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Comment: Re:Let the Market Decide (Score 4, Interesting) 420

by rudedog (#34238124) Attached to: Proposed ADA Requirements May Affect Public Internet Use

If you knew anything about how the technology works, you would know that closed captioning at theaters is a matter of installing a LED projector at the back of the theater and providing the viewers with a plexiglass reflector that they stick into their cup holder. It is not a question of retrofitting every seat. The tech is dirt cheap.

And even as cheap as it is, in the greater metro Seattle area, there are only 4 theaters that have it. And not 4 theater complexes. Literally 4 theaters. For example, the 11-screen complex in Pacific Place has a single theater equipped with it. And most the time, the complex choses not to present movies with captions in that particular theater, and pretty much never does so on weekends. If the theaters equipped more movies with the captioning devices, I would go to the movies more often. But the fact is that the market power of deaf and hard of hearing people isn't big enough to warrant it.

Mandating companies to take reasonable measures to accommodate the needs of disabled patrons when the market can't is part of belonging to a civilized society.

Comment: Re:Hearing Aids are usually custom made (Score 1) 727

by rudedog (#31467444) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

And every aid I've worn in the last 20 years has a separate earmold, since I need BTE aids. In addition, modern aids are going back to a form of BTE called receiver-in-the-ear, which doesn't have an earmold at all. These are getting much more popular for minor to moderate losses, because earmolds are intrusive and cause the plugged-up feeling.

In any case, my original point still stands, which is that hearing aids can, and are, mass-manufactured. Even for ITE aids, the majority of their components can be mass-manufactured, with the guts of the aid added to the custom earmold at the last minute. If the custom earmold added significantly to the price, which is what the original poster was implying, then you would see a huge price difference for a BTE vs. an ITE aid that was otherwise the same model, and in fact, an identical model is usually identically priced, no matter what style/form-factor it is.

Comment: Re:A possible cheaper alternative (Score 1) 727

by rudedog (#31466368) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

Note that not every country with universal health care covers hearing aids. I am originally from Canada, and their medicare didn't cover hearing aids at the time. I'm not sure if it does today, but I think that it still does not. I believe that it does cover cochlear implants, which is another thing that is not covered by most insurance plans in the US.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 1) 727

by rudedog (#31466114) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

There are very few health insurance plans in the US that pay for hearing aids. I have always had to pay out of pocket for my hearing aids and I have always had decent insurance plans. They've just never covered hearing aids.

Lack of competition and low volume are the two biggest factors.

I don't know much about Walmart's brand; it's certainly not one of the big players. Depending on the original poster's hearing loss, their aids may or may not be suitable for him. They would not be suitable for me because of the frequencies and severity of my hearing loss.

Comment: Re:Hearing Aids are usually custom made (Score 4, Informative) 727

by rudedog (#31466042) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?

No. The earmold is purchased separately from the hearing aid and attached via a plastic tube. You can buy earmolds for well under $100, and there is actually a market outside of hearing aids for them, such as high-end stereo headphones and monitor headphones worn by musicians. The earmold is attached to the aid with a $1.00 plastic tube, which you usually change every 3 months or so. The aid is programmed by plugging it into a computer (the interface is usually via the battery door). The aid itself can easily be mass-manufactured, since once size does fit all.

Comment: Boost and sqlite (Score 3, Interesting) 310

by rudedog (#29712963) Attached to: Platform Independent C++ OS Library?

For most cross-platform stuff, boost will do what you need. boost::thread will handle all of your threading needs.

boost::filesystem for manipulating pathnames; boost::datetime for date and time operations; boost::format for typesafe printf style I/O.

It also has boost::asio for sockets and boost::interprocess for IPC. I know nothing about them, but to judge from the quality of the rest of the boost library, they are probably very good.

For database, use Sqlite. It's a solid relational database stored in a single file, and you can even access the database from the command line for ad-hoc queries/debugging/whatever.

Comment: Re:Love it! (Score 1) 809

by rudedog (#26362195) Attached to: $30B IT Stimulus Will Create Almost 1 Million Jobs

Group coverage plans (i.e: the kind you get from your employer) aren't allowed to exclude pre-existing conditions if you already had coverage

Isn't this because of laws, i.e., "governmental intervention". Which you claim is eroding our freedom. It's a bit hypocritical for you to be holding this up as a good thing only one paragraph away from deriding the government.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.