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Comment No, No, No (Score 1) 498

There is NOTHING hard about keeping up with technology in a workforce. At the low end are drafters who make around 35,000$ per year in salary alone. A brand power desktop every year would cost the company only 2,000$, thats less than 6% of the salary cost (probably under 3% of the actual total overhead cost) of the employee. If an average engineer makes 75,000$ that translates to 2.7% of his pay. These figures are absolutely inconsequential. The problem lies entirely with management that believes they are "saving" a little money by making a 75,000$ engineer work on a 15" screen on a computer that's 5 years old.

Comment Re:DirecWay to the rescue! (Score 2, Interesting) 140

The 2Ghz link is nice for being unaffected by weather, however you're going to need a very large dish or a huge SSPA/HPA to get enough output. Remembering that beam width varies linearly with frequency, a ~40Ghz Ka band is going to start at 13dB more gain from a similar dish verses a low end S band signal. One of the reasons it takes such a huge dish on the satellite. Now, my quick math is putting an 18m beamwidth at only .58 degrees at 2ghz. That's hardly enough to cover all of America, and in fact the 3dB beam would only be 220 miles across. Something with the math just doesn't add up.

Comment Re:quite different (Score 1) 333

There are providers of content parallel to and just as easily accessible by the consumer as Apple.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your points. While yes it is easy for someone to create content, that is not the issue. Creating content for a palm pilot over 10 years ago had a very low entry barrier. However where apple differs is in the critical mass of it's app store. The app store solves the distribution problems that plagued the palm pilot. Developers can get their product in front of millions of people, make it easily search able, allows for easy and convenient purchasing, and apple takes care of all of it, for a fee of course. Starting a new app store requires tying it to a popular device and that is a huge barrier in and of its self.

However, what many people seem to forget is when at least 3 sigma of people buy an iPhone, they just want a device to go in their pocket, make calls, have a GPS map, a camera and go grab an app to play a game or do whatever it is they want. They bought that phone so they didn't have to go trolling through the interwebs looking for some off the wall app and hope and pray it doesn't have Trojans, key loggers, or even porn. Right wrong or indifferent that's what most people want from their phone.

As a result, apple starts censorship out of request by it's citizenry. And that's when it gets scary. The citizens of iPhone nation have asked for it's government to take care of telling it what is acceptable and not. They ask apple to filter out the "bad" stuff for them. It's a scary Orwellian world that is quickly approaching and the majority is HAPPY to see it coming.

My contract is coming up and I look toward my next phone. I can get a power user phone like the Android or I could get the new iPhone. One will come with a learning curve, cautious work to vet anything I put on it; however my reward is a very powerful tool in my pocket. Or I could buy an iPhone and know "it'll just work". After all, it's just a phone. I still don't know if I'll climb the mountain or slide down its slope. I do know that the slope is most definitely slick.

Comment Re:Myth confirmed (Score 1) 241

Haven't the Mythbusters proven again and again that operating a vehicle from 'non standard' driving perspectives is quite difficult?

Everything is difficult if you haven't practiced it. Once you do practice, I'd imagine it would be almost as easy as driving normally - almost, because you aren't getting inner ear feedback from the exact movement of the car.

People use remotely controlled vehicles all the time.

Comment Re:More like a little bit extra for nothing at all (Score 1) 281

When the main medium of sharing were cassettes or CDs, did introducing those levies actually cause copying a cassette or CD to be decriminalized?

It did in Canada. If you make a copy for private use, such copy is legal.

It actually works in a very funny way. Say, you want to share a CD (that you legally own in the first place) with your friend. If he gives you a blank CD-R, and you copy your CD onto it, and hand it over to him, what you just did was "distribution", and it wasn't "for private use" - so that's illegal.

But if just give him the original CD, and he copies the file off it onto his own medium, and returns your CD to you, it's perfectly legal, because your friend did a "copy for private use". That he did it off a medium he didn't own is of no relevance according to the law as it stands.

In fact, if you steal someone's CD (which they legally own), and copy it, you're not guilty of copyright infringement - only of theft.

However, because the levy is only paid on blank CD-Rs that are labeled "audio", all of the above only applies to audio works, not to books, video or software.

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