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Comment I cut the cord years ago (Score 3, Interesting) 421

with the exception of one TV show that pre-dated my cord cutting. South Park. Long story short if you give up watching TV cord cutting is effective.

The only streaming service I had for quite a while was Amazon, not that I used it often, but because it came with Prime which I had for shipping. Technically during that era I had a dozen or so TV channels with the absolute bare minimum cable that came with the Internet connection, but considering I didn't even have the cable box plugged in most of the I didn't count it. I think half of those channels were in languages I didn't speak.

Then I got married. My wife brought her Netflix account along and South Park now requires Hulu to watch properly, all in all I've given a lot of time to evaluating the various streaming services over the past few years. That, and I'm watching TV shows again. My findings:

1. Netflix is where it is at. The best software for game consoles, the best interface, the best in reliability, and a great selection and the best originals.

2. Hulu is a reasonable substitute with a few alright original shows. They pissed me off early on because nearly everything I wanted to watch gave me a message about not being able to use my TV to watch it and they had commercials even if you paid. Those issues are a thing of the past, but I actually canceled my free trial account early over those issues early on. Again, my wife brought along an account so I gave it another shot. We got the more expensive no commercials tier which is now available and it's better than it was. We have problems with it dropping out occasionally like it just can't make due to lack of bandwidth. She likes to have Hulu around because apparently the best yoga videos are on there. We aren't paying for it right now - I think the plan is to pay for it during South Park season and let it go otherwise.

3. Amazon Prime. The interface is crappy - it's written for a 1080p widescreen and even if you're using an original Wii that didn't do 1080 or you're using a Playstation 3 in SD mode it is hard-coded to wide screen. You can't read hardly any of the text on an SD screen due to the crappy interface. Even when using a 1080 screen the interface - regardless of console - feels constrained and a little unintuitive. They have some reasonably good shows, not that I watch them. My coworkers have raved about how great The Man in the High Castle is. I'll go ahead and believe them, I don't have time for another show. That being said I'm going to make sure I watch The Tick. Their selection is reasonable at times, but feels lacking most of the time. The poor arrangement of their interface and their tactics of only giving one season free etc... Is all geared around getting you to shell out extra money. Used to all the Prime stuff was in one bucket, but they're beginning to introduce new buckets. Almost like they're cable and they want you to pay for the Horror channel now. I know for a fact some of the shows that were in the general bucket in the past were pulled out and put into the new specialized buckets. The juries still out on this being a good idea or not. I'm not messing with it for one, I can't stand using their software on my consoles because it's so crappy, I can't bring myself to care about their add-on buckets.

So, even though I don't give a rats ass about live TV at all I have lots of family that really wants local channels and channels in general. I've given a serious look at Playstation Vue but haven't subscribed, because as I said, I don't care about channels. I think if I were to have either of my parents/either of my parent in laws, or my grandmother move into me for whatever reason I would seriously consider at least giving Playstation Vue a go. It's cheaper than cable.

Comment Re:My personal wish-list. (Score 1) 79

Some people just can't connect the dots.

It was high-brow for killer robots therefor it lost the audience that seeks out killer robot shows, and since it featured killer robots it didn't capture the audience that wanted something a little more intelligent. Therefor the ratings sucked for a killer robot budget.

Ergo it was too high-brow for a killer robot audience.

The show addressed historical concepts such as the mechanical Turk, the concepts of artificial intelligence becoming so advanced that it can overcome it's own programmed directives, to a degree post-humanism. The show had advanced ideas - too advanced for a killer robot audience.

If someone dies in a car crash because they had crappy tires and refused to pay for new ones the phrase "he died because he was too cheap" still works, even if a car crash is what killed him.

Comment My personal wish-list. (Score 2) 79

1. Caprica - it was a SciFi show spun off from the recreated Battlestar Galactica. The show started out very strong with great ratings, but it got a little sluggish in the middle of the only season and it lost a huge amount of viewership. It finished on an incredible high note and was very good after the sluggish middle. It's been "too many years" to pick up where it left off, however based on the "coming next season" previews for the next season that never happened there's plenty of footage that some sort of time-gap filler could be created to explain some aging.

2. Stargate Universe - It was better than it go credit for, but was sort of a knock-off of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica in presentation. The show was intentionally ended in a way where it could be picked up after a gap. Sure many of the actors have moved on, but that can be woven into the story telling.

3. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - canceled because it was too high-brow for the killer robot audience. It was incredibly good. Considering the time travel device being used throughout aging is all part of the game, easy to bring back.

There's a lot of other Sci-Fi shows I thought were ended prematurely or would like to have back (First Wave, Dollhouse, Firefly)

Special Mention: Invasion America, an incredibly good mini-series that wasn't finished. Spielberg was involved. Simply dig up the original scripts and as much of the cast as you can - it was a cartoon series so it can easily be resumed and it was murdered by the network tinkering with the scheduling. Nimoy of course would have to be replaced, but as a cartoon series it can easily be done.

One I would like to see re-imagined/rebooted: Earth Final Conflict - the original started out strong, but the cast began to desert the series, starting with the original main character and going on from there. Reboot it with stronger contracts in place. It got sort of silly trying to cover for the cast changes on occasion, but it had the bones of a good show - I would like to see a do-over on this one.

Comment We began to switch our laptop pool over to Surface (Score 2) 66

We started with about eight Surface Pro 3's and being that I like to experiment with cost savings we got two of the Surface Non-Pro's with Atom processors inside to test for intern/assistant level stuff.

We have two of those Pro's still functioning and I think we have one of the Atom's still in use but I'm not sure where it is, I may have to dig up inventory records.

That being said we have MacBook Pro's that are four to five times the age of these oldest Surface in use still being used as well as Lenovo T400's, some Dell's that are just about as old and a couple of other clunkers hanging on in lesser roles. You have to see a Surface as a disposable system.

I have a 64GB Surface Pro 1 at home that's still works like a champ and with the I5 processor it still functions as a champion coffee shop cruiser. That being said I care about my equipment. My daughter has a Surface Pro 4 that having received it at Christmas time has already outlasted a lot of the 3's in hours of use we've had around here many times over.

I'm to say that a Surface is a good unit for people who give a shit about their equipment, but not in a company environment where replacement is someone else's problem. It's like buying a used rental car - which I have done. You just sort of expect to have to replace the tires and brakes even if it only has 20,000 miles on it. Buy a new Surface for yourself they're pretty awesome and the software problems that plagued them on Windows 8 seem to have gone away with WIndows 10, just don't waste your money in a corporate environment. *

*I have not tested the Surface laptops (attached keyboard types) or the all-in-one desktops

Comment Re:Agreed, 110%... apk (Score 3, Interesting) 352

I'm a politician. I am an elected member of the State Level Executive Committee of the Texas Libertarian Party. I don't come to Slashdot for politics.

I absolutely hate all the fake news about Donald Trump.

Trump isn't a Libertarian - he's far from supporting my views, but I find myself defending and supporting him constantly. Why? BECAUSE OF ALL THE FAKE CRAP ATTACKING HIM.

I'm a crusader against bullshit. I really, really disliked Obama, but there were occasions when rumors circulated on the right about him that weren't true. I defended him in those instances. With Trump it's nearly a full time job.

The whole Russian thing is completely made up. There is some justifiable Russian narrative, but only when applied to the Hilary camp and uranium dealings - which the news isn't talking about. The Don Jr. thing was a frame job where nothing really happened. Yes he met with that lawyer who was here without a visa because she was let in specifically for this purpose, but they're not exploring that publicly. Every president in my lifetime has talked to Russian/Soviet leaders. I can remember as far back as Reagan doing it - I was born during the Carter administration.

I am personally against a wall and am for open borders with a catch - we have to shut off our freebie system first. Fine you can come here, but the rest of us aren't going to support you. Donald Trump is pro imminent domain, I'm very much against that. He hasn't pulled our troops out of foreign conflicts yet, I have a problem with that. The Donald is not my man, please quit making me defend him. By attacking him with bullshit constantly you're drowning out legitimate criticism that needs to be addressed. Notice nobody talks about the imminent domain stuff or the troops where they don't belong part because of Russia, Russia, Russia!

Russia isn't even our enemy! Once the Soviet Union broke up they've been sort of neutral and someone we've done some dealings with. They're like that guy we've worked with on a couple of projects but he doesn't come to our house for Thanksgiving or anything.

There needs to be a collective head-ass removal in this nation where reality is concerned.

Comment I hope this is Thunderbolt 3. (Score 1) 36

I have one of those Magma boxes at work and have considered shoving a graphics card in there just to see what happens, but I don't have time to just play.

Dell has something akin to that which looks really awesome to me and it has mostly good feedback, but it's a proprietary cable so it limits what you can do with it.

Thunderbolt 2, like my Magma box supports, just doesn't have the bandwidth to really do 3D right, but it's great for desktop.

Now - to get Intel to release their death-grip on Thunderbolt so AMD and ARM stuff can play also.

Comment Re:Let's hope it's not the no-Linux AppData bomb (Score 1) 87

I know why they won't do it. I've had discussions with plenty of people both online and in person that make decisions for organizations. They see Linux as some sort of "scary land run by barbarian tribes where the law is decided by the one best with a sword". You can't support Linux! There's no one responsible for it, there's no standards! We don't want to have to support it on Windows, why would we ever want to support it for scary barbarians!

They don't realize Linux support is even easier than Mac or Windows. You put a .tar.gz out there and if users want the thing to work the distros will make packages for you. All you have to do is make the .tar.gz work for yourselves internally and tell the users "we don't support it, talk to your distro". Or "we did it on this version of linux by putting these files here, here, and here, good luck."

These companies act like they're an insurance company for a car rental place and a Linux user is a chimp that shows up with a note and $100 bill pinned to it's collar asking for a sedan for two days.

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