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Comment: Re:How might their cost structure / roll-out chang (Score 1) 137

I emailed the author of the Ars article, this is what he said though I can't opine as to whether or not it is truly applicable (though I'm certain Aereo's attorney's would know for sure though it seems too low to me intuitively...):

The fee is (more or less) 1% of gross revenue if you're a cable system.

See section 111 here:

http://www.copyright.gov/title...


(F) If the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters are more than $263,800 but less than $527,600, the royalty fee payable under this paragraph to copyright owners pursuant to paragraph (3) shall be—

(i) 0.5 percent of any gross receipts up to $263,800, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any; and

(ii) 1 percent of any gross receipts in excess of $263,800, but less than $527,600, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any.

Comment: How might their cost structure / roll-out change? (Score 1) 137

According to Ars:

the royalties are set by the government, not the broadcasters

--> Is the above true, does someone know this for certain?

--> If so, what would the marginal cost be per user?

One other thing to consider is that Aereo has pretty good software developed right now and if they don't need farms of antenna's with local presence anymore, they could theoretically be located anywhere if they are, effectively, a retransmission service and would no longer need to build out local infrastructure (i.e., which I suspect was one of their larger costs) and could just use cloud type services (e.g., amazon/rackspace) to host their DVR/transcoding/etc. services

Comment: Re:One switch to rule them all? (Score 1) 669

I, embarrassingly and sadly, live in Excel through my job as a CPA and as a frequent reader and occasional contributor here, unsurprisingly have a little bit of a programming/IT background.

I fully appreciate that the ribbon interface is better for novice users and has a flatter learning curve compared to the 2003 conventional interface but what really got me about the new versions is the slowness (only minimized slightly by being on a well configured new core i7, etc.). The new versions are so poorly engineered that they:
(1) frequently miss keystrokes/combinations that I enter
(2) calculate generally more slowly and/or less intelligently
(3) execute vba substantially more slowly

As such, my preferred setup is that I have Office 2003 and 2010 installed on the same machine (2010 via sandboxie which is tricky but doable to get right except that I use Outlook 2010 directly as opposed to sandboxed instead of Outlook 2003 since the newer Outlook is a real improvement and the ribbon doesn't bother me in that context of lighter usage)

I use Excel 2003 for almost everything and, only when I need to, I open up files in 2010 if they won't open in 2003.

Office 2007 is crap
Office 2013 is crap
Office 2010 is the least bad version of the new Office's

Comment: The system in NYC is so worthless anyway... (Score 4, Insightful) 104

by Bourdain (#46723977) Attached to: NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections
...as someone who has scoured and mined the NYC health department data (not to mention the review / grade pending period making the data even more worthless; i.e., most restaurants receive a hidden "C" at which point they display a "Grade Pending" sign then have a month to get their "A" at their reinspection and then most likely go back to their "C" ways --> to all those statisticians out there, which rating is the real one? the first one when they weren't expecting it or the one where they had a few weeks notice?

My hope and wish is that the letter grades determined by the score would be meaningfully correlated to the risk of food poisoning in the restaurant however there is little relationship between those things and that restaurants wouldn't have a chance to get a reinspection which clearly defeats the purpose of the test in the eyes of anyone with even the most minimal statistical/scientific education.

Instead of using google glass, the health department should reevaluate their methods of inspection and reinspection grading policy where part of their inspection relates to testing actual prepared food instead of seeing if a mouse or roach might have been on the floor (oftentimes they can just scurry in from the sidewalk and have zero impact on the food)

Comment: Re:There isn't any... (Score 1) 81

by Bourdain (#45824725) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Effective, Reasonably Priced Conferencing Speech-to-Text?

Based on what I get on my TV when I press the Mute button, they really shouldn't be...

Most of the time when you view closed captions, it is typed up, not automatically transcribed by a computer program - link

Further, for live events, it is typically typed live by a stenographer which yields the inherent delay

As for errors, I personally have mostly seen errors when I'm watching over the air and the reception isn't very clear (though I don't often use closed captioning so my sample size is limited)

Comment: Re:Hate using my Email address as log in (Score 2) 75

by Bourdain (#40999273) Attached to: Gaining Info On Tech Execs With Just Their Email
I do the same thing (re: custom email addresses) though since I use gmail to manage the domain, I also use subdomains as well to sort them (i.e., in order of importance of general class of address)

note that the free gmail version using a "+" both exposes your address and doesn't work with a lot of sites whereas subdomains work just fine (if you host a domain w/gmail)

Comment: Re:I had someone file under my SSN this year. (Score 1) 112

by Bourdain (#40875471) Attached to: Identity Theft May Cost IRS $21 Billion Over Next 5 Years
While I'm a CPA but not a tax accountant, I'd suggest asking a tax accountant about the option of "underwithholding" to the tune of $1500 for this next year and apply this unpaid refund against your balance a method to avoid this issue, at least in part, is to structure your tax payments and withholding to never yield a refund from the IRS in the first place which is not a perfect science but can be pretty close in most cases if you're organized...

Comment: I'm not any sort of IT/implementation guy but... (Score 4, Insightful) 204

by Bourdain (#40087883) Attached to: Options For Good (Not Expensive) Office Backbone For a Small Startup
...in terms of real cost, my guess is that even if you buy whatever licenses you need/want from Microsoft for whatever software you have a need for, it won't really be that expensive compared to irritating your users (also, just use hosted exchange as $10/month/user should be a non-issue).

Before making any decisions, I'd consider asking your admittedly tiny user base what software/suites they need/want instead of just making blind purchasing decisions

Comment: Re:Er, no. (Score 1) 378

by Bourdain (#38523042) Attached to: IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

How a person can know the intricacies of double entry bookkeeping but fail to understand why opening every single attachment they receive is verboten is beyond me.

Being both a CPA and someone who does lightweight programming (mostly scripting via VB, VBA, SQL and some macro languages) and occasional light IT work (setting up computers/routers/small networks, building/repairing computer hardware, etc.), most accountants are, at best, not interested in engaging in real abstract reasoning or learning. I assure you that accounting is really quite simple and there are very few intricacies (except perhaps in the design of their terrible accounting software database which have thousands of tables as a simple report's underlying query could require multiple "union's" for pulling the same type of data...)

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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