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Comment Re:Apple specific? (Score 1) 122

So then why do they not just have a line-in jack?

A dock connector gets you line level output which needs less fiddling to get acceptable results from. I'll also bet there are far more people with a iPod dock connector on their iPod/iPhone then there are folks that walk around with a 3.5mm male-male cable.

However I think a 3.5mm line-in would be a good thing to have in addition to a dock connector.

Comment Re:Damage Meters built into client (Score 1) 175

The threat meter is arguably much more "necessary". I need to know, in real time, during the fight, if I'm about to pull aggro.

The default UI can be told to make a sound and flash the edges of the screen when you get "close" to pulling aggro (90% or so I think). Not at all perfect, but will do in a pinch. The tank is more in need of an addon, as nothing tells them when someone else is getting close (as far as I know).

Comment Re:Damage Meters built into client (Score 1) 175

So instead of clicking on a player's name in the raid frame and then hitting 1 for a flash heal or 2 for a shield

I use to use grid+clique for that, but with a minor change you don't need addons:

Macro: /cast [@mouseover] flash heal

Macro: /cast [@mouseover] shield

Put flash on the 1, the shield on 2. Mouse over whoever needs that flash and press 1. No "click then press". It works nicely (you can also even set it up to use target or self if there is no mouseover).

I've discarded clique. I still use grid as it can be configured to display a LOT more information in a small space then the built in unit frames, and just as importantly it can be configured NOT to display information you don't care about.

Comment Re:Damage Meters built into client (Score 1) 175

To cite an example, Anub'Arak phase 3

Stock raid unit frames group by party (5 players) within the raid, put one healer per party and have them heal their group. Doable with stock unit frames. (You could also "cheat" and put groups of five in the same vent channel and have them yell out to their healer, that'll work for a whole lot of things)

I prefer grid, configured to stick a big center icon on for the debuf, but that is a preference, not a requirement.

I'm sure that you can raid "fine" at a low level with a vanilla client, and perhaps even certain high-level roles can be done with the stock interface. But in general, you absolutely need the conveniences that raiding mods provide for high-level raiding.

Sure tanks and healers have a harder time in raids without mods then dps, but you can raid ICC without mods as any of the roles.

Comment Re:Diesels already do this. (Score 1) 576

[...]what concessions do the automakers get for this service? [...]

Well, I'm not sure I believe any of that, but I can see a reason automakers might be down of diesels if they had the chance... a diesel engine tends to last way longer then gas engines, and it is to the advantage of car companies.

That said, conspiracy theories are fun to think about, but the real reasons behind stuff tend to be more complex and less fun to BS about.

Comment Re:Depends on purpose (Score 1) 186

The argument that you can take 30 books on an electronic reader just doesn't wash with me. This reading is for enjoyment, and I would rather savor my joy one book at a time. If I am not reading it, it is because the story has lost my interest and I no longer want that book with me no matter what the source.

Ok, how about some related arguments:

  • In a space/weight limited situation (like living in an RV) you might not be able to have more then a half dozen paper books, or at the very least you would have to decide what else not to own.
  • A regular house still has limited space. In an apartment it could be hard to have more then one or two bookcases. The basement of my house had about 10 or so.

That won't apply so much if you only ever read the same half dozen books, or if you never reread books. (personally the last trip I took it was nice to have a fair number of books to choose from but only have to budget space for them...however for me it the bigger value is always having a book with me, bank lines, restaurants and such -- I have read more books per month since starting on ebooks, and I've been a big reader all my life)

Just my preference though

Thats cool. Some folks like paperbacks and some like hardbacks. I happen to like ebooks.

Comment Re:This will be interesting.... (Score 1) 451

It is morally wrong to exploit someone in that position financially (or otherwise). Claiming that you disclosed the risks and they signed the waiver doesn't make it ok. In a sense they do have a gun pointed at their head... whats a raft of fine print and a 2nd mortgage when your life is on the line.

Absolutely right! We ought not take payment from anyone who is sick! Experimental medicine? Feh! Who needs that crap! I say we should have stuck to bleeding people. However as long as we have developed some form of medicine we better not get any better at it. Also, let's be sure to treat sick people like they are babies, and other people always know better.

I mean, if I get a terminal illness I sure hope nobody is allowed to offer me any experimental cures. If it hasn't been FDA approved, and in use for at least a decade it would be far better to die then take that kind of risk!

Comment Re:How often does debugger speed matter? (Score 1) 174

Debugger speed matters when you debug something large. I frequently have things where gdb takes close to a minute to load symbols.

Debugger speed also matters for things like watchpoints. Watchpoints in gdb are so slow I almost never use them (like not at all this year, and maybe once last year).

Last time I have fast watch points (which was 1991, I had a CPU emulation box that ran at the full 68k speed with up to 8 watchpoints, and could dump the prior 200 cycles of bus activity and internal register state) I used them a LOT. Like three times a week.

A faster debugger might also make integrating a debugger and a unit test environment simpler. "run this code, fail the test if function X is not called, or if function Y is called, or if function Z isn't called exactly 8 times..." As it is there are some tests that can't be written using the API, you need scaffolding, and that scaffolding can introduce or suppress it's own errors...

Comment Re:Publisher friendly? (Score 1) 155

I think your conception of this is interesting from a pure economics standpoint, but it's a little off from how publishers are actually viewing the situation.

Fair enough, I'm not an author or a publisher, so I don't know how they really work. It is the model movies use. Theater release (in fact in 4 different runs), Cable TV release, DVD priced to rent, PPV release, DVD priced to own. Oh, and digital downloads are in the mix somewhere. Foreign and domestic releases as well. All timed to try to extract the maximum revenue, all the same or nearly the same actual product.

I don't believe that there's as smooth or continuous a scale of when readers want to read something as you suggest. People either want to read it right away, or they'll read it when they get around to it.

I'm not so sure. When I get to the end of a book I like, if it is part of a seres I'll look at the next book. If it is a hardback I make a choice about buying it now at that price vs. reading something else now and checking back later to see if it has hit paperback. If I like the book enough (or the ending was enough of a clifhanger) I'm more likely to pay the hardback price.

Since I have switched to exclusively ebooks (partly because they really are more convent, and partly because I'm planning to retire to an RV) I'm less likely to pay hardback prices then I use to, but it does happen. It would happen more if the choice wasn't $30 now vs. $5 later, but $10 now vs. $5 later.

You are right that people don't have a fine grained idea of a price they are willing to pay for a given book. However if you give people a price for a book they tend to be able to very easily decide if they are willing to pay that much. Generally people are better about making a "buy/no-buy at $X" choice then a "what would you pay for this?" choice.

Most people are aware that (many) things will be cheaper if they wait ("wait for a sale, those things always go on sale"... "new movie for $30, or I could wait two months and I bet it will be $10", "new high end laptop now, or next years mid range"), but they still buy stuff now when they feel like it. The interesting question is how transparent can you make the "price decay" part before people stop being happy when they get something for the price they want, and start being resentful when they pick their price (or decided to wait).

Yes if you drop prices week by week some people will wait until next week. You may need to make the process a little more random. Or you may find that it really works just because you pick up a lot more sales somewhere in the middle of the curve that otherwise waited for paperback prices.

Unfortunately as long as it is "might be better", "could get higher margins", and even "could get higher margins AND more total sales" publishers will rightly say "um, dude, we have a book publishing model that makes money why do you think we want to experiment with it?". They are totally correct, I find the problem space interesting, and would be pleased to come out with a better book market to buy stuff from, but at the end of my day my paycheck comes from outside the book industry, and they have a paycheck that comes from entirely within it. It would be insane to just tinker with stuff because it "might" get better since it "might" get worse, and it isn't too badly off just now (note that is books, not newspapers or magazines).

Comment Re:Publisher friendly? (Score 1) 155

But nobody except for a few freaks (the "I'll never touch a paper book again!" crowd) is actually willing to pay hardback prices for an e-book.

There are some people that are extremely space constrained (fulltime RVers for example) who won't buy paper books, but I would't say are freaks. Well, technically they are more weight constrained then space constrained for books. I don't think many of them want to pay hardback prices for ebooks, but some will. The people that pay hardback prices for ebooks tend to be the people who were aware of why hardbacks really cost more and come out sooner. They are just a way for book publishers to rent seek (get the highest price people are willing to pay). That could actually be done even better with ebooks. Start the price at hardback level, and decay the price each week, hitting a somewhere under paperback price about a month after the paperback is out.

In a perfectly rational world it would work well, people would buy when the price hit what they are willing to pay to read it now...and since it has more steps then the current scheme many people that would pay a little more to read it "now not next month" but not "a whole lot more" can actually do that (this works better with a series of novels that is still being added to, or a author with a distinct style). In the real world however it does run the risk that it will just piss people off because they don't like rent seeking except when they are the seeker.

Comment Re:Publisher friendly? (Score 2, Interesting) 155

Layers and layers of "middle men" are not needed anymore.

Or more to the point, each layer of middle men need to add value. Between author and reader the author wants someone to deal with all the bother of collecting money, the reader wants someone to deal with filtering out all the obviously bad works, and either or both the author and reader wants someone to fix up the language usage and the other nice stuff the publisher's editor normally does. There are some other tasks in there that are useful as well.

There is no need for that to be spread across two middle-men (publisher + bookseller), but there is no special need for it to be one middle man vs. one per operation as long as having 12 companies touch the book doesn't make it cost more then only having 1 or 2 touch it.

With the current state of things the publisher filters out the worst of the bad writing (that is to say 99.998% of what they get), fixes up the english usage, remind the author when the sex of one of their characters changes midway through the book, when things get talked about in Ch4 but don't happen until Ch7, and all that kind of nice stuff. Then Amazon makes sure the book got nicely "kindle formatted" puts a price on it, handles some of the money, arranges network service for Kindle devices (iPod touch and iPhone users get to manage that on their own), handles long term storage of customer purchases.

All of those are valuable. If we stuff all that into one company that charges me less, I'm happy. If we stuff that all into one company that charges me the same amount, I'm still happy. If we break that out into 1 companies that charge me the same or less, well I'm still happy. If we charge more, I get cranky. If we do less stuff for the same money, I get cranky. If we charge less for less I probably still get cranky.

So I'm less happy by the proposal of a bizaar. Sure I probably pay less, but did the author hire a proofreader? How do I find the tiny number of authors that don't suck? It would work out well for authors who are already successful under the existing system. I know some of their past works weren't crap, so their new works have enough chance to be not crap that I can "afford" to spend the time to read a review or just buy the book. I know they have published stuff in the past, so they will know the value of a good editor and hire one. I might even pay less. It will totally suck for knowing what new authors I could buy from and not run into extremely poor writing, or a good story but no proofreading....

Solvable problems, but mostly by adding middlemen back in (for example, tags for "professional editing", tags for "slushpile review" and the like). They may not be middlemen in this model, but they still operate on the text, and then a tag gets affixed to it, and I filter out stuff lacking the tags. How they get payed might be the only difference (plus the "in theory" difference that people could choose to buy stuff that didn't pass a slushpile review, or wasn't edited by anyone....but I doubt enough people would do this to make dismantling the current system a good idea!). If we move the way something gets a slushpile review we could also break the value of that system. Currently a publisher does that, and if a publisher culls too many books they can lose good sellers. If they cull too loosely then they run the risk of people deciding "oh they publish crap, I won't risk reading that". If the "publisher middleman" goes away and an author has to pay for a slushpile review then they have incentive to pick registered slushpile reviewers that rubber stamp the most content. There may be ways to fix that, but struggling to get "as good as the existing system" while offering no real advantages doesn't sound exciting.

Comment Re:Get a leash! (Score 1) 218

If you love your dog or cat, keep it on a leash outdoors. Being able to track it down when it's road kill, or frozen to death and chewed up by a snowblower, isn't being a good owner.

One isn't a substitute for the other. I don't let my dogs wonder, they go in the yard when I go in the yard to watch them. However over the years their have been some escapes. The fence gate has twice in five years managed to be open, or unlatched enough that a dog has opened it by pushing against it. Herding up six escaped dogs is tricky. My fence is 6.5 feet tall (legal limit for where I live). At least two of my dogs can jump over it, they just don't know it, so they only leap it when something extra interesting is on the other side. Then I have to shove five dogs inside, and go fetch the escapee. I had a (very minor) fire. I evac'ed all the dogs to kennels I keep in my van. One of the dogs popped the gate off the kennel (it is a cramped fit, so the kennel is a little distorted, and the gate doesn't fit perfectly...but she had no risk of being burned alive). I'm pretty sure I've even brought dogs in from the backyard, and had them run out a house door someone had open. Once or twice, they have hopped a baby gate and gone out a door I was bringing things in from (I normally kennel them if I'm bringing much in and out of the house though). When camping I've had dogs escape from tents twice too.

I know the moment my dog is missing (or you know, in a really short span of time). Long before they freeze anywhere. However the longer it takes me to figure out where they have decided to go exploring, the bigger the chance they become road kill. Or in the case of my small dogs, get eaten by something. Normally I recover them within a few minutes. A few times it has been a half hourish. Once it was about two hours (I was living in an area with huge yards with lots of trees, 4+ acres per house, hard to find a dog that escapes your field of view).

So yeah, a pet tracking GPS could be very useful to me. If they weren't so amazingly expensive (monthly plan!), so unlikely to be charged when I need them, and too big for at least 2 of my dogs anyway. I'm sure there are a lot of responsible pet owners who would find them handy. The same folks who think of it more like having them ID chipped "this will help me recover them if they go missing" would. Not everyone who wants a GPS for their dog plans on just opening the front door and letting the beastie entertain itself until dinner time.

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