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Comment Why blame amazon? (Score 1) 223

Amazon sells hundreds of other media playing devices that offer streaming video that directly competes with their hardware, and those devices play streams that directly compete with their service. I think customer confusion is indeed accurate, because I've been considering purchasing a streaming media player to show primarily Amazon Prime video & Netflix. Until reading this article, Chromecast and Appletv were near the top of my list, and I would've been really irritated if I had purchased and they didn't play Amazon video. I would then return the device, which costs Amazon money, and results in a poor customer experience. Nearly every other media device supports Amazon video, so it seems to me that Google and Apple are the ones who are choosing not to support a competitor.

Comment Retailers can ignore chip and sig completely (Score 1) 317

Most Brick and Mortar Merchants are already liable for the vast majority of fraudulent transactions. Chargebacks for identity fraud (ie, a stolen credit card) currently hit the merchant, not the issuing bank.

That liability will shift temporarily to the bank, IF the merchant has the new technology, AND the bank does not. Once both have the tech, the liability falls back on the merchant, because anybody with a stolen card, has also stolen the chip.

This is primarily a stick for the banks, since they will have to eat a larger percentage of chargebacks until they issue new cards. There is very little carrot for merchants. The best incentive is for early adopters to defray some of their equipment costs, as the money drops off very quickly, as banks issue new cards.

In six months to a years time, there is going to be almost zero incentive for any merchant to buy new chip & sig equipment, until it becomes part of PCI rules. The US implementation is ridiculously stupid without the pin, and this entire transition will prevent exactly one type of fraud- when organized crime manufactures fake cards with real numbers. The more common types of fraud (stolen physical cards & stolen card numbers used online) will not be impacted one bit, and merchants will continue to eat the costs.

Comment Re:Nukes are safer than coal. (Score 1, Interesting) 248

Thriving?? The areas closest to Chernobyl have very little life. The forest is so dead, that the dead leaf litter from 30 years ago is still sitting on the ground, because there are no microbes to break the leaves down. There is no microbial life, and thus no plant life. The exclusion zone is much larger than the dead zone, and some of the area has low radiation and is indeed thriving. But there are still hundreds of square miles where the trees will likely still be standing in a thousand years, because they are too radioactive to decompose.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pro-nuclear energy, but when you look at the risk / reward, you have to throw in potentials for meltdown on the nuke side, and potentials for global warming on the coal side. You can't just compare historic figures of estimated annual deaths per year.

Comment Re:Nukes are safer than coal. (Score 1, Interesting) 248

You have to also balance the thousands of square miles of radioactive wasteland that currently exist, that won't be habitable for thousands of year without a jump in technology. And you have to consider the safety requirements of storing the waste securely, forever. And you have to consider what would happen in the event of a conventional or terrorist attack on a nuclear plant, unless you simply choose to believe that humans will stop going to war, and that a true "total war" will never happen in the future.

Yes, coal is dangerous, and has serious drawbacks, and definitely has a fixed number of deaths that can be attributed to it every year. But an enemy determined to stop the energy production of a country that has widespread nuclear energy could dwarf those numbers in a single strike. It isn't a black and white issue, and you can't simply assume a best case peacetime scenario in perpetuity.

Comment Re:I don't see how this helps (Score 1) 50

Two of the three biggest variable factors- traffic congestion, and industrial activity, can be significantly altered based on the response to the predictions. Ideally, they can predict bad days ahead of time, and instead impose travel restrictions & production restrictions, and give people enough advance notice to make it effective. With it being an authoritarian govt, they might be able to get away with that type of heavy handed approach.

Comment Re:The solution is easy (Score 1) 842

I'm a millionaire many dozens of times over. I drive an old Volvo wagon I bought used for $2500.

You know, keeping a low profile is great, but why not buy a more up-to-date & hopefully more reliable car?

"OH damn, thats guys driving a 2 year old Honda Accord, he must be have millions of dollars in the bank" ?

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 192

The realtor doesn't always have the luxury of arranging written permission from someone who's away at work or otherwise unavailable

Look, the realtor stands to make tens of thousands of dollars off the sale of a million dollar house. I don't have a lot of sympathy that they may need to spend an extra thirty minutes driving back to the property to talk to the neighbors because they weren't there on the first knock. Hell, give the house owner a week to secure permission, and leave some boilerplate forms with them, and make the owners talk to the neighbors, they'll probably have a better success rate anyways.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 192

Speaking from years of experience, I can assure you that it is NOT easy to get.
Most people are intrigued by the technology, some become very enthusiastic
But perhaps one in twenty people shut down their brains the moment they hear "camera"

Using the inverse math, you've effectively stated that 95% of people give permission. The other 5% value their privacy, and have concerns about new technology. That sounds like a pretty reasonably success ratio to me.
Why do you say it is so hard to get permission then? Because somebody has to talk to the neighbors in advance, and you may not get a response if you pop by in the middle of the day?

Comment Re:Wow (Score 5, Insightful) 327

Solyndra gets a lot of criticism, but it's important to note that the program as a whole made money for the public AND spurred energy growth. How is that not a win-win? There were dozens of companies involved, and a few of them didn't pan out, but it is unreasonable to expect a 100% success rate.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 698

Do arms include RPG's, heavy machine guns, howitzers, or suitcase nukes? While I'm in favor of legal private ownership of stun guns and tasers, there are basically no reasonable people who think nuclear weapons should be available to all citizens.

From wikipedia: A weapon, arm, or armament is any device used in order to inflict damage or harm to living beings, structures, or systems.

Therefore, nuclear weapon == Arms
It thus follows that no reasonable person believes in the 2nd amendment.

This is obviously an inflammatory statement to a lot of people, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Comment Re:No excuse for them to be "unemployed" (Score 4, Interesting) 755

I know some elderly people who barely worked an honest day in their life. Now they expect to live on Social Security because it's what a "civilized society does."

Since they are elderly, and have few work-gained skills, I would suspect they aren't a good employee for anyone at this stage in their life. Are you suggesting that as a society we should kill them, and have them executed for not being a good enough worker? Or are you simply suggesting to let them starve to death and die of exposure? What exactly are they supposed to "give back" to earn their benefits? And what should we as a society do if they refuse?

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 4, Insightful) 755

Are you aware that you personally, could quit your job, go on welfare, and sit around at home all day, and scrape by with just enough money to eat and keep a roof over your head? Why do you work when you don't "have to"?

Now apply those thoughts of why you work, to other people. It turns out most people are similar, and have hopes and aspirations, want to provide a better life for their families, and want to pursue hobbies, and go to fun places, and so on. The vast majority of people have ambition! Do you really think that fear of starvation is the ONLY thing that makes people get a job?

You are showing an extreme lack of empathy, and making a lot of assumptions about poor people not having hopes and dreams. That honestly says a lot more about yourself than you realize.

Submission + - Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere to Create Carbon Nanofibers (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Carbon nanofibers hold tremendous potential. But could the greatest gift these little wonders offer humanity be not what they bring into the world but what they take out of it? Scientists have developed a technique that could pull the mounting carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and transform it into carbon nanofibers, resulting in raw materials for use in anything from sports gear to commercial airliners.

If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.