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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

ebh Re:Pay-per-minute line (234 comments)

Don't forget that a lot of old answering machines would cut you off without warning after something like 30 seconds. People got used to talking quickly.

3 days ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

ebh Re:youmail (234 comments)

My work voice mail system is no different from the one I used 25 years ago. Even the menu trees only have one or two minor differences. Certainly no voice-to-text or anything like that.

3 days ago
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3D Printer Owner's Network Puts Together Buyer's Guide

ebh Re:gimme any Normal Example what can i print on it (62 comments)

Yeah, going to Maker Faire makes you think the only thing anyone ever prints are tchotchkes from Thingverse.

One application is to reproduce plastic parts that are otherwise unobtainable. Example:

I have a turntable microwave oven that was built almost 25 years ago. There's a piece of plastic about the size of a pair of dice that 's effectively the turntable spindle. Somebody turned the thing by hand and snapped that piece of plastic. I have a part number for it but nobody sells it any more. A chunk of the part is missing, but its shape isn't too complicated, and enough of it is still there, that I can make an STL file for it.

That in itself is not enough to make buying a 3D printer worthwhile, but I can contract that out to someone on 3D Hubs to print it for me out of ABS.

about two weeks ago
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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

ebh Re:Great. More touchscreens. (233 comments)

That's what I like about my 2010 Fusion. It has acrtual buttons and knobs for all the important stuff, in addition to the GUI.

about two weeks ago
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LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

ebh Re:What's the Motivation? (179 comments)

Of course usable 8K is a long way off. Even movie theater projectors are still 4K. That's why they're showing it at CES, not in the Best Buy.Black Friday doorbuster circular. CES is all about mine's-bigger-than-yours.

Personally, I'd rather see the frame rate go up rather than resolution. The standard for 4K movie theater projection is 250Mbps, which is only enough for 24fps. The standard also specifies compression limits so that picture quality won't suffer too much. At 1Gbps, you could compress it even less, and still project at 60fps. If you ever saw a Showscan movie back in the 80s, you know the difference in realism the higher frame rate makes. (BTW, the audio is up to 16 channels of uncompressed .wav at 24-bit, 48Khz or 96Khz sampling. I guess they decided that lossless compression for audio wouldn't save enough bandwidth to matter, compared with the video stream.)

about two weeks ago
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

ebh Re:Shyeah, right. (284 comments)

I have some 20-year-old IDE drives that still work fine. Nice novelty items, but I'd still never use disk drives as long-term backup.

about 1 month ago
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How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

ebh Re:LOL (438 comments)

In 1987, I bought an 80 MEGAbyte drive for $775 (around $1600 today), thinking how amazing it was that disk drives had broken the $10/MB barrier. When the first 1GB drives came out a few years later, I remember thinking, "Who would trust that much data to a single device? What an amazing single point of failure!" Now there are 128GB MicroSD cards for under $1/GB. Even understanding the technology, the mind boggles.

about a month ago
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Check Out the Source Code For the Xerox Alto

ebh Re:Question: (71 comments)

Yes.

about 2 months ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

ebh Re:Lol... (296 comments)

My wife's daily driver is a MacBook Pro. All the stuff she needs for home is readily available on OSX as easily as on Windows, e.g., Quicken; work is a non-issue because the products she supports are on iOS. Even if the vendors sometimes treat their OSX ports as second-class citizens, it's rare that any basic feature we care about is missing. It's just the latest bling that's usually not ported right away.

OTOH, I wouldn't be able to use a Mac for my job, because my employer requires us to use things including custom in-house apps, that are only available on Windows. Likewise some of the apps our kids use for school. The stuff I do at home beyond web surfing and such, I do on Linux.

Viva ecumenism!

about 2 months ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

ebh Re: It helps to actually use the thing. (296 comments)

Or, you can install the free (for noncommercial use) VMware Player, and in about an hour of googling and not-too-difficult hacking, plus the time to legally download the installation media, you can try out OSX on your existing Windows or Linux machine.

It won't let you know what a low-end Mac Mini feels like as a daily driver, and it's not what I'd recommend for an HTPC, but if you wanted to try cobbling together a small app to see what it's like to develop on OSX compared to Windows or Linux, it's about as low a barrier to entry there is.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

ebh Re:TDD FDD (232 comments)

One way to slow that bloat down is to put a limit on the number of test cases.

about 3 months ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

ebh Re:Reading between the lines. (233 comments)

2nd world is (was) the Communist bloc.

about 4 months ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

ebh Re:Swift maybe, Erlang, really? (315 comments)

I remember the same thing with Java--reqs demanding five years of Java three years after it first came out.

about 5 months ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

ebh Re:And? (195 comments)

Well, crap, now I have to post in order to undo a moderation mistake. :(

ObTopic: Sure we could have zillion-mpg cars. Instead of conventional creature comforts, you get new forms of in-car entertainment, like being able to tell what brand of coffee the body panels used to surround.

about 5 months ago
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Google Reader: One Year Later

ebh Netvibes (132 comments)

Netvibes has been a nice drop-in replacement for me.

about 6 months ago
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GNU Mailman 3 Enters Beta

ebh I'll try it when... (57 comments)

...mailman-announce is using it.

about 8 months ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

ebh Re:software (169 comments)

Unappealing, yes (I'm in the throes of it now), but good for job security.

about 9 months ago
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Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

ebh Re:The Mythical Man-Month (169 comments)

Definitely. Add to that "Quality is Free" by Crosby, and "Peopleware" by DeMarco and Lister.

about 9 months ago
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Should Microsoft Be Required To Extend Support For Windows XP?

ebh Re:Even more importantly... (650 comments)

"3.0L, direct-injected 305bhp V-6, Mini-ATX form factor"

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Give us your personal data or pay full fare

ebh ebh writes  |  about 2 years ago

ebh writes "Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, "The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the "rack rate" — the travel industry's term for full price, before any discounts." Now, about those Amtrak upgrades..."

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