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Comment: I really hate TiVO (Score 1) 49

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47580217) Attached to: Why TiVo's Founders Crashed and Burned With Qplay
They took a simple idea, patented it and sued and forced all other hard disk based recorders down. Their main innovation was the revenue model of sucking 10 or 15 $ a month from the early adopters. That gave them the financial muscle to sue everyone and shut everyone down. They are basically Microsoft of hard disk based recording. I own a couple of hard disk based standard def recorders, both more than six years old.

When the DVD recorder broke, I searched and found that this is the only piece of electronics that has appreciated in value. The one I bought for 500$ brand-new was selling in eBay for 1800$ four year old, but in working condition. Integration with TV-guide listing got broken after analog broadcasts were discontinued. All the cable tv vendors are in collusion with TiVo. All of them want 15$ a month.

If the insanely stupid patent monopoly had not been granted to TiVo we would be seeing 1TB, HD-recording hard disk players with full integration with TV-listings for 100$ flat without any monthly fees.

Comment: what happened to the Voronoi polyhedrons? (Score 1) 40

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#47552729) Attached to: How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium
Last time the bird flock was mentioned it was about how a flock flies past an obstacle without colliding. Something about each bird maintaining its position by maximizing the distance to its nearest neighbors. The math would work out such that each bird would form a vertex in a Delaunay tessellation and the "space" associated with each bird would form a Voronoi polyhedron.

I was kind of scared. You know, you spend all your life learning computational geometry and suddenly a flock of shearwaters or starlings show up and solve the same problem you have been solving for decades. You are given the pink slip and be replaced by a flock of bird brains. Man! that would suck.

But I am glad now, the birds are after bigger prize. No stupid engineering and mesh generation for them. They want pure science and may be they are after the Nobel prize. Glad they have moved on to simulating the liquid helium. Good for them. I think next thing will be they have solved the Cauchy-Riemman integral and they have a deterministic solution to Shroedinger's equation. They are going to finish off with a solution to Navier-Stokes equation with k-epsilon turbulence modeling.

Comment: India has disputed borders too. (Score 1) 96

I have seen numerous Govt offices in India with a rusted metal sign saying, "Photography prohibited". But cut them some slack too, routinely attacked by terrorists looking for soft targets.

Also the border is disputed with Pakistan and China. Since Pakistan has been the "ally" of USA since 1950s, and India kept dallying with USSR all those days, almost all the American magazines will carry maps that show disputed parts of Kashmir as part of Pakistan. I have seen so many Reader's Digest, Time, National Geographic, Life mags with maps of Kashmir region stamped with, "This map does not agree with the official map published by the Surveyor General of India. No significance may be attached to the differences published here. " (quoting from memory, actual wording could be even more bureaucratese ).

Comment: Looks like it is market opportunity. (Score 1) 543

I too like slide out keyboard and I like seeing more of the screen while typing.

But are we so dependent on the manufacturer for this? Someone can design a compact bluetooth keyboard. With some kind of harness/clip to slide in any smartphone. Or make it part of a slide out or fold out phone case. Almost all the people I know buy a case for their phones. I think Steve Jobs was probably the only one who used a naked iPhone. I see people putting really horrendous looking cases. Would these guys buy an after market Hummer body and strap it on to their Corvettes? Well that is a different rant. I use a fold out leather wallet style case, to store a credit card, a bus pass and my driving license along with an android phone. My wallet has gone into some deep recess of my backpack. I rarely need it.

Anyway if there is as much demand for it someone would be stepping in to fill the need. One good thing, this keyboard might work in the next phone, at least one part of the phone/keyboard gets an extended life.

Life is difficult because it is non-linear.