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Comment Re:Customer lock-in from lenses (Score 2) 259

Customers definitely care. However, the ones likely to care the most are the ones with a significant investment in Nikon format lenses. These lenses don't work with Canon and there may not even be an equivalent for Pentax, Sony, or Olympus.

You can get adapters to fit Nikon lenses on Canon dslrs.

As long as you don't need things like auto-focus or stabilization sure. The adapters are purely mechanical. Any electronic linkage is broken.

Comment Re:But for Terraforming? (Score 1) 264

Venus, on the other hand, already generates a good magnetic field, and has no problem holding a significant atmosphere. It's just too hot and toxic. But a couple thousand tons of bacteria into the upper atmosphere will solve that problem, so Venus is actually the best candidate to turn into an Earth-like place

Venus doesn't have enough hydrogen to support hydrocarbon based life. Your cyanobacteria will simply die unless you hit Venus with a preposterous mass of comets. You may also need to get rid of the excess CO2 so your bugs don't they don't get too cooked.

Comment Customer lock-in from lenses (Score 1) 259

Ding. If customers care, they'll buy from different manufacturers. This guy doesn't have a right to those parts.

Customers definitely care. However, the ones likely to care the most are the ones with a significant investment in Nikon format lenses. These lenses don't work with Canon and there may not even be an equivalent for Pentax, Sony, or Olympus.

Comment How well did these people fare *before* streaming? (Score 1) 665

. 'In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music,

Has anything actually changed? For as long I've been alive, the music industry has been starkly stratified. The big stars make lots of money but most musicians barely get by if they are even fortunate enough to not need a day job to pay the bills. It's hard to sell CD or tapes or LP's of 'Avant cello' when few people have heard of the genre, much less the artist, and only the largest stores carry anything close.

Comment New technology vs visible new devices (Score 1) 417

There is all kinds of new technology. (Finfets, carbon nanotubes, meta materials, etc). And there are new devices: smart phones, dvrs, drones.

What we don't often see are new technologies suddenly making their appearance in new devices that consumers can see and buy. That's the classic (and mostly wrong) inventors tale. What happens much more often is that new technology is first applied to existing applications and new applications are cobbled together from existing technology. This model substantially reduces risk since, if we can make it work, we know there is a market for new technology. New devices can be created much more quickly and be much more likely to work if they are not based on unproven technology.

It does raise the question of what sort of breakthrough devices are we missing out on because the required technology is not useful for any current applications.

Comment Wrong gear sometimes mean no photo at all (Score 1) 316

The most useful camera might be the one you always have with you, or one that can be made ready quickly, and that's probably not a DSLR.

It might be but, then again, it might not. Sometimes, not having the right gear means that you don't have a shot. I don't mean: "the color is a little off and image is a little grainy". I mean: "what's that spec supposed to be?" or "what's that blur supposed to be". Quite often, it means "what's that blurry spec supposed to be?".

My travel hobby is wildlife photography. There is almost never enough light as I would like. The subject is hardly ever close enough. I get good stuff with my 500mm lens on my SLR. A P&S isn't much use in the jungle but can sometimes get useful results in open areas with good light. With very rare exception, it isn't worth the effort lift a camera phone out of my pocket.

Comment Re:Is it lazy to be prudent? (Score 1) 189

Consider our ancestors. Would it be a good idea to always rush from point A to point B, risking near constant exhaustion? Predators would find us an easy kill at that point.

I'd argue that this conservative behavior is evolutionarily driven.

Quite so. Though, I think you have the scenario backwards. Our ancestors were the predators. They relentlessly "ran" down their prey, moving efficiently while forcing the quarry to sprint erratically trying to get away until they collapsed from exhaustion.

Comment Migrating Facebook users to other services (Score 1) 158

The idea was that you would go into Vine, Vine would search your facebook profile for friends of yours who were also using Vine and add them to Vine's friend list for you. That is providing real functionality. Now you have to manually search for and enter each of your friends one by one. So no, they aren't just jumping on the bandwagon, they are using the information from the Facebook API in a way that is so incredibly obvious that the fact that it is blocked makes you wonder what the hell the API was supposed to be fore in the first place.

From Facebook's perspective, the API is supposed to make being on Facebook more valuable and, therefore, help to retain users. Facebook's main asset is isn't user base. Facebook has the users, other sites don't and Facebook would like to keep it that way. Marketing to those users is how Facebook makes its money.

What you are describing is a migration tool. Once your Facebook friends have been moved to your Vine friends list, Vine doesn't need Facebook anymore and will be competing for those user's attention. I'm pretty sure this is not what Facebook Corporate had in mind.

When a corporation offers you a API, you need to keep in mind that they are doing it for themselves, not for you. If what you do with the API does not advance the business of the corporation, don't be surprised if they cut you off.

Comment Private backup exchange (Score 1) 212

My server backs up on to the desktop. Currently the desktop backs up an internal drive. Once I upgrade the server (stalled, in part due to HD prices), I will backup the desktop on the server: a mutual backup exchange. When that day comes, I may also do a backup exchange with a friend's server located in another state.

Comment The shrinking applicability of human labor (Score 1) 586

But what if this time it's different? What if delegating everything to machines is a radical and fundamental new change in the course of human history?"

You could learn to repair the machines, or learn to make the machines.

Not if other machines repair the machines and make the machines.

However, we have seen it before and we will see it again.

Not quite. Just because it appears to have happened before doesn't mean that nothing changed or that there isn't an end.

In the pre-industrial age, most earned their income through brute labor.

Early machines took much of that away but there was still profitable tasks to done by trained hands doing the tasks that machines lacked the finesse for.

The factory automation came in, able to perform many of the many tasks that well trained hands previously did. It became difficult to make a living working with one's hands. But machines still weren't very smart and so people that were smart learned to make their living by using their brains.

But machines are getting smarter. They do brain work too and the kind of work they can do goes higher each higher. A knowledge worker can attempt to move up the food chain, of course, but eventually there will be no further up to go. If one can't profitable use one's brawn or one's brain, what is there left to do? Probably the last stand will be the artists. Human creativity feeding irrational human desires. Unfortunately, society has never provided many artists with a living wage.

Of course, this doesn't happen overnight or with 100% efficiency. There will always be a few people who someone make their living through archaic means. But there will come a time when most people will be unable to provide value beyond what machines are already doing.

Comment Re:56 Kbps of landlines voice quality is noticable (Score 1) 329

POTS line is 64kbps, only 56kbps is allowed for modems over that line... probably the source of your error, but we are in quibbling mode here

It is entirely possible that all POTS is now 64kbps but it hasn't always been the case. In the 90's at least, many telcos used "bit robbing". One bit out of 8 was used for signaling and, thus, was unavailable for the voice codec. That left 56Kbps.

Comment Re:Depends on if you include work (Score 1) 329

At work, where I don't have a choice, all the phones are ISDN land lines. I think it will be a long time before those disappear from corporate settings

I'm sure there will be some corporations using land lines for a long time but the era where you can always expect to get a phone along with your computer and chair has already passed. My last two contract gigs (in office) never assigned me a an office phone. We used cell phones and skype. In my current contract, there is technically an office phone but it is awkwardly placed and shared with three others. I never use it. Once again, I use skype and my cell phone.

Comment Re:Insurance (Score 2) 293

Can't you just take out insurance on your luggage and enjoy the trip? It it gets stolen, you'll get new gear.


Sort of. You get new gear after you get home. For the remainder if your trip you will have none. That's probably going to be an issue because, if you didn't need your gear on your trip, why did you bring it with you? Loosing your camera gear on the way out to a photo safari pretty much blows the trip.

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