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Comment: Re:You know, you can buy an unlocked phone (Score 2) 317

If I do that, which carrier will give me a lower monthly rate because I don't need them to subsidize the phone? Maybe a little guy, but will Verizon or AT&T do that for me? Nope. So, if I buy an unlocked phone, I'm basically a sucker, because I'm paying for the phone twice.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 295

by sycorob (#37762856) Attached to: How Google's Autonomous Vehicles Work

A system like this will be written by a team of programmers, some of them very experienced, backed up by quality assurance folks and thousands of hours of experience.

On the human side, you're only as safe as the least safe driver. Older people with slower reaction times and diminished sight, brand new drivers with only a few weeks of experience behind the wheel, intoxicated drivers, and the whole slew of distracted drivers out there on their cell phones. Stand at an intersection sometime and count the number of drivers using cell phones, it's horrifying.

I believe that people who think computers will never drive better than humans are today's version of people that thought a computer would never beat a grand master at chess. It may take awhile, but it will happen, believe it.

Comment: Re:Blame big corporations. Really (Score 1) 143

by sycorob (#37706692) Attached to: Shady Reshipping Centers Exposed

US companies want it both ways, though. They want to sell Windows to the US for one price, and to China for a different (lower) price. Right there, that's fine, but if a guy in China wants to sell his Windows copy to me for slightly more and make a profit on it, it's illegal.

Arbitrage is apparently fine when investors do it, but illegal when the rest of us want to balance out the crazy price differences that exist in the world right now.

Comment: Re:I like Tesla's (Score 1) 426

by sycorob (#37590918) Attached to: Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds

The coal power plant is still more efficient than your tiny internal-combustion engine. Even with power losses from lines, etc, the electric car is still more efficient overall. So, that's present state.

For future state, if we had mostly electric cars for commuting, running to the store, etc, we could replace coal plants with wind turbines, for example, and suddenly our cars are green. If all cars are internal combustion engines, we're stuck with using oil, or using up valuable farmland to grow vegetation for bio-gas. Just because electric cars aren't 100% green right now, doesn't mean they're not better than what we have. We have to start somewhere.

Comment: Re:unintentional humor alert (Score 3, Interesting) 447

by sycorob (#37542656) Attached to: The Cable Industry's a La Carte Bait and Switch
That doesn't make sense to me. Let's assume the cable company won't outright gouge you (big assumption, sure). They'll want to keep overall revenues the same. The ESPN family is more expensive per user, so they can break that out into its own package. Every other channel that pays to be put on cable (to get ad revenues) will be cheaper. The people that absolutely must watch live sports will have to pay more, or ESPN will have to get cheaper. People not interested in sports will not have to subsidize ESPN any more just to get a couple of premium channels.

Cable is getting real competition from Over the Air and streaming content. They know they have to offer something compelling to get me to stay. If they can get me the basic channels + all of the science channels that are hard to find on streaming for a reasonable cost, I'll stay. If they can't, then I might leave. OTA is free, and free almost always beats better.

Communications

"Wi-Fi Refugees" Shelter in West Virginia Mountains 627

Posted by samzenpus
from the break-out-the-tinfoil dept.
The 13,000 sq mile U.S. Radio Quiet Zone is an area in West Virginia where all wireless transmissions are banned because of the large number of radio telescopes located there. (This official page shows a map of the Zone; an old Wired article is fascinating reading.) These high-tech telescopes have attracted unlikely neighbors, people who claim to have Wi-Fi allergies. In recent years, scores of people have moved to the area to escape the "damage" that electromagnetic fields can cause them. From the article: "Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication. 'It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner,' she says. 'You become a technological leper because you can't be around people. It's not that you would be contagious to them — it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you.'"

Comment: Re:Moral of the story.... (Score 2) 264

by sycorob (#37340956) Attached to: After Firing CEO, Yahoo Puts Itself Up For Sale
Yes and no. I'm sure Jobs wasn't digging into the accounting paperwork, or corporate tax preparations, etc as much as he was the actual products. He's good at the product side, and I'm sure he knows it. I could be wrong, maybe he micro-manages every part of the business, but I never heard anything like that. Many founders, on the other hand, DO want to be involved in every part of the company, to the point where everything comes to a screeching halt since every little thing needs their sign-off. And then they get replaced by the board/investors, or the company dies.

Comment: Re:I guess this beats making the game interesting (Score 1) 637

by sycorob (#37132838) Attached to: Coming Soon, Shorter Video Games
The thing is, if the article is correct, 90% of people think that games are not worth finishing. So game companies can either cater to the super-gamers who want super-long or super-hard games, or they can tune the games to the 90% of people that don't have the time or energy to battle through these super-games.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva

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