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Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 2) 132

by JaredOfEuropa (#49565581) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues
Perhaps that $11 would have raised the sticker price past the magical $x999.99 barrier, or it would have lowered the profit margin below some arbitrarily set floor. Both of these are extremely serious consequences in some companies. One of Ikea's advertising slogans rings true in many other companies: "the price tag is the first thing we design".

Comment: Re:The same as ever: Android (Score 3, Insightful) 472

by JaredOfEuropa (#49552379) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?
We're talking about stability here. If I compare the Apple devices I have used (iPhone 3G up to 5s) to the Android devices (various tables, and a Samsung phone we bought to replace my mother-in-law's iPhone 4), Apple still comes out ahead. I've had some hardware issues on the Apple devices, most notably the AntennaGate issue (noticable but hardly a real issue) as well as WiFi dying on an iPhone 4s (pretty uch bricking it, and just after warranty expired, of course). I have had hardware issues on Android stuff as well, mainly home buttons breaking and a battery dying because it got undercharged... the battery was replaced easily enough, but the new battery will break just the same if I leave the tablet off the charger for too long.

Software wise, iPhones have been rock solid for me, a few minor issues asides. I have not had any major issues like I experienced on the Android devices, such as the browser getting hijacked somehow (with only a couple of regular apps installed), and one Samsung phone that at some point will just reboot every few minutes, with the only fix being a factory reset.

Apple stuff still "just works". Unless it does not do out of the box what you want it to do, then chances are that you're stuffed if you picked iOS. iOS is a walled garden, but sitting here in my comfort zone I can't even see the wall, much less feel it or be bothered by it. Never even considered jailbreaking my phone. I don't like Apple or their business practices all that much, and I wish they'd open up their OS a little, but there is no way I'll switch to Android anytime soon after the decidedly poor experiences I have had with Android. But that is just personal, I know plenty of people who switched from Apple to Android and haven't looked back. Some others have returned to Apple. So perhaps it is mostly a matter of taste after all.

Comment: Re:German "unfair competition" law (Score 1) 301

So Disney ensures that every quarter, at least one copy of Steamboat Willy is sold. Or they simply show it once a year on the Disney Channel, which means they are making money off it.

Better to specify a fixed term for copyright in the spirit of the US constitution: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Art...". Copyright should be about the public interest; the interests of creators are secondary to that. A copyright term should be short enough to ensure that all works enter the public domain in a meaningful time frame, but long enough to allow creators to cash in on successful works, and long enough to make sure publishers don't simply outwait creators so they don't have to pay them. 25 years ought to be ample.

Comment: Re:It's not surprising (Score 1) 129

by JaredOfEuropa (#49526043) Attached to: YouTube Going Dark On Older Devices
The difference is in the "when". Broadly adopted standards do not get dropped all that quickly; in this case the content or hardware providers tend to be followers rather than leaders. Apple is a bit of an exception, they like to come up with their own standards and are a bit quicker to drop stuff they think is becoming obsolete. But where a single provider owns the standard, things tend to change a whole lot quicker. And where standards change quickly, older versions of the standard get dropped faster; it would be too expensive to maintain backward compatibility. This is what businesses are discovering in the world of SAAS (software as a service) as well, especially on multi-tenant systems. Providers like these want to remain on the leading edge and are forcing everyone to follow along, even if theirs are paying customers.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by JaredOfEuropa (#49505077) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
The last point is a good one, and it's bigger than just the utilities. Over here, there's a hefty tax on every kWh (as there is on pretty much everything else). Since private households delivering power to the grid get paid retail rates including taxes (up to the total amount they draw from the system each year), solar installations pay for themselves quickly. However at some point, energy tax revenues will decline to the point where the government will have to make up for the loss by taxing something else. So your solar installation reduces your utility bill, but your income tax will go up. Or something like that.

Comment: Re:What if... (Score 3, Interesting) 133

by JaredOfEuropa (#49499519) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

What if our model is wrong? I mean so wrong that crap has been built on crap that now has become a religion, a test of faith, do you believe the equations explain the system, or only predict how the system would look through the limits of the detection mechanism.

The model is pretty good at predicting a bunch of stuff; even if the model is wrong, it has proven to be eminently useful in everyday applied science and engineering. So who cares if it turns out to be crap upon crap? Scientists would, and they'd be ecstatic. Proving that there are major problems with the currently held theory means more work, jobs, grants, awards for scientists, and a chance to go down in history.

When a scientists measures something that doesn't fit the current models, they will generally suspect their equipment first. You could say it's reverence for established theories, but it is simple care to double check before announcing a ground breaking discovery to the world. You wouldn't call up your friends and family about winning the lottery before double-checking your ticket at least a few times either.

Comment: Re:science doesn't have the answer... (Score 2) 133

by JaredOfEuropa (#49499487) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe
That's a bit like Bush talking about evolution and intelligent design, and claiming that "we have two theories". They both are theories, but only one is scientific. Same with these two theories about the origin of the universe. When scientific theory is demonstrably false, the theory is revised. When a theory fails to explain certain phenomena, it is refined. Scientific theories are put to the test. In religion, the theory is the test, even it that means denying what is staring you in the face. Or as another one put it: "Science needs to be seen to be believed, while matters of faith need to be believed to be seen".

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.

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