 comments)

The kicker is that if you have a cheap, corded phone that ALSO plays a role. I bought the Radio Shack device, plugged it into a cheapo speakerphone I had purchased at Target, and it didn't work. If you turned your speakers all the way up, you could barely hear a mumble in the recording.

I bought the JK Audio device online, and THAT didn't work well, either. Surprised, I threw out the speakerphone and got a better one - and the JK Audio device suddenly worked like a champ.

I wish I would've kept the Radio Shack device to try it out on that new speakerphone, but I guess the rule was that you generally get what you pay for when you buy the cheapest thing at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

about three weeks ago

Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

bjdevil66 Re:Wrong Control Variable? (619 comments)

I was also thinking of another control variable that's missing: religion. Communist countries attempt to instill an atheist dogma because the people are supposed to "worship" the state (in a nationalist sort of way), where capitalist countries (whether they had socialist leanings or not) generally have religious freedom in varying degrees.

I'm simplifying, but if you fear a God that commands you to be honest, then you try and be honest because you don't want to burn in hell. If you're brought up in an atheist communist society, however, and the government is your "god", you can more easily cheat or lie to it because people invariably figure out how to beat non-omnipotent/omniscient systems of governance and their punishments (which aren't eternal, either).

about a month ago

Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

bjdevil66 Re:All this... (142 comments)

At the same time, I have found that comments on news sites were actually some of the best information out there - just like here on Slashdot. Yes, there are ahole trolls and idiots, but there aren't as many as some make it out to be - and there are usually sides to a story that aren't being told by the story itself where commenters fill in the blanks.

To be fair, though, the quality of comments overall - including here at Slashdot - has declined, simply because people don't spend the time typing up large treatises anymore. More people want a Twitter-like soundbyte more than information, and won't read comments more than a few lines long. They have better thing to... squirrel!

about 2 months ago

Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

bjdevil66 Re:prost! (211 comments)

I know you're half-joking, but there are likely millions of other men out there in the US (including myself) alone that could say the same thing. Porn use (and in some cases addiction) is pervasive but hardly universal.

about 3 months ago

The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes

bjdevil66 Don't forget privacy (339 comments)

If I pay with cash, it's mine and nobody has that data to sell to someone about me. Also, nobody ever knows if I ever watched it at all, or if I went back and watched a hot sex scene or some dude's head exploding over and over again.

Streaming services track this kind of info. Many just blow that off, but it matters to some.

about 3 months ago

Goodbye, Ctrl-S

bjdevil66 First noticed this in Google Docs (521 comments)

For public work docs we put together. I was trying to hit "Alt+F, S" to save everything for quite a while.

I personally don't like the change because not every piece of software behaves that way (yet), and that leads to confusion.

I also like having control over what is saved and when for a reason. Maybe I don't want some server having every thought I've ever had (and then deleted later because it was a bad idea, such as an angry email you never sent) stored somewhere in "Big Data". Imagine the psychological profile that someone could build about you with everything you ever typed anywhere in any Google product, Facebook, Twitter, etc...

With that said, I get why most people don't have such paranoid thoughts. It's all about convenience.

about 3 months ago

Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

bjdevil66 Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

I don't, actually - and I've intentionally avoided GM primarily for that reason.

I'd have to verify that I could kill OnStar at the hardware level (i.e. unplug it) before buying one, actually.

about 3 months ago

White House Pressures Legislators Into Gutting USA FREEDOM Act

bjdevil66 Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (284 comments)

5. For all of the talk from some libertarians, most Americans want to feel safe - and through their inaction (despite the revelations) have ratified GW's and Obama's acceptance of the spy programs.

What would be REALLY interesting to see, IMO, is if Rand Paul (by some miracle) was elected president in 2016 and despite his lineage and rhetoric even he decided to leave the surveillance in place. You'd have to wonder exactly what they're keeping from us, security-wise...

BTW - Looking at some people's defense of Obama on this topic shows that like past Slashdot articles have said, the more people are shown facts that disprove what they believe to be true, the more they clench onto their mistaken beliefs (in this case about Barack Obama's administration being a good thing for the country overall.)

about 3 months ago

Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

bjdevil66 Re:except your products are killing children (584 comments)

"or face increasing regulation of said killing devices."

Reasonable regulation is understandable, but doesn't the government have to prove at some point that they need to be regulating stupidity with guns within the walls of people's homes?

That's a key part of this debate that people sweep under the table with various gruesome statistics (4000 dead each year, etc.). What is the price of freedom from over-regulation, or taken to the extreme, tyranny?

By the way - Do you own a "said killing" device?

about 3 months ago

Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

bjdevil66 Re:...but that doesn't explain... (584 comments)

"gun fondlers"

Troll... Didn't read beyond that point.

about 3 months ago

Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

bjdevil66 Re:Yes! No more mandates! (584 comments)

The government can't disable a key (or a car) - yet. It's about control over what you own.

about 3 months ago

Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi

bjdevil66 Re:old tech (165 comments)

While schools had Apple computers, many 40 somethings first cut our teeth with computers at home on the C64 or Vic-20. With the C64, I first saw a modem (300 baud) and connect to a BBS system, a floppy disk drive (5.25" - holepunched to use both sides), and compressed digital music (at a C64 club meeting someone had a 10 second snippet of compressed, digital music on a C64 - sounded like crap and took (the usual) 2 minutes to load, but it was a decade ahead of MP3s.)

It also had BASIC programming capabilities with the disk drives for storage. You could draw sprites/graphics, program songs, do basic word processing, etc. Save it on your floppy disk and you were set.

Finally, the C64 had great games that made the pre-NES home consoles like the Atari 2600 look like garbage. The game selection was big enough to where a lot of good games were eventually produced: Ultima III/IV/V (or Bard's Tale, Temple of Apshai, Sword of Fargoal) = World of Warcraft. Arcade/Adventure/Pinball Construction Kit(s) = Minecraft. Karateka/Yie Ar Kung Fu = every fighter game ever. Beachhead = a 2D Call of Duty. Other great games off the top of my head -- Mission Impossible, Raid Over Moscow, Summer/Winter Games (Epyx), Raid on Bungeling Bay, etc.

It was also our first exposure to pirated software trading and beating DRM (Fast Hack'Em, etc.). To play our pirated version of archon (a great cross of chess and 2-D shooter):

load"*",8,1 (,8,8)
sys 24832

The system is a fossil today, but it was great for its time... You just kinda had to be there.

about 5 months ago

Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

bjdevil66 Re:Sorry - Has to be posted (878 comments)

Whether Romney was just lucky or not doesn't matter. The real problem is that the guy that won was so arrogant and clueless about Russia. And his administration has made multiple, big mistakes abroad. AND it probably doesn't help that they're appointing top campaign contributors as foreign ambassadors even if they know nothing about the country they'll be living in.

Seriously - They're running their foreign policy like a bunch of amateurs playing catch-up.

And yes - The GOP was really wrong to push for and lead the invasion of Iraq. It was a total waste of political capital, a trillion+ dollars, and the scarring of thousands of American soldiers' lives. The problem with that "I hate the GOP no matter what" argument, however, was that Romney was willing to stand on his own at times, and he was definitely not a Sarah Palin like candidate.

about 5 months ago

Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

bjdevil66 Sorry - Has to be posted (878 comments)

This CANNOT be posted enough. Obama was 100% wrong, and Romney was 100% right.

Call it sour grapes for the 2012 election, but the guy that lost saw the potential problems coming - and our current administration mocked him for it. And Romney haters mocked him online and in the media.

Bottom line: As of today, when it comes to international relations, the executive branch looks like it's being run today by an amateur - supported by amateurs, all living in the same intellectual bubble full of yes men.

about 5 months ago

Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Stress relief (529 comments)

But prayer won't get you drunk or pregnant.

about 6 months ago

Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Religious ignorance. (529 comments)

Communism wasn't a religion. Communism is just an evil mutation of a utopian society where everyone VOLUNTARILY shares their wealth with each other and cares for each other, regardless of what religious views were held by any of its occupants. Communist regimes (under the Soviet model), however, chose the single religious model of athiesm to use as a tool of oppression and control. I imagine that Lenin and his more sincere followers in 1917 had no idea what kind of evil would spring up in the wake of Lenin's death within a few years.

about 6 months ago

Religion Is Good For Your Brain

bjdevil66 Re:Religious ignorance. (529 comments)

Religion is powerful enough to compel mass murder, oppression, and dismissal of damning facts against your actions.

I think you meant to say that philosophical fascism, not religion, is powerful enough. Religion is a subset of philosophy, and any philosophy used to force an agenda on others and used to oppress those who don't conform is truly evil.

Philosophical, fascist atheists are just as capable of evil as intolerant religious people. See Stalin in the Soviet Union, as atheist of a state as there has ever been. I'd argue that Stalin was even more evil than Hitler. Millions upon millions were murdered, displaced, starved, and/or oppressed under his atheist regime.

The good news is that the majority of the world fails to follow religion as their religious books tells them to.

"Good news"? You clearly have no understanding of neither the content nor the meaning of religious texts such as the Bible, Torah, Koran, etc. If people followed the tenets of their scriptures, the world's problems would be solved so quickly that intellectuals would call it a modern-day miracle.

about 6 months ago


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