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Comment Re:Engineers - the dumbest smart people around (Score 4, Insightful) 58

What is this penchant so many engineers have for adding needless complexity to (what should be) relatively simple, single-purpose devices?

Orders. An engineer's job is to answer marketing's question with "yes, I can do that."

I had a brief moment of weakness/curiosity so I decided to look at what these guys are selling, and I think I spotted what they're up to. Check out their Roomba model comparison chart. Go ahead, you don't have to buy anything. Look. What do you see?

The first thing I saw, is that they have multiple models. Gotta admit, I didn't know that.

Check out the bullet points. There are some dubious "features" there, but a couple stand out, almost as negative things where you might think "WTF, some Roombas can't do that?" Don't you want tangle-free rollers? Of course you do, unless you're a tangle-lover! The multi-room cleaning "feature" shocked me too. Does that mean with the cheaper Roombas, you have to get one for every room? Fuck that.

It's about upselling. I think that's 100% of it. But maybe we all have different buttons to press, and what gets me to think "I have to get a Roomba 960 or else there's no point in getting any Roomba at all" is different from what might make you decide to get a 960 or none at all. ;-)

Of course, the easiest solution is to get none at all. But let's say your spouse wants one, and it's decided: you're getting something. Maybe another stupid fucking bullet point would push your button. Obviously, silly stuff like wifi mapping ain't it, but everyone has their eccentricities, and if they keep piling on weird features, something could tip you into the upsell.


Comment Re:tanenbaum's revenge? (Score 1) 416

What if the microkernel doesn't share the same address space as the userspace processes? My understanding is that Linux shares the space to make lots of kernel services convenient (e.g. they can do things to userspace memory, as part of their job). But on a microkernel there's less incentive to do that (whoever is doing things for you, is more likely to be doing things in its own userspace). And if you're not doing that, then there's less to defend against.

I'm probably missing something.

Comment Re: The reason for generations (Score 1) 244

The answer is increased productivity, temporary displacement of workers, commoditization of services that were formerly rendered by humans. People go on living. All this FUD about AI is very silly. How does the world still easily support 7B+ people when people seriously talked about the need to depopulate the earth in the 1970â(TM)s? Technological progress in agriculture. How will the world still have jobs for 8-9B+ people when AI has âoetaken overâ? Technological progress to increase the job productivity of every individual human thanks to AI.

Comment Re:Dumb idea from the start (Score 1) 294

Meanwhile, the city continues to force the hotels to build massive parking garages so nobody has trouble finding free parking, and then they wonder why nobody takes mass transit. It's nuts!

1) Most of the Strip is outside the Las Vegas city limits. Everything south of Sahara Avenue is in an unincorporated area of Clark County. City officials have nothing to do with the Strip.

2) Most of the Strip is now charging for parking. It started with MGM, then spread to Caesars, and now it's damn near universal. :-P

Comment Re:I miss Usenet (Score 1) 171

Maybe I shouldn't post this here where the snowflakes can see it, but you can get free accounts here. Point your newsreader to their servers and you're in business. No binaries, but if you want those, there are lots of paid services offering them.

I even have an ebuild for trn in my Portage overlay, if you're using Gentoo. Builds and runs like a champ on x86 and AMD64, at a minimum.

Comment Re:What is the Kodi? (Score 1) 80

Functionality? Buzzwords. VLC does all that for me, Media Player does too. What does Kodi actually do that makes vlc irrelevant?

It fits on a Raspberry Pi that you can tuck away behind the living-room TV where no one will see it, which can then be controlled with a Playstation 3 Blu-ray remote (which connects over Bluetooth, so line-of-sight isn't needed) that has familiar media controls on it like "play," "pause," and "fast-forward", and a directional pad for selecting things. It's much more like a piece of A/V gear and its remote than a desktop PC and its keyboard and mouse. Its WAF (wife acceptance factor) is correspondingly higher than a beige box under the TV.

That you can outfit a TV like this for under $100 doesn't hurt either. Not quite as cheap as a Chromecast or a Roku stick, but cheaper than an Apple TV, and more flexible than any of them.

Comment Re:Plex? (Score 1) 80

The transcode is more about the various embedded devices not having this or that codec available in hardware, and a puny cpu that can't use pure software codec..

Everything on my server is H.264, which is playable by everything, given enough bandwidth. Transcoding, OTOH, for me is all about watching my stuff over a random hotel's WiFi, which involves sending a stream out your home upstream connection and hoping that the connection on the hotel end isn't throttled into uselessness. At home, it all travels over Gigabit Ethernet and even the 1st-generation Raspberry Pi supports H.264.

Comment Re: Executive Order 12770—Metric Usage in Fe (Score 1) 440

Where the *hell* did you get that idea? Exit numbers are sequence numbers that don't indicate any distances.

On what planet? They very much are tied to distance. Compare exit-number signs to the nearest mile markers next time you're out and about. It's why you see letters used when there's more than one exit within a mile...consider this example along I-15 in Las Vegas, about 42 miles north of the state line.

Comment apparently Filmmaker != Copyright Holder (Score 3, Insightful) 107

DMCA defines circumvention as breaking the DRM without the authority of the copyright holder. The copyright holder can always grant permission for anyone and everyone to crack DRM on their own works. If I were to make a Blu-Ray disc containing my video, then I could give everyone in the world the right to crack the DRM on my disc. This is not an exemption; it's something right in the definition of circumvention.

It could even be argued that if I had granted that right, and you manufactured, imported, offered-to-the-public or trafficked in the tool primarily intended to play my disc despite the DRM, that might be legal as well. (This is less certain than the above paragraph, though.)

(And all this ignores any trade secrets which may be required to make or play Blu-Rays. I'm just talking about DMCA.)

If these filmmakers think they don't already have this right, then I have to conclude that they don't hold the copyright on their own movies, and someone else (the studio) is denying them permission to watch their own movies. Well, that sucks. So, filmmakers, maybe you should think about just what value (if any) studios provide to your filmmaking, such that you are letting them have the whole fucking thing. Everyone should hold them accountable for their decision to start the relationship in bad faith.

And of course, if using the media you bought is too hard to use, I'm sure someone else already did the hard work and has made the file available. So you might want to think twice about purchasing anything DRMed in the first place. You should feel dirty whenever you pay them.

Comment Re:Convert it to x86? (Score 1) 95

There are plenty of 68k emulators. On a modern computer, even an emulator would be way faster than the original hardware.

Even on not-so-modern hardware, an emulator could be faster than the original hardware. Palm OS jumped from 68K to ARM 15 years ago, and even on handheld CPUs running at 150-200 MHz, legacy code ran as fast as it ever did, if not more.

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