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Comment Re:Government sets absurd limits then companies ch (Score 1) 93

Also, isn't power consumption the reason plasma is less popular than LCD? It seems to me that plasma has better picture quality, but uses more power.

That was one of the reasons. I think potential burn in (though really image retention, since it's not permanent burn in) is the other major cause.

Plasmas at the time were LARGER, CHEAPER, and looked better. I think it's only now that we're getting into gigantic TVs (70 inch and above), that plasma can't do.. I also think it can't do 4K, or not easily. Those seemed to be reasons companies have stopped making plasma.

Also, from what I've read (popular press, online reviews), the more recent plasmas (not VERY recent, as in the last several years at least) were much more energy efficient.. The huge discrepancy compared to LED was, I think, based on early plasmas.

(I have a 42" plasma that I got when my CRT died several years ago. So I guess I'm sort of biased, but I basically went out and bought a TV very quickly, and plasma seemed to be the best and cheapest at the time.. I am someone who cares about power usage, but my overall electricity bill is low anyway -- $20-$30.)

Comment Re:we pay, but changing it isn't free (Score 1) 317

Frankly, given that clearing fees are being jacked so companies can take a bigger cut just to give "cash back"

Yeah, I guess that sucks from the store's point of view... But as I've said before, at each of my individual purchases, I'm paying either $X or .98*$X (due to 2% cash back on my most used card). PLUS, using the card is MORE convenient to me than paying cash (faster, I don't have to then carry the change). So it's easier AND cheaper at the individual sale, even if it is indirectly causing all prices to go up. (And as I said in my other message, of course I pay in full automatically every month, so I pay no interest.)

Comment Re:it's not the retailers, it's the cards (Score 2) 317

so there isn't a lot of reason to go to chip and PIN in the US.

Isn't eliminating some of the hassle of "oh I lost my card, someone can be charging on it right now" a good reason?

I know the consumer isn't responsible (directly) for the fraud, but we all are, in higher prices, even if one is smart and fully pays off credit cards and thus pays no interest. So preventing fraud is useful.

Vaguely similar to how the Apple ID lock on iPhones supposedly has lowered theft rates.

Comment Re:compounding. 3000% (Score 1) 114

Especially now we have an interest rate at nearly zero percent and inflation higher than that, "compound interest" is just an easy way to support those poor starving bankers.

If you're referring to interest rate that individuals can get (and not on the inter-bank rate, which is what is reported on the news), you can get way more than that, relatively safely.

CDs are over 1%, well over.

You can get several percent in dividends in safe companies' stock.. (yes, leave it there for a LONG time, it will likely come back from any downswings.)

You can make 4+% in bonds, many of them free from state or federal income tax, which effectively boosts the rate even more. (This one I haven't gotten into yet much, but am researching...)

Comment Confusing summary (Score 1) 215

Fans of Silicon Valley will be aware of the Pied Piper compression algorithm, and now Google has a more efficient one of its own.

IMHO, at first read, it sounds like it's saying it's more efficient than Pied Piper's (fictional) algorithm... Which of course is impossible, since Pied Piper's will compress everything.

Comment Re:An idea. (Score 1) 106

(I know there was controversy regarding the original ending of the third.. which was supposedly either fixed or at least slightly alleviated by DLC..)

I'm only a little ways in, but at least from the podcast I'm currently listening to (Giant Bombcast), the several of the regular participants who have played them and really like them like the interaction with all of the NPCs and very deep back story about everything.

Comment Re:An idea. (Score 1) 106

hilariously overpriced

$20 for MANY MANY MANY hours of entertainment (compared to $10+ for ~2 hours with a movie), seems like a heck of a deal, to me.

(Yes, I wait a while to get games when they go down to $20.. which happens for basically all I've ever been interested in.. Even though I definitely prefer having a disk, even I am doing the electronic download thing on PSN for some games that get SO CHEAP.. e.g. $5 for the Mass Effect trilogy. Even if I play for only a couple of hours total and don't play the whole game, I've still gotten a ton of entertainment for that price.)

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin