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Comment your naive navel is showing (Score 1) 413

I recently bought a used (but working) 750W, 7 channel sound system. It put out an "honest" 120WPCH into each of seven channels, but can be switched to use just two, three, four ,etc. It's a pretty good Kenwood, cost a bit over $500 when new just for the HT receiver. I bought it to replace a 70's vintage TWO channel Marantz 2220 - that's 20 watts per channel of first generation, OTL (ie it uses bigass coupling caps to the speakers and a single polarity power supply) probably germanium transistor amp. After living with the Kenwood a few days I tore the thing back out and put the Marantz back in: it's FAR easier to use, it sounds better, and it's even LOUDER (as my neighbors will attest).

You may be happy with two inch speakers and shit that "just (barely) works" but many want something better. I'd even say most want better, but can't afford it or can't really find a demonstration that allows them to appreciate the difference. Just look at the multitude of videos on youtube, the deadtree magazines devoted to higher end stuff (tho I never even said Radio Shack sold "higher end" - in fact I said AFFORDABLE higher end, which is more like mid level) and the people willing to still pay dollars to go see movies in theatres -- where they can enjoy the sound without worrying about pissing off the neighbors.

ANd if you build anything nowdays you'll end up using SMD for some of it. That shit is mad difficult to solder, especially if you're over 40. This is why so many "kits" come with parts of pc boards already soldered. But what do you do if you design your own kit? Now you gotta track down a service. It would take less than 5000 worth of machinery at a location to be able to do this. Would they all make a return? Nope - but plenty in select "pilot" locations would net enough return to pay for an expansion in store coverage... just like those cellphone things they've been so stuck on these last years. And a whole lot more of a captured market.

Comment Re:I don't think the problem is that they didn't.. (Score 5, Insightful) 413

I disagree. Ratshack sold out its base over time because it lots its innovative drive. It became just another competitor to the cheap big box stores and lost because it's not a big box store. Radio Shack once sold some of the highest quality affordable home audio (yes, it did) and look where it went: RCA and other "brand name" CRAP. That's just one example of how it lost focus.

Radio shack has almost unprecedented community presence. They could offer services, like reflow soldering, act as a front end to an affordable pc board manufacture, and even offer walk-in cnc services. There's like 2500 stores in the US; imagine if you could walk in to a store less than 20 miles from the house, hand them a thumb drive, then stand there with the kid and watch while a cnc machine grinds out a part for you. No better way to get kids interested in this stuff than seeing it done and working hands on.

Comment Re:Still wondering... (Score 2) 490

No. gold has value because we make things from it. It's a metal with unique properties, not just beauty. Semiconductors depend on gold. Our civilization (as we know it today) depends on semicondcutors.

BTC is simply a virtual good made from semiconductors. It is three degrees separated from actual value.

It would be great if something like this took off, and nothing ever will if people don't try. But the thought of using a web browser to mine BTC is pretty ridiculous: I ran the java applet 24/7 for weeks on a quad core 2.7ghz machine and generated nary a coin (nor did I see a transaction). I suspect this is simply a proof of concept of a technology that will ultimately end with BTC clients being made illegal because of all the hucksters conning users into planting malware under the guise of "free riches."

Comment We are not alone (Score 3, Insightful) 570

Does France have such patdowns in their airports? What about Canada? What about Germany? Belgium? China? Japan?

Why is it we also have not heard of ANY foreign terrorist activities on airliners since all this started? Are the american airport patdowns such a deterrent they can stop a "potential terrorist" from boarding a plane in S Africa with a bomb or a knife?

This needs to stop. I really don't care personally, because I don't fly - but all the other people being displaced from the planes are filling up the trains, and I miss the extra elbow room.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 2, Insightful) 138

Ayup. Just one more example of how corporations as people is a failed idea from the start. If an individual did this that person would be locked up in the pokey for a few years where their earning potential would be substantially more reduced.

Perhaps if we reformed the law so that coporations who so overtly break laws would be punished by, say, having to turn over ALL their profits for the next X months to the government as penalty - I bet far mroe corporations would reconsider such nose-thumbing.

Comment Re:kool aid (Score 1) 284

Japan isn't governed by a totalitarian regime that explicitly enforces conformity. So I guess when China finally undergoes that NEXT revolution (that would be their sixth in less than two centuries) I'm sure they'll then be a force to be reckoned with...

Comment Re:kool aid (Score 1) 284

Wow, more kool aid for you.

The US long ago STOPPED mining those rare metals because it was "cheaper to buy them from china." IOW they adopted the wal-mart mentality and treated selenium and barium like air conditioners and tube socks.

Comment Re:kool aid (Score 1) 284

You rant as if this is something new. "Deadbeat dads" (and moms, and it's very easy to become one) have been denied that right since the Clinton administration. If you owe child support, you get no passport. This works especially well when one has opportunity to work abroad (and, thus, to pay that child support) but cannot work abroad because one is denied rights explicitly granted under the 14th amendment.

Comment Re:kool aid (Score 1) 284

[i]US technology doesn't originate from the US government. It originates from bright individuals that live in the US. They can migrate to other countries, just like they have all their technology mass produced in other countries. [/i]

Yes, and we see that happening now in droves. I'm sure that will happen in even greater numbers when the economy of china has stagnated.

I think you just want something to worry about.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington