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Comment: High Tech? (Score 1) 222

by Darinbob (#48664907) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

I find it odd that they equate "early web" with "high tech". This was the point in time when computers basically dumbed themselves down, and any company throwing up a web page claimed that they were high tech in order to get funding. Before 1994 the engineers at Stanford, men and women, were instrumental in building up the state of the art in computer science and they came from engineering disciplines completely distinct from the MBA program.

The gender gap that exists is not necessarily in the business end of these companies but in engineering side, and in particular the IT computer support groups. Yes there is a gender gap in the upper management layers but this is true outside of tech companies as well. When people note that there's a gender gap in STEM fields the "E" does not stand for "entrepreneur", and yet the large media companies can't seem to figure out the difference.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the late 80s (Score 1) 36

by Darinbob (#48661965) Attached to: How a Wildfire Helped Spread the Hashtag

The story feels strainge in other ways. For example, wouldn't Twitter have to add the hashtag feature before a customer could "originate the use"? Or maybe this is a Twitter thing, such that only things invented at Twitter are acknowledged to exist.

(I've never used twitter, it seems clumsy, uninformative, and does nothing that no other service can do better.)

Comment: Re:Public land closures (Score 1) 48

by Darinbob (#48657343) Attached to: Hot Springs At Yellowstone Changed Their Color Due To Tourist Activity

But it is basing this decision because of the religious beliefs of another group; ie, the religion of making more money out of nothing. Take the governments land and suck out the profits for the sole benefit of private individuals. The decision making basically comes down to who has the best or most expensive lobbyist on their side, since McCain doesn't seem to be able to think for himself like he used to.

Comment: Re:sigh (Score 3, Insightful) 188

by Darinbob (#48657319) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

You need to know before hand what the hidden features are though. Trouble is that you can't easily find it out. If you check customer reviews you will almost always find glowing positive reviews for things just dripping with DRM. Though to be fair, when I see a glowing review I almost always think that there must be something suspicious, because no one can get that excited about a mere consumer product. Plus these reviews usually get written long before the problems are discovered, which means you have to wait a year maybe before some more honest and objective reviews show up.

People LOVE the Blu-Ray despite the horrendous DRM it has. People still buy Origin games. People somehow are quivering with delight at Keurig despite the alternatives that don't have DRM.

The problem here is not the high margin on replacement parts, but on the DRM itself. I can make an adapter for a Gillette razor if I wanted to without breaking any DMCA laws. Inkjet cartridges did not originally have DRM but instead just some ominous "for best results please only official parts" warnings. And of course people figure out the do-it-yourself solutions pretty quickly, until the manufacturers figure out how to change software to prevent the DIY.

As well, with the razors, the blade is the real product and the handle is merely a free accessory. The ink cartridges require a really specialized formula (easy to replicate from a third party of course). But for a cat box cartridge it's just a plastic container full of soap and water, there's nothing special going on there except the dimensions and interfaces of the container.

For the profits, this may work out well at first. But after awhile people will stop buying them. Negative word of mouth gets around. Maybe they make less money overall than if they just raised the base price at the start. After all, there are a lot of people out there who are perfectly willing to buy the "official" replacement cartridges.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke