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Comment: Re:playing catch up (Score 1) 181

by David_Hart (#48033075) Attached to: Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

That's a Great Idea! We'll call it Windows 10 and tell everyone our version 10 is way better than their version 10. We'll do demos and promos and PR tours. It's perfect.

Don't forget the talk show circuit... Also, make sure that we are booked to go on before those #$%#% pan-dimensional mice beings talking about "Life, the Universe and Everything". What ever that is... Next to those guys, Windows 10 will look amazing!!

Comment: Re:Going Cable! (Score 4, Insightful) 131

by David_Hart (#48029733) Attached to: FCC Rejects Blackout Rules

Is it a question of worth watching or of worth watching in a stadium for $XXX? I'll never understand why someone pays that kind of money to sit in bad seats in the cold, wet etc. when they should be able to watch it from home. It's hard to fathom that ticket sales are worth more than TV rights any more. IMHO, all blackouts do is punish the fans who weren't going to buy a ticket anyway.

People spend $$$ because it's a social event for most people who enjoy sports. Getting there early, setting up the BBQ, handing out with existing or new friends, talking about the sport team, etc... On top of that, it's a much more engaging when you are actually experiencing the event. Much like a live concert is a completely different experience than listening to it on Palladium.

Comment: Re:It's true (Score 1) 266

by David_Hart (#48022497) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

It's a fringe brand in that Ferrari is a fringe brand. I don't think most people wouldn't want one but I don't know a soul who has one. Very few have seen them. They aren't exactly a larger brand. IF they can mass produce a model in a reasonable price range comparable to a modern model of car it will take off. Right now it is in the fringe but I don't think it will stay there. That's exactly what the guy in the article said. He didn't say Tesla was a bad idea or that it won't take off, he said it's not there yet but this next model could very well take it there.

It will be exciting to see where we go from here.

There is a difference... Ferrari isn't a "fringe" brand, it's a luxury brand. Ferrari never set out to be a daily driver. Tesla, however, has always stated that they were going to first target the luxury/sports car market and then use profits to develop a commuter vehicle with a much larger mass appeal. Based on their own vision, they are still a fringe brand.

Comment: Re:Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (Score 5, Insightful) 266

by David_Hart (#48022459) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

GM market cap 51.8B
Ford market cap 58.44B
Tesla market cap 30.66B and this is after a major drop in stock price, I believe it has been higher than GM !
A fringe brand that is worth over half of the big auto boys... Fringe my a..
If only any other brand got rave reviews like Tesla is getting. Specially in customer satisfaction.

Market cap is nothing but a virtual valuation based on how investors value future revenue. It's basically a bet that the company will continue to grow profitability at an increasing rate. In the case of Tesla, there is a lot of cheer-leading investors in the stock. To maintain that level of growth, Tesla does have to come out with a product that is appealing to a much larger audience than the current product offerings. Today's investors are betting on a mass appeal product, that people will buy the product, and that Tesla will gain a decent share of the overall automobile market.

The point that the ex GM Czar makes is correct. Until Tesla can execute on this vision, they will remain a fringe or niche brand. There is a risk that Tesla will screw up in execution, misunderstand the market, etc. Only time will tell if they can succeed.

Comment: Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by David_Hart (#48014299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

For a change - Sales and Marketing are right
Never EVER hang dirty laundry in public

You might want trusted tech users to see your bug tracker but no one else!

It will scare people who don't understand bug tracking and give your competitors easy shots

I'm a network engineer. All of the reputable network and security vendors list bug fixes and open issues in the release notes. Granted, this information is purely for release versions and not for the intermediate Dev versions. You can tell because the build numbers are non-sequential between releases. So, as an end user I only care about the open bugs and bug fixes in the release versions.

But.. If I were a Dev... For Dev's and Support, access would enable them to solve some problems at a faster pace as it would allow them to narrow down if a problem is related to their work or if it is tied to the ERP software itself. My thought is that if you want to provide access to the bug list, you need put it behind a Dev portal and require some sort of vetting and/or non-disclosure agreement.

Beyond that, you should perform a review of your bug database and make sure that bugs are being categorized properly. For example, you don't want to publicize bugs that are related to a system security vulnerability until it has been fixed, a patch released, and customers notified. You also don't want to publicize bugs that have not been confirmed. You could use these categories to filter the bugs that the Devs and Support can see.

Basically, I agree with the others here. It should not be public, it should be behind a Dev portal, it should have legal protection (i.e. non-disclosure), and it should be filtered access.

Comment: Making stuff last... (Score 1) 171

by David_Hart (#48014109) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

In my opinion, there is no reason why a crockpot that also has an app interface or a smart interface cannot run for decades (short of the built-in MBTF of the electronics). After all, some basic standalone functionality has to be provided. Granted, it might be harder to find the apps to run it 10 years down the line, but that doesn't mean that it will stop working.

Like anything else, if it is a popular model, the apps will be archived on the internet. As an example, most manufacturers keep drivers for discontinued products online and sites like Driver Guide fill a niche for old drivers (for example, they have NE2000 ISA drivers listed). I can't help but believe that we will see similar sites for archived apps. I'm willing to bet, though, that only the Android apps will be archived in this manner due to the closed nature of the Apple ecosystem.

As for smart watches.. They will have basic functionality out of the box (i.e. be able to tell time). If the app is lost, does the watch stop working? No. It might be worth less, but that doesn't stop it from being a watch.

Comment: Re:Do boats count? (Score 1) 206

by David_Hart (#48008057) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

Yeah, I have about the same amount into kayaks (3x), jetskis (2x), and a jet boat. I also have about another $2K in downhill skis and about the same amount in golf equipment.

As for anything marked "for ages X to Y", the only things I still have are some LTTO Laser Tag guns and a couple of of the Lego collectors sets (TIE Advanced x1 and Obi-Wans Jedi Starfighter).

Comment: Re:In Canada... (Score 1) 184

by David_Hart (#47975477) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

It is generally the case up here that in order to watch many shows online, you generally have to verify that you have a cable subscription, This is often done through a sort of google+-ish login on each individual broadcaster's website that verifies your cable account with the cable provider that you claim to use.

Now this isn't true for all shows, but certainly true for many... and by my own observation, seems to be particularly applicable for shows that happen to be US-made, and where (obviously) a local broadcaster has paid for the rights to air that program in Canada.

I suspect that if Netflix required such verification, they would not likely be having this problem. It would also not be a problem if the person was watching something that was not a show being aired on a Canadian network (eg, a movie, or else an old tv show that is no longer on the air).

Yes, but requiring a cable subscription is purely to receive the content for free. For example, if you want to watch a streaming episode of Game of Thrones you need to verify that you have a cable account to prove that you have already paid for access to the content. It has nothing to do with the CRTC and everything to do with the show owner making sure that they are getting paid. Your subscription, for that show, is your cable bill. Otherwise, you need to pay for the content through iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Netflix is like a monthly subscription to the old Blockbuster video stores. Instead of paying a rental fee per movie or TV show you pay a monthly subscription to take home as many movies as you want. The CRTC had no jurisdiction over video rental stores. It should be the same for Netflix.

Comment: Wrong Nuclear Technology... (Score 1) 341

by David_Hart (#47971393) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

The US should be revamping Nuclear reactors for power instead of nuclear weapons. But hey, the stupidity of NIMBY and keeping Yucca Mountain closed continues... Of course, Yucca Mountain funding was cut under President Obama's watch as well.

I get that the Nuclear arsenal needs to be replaced as, like most things, age degrades both the weapons and the systems. Technology moves forward and old parts can no longer be manufactured and old systems no longer interface with current technology. Plus, I'm sure that targeting systems and other electronics have drastically improved.

Like others have commented, I agree that it would be good to continue to see a reduction and an eventual elimination of nuclear arms. However, this isn't going to happen in our lifetimes, so the more practical move is to decommission the old weapons and replace them with more reliable versions. Maybe along the way we see how much is being spent and rethink about whether it's worth the cost.

Comment: Re:more direct connection to producers (Score 3, Insightful) 191

by David_Hart (#47951873) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

The reason Alibaba will take over from Amazon and Ebay is simple. Two things.

First, scale. It moves more product than Amazon and Ebay COMBINED, and that's before even entering the US market. The network effect will dominate.

Second the vast majority of what Amazon and (especially!) Ebay sells is made in factories in China anyway. Alibaba will allow cheaper prices for the same products without having to go through the middlemen and let Ama/Eba skim off profits in the middle.

If i can buy a part directly from the manufacturer in China for $3.99, I'm not going to pay $11.99 for Amazon to deliver it to me or even $5.99 for an Ebay reseller.

Alibaba will have a price advantage on the other big players, and that's what'll matter in the end.

I sure wouldn't be wanting to hang onto Amazon or Ebay stock right now (assuming either have stock, sorry I don't keep track of things like that).

Right... So, people have stopped buying monitors from Dell simply because they can buy similar Korean monitors direct on eBay? No? Oh, right, because people like to have warranties and have the ability to get stuff replaced in a timely manner when it fails.

Also, you're wrong about Alibaba's business model today. They are the middle men between the manufacturer and the storefront. They do have an eBay style system, but it's used by independents, not Alibaba, to sell products. And yes, they also have a Paypal type service, but it would have to clear a large number of hurdles to become trusted in the US.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 2) 358

Dear Bono,

If your song can be played, it can be pirated. Maybe it would be difficult to pirate the album artwork as it's interactive, but 99% of the time people are listening to music on devices that are stuck in their pockets. So, a screenshot would work just fine. If DRM and copy prevention mechanisms worked, how do you explain the fact that each and every one has been bypassed?

I, personally, am willing to pay for the music and media that I consume. Mainly because I believe that the artists deserve to be paid. But I am only willing to pay once!!

Because of this, I am completely against DRM and the concept that the consumer is paying for a license to listen to the media vs. ownership of that copy. DRM is used today to trample on consumer rights, to prevent making backup copies of their media, and as an attempt to force consumers to pay for the same media in multiple formats. The concept that it is being used to stop piracy is pure fantasy.

In other words, its simply being used as an extortion mechanism, much like the mobs of old.

So... stop it and go back to writing songs....

Comment: 10,000 hour rule... (Score 2, Interesting) 234

by David_Hart (#47939249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

It's been proposed that it takes about 10,000 hours to get really good at anything. At 10 hours per week, 40 weeks a year (dropped to 40 to account for breaks), equals 400 hours a year. 10,000 / 400 = 25 years. So, if you keep at it, by the time you get to be about retirement age you would be at the point where you could contribute back to the field. Plus, on retirement, you could dedicate more time...

Some things take less than 10,000 hours to master. However, astronomy is a wide open concept with a lot of moving parts (literally)...

Good luck and, most important of all, have fun....

Comment: Re:All that matters on the phone too (Score 2) 97

by David_Hart (#47931795) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

Photography on a cell phone does not equate to photography with a digital camera -- knowing what f-stop is, or shutter speed, or focal length, or a LOT of the other of the fine-grain minutiae

1) the technical aspects are not really photography - they are details of a tool. They are not composition nor lighting nor mood nor concept.

2) The iPhone with iOS8, and version of Android for a while I think let you control all of those aspects in advanced camera apps (well focal length you had to add adaptor lenses, but lots of people do use those).

Knowing the craft of f-stop, shutter speed, etc. is only a part of photography. People can take really good photos without knowing these things. The difference is that someone who is well versed in the technical aspects can take a good photo in more challenging conditions. In addition that person will also be able to be more creative and produce images using techniques that the camera computer would fail miserably at.

In general, photography has come a long way. Digital photography has allowed people with little to no skill to take good photos. SHowever, an excellent photo still requires people with a combination of artistic eye and technical ability.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?