Nom du Keyboard writes: After seeing a drop in my DVD service from Netflix I got a customer service representative tonight to confirm that Netflix has ceased processing DVD returns on Saturdays nationwide. And that they did this without either notifying their customers, nor reducing prices to compensate for the reduced service. Given that the DVD selection still far outstrips their streaming selection, this may be news to others like myself who don't find streaming an adequate replacement for plastic discs. My experience up until recently, unlike Netflix's promise of a 1-3 day turnaround at their end which gives them lots of wiggle room to degrade service even further, had been of mailing in a DVD on day one, having them receive it and mail out my next selection on day two, and receiving it on day three. Now with them only working 5 days and many US Post Office holidays, they're still getting the same money for significantly less. Is Netflix still the good guy here?
Nom du Keyboard writes: Apple CEO Tim Cook has avoided paying taxes on $75 million in Apple dividends by asking the Apple board to have him not participate in dividend equivalents. Tim may not need the money, but the California and Federal treasuries could have sure used the extra cash. Is this fair of him to do, or is Apple still holding on to money this way that isn't properly taxed?
Nom du Keyboard writes: It appears that Nvidia is abandoning relatively cheap high-end GPGPU performance for the masses with the EOLing of their Fermi GF110 GTX 580 chip. The new GK104 Kepler GPU excels at graphics tasks, but is a dog at the gold standard of double precision floating point computation, unable to best even the previous generation GTX 580 chip,, let alone AMD's latest Tahiti HD 7970 GPGPU. While certainly Nvidia will soon announce a vastly more expensive workstation and supercomputer class GPGPU solution with undoubtedly a significant performance increase over their previous generation, it now seems like AMD is the only option in the market for the home user on a budget wanting major compute in addition to stellar graphics performance.
Nom du Keyboard writes: As explained here and here, Paypal has suddenly anointed themselves the new lord of censoring legal adult erotic content on the Internet. "On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses’ accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes — namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of." And while one high-minded author declares, "Most of the stuff on Smashwords is porn," it seems to be what many people like to purchase for private enjoyment. Or would like to purchase because without Paypal, it's hard to run any Internet business. Is this part of a deal Paypal is trying to cut with the feds to avoid being classified a bank?
Nom du Keyboard writes: If you're doing business on the Internet you pretty much have to deal with Paypal for payments. Other alternatives are either more expensive, more limited, generally unsuitable, unavailable worldwide, or otherwise not able to meet the requirements for accepting payments over the Internet from pretty much everybody. And dealing with Paypal means dealing with their often arbitrary and capricious enforcement of vague and unseen policies. Now Paypal has suddenly declared war on legal published erotica and is demanding that an increasing number of individuals, as well as major eBook distributors, remove all titles that Paypal alone objects to, or lose their primary means of payment processing.. The Internet has just defeated SOPA and PIPA, but can it ever defeat the 900lb gorilla of Paypal? Note: It's unlikely that Paypal initiated this action completely on their own. They have always been more reactive than proactive, so where is this sudden new pressure to act coming from now? Enquiring Slashdotters would like to know.
Nom du Keyboard writes: Reason I most oppose the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger:..Less competition = higher prices..AT&T will kill all the great T-Mobile price plans..I moved to T-Mobile to get AWAY from AT&T..Don't want to lose the hot T-Mobile girl ads..I don't oppose the merger..What merger?..Other (specify)
Nom du Keyboard writes: After their recent (up to) 60% price increase, and now losing Starz out of their streaming lineup early next year, Netflix is starting to ship deficient DVD's. I got The Adjustment Bureau from them on DVD. I've preferred DVD's ever since the DVD version of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story had nearly 20 more minutes of movie on it than the streaming version. But with The Adjustment Bureau, all of the bonus features (but not the movie previews) had been stripped out of the DVD and replaced with an ad encouraging the purchase of the retail DVD and/or BluRay version. And no warning on the Netflix page for this movie that this wasn't the full real DVD that they were shipping. What the heck? Is Netflix trying to commit corporate suicide? I'll probably spend a buck at Red Box just to see the bonus features for this film, and have a bad taste in my mouth over it regarding Netflix. Link to Original Source
Nom du Keyboard writes: I just got notice that my current $9.99/month Unlimited DVDs (1-at-a-time) and Unlimited Streaming plan is now split. Now I must choose by September 1 between Unlimited DVDs (1-at-a-time) for $7.99/month (no streaming), or Unlimited Streaming for $7.99/month (no DVDs). Or I can have both – otherwise described as exactly what I have now – for only $15.98. This amounts to a 59.9% increase over my current plan. They must really believe that they have pricing power in this weak economy to try to get away with such a huge price increase since they would lose money from anyone who uses only one of their two services. So much for falling data transport prices making everything cheaper by the year. Link to Original Source
Nom du Keyboard writes: Labor Unions? o A universal good. o A qualified necessity. o Generally fine, but not for me. o Necessary once upon a time. o Obsolete and damaging in today's world. o I'm self-employed, you dolt. o There's no union for the unemployed.
Nom du Keyboard writes: In Processor Whispers — About latencies and compilers Andreas Stiller opines on released information that AMD Bulldozer integer cores are less capable than their K10 predecessors. "The Bulldozer's integer core has only two instead of three ALUs (EX0, EX1). In exchange, it comes with slightly enhanced AGLUs (address generation logical units). Besides, the throughput specifications would draw attention to the fact that the Bulldozer's integer cores each have one pipeline less than the integer cores of its predecessor K10, although AMD boldly draws four pipelines into its block diagram – as the scheduler can now support the two ALUs (EX0 and EX1) and the two address generation units (AG0 and AG1) separately, whereas before these units were jointly operated by glued-together micro-operations. Still, this is no serious compensation for the three capable ALUs that the K10 and the competition's Sandy Bridge feature, as the two AGUs can only offer very limited aid – apparently, they can only participate in calculations related to the instructions CALL and LEA." Is AMD, once again, about to disappoint? Link to Original Source
Nom du Keyboard writes: After the Pandora personal information tracking fiasco (I wondered why that app always started every time I rebooted, even when I hadn't used it for weeks), and now having yet another app (today it's Layar) ask in its latest update for access to even more personal information that it absolutely doesn't need to do its job, I'd like to know: Can I make my Android phone just outright lie to these applications that don't need this personal information to start with? After all, it is MY phone.
Nom du Keyboard writes: Back in April of 2009, with no notice or stated policy, a large swath of LGBT titles suddenly disappeared from Amazon.com. The ensuing uproar soon got them restored with Amazon claiming it was all some sort of never well described, but very selective, glitch. Then in July 2009 Amazon suddenly removed purchased books from customer's Kindles citing a copyright cock-up. Amazon's next trick earlier this year was to remove titles with suggestive covers from their All Departments default search, which is blatant censorship since that is the only search many Amazon customers know how to use. They may have been spooked by this hit piece in Slate. And while those titles seemed to still be available if you know where to drill down in your search, removing then from the most commonly used All Departments default search was blatant censorship in the digital age. You'd almost be tempted to think that Amazon didn't want to be in the book sales business. Now Amazon seems to be at it again regarding adult material – fictional incest stories among others. It is also under discussion on the Amazon forum – for now. With no warning to authors, publishers, or their customers, titles have suddenly disappeared over the weekend, including reports of yanking existing sold books from Kindle via the subterfuge of corrupting the downloaded book, offering a refund, and then refusing the ability to repurchase the title with the refund. These are titles that obviously have a market, some of them doing quite well on the bestseller lists for their genre. So just what is The World's Biggest Bookstore up to now and why are they being so quiet about it? Is it time to celebrate Google Books as the freer Amazon alternative?