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Comment: Re:"Experiment" (Score 1) 326

by ebuck (#40495155) Attached to: Google On-shores Manufacturing of the Nexus Q

The real issue with this thing is it is too limited. Why does it not also act as a googletv?

Then it could run onlive, netflix, google play, etc. You could also side load your own apps. Instead this is a streaming media player for way too much money.

Why does it need a good amp? I have a receiver, that is where the good amp lives.

You know, GoogleTV has had a few bumps in the road. Basically, if it is to have much value to Google in the future, Google needs to get more companies committed, as Google isn't in the business of boutique products (like Roku is). Perhaps by releasing this device, they intend to bolster confidence that GoogleTV isn't a niche to be avoided due to market penetration.

This could be Nexus One of the GoogleTV crowd. Not really poised to dominate the market, but poised to show there is a market, and poised to provide a good dev platform to attract the developers that will keep that market happy.

Comment: Re:So from here on out ... (Score 4, Informative) 2416

by ebuck (#40481509) Attached to: Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

Bullshit. The tax is only on those who refuse to get insurance. That will be an infinitisimally small number of Americans.

What about those who would like to have insurance but still can't fucking afford it? That's the question I would like answered as it pertains directly to me and yet I can find no discussion of it.

Maybe you misunderstand why insurance is being offered to those who can't afford it. It is a cost savings plan.

Every state already has laws to the effect that you must treat an emergency prior to ascertaining ability to pay. The poor know this, so when they get sick, they cannot sechedule a doctor's appointment (because the doctor will ascertain ability to pay prior to treatment). Instead they go to the local emergency room.

The hospitals then get stuck with a bill that cannot be paid by the individual. Laws to prevent individuals from being forced to file bankrupcy can also limit the rate at which the cost can be recovered to less than the person's disposable income. Many large bills are being paid back at a rate fo $10 a month (or less).

Hospitals cannot operate with such legally mandataed losses, so they bill the state governments, which in turn designate "charity" hospitals which cannot turn away the indigent but are paid by the state for treatment.

In effect, you were already paying for the poor, just you were guaranteeing payment instead of providing insurance. With the "insurance plan" dressing on the previously guaranteed support, at least now the poor can go to clinics, reducing the bill significantly. This means that cheaper treatement plans are at least now possible, and two radically different billing systems (bill the state / bill insurance) can be reduce to one system (bill insurance), with a single new insurance provider.

The main problems in perception revolve around the populace not realizing that they had already been paying for free healthcare to the indigent. They think the new plan offers more to the poor, and in a way it does (clinic visits, etc); but, it only does so by forcing them to abandon the use of the most expensive medical treatement plan possible (go the ER for all healh issues).

Of course the bill is laden with other items, like requiring insurance providers to not drop the insured after they are discovered to require an expensive treatment; but, don't let that get in the way of a good rant that your money might actually keep someone else alive (which is probably the most noble thing your tax dollars could go to.).

Comment: Re:It's no surprise.. (Score 3, Interesting) 316

by ebuck (#40478853) Attached to: Dotcom Search Warrants Ruled Illegal

That investigation and raid must have cost a lot of money to put together... why not do it properly?

One distrubing issue on why such raids are handled so sloppily has to do with the laws covering the seizure of assets under certain circumstances. If they found any evidence of drug trafficing, for example, then the raid would literally have been profitable in the "you just lost all your assets to police auction" sense (after they use the assets to convict.

Of course, that probably wouldn't happen in a foreign country as easily; but, it is the culture of police work that american police forces bring with them. More raids means more funding, and eventually you get desensitized to the relative merits of a raiding X over Y when they all are affordable.

Comment: Re:NatGeo channel's really gone downhill (Score 1) 305

This used to be one of my favorite channels. Along with "Wild" Discovery, History, Scifi, and Animal. The last one's not too bad, but NatGeo and the others have turned-into reality shows.

Tell me about it - we had "Nostradamus" or some such nonsense on NatGeo (or 'History'). What the heck....

The sad thing is that I can imagaine a really good Nostradamus program that focuses on the ebb and flow of his popularity, the way in which he was "rediscovered" by the counter culture movement, and the scientific underpinnings on why so many people tend to associate his overly vague statements with current (or near current) events.

Instead, they just focus on the "could be hit" predictions, with an allusion that if those are foretold, what about the other predictions.

Comment: Re:Too Bad (Score 1) 391

by ebuck (#40478671) Attached to: Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects DUI Challenges Based On Buggy Software

This isn't about safety, its about the perception of safety.

This is about safety.

Drunk driving kills approximately 40 times as many people as terrorism

I have to stop listening to you after that remark. The center of disease control and prevention keeps statistics on deaths per year classified by categories. In both 2009 and 2010 they added (due to regulation) the new terrorisim categories. There has yet to be a death associated with terrorisim, so 40 times zero is just still zero. You're pulling statistics out of your ass.

The total number of deaths (estimated, final counts take a few years) in 2010 was 2.5 million. That said, alcohol induced deaths top off just over 25 thousand (or about 1%), but that includes all alcohol induced deaths (liver failure, etc.) Motor vechicle deaths seem to be down as a whole in 2010, at just over 37 thousand (about (1.5%).

All disease of the heart combine to about 595 thousand (about 22%). Tumors took another 573 thousand (another 20%). If you really want to live longer, stop trying to stop the unlikely but horrible events from killing you and start working on the likely but seemingly innocuous events from killing you. Put down the hamburgers, stop eating the fries, and get serious about combating pollution. You are going to get (statstically speaking) a 40,000% return on your efforts compared to stoping a cause that amounts to less than one percentage of deaths.

Don't believe me? Read the reports yourself.

Comment: Re:Puny humans no match for robohand. (Score 1) 225

by ebuck (#40468605) Attached to: Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time

Human deletes code. Robohand lose.

Robohand deletes human. Robohand always wins. DELETE! DELETE!

Source code isn't the issue here, the binary is already running!

At least you had the courtesy of being deleted and getting it over with, some people get the torture of being "Controlled, altered, and then deleted".

Comment: Re:What would happen... (Score 1) 225

by ebuck (#40468471) Attached to: Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time

Nothing will happen as they both wait for the other to make the first move. Because that's how they cheat: wait for the human hand to make a move, and react to that.

Unless there were some vibration. With vibration, one would attempt to match the predicted outcome with the necessary winning hand, which would cause the other to adjust to the next winning hand, which would cause the other to adjust to the now-winning hand.

Motionless, it is a stable waiting game; but, the mechanics of the cheating mecanisim should become unstable with sufficent noise in a feedback loop.

In which case, the machine with the higher reliability would win, after the other blew a capacitor or melted a servo motor.

Comment: Re:EU bailout (Score 1) 126

by ebuck (#40467689) Attached to: EU Court Upholds Microsoft Antitrust Fines

Uhhuh! Let's ponder this for a moment and then have a good laugh.

The logical consequence is that MS doesn't sell software in Europe anymore. Now, please name one at least halfway sizable company that can get around MS, be it because of OS or Office package. Sad as it may be, we're entirely dependent on that crap.

And MS knows that damn well, and they know the EU will not put the hammer down in this case.

Actually, out of all the applications you could have picked to make this argument sound, you picked the worst set of applications to support your point.

Operating Systems and Office packages are flooded markets with alternatives, and the alternatives are good enough that nobody has notice I haven't been using MS Word or MS Excel for the past eight years.

The real sticking points is the "business applications" which are cobbled together bits of code that generally aren't well maintained. Since they aren't well maintained, you have to put together a team to discover what the application really does, and then port it to a non-Microsoft library stack. Java had some good inroads with their JEE effort; however, they kept trying to improve (make the perfect framework) to the point that now people percieve JEE as an uncoordinated effort with a lot of false starts.

Comment: Re:Props to Wooga (Score 1) 147

by ebuck (#40416875) Attached to: The Death of an HTML5 Game Breeds an Open Source Project

Making it open source is a pretty awesome move. They could have just sat on it for a while, or let the work go to waste.

One of the dirty secrets of open source giveaways is that often there are really good reasons why it was given away, like the quick fixes and workarounds for core problems have finally piled up so high that most changes for the remaining bugs brings the rest of the code down faster than a house of cards.

It doesn't always have to be this way, but Mozilla was this way (prior to the from scratch rendering engine rewrite that took years), as have a few games (Jagged Alilance comes to mind). Eventually a few projects do work their way out of the quagmire, but many die while in process.

On the other hand, some games are released in very good shape, so there is some hope. (I'm thinking of the Quake releases).

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 277

by ebuck (#40413653) Attached to: 'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP

I've always thought an emotional purging was educational.

That's where you are wrong. You don't have to learn anything from an emotional outpour. You just get a sense of relief after it is done.

In fact, it would probably be safe to say you are less likely to learn something when experiencing an emotional outpur, but are more likely to do something about it. From my understanding, the only time that people are more likely to accept differing points of view are when they are personaly vulnerable; however, feeling vulnerable doesn't assure that the new point of view expressed is any better than the old one they had.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 277

by ebuck (#40413445) Attached to: 'Nuclear Free' Maryland City Grants Waiver For HP

I don't give a damn. Anything that keeps money out of the military-industrial complex, no matter how insignificant, gets a wholehearted approval from me.

Do you also approve of income tax evasion? Because, compared to what the military-industrical complex is likely to get from the money that HP is likely to get from you in a year, that's peanuts to what you probably already pay in income taxes.

Comment: Re:Don't Need the Help (Score 1) 565

by ebuck (#40413231) Attached to: Microsoft's Surface Caught Windows OEMs By Surprise

Google is deathly afraid of the Kindle Fire. They were counting on the fact that people using Android wanted to be able to use the trademarked Android name and include the proprietary Google apps, which they charge money for. Anyone can release a hacked-up device without those, and while some people did, only Amazon has done so successfully. So successfully, in fact, that it's the best selling Android-based tablet and they can't even call it Android.

Look for Google to counter with a first or second party tablet in the near future. Expect them to push heavily on the proprietary Google services that you don't get on the Kindle Fire.

If they are afraid, that's great. We have had too many players enter the market place well, and then rest on their laurels. I like Google, but even if it is a favorite horse in the race, it still has to run.

Comment: Re:*** Announcement project*** (Score 4, Insightful) 565

by ebuck (#40413119) Attached to: Microsoft's Surface Caught Windows OEMs By Surprise

They don't have the margins to make big bold bets.

True, but that is in part due to not having the obsene amounts of cash that rolls in when a big bold bet pays off.

Apple has shown that there are so few people willing to make the bets, that they can safely win about 70% of the time. The payoff seems high enough to cover the few misses (AppleTV), which is why Apple is now has a market capitalization of twice Microsoft, fourteen times HP, and twentyeight times Dell.

HP and Dell made the obscene amounts of cash on big bold bets, that's how they came to be. The friuts of their prior successes, like all fruits, don't keep forever.

HP comes to market too slowly, and kills great products before the public can get excited about them. Dell has streamlined manufacturing and custom orderability enough that it is hard to imagine buying a computer without a Dell like experience.

The real question is, what has HP and Dell done lately?

Comment: Re:UEFI SecureBoot is a catastrophy (Score 1) 393

by ebuck (#40411941) Attached to: Ubuntu Lays Plans For Getting Past UEFI SecureBoot

My 24" Core 2 Duo iMac has EFI Boot. It didn't stop me from installing Linux Mint on it last month (full format & repartition of the hard drive, not as a "guest"). Can someone help me understand what's the difference?

Your EFI Boot doesn't have the "secure boot" option enabled. Perhaps it doesn't even have it implemented.

With secure boot enabled, the motherboard will check that the bootloader is signed, to assure that it is the bootloader that Apple shipped. To do this, it takes pre-stored keys in a ROM chip and compares them with the bootloader. Consider it a kind of checksum, designed to tell one of the origin of the software, not the integrity.

Booting a secure bootloader is silly unless you intend that bootloader to then check the signature of the operating system, and refuse to boot any non-signed operating system. So a secure bootloader is primarily wanted to assure that you boot an operating system who's origin is that of the operating system distributor (Apple in your case).

Right now, you happen to boot Linux on your machine; because, it has not been configured to boot only the verifiably non-modified operating systems. Linux distributors (Fedora) have obtained permission to use Microsoft's key to sign all of their bootloaders for $99 (one time payment). The decision to use a Microsoft key was due to the logistic problems they encountered when attempting to get their key into all of the motherboards manufactured (too many vendors, surely some of them would ship without a Fedora key). With the signed "Linux Bootloader", a EFI system with security enabled, will not reject the bootloader as non-authorized just after EFI does the hardware checks that are familiar to BIOS users.

The only reason this creates any kind of panic, is that in order to prevent pre-operating system rootkits (and there are a few in the wild now), most motherboards are expected to ship with the secure boot option of EFI on. The reason that Fedora opted to have their bootloader signed was to prevent their users from having to boot Windows to turn it off so that they could have a successful Fedora installed.

It has nothing to do with what Apple or Microsoft wants you to boot. That's just Linux FUD. It has to do with booting what was intended, and if you bought a iMAC, at least prior to the first boot, you wouldn't expect (or enjoy) it coming up with something that Apple didn't ship.

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