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Comment Re:Live streaming beats fixed schedule (Score 1) 210

I think the TV as such is mostly going to go away, at least the form with a tuner. Here in Norway the mean broadband connection is 33 Mbit/s, the median 24 Mbit/s and 90%+ have 4+ Mbit/s.

Here in the US, each individual "channel" can carry 19Mbps. That means your "mean broadband connection" can't even support TWO simultaneous channels at full quality. How many people are in each of those houses, sharing those broadband connections? And how terribly inefficient is it for everyone to unicast what could be broadcast one-time for all?

In the US there are currently 50 channels, for 950Mbps total, continuously. It'll be a while before everyone's internet connections get there. And that's just OTA. Cable services can broadcast many, many times as much data. I'd be inclined to say things could and should go the other way... with everyone getting a networked DVR, and popular YouTube/Netflix/Hulu videos pre-fetched when they are broadcast OTA.

Comment Re:Screw paying for ANY television viewing (Score 1) 210

Updating of OTA broadcast, I think, will find more people turning to it and away from shitty cable and satellite, which is already a trend.

People are dropping cable, and more are installing antennas, but TV viewership even on broadcast OTA networks is also falling, as people spend more time on mobile devices...

I expect OTA viewership will take-off, and cable will really die, when mobile devices like tablets start including built-in TV tuners and antennas... Plenty of people with time to waste are away from home, and would like some entertainment that doesn't eat up their astronomically expensive data plan.

It has already been done... But once Apple gets the idea, everybody else will copy them, and the press will gush about how incredibly innovative they are...

Streaming over the Internet, I think, is just another 'pay TV' trap like cable and satellite, and as a matter of fact if you think for a moment, how is it really any different than cable or satellite directly connected to your TV?

Simple... Internet-based services don't hold a geographic monopoly like cable companies do. Lots of competition, versus NO competition.

Changing technology matters, too. Cable couldn't help but be linear, non-interactive a few decades ago. Now they can do things smarter, but many of their declining number of customers demand they maintain the old model, and their contracts with networks are equally difficult to substantially change to allow a new service model.

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 174

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:This is great (Score 2) 73

it could put a call out to any EV currently plugged in saying "I'll pay 6 cents per kWh for what's in your battery". If they don't get as much power as they need, they would put out another request at 7 cents. If you paid 4 cents the previous night, that's a good deal for everyone.

You'd be an idiot to accept that deal!

1) Your EV's battery doesn't charge/discharge at anywhere near 100% efficiency.
2) Batteries have a fixed number of charge/discharge cycles, so the energy you pull out is significantly more expensive than the electric rates. It may not be much cheaper than running a gasoline/electric generator in your back yard...
3) On a TIMEÂ-OFÂ-US rate schedule, you pay about SIX TIMES HIGHER for your daytime electrical usage. I just found Nevada Electric TOU summer rates of $0.06159 for off-peak, and $0.36554 for peak (all-day, really). So until they're paying you more than $0.40, you'd be far better off serving your own household's electric needs from your EV's battery, not selling it back to the grid. Of course nobody does that because of point #2 above.
4) If it was at all a profitable proposition, the power company would cut-out the customer, distribution losses, retail rates, etc., and build their own battery banks. That they don't should be a huge hint that the economics don't work.
5) As an added bonus, your car doesn't have its full range when you suddenly need it, and it will take an hour to top-off the charge.
6) If utilities would quick trying to heavily penalize residential PV customers, they would quickly get lots of Summer peak power.

Comment Re:This is great (Score 1) 73

Buy power to charge up on windy nights and sell on hot days. (In summer, anyway) Bulk wind power in Texas on the spot market has actually dropped below zero on a few occasions.

Except that's not a viable business model. It costs way the hell too much money to build a huge energy-storage facility, to not maximize day-in, day-out profits. In other words, you can't leave your battery-bank half-charged every day, waiting around for the occasional free electricity to take advantage of. In fact it's most profitable to build a facility that doesn't quite meet all the demand.

Also, wind power in Texas only goes negative by 1/3rd of the subsidized price (i.e. producers are earning positive money), so when the subsidizes get reduced or go away, so does the free electricity.

Comment Re:Data data everywhere and not a drop to think (Score 1) 366

It still boggles my mind how we live in the Information Age and this data was not automatically uploaded and calculated.

If you should have learned anything about "the information Age", it's that life-critical systems should NOT be highly interconnected. If it's just a single 5-digit number that needs to go from point-A to point-B, plain-paper sneakernet is quite convenient and by far the safest and most reliable option.

Comment Re:Reward networks for not upgrading (Score 1) 75

What happens on eBay is just a market. It's fundamental that a properly working market works to determine the optimum price for whatever is being sold. A properly working market would have multiple sellers and multiple buyers, all with somewhat differing circumstances. Improperly working markets are dominated by a single vendor, etc. No market works perfectly, there are always factors that cause markets to be less efficient than they should be.

Demand pricing is something one vendor does deliberately and with calculation. In contrast, the market pricing is arrived at as the aggregate of the behavior of many people. The market's actually broken if the calculation of one person can influence it disproportionately.

Comment Re:Amazon Model (Score 1) 75

First, there's no shortage of interurban data links for these companies to use if they're willing to. A shortage of infrastructure is a myth.

Second, the customers will indeed abscond, but not to conventional telephone companies.

Anyone who is considering how to jack up voice call pricing is moving around deck chairs on the Titanic.

One picture is worth 128K words.