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Comment: Re:This sounds familiar. (Score 1) 278 278

I was once part of an audio book venture that created a book reader app and and associated library application library that was specifically designed to be used by the blind and severely disabled. It actually met all its goals in regards to usability. So the company took it to the largest national organizations to get their seal of approval for it. The company was turned down by all of them because although application interface years ahead of any other application in regrades to the blind and severely disabled, their words, it did not accommodate the deaf. An audio book application that did not accommodate the deaf.

Sorry dude but your story sounds like an urban myth. I'm not buying it.

Comment: Re:iGoogle (Score 1) 150 150

I miss iGoogle the most from that list. There are third party options that work (specifically I use igHome), but I liked iGoogle better. I also miss the old version of Google Voice. At least it is still functional as part of Hangouts, but I like the simplicity of the Google Voice layout more than with Hangouts.

Yep, I missed iGoogle the most as well. I also miss Google toolbar for Firefox.

Comment: Re:Well, if they wanted to make it more realistic. (Score 1) 133 133

If it is a supermassive black hole with low tidal forces at the event horizon, how did it create mindbogglingly huge tidal waves on the first planet they visited?

The director explained they took some liberties. They used two different concepts to get their point across. For example, a supermassive black hole would not have caused the tidal wave on the first planet and the time dilation would not be as large as shown in the movie. The effects of the tidal wave on the first planet and huge time dilation is what you would expect from stellar black hole. Also, stellar black holes have huge tidal forces at the event horizon. Nolan admitted that the effects on the first planet is what you would expect from a stellar black hole and effects at the event horizon is from a supermassive black hole, and he did it that way in the interests of story telling.

Comment: Re:Different from Microsoft.. (Score 1) 149 149

I think it's still severe enough. If they want to bundle those apps as the default in Russia, they should be able to do so without losing the ability to bundle Google apps by default in other countries.

I disagree. I see no reason why Google should create exceptions. Phone manufacturers don't license Android on a per market basis. Android license covers the global market and if manufactures break the licensing agreement in one market then that should that be enough to invalidate the license to use Android in every market. Google can't have exclusions if they want users to have a uniform experience.

Comment: Re:In Other Words.... (Score 1) 149 149

Waaaahhhhh, we're too fucking stupid to take the android source code and modify it so that we can do what we wanttttt!!! Bwaaaaahhhh, Waahhhh Wahhhh /inserting-pacifier.

I want to make an Android phone that ships with the Google Play store and has Bing as the default search engine.

Can I do that?

That's effectively what they want to do here, but Google doesn't want that. If you have Play then you have to have google as the default search.

But no, of course it's down to stupidity on Yandex's part. I forgot that google can do no wrong. Carry on.

Google default engine is not baked into the phone and users can switch the default search engine to Bing if they like. That is easy to do. If you are going to jump on Google case because their apps are the default on their operation system then you should also take issue with (1) Apple whose services are the default on iOS and can't be changed. Not to mention, Apple generally doesn't allow third party apps that compete with their apps in the Apple Store. (2) Microsoft 8.1 operating system ships with Bing as the default search engine. (3) Amazon version of Android ships with Yahoo as the default search engine that can't be changed.

Comment: Re:Different from Microsoft.. (Score 1) 149 149

Google has never done that. If you are an Android phone manufacturer you can sell Windows phones as well. As a consumer you can change the search engine to Bing if you like; or if you prefer you can buy a phone that defaults to Bing. Manufacturers can and do sell tablets without the Google Play app store, or even with an alternative app store.

What Yandex seems to be claiming is that manufacturers are, in fact, strong-armed to decide whether they want to ship all their phones with Google Play, or none of them. They are specifically claiming that a manufacturer was prevented from entering into an agreement with them to pre-install Yandex software, because they want to ship phones in other countries with Play, and Google's terms for Play require that they ship it in all countries.

Except that isn't quite true. Google doesn't stop Android phone manufacturers from shipping phones with Yandex installed. What phone manufacturers can't do is ship Android phones that doesn't have Google Apps (i.e. Search, Play Store, Mail, Calendar, Music and Maps) as the default. They certainly can bundle Yandex apps with their Android phones providing those apps are not shipped as the default instead of Google apps. Look at all the apps that are bundled in Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense UI.

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576 576

There was a time in the development of the universe where space and time itself essesntially expanded faster than the speed of light. It is pretty widely accepted physics. But this inflationary period after the big bang wasn't technically "faster" than light travel, because the definition of "faster" was bound up in the expansion of space and time. ."

That is incorrect. Space and time never expanded faster than the speed of light. Particles in the early universe traveled at the speed of light. What is correct is that the speed of light in the early universe traveled faster that light currently does. Over time the speed of light slowed down.

Comment: Re:Peak oil? (Score 1) 213 213

We're now forty years after the first oil shock, and, for lack of a valid alternative, oil still runs 98% of transportation.

How come peak oil isn't listed?

The possible reason that oil was not mentioned is that (1) peak oil is a myth, and (2) the world will switch to an alternative to oil long before peak oil. The world's oil reserve is adequate to meet demand and every year the reserve increases in the form of shale oil. We are not going to see peak oil for the next 50+ years, if ever. Also with current technology, we can replace oil with bio-fuels (sure it will cost about $7 per gallon but Europe pays over $5 per gallon. So, $7 is doable) or natural gas. Converting a gasoline engine to run on bio-fuels or natural gas is easy to do. So, oil will not end civilization. At least not directly. However, if two nuclear superpowers get into a dust up over oil. That's another issue.

Comment: Re:Hold On (Score 1) 271 271

If I'm reading the article correctly, the information that says that ads in the Facebook style are far more effective than Google's comes from...a study by Facebook. Gee, that seems totally unbiased and could in no way be slanted by them to help them convince potential advertisers to sign up. All of this seems very bizarre after reading -- for years -- about how the Facebook ad model is so deeply flawed.

The reason why is that the average user spends more time on Facebook than on Google services. That means users spends more time viewing ads on Facebook than Google services. However, the author fails to mention Google + which has over 300 million monthly active users who spent an average time of 7 minutes using the service.

I like what Google and Apple are doing. Both companies are trying hard to diversify their products. Providing Google invest heavily in R&D and remain nimble relative to the competition then I don't see Google becoming the next Xerox or Eastman Kodak.

Comment: Re:"Not intentional". Right. (Score 1) 370 370

What most consumers can not be bothered to do is to read and understand what they are agreeing to in a purchase.

Rarely do customers get an opportunity to see much less read a product's Terms and Conditions before they buy the item. I can't think of any product that has their Terms & Conditions displayed or readily available to customers before purchase.

Comment: Re:"Not intentional". Right. (Score 1) 370 370

Vizio is a pretty solid brand... at least for their larger TVs. Decent contrast, good response time, and if you choose carefully, no Smart TV nastiness. Of course, we bought the Smart TV at the time, but it doesn't get in the way. The only way you'll see it is if you press a certain button. And personally, they did Smart TV right. If you need it, it's there and easy to access. If you don't want it, don't worry about it - out of mind, out of sight.

I wouldn't say Vizio doesn't engage in Smart TV nastiness. They are not as bad as LG and Samsung. I have an older Vizio E55 series smart TV, and one of features is that the TV can report to Vizio what TV channels you look at unless you disable the feature in settings.

Comment: Re:And? (Score 1) 448 448

You missed the point... again. The "airport model" means that "normal" or base service is degraded into total uselessness, and you have to pay to add functionality until the service is no longer useless and/or intensely unpleasant. This may or may not be cheaper than what you had before... but you can't complain because you opened the door for a-la-carte pricing, which will inevitably be used to increase profits.

In the airport model, what normal or base services are degraded into uselessness? If cable companies and content distributors could increase profits using a-la-carte pricing model then those companies would have pushed a-la-carte pricing to consumers. They are not. Cable companies are fighting against the push for a-la-carte pricing and they are not doing so for consumers' benefit.

Comment: Re:First amendment? (Score 1) 250 250

[First amendment has nothing to do with this. The first amendment protects from criminal government prosecution, not reactions from private individuals/entities.

I'm glad someone posted this before I did. This most definitely has zilch to do with Amendment #1. I'll bet money that any of Sony's documents and emails had all sorts of disclaimers added to them. It's those disclaimers that Sony will use to sue press organizations into oblivion if they dare print any of it.

While I'm no fan of Sony, I don't really see this ending well for the press.

They don't have to rely on disclaimers when going after the media in this case. Sony's information system was hacked and the contents in the information system were stolen. Therefore, Sony can sue, for copyright infringement, any medium that downloaded and/or published the hacked emails.

Comment: I'd be willing to pay (Score 1) 167 167

I am so tired of supporting CEOs that bet bonuses based on short term quarterly report results at the expense of the long term health of the company. I'd also like too support a company that is truly innovative vs. one that can't even design a product and instead, outsources the crappy design and manufacture. Give me a premium product and I'll pay a premium price. I realize not everyone wants this but dammit! Give us a choice!

As I have written earlier, short term profits and long term growth are not mutually exclusive events. Quarterly financial reports gives a snapshot into the operations of a company. Think of quarterly financial reports as a performance measurement. A bigger issue is tying CEO salaries to earnings but that is a different topic. If companies are not selling premium products at premium prices that means it's not profitable (or not profitable enough) to do so. I have news for you, companies love making money, and they would gladly sell you a premium product at premium prices if they will make a profit. For example, Samsung sells a 4K television for $100,000. That's is a premium product at a premium price. That is one example of a company selling a premium product that fulfills a need.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.

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