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Comment: Re: What did you expect? (Score 4, Insightful) 197

by DuckDodgers (#48904945) Attached to: Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data
The "I have nothing to hide" line frustrates me too.

The twitter-friendly response is, "Just because I have nothing to hide, it doesn't mean I'm happy with a webcam on my toilet."

The longer response is that the NSA is asking Google to record all of my searches, Comcast to record every website I visit at home, Verizon to record every place my cell phone goes and every cell phone call I make, and Voipo (my home phone service, similar to Vonage) to record the phone number on every home call I make. Even if I was comfortable with the government possessing that information without probable cause, it means a crooked law enforcement official, a disgruntled employee, or a criminal hacker can get a scary amount of private data about me from any one of those five sources and use it to stalk me or commit identity theft. If I am the only person with all of that data then the stalkers, the identity thieves, and the government have to hack my personal machines to get it.

Comment: Re: What did you expect? (Score 2) 197

by DuckDodgers (#48903401) Attached to: Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data
PGP or GPG is not a full solution. It's currently difficult enough to setup and annoying enough to use that only a tiny portion of the population will ever bother. The NSA can't watch everyone. But as long as GPG is in use by less than 0.1% of the population and of course PGP doesn't obscure senders, recipients, or even message size (though you can pad message size if you choose), the NSA can watch people who use it.

Likewise Tor isn't a solution it's integral to the HTTP 3.0 protocol.

We need to create better tools.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by DuckDodgers (#48903371) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?
What I saw was a video that included footage taken from a helicopter. On the 1080p television, you could make out some of the detail on the cars. On the 4K, you could make out a lot more of the detail.

If that was the result of increased color space instead of 4K, then I'm sold on UHD for increased color space. Because no matter what the cause, the visual difference was noticeable and I could see details in one that were obscured in the other.

Elsewhere in the discussion, someone suggested that the retailer intentionally degraded the video quality on the 1080p television to promote the 4K television. In case you were going to mention that, I'll respond again - it seems unintuitive to push consumers away from your lower cost, much higher sales volume products just to get a much smaller number of higher margin sales. I can't rule it out, but it seems unlikely.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by DuckDodgers (#48897665) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?
I think one legitimate objection to getting 4K is that a lot of 4K content isn't available yet.

I rip my DVDs so that I can skip the damn previews and warnings and just start the film when I want. (But if anybody cares, every single rip is for a DVD I purchased. Nothing is downloaded.) I want to do the same thing for my Blu Rays for the same reasons, but I haven't gotten around to figuring it out yet - a lot of websites mention the MakeMKV software, I'll try that.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by DuckDodgers (#48896345) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?
The 1080p was much cheaper. So if the seller (in this case, Costco) intentionally degraded the visual quality of their cheaper product in favor of the more expensive one, then they would be willing to forego a higher volume sales of the more affordable 1080p HDTVs to get the profits on a smaller number of 4KTVs. That seems unlikely to me, though definitely possible.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 332

by DuckDodgers (#48895423) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?
Oh wow. Thanks. I hadn't been following the price of 4K televisions closely, I assumed it was still at least twice the cost of an equivalent size 1080p television.

Damn. We just got a second 37" HDTV in December for $245 (floor model). I thought that was a screaming deal, but $340 for 4K trumps it.

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 2) 332

by DuckDodgers (#48894727) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?
I disagree. I've watched a Blu Ray played on a 50" HDTV at 1920x1080 resolution, and next to it a 50" 4K (3880xwhatever) television was playing some UHD content. The difference in definition was very easy to see from even ten feet away.

Now, I'm perfectly happy to use $12 Blu Ray disks (6-12 months after a film comes to video) and a $300 37" HDTV for entertainment. 4K is gorgeous, but didn't buy an HDTV until my previous television was ten years old and I could get an HDTV for $300 or less. Once a 37" 4K TV costs $300, I'll upgrade.

Comment: Re:Why lay fiber at all when you can gouge wireles (Score 1) 201

by DuckDodgers (#48892695) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network
That is the free market at work. What do you think happens when the libertarians get their way and the FCC, FDA, OSHA, and EPA get abolished? They stay gone forever and the market has perfect competition? Of course not. The richest incumbent companies buy some lawmakers again, and bring those agencies back with new names and even more rules favorable to the incumbent companies than we have today.

The only permanent solution to regulatory capture is the extinction of humanity. Otherwise, all we the voters and politicians can ever do is fight a holding action against it. Believing anything else is as much a libertarian fantasy as a worker's utopia is a communist fantasy.

Removing government interference isn't the fix. Fixing the regulations as best as we can, even knowing the solutions are still flawed, is the best option we have.

Comment: Re:You're really not missing much.... (Score 1) 201

by DuckDodgers (#48892623) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network
This is my problem. I was dumb enough to buy a house that only has Comcast as an option. I'm paying $67 per month for 25/5. And if they raise the price, there's not a damn thing I can do about it except sell my house and go somewhere else.

Comcast had 6.8 billion dollars of profit in 2013. So they have plenty of money available to build out their network and offer higher bandwidth for lower costs. But in any territory where they have an effective monopoly, why would they? Until there's serious competition for ISPs, we the consumers are screwed.

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 820

by DuckDodgers (#48892579) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret
My impression - and I'm no automotive engineer or even able to do more than change a tire - is that the automakers must be getting better at obtaining good all day behavior and stability under load from smaller engines with forced induction. Volkswagen (and Audi), BMW, and Mercedes have all replaced larger V8s with smaller turbocharged or supercharged V8s or six cylinder engines over the past few years. Ford's last GT super-car used a supercharged 5.4 liter engine, while the one they just revealed at the 2015 Detroit auto show makes more power (final numbers not announced yet) from a new version of the twin turbocharged V6 Ford looks like they're trying to use everywhere.

Comment: Re:Crash-testing & strength? (Score 1) 128

Crash testing is more than strength. Your vehicle has to crumple properly or your nice, sturdy dashboard and windshield will be just fine and dandy with little bits of crushed driver scattered all over them. Or your airbag will bounce the front passenger's head into the passenger side pillar hard enough to crack a skull. Or the front of your hood will pop up at a 30 degree angle and decapitate the occupants of the vehicle you hit.

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