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Comment: Re:Why no CIFS support? (Score 1) 98 98

If Sony wants DLNA to become the way of accessing media, then they should at least get the wireless interface right on the consoles. The very first PS3 came out before 801.11n was a standard, so I can forgive it, but the updated slim PS3 came out years later still with outdated 801.11g. PS4 came only with two stream 801.11n, instead of 801.11ac, and only with 2.4GHz band (probably fair enough for 1080p streaming, just barely, but must still use relatively congested 2.4GHz band)

Comment: Why no CIFS support? (Score 1) 98 98

One thing that's always puzzling me is why can't PS3 and PS4 work as a client for CIFS (Windows or Samba file server). I use my PS3 primarily for movies. Sure, you can stream things to it using a media stream server, but I never got it why Sony always wants to lock the users into "the one" way of doing things, and taking their options away. Moreover, media streaming doesn't work well with the PS3 over wireless because of the ancient Wireless-G Wi-Fi interface. So what I do is download the mp4 files directly to the hard drive, and that's why I could use CIFS. Right now I am using PS3 web browser to get the files from my Windows file server running cygwin and apache. Dunno why Sony always goes out of its way to make things harder for the users.

Comment: Re:Russia can't win (Score 1) 127 127

"As it happens, I do know some people directly involved in it, and it's not actually the main problems. The main problems are the lack of a qualified labor force. The collectivist mentality is still quite alive and well in the countryside, and so a farmer who does well has to deal with rampant theft and even vandalism of his property, often from the very same people he has hired."

I read about the same problems in the Russian countryside in the 1990s. But if you're correct, what comes as surprise is that the collectivist mentality is still apparently alive and strong. I have read recently that the mentality and habits of people almost certainly have influenced the paths of different post-Soviet states. For example, I recall someone arguing that Poland did better than the countries to the east of it because in Poland in 1990s there were still many people alive who recalled how market based economy should operate. After all, Poland was a free country until the Fall of 1939.

In USSR, on the other hand, there was a crackdown on the small private business at least a decade earlier. Not only the last entrepreneurs of USSR had to live longer lives to see the 1990s, but they also had to survive a massive amount of purges, natural and unnatural famines, as well as the WWII. And you can be sure that people who operated a small business in USSR were the ones who were most likely to perish in the purges. Ask any middle-class Russian about this question, and then will probably recall that they had some relative who was a small business owner who ended up being sent into gulags solely because of his entrepreneurial activity (or that of his parents).

Comment: Re:Russia can't win (Score 1) 127 127

Regarding the agricultural sector, I think it could respond well and quickly to the economic incentives. Soviet agriculture was a mess because the collective farmers were being paid a tiny fraction of the real market price of their produce. Why work hard when you get pennies on a dollar for all your work? Russian farmers of the last two decades had a different kind of problem.. the imports of cheap, western food, often the result of western food subsidies. I have no doubt that if the Russian state allowed Russian farmers to keep what they have earned, and to sell their products at market prices, Russia could certainly feed itself.

In fact, in an autarky, the same market forces would also make sure a domestic fabrication of electronics chips will be built. I am sure, the first Russian smartphone would look really goofy, but they can certainly make one. They have the brains and natural resources, but no economic incentives right now.

Comment: Re:Russia can't win (Score 1) 127 127

Why necessarily subsistence living? Yes, the living and economic standards would go down. People who have to go back to driving Russian cars, fly on Russian airplanes, and use Russian consumer electronics, which in the 1980s were a subject of many jokes in the west. Russian cars, washing machines, televisions, home computers, and VHS players of the 80s were indeed joke compared to what existed in the West at that time, but they all existed.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 180 180

This is exactly my point of view about the Ukrainian conflict. The ethnic tensions in the Ukrainian politics have existed for two decades since the dissolution of USSR. One thing I don't understand is why can't West (and Central) Ukrainian nationalists admit and accept that Ukraine is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country. Why can't Ukraine be the Switzernland of the East Europe? The solution is simple, transfer as much political power as possible into the regions. Allow people to elect their provincial governors, mayors, and legislatures directly. Let every region decide on its own how much Russian they want to use for administrative and education purposes. As far as I can tell, Ukrainian nationalists have not learned anything. Last month, they appointed Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who is scandalously famous for having started the 2008 war in South Ossetia, as the governor of Odessa. Just imagine how insulting it is to people who are living there. Not only they weren't allowed a democratic vote, but moreover Kiev got such a hideous figure appointed to be a governor there.

So I honestly, don't feel much compassion for the Ukrainian state. It's probably going to fall apart, in the long and short term, unless they start to learn from their mistakes. Through their past actions and inability to resolve their inner conflict, they have opened the door for Russia to interfere in their internal affairs.

Comment: Re:Which of course has nothing to do with... (Score 1) 409 409

I am not anti-automobile. The issue is that the people in the suburban America are glued to their cars too much. It's ok to have cheap cars and gas. But in my opinion, it's not ok to have dense cities with no accommodation for bicyclists or even pedestrians.

Want to walk to the nearest bus stop or a coffee shop? Fine, how about walking a mile on somebody's grassy front yard, empty field, or the road shoulder, as if you were living in some kind of a third world country, even though you're well inside a densely built up areas within the city limits of a major city with +1million people? I also find it shocking, that where I live, we have streets with three lanes for cars, each lane must be widest in USA, 45mph speed limit, and no bicycle lanes. Welcome to the middle America, the home of fat people. And this is where I know 80% of people work about 1-3 miles away from the place where they live, a perfect commuter bicycling distance.

The city planning in a lot of areas of the South is just terrible. The city planners made sure that cars can get from any place to any other place with great convenience. But how about having a pedestrian walkway on every street, specially within the city limits of all major cities, or having bicycle lanes?

Comment: Re:Mostly because our food is shit. (Score 1) 409 409

Why stop at sugar? 90% of our food is either sugar coated shit, or salt coated shit. Salt is being frequently used as a substitute for flavor, and this is why our fast food is so salty, whether it's chicken, burritos, or french fries. The result of using too much salt is the increased consumption of shit we don't need, and then of course the health related issues, like blood pressure and so on.

Comment: .. with smoking? (Score 2) 409 409

Americans are used to eating shitty food, and lots of it. But there is also the issue of .. tobacco smoking. Every time I go to Europe, I see that nearly every second person, men and women, smoke all the time. Tobacco is a great appetite inhibitor. I recall that when I myself quit smoking, I might have gained something like 15-20 pounds of weight, real fast. I have some friends from eastern Europe, and they're skinny as hell, and they also smoke. They're doctors, and whenever I start discussion the effect of smoking on health with them, they tell me they only smoke in the evening, yet the over the top filled ashtrays everywhere in their homes suggest otherwise. Despite some of the bad health/eating habits, the war on smoking is something that Americans are 10-20 years ahead of most Europe, depending on where you live, and that could possibly have some effect on the weight Americans.

Comment: Re:Which of course has nothing to do with... (Score 1) 409 409

And another thing, driving a car here is cheaper than pretty much anywhere in the western world. We have cheap gas. We have cheap cars. Even European cars are much cheaper here than in Europe itself. In Brazil, you may pay something like twice the American sticker price to buy a typical Japanese car. Considering this relatively low cost of driving, no wonder most people live in suburbs and do not bother with the public transport. Some of the fattest people come out of Texas, and strangely, Texas is the place where I have seen the least amount of designated bicycle lanes or pedestrian walkways. Bicyclists are being mowed down by SUV going 50mph, because there is no lane for bicycles, drivers are not accustomed to check for bicycles, and everybody is on the phone.

Comment: Re:Russia can't win (Score 3, Insightful) 127 127

Why can't Russia just switch to Chinese-made electronics? Certain, components may be inferior to what Russia gets from the west, but it's not like Russian space or military programs would grind to halt only because of Chinese-made components.

In terms of economic and trade wars, I suspect Russia could in theory afford to shut down all of trade with USA, all of it completely, because USA is a relatively minor partner for Russia. The EU on the other hand is much more important. Lots of Russian manufactured good imports could from EU, while Russian gas and oil are exported there.

Comment: Nexus 9 still wins on price (Score 1) 204 204

The USA online price of Nexus 9 is in the neighborhood of $400, depending on storage configuration. Overall it's a great package, but google dropped the ball here by omitting the sd card slot. sd card is the only reason I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab S instead.

Comment: Re:what happened to 3D TV? (Score 1) 181 181

100Mbps is all you need to stream UltraHD (much less actually). Plenty of households have access to this sort of bandwidth, but it's still rare.

Realistically, 2-3 years down the road, there should be affordable gigabit broadband in every big city, and there will be more UltraHD content on Netflix and maybe Blueray discs. So then it will be a good time to start thinking about buying a 4k TV. Prices will hopefully come down by then.

Comment: Re:I predict ... (Score 1) 181 181

Not every consumer is a nerd who gets his news from sites like Slashdot or Arstechnica. A typical consumer is a stereotypical family guy, possibly with children, who wants to buy a 4k TV because he saw those beautiful screens at Sams Club or Costco, playing a stunning looking content (that was specially recorded to be demod at the stores).

Still, I agree.. I can't see people tripping over their HDMI cable running to an electronics store to buy even a 4k TV. Realistically, buying a 4k TV would start making sense 2-3 years down the road, once we have gigabit broadband in every big city and ultrahd content on Netflix, Blueray, and possibly on cable tv.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie

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