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Comment They should make use of dormant DVDs (Score 1) 256

Netflix should make use of dormant DVDs. Keep track of how many DVDs are in the warehouse and allow those to be "rented" via streaming. No more content deals. Just buy the movie, keep track who's streaming it at any given time (being very careful to not go over), and profit. I'm sure it will piss off Hollywood, but at this point I think the tech industry could beat Hollywood in a large court case like this. No more turnaround time. DVDs rented for literally 90 minutes.

Comment Heavy hand vs Light touch (Score 5, Interesting) 279

Circles was a great idea. Google should have made plus a very lightweight site with circles and a couple of other features and an amazing API. Let the developers do the work for you. At that point, everything is sorta opt-in. No privacy issues. If I don't want my plus profile to have pictures, I just never download a picture app.

Google's name is too tarnished with regards to privacy and will never be able to launch a social media site again. It's like McDonald's trying to launch a health food line. About all they can do at this point is a spin-off type company that is far far away from the Google name.

Comment My experience (Score 2) 279

In early 2013 I had an idea to make interacting between social media sites a little bit more seamless. So I started hunting down the google plus API (in addition to all the other popular social media sites at the time). The google plus API was by far the most anemic. To say it was even a serious API is misleading.

I was able to hunt down a Google engineer and speak with him in a slightly non-corporate exchange. Basically, they seemed to have no interest in apps or extending the site. The site is the site, no more no less. A few publicist type conglomerates could have access to a private API that let them manage their celebrity and corporate profiles from a single piece of custom software, but mere mortals only had the extremely basic API. I just did a quick search and it looks like nothing has changed since then.

Ever since that exchange I realized Google had no grand plan for Google plus and even in early 2013 was already on life support.

Comment Re:I'll wait for service pack 1 (Score 1) 317

This isn't really true anymore. I think a lot of companies used this technique to decide when to roll out Windows versions, so Microsoft started putting out SP1 sooner to increase sales. There doesn't really seem to be an industry metric for determining stability either. I guess the best option is really "when all your friends say it seems stable."

Comment Local authority the greatest (Score 1) 298

If the Federal government tried the things local government can get away with, there would be mass revolution. In many places you can have a lien put against your property because your lawn was too high and you didn't pay the fines. Imagine if the Federal government tried that.

Local government can pretty much shut any event down based on zoning, noise ordinances, permits, incorrect paperwork, or any other number of technicalities. There's really no such thing as free speech when it comes to the city level of government. Maybe in principle, but in practice they have so many tools to shut you up it's sheer luck if you ever get your message out.

Comment Re:Paper (Score 4, Interesting) 162

The biggest problems in the school system can't be solved with technology. Technology won't make parents care about their kids. Technology won't stop politicians from playing games with school system tax money. Technology won't stop the textbook publishers from price gouging schools. Schools aren't screwed up because of lack of good algorithms. Remove all technology from schools and revert to pen and paper. The good schools will still be good and the bad schools will still be bad.

Comment Re:Technology to deliver personalized lessons (Score 1) 162

Because solving this problem needed 8 core powerhouses running on solid state drives with 32 gigs of ram. Any education problem that couldn't be solved on an Apple IIe is not going to be magically solved by modern computers and programs. This isn't a queuing algorithm that can be optimized with enough thought and manpower. We've known how to run well oiled classrooms for hundreds of years. Problem is too many greased palms and politicians playing games with tax money.

Comment Re:Open content (Score 3, Interesting) 162

It's amazing we are still paying for algebra and physics books. These subjects haven't changed up to the undergrad level in many decades. Textbooks should be getting simpler and more streamlined, but they're actually getting way more complicated. The books are crazy thick with thousands of practice problems that contain errors and most don't look anything like real world problems. Let's slim down and create a small set of GOOD problems that are error free. Won't happen though. The book industry is too big.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!