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Comments

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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (123 comments)

Hey, that's an interesting unit. Thanks for bringing it up. It's not quite as thin as an Air but damn if it doesn't tear the Air apart in almost every respect.

13 hours ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (123 comments)

You can't call on the "different use cases matter" argument and then claim that the opinion derived from a specific use case is "so obviously wrong." Pick one.

13 hours ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Jody Bruchon Re:Crazy (744 comments)

Unemployed college age kids appreciate your benevolence and your prevention of them becoming "gas station slaves." They are happy that you have made the choice for them to remain unemployed and "free," and they certainly will not read your comment and think "being paid something is better than being paid nothing and going nowhere in life." /heapsofsarcasm

2 days ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Jody Bruchon Re:Of course employment went up (744 comments)

For small businesses, employee wages can be the majority of the expenses paid by the business. Take a very small business (let's say it's lawn care or a computer repair place) that makes a gross $100,000 a year and pays two helpers plus the company's owner $10 an hour 40 hours a week (ignoring taxes and other overhead for simplicity). Assuming two weeks worth of unpaid days off per year, each of those people consumes 20% ($20,000) of the gross income for a total of 60% of all gross income going to paying everyone that works there. If the minimum wage is driven to $11/hr, the business will forcibly lose an additional 6% of its gross income to wages. The owner will have to decide between passing the overhead to the customer by raising rates (potentially losing customers due to the rate hike) or terminating a helper plus working longer hours to compensate. This type of hard choice happens all the time for small businesses anytime a major unexpected change occurs in the mechanics of the world that power that business. Computer repair shops weren't doing so hot a few years ago when Thailand flooded and new hard drive prices literally doubled overnight, for example; I wonder how many of them went out of business because of the spike.

Everyone seems to point at Wal-Mart and McDonald's when these discussions come up, but small and family-operated businesses are still the majority of the economy and the situation for them is very different from that of a large publicly traded corporation.\

One more thing to remember is that a small business with less than five employees doesn't have to report hiring and firing to the government. If 100,000 very small businesses fired one employee each, you'd never see it in the national [un]employment figures. Some places also pay people "under the table," further hiding the employment losses when they fire their secret workers.

2 days ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (123 comments)

The S200E power adapter is easily found. Replacement adapters are $10 or less on eBay. The rest of your statements are subjective and/or workload-dependent and therefore irrelevant.

2 days ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (123 comments)

You're looking at the Early 2014 Haswell 11" Macbook Air. The S200E has been out for over a year now; you're not even comparing apples to apples. I'm going to roll with the mid-2013 Air even though that's still newer than the S200E and thus is still not quite fair.

How is my S200E better than a mid-2013 Macbook Air?
Price: $510 ($430 for the S200E + $80 for a 120GB SSD) vs. $899 = I paid $389 less. I can buy another S200E base unit for that price today.
Physical attributes: S200E is thicker and heavier than the Air but is still a solid aluminum chassis (other than the rubberized bottom) that doesn't tweak, crack, and break as easily as the Air; the rubberized bottom also makes the unit much less slippery overall. Servicing the S200E is also very easy. The Air might be a little lighter, but in a backpack full of other stuff, why complain about an extra half a pound, especially when it means a much sturdier unit?
CPU: The Air is a Haswell i5-4250U; the S200E is an Ivy Bridge i3-3217U; this obviously makes the Air's CPU more powerful (PassMark: 3419) than the S200E's CPU (Passmark: 2292). However, my purchase was partly based on picking a low power consumption laptop to attach to a set of solar panels, not on maximum CPU performance; that i5 is 15W TDP while the i3 is 10W TDP (1/3 lower). I don't feel bad about paying $389 less for the slower CPU though.
Storage: The S200E came with a 7mm 500GB hard drive. I upgraded it to a 120GB SATA-III SSD. My final price includes the part cost for that SSD. Its 8GB less than the Air's 128GB PCIe SSD and the performance between the two in real-world usage is probably identical (though the PCIe SSD shows better raw read speeds in simple benchmarks). Ultimately, the SSD differences are insignificant. The S200E comes with a portable slim USB 2.0 DVD-RW drive; the Air doesn't have an optical drive at all.
Ports: Both have SD card slots. Air has 2x USB 3.0 ports and I wouldn't mind having that on my S200E, but the S200E has 3 total USB ports, so I can plug in my mouse and USB 2.0 microphone and still have my USB 3.0 port free for my USB 3.0 external hard drive or flash drive when needed. Other than having more USB 3.0 ports, the Air clearly loses on ports vs. the S200E: no HDMI, no ethernet, no VGA, one less USB port. Sure, it has Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt is useless without expensive stuff to plug into it (remember that $389 I saved? Tack on a $29 Thunderbolt network adapter add-on to that if you like.) My HDTV and 28" monitor have HDMI; does your HDTV have Thunderbolt? Nope. Does your sub-$300 28" monitor have Thunderbolt? Nope.
Input: ah, yes, Mac users love their trackpads...I hate to tell you this, but it's just a Synaptics ClickPad. The S200E has an ElanTech version of the exact same thing, and guess what? It works just as well. It detects when you're pushing to click and doesn't go haywire and move your pointer while clicking (as early PC ClickPads tended to do), it has a heap of multi-touch gestures from the factory and those gestures are all configurable, and it tracks wonderfully. The keyboard has great tactile response and even looks like it was taken directly from a Macbook Air, save the lack of cloverleaf and apple keys. The two computers are on equal footing regarding input devices. The S200E has a touchscreen as well, but fuck touchscreens.
Display: The panels in use are apparently identical; I doubt there are many choices for a thin glossy 11.6" LED LCD at 1366x768.
Conclusion: I paid $389 less. I sacrificed 1/3 of the CPU power but got 1/3 the CPU wattage back in exchange. I only got one USB 3.0 port but I still have more USB ports. I have HDMI and VGA outputs. I have an equivalent keyboard and touchpad experience, an equivalent 11.6" display, and I can actually plug a network cable in without buying an external adapter. I got a free USB DVD-RW with the S200E. I don't have to worry about the S200E being damaged just because the cat decided to walk on top of it while closed or because I set down the backpack a little too fast. This truly is a better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air.

2 days ago
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The debate over climate change is..

Jody Bruchon Re:n/t (278 comments)

Such irony in that delicious post.

2 days ago
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The debate over climate change is..

Jody Bruchon Re:n/t (278 comments)

Thank you for demonstrating my point.

3 days ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (123 comments)

I'm not sure about the Macbook Air (the 11" model at least) having better color. The LCD panel in this Asus is much better than I'd have expected in a ~$450 ultraportable laptop. I wouldn't be surprised if the Air uses the exact same panel and the exact same quality. Another thing to consider about the S200E (and its near-twin, the X202E) is that it's an older release than the most 2014 Haswell Macbook Air, so comparing those isn't exactly apples-to-apples (no pun intended) in the first place. I found it interesting that the latest Air incarnation offers a sub-$999 model though; that's a step in the right direction, but they're still too thin and they still lack a network socket or HDMI, two things that are very important to me in a laptop. No, Thunderbolt isn't an acceptable substitute for HDMI, but thanks.

3 days ago
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The debate over climate change is..

Jody Bruchon Re:n/t (278 comments)

People who express what you have just expressed are demonized and shouted down in the same way that Tumblr feminists and religious zealots attack their opponents: tons of fallacy, anger, shocked disbelief, ad hominem, and parroting of illogical talking points that provoke strong emotions yet mean nothing. Very few have actual arguments to present in a discussion, so they fall back on religious fanaticism. When they realize that science is never "settled" and present real information consistently, perhaps then a discussion can happen. Until then, this whole thing seems no different than a religious war and therefore a complete waste of time for people who have the audacity to use critical thinking skills.

3 days ago
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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

Jody Bruchon Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (123 comments)

The Surface line is no threat. I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air") that makes a Surface Pro look like total garbage and is almost the same physical size. Laptops continue to be the king of "I actually have work to get done" portable computing larger than a smartphone. Tablets trying to be laptops are just plain junk, especially when you drop the "Pro" and just get a Surface that can't run anything useful at all other than a browser.

I'm waiting for the Surface thing to fade away. I'm surprised it sticks around at all; it's about time for an HP TouchPad-style fire sale. *stares at watch*

3 days ago
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X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Jody Bruchon Re:Systemd? Not on my system... (223 comments)

Critical components on freedesktop.org now have mandatory systemd dependencies. To continue receiving bug and security fixes, those "mandatory systemd" versions must be adopted by distros, that is unless they don't want things like udev, evdev, GNOME, etc. Distros are adopting systemd because they really do have no choice. Red Hat crowbarred it into so many important things (or absorbed those things into systemd entirely) that the effort required to dump it is growing faster than people can fork away.

Your distro of choice shoves it down your throat because Red Hat tainted things with it that are MANDATORY for supporting fundamental features of an interactive graphical desktop system. Red Hat is essentially the late-90's Microsoft of the Linux world. People love to blame Poettering but the truth is that Red Hat is his employer and Red Hat is the driving force that's jamming this unwanted garbage down everyone's craw. It's classic "embrace, extend, extinguish."

3 days ago
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X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Jody Bruchon Re:Systemd? Not on my system... (223 comments)

Except the people who control systemd (Red Hat) and the people who control everything on freedesktop.org (Red Hat) are the same, and that power is being used to crowbar systemd dependency into absolutely critical components on freedesktop.org that every significant Linux graphical desktop environment relies on. The real problem here is that Red Hat controls critical Linux ecosystem components and has used that control to force people to do what they want. Shout about "open source" and "choice" and "forks" all you want but the fact remains that the manpower required to maintain "no systemd dependency" forks is increasing exponentially, and even a user who can maintain one or two forks could simply never hope to maintain them all.

What will end up happening is people who don't want it and can't find working forks that don't force it down their throats will stick with old versions. That means less security, unfixed bugs, and no more enhancements. Eventually that will crowd out anyone who buys new hardware because old software doesn't recognize and/or work with the new hardware.

If systemd had not absorbed all the important freedesktop.org projects and was not a hard dependency for GNOME and other important things, the vitriol would not happen. As long as Red Hat continues trying to box people into their vision of how things should work and use tactics befitting late-90's Microsoft to slowly choke out alternatives, the hatred of systemd and the vocal backlash against it will continue and the backlash is completely justified and proper.

4 days ago
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X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Jody Bruchon Re:Systemd? Not on my system... (223 comments)

Open source is irrelevant when a significant number of critical projects required to build a functioning graphical desktop are tied to the undesirable project. It's hard to maintain a fork as it is, but 10 forks? 20 forks? At some point the hard dependency on systemd eventually boxes in everyone.

4 days ago
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Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

Jody Bruchon Re:Oh dear god (104 comments)

Oh? I have an implicitly cooked egg I'd like to share with you...

about three weeks ago
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Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

Jody Bruchon Re:1990 called (104 comments)

NO U

about three weeks ago
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Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

Jody Bruchon Re:1990 called (104 comments)

Raised yet again. This is why I love Slashdot. The learning never stops. Neither does the illegal gambling.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Firefox 29 is a Flop; UI Design Trends Only Getting Worse

Jody Bruchon Jody Bruchon writes  |  about 3 months ago

Jody Bruchon (3404363) writes "Firefox 29 marked the release of the UI overhaul codenamed "Australis" and the jury is back with a verdict: the vast majority of feedback on Firefox Input is negative and traffic to the Classic Theme Restorer add-on has aggressively spiked since Firefox 29 came out on April 29. Considering this is a year and a half after the backlash against the new Windows 8 user interface, it seems that even though the "dumbing down" trends in UI design are infuriating users, they continue to happen. Chrome will soon be hiding URLs, OS X has hidden scroll bars by default, iOS 7 flattened everything, and Windows 8 made scroll bars hard to see. If most users hate these changes, why are they so ubiquitous?"
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EPA makes most wood stoves illegal

Jody Bruchon Jody Bruchon writes  |  about 8 months ago

Jody Bruchon (3404363) writes "The Environment Protection Agency has lowered the amount of fine-particle matter per cubic meter that new wood stoves are allowed to release into the atmosphere by 20%. Most wood stoves in use today are of the type that is now illegal to manufacture or sell, and old stoves traded in for credit towards new ones must be scrapped out. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since more and more local governments are banning wood-burning stoves and fireplaces entirely, citing smog and air pollution concerns."

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