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Comment: Welcome to 2005! (Score 1) 85

by shaitand (#47688051) Attached to: Broadband Subscribers Eclipsing Cable TV Subscribers
Congratulations, Leichtman Research Group you have figured out something that has simply been common knowledge among everyone else since 2005.

I pay $150/mo for cable for one reason only, live streamed sports. For everything else, even if it's on cable, I have my system set up to download high quality encodings to my DVR automatically the moment they become available. Movies, everything coming up that I want gets put in the system and the moment a high quality release becomes available, automatically downloaded to Plex which turns my collection into a meta data filled netflix. The system even meshes high ratings on IMDB and rotten tomatoes with things I've liked in the past and makes suggestions or automatically downloads new movies for me. Music as well, I get suggestions based on my library and new albums from artists in my collection appear automatically generally in lossless FLAC.

Imagine a world where the sports networks, tv networks, mpaa, book publishers, and the riaa banded together to provide a single legal content source where you could get all content in multiple formats and the middle men are all cut out. Live events and movies are unchanged by this and remain the primary money makers. You pick which forms of content you want and maybe pay as much as $50/mo per content type. But at that price point you have unlimited access to all content from that source in a DRM free and metadata rich form that couples nicely with a personal multimedia system at the quality you like be that a lower quality yiffy type rip or full 4k or 1080p blu-ray quality encode. At lower price points maybe there is a cap based on data like 250GB/mo for $25. The distribution of that money and royalties would be determined based on what you actually downloaded. Someone who watches 30 movies a month on their unlimited hollywood package might contribute a smaller royalty to their 3D LOTR download than someone with the same package who watches 10. You could even use my user ratings to weight those royalties. Sort of like how a new deck hand might get a quarter or half share on a fishing boat while most crew members get a full share and someone really good might get a double share.

Comment: The midwest? (Score 1) 214

by shaitand (#47687981) Attached to: Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math
Since he was looking affordable to him and basing that on residents income small towns in the midwest aren't likely to hit the radar. Those places are cheap because the locals don't make much money and therefore can't afford to pay much.

As for walkability, traffic might be low in a place like that but things are actually more spread out. The denser the population the more walkable somewhere becomes. The reason is simple, in a dense city there are enough people to support a walgreens and mcdonalds every few blocks, there are automatic walk lights and bike lanes, etc.

In a small town there will be only one mcdonalds and one walgreens for the whole town and those might be on opposite ends of town and fry's is likely in a different larger town 30-40min away. There likely are no bike lanes because small towns don't have the budget to be trendy and most people don't ride a bike 3 miles to go to McDonalds.

Hell city suburbs are ridiculously dense and walkable compare with small towns and yet they aren't particularly walkable unless you live in the "downtown" of your burb.

Comment: Enough with the FAD crap (Score 1) 197

by shaitand (#47687961) Attached to: Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?
Most TV's out there are 3D now and most new content is 3D. 3D showings at the theater are generally packed.

I appreciate it, you fall into one of the three groups who don't like 3D. People with glasses, People who are super sensitive and get headaches even with the new great refresh rates, or People who formed an opinion without having seen modern 3D. For the rest of us, we are oddballs who fall into the "life is in 3D therefore a quality 3D picture is more realistic."

They did seriously overrate 3D in the pitch to sell it. Close one eye, open it back up, is there a difference in depth perception? Yes. But that difference is all 3D is and all it should be. Ideally they don't do anything different because they are filming 3D. No gimmicks or throwing things at you. You should forget you are watching 3D and just walk away feeling like the movie was especially exciting and immersive.

Comment: Re:biased algorith (Score 1) 177

by shaitand (#47623985) Attached to: Algorithm Predicts US Supreme Court Decisions 70% of Time
People develop predictive algorithms for all sorts of the things. The most obvious are trading algorithms for financial markets. Such an algorithm can be very accurate... until trends change in what you are predicting. Because the algorithm is built based on an analysis of the historical data it is generally going to be very successful at "prediction" when then run against that data.

The utility of the algorithm doesn't become evident until it is tested against data which wasn't available when designing it and maintains it's accuracy without additional adjustment. Even then, any change in variables or trends not accounted for in the algorithm can cause it to have dramatically reduced effectiveness when that change occurs which could be before the next case or in 5 or 10 years of the algorithm seeming to be perfect.

Comment: Re:Read the source code (Score 3, Insightful) 430

I haven't generally found that to be the case at all. At least not with enterprise stuff. Generally the company wants you to buy support contracts and training from them so they make operation as obscure as possible. One almost universal technique used to build an internal vernacular for the proprietary product, naming elements and configuration blocks using invented product specific labels instead of using standard industry terms. This is great because someone who is perfectly competent can't make heads or tails of your documentation until they've learned the vernacular you use.

Good documentation in my experience is documentation that any competent programmer/engineer/user can pick up and immediately use without ever having seen your stuff before.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 87

by shaitand (#47441063) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
Agreed it is better than nothing being available at all. But a concept car is dramatically different because it's outside the FDA regulated medical market.

The healthcare market in the United States is an especially horrible expensive nightmare. The tax dollars spent (inclusive of tax breaks) providing no healthcare are more per capita than most nations with nationalized healthcare spend providing total coverage per capita. While the care provided generally isn't sub-par and excels in some areas it really is only comparable overall and not superior to the healthcare they are providing.

The FDA has become a mass pharma/medical commercial sector protection racket that keeps a small number of near monopolies from competition and legal consequence. It's actually even worse than the FCC with the protecting telco/cable racket profits from consumers.

Comment: Re:Repercussions? (Score 1) 107

by shaitand (#47427839) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates
Seriously? How hard is it to put the actual root certificate on an offline internal network? You have to actually have a human being move a thumb drive between two machines to generate a cert. OMG, the horror! It's india for god sake, don't tell me they can't afford all that manual labor.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 310

" taxes are the only practical weapon the common voter has against government overreach, and the Constitution was written with this fundamental truth firmly in mind."

Hardly, the common man was given zero authority with regard to taxes in the constitution. The constitution gave that power to congress. The constitution wasn't written to empower the common man, the constitution derives it's power from the people. It's government that was empowered by the constitution.

The Constitution left almost all authority in the hands of the people. Ever since it was signed, the government it empowered has been working on changing that and it's been very very successful. The biggest example is the people's only explicitly stated and protected power in the form of a jury and jury nullification. The government could write laws all day long and if it couldn't convince 12 people in your community that what you did was actually wrong (regardless of any "law" it violated) that jury has the power to find you "not guilty."

How about we start focusing on taking away the governments ability to punish without a criminal convinction (no more government issued CIVIL punishments) and the courts decision that not only do they not need to tell a jury about their right to nullify unjust laws and their application on a case by case basis but that they can actually LIE to juries. Juries are the people's check on all three branches, including the judicial. It is not the place of the judicial to limit their authority!

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 87

by shaitand (#47424627) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
"The only reason prosthetics cost a crapload (sometimes upwards of $100,000) is because each one has to be manufactured specifically to match its intended recipient."

That is a factor but not the biggest one. It's about demand. In the US we have a so called medical "free market" so the cost is as much as the market will allow. So, if you are missing a leg, how much is a prosthetic worth to you? You'll find that unlike with say, a stick of gum, the answer will vary dramatically with the key differentiators being how much the person has and whether they have loved ones they must care for who they value more than themselves. Now, abstract that cost from real people and put it on collectives with billions of dollars to spend (insurance companies) and why wouldn't you charge six figures for a prosthetic?

For $100,000 there are thousands of people who could engineer a prosthetic that can be customized with just a few hours labor. So the $100,000 cost is spread among all of them and the customization part amounts to a few bucks in plastic and under $1000 labor and that is at doctor labor prices and not lab tech prices.

But these products require FDA approval. So that is going to cost another $250k. Which is great for you if you have that money. It means that you get legal immunity at the end. It means little to no competition. It means you won't have to worry about actually improving your device anytime soon. It means you can charge ridiculous prices which are easy to justify, you can point to the need for FDA approval, you can point to the importance of making the device safe for medical use, etc. People will pay anything they can afford and since the bill goes to the insurance company, people will sign off on literally any figure. So it's really just a question of charging as much as the insurance company can afford.

The prosthetics end up costing the manufacturer maybe $2000 customized in the end with everything included and that figure goes down over time but they keep on charging $100,000 a pop because they can.

Comment: Re:apply this technology where it counts. (Score 1) 87

by shaitand (#47419781) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
You make the fatal flaw of assuming that ethics and prudence are the result of higher cognitive ability. Have you considered the possibility that they understand exactly what they are doing and just don't care?

" This next-generation of politician could one day come to understand the moral and sociopolitical repercussions of things like intentionally shutting down the government."

You mean like having successfully pandered to your constitutes so that you'll be re-elected and can continue to profit from selling out to corporate interests, enjoy the social status of being a congressman, and blowjobs from interns?

Hell most of the the strongest opponents of issues like climate change and homosexual marriage ARE homosexuals. When THEY get busted getting a blowjob it's generally from a male intern or other staffer.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 87

by shaitand (#47419709) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
"Implantable memory even if VERY expensive would be very useful. Why go to college when you can pay $40k
and have a college degree without also having to give up 4 years of earning potential to get it."

I think you seriously underestimate what "VERY expensive" means. That is what such a technology might cost when at the dirt cheap and commonplace level. Anytime in the first 20 years I doubt you'd see a BLANK implant that wasn't priced in the millions.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 87

by shaitand (#47419679) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
It will happen that way first. They'll do implantable blank memory, then they'll have ridiculously overpriced modules that are able to communicate wirelessly so that you can copy and record. Then...

Why don't we just skip the bullshit and put something with both mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in so that it automatically links both to other modules and to a tunneled network in the internet automatically integrating everyones brains into a massive network of shared memory and artificial memory. We can have datacenters where massive external forms of this are connected to the network as well.

Or hey, why not let go of the conscious reigns, put the implantable chip that interacts with brain electrical and chemical signals both capable of generating detectable responses and receiving them. Still put the mesh and infrastructure wireless technology in, still build the tunneled network, but just put enough designed elements in place to facilitate the massively parallel communication high way and let the brains figure out their own higher level protocols.

Worried about security? Don't be that worried. You are neurally linked to everyone you see with an optical connection already. This just steps it up to having a slower link to lots of people all the time.

We can predict everything, except the future.