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Ask Slashdot: Are You Streaming-Only For Home Entertainment?

gobbo Re:Who watches TV anymore? (697 comments)

...and conversely, I'm currently seeding some shows that are pretty unusual and definitely no longer on the air or available on disc.

more than 3 years ago

New Apple MacBook Pro Reviewed

gobbo Re:A BIT expensive?! (627 comments)

Yes, that's my point: there is strong but elusive and allusive evidence that manufacturing processes are nasty across the board, except for companies like Apple who publish audits (and that is suspect, given some of last years' events).

Yet Apple is guilty of IP violations of customers' and developers' rights.

What's an ethical person to do? Buy used, avoid paying the manufacturers directly.

more than 3 years ago

New Apple MacBook Pro Reviewed

gobbo Re:A BIT expensive?! (627 comments)

I too love using my Media Access Controller, without it I would never get online, and even my Mac has one! F'n awesome!

more than 3 years ago

New Apple MacBook Pro Reviewed

gobbo Re:A BIT expensive?! (627 comments)

Well, hating Apple for their business practices is really a political decision, not a hardware/software evaluation. Uniquely in the computer world, a Mac is not limiting in any way, because you can literally run any software or OS on a MBP, either natively or through emulation. One also needs to inquire whether HP or Dell or Sony are such great companies from an ethical standpoint (certainly Sony is every bit as perverse and unsavoury as Apple). Basically, when you factor in environmental and labour practices alongside IP, the entire industry is pretty sleazy.

But by all means, if someone here can accurately vote through your wallet using your conscience, do so and share your findings with us.

The other side of the Apple Tax is resale value. Macs hold their value more than any other PC, much like a honda or toyota, and you need to factor that into the equation. Take longevity, quality, and resale prices into consideration, and the mid-to-low end Apple laptops are actually a pretty good value.

more than 3 years ago

MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

gobbo Re:hmm (368 comments)

More than this: I was annoyed by the lack of a mid-range headless mac, so I set out to build a hackintosh. At the time, the IPS monitor on the iMac 24 was what I was aiming for (1.8 yrs ago, time to upgrade soon), and I needed video editing capabilities with Final Cut.

By the time I'd priced out all the parts (newegg/NCIX, don't say I didn't shop right) to find equivalent function and similar quality, I was $120 under the price of a refurb iMac, except for the crappy video card. I'm not a gamer, so I bought the iMac and saved time and money.

OTOH, I needed a cheap laptop. HP netbook for me, and I never bothered to hackintosh it, because Win7 is just fine (and linux netbook offerings aren't good enough yet).

more than 3 years ago

MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

gobbo Re:hmm (368 comments)

To be clear, there are only two Mac OS choices: OS X (currently 10.6) and OS X Server, so for a desktop user there's really only one choice. (iOS is mandatory on relevant devices, no choice there.)

OS X is a pretty complete unix install, apple flavoured, with proprietary stuff lathered on top... i.e. the base model is the pro version, not crippled in any way (other than general apple buggy/quirkiness).

more than 3 years ago

'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide

gobbo Re:Very little? (288 comments)

Yes, let's just agree that the universe is out to kill us, and that Earth temporarily has very favourable conditions... until the climate flips out, or a big rock comes spinning in.

I say start working on colonizing both. The next few hundred years will be well-spent terraforming, in opposite directions.

more than 3 years ago

'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide

gobbo Re:Step 1: Think of a rational reason. (288 comments)

>1/3 gravity would be healthier.

Really? Are you so sure? Sounds nice, but also sounds like a recipe for all kinds of bone and muscle problems.

more than 3 years ago

'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide

gobbo Re:Not going to happen (288 comments)

It really depends on what group of humans you're talking about. The Pacific Northwest, for instance, was so abundant in biological resources, that the work week was less than 20 hours. That left lots of time for art, showing off, and other social pursuits. It was a pretty comfortable existence.... until the Haida came around to bust your ass and take slaves.

more than 3 years ago

'Colonizing the Red Planet,' a How-To Guide

gobbo Re:Defying Gravity (288 comments)

The link you're looking for is here:

And Nadia was actually a hermaphrodite, haunted by the vision of the man she could have been.

more than 3 years ago

History Repeats Itself — Mac & the iPad

gobbo Re:Who gets to decide what the iPad is? (514 comments)

A minority of people are complaining about limitations those of us who are interested in the product either doesn't see as a limitation, or limitations that are outweighed by other benefits of the product.

Sometimes 'good enough' really is. I'm typing on a netbook that I was going to hackintosh, but this model doesn't run snow leopard, and win 7 is good enough for basic web dev. Maybe someday I'll liberate this thing with Mint, but for now it's good to work on a variety of platforms.

more than 4 years ago

Improving Education Through Better Teachers

gobbo Re:Prental Involment? (446 comments)

You know what? I agree, except for the homework point.

Homework is irrelevant. An inefficient learning environment needs homework to keep up, the kid doesn't need 10 hours of learning a day to learn a few things.

The parents aren't teaching their kids curiosity. They aren't teaching them focus. The kids aren't getting a sense of goals or meaning from the prospect of learning. Likewise, the curriculum fails at this too.

Most homework is obviously make-work or catch-up. It's no wonder it isn't valued. Gatto has a pretty good take on this. Motivation comes from the context as well as from within. There is all kinds of meaning in how work is presented to the kids, and just because they don't put it into words, they can often see through the crap.

The crux is that inefficient learning environment. Blame apathy at home, sure, but blame misguided curriculum too, blame Taylorism that depersonalizes the kid, blame culture, blame admin, but mostly blame the educational system overall, its ideology and inequalities and denial.

more than 4 years ago

Improving Education Through Better Teachers

gobbo That, and more... (446 comments)

Here in British Columbia, the good teachers (who actually manage to get full time work, frak you union/management collusion) generally have to work about a 60-70 hour week, plus be available for phone calls. The work load can get insane, because a good teacher is working HARD during those hours... I've put in long hours at various jobs, but there's usually way more 'down-time' or light load work in a week than a teacher gets.

This is all for a lower middle class income until your seniority gets big. Time off in the summer amounts to about 3-4 weeks or less since there's always professional development and prep.

The general public just has no idea.

On top of that, a good teacher deals with intense frustrations over curriculum, bureaucracy, feckless parents, and lack of support for special needs... most spend an inordinate time with 'classroom management', meaning discipline.

The thing is, good teachers will work for enough to live on, because they will do the work anyway, that's what makes them a good teacher. What they really want is the ability to properly teach without burning out; i.e. adequate prep time, smaller class sizes, more support staff targeted at the 10% of the class that takes 90% of the attention, and fewer overall hours. Burnout turns good teachers into indifferent, bitter staff working for that pension.

more than 4 years ago

Killer Apartment Vs. Persistent Microwave Exposure?

gobbo 1. Placebo... 2. Precautionary Principle (791 comments)

You no buy.

First, just the shred of doubt will have some effect on your well being. Not just through stress, but through placebo effects.

Second, this is a relatively new risk of exposure for the species and investigations into it are relatively weak. Seems like a good time to deploy the Precautionary Principle.

Buy an apt exposed to trees or a view, instead.

more than 4 years ago

Is Internet Explorer 6/7 Support Required Now?

gobbo Re:95% Beats 5% (512 comments)

what if a client has another web app they spent big money on that only runs on IE6, what if their worldwide network SOE is based on IE6? your going to just ride in and tell them to update or they can shove their money up their arse?

Browser support is a lot like a warranty condition for the site. Manufacturers/designers have to set the bar somewhere.

I smell a car analogy:

I'm shopping for tires. I can get a 100Km warranty on a new set, so long as I agree to rotate the tires every 10Km, for free. Without some minimal diligence on the part of the user, the warranty is void, as the user has abrogated their duties towards security.

Likewise with a simple free browser upgrade.

If a client has specific needs, that's part of the contract, no? However, since IE6 is demonstrably less safe and secure, technically inferior, and more costly to support, there has to be extra justification and expense to support it... somewhat like an extended warranty.

more than 4 years ago

Is Internet Explorer 6/7 Support Required Now?

gobbo Re:Why redirect them? (512 comments)

Who still uses IE6?

I know you're trying to be funny, but very few of the not-very-many IE6 users do so voluntarily. Three main types of IE6 surfers:

group 1: corporate drones chained to an intranet app by an IT department that is underfunded or underdeveloped... many of them shouldn't be surfing your site anyway, even on their lunch break, because 'the workplace is not a democracy'

group 2: hapless technophobes who don't have a nerd nephew to replace their winME install with something modern, and since they don't know any better, they just keep browsin' -- and pretending this computer thing is an appliance, the way it was marketed to them

group 3: total douches who mess with the user agent for fun or actually like IE6... or like me, run it in a VM for testing purposes, then browse with it just for kicks

more than 4 years ago

iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"

gobbo Re:I've said it before and I'll say it again (1634 comments)

This is my ONLY TELEPHONE LINE, and so I finally do approve of somebody keeping it locked down and pristine.

You contradict yourself. I find this interesting: an abdication of power and responsibility, in an independent minded nerd.

If you have to manually install all apps, why do you need Apple to lock down your phone for you? Wouldn't a thorough and reliable certification process for approved apps be enough? You could simply ignore all the uncertified apps, and only choose the app-store supplied software, and achieve the same result.

The rest of us, who have landlines and can risk hacking around with our handset, could install uncertified apps as we see fit, and risk bricking through our own incompetence, instead of through Overlord Steve's malice.

You can have your lockdown, we can have our limited freedom on what could be a great platform, Apple still gets profits.

more than 4 years ago

iPad Is a "Huge Step Backward"

gobbo App certification (1634 comments)

sometimes, I would prefer to have simple and limiting to complex and free. I don't *need* to have complete and total control over my phone, my music player, or a simple internet device. These are items that just need to work out of the box, be aesthetically pleasing, and do the job they are intended to do. That doesn't mean that I'm anti-Free Software, but that I don't want to use it for everything that I do. ... For that other 5%, jailbreaking is trivial and allows complete control.

Jailbreaking may be trivial to you, but not to most, and not without risk and violation of contract.

To all those (not you) claiming that the Apple appopoly is merely about security and compatibility, imagine a simple system of certification, where apple would put its stamp of approval on apps that meet a certain set of standards, only distribute certified apps, and make it very clear to the customer that it will only honour warranty issues when certified apps are used. Then we could have third party app repositories, with more or less acceptable compatibility and security standards, and a reasonable degree of openness.

Of course, the network carriers have their own concerns here, but they could impose their own restrictions, too, to protect themselves.

There could even be caveat emptor warnings included in the app install process that checks on an app's certification status. We'd still have the hardware manufacturer lording it over users and developers through the certification process, but it would be a lot less feudal.

more than 4 years ago

Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance

gobbo Re:Geez, pick the black guy. (262 comments)

WASP is "white Anglo-Saxon protestant".

Oh! I always thought that WASP was defined as "someone who gets out of the shower to pee."

more than 4 years ago

Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

gobbo Re:Magical + Corner of Technology & Liberal Ar (1713 comments)

As an IT worker that sounds like the most horrible place on Earth.

Way to keep up the Nerdly stereotypes! But the fact is that the whole future of networked computing is based on designed information, and that's where the liberal arts impacts the future of the web etc.: good design through aesthetics and smart human interfaces. Plus gud grammer and proofreeding.

The raw feature list is less important than the presentation abilities... as they pertain to joe user.

"Magical", though, that's just the Reality Distortion Field in full fail mode.

more than 4 years ago



"Open Source" documentary released and rem

gobbo gobbo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gobbo writes "Canadian filmmaker Brett Gaylor has released RIP: A Remix Manifesto, a documentary about copyright and remix culture. It's screening in various international festivals right now and getting ready for theatrical releases and special screenings. True to the message of the movie, it contains an unusual invitation: to treat it as a kind of open source cultural artifact, and remix and alter it and contribute it back to the movie. Subsequent versions are being screened with new contributions, and so the release is a product under continual development.

The main example in the movie is the musical artist Girl Talk and his extreme sample and remix methods, but the story does a pretty good job of covering a range of historical copyright, copyleft, and copyfight issues by covering interesting movements like Brazilian remix culture and the Mouse Liberation Front, and interviewing activists like Lawrence Lessig amd Cory Doctorow.

The project has inspired a website to encourage more video remixing, Open Source Cinema. Wikipedia has a list of other open source film projects. Seems like this is just getting going as a trend, and worth watching."



Let's get this over with

gobbo gobbo writes  |  more than 8 years ago

definately --> definitely
effect = as a verb, it means to bring something about
affect = as a verb, it means to have an effect on something
lose = opposite of win or keep
loose = opposite of tight

What is it about a society that locks its children up for 12 years purporting to educate them, then sets them free semi-literate?


Metamoderation Responsibilities and Nerdly Sexism

gobbo gobbo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I got metamoderated unfair for a flamebait rating on a post that made a mild sexist joke about how women have a peculiarly selective memory, which I suppose is fair enough. But-- it was in a thread where the original poster had made it clear that she was female and was reacting to the gender bias assumed around here--also fair enough. So, in context, the mild joke was actually flamebait.

Just a reminder of how metamoderation is time consuming, since to do it properly you generally need to look at the original context; and it is also a reminder of how 'nerd' denotes more than just someone who obsesses over the technical, but also lacks social graces. Well, no need for social clumsiness to include nastiness, so get a little sensitive to sexism, boys, if you want more X chromosomes in the neighborhood.


Apple-Dell price-off

gobbo gobbo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Tired of the "Apple hardware is pricey" FUD, had a project needing us to compare platforms for an Avid Xpress setup, so tried to do this on the US e-commerce sites as a preliminary. Not completely comparable, since the Dell has on-board scsi, and I know it doesn't have firewire800, and the Apple has a Superdrive as well as optical audio, and holds 8GB RAM to the Dell's 4. The Xeon's are definitely faster at some things, and the G5's at others.

Generally, they're roughly the same value, if you don't consider build quality, noise, and operating system. Let's just say that if I needed a CAD system, I'd pick the Dell, otherwise the Apple would be a safer cheaper bet.

Dell Precision Workstation 650
Intel® Xeon(TM) Processor 3.20GHz, 2MB L3 Cache
Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional, SP1 with Media and NTFS
2nd Processor (Must match speed selection above)
Intel® Xeon(TM) Processor 3.20GHz, 2MB L3 CACHE
512MB,DDR266 SDRAM Memory,NECC (2 DIMMS)
Keyboard Enhanced Performance, USB (8 Hot Keys)
nVidia, Quadro NVS 280, 64MB, dual monitor DVI or VGA capable
40GB ATA-100 IDE, 1 inch (7200 rpm)
3.5 inch 1.44MB Floppy Drive
Dell USB 2-Button Optical Mouse with Scroll
56K,v.92 data/fax modem,PCI
8X DVD+RW/+R with Roxio® Easy CD Creator plus DVD decode
Sound Blaster® Audigy II with onboard 1394
No Speaker
2nd Hard Drive
120GB SATA, 7200 RPM Hard Drive with DataBurst Cache(TM)
3 Year Limited Warranty plus 3 Year NBD On-Site Service
No Installation
TOTAL: $5,109.00

  Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
  512MB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 2x256
  160GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
  ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
  56k V.92 internal modem
  SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
  Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
  Mac OS X - U.S. English
Subtotal $2,999.00

The results? G5 = $3000, Dell dual Xeon $5100. If I back down the dual Xeons to 2.4GHz w/ 1MB L3 cache, this price comes down to $3150, so the Apple is still a bit cheaper. Plus, it only runs windows if you really want to!

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