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Comment Re:We never had it (Score 1) 311

Exactly - the lack of quality today is just a different sort than it was yesterday.

Yesterday: The barrier to entry in news was HUGE. Press barons like William Randolph Hearst had tremendous influence on the public perception of things because they owned all of the news outlets. Articles were highly-polished, but they consisted almost solely of what the oligarchy wanted the public to know. Small press outlets attempted to operate, but were often stomped out by the press barons.

Today: The barrier to entry is tiny. I can start a blog, post of Facebook, etc. with little or not cost to myself. Opinions are diverse and readily available. On the downside, the low barrier to entry means anyone can put "news" out there. Articles lack the polish (and budget) of yesteryear and opinions/fiction makes it into "news" unchecked. This can make it difficult for readers to separate fact from fiction.

Comment Re:Anyone else think she could be a plant? (Score 1) 210

Analysts in many areas have been calling for a different approach for a long time: Concentrate on the areas in which you are successful - cull the rest. Yahoo is strong in email, fantasy sports, news aggregation, and a number of other things. Concentrating on these key areas would have made for a smaller, more focused enterprise.

Instead, Yahoo did the exact opposite - go out and buy a bunch of other companies and increase scope to include a bunch of new areas - further diluting itself.

Yahoo wanted to be some giant tech innovator instead of a focused and established service provider. It's pretty clear that investors are convinced the former is never going to happen, but the latter could still add value

Comment Re:I don't think... (Score 1) 411

"It's the most important question of human existence, because mankind needs to know if there is a higher authority we are accountable to. Everything else we do in life flows from the answer to that question."

This is one of those statements that's so typical in debates with theists. Things like "it's self evident that such and such is the most important thing."

Prove that it's the most important thing. It's just as easy to say "where am I going to get my next meal?" or "where will I safely sleep tonight?" are every bit as important (and probably quite a bit more so).

Of course, conversations like these never progress because the person making the categorical statement is just so appalled at the "lack of intellectual horsepower" displayed by the person challenging the assertion that they decide they aren't "worth debate."

Comment Re:Um, yeah ... (Score 2) 124

Even in the days of negatives it was relatively easy to doctor photos. If a photo were to make it into the public one could say "That photo isn't real. It has been doctored." The party releasing the photo could say "No it hasn't. Here are the negatives." As any tampering with the negatives would be plainly evident. If the party couldn't produce the negatives the photo would be suspect - especially in a court of law. Where the law ins concerned, courts have always treated photographic evidence with much more skepticism than the general public. Being unable to produce negatives to back up evidence was a good way to have such evidence called into question.

Comment Re:Real bad news (Score 1) 412

I agree it's a bad idea, but...

Don't just about all top end headphones have exchangeable cords? I mean, it would be generally poor design to have something running into the thousands of dollars ruined by something as flimsy as a cord. Seems to me that making a compatible cord would be good for business.

Second, I imagine many of these manufacturers would be glad to make an "iPhone compatible" version. Some of the existing cans are tanks. You buy them once and never need to replace them. I think most places would be happy to have the opportunity to generate a repeat sale.

Third, when it comes to really high end cans, people generally aren't plugging those into their phones. That's what headphone amps are for.

I don't really see any value to the consumer, but I bet there are a number of companies looking to sell new products.

Comment Re:funny and sad (Score 1) 412

Clearly it's a great business plan.

As for their fans, they appreciate quality design and a generally positive software experience. I doubt they could care much less about just how "cutting edge" the components are.

I tend to go back and forth between Apple and Android because I like a new experience when I get a new phone. Until a few years ago, Android was often a pain. Getting files onto the device was an ugly process, the software was 'laggy', and the phone crashed regularly (which I fixed by moving to a different distort). I didn't mind because I liked playing with my phone. It turned a lot of people off - people who are now die-hard Apple folk. Sure, Android had more features, but it was fraught with bugs. The Apple stuff worked reasonably well.

Android is worlds better today, but it still hasn't shaken it's budget, low quality image in some minds.

The other thing that Apple has all over the other handset makers is a physical retail presence (in many areas). I broke the screen on an Apple phone (my fault - not that of the phone) and needed it repaired ASAP. I went online, submitted a ticket, picked a location, made an appointment, and headed in at my chosen time. It took the employee around 1 hour to replace the entire screen (glass and LCD) at a cost of $150. Had they not been able to fix it they would have replaced my phone. What do you do if you drop your Samsung or LG? I'd imagine you ship it off and wait a week or two or visit a shady mall kiosk. I'm due a switch back to Android with my next phone. I'm hoping to avoid a break so that the above can remain a mystery ;-)

There are lots of great products out there. Don't discount the perceived value of design and accessibility. They really are worth it to a large number of people.

Comment Re:Same with cars (Score 2) 250

As someone who works on cars and motorcycles as a hobby, I'd say yes and no.
1. Plugging into your car to find out where the faults are is fantastic. Emission laws have resulted in cars being much more complex. With all of the sensors all over the vehicle (MAF, MAP, O2, CPS, ABS, etc.) it's great having a computer tell you which one is sending voltage outside parameters. If there was no computer telling you where the problem was you'd spend quite a bit of time with a multimeter.

2. When someone says that something is harder on a new car than an old car, sometimes that's true. Smaller bodies, different collision requirements, etc. all result in less room. On the other hand, a ton of stuff is modular and easily swapped out. In fact, it's easier to swap out than in the past. The problem is, the swapping out is much more specific to the vehicle and manufacturer. If you aren't familiar with the car, it can be quite a pain. But...

3. Just about everything is on the internet these days. There's a video step-by-step for just about any procedure on any car. That's something you didn't have back in the day (although I suppose it was less necessary).

Comment Re:12G - that's all? (Score 1) 309

I agree. If you're in the PC gaming crowd you generally know you're in for the regular upgrade cycle. My gaming rig had 16GB years ago.

That's why I got out of PC gaming and moved to the console (sacrilege I know). I just found that I didn't enjoy constantly upgrading and tinkering with my machine. Don't get me wrong, I loved it for many years and learned a ton in the process. I just have other ways I'd rather spend my time and money these days. Now, if my kid ever gets into gaming...

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 1) 394

I came to say this same thing. Seattle growth is somewhat constrained by geography. Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Elliot Bay make it difficult to just "build out." Those same features, combined with a bunch of hills, make also make it difficult to get in and out. I commute to Downtown Seattle via bus on a regular basis. Since the carpool lanes are full the bus frequently doesn't move any faster than the rest of the traffic. It's not unheard of for the bus to take 90 minutes to cover the 20 miles of my commute.

As such, many want to live in the city to avoid that commute. There are quite a few well-to-do folk in Seattle and that means demand far outweighs supply - pushing prices through the roof. It doesn't help that the city makes it so difficult for developers that anything other than premium housing just isn't cost effective to build.

Light rail or some other form of mass transit would offer a form of transportation not subject to the awful traffic. This would be a huge improvement (when traffic is light my bus makes my trip in around 30 minutes). It would make a large number of people feel like they wouldn't be giving up three hours a day to a commute if they were to move farther away - farther away to areas better suited (geographically and politically) to deal with expansion.

Comment Re:Remarkable people (Score 1) 367

Correlation is not causation. You seem to think that the rise in atheism results in the problems. It could just as easily be argued that the rise in atheism in said situations was a natural response to seeing how the theists in power had brought society to a place where uprisings, armed revolts, etc. were the only logical outcomes.

Your statement is somewhat akin to saying : "Every time the leaves change color and fall off the trees it gets cold. Therefore, the leaves falling off the trees cause the change in temperature."

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