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Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 92

I really wish there were a Spotify or Pandora etc for News - where I could pay ONE (low) monthly fee and get access to a TON of news to be able to get some proximity of a balanced view of the world (and be able to discover NEW voices), with an appropriate fraction of my payment going to support the articles I read. I realize they need to make money somehow, but there's no way I can justify the full price of even ONE online journalism outlet, let alone the several I'd like to access and support. So in the mean time I don't support anybody.

Comment Re:Why not just skip Apple TV (Score 1) 89

I ran an older (core2-duo) mac Mini connected to my livingroom TV via DVI/HDMI for years, just playing videos in VLC set to full screen, and using a bluetooth trackpad as a remote, using the Finder as an interface. It got the job done, but was a bit clunky and twiddly. For whatever reason, I couldn't ever get Plex to run as both server and client without horrible performance issues (the earlier Minis were well known for wimpy video power). With some recent home wiring improvements I swapped the mini for an Apple TV and moved the Plex server component to a different, more current Mini in a different room and implemented the DNS hack to re-route the AppleTV 'Trailers' to be plex, and it's been running great for several months now. The apple TV with plex has a much friendlier, more usable interface, uses less power, has been more stable, requires much less tech-stuff in my living room - I've really been happy with it. The only drawback is there is no usable volume control for speakers connected directly to the Apple TV, so I can't change the volume on my powered speakers fed directly off it - only on the crappy built-in TV speakers. I'm curious to see if that changes at all with the new Apple TV, and excited to see a native Plex app for it, so I think I'll eventually get one anyway, even if I need to get some additional components to get better volume control. My original plan was to rip my DVDs and import them into iTunes, then use it to stream to the Apple TV, which worked, but was REALLY painful to get everything in place, and still clunky to use. It was very clear Apple intended uses to re-purchase any content they planned to watch. Plex isn't perfect, but I've been really happy with it compared to everything else I've tried.

Comment Spotify or Pandora for news? (Score 1) 519

I wouldn't even mind PAYING for access to newspapers and commentaries, but I don't live in a major metro area, and it just isn't worth it to me to pay the entire going rate for access to just ONE paper (as I recall, the NY Times is like $250/yr), the vast majority of which doesn't relate to me - but I'd jump at the chance to pay $10/mo for access to articles that interest me that I could pick and choose from 100s - 1000s of papers all over - just like the way no one wants to pay for an entire album just to hear one good song, or buy a subscription to just one record label.

Comment Musicians should get paid (Score 1) 134

I'm all for seeing musicians getting paid for music being streamed, or even Apple getting a cut for supplying the back-end infrastructure - I just REALLY wished there was a good way to get the money DIRECTLY from my account to the musician without subsidizing the entire sleaze ball scum bag music 'industry' in between.

Comment Re:next step for photography (Score 1) 422

I know Pentax has had the 645 'cropped sensor' 4x5 out for quite a while - I watched an interesting youtube video comparing it with the d800e when I was trying to decide if I should buy the Nikon; I guess I discounted it because I haven't heard very many good things about it. I was really hoping for something that produced an image that was worth all the additional effort (weight, expense) to capture it. As for the lenses, my understanding is that much of the older 4x5 glass from decades of film cameras will still work (at least in full manual) - maybe to augment just one new crazy-expensive leaf-shutter lens.

I've read that it's possible to get good results in medium format by purchasing 30 yo film gear, processing the film then scanning it, for $500-$1000(?) - but that sounds like a LOT more effort than I'd see myself undertaking often enough to be 'in the right place at the right time' to really get outstanding shots on a regular basis, and over my pain threshold for a novelty.

Comment next step for photography (Score 3, Insightful) 422

Personally I think the next big thing in photography will be digital 4x5 medium-format cameras for the 'serious amateurs'. It's already taking hold with the high-end pros, but current tech for a digital MF system is $50,000+ (Phase One / Mamiya, Hasselblad - especially the 'full' 4x5 sensors) - well beyond what any sane 99%er would pay for a 'hobby'. It looks like some low-end digital backs have already dropped to the $15k range (Pentax, low-end Hasselblad?, older, refurbed Phase One gear) - within a few years (I'm hoping anyway) they'll be into the $6k-$8k range to match higher end current DSLR cameras, but with even better low-light sensitivity, dynamic range and color gamut. Until then it'll take a LOT to get me to spend real money to upgrade my Nikon D800e - I'm just not a good enough photographer to need a better camera (yet).

Until they figure out how to make the entire screen on an iPhone Plus act as an image sensor I don't see cell phones competing in that market.

Comment Re:The content of this article was lost in the noi (Score 1) 422

My understanding is that the DSLR auto-focus technology is VERY mature and works astoundingly well by redirecting ALL the light from the lens up into an entirely separate focusing system right up until the time when the shutter is tripped and the image is captured - mirrorless cameras have to figure out how to focus based on what's analyzed through the live view sensor, and they just haven't been able to get it to work as well... yet. That, and I suspect the mirrorless cameras eat batteries faster while running their electronics constantly (electronic view finder or 'live view' screen) while a DSLR is just idling, letting a mirror do all the work. Otherwise they seem like a great idea.

Comment Exact same thing happened in Monticello MN in 2009 (Score 1) 204

The same thing happened in Monticello MN in 2009 with TDS, the local ISP. The community requested that TDS upgrade their services to make it more attractive for telecommuters working remotely from Twin Cities business; TDS said that 'wasn't on their road map', so the community went ahead to install their own fiber network. TDS found out, sued the town to halt their install while at the same time rolling out their OWN fiber network, and doubled all their subscribers speeds at no additional cost, then claimed that the original municipal plan was 'flawed' because there was now a 'cheap alternative'.

I'm not fond of government, and doubt a municipal fiber system would be perfect, but it sure couldn't be worse than what we have now.

Comment Windows should have similar feature (Score 3, Insightful) 231

I've thought for years that windows should have a 'boot to Outlook' feature for executives; allow the entire available space of the drive to be used for indexed email storage to avoid having to decide which emails to delete, and load office programs by clicking on attachments, but don't confuse them with any other interface than just Outlook.

And optionally support rebooting by holding it upside down and shaking.


Comment private pilot (Score 3, Interesting) 264

My last flight took off when I pulled back on the stick (which was a good hour later than I'd originally intended, but it's different when it's your own fault), and landed early due to a tailwind. If I weren't able to fly myself, I'd do a LOT more driving - I don't think I could stand all the security BS anymore - although the average coach seat is probably roomier than my little plane.

Comment Re:Great but (Score 1) 437

My yearning for a 'mini-Pro' is the current inability to install two drives internally on native SATA ports. Three times now I've had drive issues that I could fix using tools that worked fine on the drive on a native internal SATA port, but the utilities wouldn't see the drive (or at least couldn't fix the issues) through an external USB or FW converter / enclosure. Once I was able to borrow a Pro, the second time I tore apart an older iMac and ran the utility (paaaainfully slowly) off a bootable DVD.

I'd love to get a full-blown Mac Pro, but can't afford to blow $3k. I'm tempted to save a bit and build a hackentosh, but I'm afraid just when I need it for something it'll blow up and require days of intricate patching to restore, all without any 'official' support (for whatever that's worth). I'd settle for even an eSATA port, or the ability to add a card that has one. I'm definitely not buying a Pro until it supports SATA3.

I'm sure the Thunder-whatever port will be cool; I'm looking forward to the prices dropping - but I have my doubts it will work any better for drive tech work.


"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss