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Comment Re: Olga Khazan is probably smarter than my dog. (Score 1) 384

"From my experience, one thing you do need when learning to code is an ability to stifle your rage when computers donâ(TM)t do what you want.

I remember helping out my fellow classmates in the terminal room during my freshman C class [two hints to how old I am in that sentence!]. The biggest impediment I found was that they would get so upset and flustered at the computer that they could not calm down and try to figure out their errors! Once they relaxed, they typically quickly could see the problem.

Comment Re:not so obvious to everyone it seems (Score 1) 288

It is because the studios asked them for a monetary number well outside Netflix's ability to pay and still stay afloat.

Good content costs good money. Netflix doesn't even own its most successful shows (Media Rights Capital owns "House of Cards" and Lionsgate owns "Orange Is the New Black"). Their first cheap Starz streaming deal was a weird technicality. Everyone knew when it ran out that Netflix could not support its streaming of quality content by charging less than what a cable or satellite provider would for a collection of content of similar quality.

Comment Re:Remember when America had science? (Score 1) 48

Perhaps we should be happy that global economic growth is allowing hundreds of thousands of new biologists to study the science?

As Julian Simone noted, the ultimate resource is not something like oil, or copper, or water, but instead the ultimate resource is the power of the human mind - and the more human minds that we can bring online to solving problems, the better off the world will be.

Anyway there is plenty of science in the US. In 2013, two Americans and one America-based scientist won the nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine (James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Sudhof or Yale, Berkeley, and Stanford) for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic.

Comment Re:X264 is already good enough for 4K on Bluray (Score 1) 145

I am in the professional content industry, and the last thing we want to do is to use a new codec. But for feature-quality 2160p24, HEVC is a must to keep bit rates from peaking above 100 Mbps (VBR). Also there are HEVC software decoders available, or else no one would be able to watch the Netflix "4K" content in HEVC. I've even seen HEVC software decoders running on an iPhone.

Here is one analysis of HEVC HM versus H.264 x264 quality, and finds: For video compression, the performance of VP8 were competitive with x264, while, interestingly, the new HEVC technology under definition usually showed the best performance.

Comment Economic Freedom of Finland (Score 1) 755

Finland has a fairly high level of economic freedom, with the notable exceptions of labor regulations and government spending

"Labor regulations are relatively rigid, and the non-salary cost of employing a worker is high" and "government spending is equivalent to 56.7 percent of domestic output".

Comment Re:What about VP9? (Score 1) 145

Dirac low-latency ("Dirac Pro", aka SMPTE VC-2) may come back as a mezzanine compression for production video over IP (Snell showed this at NAB 2014).

But "long GOP" Dirac never provided enough quality per bit per second compared with H.264, and certainly not with HEVC. I don't think anyone at BBC R&D is actively working on it now.

Comment The situation (Score 2) 145

There is a lot of stuff going on with HEVC:

1) Ultra HD Blu-ray is about to roll-out based on HEVC
2) ATSC 3.0 new digital broadcast standard with HEVC is being finalized
3) DVB and others are considering HEVC for digital broadcast
4) UHD/4K with HEVC is being deployed by OTT like Netflix as well as direct broadcast satellite like DirecTV and wireline like BT.

The HEVC Advance patent pool unlimited content royalties that was recently announced are giving content distributors a lot of concern. In the professional content world, it is understood that enabling technology intellectual property needs to be paid, but when you are talking about unlimited percentages of "all direct & indirect revenue" from content, not only is the cost too high, but the accounting is impossible.

Meanwhile from a bit rate versus quality level, VP9 is clearly not performing as well as HEVC.

If Cisco can show that Thor can perform nearly was well as HEVC, there are a lot of content distribution companies that will take it more seriously than they would have just a few months ago because of the HEVC Advance content royalty.

However the enabling factor would be if Cisco (and other Thor implementers) will indemnify users (i.e. content distributors) from any infringement by the use of their encoders/decoders.

Comment Re:This triggers my WW3 theories. (Score 1) 190

All of a sudden the regular internet was just...slammed. The other lab was testing their regular internet connection by pinging yahoo or something and couldn't get a response. Well, massive amounts of dropped packets, anyway. Then my wife called back and said another plane hit the towers and their base was now on lockdown. Then I realized I couldn't get a response from any news website, either.

We had set up a multicast "over net" delivered via satellite to a number of smaller ISPs with Yahoo! Broadcast content. Subscribers to those ISPs were able to watch multicast streaming media news regarding 9/11.

CableLabs is now working on a "Multicast ABR" mechanism, so it is all coming back now!

Comment Re:Outside help (Score 1) 431

The OECD published 87 concrete recommendations for reducing administrative burdens in Greece, which are an unnecessary 3 billion Euro burden on Greek businesses annually.

Some of the OECD suggestions include things like "simplify annual leave records", "streamline start-up notifications to the Labour Inspectorate for construction sites", "establish a clear VAT registration threshold at EUR 10 000", "remove inactive VAT taxable persons from the VAT register", "simplify the periodic VAT return", "Allow full electronic submission of all notifications to Registry (company changes and annual financial statements)", "simplify financial statements of small and micro companies","Streamline payment process for all GEMH notifications to allow payments without visiting an office", etc.

Of course the OECD was not willing to say the most reasonable thing - Greece should have labor laws like the US. Fire people whenever you want, no crazy contracts, no crazy severance pay or vacations.

We know that the Hartz Reforms on labor regulations is what brought German unemployment rates down from 10% in the early part of the 2000's and is why they survived the financial crisis so well.

I concur that Greece ranks last in the Eurozone in Transparency International's corruption ratings. However I believe that corruption thrives when unclear and burdensome regulations make doing reasonable business impossible without paying someone off.

Comment Re:Outside help (Score 1) 431

The MESS is caused by the baby boom and Greece's liberal government funded pensions

I'd argue that this MESS is caused by the high level of labor and business regulation in Greece.

Ireland got into a big debt crisis as well, but because it has a high level of economic freedom, it was able to exit its rescue program due to economic growth (despite "austerity").

Spain has just begun to reform its labor and business regulations, and it is finally showing some return to economic growth

Germany had the Hartz labor Reforms before the economic crisis, so it never needed a rescue.

Greece remains last in the Eurozone in economic freedom rankings and highest in the Eurozone for corruption rankings.

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