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Comment Re:Why does this CarrierIQ stuff matter anyway? (Score 3, Interesting) 234

When was the last time you got any useful technical support from a cell phone carrier? Those guys play a classic game of passing the buck, blaming your handset (which they didn't make) interference (which they can't control) and anything else that's not the service they provide.

The notion that some Level 42 World of Warcraft Paladin who spends his days providing tech support for a cell carrier:
1) Has access to any useful information that relates directly to your handset,
2) Has the analytical skills to determine its meaning without rolling a 20 sided die
is patently ridiculous. They'd at best have access to your current outstanding balance.

North Americans need to stop buying handsets from manufacturers: start buying unlocked, carrier independent handsets and you'll change the industry. As long as over 90% of us are committing to contracts that are longer than the average length of time your phone lasts, the oligarchy that is the North American cell phone industry can do whatever it wants.

Comment Re:Canon or Nikon (Score 3, Insightful) 569

The G series is f2.8 which is as fast as most of my good quality glass for the 5d. The zoom that comes with your crap-tastic budget SLR is probably a 4.5 - 5.6.

The S95/s100 is f2.0 which is fast.

Add to that the fact that there's no mirror-slap to introduce vibration, and you're going to have an easier time getting steady shots with a point and shoot. You still have to be careful, but I can reliably hand hold my s95 down to 1/8s shutter speed at every zoom length. I can do that with my 20mm f2.8 on the 5d, but not my 200mm f2.8 + 2x teleconverter (which makes a very light and sharp 400mm f5.6.)

I'm not saying I'm calling bullshit on your post, I'm just calling bullshit.

Also: I'd throw my 3200ASA concert photography from my 5d up against your shitty crop-sensor medium ISO shots and win any day for lower noise at all but the most insane enlargements. If you're going to spend all your time looking at photos through a loupe well, godspeed you black emperor.

Comment Re:Canon or Nikon (Score 2) 569

Sorry about that Nikon there. Your wife seems like a nice lady though :)

Honestly, just to put my two cents in on a topic that's probably already com up: Nikon, Canon...who cares. I shoot Canon because I've shot canon for my entire life because my grandfather shot Canon. Shoot what you can borrow lenses for.

I do think Canon's all electronic and physically larger lens mount is better, but not at a level which would impact 99% of the people who own one. (Including, incidentally, me.)

Comment Re:Canon or Nikon (Score 4, Informative) 569

Canon G12 or whatever the most recent iteration of it is.

I normally shoot with a Canon 5d MkII and owned a G11 before when I was still shooting--shocking!--film, up until last year. Honestly, the average person couldn't tell the difference between the shots I took with the G11 and the 5d from a *quality* perspective. (I swapped for an S95 when I bought my 5d, purely for the smaller size.)

There are differences to be sure, and work I do with the 5d that could NOT be done with the G cameras. The most notable difference is the greater depth of field afforded by the full frame sensor and how I use it, but from an "I'm just taking pictures..." perspective the Gs are excellent and you can exert as much or as little control as you want with shutter and aperture priority modes.

MOST and by MOST I mean ALMOST ALL people who buy a Rebel wind up shooting with the kit zoom anyway. It's a crappy, slow lens and I'd argue that MOST people would be better off shooting with a G--which is also free from the dust on the senor problem--seeing if they like it and then deciding to move to a Rebel or a 60d or a 7d or whatever suits their budget.

You'll carry the G much more than you'll carry a rebel. Though it's not tiny, it's noticeably tinier.

Comment Re:Speak for yourself (Score 1) 440

I'm not *done* with my optical drive, but I'm done with an internal one that costs a fortune to fix/replace/repair if something goes wrong.

I'm basically expecting the next 15 inch Macbook Pro to have no built in optical drive, offer an option to have an SSD for the OS and a set of spinning platters to store huge amounts of data and to be compatible with Apple's $79 external superdrive.

This will let me rip a CD or a DVD when I need too, and to leave it at home when I don't. When it breaks it'll cost me $79 for a new one, and not the $150+installation (which I can do myself, but takes time) for my current MacBook Pro.

I don't expect there to be a "15-inch MacBook Air" per se, as the Airs are really focused on super portable machines, and offer a limited number of ports to connect and expand too. 15" machines are the workhorse of the laptop world, striking a balance between the desktop replacement 17" screens and the portable but squint inducing 13" screens.

I could be wrong, of course, it's been known to happen.

Comment Re:Duopoly? (Score 2) 117

Not really though. The cost of bandwidth is somewhat arbitrary, in the way that the price of automotive fuel is arbitrary: that is, there are real hard costs associated with it but they're not the major input and the price is driven quite a bit more by demand (which in both of these cases has proven to be extremely elastic) and not as much by inputs.

It doesn't cost my cable company $40 more per household in equipment to provide service to my home, which is already plumbed for cable. They didn't even have to come in to install it. Despite this, the price for "normal high speed internet" has remained at about $40 a month since my first installation, some 10 or 12 years ago.

The inputs don't nearly equate to the costs they're asking and the number of gigabytes I pull per month has nothing to do with how much pipe they have to lay, except inasmuch as they want to provide a certain *quality* or service to a give number of customers and so avoid saturating a pipe.

Comment Re:Duopoly? (Score 1) 117

Well, that's a little bit childish when expressed that way, even if the sentiment is true.

They need revenue to pay for the upgrades. The problem is there's no direct correlation between the bandwidth used by a single customer (or even an average aggregate group of customers) and those upgrades.

No one's disputing the fact that these guys need money, it's their desire to bill you for usage which creates a situation that effectively stifles innovation and adoption of new services that's in dispute here.

To your point, though, they are exploiting a monopoly that they've historically had and that, of course, is exactly governments have historically broken up monopolies.

Comment Re:Duopoly? (Score 4, Informative) 117

It's not going to change the fact that in virtually every market *except Toronto* you're buying your connection from your phone company or your cable company directly. Toronto seems to be the only city with the critical mass and regulatory structure to allow third party providers to survive and flourish. It hasn't happened here in Vancouver.

Comment Re:If I'm not mistaken.... (Score 5, Insightful) 117

You're not expecting the CRTC to have a thorough, comprehensive technical understanding of the industry they're regulating, are you? Seriously: let me know how that works out for you.

Frankly, Usage Based Billing is a secondary concern to Net Neutrality. Every internet service provider in Canada was built on a monopoly granted to them by the Government of the day (literally or in essence) to provide services that can *now* be replaced by online IP based services. They all have a vested interest in retaining those monopolies and the additional bills you incur as a result.

I get my connection from the *only* cable provider in the mega-city I live in. They could easily start throttling streaming video and impede the technical growth of 1.7 million people.

The CRTC seems like not much more than a cabal run by the large telecoms these days. They're supposed to be an advocate FOR CANADIANS not for the businesses. When they start doing that, I'll have hope.

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