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Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

kingduct Re:Old dogs & new tricks (370 comments)

Seriously, this joke is not too far off. At the very least, I'm guessing he'll find something with a keyboard and fewer icons much easier to deal with than a touchscreen and the constant icons/notifications that tablets have.

A 3 year old laptop with the least flashy linux you can find (maybe an old version of Ubuntu?), turn off auto-updates, show him the firefox icon and set up a webmail account, and you're done.

about 9 months ago

Ballmer Admits Microsoft Whiffed Big-Time On Smartphones

kingduct Early 2000s (278 comments)

'I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do around Windows that we weren't able to redeploy talent to the new device called the phone."

He referring to the early 2000s when there wasn't a new version of Windows for 6 years?

about a year ago

So What If Yahoo's New Dads Get Less Leave Than Moms?

kingduct Re:Equal rights (832 comments)

The interesting thing, is that it turns out that not only is it discrimination against men as parents, but it is discrimination against women as professionals. The more time men are allowed to take off when they have kids, the less women fall behind them in the rat race.

The New York Times had a good article several years ago about this, explaining why Sweden switched to a system where the two parents get a combined total of 13 months of paid leave during the first 8 years of a child's life. By not allowing any one parent to take more than 9 of those months, they essentially encourage men to take a good portion of that leave and prevent women from taking too much.

Alas, I can only dream of that -- I'll take off a total of 8 weeks of unpaid leave this year for my child while he's under the age of one, since I won't be allowed to in later years.

about a year ago

Justice Dept. Files Antitrust Complaint Against AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

kingduct First yay! (301 comments)


Now lets hope they don't negotiate a deal (or worse yet, that the Department of Justice doesn't flat out lose the case).

about 3 years ago

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

kingduct Thanks (1521 comments)

Wasn't going to post here, almost never do, I'm a lurker. I know that nobody'll ever read this, but I wanted to thank you. This is one of the few websites which has drawn me back day after day for more than 10 years. You did a great job, as have many of the other people who have worked on the site and who have been regular users. Good luck with future endeavors (and with doing nothing for a while).

about 3 years ago

China Calls Out US On Internet Freedom

kingduct As Vladimir Putin puts it... (338 comments)

"Some people's cows can moo, but yours should keep quiet."

more than 3 years ago

The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art

kingduct Re:This isn't misleading (267 comments)

In other news, people were heard complaining that the letters F A B I O look nothing like the hunky guy on the cover of their romance novels...

about 4 years ago

Legislation To Make Web Devices Accessible To Disabled Users

kingduct Re:This is why egalitarianism is the enemy of free (274 comments)

The Kindle is a bad example -- the Kindle program was shut down, but it is quite possible that a relatively small effort by Amazon could make the device totally acceptable -- the Kindle 2 already had a screen reader (it could read books out loud), all that was missing was something that read the menus out loud so that a blind person could actually use the device. In other words, it had all of the hardware capabilities and only needed a bit more software -- software that would be relatively simple compared to the screenreader software that they already had.

The Kindle 3 incorporates menus that you can listen to. It will be interesting to see whether they meet accessibility standards.

more than 4 years ago

The Great Operating System Games

kingduct Re:Xbill (145 comments)

An awesome game. MS was so impressed they named their console after it!

more than 4 years ago

Dept. of Justice Considers Web For ADA

kingduct Re:I know businesses that ended because of the ADA (296 comments)

See the ADA FAQ at
Here are a few of the questions and answers:

Q. Are there any limitations on the ADA's barrier removal requirements for existing facilities?
A. Yes. Barrier removal need be accomplished only when it is "readily achievable" to do so.

Q. What does the term "readily achievable" mean?
A. It means "easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."

Q. What are examples of the types of modifications that would be readily achievable in most cases?
A. Examples include the simple ramping of a few steps, the installation of grab bars where only routine reinforcement of the wall is required, the lowering of telephones, and similar modest adjustments.

Q. Must alternative steps be taken without regard to cost?
A. No, only readily achievable alternative steps must be undertaken.
Q. Will businesses need to install elevators?
A. Businesses are not required to retrofit their facilities to install elevators unless such installation is readily achievable, which is unlikely in most cases.

Q. When barrier removal is not readily achievable, what kinds of alternative steps are required by the ADA?
A. Alternatives may include such measures as in-store assistance for removing articles from inaccessible shelves, home delivery of groceries, or coming to the door to receive or return dry cleaning.

The ADA is very well written and did not become a fundamentally outrageous burden on our economy. All it has done is improve access for people with disabilities and really, all of us.

more than 4 years ago

Dept. of Justice Considers Web For ADA

kingduct Re:I know businesses that ended because of the ADA (296 comments)

This just isn't the truth. The ADA requires reasonable accommodations - solutions that make sense and are affordable. In the case of a big business, this would definitely mean installing the ramp. In the case of a small business, this would mean finding a workable solution, that could be a ramp or could be a small staircase elevator, or could be having a call button that calls a couple of employees to lift the wheelchair user into the store. There are many different solutions that are possible, and as we know, there are still many businesses that don't have staircases. There are numerous resources available on the subject:

In the case of new buildings, they should be designed in the first place to be usable for everyone. It doesn't add much extra expense and the end result is generally positive for all (I certainly notice ramps a lot more now that I have a baby in a stroller). In the case of websites, design that is accessible for blind users and other people with disabilities is generally good for all -- think of well designed css, avoiding distracting design (that is bad for people with learning disabilities), good usage of appropriate image descriptions, etc. It costs essentially nothing extra to include those in a new website and everyone can appreciate it.

Frankly, if adding a little staircase elevator or having a ramp or finding another solution was so expensive that it put the store out of business, I think maybe this guy's business problems were a little bigger than he described them.

more than 4 years ago

Net Neutrality Suffers Major Setback

kingduct Re:telecom (790 comments)

Comcast and others could profit from Bittorrent while maintaining network neutrality. They may not be doing so and probably don't see "bit torrent a a good thing right now," but their desired solution is not one that I agree with. If Comcast chooses to overcharge light users (like me) and undercharge heavy users (like our hypothetical bittorrent users), that is a flaw in their business model, not a flaw with net neutrality.

As for the content delivery folks, which I assume to understand are the content creators, aren't they also paying for their bandwidth on the other end? Which major content creators are using Bittorrent or other forms of p2p sharing right now? Even if they are using p2p, their users are still paying for the bandwidth. In any case, it seems to me that as long as the bandwidth were being paid for, Comcast wouldn't complain -- except that the content being carried over their bandwidth competes with their own content. That's the crux of the issue; Comcast doesn't want to treat other content creators fairly and is looking for excuses to fight net neutrality.

more than 4 years ago

Net Neutrality Suffers Major Setback

kingduct Re:telecom (790 comments)

"If comcast could profit from bit torrent then they will be happy for it because, when done correctly, bit torrent more efficiently broadcasts across the edges of the network rather than the backbone."

So, you don't think that the average Bittorrent user pays for higher-priced plans than the average non-user? Network neutrality allows charging users for their network usage, it is meant to prevent discrimination based on type of usage. I think it is probably safe to say that people downloading lots of content on the internet (and uploading lots) pay to have faster service than people who don't use it much.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft and Apple Rumble Into Middle Age

kingduct Re:Fearless Leadership? (367 comments)

Or perhaps we could say that buying NeXT to get Steve Jobs back was a bet the company risk.

more than 4 years ago

Contributors Leaving Wikipedia In Record Numbers

kingduct Re:It's finished, dummies (632 comments)

I'd add that the concept of "compendium of all human knowledge" included a whole lot of stuff that can't be cited. Unfortunately, Wikipedia decided that it was supposed to compete with Brittanica and other traditional encyclopedias and needed academic citations. All of a sudden humans who knew things outside the realms of academia were lesser again, and people who knew how to make a citation were greater, even if they didn't understand what they were citing.

I myself stopped participating after having an extended argument related to a minor edit I made, but the other guy had a citation. While I had real world experience on the issue and the other guy didn't, he had the citation. When I finally got the book he cited through inter-library loan, it turned out he had completely misunderstood the text.

I think Wikipedia or something like it will evolve to include different tags that let people determine if they want to read uncited or irrelevant information.

more than 4 years ago

Pittsburgh To Tax Students

kingduct At least they are honest (344 comments)

Hey, at least they're calling it a tax. In California they call it "raising fees." Either way, it seems like politicians are never willing to tax the rich, but are happy to jack up taxes on the young.

more than 4 years ago


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