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Comment: Re:Why so much fuss? (Score 2) 142

by PPH (#47946567) Attached to: Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

That just smacks of dumb contracting.

Contracts are written by both parties. Don't like the terms? Try asking for something different and see who will sign.

option for renewal

Yes, but who has the option? Most often the dealership, to protect what is to them a large investment. Manufacturers won't be affected by a few dealers coming and going to the same extent.

So, if you want to invest a few million into a dealership, will you sign an agreement that might get you cut off at the end of a term? Interesting note: In the past, dealership franchise contracts prohibited corporate ownership of multiple dealerships. manufacturers didn't want large ownership structures to build up which could challenge them in contract negotiations (divide and conquer). But this was challenged and thrown out by the courts (in the '60s or '70s, I believe).

Comment: I do want digital albums (Score 2) 232

by steveha (#47946501) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

I really do want digital albums, complete with very high resolution art, full lyrics, liner notes, and extras.

I'd actually like to have the ability to buy the "full album" that would include video files of each music video from the album, "B" sides from old 45 releases of songs from the album, backstage videos, interviews with the artist, whatever.

The old album covers from the 70's, the ones that were supposed to be on large vinyl record jackets... I want to be able to put those up on a large flatscreen TV while the album is playing. Preferably not just a scan from a CD printing, but the original image scanned in high resolution. I'd like to be able to see all the details in Hipgnosis images like the jacket art to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway or Wish You Were Here. (Hmm, someone made an animated GIF for that last one... heck, I'd like it both ways in the digital album, original and new animated version.)

Of course, I want this all using open file formats (FLAC, JPEG, HTML). But since nobody else got around to doing this, Apple is doing it first, and of course with Apple it will be proprietary, opaque, and likely patented somehow for maximum lockin.

I don't think this will revolutionize music, but it really is something I want.

Comment: Re:Home / Work (Score 1) 247

by Just Some Guy (#47946349) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

The Synology has a nice backup program let's me to back up data to an Amazon S3 account.

It also has a Glacier backup, which is great for huge backups that you don't need to restore often (or ever). I use Time Machine to backup our laptops to our DS412+, and it pushes those backup volumes up to Glacier once a week. If something catastrophic happened like a massive earthquake or a house fire, we could recover all our most important data (including irreplaceable like our photos) just by replacing the hardware and clicking "restore". For less than $10 a month, that's a great feeling.

Comment: Re:It's the early morning people who are nuts (Score 0) 81

by PPH (#47945961) Attached to: 'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

And normal people enforce a bed time, drag their asses out of bed groggily, then come in and futz around for a few hours until about lunch,

I go to bed when I'm tired. And I generally wake up before the alarm clock. I used to start work at 6:00AM and get most of my work done before the lazy shits and psychopathic boss rolled in and wasted the rest of the day bullshitting about sports team scores and betting pools.

If you push yourself, both physically and mentally, you won't stay up late easily. Its the lazy bastards that are up until all hours. And your need for sleep isn't proportional to your previous day's activities. So you'll still need only your 'standard' length o sleep.

Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 2) 189

by PPH (#47945797) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

Alpha dominance and hierarchy

Which turns out not to be a great mating strategy. Genetic testing of animal species that live in alpha male/harem social structures has shown that quite a few offspring are fathered by males hanging around the periphery of the group.

Chimpanzees, bonobos and humans have reproductive strategies and social groupings that make the identification of female estrus and control over their mating at the critical time extremely difficult. So they develop kinship bonds. The children are most probably the offspring of the immediate social group, so all the males have a vested interest in raising them.

For women, the queen bee syndrome is a bit stronger as a means of controlling food resources. Everyone knows who mothered a child is, so there is more motivation to monopolize a group of males as resource providers. But females can't use sex to hang on to a man while raising a child, so they share the entertainment duties, so to speak, to keep the tribe or pack together.

Comment: The Titanic is UNSINKABLE. (Score 4, Insightful) 232

Ah, hubris! One of my favorite old-timey sins.

You are of course correct. The signal must become analog at some point to make it into your head, and we have had the capability to capture analog signals since the dawn of the television age. You can crack open LCD panels and intercept signals for a more modern high tech version of this concept, of course.

But you are forgetting the other side of the equation. When when someone makes that statement - "THIS CANNOT EVER BE PIRATED" - you are throwing down the gauntlet. And invariably some bored teenager will say "oh really is that so?" and make them eat their words. Usually by the following Saturday. Yes you can do an analog capture but by the time you warm up your soldering gun some kid in the Netherlands will have already got the torrent up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch a Blu-Ray movie on my Linux box.

Comment: Re: Yin and Yang? (Score 1) 189

by PPH (#47945477) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

That depends on how you 'put them together'.

Chimps and bonobos became differentiated by the environment that they came to occupy. Chimps live in territory where their food resources are subject to competition from gorillas. Bonobos live in territory where there is no such stress. And no need to fight over scarce resources.

In the short term, chimps would beat bonobos. But given time to evolve, either the chimps or bonobos would evolve to accomodate the environment into which they were placed.

Comment: Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (Score 1) 100

by dbIII (#47943175) Attached to: Dremel Releases 3D Printer
It's a single material with the 3D printer, having to work with a range of materials makes milling far less trivial and makes your "never actually used" somewhat comical.
I've written scripts to turn 3D drawings into G-code programs and making sure that the cutter is going at the correct speed (so that it can actually do the job without breaking itself or your part) is a bit harder than you appear to have considered.

Comment: Re:Hmmmmm (Score 1) 91

by dbIII (#47943121) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

When the announcement that cuts were coming I made a comment on /. about how everyone at Microsoft would be looking over their shoulder wondering whether their job would be cut.

Isn't it MS that has the toxic culture of making sure that somebody in every team gets a poor review? That's already a reason to wonder about being cut.

Comment: If you are going to drag someone in (Score 1) 91

by dbIII (#47943097) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research
If you are going to drag someone in from halfway around the world you are normally expected to not fire them at a whim. The problem here is not the guest workers, the problem is a management mentality of firing at a whim and local conditions that do not protect the locals fired at a whim as much as guest workers fired at a whim. Firing guest workers gets noticed on many levels. Kicking a local out the door with no reason given is just American business as usual in some states.
It's far too common to blame the people that are not being shafted than those doing the shafting.
A different question is why are these people getting dragged in from halfway around the world, which gets hard to honestly discuss because indentured servitude and driving down wages rears it's ugly head while "that guy from country X is brilliant" muddies the waters.

Comment: Re:Why so much fuss? (Score 4, Interesting) 142

by PPH (#47941989) Attached to: Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

No company should be prevented from selling their products directly to the public. Land of the free indeed.

So, you are starting out as a small manufacturer. You've got a product you think people would like, but you don't have the money to build a network of your own retail outlets. So you shop around for a general retailer willing to put your stuff up on a shelf.

The minute your product gains any market share, part of that agreement will be that you don't compete with the retailer within a certain geographical area. And when you start moving large volumes of product through a retailer, your cost to get to the equivalent market goes up. So its a barrier to entry.

That's why many manufacturers' outlet stores are way out in the sticks. No existing retailers cover that area, so outlet malls spring up.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI