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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

hendrips Re:Why bother? (214 comments)

Um what? I count 328 laptops under $250, just including laptops running Windows 8 and Windows 7. There's a $229.00 ASUS laptop literally right there on the front page of Newegg right now.

2 days ago

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

hendrips Re:Nothing new in this expansion (146 comments)

I challenge you to try to play a few games of Dota while limiting yourself to four buttons in combat. I recommend playing Tinker or Holy Knight. Please, I want to watch.

about a week ago

Microsoft Surface Drowning?

hendrips Re:Pick your poison (337 comments)

Here I was trying to decide whether it was PC with half the weight and twice the power of the laptop I got from work, or a great way to take notes electronically without the hassle of LaTeX. Mindset is everything, I guess.

For what it's worth, I've been using a Surface Pro for almost 6 months, and I haven't used the keyboard cover. Usually, the on-screen keyboard or the stylus have been fine for input, just like on other tablets. On the very one or two occasions that I have needed to do a lengthy amount of typing, I just plugged in a standard keyboard. Dissing a tablet because of an optional add-on seems a bit unfair.

about two weeks ago

With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

hendrips Re:A bit of context on the "anti-american" preside (322 comments)

You have a good point, but I still think it's more that the U.S. isn't interested in stopping or slowing this project, and Nicaragua is pandering to a nominally communist superpower.

And why should the U.S. want to stop it? They haven't had any ownership interest in the Panama Canal in almost 20 years, and U.S. ships pay Panama's monopoly transit fees (not to mention sometimes having to face long waiting times, apparently).

about two weeks ago

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

hendrips Re:Prime Reason Not to Buy eBooks (172 comments)

Hang on - I'm implicitly encouraging people to crack Sony's copy protection on a product that they don't even sell anymore, and that makes me a plant from Sony? I don't think they're getting much value for what they're paying me!

In case you actually were wondering (I'm sure you weren't), I read my ebooks using the Kindle for PC software on my Surface Pro. My rough count is that I have about 200 books at the moment, of which about half are free public domain books, and another quarter are DRM-free books, most from sources other than Amazon. My fanboyism must be slipping, I guess.

about two weeks ago

Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

hendrips Re:A page from Henry Ford's book... (100 comments)

If we're talking about capitalism, GM and Chrysler "should" have exactly 0% market share, as without an $85 billion bailout and very favorable Chapter 11 bankrupty treatment, those companies would not exist at all. It's pretty easy to gain market share when you borrow lots of money without having to pay back a big chunk of it.

It's a bit hard to say that GM's cars are as good as Ford's or anyone else's based on sales, because of the explicit government manipulation of the auto market. Certainly in my anecdotal experience GM cars have been slightly but perceptibly lower quality, and I think a lot of people who are currently getting new ignition switches would agree with me. Note, by the way, I'm not necessarily saying the government was wrong to help GM.

You are correct though, that Ford managed to avoid bankruptcy mostly because of its better (ok, slightly less terrible) fiscal management rather than anything else.

about two weeks ago

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

hendrips Re:It's simply that hw manufacturer cannot compete (172 comments)

How is Amazon's hardware restrictive? The majority of the books on my Kindle are not from Amazon's store, and aren't .azw files (mostly .mobi, and a few pdfs). I mean, I understand that the Kindle won't support .epub, but I feel like there's a major difference between "doesn't support one particular popular format but does support most others" and "only supports one proprietary format." Besides, if you have an .epub without DRM it only takes a few seconds to convert it to a format that a Kindle can read.

about two weeks ago

Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

hendrips Re:Prime Reason Not to Buy eBooks (172 comments)

Sometimes it seems like the people on this site have a reflex hatred of anything digital that simply bypasses rational thought or reading comprehension. Even a small amount of investigation would have shown you that:

-Sony e-readers already in existence won't stop working or lose access to the books that the owners have already downloaded.
-It's trivially easy to put books from sources other than Sony on their e-reader. PDF's, epubs, etc. aren't going anywhere.
-Even if someone did buy books from Sony, their account is being transferred to Kobo, and they will continue to be able to download any book they have purchased.
-And even if all of the above fails, the DRM on Sony's ebooks can (at least, according to other posters - I haven't tried) be broken pretty easily by an average person.

So no, exactly no one has said bye-bye to their book collection. Please don't spread misinformation.

about two weeks ago

Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

hendrips Re:Bullshit (168 comments)

Probably not, actually - this loss is from their global operations, not just their U.S. business. Usually, multinational companies seek to minimize taxes by realizing profit in jurisdictions with low tax rates and costs in jurisdictions with high tax rates, but they usually do not actually under-report profits. CEOs and CFOs don't like jail very much, and tax fraud is one area of the law in the U.S. that's enforced nearly as zealously against the rich and famous as against normal people.

about a month ago

Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

hendrips Re:Why? (87 comments)

I can't speak for you, but in my case it's because the selection in my local library system sucks. They continually overspend building fancy new buildings with statues and whatnot, but can't seem to find any money for a wide variety of books to put in them. And let's not even mention the selection of audiobooks.

about a month ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

hendrips Re:No real surprise (710 comments)

When summer starts here in the South, my electric bill goes from ~$50 per month to ~$150 per month. And I already live in a new, relatively small, well insulated house surrounded by lots of shade trees. There's only so much you can do when it's 100 degrees outside.

about a month ago

People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

hendrips Re:It doesn't matter (710 comments)

I've been thinking recently that someone ought to write a book called "The Selfish Bastard's Guide to Saving the Environment." In the abstract, conservation just isn't something I care about - but I do care about saving money, resources, and effort. In practice, I find myself mostly doing what environmentalists want me to, even though I don't care about their cause. After all, the cost of an item is a (rough) proxy for the amount resources going into its production and maintenance.

I didn't decide to own a smallish, well insulated but bland looking house because I wanted to make Al Gore happy, but because I really liked not spending $100,000 extra on a "nicer," bigger, more resource intensive house in the same neighborhood. I didn't decide to use LED light bulbs to save the whales, I did it because I'm lazy and I hate climbing on a ladder to change the lights every 3-6 months.

about a month ago

Hacking a Tesla Model S Could Net $10,000 Prize

hendrips Re:Something missing from the summary (77 comments)

He was talking about an M1 Abrams tank. I have an exceptionally hard time believing that a Tesla is going to do better than a military tank when it comes to running into metal poles.

It helps to figure out if a poster is being facetious before you whip out a self-righteous reply.

about a month and a half ago

Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball

hendrips Is it too much to ask... (144 comments)

In an article about a breakthrough in molecular topology, I'm currently seeing, while browsing at 2,

-7 comments about the relative merits of the soccer balls that inspired this discovery,
-6 comments condemning sports fans in general and soccer ball buyers in particular,
-4 comments whining about the fact that the U.S. doesn't have the same regional dialect as the commenter,
-1 terrible almost-pun,
-1 comment that is completely incoherent and incomprehensible,
-1 complaint about religion,

and a grand total of 1 comment about molecular topology. Is is too much to ask that we could have some comments from posters who are interested in, you know, math and science? Here I was getting ready to dredge up all that symmetry and topology that got drilled in to me in grad school. Oh well.

about a month and a half ago

DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

hendrips Re:Does anyone get the impression.. (50 comments)

No, I don't. I get the impression that these documents were freely available, unclassified, public information. Or was DHS really trying to keep the location of that big-ass power substation down the street from me a secret?

about a month and a half ago

IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated]

hendrips Re:the real reason? (221 comments)

If you read up on the IeSF, it becomes much more clear what is going on.

-The IeSF is a South Korean organization; it is not Finnish. Ok, technically, it has a number of "member nations," but it is dominated by South Koreans. This tournament in Finland was a local qualifier for a larger international tournament. The local (Finnish) tournament organizers protested against the male-only rule, but couldn't convince the IeSF to relent until the media backlash started.

-The people who run the the IeSF aren't young male hormonal gamers. They are, by and large, middle-aged male executives at media and marketing companies. Their ultimate goal is to become the equivalent of the International Olympic Committee of e-sports, so that their companies can commercialize e-sports in the same way the Olympics were commercialized. However, they haven't been all that successful yet - they don't control any big-name tournaments in any of the games that I follow.

-As I mentioned already, the guys making the rules are older Koreans. I'll quote an interesting anecdote I saw on Ars Technica's comments:

Koreans can be remarkably thoughtlessly sexist (and racist, etc) without thinking about the broader implications. This is highly visible every time you park a car in a modern shopping center - there are reserved spots for women. The parking lanes (marked in pink) are wider and closer to the entrances. These aren't parking spots for expectant mothers or women with small children. These are parking spots for all women, with forethought that they're doing women a favor because they can't park cars as well as men. Westerners see this kind of thing and are instantly offended by the blatant sexism. A Korean will be confused as to why you don't see that women are obviously better off this way.

about a month and a half ago

California Legalizes Bitcoin

hendrips Re:not generally enforced either (162 comments)

How has it not been enforced? That quote is about limitations on individual state governments, as it comes from Article I, section 10. It says absolutely nothing about the Federal government, which is perfectly entitled to make paper dollars into legal tender.

about 2 months ago


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