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Comment Re:Good idea, except (Score 1) 200

Cost overruns aside, there's also the network effect: if most carpoolers are on UberPool + Lyft Line, the city doing its own pool would further split the riders up, and then they'd have to advertise the app, encourage people to download it even if they don't trust the government, make them set up a whole new account and a whole new payment profile...

Or just let them do what they're already doing, but for much cheaper.

Sometimes cities can be powerful ideologues that help guide future ethics. But other times people just want to get from points A to B on time...

Comment Re:If you're refusing a refund ... (Score 1) 467

I think 50 hours is stretching it for a non-MMO game. Played for 1 or 2? Sure. Maybe even 10? Okay. But by that point you should know if it's the game you expected.

If a restaurant has terrible service and food but you stay for the full 5-course meal and dessert anyway, do you then refuse to leave a tip and ask for a full refund?

Do you ask for a refund of every movie you watch in the theater that you don't like after watching all of it?

There are $60 games that don't even HAVE 50 hours of gameplay. At 50 hours, you're paying $1.20 per hour for entertainment, maybe $2/hour if you discount some time working out bugs and kinks. Hell, that's cheaper than even buying a parking pass for a popular hiking area.

Don't get me wrong, I was skeptical of No Man's Sky from the get-go (overambitious games tend to underdeliver, naturally). I ended up buying a copy of it anyway but refunded it in less than half an hour. It doesn't take long to see the problems and foresee that the RNG content will be... repetitive at best. If you go through 50 hours of it, either you're having fun despite the problems or you're an idiot for wasting your money and your time. The argument that you didn't understand what you were paying for until hour 51 is just... unbelievable.

Comment Re:not playing the "buy it before its finished" mo (Score 1) 157

That's what the Steam refund policy is for. I bought the game for the free ship. If I didn't like it, I would return the game. If I did like it, I get a free ship. Big deal? Some games I end up playing for hundreds of hours, and the preorder bonuses helped a bit.

I did end up refunding this particular game because I was tired of shitty console ports. Might try it again later if they patch it well enough. We'll see.

Usually the lack of pre-release demos, betas, and reviews is a huge sign that the game is going to be shit. But the Steam refund protects you anyway, as long as you don't request too many of them.

Comment Re:Complete overreaction, TSA style (Score 2, Insightful) 170

At aircraft speeds, isn't flying into a drone a significant risk? What if it hits a window? Unlike birds with fragile bird bones, those things are flying hunks of metal caging and lithium batteries...

And don't birds fly away from wildfires anyway? Why would they linger in the smoke?

Comment Re:STOP USING FACEBOOK (Score 1) 82

The problem is, most people -- especially the Slashdotting type -- don't have that many real friends. It's not like you get rid of Facebook and you suddenly spend that time with the 5 good friends you have. It's more like you just lose your 30 kinda-friends and spend your time replying to pointless trolls on Slashdot.

Especially if you're younger and moving around for jobs and and SOs and the such, a lot of your friends from school are left behind and you can only easily reach them online.

And event planning? Forget trying to coordinate anything for more than 2 or 3 friends over anything except Facebook groups. Just ain't gonna happen.

Comment Re:So Amazon can use my hardware to listen to me? (Score 1) 47

Privacy isn't everything. Amazon has a useful ecosystem of products. Alexa connects to my Amazon account for purchases (need more toilet paper), to my Kindle and Audible accounts (read me a book at home, continue listening in the car or reading in the cafe via Whispersync), to Pandora (great for background music) and Spotify (active listening), to the Nest thermostat at work.

The regular Alexa hardware has the best mic array I'd ever used, and she understands me very well compared to a single-mic cell phone. It probably wouldn't be as good with a homebrewed solution. Alexa just fucking works. "Play my station from Pandora". "What time is it?" "Who won the game last night?" that kind of thing. Its always-on listening capability is great, especially since she can hear you clearly from across the room by doing sound processing with the multiple pics.

I mean, it's Amazon. They already have my credit card info and 20-year purchase history anyway. Who cares if they store recordings of my voice? The personalization is more than worth it, the same way Netflix recommendations or Pandora suggestions are useful sharing of data.

As for paranoia, no American company can keep your information private from hackers or the US government anyway. That battle was lost decades ago and it's time to stop being in denial... might as well suck it up and enjoy the conveniences of transparency.

Comment Re:Ad Blocking (Score 1) 159

When you block an ad and the website doesn't get paid, it only costs them a few cents of bandwidth to serve it to you anyway.

If you block an ad and the website still gets paid anyway, it'll cost the advertiser anywhere from $1 to $3+ for every false click, less but still quite a bit for every false impression. Soon, they'll refuse to pay the website any further because they get no return on their massive advertising spending.

The status quo is a carefully balanced arms race. They know that some portion of visitors use an adblocker, but they're not really losing that much money to them and don't go too far out of their way to stop that (except Forbes).

If you imbalance that too much, websites are going to die or start charging users. The cost of a fraudulent click/impression is tens to hundreds of times more than the cost of serving up a page.

Comment Re:Is it called ad block plus? (Score 1) 169

Adblock plus does not accept any money to exclude any sites.

That is completely and utterly wrong. It says so right on their website. 10% of Adblock Plus's "Acceptable Ads" sponsors are on the paid whitelist. To be very clear, companies can pay Adblock Plus to be excluded from blocking as long as they still abide by the Acceptable Ads policy.

This has been around for years, and is nothing new.

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