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Comment Seems unlikely (Score 1) 114

Because, for every person like you, there are 10 that would just say "Speaker not work. Must buy new speaker."

Perhaps they would say that, but why on earth would they then buy a speaker from a manufacturer who had screwed them over like that?

In fact if a manufacturer did that to me, I'd tell friends not to buy that brand, and be inclined to tell future generations not to do so also. To this day I don't buy Sony audio equipment because of bad experiences in college.

So I hardly think it likely they would produce something crappy in this way on purpose.

Comment Apps on TV will be huge, but mainly linked (Score 1) 113

Apps as a new way to stream on TV is not that interesting and will not really do anything much to increase traditional TV watching.

What will be much larger is the potential for apps on TV to add lots of context around what we are watching, which will mostly occur by linking mobile apps to TV apps driving the display. Then you can have more of a shared experience, or direct feedback related to the video which the video producer could also use live...

Comment Re:Why would Disney do this? (Score 2) 248

You've never been to Disneyworld, have you?

The entire fucking place is one giant network, down to the RF wristbands ("magicbands") used by guests to do everything from unlocking their rooms, paying tabs everywhere throughout the entire resort, getting on rides, entering the parks, everything.

And let's not forget that pretty much every ride and attraction runs or is directly dependent on computers. It's like Steam, but connected to animatronics.

Disneyworld is the most IT-driven place I've ever been to.

Comment Contractors can have institutional knowledge (Score 1) 163

If you hire a contractor for a long enough term, you can have pretty good amounts of institutional knowledge - You find a few contractors over time that really know the subject well and are effective workers, then do what you need to to keep them around at least a few years.

These days you have just as much risk of key personnel leaving if they are any good. In some ways a contractor is less risky as they will be more prone to be clear if they need more money to stay on longer, whereas an employee might find it easier to get a raise by finding a different company (I know that was true back when I worked for large companies, getting a raise was far harder and offered less reward than moving to a different company)

Comment Patent reform can fix this problem (Score 1) 354

We can fix this problem and get patent reform at the same time.

After 3 years, patents issued to foreign based or owned companies can't be enforced against US owned companies making products in the US that utilize them. Patents issued to American owned companies using the patent to make a product in the US can enforce them for the normal time against anyone.

This solves the problem with obnoxious multi-nationals hoarding patents by making them only useful for a very short time. It discourages US companies from "inverting" for tax purposes but largely remaining American corporations (and thus benefitting from taxpayer provided legal, diplomatic and protection but skipping out on the taxes). And it encourages businesses to make products in the US.

Of course companies with insanely good and hard to make products may choose not to sell them here because of this, but the upside is there'd be an incentive and means to make them here by other means and for the most part, willfully refusing to sell in the American marketplace is like throwing money away.

There's no reason that the patent system couldn't be used as a tool to encourage business in America and discourage evading paying for the very civil society that makes business work. Hopefully now Pfizer will be utilizing the vast resources, long reach and deep influence of the Irish government to enforce their patents, lobby governments when they don't get the treatment they want, when, say a new drug is copied in China or India or when the FDA doesn't approve it.

Comment LED lighting that flickers (Score 1) 491

It's so easy to include the smoothing capacitor - but so many LED lights strobe at 50/60 Hz. This produces a really unpleasant effect, especially if people move about (or simply move their eyes). LEDs are far worse than tungsten here, because the LED is usually on for only a very small fraction of the duty-cycle, has no thermal inertia, and many of them only operate on one half-cycle not both. When LED lamps are dimmed, it's truly horrid. (I also hate the poor colour rendering, and the tendency to get harsh ("cool-white") or dirty-grey ("warm white") llight rather than a full spectrum.

Comment bring back full height 4:3 screens (Score 1) 491

It is frustrating to me that we now have "shortscreens" everywhere - instead of full-height screens (e.g. 20" at 1600x1200), we now have 16:9 (and no doubt 16:7 in due course). For real work, whether programming, CAD, or just reading webpages and documents, there is no substitute for screen-height. Yet a combination of the DVD-tail wagging the productivity dog, and a dishonest marketing campaign (17" widescreens have less area than 17" regular screens) means that we can't get decent screens anywhere. For desktops this is just about tolerable with the advent of very very large 16:10 screens, but for laptops, it is a nightmare.

Comment Re:WHERE CAN I CHECK MY WHITE PRIVILEGE?!? (Score 5, Insightful) 763

I keep trying to play on the relentless oppression of my German people since the Roman empire and how this is a crime that hasn't been addressed and has been repeated over the centuries, from the 100 years war, the Napoleonic wars, the anti-German discrimination against German Americans during and after WW I, the internment of Germans during WW II.

My people are being picked on, and it's been going on FOR MILLENNIA and I deserve a check in the mail.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.