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Comment Teledesic, The 1990s Called (Score 2) 123

Yeah, I remember this when it was called "Teledesic", from the mid-90s, when Craig McCaw, Bill Gates & Prince Bin Alawaleed threw $9 billion in a hat to create a Low Earth Orbit satellite internet company.

So, we have yet to solve some of the staggering problems behind this concept.

1, Cost.
2, Cost
3, Cost
4, Semi-acceptible downstream speeds, latency-choked laggy dialup upstream speeds making video/audio streaming, uploading to cloud services, etc wholly impractical. The only workable solution is to use traditional terrestrial last-mile technology (cable, dsl, etc.) for the upstream. Which wholly defeats the point of satellite internet.

I thought Sir Richard was smarter than this.

Comment Team America: World Police ? (Score 1) 589

.. And Team America: World Police by the South Park guys, which completely ridiculed Kim Jong Il - was cheerfully sent to theaters without issue?

Oh, here's why- Team America: World Police was distributed by Paramount Pictures, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. media behemoth Viacom, which couldn't give a flying fuck about a despot on the other side of the world.

Sony, on the other hand, has its parent company headquartered in Japan, where North Korean missile tests fly over their island on a regular basis, and has actually had citizens literally kidnapped off the beach by North Korean intelligence officers.

Where does this stop? Will Sony approach media outlets like Amazon Instant Video, Google Play Movies and iTunes, only to be told off? It wasn't bad enough that Sony has suffered huge losses from the hacking, now they also eat nearly $50 million on the films' production costs and sunk advertising to date.

During the Cold War, Hollywood ROUTINELY made films depicting the Soviets as drunken bumbling incompetent bloodthirsty warmongers, with fare like Stripes, Spies Like Us, Red Dawn (original), and many many others - This, at a time when there were literally hundreds or thousands of KGB agents active on American sold and > 10,000 ICBMs pointed at us - And you could turn Johnny Carson's monologue on every night and listen to him crack about Brezhnev being a drunken idiot.

Did Sony react to a real threat? Or is this part of the new culture of not offending anyone?


Comment Individually Interesting, Collectively Creepy (Score 4, Interesting) 109

A number of similar articles have revealed more tidbits of Apples' Jobs-worship culture recently.

Taken one by one, they just come across as nice gestures to honor the company's co-founder. Additively they're starting to become really, really weird.

When Tim Cook dropped the bomb during his Charlie Rose interview that Jobs' office is maintained exactly as it was before his death, sealed, undisturbed - it raised an eyebrow.

The entire affair reminds me of the religion that pulp science fiction author started - the one with an office maintained in his honor at all their locations. You know the one. I suppose next we'll discover there is a Steve Jobs alcove located in the rear stockroom of all Apple stores.

Look, I got my first Apple product in 1983, and own quite a few current models at this time. But... admiration is one thing, hero worship is quite another. No thanks.

Comment The "George Carlin" Rule (Score 1) 331

To paraphrase the late George Carlin, If the answer to "..was the last person to get a job in my major my professor.." ..a "yes", then perhaps you should rethink your career track.

Mike Rowe may be right. Thirty years ago they shuttered all the vocational training shops in High Schools across the U.S. and rejiggered the curriculum to entirely "College Prep." Apparently someone thought the new millennia would see floating cities, personal jetpacks and genetically engineered mental telepathy as the new societal construct, and the only way to fulfill this prophecy was to produce eager young archons -disciples of the critical thinking required to operate the flying cars and mind operated workbots. Except it didn't happen, and you have to write a check for nearly $200 to the guy running the power snake in your basement floor drain on a Sunday night emergency call.

When everyone has an MBA, does anyone have an MBA?
Where does a Gender Studies degree take you when the corporatization of universities is closing the door on living wages or career advancement in higher education?

With a large number of Associate or certification programs producing comfortable middle-income career tracks in the skilled medical, production or transportation sectors, is a 4-year degree and $50,000-$100,000 of student loan debt that secures a $39,000/yr salary moving papers around inside a cubicle somewhere in the Midwest ... worth it, or right for everyone?

Comment Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (Score 1) 46

.. This finding is not entirely surprising, as the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction has been understood for quite some time, particularly relevant to treatment of bacterial infection.

Nutshell, antibodies, natural or pharmaceutical, kill bacteria, causing them to dump endotoxins contained within the bacteria into the bloodstream, often causing the patient to feel significantly worse for a period of time.

Not unlike taking a large garbage bag out of the dumpster, throwing it into your swimming pool, then cutting it open with a box cutter.

Chronic inflammatory or bacterial illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis or Lyme disease are particularly notorious for the "Herxing" patients feel during treatment.

Comment Re:Just make it fast (Score 1) 77

One of the drivers behind Android L was improving performance on low to mid range Android devices. Google is interested in improving the Android experience for those customers with the 1 cent contract phones, and other flotsam at the bottom of the product menu.

Android L allegedly will perform smoothly, even on devices with 512mb RAM. Which should be a win for those customers with 1gb and 2gb handsets made within the last 2-3 years, as they will be lightning fast.

Comment Re:Bad idea (Score 2) 252

Sharp observers would notice the phrase "Desktop Class" used in Apple keynotes the last year or two, when describing the power of their A# mobile processors.

I for one would not be surprised if Apple released a 12" "WorkBook" that is essentially a 12" iPad with full keyboard & touchpad, running iOS w/2gb RAM. Their entire "office" suite - iWork - is already a complete feature copy of the OS X version - all that's missing from making it truly useful on the iPad is .. a quality keyboard.

Comment Re:Hollywood is mentally bankrupt (Score 4, Interesting) 187


Actually, patrons are mentally bankrupt. Hollywood puts original content in front of audiences every now and then, and it underwhelms at the box office.

Brand familiarity and the powerful psychological pull it has on consumers are just as responsible for you wanting to see the next Star Trek movie as you are likely to keep buying the same laundry detergent.

Comment Absolute Estate Tax Solves Problem (Score 1) 839

If estate size > $N millions then tax = 75%.

I have no problem with intelligent, insanely hard working entrepreneurs amassing a fortune and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
When that person passes away, take a swipe at that Scrooge McDuck sized pile of gold coins and redistribute it to primary schools and skills training programs for unemployed / underemployed adults.

The decedents survivors still get millions - and keep real property - and society gets massive cash infusions into education and skills programs designed to keep society employed, productive, fulfilled and vibrant.

Leave the whales alone, stop hassling them with nickel and dime taxes every time they turn around, let them enjoy their 200 foot yachts, Ibiza birthday bashes with P Diddy and Ukrainian supermodel girlfriends, annnnd when they pass away, a whole lot of single moms working 3 jobs waiting tables get converted into dental hygienists and LPNs with professional livable incomes and personal fulfillment & satisfaction.

You know nearly every wealthy person says they don't want their children to be burdened with extreme wealth or have everything given to them? Well, buddy, have I got a solution for you...

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.