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Comment Re:wan port (Score 2) 123

It's a good thing for users who don't need more ports, because it's less to go wrong and less to pay for.

You mean it *could* have been a good thing, but it isn't.

Not because there's less to go wrong, because from the non-power user's perspective there is no win there. Either the extra port fails silently (and they don't care because nothing is plugged into it), the port they're using fails (as it could have done on a single-port design like this) and they have a working port or ports that they can switch to, or the underlying hardware dies and all ports stop working simultaneously (which could also have happened on a single-port design.)

From the end user's perspective, there is no greater likelihood of failure with multiple ports, but there's a greater likelihood of being able to work around that failure. There is no net win for the single-port design, and a small net win for the multi-port design.

And so we come to your only other point here: Price. And yes, this single-port design could have saved the end user money. It's doubtful that the extra port hardware and perhaps a switch to a chipset capable of acting as a hub or switch would have saved more than a few dollars off the bill of materials. Most likely it would have saved less.

But the fact of the matter is that from the consumer's perspective, it has saved them nothing at all. This router, as it is right now, is extremely overpriced for the functionality it provides. It's demonstrably slower and has worse Wi-Fi range than its competitors, you can plug less into it, and you can do next to nothing except standard Wi-Fi with it so far -- and Google has shown no inclination yet to reveal its plans. So for the time being, you're paying far more than a typical entry-level, consumer-grade router, but you're not getting anything more than you would have from one with the debatable exception of a slightly prettier box.

Right now, this is a product with no reason for its existence. It's the Google Glass of SOHO routers, and unless Google announces a very compelling reason for its existence soon, I doubt we'll see it last even as long as Google Glass did.

Comment Re:Sensitive? (Score 1) 76

They quote a 1.25mm sensor pitch on their Kickstarter page, so that's 20.32 sensels per inch, to be more precise. Their 0.1mm figure (if you ignore that they themselves suggest it to be an approximation) translates to 254 dpi.

They list an active area of 9 x 5.1 inches, which is similar to that of the Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium (8.5 x 5.3 inches). Wacom claim an order of magnitude higher resolution (2540 lpi) with a higher read speed (125Hz full-resolution for Sensel vs. 133pps for Wacom).

It seems that the only area where this bests Wacom is in pressure sensitivity (1,024 levels for Wacom vs. 4,096 levels for Sensel), but as you note, nobody is going to come close to their 11lb maximum pressure level in real-world use -- more likely, just a tenth of that. Hence most of their 4,096 levels will go unused, and in the real world likely Wacom will best them for pressure sensitivity as well.

What, precisely, is the reason for spending US$250 to maybe, possibly get one of these in a year when you can pick up the Intuos Pen & Touch Medium today for just US$170? I'm failing to see one, personally.

Comment Re:The obvious question (Score 1) 46

I said "in any meaningful way". Sure, there are spikes that return to normalcy immediately afterwards, but as you can see in the graph below (corrected to 2005 dollar equivalents) US military spending has been flat or slightly rising ever since the Korean War ended. Save for two brief periods under Carter and Clinton, there has been no noticeable reduction in our military spending in the last 60 years, and our spending for the last ten years isn't far off the peak set (very briefly) during World War II.

Our military spending is absolutely insane. Please don't expect to tug at my heartstrings prattling on about the "considerable pressure" placed on our military when we spend a far far greater fraction of our GDP on the military than anywhere that isn't either a crackpot dictatorship or an oil-rich state that's terrified a neighbor will decide to come in and steal their oil.

Somehow, other first-world nations like the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and many others all manage to make do on 1/3 to 1/2 our spending as a fraction of their own GDP. Our spending on the military is absolutely obscene -- economies of scale due to our population and the fact that we're isolated from any countries that might wish to do us harm suggest that all else being equal, we should be spending *less* for the same level of safety not two to three times *more* than any comparable nation. Especially since the US being the world's police force and a defender of good hasn't been true for decades -- we're content to sit by and see others wronged so long as we don't lose any money from it.

Comment Re:Good luck (Score 1) 46

More to the point, they're not terribly interesting to look at, don't give a great perception of speed, and there's zero risk since the pilot isn't actually *in* the thing. If you want an idea of the total global audience for this league, look at the global audience for retro video gaming. Sure, there is a tiny subset of people who could spend hours watching someone try to better their top score on Centipede or Pac Man, but by and large the greater public couldn't give a monkey's about it.

Comment Re:The obvious question (Score 1) 46

America spends over $200B/yr on manned military aviation. Next generation drones could eliminate most of that.

Yeah, not so much. When have you ever known military spending to go down in any meaningful way? Next-gen drones will doubtless be more expensive for the taxpayer than current-gen tech, just because. (Sure, we might need to buy a lot more of them to ensure we keep the bill growing, but you can be assured we'll do it.)

The only monetary advantage will be for the arms companies, lobbyists, and those taking their kickbacks, all of whom will have an even larger profit pool in which to swim. There's no way the average taxpayer won't continue to get shafted, though. The US leads the world in military spending (US$609.9 billion, or US$1,891 per capita) as of 2014, close to triple the nearest country (China, with US$216.4 billion) and there's no sign of that changing.

Sure, in the last decade our spending has decreased a tiny fraction, but only by a paltry 0.4%. Despite not being in any actual wars right now (the arm-waving "war on terror" doesn't count), we're spending more than we were pre-9/11 *or* during the Cold War.

Comment Re:Deliverance? (Score 1) 664

Now put said cameraphone goof on the sidewalk right outside your house. He can probably see in the windows better from street level than he can from a couple hundred feet up anyway, so why aren't you smacking the phone out of his hand?

Oh, right. Because you take photos on the sidewalk too, so you don't want to lose the right to shoot from that piece of public property, just the area of (potentially) public airspace that the media told you to be scared of, correct?

As for whether or not the property owner has a right to prevent access to airspace above ~83 feet AGL, that has not been confirmed nor tested. We know that he definitely doesn't have rights beyond 500 feet AGL, but the R/C operator is not allowed to fly above 400 feet AGL, so that's neither here nor there. What we do know, though, is that it is illegal to interfere with the operation of any aircraft, and shooting down a quadcopter certainly counts.

Comment Re:And it all comes down to greed (Score 0) 585

You could always have bought less stuff and paid more for it to support homegrown. (In fact, chances are that for many of the non-electronic products you need, you still can do so.)

However, the chances are as high or higher that you choose not to do so, as do most people. Like it or not, you *are* almost certainly a part of this problem.

Comment And it all comes down to greed (Score 5, Interesting) 585

Consumers want more product for less money: Greedy.

Companies want higher profit margins off their products: Greedy.

Investors want higher returns on investment: Greedy.

Upper management sees that there is no way to fulfil all of the above and still give themselves huge pay rises without laying off half the riff-raff and making the other half work twice as hard for half as much: Greedy

Cue ever-decreasing circle as consumers earn less and want even more for it, in the hope of compensating for their shrinking earnings, thus repeating the circle. No single tier here is to blame; we ALL are in a more abstract manner. The blame lies squarely with basic human nature and the words "I want".

If it wasn't for Newton, we wouldn't have to eat bruised apples.