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Comment: It's not a bundt pan (Score 1) 117

by sjbe (#47443355) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

The flare pot looks nice and it might improve heat transfer. If the interior is also fluted, it would be very difficult to keep clean.

Interior is non-stick and would be impossible to use if fluted for most applications. Imagine trying to fry an egg in a fluted interior. It's not a bundt pan.

Personally I'd prefer it without the nonstick surface (or non-stick optional) and for it to be machine washable. With a few specialty exceptions all my pans are machine washable which is super convenient. If it is machine washable the cleaning issues self resolve by putting it in the dishwasher.

Comment: Did not view images, but you only need a skirt (Score 0) 117

by drinkypoo (#47442935) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

I didn't view the images because you just get black squares without scripts. Come on, Slashdot, link a site that can write HTML, not where they're too incompetent to display images without javascript. This is 1990s technology. What year is it?

Anyway, on topic, all you actually need is a skirt to channel heat up the sides of the pot. If it's a little lower than the pot itself then the heat will flow up the sides of the pot and you get massively more heat transfer. One little piece of sheet metal, done.

Comment: Subsidizing small bookstores (Score 1) 206

Whereas even small towns in France are packed with bookshops.

Of course they are. They are being subsidized by price floors. They don't have to compete on price or provide a better experience that people are willing to pay for. Price floors subsidize middlemen who otherwise would have no reason or ability to exist. If these bookstores are competing on price then consumers are getting screwed by paying more than they should. If the small bookstores are providing an experience beyond the book that people are willing to pay for then the price supports are unnecessary because they are not competing on price. Either way the price supports are a bad idea that only takes money out of the pockets of customers and gives it to businesses that arguably don't deserve it.

Comment: French culture protectionism (Score 1, Insightful) 206

Now as to the price of books, maybe you don't know but french books cost on average less than american ones.

Citation needed.

And considering the US is a much larger market, a free market WHAT does that really tell you ?

It tells me nothing because even if what you claim is true (and you haven't proven that) there is insufficient information to draw conclusions regarding why that might be the case. Could be subsidies, could be exchange rates (the Euro is strong relative to the dollar and a lot of books are published in the US which would make them cheaper in Europe), could be some other structural advantage. No conclusions can be drawn without more information.

The French have a vibrant cultural market.

And yet we see the French constantly having to pass laws to "protect" their culture from the outside. I see McDonalds opening in France but I don't exactly see French bistros dotting the countryside of the US. The French should be justifiably proud of their culture and what it produces but sometimes they forget that sometimes people should decide for themselves what they want their culture to be.

Especially when it comes to books. They love books, they love reading, and they buy a lot of books. Much more on average than americans.

Again, citation needed but their supposed love of books has little to do with whether price supports should be used to subsidize small, inefficient bookstores. If French customers like the experience of browsing in such stores and are willing to pay more for the experience then such stores should have little difficulty surviving because they are not competing on price. But if they ARE competing on price then all this law does is subsidize a business that customers really aren't willing to pay for. Either way price floors are not a good idea.

Imagine a future were only Amazon or Apple can distribute/sell books. It would be a nightmare.

It is also a strawman argument. That is deeply unlikely to ever come to pass. The market will certainly change but change doesn't have to be bad. Right now you have a smallish number of large publishers who control the sale and price of most books. Amazon and others are taking the power and profits from the publishers but as an end consumer I'm simply trading one large oligopoly for another. What we really want is some way for readers to buy directly from authors without any middleman and in theory the internet provides a way to completely circumvent Amazon and publishers altogether when they don't provide extra value.

Comment: Price floors subsidize middlemen, not competition (Score 1) 206

Yes, competition is good for the consumer, which is why France wants to protect competition in the marketplace

Price floors do not protect competition. They prevent competition. Price floors are a subsidy to inefficient businesses. They make it impossible to compete on price and do so at the expense of the end consumer. Price supports subsidize unnecessary and inefficient middlemen.

Comment: Price floors are subsidies (Score 1) 206

The idea was to prevent supermarkets and larger booksellers from competing on price and driving smaller shops out of business.

Which is in effect a subsidy to small inefficient book shops paid for by customers. It's a bit of a mystery here how the end customer is benefiting from this. I enjoy small local book shops as much as anyone here but in the cold light of day they are businesses just like Amazon and if they aren't providing enough extra value to customers to attract their business then they should go out of business just like any other inefficient business. A bookstore is a middleman between the author and the reader and the product they are selling is a commodity. If the experience of going to a physical bookstore isn't sufficient for me to be willing to pay extra for it then I don't see why I should have to pay higher prices for something I don't need or want.

With apologies to Tony Stark I have been described as many things but sentimental is not among them. Sometimes the old way of doing things is not worth saving.

Comment: A compact wearable portable sensor package (Score 1) 331

by sjbe (#47442165) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

A smart watch should be a compact portable sensor package with a minimal display. Think a fitbit but MUCH more capable. Data logging versions of accelerometer, thermometer, barometer, chronometer, lightmeter, altimeter, hygrometer, GPS, voice logging, etc. Basically anything that ends in the word *meter. Should be able to interact with a smartphone or PC but not be dependent on it. Should have an API to allow applications and other devices to do interesting and custom things with it. Should be waterproof and have a waterproof data cabling (or wireless) system to allow other devices to interact with it. Battery life needs to be substantial. >72 hours at absolute minimum but really more like a week. Some storage and the ability to play music similar to an ipod. Any display should be minimal and energy efficient but more user friendly than your typical wristwatch. Think something like an ipod nano most likely.

Use cases? Anywhere you would want to record such data but don't need/want the bulk and energy drain of a smartphone screen. Exercise, hiking, research, boating, diving, etc. I don't wear a watch but I could see tons of uses for a compact wearable sensor package. Such a device could both be worn and mounted to various objects to useful purposes.

Comment: Re: Not France vs US (Score 1) 206

Yes, competition is good for the consumer, which is why France wants to protect competition in the marketplace.

But that's not what they're doing. They're trying to suppress the competition. The competition is online, which is more efficient than having many unrelated bookstores. France wants to pretend to live in the past, while using modern technology against its people. French SWAT members (well, the equivalent) wear masks so they cannot be recognized. Yeah, it's a democracy. Right.

Comment: Re:There are better than Apple's (Score 1, Funny) 88

I find it annoying that despite the existence of common devices which are "better" that the "best" is still considered to be Apple's.

Congratulations, you have just lived down to your nickname, and it has led you to whine about Apple's popularity — the only reason why everything is compared to Apple.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by drinkypoo (#47440129) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

Strictly speaking, I don't need a PC to stay alive and capable of working. That means the PC is a luxury; I have one because at some point of my life, I had spare income. That, in turn, is an inefficiency - I could had undercut other workers by asking for less.

Sure, if your only goal is efficiency. But if it is, you're boring.

Comment: Re:that's not the FAA's job (Score 1) 176

by drinkypoo (#47438015) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

That means that if you want to shoot down low-flying Amazon delivery drones, you should be able to do that.

Well, no. Not unless you can account for ballistics, and the drop zone for your projectiles. But perhaps you should be permitted to use a tethered net launcher.

Likewise, if you want to fly your own drone to take pictures of your own property, you should be able to do that too as long as you stay below 1000ft.

Or any public property. Whether the restrictions on line-of-sight are reasonable is a whole other discussion (my thought is "maybe") but public lands belong to all of us. As always, the thing must be operated in a manner which does not represent a realistic risk to others.

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne

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