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Comment: TV without ads is expensive (Score 1) 112

by sjbe (#48197437) Attached to: Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

According to Nielsen the average person watches: 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day.

I *might* watch that much in a week. There just isn't that much worth watching most of the time. I guess I'm an outlier. I cannot fathom why anyone would give a crap about the latest Kardashian family hijinks.

What's really sad is people don't insist on ad free TV, or a 3rd party candidate...

That costs money. Watching advertising just costs time. If you have a lot of money you can trade money for time. If you don't have a lot of money you trade time for money. Simple fact is that most people either can not and/or will not pay what TV would cost if it were not ad supported. Furthermore it's unlikely to ever really be offered because there is too much money to be made with advertising.

People don't support third party candidates because the deck has been stacked by the two major parties to make it almost impossible for any third party candidate to get elected.

Comment: Pick a valid criticism of Windows-plenty to choose (Score 2) 104

by sjbe (#48196179) Attached to: Delivering Malicious Android Apps Hidden In Image Files

Windows is at least as fragmented as Android.

Look, I don't like Microsoft any more than most people here but that's just nonsense. You can grind you ax against Microsoft in plenty of ways that don't require making stuff up. It's not like there isn't anything legitimate to criticize about Windows. Your "evidence" that Windows is fragmented involves versions of Windows that were released over 10 years apart. That's not fragmentation - that's just normal development. The fact that Microsoft sells several versions that release different features depending on your license code isn't fragmentation - that's just price discrimination. Microsoft only sells a relatively small number of versions at any given time - FAR less than the number of Android versions available for sale.

There are dozens if not hundreds of companies selling highly customized versions of Android. Want to upgrade to Google's latest code? On most devices you are out of luck unless you want to go to the hassle of jailbreaking. There are even info graphics detailing Android's problems with a horde of different versions and makers.

Comment: Rural highways (Score 1) 356

by sjbe (#48195909) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Every section of road I've ever seen that has stop lights also has speed limits much less than 60 mph.

You need to get out more. I have stoplights on the road I live on where the speed limit is 50mph and there are plenty of rural highways with stoplights and speed limits of 60mph. They're not even remotely hard to find. My daily commute has 10 miles of travel with speed limits of (mostly) 55mph and traffic signals at every major intersection.

Comment: Re: Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 356

by gadget junkie (#48195493) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

We know the speed limit, the safe stopping distance for the speed, the safe time to cover the safe stopping distance, and the duration of the yellow.

Which raises the question, are cities intentionally creating safety issues ?

Yes. or in other words: "hmmmmmmm...... revenues!!"

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 356

by gadget junkie (#48195477) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

The red light camera issue is easily Googled, many municipalities have found that the companies installing these have turned down the timing between amber and red in order to catch more people running the red.

please remind me where the muni people are dumb enough to deliver the keys to one of their system to a private enterprise on the assumption that "they will act in the best interest of the community", and forget about it. I have to delete my tax records.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 356

by gadget junkie (#48195461) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

That's quite an accusation you're making there. Do you have any kind of reliable source backing up this claim, other than someone else claiming the same thing on some gaming forum you like to visit for your monthly dose of conspiracy theories?

In other words, [citation needed] biatch.

not in the US, but something akin to that is happening here in Italy.... to me. the law says that speed traps must be preceeded by a road signal, BUT that without additional evidence the judgement will always be in favour of the police. Mind you, I have a dashboard camera.

since I saw that there was NO sign, I save the file with the timestamp, a good image of the police officer etc, and wait. when the ticket arrives, I contest the validity of the ticket, enclose a cd with the file , a short memo, and wait. Lo and behold, the law enforcement officer sends the ticket back to me doubled, saying that "my video was not valid". Meanwhile, the "official" photo has arrived, and there is no sign of the signal, even tough the field of view is wide enough. mind you, it's difficult not to see the road signal in an empty three lane motorway, so in all fairness they should have put me in for another driving exam, since I should have been drunk, blind, incapacitated, or a combination of the three to miss it.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal evidence from cheap guns (Score 1) 293

by sjbe (#48186841) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

well, we could always ask someone who knows. How about the patent holders for Nylon?

That is one synthetic and quite likely not the most appropriate one. There are plenty of plastics with significantly lower glass transition temperatures. I don't know enough about them personally (I'm not a chemist) to know which might be appropriate for a rifle stock but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a suitable material out there. HDPE maybe? Nylon is used a lot in higher temperature applications so it might not be the right choice for cold.

If you are going into extreme environments (cold, hot, vacuum, underwater, etc) you are very likely going to need different materials than you do for every day use in what we consider normal conditions. If I'm going to be dealing with temperatures of -40C then one should fully expect to need specialty gear and that obviously could include a rifle stock. I remain unconvinced that there is no synthetic material that would be suitable for a rifle stock in very cold weather.

Comment: Re:Pace of innovation (Score 1) 249

by sjbe (#48181107) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Jobs used to do yearly hardware updates of iDevices with at least one big new feature. Retina displays, Siri, that sort of thing. Apple seems to have stopped doing that now, unless maybe you count the rather underwhelming fingerprint scanner.

Technology released since Steve Jobs died include but isn't limited to: ApplePay, Lighting cables, the iPad Mini, Touch ID (which is NOT underwhelming), larger screens, IOS7 and IOS8, Mavericks, Yosemite, AppleWatch, Healthkit, Homekit, Continuity, 2nd Gen Mac Pro, iCloud, 64 bit Aseries processors, iTunes Match, Family Sharing, and probably more I'm not thinking of off the top of my head. Plus of course various and numerous incremental improvements to their existing product lines.

Now some of these were in development while Steve was still alive but pretending that Apple hasn't done anything since he died is willfully ignoring the facts. Is it enough? Time will tell. But the notion that Apple stopped innovating the moment they threw the first shovel of dirt on Steve Jobs is absurd.

NFC and health apps are a good example of what they do now. Features that have been around for a few years, playing catch-up. I

And yet NFC is barely used and health apps remain poorly integrated with existing technology. I haven't yet seen a single person use a phone for NFC payments in person. I know some do here and there but it's hardly commonplace. Same with phone based health apps that aren't on iPhones. Some people use Fitbits etc but they don't integrate well and the ones that do integrate don't do so any better to Android than to iOS. Health monitoring devices and apps are in their infancy and NOBODY has really cracked that market - not Apple or anyone else.

In fact NFC is kind of a joke because you can only use it for payment, meaning a clunky Bluetooth interface is the only way to transfer small amounts of data between devices and you can't use NFC tags.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. NFC has nothing to do with Bluetooth and is used for different purposes. Saying NFC is only used for payments is hardly damning. That is a huge deal. The company that cracks contactless payments with smartphones is very likely to rake in a ton of money. Apple's new ApplePay service has as good a shot at it as anything I've seen. We'll see if it pans out in due time of course.

Comment: Standard parts and ammo (Score 1) 293

by sjbe (#48180885) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

If you have "unfailing reliability" why change it? It's a weapon not a computer.

Several possible reasons come to mind. Using more standard ammunition is probably the most likely reason. Same with parts and repairs. Good as the 303 might be, it might be causing some significant logistical heartburn getting specialty ammo out to remote locations. They can be converted to a standard 7.62 NATO round but it's probably not worth the trouble.

Comment: Anecdotal evidence from cheap guns (Score 1) 293

by sjbe (#48180811) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

composite (plastic) stocks do become very brittle in freezing weather (I know having had a Crosman Nightstalker disintegrate in my hands while out ratting just last February) Hardwoods are more stable in pretty much any environment as long as the grain is sealed, than any other material save titanium alloy, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to know what thatd cost.

You're using a very cheap ($100) air rifle as evidence that plastics break in cold weather? Do you seriously think the plastics in that were engineered with any sort of temperature extremes in mind? That thing was produced to be as cheap as possible and you can be sure that they didn't get carried away picking a plastic that can handle temperature extremes. There are plenty of synthetic materials that can handle cold just fine.

Not saying you are necessarily wrong but can you cite any evidence for this statement that is something other than anecdotal?

Comment: Not all plastics are the same (Score 1) 293

by sjbe (#48180751) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

However I would be concerned about the opposite. synthetics don't do well in extreme cold either.

That depends very much on exactly which synthetic material(s) you are talking about. Some have chemistry that works great in cold. Others not so much. There is more than a bit of "you get what you pay for" here.

Comment: Cheap choice of plastic (Score 4, Insightful) 293

by sjbe (#48180707) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Wrong, stock will melt if left under vehicle curved window in summer. I speak from experience.

Then it was an inappropriate choice of material but that is not sufficient evidence to condemn (or recommend) synthetics in general. Most cars are loaded with plastics and they don't melt. If the stock you had melted from the fairly modest heat in a car, then it was a piece of junk to begin with. No plastic on a working tool should melt that easily unless that was the specific intent.

There are plenty of non-exotic plastics with melting points well in excess of 130C (266F), and some considerably higher. Nylon's melting point is 190C for example. I work with many of them routinely. If your car is getting that hot I think some plastic melting will be the least of your concern.

Comment: Irrelevant comparisons (Score 1) 293

by sjbe (#48180559) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

If only the hardware that we use in computers could have such a track record.

It can if the use case would remain unchanged for 100 years and that technology improvements would be slow enough. The Voyager probes are around 40 years old and (mostly) still working in very harsh conditions so it clearly can be done. Of course you would be hard pressed to find two products more different than firearms and computers so I'm not sure why this hypothetical comparison was in the summary. The pace of technology improvements in small arms is positively glacial compared with that of computers and the use case is almost completely unchanged. Furthermore firearms are relatively simple devices with precisely one purpose. It's a LOT easier to design a reliable and simple single purpose device than to design a hugely complicated general purpose calculating machine.

Comment: Pace of innovation (Score 3, Insightful) 249

by sjbe (#48177851) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

Apple hasn't really innovated much since Steve left the scene.

I see this a lot and I'm not convinced, especially since the guy has only been in the ground for around 3 years. How much does Apple have to do for you to change you mind? Where is the boundary between what you consider innovative and not. What is your evidence that their pace of innovation has slowed? I'm not saying you are right or wrong but you stated it as if it is axiomatic and I don't think I agree. I don't see any other companies really innovating meaningfully faster when you are talking time scales of 5-15 years which is what matters here.

Apple has historically introduced one or two big products per decade. The original Apple Computers came out in the late 1970s. The Macintosh was created in 1984. The iPod in 2001. The iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 which are really the same device in different form factors. Other products of note were the Apple LaserWriter (first desktop laser printer - Apple dropped the ball on that one) in 1985 and the Newton MessagePad in 1994. (The Apple Watch is too new to decide if it is noteworthy or not) Apple's most grim time financially was during the 1990s when their big bet (the MessagePad) was a flop and they mismanaged the Macintosh. I think people might be confused about their pace of innovation late in Steve Jobs life because they mistakenly consider the iPhone and iPad to be different devices when they really aren't. In fact the iPhone came out to the development for the iPad. They are the same device really.

Companies like Samsung and HTC and others are trying a lot of stuff and most of it is crap but some is good and works. Apple works really hard on a few things and doesn't release as much but their batting average is much better. Neither approach is right or wrong but you have to look at it on a time scale of more than 2-3 years to get a sense of pace of innovation. Realistically we should be having this discussion about 5-7 years in the future.

Product ideas that can move markets the way the Mac and the iDevices have are REALLY hard to come up with. I see some companies like Samsung throwing a lot of stuff out there but most of it is quite unremarkable. I think expectations that Apple would introduce some big market moving product the minute Steve Jobs died is pretty unrealistic. It may turn out that without Jobs the company will founder - they did once before. But we really should wait a few years to see if they really can or cannot come up with their next big success. I think their ApplePay service *might* turn out to be a really big deal but that remains to be seen. I think it is the most interesting new product they've done since the iPad and it certainly could be the most lucrative.

Natural laws have no pity.