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Comment Re:Saving Money (Score 1) 246

Except: View everything on-demand. Have as many TV's as you like, no need for DVR's for time-shifting. No adverts.

In a home with 4 TV's we'd have needed to rent 4 cable boxes - we saved $120/month on cable fees (still paid for Internet)...added $10 for Netflix, $4 for Acorn, $10 for Amazon Prime. We probably spend another $20 on Amazon for movies and non-free TV shows. We have an antenna on each TV for local news and stuff like that.

We're saving a little money - but that's not the point. Watch what we want, when we want, no adverts. That's a game changer.

Better still, the quality of shows that you pay for directly is WAY higher than those that are paid for by some collection of advertisers. Netflix make shows that their customers want to watch - not shows that advertisers will pay to stuff adverts into. Binge watching is a great way to see long-running shows. Weird niche stuff is always available as well as the obvious content.

We cut the cord about 4 years ago - we tried going back to cable briefly - but cut the cord again after just a few months. Every year, the online streaming stuff gets better and better.

Comment Re:Waste of money (Score 1) 134

We already know with enough accuracy why Mars lost most of its atmosphere. A manned mission won't provide much more details, rover missions would be enough for that purpose as well as orbiting satellites loaded with scientific instruments. That's how we acquire knowledge these days. Sad to say the direct human observation is no longer providing sufficient details and accuracy to be really useful.

Manned mission accomplish a single role, exacerbate chauvinism. That was the main motivation behind the Gemini and Apollo programs. It has nothing to do with science, science is a collateral damage.

Comment Re:Is anyone really surprised? (Score 1) 66

How FBI was wrong? At my knowledge they never said what the summary states: 'They need a universal backdoor' in fact, in this very case, they never asked for a backdoor. A backdoor is something you put in place BEFORE, not AFTER. They asked for help from Apple to crack the iPhone.

That summary is really shitty. It seems written by someone not knowing the difference between his head and his ass. Bypassing the counter limit has nothing to do with cracking the encryption key by brute force attack. The iPhone password is not the encryption key, it is the protection to grant access to the encryption key. It is simply laughable to think the iPhone would have been encrypted with a four byte encryption key if the password would have been the key.

Comment Re:The other side of the coin (Score 1) 278

Same here. We just don't know. It seems many are ready to assume Snowden is telling the truth when he says he gave all the information to a journalist and didn't keep any copy of that information which everyone knows is multiple GB. Only a very tiny portion of that information was required to make the point. Why did he stole the rest and what did he actually do with it? No one knows but Snowden itself. He can say anything, nobody can verify if he is telling the truth. Due to a large sympathy movement, people are prone to believe he is right and he is telling the truth. I don't see why. Not telling the truth has its advantages as well in his case.

Comment Same old shit (Score 1) 284

The narrative behind the "Matrix" or "computer simulation" interpretation of the world is just a sequel or variant of the very old religious idea of the human created to live in a world controlled by God or gods. There is nothing new and nothing to see here. It is very boring it gets so much public attention.

Comment Re: I think... (Score 0) 387

Is there any real life example of people in USA who suffered from surveillance of the NSA over the last decade or two? Otherwise, it is only smoke to say Snowden did a great service to USA. What and who exactly did he save? Not from a theoretical standing point of view, in reality, in real life. I really doubt anyone will be able to give a single example here. Well, okay, it was against the Constitution. That's bad, yes. But who was really hurt?

Comment Hearing aids. (Score 1) 274

So, thanks to an over-enthusiastic use of headphones in my youth, I now have to boost high frequencies with a pair of hearing aids if I want a hope of understanding conversation and enjoying music. These are not your grandmother's contraptions. They are all-but invisible, they communicate with each other using ultrasound pulses sent through my skull to help to spatialize sound more effectively and to dynamically adjust to ambient sound levels and such. They are pretty nifty devices - and produce really good audio quality, even for my sub-par ears. A pair of good ones will cost you (or, ideally, your HMO) around $6,000 - but even with decent health insurance, it still cost me $1,300 to get a pair fully tweaked to my specific needs.

Now, when I want to listen to music...well, I can't wear earbuds because my ears are already full of hearing aids and over-ear headphones tend to cause audio feedback in my hearing that's out. But no problem, the hearing aid designers thought of that - and my hearing aids have bluetooth! So I can pair them with my phone/laptop/TV and listen to high quality audio through my hearing aids! Magic! This is actually better than normal hearing because they can automatically turn off real-world sound while I'm listening to music - and turn down the music when they hear someone talking to me - and at $6,000 a pair, as you might expect, the audio quality is on a par with the best earbuds money can buy!

Now, Apple claim to have a "bluetooth-like" not *actual* standards-compliant bluetooth then? Great - thanks guys. Smart move. Replace a perfectly good, established standard with a piece of proprietary crap. Sure, that might persuade enough of your customers to dump their perfectly good earbuds/headphones to buy your contraptions instead - but there is no way for me to do that.

Oh - but wait! I have a fallback position! My hearing aids come with a small device that can be used as a remote control - it has a jack socket and a built-in bluetooth transmitter so all I have to do is...WTF!?! jack plug either? Oh for chrissakes.

The point here being that you can't just come along and define a new standard in order to force people to buy your stupid earbuds - because a good slice of the population can't use them. You can't even come up with iHearingAids because I can't afford to pay $6,000 for a new pair every time some company decides it would be fun to corner the earbud market by deliberately flouting standards...and even if they DID make iHearingAids - they probably wouldn't work with my non-Apple computer and my non-Apple TV.

Title IV of the Americans With Disabilities Act requires that all telecommunications companies in the U.S. take steps to ensure "functionally equivalent services" for consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing. I'm not sure this applies here - but it damned well should!

Even for people with good hearing - do you really want one set of earbuds for your phone - and different ones for your computer?

OK then - Android phones it is. Way to go Apple - you just wiped out your market with all of us hearing-aid wearers.

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