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Comment: Re:"Lower quality"? (Score 3, Informative) 214

by Stewie241 (#47448641) Attached to: Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

I did gloss it over in my write up though I did not forget it. I somewhat addressed that in my closing question. To expand, I think that there are some people who just enjoy going to the movies. For whatever reason, for them, all the risks of the annoying behaviour that you describe together with the cost are shadowed by the pleasure of their experience. Maybe it is just about doing something out in public, or whatever. I dunno. If we assume this, then it is possible that the pre-release leak of the movie would incline their choice of movie (given that they've *already* decided to go to the theater) towards a new release that just became available in pirated form.

I personally find $25 to see a movie with my wife a bit hard to swallow and tend to only go on somebody else's suggest (to be social), but some people really enjoy the theater experience and would pay regardless of whether the film is available in pirated form or not.

My suspicion is that file sharing would only affect the segment of people who value being up on the latest movies but don't value the theatre experience.

As an aside, the report at provides some interesting statistics about ticket sale volume (in summary, "2012 U.S./Canada box office was $10.8 billion, up 6% compared to $10.2 billion in 2011, and up 12% from five
years ago.", "The 2012 increase in U.S./Canada box office was due to an equivalent increase in admissions (6%) compared to
2011, as admissions reached 1.36 billion,", "More than two-thirds of the U.S./Canada population (68%) – or 225 million people – went to the movies at least
once in 2012, consistent with prior years."

If you assume piracy has been increasing over the last few years then the stats that MPAA is releasing don't really seem to lead to the conclusion that it is affecting ticket sales in a negative fashion.

Comment: Re:"Lower quality"? (Score 3, Interesting) 214

by Stewie241 (#47448241) Attached to: Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

The KPI they are looking at is box office revenue. So, yes, the trailers are obviously unskippable. But it could be argued that many people don't have the same quality AV setup in their homes that the theaters have. The quality is determined by two things - one, the quality of the source material and the quality of the venue and playback equipment.

Now what I wonder is whether the shared movie's availability helps draw more people to the box office, or whether it instead draws more people already going to the box office towards a particular film. i.e. does it make the pie bigger or does it increase the size of the slice that a particular movie gets?

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 346

by Stewie241 (#47376455) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

It depends how the headers were populated. It is possible to include both a recipient name and a mailbox specification in RFC 822. If it was addressed like:
Jane Smith then one could argue John Doe should not open the message.

As crazy as it sounds to do something like this on the Internet, there is precedence in some messaging services. Skype, for example, lets you delete messages after they have already been sent. Obviously there is no guarantee that the other person didn't read it yet, but if not, then it is effectively unsent. If it had been read, the other user has to go by memory unless they copied and pasted the email.

Google has the ability to do the same thing with mail sent to a GMail account in many situations. IMAP clients will tend to sync up and would likely go and remove the message at the next sync. If the user had not read it yet, it would be effectively 'taken back'. If the user had opened and taken a cursory glance at it they would in essence accomplish the same purpose. If the user has a POP client they are obviously out of luck.

What I wonder though is what sort of data it is and whether this is a sole measure of protection or an additional measure. Depending on how quickly they discovered the error and got a hold of Google, there is likely a very slim chance the message wasn't read at all. Further, they have no guarantees that the message wasn't copy and pasted or otherwise stored. Perhaps it is a best effort type of deal.

Comment: Re:Why do we have screen savers? (Score 1) 349

by Stewie241 (#47368099) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

This isn't a monitor, it's a TV. And burn-in is an issue if you have a plasma TV. I would almost argue it is worse than old CRTs. I find the problem happens when you're watching Netflix and the show ends and you are off doing something else or otherwise occupied while it sits at the menu on the Roku.

Does HDMI allow the video source to tell the TV to turn off the display after inactivity? I guess the device can turn off. I think TVs tend not to do that though. Instead, they power up the display and put a no signal message on the screen that often bounces around to prevent burn-in.

Comment: Re:controlling words (Score 1) 99

by Stewie241 (#47280383) Attached to: Smartphones To Monitor Schizophrenics

I'm sure that when they develop sensors to detect attitude and intentions the psychiatrists will avail themselves of it.

From what I gathered in the article this was about patients and/or their families coming to a doctor for help and using this as a tool for the doctor and patient to manage the patient's condition together.

This reminds of the article about Target's ability to tell if a shopper is pregnant (

The data being collected is obviously a typical outworking of an internal state. It seems useful in providing the psychiatrist with a clue as to when it might be a good idea to call in and checkup on a patient, or to have a family member drop in.

And yes, these are human beings with dignity. And obviously, there are complications with this particular condition that make things difficult, but if I had this condition I could imagine myself in my healthier times being interested in setting up a support system to prevent me from harming myself and/or others and ending up in the hospital.

Comment: Re: Who the F gets to live without competition? (Score 1) 417

by Stewie241 (#46959863) Attached to: London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

My point was that allowing services like Uber to become common place may make a regulated taxi service unviable, which may have a negative effect on a city's tourism and business. Also, time will tell how much or how little services like Uber will be taken advantage of, both by drivers who jerk around with passengers, and by riders who jerk around with drivers.

Further, it *does* seem unfair to taxi drivers who were told the only way they could legally engage in the business was to study for three years and pay a bunch of money to watch other drivers engage in the business without having done so.

Comment: Re: Who the F gets to live without competition? (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Stewie241 (#46958643) Attached to: London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

To play the devil's advocate, it is bad for tourism and business if you don't have a taxi system that can be relied on to be safe and clean. And, from the tourism perspective, appearance of so is very important. This is most likely rooted in history, especially for a place like London, but I can see it making sense for a city like London to want to ensure that tourists can count on having a pleasant safe ride at a predictable price when taking a taxi.

Not that an Uber ride isn't necessarily so, but without licensing and regulation, there is no way to ensure you have that consistent experience, and even if Uber sets standards, they are outside the control of the city.

I think a little competition is good, but you still need a way to ensure that licensed, regulated taxis are still viable so that tourists and business travelers feel safe.

As a taxi driver in London I would be pretty pissed off if I had just spent three years of my life studying to pass a test and was laying out $500 a year to run my business and had to meet rigid standards because I was abiding by the law and others were allowed to ignore those same laws.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach