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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

tompatman Re: Cars are just part of what's on the road (454 comments)

The majority of people are going to take the least expensive option. If companies form to operate massive fleets of self driving cars that can reach you In a timely fashion and charge fees below the cost of owning a car, owning a car will suddenly become a luxury. This conversation reminds of one here about HDTV years ago when they were hitting the market. Most of the comments were along the lines of "my tube TV is great, those new fangled overpriced HD sets will never catch on". The slasdot crowd seems to have a very myopic view when it comes to new technology.

about 2 months ago

32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

tompatman Re:Boston (175 comments)

I live in Andover and have FIOS. For the most part it's a decent service, but it currently cost $65 a month for only a 15/15 Mbps connection. It's only going to go up from there. When I first signed up with them they had excellent customer service, but they get a little more like Comcast every year.

about 3 months ago

32 Cities Want To Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

tompatman Boston (175 comments)

Nice to see Boston on the list. I hope other cities join in when they see this.

about 3 months ago

FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

tompatman What Will Broadband Do For 4k Video? (353 comments)

I have been reading that the new 4k video standard requires a 15Mbps stream. 4k TVs are on the marketplace and based on the shipping volumes and price drops will be the standard TV within 3-5 yrs. How will Broadband meet the huge demand for these video streams? Netflix is already providing a couple of shows in 4k, but I doubt many people can view them since it's apparently a huge burden on these ISPs to even provide 3Mbps streams. I think a lot more of the public will start to complain when they can't get the brilliant picture quality they saw in the store while they were buying their new TV.

about 4 months ago

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

tompatman Re:A comment from the linked site: (273 comments)

The G37 Sport package includes paddle shifters on the steering column. If you wanted them on a non-sport version though, there was an ebay seller who sold the paddles. All of the wiring and functionality was already there, just bolt on the paddles plug them in and you were done. Car manufacturers include a lot of stuff like this by default because it would be more expensive to install different features based on what the buyer was willing to pay for.

about 6 months ago

'Curiosity' Lead Engineer Suggests Printing Humans On Other Planets

tompatman Ink (323 comments)

I'd hate to be the one who has to change the ink on that printer.

about 8 months ago

Target Credit Card Data Was Sent To a Server In Russia

tompatman POS (137 comments)

Target's terminals are aptly named.

1 year,13 days

4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television

tompatman Re:There really is no point (559 comments)

This just isn't true. Go to the TV store at Jordan's Furniture in Reading, MA. They have a $20,000 massive 4k TV with a video showing a variety of stuff. One part of it showed some of London. It was so clear it almost felt like looking through a window.

about a year ago

New Jersey Congressman Seeks To Bar NSA Backdoors In Encryption

tompatman Re: Pointless posturing (200 comments)

Run for office you are 100% correct, on the first two points anyway. Term limits would solve many problems and contribution limits would solve most of the rest. This can only happen if the majority of the public forces it to be a front and center issue and that will only happen when the majority of the public learns how to think for themselves.

about a year ago

AT&T Quietly Adds Charges To All Contract Cell Plans

tompatman Re:Surcharge (338 comments)

I just bought two pre-paid phones and was planning to use ATT, but they infuriated me before I could become a customer. They have a pre-paid plan, but hide all information pertaining to the prices their site. Even the support person online couldn't find the info. I gave up and just signed up with T-Mobile, where I'm sure I'll be much happier. T-Mobile signed more new customers this quarter than any other carrier, it's no surprise why.

about a year and a half ago

Why Self-Driving Cars Are Still a Long Way Down the Road

tompatman Re:Don't have to be perfect, just better (352 comments)

Good point, So, of these who is the better driver? The doctor who just finished an 18 hour shift half asleep at the wheel, the idiot teen texting while driving, the guy who had one too many at the bar or Google's self driving car? I know which one I'd vote for.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

tompatman No Magic Bullets (635 comments)

There's no magical way that's going to keep you in shape without a little effort to eat well and take some time to exercise. Lay off the fritos and mountain dew. Stick to water and coffee/tea and get some veggies in your meals. Make time to exercise over lunch or right after work, for at least 30 min. You're just making excuses if you think you can't carve 30 min. out of your day. I go to the gym at lunch and find it makes me more relaxed and more productive at work.

about 2 years ago

Apple to Buy Back $10bn of Its Shares and Pay Dividend

tompatman Re:Context? (301 comments)

I'm amazed how many people on this thread miss the point of the dividend. Apple is looking for new investors and right now many mutual funds can't own apple because they have a policy of owning only dividend yielding stocks. By paying a dividend, those funds can start buying.

more than 2 years ago

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

tompatman The Cable Companies Understand This Trend (697 comments)

The problem is that in most cases, if you ditch cable, the internet price goes up. I have FIOS and I think the price for stand alone internet goes up by almost $30 if you drop cable. Then, savings from dropping cable is not so great. It always seemed obvious to me that this was a monopolistic practice and I'm surprised it's allowed. If I could get high speed internet for the same price with or without cable, I'd drop cable for sure.

more than 3 years ago

Has a Decade of .NET Delivered On Microsoft's Promises?

tompatman Re:Point & Click programming (558 comments)

So, you're looking for job security by continuing to use languages where it is difficult to code something up? Good luck with that. If point and click programming does the job well and can be done quickly, why would a manager not want to use that style of programming for their projects? I wonder how much C# programming you've done yourself. It's an excellent language and very readable/maintainable when used by software engineer who pays attention to quality.

more than 5 years ago

Can We Really Tell Lossless From MP3?

tompatman Re:The hiss is where it hides (849 comments)

I run mp3Gain on all of my music to reduce the gain a more normal level, around 89 dB. Almost every album today shows clipping. It's a shame that producers only care about making the music loud. I find it obnoxious and can't stand the distortion. I hope the practice changes soon.

more than 5 years ago

A Mobile Phone Mesh That Can Survive Carrier Network Failure

tompatman Re:Old Tech (131 comments)

This has been around for awhile. http://aprs.fi/ links devices sending messages via rf and also routes through the internet although the internet link is not needed. Doing it with cell phones is a good idea though.

more than 5 years ago

What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?

tompatman Re:Documentation (569 comments)

This exact issue recently came up for me. I had an offer from what I thought was a good company with a pretty good future, doing embedded systems development. However, i was concerned that there was no cohesive software development group, no version control system or codebase with only basic interest in this, no SQA. It was suggested I have a conversation with a higher up, and the conversation proved that there was no knowledge and no interest in changing any of these things and that there was a lot of reinventing the wheel as a result.

The job didn't work out, it's too bad, but things like that can't be changed unless the job you're being offered comes with some authority to make changes and the support to do it.

more than 5 years ago

Comcast Puts the Screws To HDTV

tompatman Re:what does this mean for 1080? (317 comments)

I bought a 720P 46" LCD rear projection. It looks great to me from ~10' away and I don't think I'd see a ton of difference with 1080i at that screen size.

What I do see is all the image artifacts from compressed channels and it pisses me off. There's a big difference between the good ones, like HD Theatre and the bad ones. I have FIOS, but I don't think they are the problem, I think it is compressed by the source carrier before it gets to them. FOX seems to be one of the worst offenders. It makes me feel that I am not getting what I paid for.

more than 6 years ago


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