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Comment Re:wrong direction (Score 1) 155

You're wrong, for the simple fact that most times it's better if something works in a degraded mode than not at all. Like if I charge a device or transfer a file it's better that it works and that I get a software warning that things aren't working optimally. Sometimes there's a hard minimum, like I depend on USB power to operate and you can't supply it or that it doesn't support what you want it to do but that's the exception. We could color code all ports and cables with a ring of capabilities, like if your source port, cable and destination port all have a blue or green or yellow segment you're good. That still wouldn't tell you if you're getting the best possible result. And even if we marked that specifically, it still wouldn't tell you that a USB 3.1 5 Gbps port is better than USB 2.0 even though the ideal would be USB 3.2 20 Gbps, for that you need a scale.

And you're trying to convey all this information on phones, tablets and ultra-portables that are a few mm thick and trying to look stylish too. That very often have just the one port, there's no plugging it wrong. The rest of the time the manufacturer has usually given you a hint of what port does what. The only time you have to care is when purchasing, like are these products supposed to work together well or at all? Maybe there ought to be a central compatibility database operated by the USB consortium, where you pick device A, pick device B and it'll tell you if they're compatible. Maybe with a hub in the middle too. But I have the feeling the kind of people you're talking about are those who wouldn't check anyway.

Comment Re:Want my business? Give me ad-free a-la-cart sho (Score 1) 77

Your business model is dying. The sooner you become an IPTV on-demand gateway for content distributors, the better. Otherwise, the Roku boxes of the world will do it for you.

Well they could, but what value would they add? Of course the streaming platform has to actually work, but other than that it's not music where you have playlists and sharing and artists hoping to be discovered on Spotify. If I want to see a 30+ minute show I can be arsed to log in to whatever service has it, whether it's Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO or their own portal. The production companies and movie studios are no small fish either, they're perfectly capable of doing it on their own. There's not much money in being the middleman if you got plenty competition.

Comment Re:multiple & burner phones, multiple partitio (Score 1) 371

You're assuming everybody starts out like some super-secret agent. If you're trying to recruit people to join your cause, you need feelers out there to find possible sympathizers. Even if you do the real talking offline, you've probably been in contact via phone or chat before that if nothing else then just to agree where and when to meet. It's metadata about who you have talked to. You make people afraid to say the wrong things. You make people afraid to agree with those who say it. You make the process slow and tedious. You make any act of rebellion be a small spark that'll fizzle. The Chinese government is too big to care about one lone wolf here and one wolf there. They just don't want anything big and organized and this is to pour sand in the machinery.

Comment Re:Not a risk anyway (Score 3, Insightful) 141

Quite aside from the price of the extra equipment. India is still the place that wants and needs to build sub-$6000 vehicles. There's not a lot of room in that budget for servos and sensors.

And the labor costs are very low, so the savings are small. They're basically last in line and talking as if it was coming any day now.

Comment Re:How about bringing in the off shore cash pile? (Score 5, Informative) 187

Not to mention that the factory will be heavily automated, meaning the number of jobs that it actually provides will be relatively insignificant. Trump made a lot of promises to blue collar workers that the march of technology render unkeepable. Even if somehow magically coal recovers, the number of people employed would be a fraction of the number employed a quarter century ago, and of course, coal isn't coming back, so it's really an academic question.

It would be nice if a political candidate would go to a town hall meeting in the Rust Belt or in coal country and say "Look, I sympathize with you, and the loss of your jobs to other countries is a sad, but inevitable consequence of the changes of manufacturing that have occurred over the last thirty years. The fact is that even if new factories/mines are built tomorrow, the overwhelming majority of you will not be rehired, and it is likely that many of you who are currently employed will lose your jobs, or, at best, will retire and those positions deemed redundant. It's time to move on from a 20th century economy, and I commit to bringing economic development into your region, into job retraining, and making your lives more affordable."

But no, all these regions get is a lot of blowhards shouting how somehow they have the magic power to turn back time (and it isn't just the Republicans).

Comment Re:FFS, Move Bits Not Atoms (Score 1) 233

High speed rail require a much higher population than an airport and the terrain can drive the costs nuts. Here in Norway there's 42 official commercial airports, one high speed rail line and it's only from the capital to the capital's airport. They did a survey to see what it would take to hook up our four biggest cities and it was a ridiculous number of billions, lots of tunnels and bridges get the curvature required, securing everything from landslides, floods and avalanches not to mention the maintenance cost. And even if we got a HSR line to the capital, it would remove exactly one flight route, granted a popular one but the nice thing about airports that once they're in place to sustain a route it only needs enough passengers for that airplane, unlike rail where every new route is a massive cost.

Comment Re:OMG! (Score 2) 152

Actually this is a VERY sad day because what do we have to replace it that is actually BETTER than Flash......anyone? Beuller?

HTML V5 is WORSE in every measure, it sucks more resources, uses more CPU cycles, uses a codec that is a minefield of patents, and has everyone forgotten the fact that DRM is now gonna be baked into browsers just to support HTML V5? I'm all for replacing Flash but with something BETTER than Flash, what we are gonna be getting? Is worse for everyone but big corps and big media who can use it to make sure video only plays on approved OSes on approved devices. Remember folks Adobe didn't give a shit, you weren't gonna be buried in lawsuits from Adobe like MPEG-LA, hell Adobe didn't even say boo about Gnash or distros including Flash in their default installs!

Mark my words HTML V5 is a love letter to the big three (Apple,Google, MSFT) and if you think because Google uses a (GPL V2 only) Linux kernel means Linux will be allowed up to the table? Think again. Mark my words 5 years from now the day Flash died will be looked upon as a black day, a day we took one more big step towards turning PCs into corporate owned black boxes that become obsolete when the corp owners say it does.

Comment Re:This is unfortunate (Score 4, Interesting) 83

Intel's problem is that they have already cut their losses and ran from the invasion of phone/tablet products. It's the 11th straight quarter of declining PC shipments. Meanwhile smartphone sales are up again now outselling PCs at a rate well over 5:1. Tablet sales are also down (Q1 numbers) so you might say Microsoft has managed to shore up the convertible/laptop market with the Surface line, but WinTel is completely on the sidelines in the global smartphone revolution. According to the platform statistics 53% of all Internet access is now mobile, 42% PC, 5% tablets.

Intel is not in trouble, they have the server market and so far AMD's offering is basically a return to competition, it's a long way to go until Intel is on the ropes fighting for survival. But they and Microsoft completely failed to bring out a good x86 smartphone leveraging the tons of existing win32 code, I don't know why. I mean all the alarm bells should have gone off when the iPhone became a success in 2007, even with 3-4 years development time they should be ready to kick ass around 2011 but instead we got the Nokia flop. Considering the power of phones relative to typical office applications I'm kinda waiting for the phone with a cheap dock that gives you charging, display, keyboard, mouse, a chromebook-like UI and a bluetooth headset in case you need to answer the phone while docked. Like if you already have a phone and a TV, add these accessories and you won't need a laptop.

Comment Re: They miss the point. (Score 1) 241

Agree. There many environments where one cannot install apps from the Windows Store even if it is free. I use Windows Paint quite regularly for work.

On the bright side, maybe this will make organizations include something better than MS Paint in the default desktop image. Together with Powerpoint (or Visio if available) I can usually abuse it to do what I want, but for some things something like Paint.NET would be much better. I don't expect Photoshop on every desktop but it's so extremely rudimentary, I think the only things it does well is:

1. Crop screenshots
2. Add filled black boxes to censor sensitive data
3. Add red boxes to point to the error/discrepancy
4. Add simple paint-by-numbers, click here then here

Even drawing an arrow from somewhere to somewhere is crap, I usually just do it crayon-style like a 5yo. And it's always destructive editing, no layers you can flatten when you're happy with it or keep for later adjustments. So it's for simple internal one-offs only, I feel like I'm back in the stone age with hammer and chisel when I use it.

Comment Re: We have laws for this already (Score 2, Insightful) 331

Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty & starvation, has raised the average standard of living higher and faster for more people, done more to advance science and technology, done more to empower the poorest and provide a way out of poverty, and has provided more charitable assistance worldwide than any other system yet devised by Man. And that's just a partial listing. As the saying goes, capitalism is a deeply flawed system but it beats anything else that's been tried.

Pure capitalism is an extremely ruthless and egoistic system and far from the "best we've tried". We've chained the beast in a ton of laws for it to treat the consumers decently, the workers decently, the competitors decently, the environment decently, pay their share of taxes for public education, infrastructure and so on but it's a slippery eel when it comes to anything that affects the bottom line. A few philanthropists who've accumulated so much wealth they'd like to create a legacy, allegedly for charity but I suspect just as much for vanity doesn't make up for the fact that to most capitalists you're only worth anything as long as you're useful. Pretty much every concession for the weakest in the form of consumer rights, worker's rights and so on have been fought long and hard using the most heavily marketed lie in capitalism, that the invisible hand of the market will fix it.

The "invisible hand" wants to get rid of troublesome people as cheaply as possible, because usually you're not in a position to create a big enough stink to matter. As in, it's cheaper to put you on a support line with a heavily accented Indian reading a script until you give up than to actually fix the problem. You're an economic problem to be solved, solving it to your satisfaction is not necessarily the plan. That's why you have terms of service that are absolutely horrible and nobody reads or cares because usually you get the service you want. If you make any kind of "trouble" though the terms are effectively a kill switch. The gig economy is perfect for this, if you drive for a taxi company you call in sick. If you drive for Uber you don't get paid. It's the capitalist dream, a sick worker is a useless worker so why should he get paid? It's back to the old days of working in the coal mines until you got sick/injured, then you pick the next in line...

Comment Re:ICO? (Score 5, Interesting) 99

From what I understand it's essentially like a theme park where you must buy everything with funny money. The investors buy funny money on the theory that if the park is successful lots of people will want funny money and the value will rise. If it flops, tough. First issue is that they can just burn through the money and fold, people have no ownership and unlike Kickstarter they haven't been "promised" any product or service. You're an investor, the investment failed, too bad. The executive strategy session was a blast though. The real problem though is it if you actually struck gold it would be trivial for the owners to turn your funny money into nearly worthless money and pocket pretty much all the profit themselves. It's a heads I win, tails you lose proposition.

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