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Comment Re:It's a price rise (Score 1) 112

I know with T-Mobile, my monthly payment most certainly did drop after the big switch. The phone payment is clearly defined, separate from the monthly service payment, and when your phone is paid off, the phone payment goes away.

Also, it widens the selection of phones, especially "value" priced phones, meaning I can save even more. Before ditching contracts, I could buy a phone outright and put my T-Mobile SIM in it... but since I was paying the "subsidy tax" no matter what, I might as well pick out a cheap (or even free) phone from T-Mobile's limited selection.

Once phone and service prices were independent of each other, I could then buy a flagship-class (at the time) Nexus 4 or OnePlus One outright for $250, rather than paying $700 for the latest Samsung or iPhone, all the while enjoying a very low monthly service payment.

Even better, there's a market for my used phone, since there's no attraction of a "free" subsidized phone for people on a tight budget. This allowed me to sell my Nexus 4 and OnePlus One as I moved along to newer models.

Comment Re:mostly novelty item (Score 2) 51

The point is that the FitBit does all of the calculation for me, and then I see affirmation in cold, hard numbers that my habits make a difference. I don't want to manually calculate every activity I do and then tally them at the end of the day. That's the whole point of the FitBit in the first place. I want to see that I burned 2,642 calories yesterday, and 2,884 calories today, determine what was different, and continue habits that make a difference.

And yes, if my goal for a 500 calorie deficit, I could eat 2,500 calories on day I burned 3,000, and 2,300 on a day I burn 2,800. What's your point there?

I've logged my calories in (MyFitnessPal) and out (FitBit) for several months now. The line for my expected weight (based on calorie estimates) and actual weight are very similar. Much more than I expected they would be.

To your donut reference, I think what you're getting at is that for most people, food intake is much easier to control and adjust than physical activity. I agree 100%. Eating 100 calories less is much easier and more preferable to me than exerting 100 extra calories of energy. I am a runner, and I believe that running alone is not that great of a weight loss plan. When I run 10 miles I may burn well over 1,000 calories, but I'll be damned if I don't find myself ravenously hungry for quite some time afterwards. I could negate my run in a matter of minutes if I wasn't as aware.

And that's the point - awareness. The FitBit was nice because it held me accountable and gave me data to work with. I wasn't going to pay $100 for something and carry it around all day every day, and then just ignore the data it gave me. I log it every day in Excel. Likewise, the FitBit data alone is pretty useless if I'm oblivious to my intake, so I log intake data every day in Excel. Together, these two numbers keep me focused on my goal and guarantee that I'm progressing toward it.


Comment Re:mostly novelty item (Score 4, Interesting) 51

My FitBit motivated me to be more active, and therefore didn't just have a brief novelty value for me. Instead of sitting around on my break at work, I'd take a brisk walk around the building. I'd park in the back of the lot. I'd take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if it was 6 flights up. All of these things I would never have done if I wasn't receiving immediate feedback from the FitBit, and seeing that I was burning more calories by making these small changes. Even an extra 100 calories burned per day adds up to a significant weight loss 365 days later.

I've also found that I'm more likely to meet my calorie intake target for the day when I'm graphing calories in/out day-to-day in a spreadsheet. So I'd argue that these fitness devices can have a real value.

Comment Re:uh... streaming? (Score 1) 147

I believe he's referring to Netflix's physical DVD selection, which offers many newer releases that their streaming library does not. Bennett's argument is that if Netflix has obtained the necessary rights to mail a physical copy of a newly released DVD, why can't they do the same thing virtually - stream it (similar to their streaming library) except with a fixed maximum of simultaneous viewings and a reservation system (similar to their DVD mailings). A hybrid approach to bring even the latest titles to consumers without having to involve physical media.

Comment Re:Nothing to do with net neutrality (Score 1) 475

This is all true. However, the idea is that if the monopolies are dissolved and competition allowed to flourish, the prevailing service offers would trend away from usage caps instead of towards them. The pressure on service providers would be to keep their network capacity as high as possible and offer the best deals to stay competitive. If there is no monopoly, no anti-competitive collusion, and even still we find usage caps are just an economic necessity in order for providers to keep the lights on, I'd have an easier time accepting them. If the only reason caps are implemented is because service providers know there's no competitor for customers to abandon them for, well... that just pisses me off.

Comment ROT13 aside, this article is terrible. (Score 1) 174

Even looking past the ROT13 eye-roller of an April Fool, this article is complete garbage. It's poorly written and poorly executed, in that April Fools news story pranks should be just plausible enough to make the average reader at least wonder if it's true. This reads as if it was written by a 5th grader.

Even the concept would have been workable with a little more subtlety and finesse. Just terrible...

"Trust me. I know what I'm doing." -- Sledge Hammer