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Comment Re: Surprised they lasted this long. (Score 1) 193

I have a 3D TV and I have only used that feature a handful of times because it was very difficult to sit at the correct angle for it to work properly.

Unless your TV is junk or your eyes have problems, this is not true. I also have a 3D TV and it works well even for people sitting off center. Over the years I've read and heard a lot of complaints about 3D in home and theaters by people with eye issues and they don't understand that the vast majority of humans have eyes that work perfectly fine for 3D viewing. Those with such problems complain loudly and don't understand that they are the exception not the rule and most people don't have the kind of problems they do, so they always express disbelief at how anybody can enjoy 3D because they don't.

Comment Re:Does Dolby Atmos reproduce a tiny violin well? (Score 1) 193

I know you're being sarcasm, I can tell by the font you're using...except there is an issue I haven't seen addressed yet.

When Iron Giant came out my local multiplex showed it only one day a week at about 10-11am on Saturday. That's it. All the employees including management said the same thing, "If we don't do this then Disney won't give us their next big animated release."

I'm not disputing that you were told that, but that doesn't actually make it correct. Please note that Iron Giant was a Warner Brothers film, not Disney. I know it's always fun here to blame Disney for everything possible, but I am not seeing at all how Disney could possibly dictate terms to a theater chain about a film a competitor had and everybody would go along with it. I discovered Iron Giant years after it came out and it's a great film, but honestly it wasn't promoted all that well at the time and it didn't do well in the USA, making less than a third of its estimated budget. I'm just not buying that Warner Brothers allowed Disney to push them around and just took it. If you watch the extras on the recent Blu Ray release people on the staff talk about how poorly it was promoted and the fact that Warner basically shut down the animation department but allowed the staff to finish the film didn't help matters any.

Comment Re:whats with the shills? (Score 1) 134

check wikipedia or the guardian project to figure out what this man actually did and who he worked for.

That's really good advice. I believed the original reports about Snowden and let's just say that they ended up being very far from the truth. Some time ago I did exactly what you suggest and I was very surprised to find out that Snowden's life was actually quite different from what some reports claimed.

Comment Reminds me of Snap Interactive isn't Snap Inc. (Score 3, Insightful) 144

Recently I read that only 15% of Americans actually own stocks. It would appear that maybe some of those 15% don't really know what they are doing. Earlier this year before Snap Inc. (parent company of Snapchat and other programs) did its IPO, an unrelated company named Snap Interactive suddenly started having a lot more interest in its stock because people thought it was the parent company of Snapchat. Snap Interactive didn't even do anything to deceive anybody. People just wrong assumed they owned Snapchat. What's sad is that they could do just a small amount of research via searches on Google, Bing, etc. and determine that Snap Interactive wasn't the owner of Snapchat, but heck, it's just easier to buy stock on speculation rather than check stuff so let's do that.

Comment Re:They almost have them already (Score 1) 190

I rarely go in Walmart, but the last time I did I saw four self-checkouts and only two human cashiers. The rest of the checkouts were unused and the lines were really backed up. I didn't buy anything, just turned around and walked out.

The idea of customers checking out their own items is great in theory, but it just doesn't work that well most of the time.

Unfortunately I have to shop at Walmart at times because Target keeps closing stores that are close to me and sometimes Target simply doesn't have what I need to buy. Your experience is pretty typical of most Walmarts, but I've never been to one where they didn't at least hve 2 checkout lines open with a human cashier. Those do get backed up. Walmart attracts a lot of low income, price conscious shoppers and they tend to not be the smartest people, which is a big part of why they have low incomes. My experience is that if a Walmart has a huge section of self-checkout terminals, like 8 or more, things move pretty well. When they only have 4, which is how it is in most stores, it's going to typically take quite a while. You'll see people who take a full minute for each item they scan. You'll also see the stupid people who just don't really understand how this self-checkout thing works, but they never go to the line with human cashiers because that would waste their time. Yet they don't get the irony of them wasting the time of everybody behind them because they don't really know how to use the self-checkout systems. And then you'll get the people who say they got overcharged because they swear this item was $1 cheaper where they picked it up.

As far as I know, Walmart leads the USA in credit card fraud because before they started using credit card readers with chip readers, everybody who skimmed a card quickly went to Walmart, bought many hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, and then promptly took it to a different Walmart and asked for a cash refund. At no time did Walmart ever ask "Hmm... seems kind of suspicious that you would buy all that stuff at a different store with a credit card and then come here and return it all for a cash refund". So I won't be surprised at all if people just simply find a way to exploit these no human involved systems for stealing.

Comment Hard pass from me given issues with Plex (Score 1) 209

I installed Plex years ago and I used it some, but what I didn't like was that it would just refuse to play certain files that it could, in theory, play. I looked for information and basically it came down to the fact that Plex actually had issues not with the content of the problem files but with their names. You could rename a file and Plex would then magically play it without issues. But nobody knew for sure what caused the name problem or exactly what fixed it. I found Plex to be more trouble than it was worth as it failed on about 20% of what I wanted it to play, but I wasn't paying anything for it so I could live with that. Then despite me not ever updating my supposed free version of Plex, the people behind it found a way to make the free one not work any more at all. Oh sure, I can now pay a subscription fee each month to use Plex, but I've never been able to find out if they ever fixed the name problem, so I'm going to pass.

I get that everybody doesn't care about this, but I liked about Winamp was that you could see the actual bit rate of a file as it played. If you had a VBR MP3 file, you could see what bit rates it was actually using at various places. It's the only program I've found that does that. So from what I can see it seems that this new one doesn't really display much of anything except the name of the song being somehow played (others here say you can't browse so I guess you have to drag and drop to get it to play anything) and some kind of weird semi-psychedelic image. Hard pass on this one. I wait for the day when Plex announces that you'll have to pay to keep using this because that is what they do.

Comment Google's struggles are self-inflicted (Score 1) 346

100 million Americans have but one provider to choose from. Google is struggling to compete.

I can assure you that Google's struggles are self-inflicted here. Google is available in my metro area with the biggest ever possible catch - unless you live within the city limits, and as best I can tell 90% of metro area residents do not, you can't get Google. My county has more than double the population of the city center but none of us can get Google because none of the county is within city limits in our metro area. Sadly, those who live in the city limits are basically the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. The first group can't afford Google - period. The 2nd group doesn't care what it costs because they can afford to pay for internet and TV with anybody, so they have no compelling reason to move to Google. Google did this to make things simpler for themselves, but maybe if they had studied demographics better they might have done something differently. I'd love to switch to Google if I could, but Google didn't want the business of anybody in my county. Again, we're more than double the population of the city center but Google doesn't want our money.

Comment Re:Then the cars aren't truly self-driving (Score 1) 110

This is the kind of thing voters hoped Trump would focus on, instead of Twitter fights with athletes. He used to always rail against China's trade practices. Let's hope the Good Trump comes out instead of the Distracted Trump.

Unfortunately Trump badly misunderstands the realities of the situation with North Korea. China has somewhat more leverage than it will use and but not as much as western governments assume. Neither Russia nor China want the North Korean problem resolved at all. China doesn't really want things to get worse, but they do enjoy seeing the USA reeling about what to do there, as does Russia. Neither country really wants anything to happen that makes the US stronger. Having the US distracted by a minor power is good for both Russia and China in a lot of ways. So because Trump seems to truly believe that China can solve his problem for him, he won't do much to piss them off. Sure there will be some possible arms sales to Taiwan but previous presidents have done that anyway. He's not going to push much on trade with China. Maybe in domestic appearances he'll blast them and their practices for sound bites, but in the end he's not going to really do much or anything about it because he still thinks China is willing to solve his North Korean problem for him. As long as he believes that, his hands will be tied.

Comment I'm dubious about the conclusions (Score 1) 584

I'm wondering if some of these numbers are happening because more people are choosing to live together to save money. This could include all sorts of situations that don't involve romance like friends sharing an apartment, college graduates moving back with mom and dad, and so on. It's interesting to note that the actual article didn't paint as rosy a picture as the excerpts above did. It says that people with higher incomes are now renting and a higher percentage of renters are older, white, and have kids (or may just fall into one of those categories). In my metro area, all the new home construction I see is extremely expensive (roughly $500,000 and up) and I have my doubts as to how wise it is to build those expensive homes given that we're not a high cost metro area. I don't really see any new construction that I would deem "affordable" for the average person.

Comment In terms of destroying society (Score 3, Insightful) 102

Facebook still has a long way to go in comparison to Twitter. If some moron I went to high school with posts a link to an article that says "Hillary Clinton under the control of communist, ISIS loving illegal immigrants from Mars" and the dude says he believes it, many people just shrug their shoulders and conclude the guy is an idiot and get on with life. On Twitter, major sources (CNN, Yahoo, and many many more) post comments by nobodies ranting or raving about this or that and act like what this unknown person just said is just THE ... MOST.... IMPORTANT... THING... EVER... SAID ...IN... HISTORY. Facebook certainly does or did a lot to spread nonsense, but I still see Twitter as far more destructive because nobody in the media seems to think that anything on Twitter can just be ignored.

Comment NHL Center Ice policy seems better in USA (Score 1) 231

I have a good friend who is a Center Ice subscriber because his team's TV partner isn't carried by his cable provider. He's told me that some small number of his team's home games are theoretically blacked out on Center Ice but in every case he can switch to the visiting team's feed of the exact same game and watch it without restrictions. Seems like these very restrictive rules may just be for Canada. I know that you guys have your own TV deals that don't have anything at all to do with what we have in the USA.

Comment Re:Free TV (Score 1) 231

If it's an actual broadcast, they lose all expectation to stop distribution once they put it out there. It's the equivalent of shouting from a mountain top (and in many cases it is literally that) and expecting all those who hear you to not repeat what you said. Even if copyright law is on their side, common sense says "fuck you".

Nice try, but it's not legally like that at all. 3 years ago a company named Aereo tried a similar tactic to argue that their TV service, which didn't involve them paying licensing fees for the channels they offered, was basically what you are claiming and the Supreme Court had a very different idea. When the law says "It's illegal to do that" and you think "common sense" says otherwise, the law can still come after you and you will lose your argument.

Comment Re:There's no good that can come of this (Score 2) 481

Just how far does this guy have to go before he lacks the support to continue?

I came to the conclusion months ago that he can't do anything that will cause his hardcore supporters to stop supporting him. We're getting reports of people in places like Alabama saying if Jesus came back and ran as a Democrat they'd still vote for Trump. We need to admit in America that for about 80-90% of the population the only thing that matters is whether there is a D or an R by a candidate's name and all other issues are negotiable. Assuming he can avoid doing something illegal that gets him removed from office or makes him resign, he's going to be re-elected in 2020. The economy is good and in almost every case of a sitting president losing a re-election bid, a bad economy was in play. Heck, GW Bush and Obama both ran for re-election with kind of crummy economies and both won easily. Trump has everything in his favor. The damage will be immense and his successor will have to do a lot of repair work in 2024 to fix the messes he'll cause in 2 terms, but angry white people love him and there's sadly still enough of them to decide the election in 2020 for Trump.

Comment Re:We need pretext to split the net. (Score 3, Informative) 141

You seem Russian as those are Russian type explanations. First of all, the Russian language has been de-emphasized ever since Ukraine gained independence. While there was some stupid law like you mention, the reality is that Ukrainian education has been in Ukrainian, not Russian, for a very long time now. I remember over a decade ago meeting a lady who taught in what the US would call elementary school and she was an ethnic Russian, but she told me that she was required by law to teach in Ukrainian. Please note that she lived in a town currently under rebel control in East Ukraine where most people speak Russian by choice. Crimea has always had a chip on its shoulder about being given by Krushchev to Ukraine and Russia exploited this. The law change is just an excuse. They've been looking for a reason to go back to Russia for a very long time and the instability in the national government provided the pretext Putin needed to "liberate" them. And that liberation was really mostly to get control of the naval bases there. I have known for a very long time that Ukraine allowing Russians to keep ships there was a really bad idea, but government after government foolishly believed that they could pacify Mother Russia by doing so and she wouldn't attack them.

Do note that this so-called "peace keeping force monitored by the OSCE" is only Russian and other nations are not allowed to participate. The OCSE monitoring is theoretical at best. Your reason stated for Saakhasvili's invasion is correct, but note that you are forgetting to mention that Russian troops went there to "help" (wink wink) during a previous ethnic clash over a decade earlier and never left.

Then we have the usual "Don't single out Russia. Everybody else is doing it and doing it more!" argument. You lose on that one.

Comment Re:Let Japan settle ... (Score 4, Insightful) 245

... with NK.

It's Japan's jurisdiction.

Sadly, this really ignorant post is currently modded "Insightful", which it most certainly is not. And I have no mod points to mod it down with.

North Korea has no diplomatic relations with Japan, nor is it interesting in "settling" any issue at all with Japan. The purpose of the ballistic missiles is to threaten the USA. The only player in this game that North Korea wants to settle anything with is the USA. And just so you know, in the past a Japanese administration tried the "play nice" tactic with North Korea and it didn't accomplish anything except end up with Japan giving up food aid for nothing in return.

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