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Comment Re:Physical store advantage? (Score 1) 203

Part of the genius of Amazon Prime is that it capitalizes on the sunk cost fallacy. I (happily) give them $100/yr to allow me to shop there with no shipping costs, and, by god, I'm going to get my money's worth. I'm not going to squander my sunk costs by shopping at some brick-and-mortar store! IMO, this is one of the biggest hurdles Walmart has to overcome.

I think Walmart is right that accessibility and immediacy is sometimes desirable. If I blow a tire on my bike and I want to ride to work tomorrow, I'm still heading to a brick-and-mortar store. I can grab a few groceries while I'm there.

I do also think they could leverage their distribution network. There's a Walmart on pretty much everybody's way home from work, and it's only a minor inconvenience to stop in to pick something up. I've done it before for larger items that Amazon wouldn't ship free.

But that Prime, though! I love it, and I wouldn't give it up, and there's no way I'd pay somebody else for a similar service in addition to it. That's where they've really got me. That's how Amazon went from something I only used for hard-to-find items to my go-to vendor for practically everything.

Comment Re:Anywhere you sign into YouTube? (Score 1) 236

I kind of like the 30% iOS premium, if only because it makes it more visible that Apple is taking 30% off the top on services sold through their App store, which is pretty exorbitant, IMO. Google trying to pass that along to the consumer directly is kind of ballsy in that regard.

Of course, I'm not planning on using this new service, and I don't own any iOS devices, so I have no skin in the game there.

Comment Re:Fragmentation (Score 1) 236

...how many are cost-cutting cord-cutters supposed to maintain at once?

One. Or zero. Or five. Your choice. That's what the free market is all about.

If I didn't know better, I'd say it sounds like you're arguing against competition. If that's your thing, then just pay your money to Comcast or whoever, and ignore all the others. For myself, I'd prefer to use Netflix for now, and then if I get bored of their content, maybe try Hulu for a while, or Amazon, or maybe a couple of 'em at the same time...

The point is that I get to choose. I won't be choosing YouTube Red unless they bring more to the table, but I still welcome them to come and try to compete for my business.

Comment Re:Amazon App tablets let you app apps! (Score 1) 200

Your assessment is right on the money. I do think that e-Ink reader absolutely can survive in the market, though the market landscape will likely change over time. Amazon has a corner on the market for eReaders right now, but mostly because they're selling them cheaply and hoping to sell content. If that stops being profitable, I don't think it means the death of eReaders, it just means that those of us who love the experience of reading on an e-ink screen will have to pay more for the privilege. I'm a prolific reader, and I love my Kindle but most of my eBooks come from the public library. I also use their "Send to Kindle" feature to read a lot of long-form articles on there. When I do buy books, I first try to find them from a source that will sell them DRM-free. So, of the hundreds of books I've read on Kindles over the years, probably less than a dozen were purchased from Amazon. Maybe it's a generational thing, but I feel way more comfortable spending my money on a tangible thing than on intangible digital content, especially an eBook, which I'll read once and probably never re-visit. So, I get that I'm not really the cash cow they were hoping for when they sold me the device, but I've bought a half-dozen of the devices over the years, for myself and as gifts, and I think I'd have probably paid more for them than I did if given no other choice. I have an 8" tablet as well, but it mostly stays home as a toy, while the Kindle comes with me pretty much everywhere. I think the market is there for these things, they may just need to change their approach.

Comment Re:AKA the I HATE AMERICA ACT (Score 0) 358

Newer phones like the Galaxy Note 3 have a USB 3 micro connecter that supports charging with a USB 2 cable. So, make the standard USB3, and smart manufacturers will do it right.
Actually, I won't buy a phone that doesn't have a pretty standard charging port. The market tends to do a better job at sorting these things out in the long run, but codifying a standard like this into law feels too inflexible.

Comment Re:Assumptions... (Score 1) 173

This also assumes that a person wanting to make a purchase on Amazon will not just wait an hour for Amazon to come back up, and will instead make the purchase elsewhere. In some cases that's probably true, but if it were me I'd probably just try again when Amazon came back up. I shop at Amazon out of laziness as much as anything else.

Comment Re:Correction (Score 2) 291

Disagree. Nobody is saying that their piracy "causes" them to pay for more media. However, regardless of the causal relationship, this correlation serves as refutation of the image of a pirate as a freeloading, non-contributing jerk. Statistically, they are buying things. In fact, more than the average person.

Comment Re:As little as practically possible (Score 4, Insightful) 225

"You're assuming that performance -- or, more precisely, CPU usage -- is important; in many cases, reliability (and being able to track down bugs after a crash) are far more important than CPU usage."

I work on a real-time embedded medical device, where both performance and reliability are vital. We've got constrained resources, and the system must be extremely responsive.

Our logging scheme is pretty cool. It's written so that two computers can log to a single hard drive, and each logging statement must define a log level. So, for example, if I'm writing GUI code, I can log to log_level_gui_info, log_level_gui_debug, log_level_gui_error, or any of a number of more specific log levels.

The idea is

  1. Some of these log levels we can turn off before a production release.
  2. We have a special tool for reading these logs (they're encrypted), and in this tool you can check off which log levels you care to see, and which you don't

So, we have two ways to filter out extraneous logging that we don't care about (one actually keeps the logging from happening, and one just filters it out during analysis), and we can log as freely as we like as long as we're smart about which levels we're using.

As much faith as we all have in our own code, nothing's as frustrating as trying to analyze a log that came in from the field where there's just no information about what went wrong.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.