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Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

spxero Barrier to entry (225 comments)

I don't live in the area anymore, but being a fresh college grad near that area around '05 it was hard finding work due to job requirements. I had no real-world experience, only a 4-year degree and a knack for computers and networking. No one was willing to train or even give an interview until I had 5+ years of server admin experience. The end result is that I moved out of the area and haven't thought about going back since. Maybe the older, established companies need to loosen job requirements and train good employees if they want people to work for them instead of the startups.

about a year ago

Facebook Shuts Down @Facebook Email System

spxero Re:Email is an alternative to facebook (149 comments)

While your comment is funny, the truth hurts. For the longest time my wife (then girlfriend) kept two phones, one on AT&T and one on Verizon. Because of her family on Verizon and me (and my family) on AT&T, it was cheaper for her to have two phones to talk to both sides than have an "unlimited minutes and messages" account on one service. YMMV.

about a year ago

A Year After Ban On Loud TV Commercials: Has It Worked?

spxero Re:commercials? (288 comments)

I was in the same boat with you, but since MLB.tv offers a YEAR of games for what one month of cable or satellite costs I've cut that cord and haven't looked back. Supposedly the Xbox One will have all live streaming NFL games, but I haven't seen it in action yet. I hope more leagues go the way of MLB.tv- I gladly pay for the games I want to watch without getting all the extra channels or insane pricing for such little use.

about a year ago

The Death of the American Drive-in

spxero Re:Dude... (236 comments)

Agreed. It's $7 for adults, kids 5 and under are free, and you can bring food in yourself or get reasonably priced food at their snack shack (which has 10x the items of the regular theaters). For my family of four that's a total price of $14 before food for two movies and I don't have to worry about ruining someone else's experience, because it's almost all families anyway!

At the regular theaters the price is closer to $40 on tickets alone, not to mention (young) kids aren't necessarily welcome anyway. I may be the smaller demographic, but apparently there are enough of me out there to keep these drive-in's alive.

about a year and a half ago

Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

spxero Re:Keyboard is nice, but ... (618 comments)

I'm in just about the same boat as you, being product evaluator for the company. What's funny is that the iPad has actually made it easier for our field guys to do their work. The most they do is key in a few numbers, print and/or scan a few pages, take photos, and possibly map shapes via GPS. Doing this kind of work on a laptop is doable, but tedious. The iPad has made a one-stop device that is portable, easy to use, and has a shallow learning curve.

The Surface RT on the other hand doesn't play well with the scanners we have, doesn't have 10m GPS support, and in general is hard to use fully without the "keyboard" it came with. It's the 2013 equivalent of a netbook, with less compatibility. Battery life was great, but I think that was due more to non-use than use. It's been on my desk since we could get one and no one has taken it for more than a weekend. The only question I have after each evaluation is "did you like using it?" to which the response has been a resounding "it's kinda cool, but I don't see it replacing my android/iPad".

Anyone who is using an iPad for full-fledged document, spreadsheet, or powerpoint creation is either unprepared or extremely advanced. No, it's not a great device for creation. But it's a great device for quick edits, consumption, and presentation.

As for the androids, it'd be nice for the manufacturers to standardize things like keyboards. Half the time I have to google image search the keyboard layout because it isn't exactly the same as the device we have.

Microsoft is late to the game and trying to use their last bargaining chip- the Office Suite. The problem is that many iOS and Android apps exist for that already and do everything else better. Too little, too late.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?

spxero Re:Problem: The Cable TV Sports Monopoly (328 comments)

This may not be a great solution for you, but if you have an iOS or Android device that can spoof your location you can catch all the MLB.tv action by "putting" your device in a different state. As an A's fan living in Texas the out-of-market restriction isn't an issue, but now that 2/5 of the AL West is in Texas it may become burdensome.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?

spxero Re:Problem: The Cable TV Sports Monopoly (328 comments)

I subscribe to MLB.tv for ~$120/year. This covers spring training, the regular season, and some of the post season. The rest of the post season was available last year for ~$5. I'm not sure how much money the MLB makes off of this, but I prefer this service over paying for cable or satellite and then the sports packages on top of all that.

MLB.tv apps are available for all of my iOS, Android, XBMC, and computer. This service I GLADLY pay for over the $50+/mo cost of Cable TV for only a handful of games.

I believe the NFL is still in agreement with dish over the "Sunday Ticket", otherwise their might be some hope to catch the one NFL game a week I care to see.

Live sports are getting there, but just not at a quick pace.

about 2 years ago

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Out Now; Raring Ringtail In the Works

spxero Re:Please consider Mint (318 comments)

This, 100%.

When Ubuntu went to Unity is when I went to Mint full time. When Mint went to Gnome 3 is when I went to Mint XFCE full time.

Why is it so hard to understand that the desktop environment is probably about as good as it will get? I probably sound like a stick in the mud, but the biggest annoyance in UI the past few years has been putting the ribbon on everything and tabs on top, at the top. The last one is the single reason I don't use Chrome on a daily basis and the former is the reason that I do any and all .doc and .xls work in OpenOffice.org.

The only interface enhancement that has blown my mind in the past ten years is the way my Apple laptop handles multi-touch in the trackpad. One finger for cursor, two for moving 360* in pages/apps, and three for dragging. There aren't any accidental swipes down or across the page like I have on my Win7 laptop and it's poor implementation of touch-sensitive areas.

For the desktop, I've found Mint XFCE to be a speedy, awesome, no-unneccessary-frills alternative. It's awesome.

more than 2 years ago

RIM Firing (Nearly) Everybody

spxero Re:Incidentally (440 comments)

That right there is the problem. Not the phone, but the users. As a previous poster stated (and the article mentioned), the only people buying a new Blackberry are the ones that already have an old Blackberry. RIM needs to start thinking about what they can offer to consumers (and business) that no one else does. They don't have the app market, music/video store, or appeal that both Apple and Android have.

What RIM needs to do is go to the carriers and give them whatever cash is left to allow BB phones a 100% truly unlimited-in-ever-sense data plan. A few years ago when I was shopping for data plans, the iPhone "unlimited" was somewhere around $30/mo, and the Blackberry "unlimited" was $50-60/mo. This may be the fault of the carriers, but it hurts RIM nonetheless. If WinMo and RIM want to compete they need to offer what no one else does: unlimited data.

Oh, and they need to stop forcing that sh!tty BB Enterprise Server. We're not paying an extra $60k/year to duplicate the functionality of our current mail server.

more than 2 years ago

Domestic Drilling Doesn't Decrease Gasoline Prices

spxero Re:Whoops! Solely AP Not MPR (736 comments)

Yes, if the oil was obtained on U.S. soil.

That is a selfish viewpoint, but I don't expect Iran to look out for us over themselves.

We are all running out of time and these guys are making obscene profits as is. I live in West Texas and see this on a daily basis. Other than safety, there is little account for responsible spending. Example: workers that used to check and maintain the pumpjacks are promoted to "manager" and told to call a consulting/maintenance firm to do any repairs, costing a ton more than just using the person that was hired to do the original job.

If they obtain it from U.S. soil, refine on U.S. soil, and sell on U.S. soil there is no reason for a spike for the U.S. caused by world factors.

more than 2 years ago

VisiCalc's Dan Bricklin On the Tablet Revolution

spxero Re:killer (185 comments)

I disagree. We are slowly migrating to using iPads (and Android tablets) in the field for many of our users. They still have the ability to use a laptop, but 90% of what they do can be done on an iPad (including printing/scanning). Part of our business involves getting signatures from customers out in the field. Carrying a laptop and signature tablet is more cumbersome than the iPad. They still have laptops, but those are more stationary than anything else these days. I think you are going to see iPads more and more in business, especially for those that hate lugging around a laptop.

more than 2 years ago

What Is Your Favorite Way of Watching a Movie

spxero Re:I can't believe this (409 comments)

I can believe it. When was the last time you went to a theater? Annoying patrons, incredible volume levels, unreasonable prices for food, and ~20 minutes of ads and previews before the show.

Now that I'm pushing toward the middle of life with small children, going to the movie theater is more of a chore than anything else. Very few theaters around my location have anything starting after 5:15pm but before 7:30pm. I'd like to take the wife and kid to go see a movie, but I need to either take off from work and skip dinner, or go to the later showing and have the kid out late. This is just one example, but I know I'm not the only parent that is concerned about their children getting dinner and going to bed on time.

The second issue is cost. My understanding is that the theaters make very little per showing from ticket sales, but make it up with popcorn and sodas. If I were to get tickets, popcorn/snacks, and sodas I would be in about $60 for one evening's entertainment for the family. If we leave the kid with a sitter that can get even more expensive.

Volume levels, annoying patrons, and expensive prices are all what is keeping me from the theater. I don't have an extra $60+ in my budget to spend each weekend. If they can get that down to $20 that is something I would do on a regular basis. Until then it just doesn't make sense.

On the other hand, we are fortunate enough to live where there is still a double-feature drive-in movie theater. They are generally smart about their showings and will place a kid-friendly movie as the first showing and put an adult one second. This works out very well when the kid is asleep in time for the second showing, or we can go home if the weather takes a turn for the worse. $5 per person and I can bring my own food (or buy their reasonably-priced snacks, usually about half what the other theater charges).

This is really only the tip of the iceberg for me, but they have a long way to go before they get my movie theater dollars again.

more than 2 years ago

Television Next In Line For Industry-Wide Shakeup?

spxero Re:"Smart" TVs? (381 comments)

$12,500? And that's not including walls, seating, and sound control? You overpaid. By a lot.

$750 for the drives
$200 for the server box
$400 for the HTPC front end (Zotac mini-itx with case, memory, and HD. This is a high estimate.)
$500 for the receiver
$1500 for the speakers (I'm going with a high-end speaker since you apparently designed a room around all this)
$100 for cables

I've got $3450 before the TV, not including tax or shipping. If you went with Windows on both you can add another $600 for Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate.

I see an 80" LED from Best Lie is only $5k.

Where did the other $4k go?

more than 2 years ago

Mastercard, Visa To Help Target Ads

spxero Re:What if I don't mind? (222 comments)

For those _specific_ purchases, no. But it isn't about just your purchases or mine. As an earlier poster mentioned, what if you purchased some home theater equipment recently as well as some tickets to Jamaica? Even if those show up as "Recent Best Buy Purchase" and "Vacation Getwaway Package Purchase", it doesn't take long to piece together that you may have bought something and are going away for a weekend or longer.

Yes, this is a reaching argument. But who is allowed access to that data? How can I get a copy of the information being shared about me? Can I opt out of this, and is it opt-out by default?

Maybe some of the stuff I enjoy in my home life doesn't really need to be shared with my co-workers. This may sound silly to most, but I worked at a company that was very "family oriented" (funny, I worked more overtime there than anywhere else). This company frowned upon consuming alcohol, even in our personal lives. If we spoke about drinking over the weekend we generally received shunning and evil-eye stares from those who heard the conversation. What if the advertisements show skimpy girls and deals on liqueur because I visited a bar over the weekend?

This kind of thing meshes all parts of my life together and gives people the ability to know things about me that I don't want them to know about. That's what's wrong about this for me.

more than 3 years ago

Utah Governor 'Honored' With Blackhole Award

spxero Re:I'm surprised and disappointed (161 comments)

I think the part that doesn't make sense is that Bush is responsible for the actions of those under him but Obama isn't. Bush never comes out and says "hey, we've got an open thing going on here!" and then continues to stall or deny FOIA requests. He just never says transparent in the first place and you liken that to them being the problem.

On the flip side of that coin, Obama says "Hey, we're going to make things transparent" and _nothing_ changed. The difference is you think Obama is not responsible for his subordinates but Bush is. Hence, "LOL WUT".

FWIW, I don't like either policy.

more than 3 years ago

Boxee Box Matures; Another Look At the Platform

spxero Re:DVR (56 comments)

There is- it's a fork of XBMC called MediaPortal. It has DVR support and tv-over-ip support for running one major DVR and a bunch of clients.

If you want boxee to be a DVR, you're missing the point of boxee altogether. Boxee's point is to display all the media content from the Internet on a 10-ft interface.

more than 3 years ago

Professor Rejects Camera Implanted In His Head

spxero Re:Stupid art tricks (138 comments)

People listening/paying or not is not a defining attribute to being an art critic. It is to being a popular art critic, but not just being an art critic (or critic of anything else, for that matter). If the audience is only himself, he is still a critic.

Just as it is completely in the "artist's" right to call it art, it is in our individual rights to determine if we consider it art. And likewise it is up to the population as a whole to determine if it is important or inane art.

Personally, I consider this inane.

more than 3 years ago

Motorola's XOOM Tablet To Cost $799; Wi-Fi Requires 3G Activation?

spxero Re:webOS Tablets on Wednesday (429 comments)

I always felt the webOS was just a little too small for that screen the crammed it into. I personally found the one-button escape to be similar to my iPhone, but swiping through the open cards much easier. And the touch screen on the Pre was about as on-par as you can get to the Apple devices (Android devices have yet to come near those two on touch "smoothness").

I am hoping for a entry-level device as opposed to the premium spec'd one. Mostly because for what Apple has spec'd for the iPad, the competitors seem to be $100-200 more for similar devices. Motorola had the name in 2001 if they wanted to push a "premium" device like this, but after a horrible run of RAZR's, ROKR's, and mediocre Droids, this new device seems outpriced for what you get. If they can put a $300 webOS device (maybe a 7" or 8"?) with good enough performance and onboard h.264 rendering (and Netflix, the de-facto streaming standard), they have a good chance at winning my dollars vs. Apple's devices.

more than 3 years ago

Usage Based Billing In Canada To Be Rescinded

spxero Re:Right on! (364 comments)

I think the bigger issue isn't that it will be 10 cents per GB, but closer to 10 dollars per GB. We, the customer, are at their mercy for billing. Because of the government-granted monopolies in many areas and borderline collusion on pricing, there isn't anywhere for customers to go to get better products or services.

And with the other metered services you mention, the user is depriving someone else from using those items. They are physical, tangible things (including electricity because of what it takes to generate). Network packets aren't depriving someone else of their usage in any reasonable sense. The only thing they require after the line is laid is the electricity, which is already a metered item

more than 3 years ago


spxero hasn't submitted any stories.




spxero spxero writes  |  more than 9 years ago

What the hell does it take to get some karma? I've made posts over the last few days that don't even get the starting 1 point. What is that all about? If I was modded 'troll' I would understand this. I may have had something interesting to say (nah, I doubt it) but the world will never know. Oh well.

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