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Submission + - Why are digital hearing aids so expensive? 4

sglines writes: Over the last couple of years I've been slowly getting deaf. Too much loud rock and roll I suppose. After flubbing a couple of job interviews because I couldn't understand my inquisitors I had a hearing test which confirmed what I already knew, I'm deaf. So I tried on a set of behind the ear hearing aids, wow, my keyboard makes clacks as I type and my wife doesn't mumble to herself. Then I asked how much: $3700 for the pair. Hey I'm unemployed. The cheapest digital hearing aids thy had were $1200 each. WYF? If you look at the specs they are not very impressive. A digital hearing aid has a low power A to D converter. Output consists of D to A conversion with volume passing through an equalizer that inversely matches your hearing loss. Most hearing loss, mine included, is frequency dependent so an equalizer does wonders. The "cheap" hearing aids had only 4 channels while the high end one had 12. My 1970 amplifier had more than that. I suppose they have some kind of noise reduction circuitry too but that's pretty much it. So my question is this — when I can get a very good netbook computer for under $400 why do I need to pay $1200 per ear for a hearing aid? Alternatives would be welcome.

Comment It's about the users, stupid ! (Score 1) 919

What ESR notably underestimates (or at least does not mention) is the protection the GPL offers to its users, not the developers. No other licence gives the user of a piece of software so many Freedoms. Replace the GPL, take away the Freedom, and the some person is using some piece of software which he can no longer, modify and share, with his/her friends.

It's not the point if Developers need the GPL, WE need the GPL !

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill