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Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 116

I don't get it. Given the choice between paying $30 now, or $1-3 in a few months once it's out on rental / streaming services, you'd pick the former? I can't think of a single film in the last decade that I've wanted to see so much that I'd pay an order of magnitude more to see it now. Plus there's a reasonable sized backlog of things that I want to watch, so even if I watch them in release order they're all available to rent cheaply by the time I get around to them.

Comment Re:Open Source is Evil (Score 1) 116

We are trying to do to movies what we did to software with open source. Reduce its value so much that the people working in the industry struggle to survive

Huh? That's not what open source did at all. It shifted the value from copying software to creating software. People are still paid to write open source software, it's just that now most of them are paid by companies who want the features added (or the bugs fixed) directly, rather than by some middlemen that want to charge per copy.

Comment Re: Why Not On Release Day And For A Regular Price (Score 1) 116

Eventually the movie industry will learn that the damage that it's doing to itself trying to prevent piracy is significantly greater than the damage that piracy is doing to it. It took Apple taking control over a very lucrative slice of the distribution market before the music industry learned that DRM does little to prevent piracy, but does a lot to create distribution monopolies outside of their control. I wonder how long it will be for someone like Amazon or Netflix to grab a sufficiently large slice of the distribution market that they realise that allowing DRM-free downloads from multiple other sources is the only way to regain their bargaining power.

Comment Re:sell movie theatre stock now (Score 1) 116

Except it's not competing with going to the cinema, it's competing with watching the same film a couple of months at home later for a tenth of that price. The problem for the movie industry is that they're entirely focussed around first-week profits (to the extent that they set up contracts with cinemas such that they get almost all of the takings from the first week and close to none after a couple of weeks). This means that they have to spend a huge amount of money on advertising to try to get everyone to watch the film at the same time and don't get to take advantage of slower word-of-mouth (or online) recommendations. The advent of decent-quality home cinema systems means that a lot more people are watching films a few months after they came out in the cinemas, which causes problems for the studios' business model.

Comment Since SpaceX is so in favor of reuse (Score 1) 100

Fans of the book/movie "The Martian" would be happy if SpaceX does select Arcadia Planitia for their first landing site as that was the landing site of the Ares 3.

Since SpaceX is so in favor of reuse, I'm sure they wouldn't mind reusing the sound stage. Unlike those throwaway moon sound stages.

Comment Re:Misleading and false (Score 1) 119

Exactly. It's interesting research, but it hits diminishing returns very quickly. Cheap solar panels have gone from 8% to 16% efficiency in a few years. That's a huge win, because you get double the power output for the same investment. Getting up to 32% for the same cost will be a similar win, but that's a long way away.

Comment Re: please use a password manager.... (Score 1) 123

Doesn't even require Safari - there's a password assistant built into the OS, even though it's not exposed as an application.

For those wanting more than a vague hint: it's in the Keychain Access app. The New Password Item menu item brings up a dialog box that lets you generate a password matching various criteria.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 203

I can't recall the last time I looked for media that wasn't available in an unencrypted stream within hours of being released in digital format, whatever the DRM.

Well, just checked Amazon now and there's 366 4K BluRays out, as far as I know there's no decrypting those yet. Not that I'm sure how you'd play an UHD HEVC HDR 10 bit Rec. 2020 stream properly anyway. BluRays look pretty good though...

Comment Totally not gloating (Score 4, Informative) 167

Norway
Mean: 47 Mbit
Median: 27.7 Mbit
People <4 Mbit: 3.9%
People <1 Mbit: 0.5%
People who can't get fiber: 54%
People who can't get 100/10 Mbit: 22%
People who can't get 4 Mbit on a fixed connection: 5%
People who can't get 10 Mbit LTE outdoor w/antenna: 0.06%

I thought maybe the fiber rollout would slow down, but the last stats indicate a speed up going from 41% to 46% in last year. Next year it seems likely a majority of the population can get fiber.

Comment Re:The mass of batteries never changes (Score 1) 87

The problem with all battery operated vehicles is that as the batteries get depleted, their mass never changes. With Jet fuel, gasoline, etc, as the fuel gets depleted, the mass is reduced, and thus the energy required to move the vehicle is reduced.

True, but it's hardly like a rocket where only a tiny fraction of the launch weight reaches the destination. The specs for the 747-400F (freight version) says 164 ton dry weight, 124 ton capacity, 397 ton takeoff weight. So max'ed it's (164+124)/397 = 73% plane and cargo, 27% fuel. The benefit of reduced weight will be on a weak exponential but if we round up 27%/2 to an average 15% lower fuel consumption compared to a plane that was constantly refilled by a tanker we've probably been generous. So if we could design an electric plane with 85% of the performance of a jet plane and recharge it with cheap, clean power from the grid I think it would be a smashing success. Of course we're nowhere close to that, but it's because the energy density of batteries to jet fuel sucks, not because the jet plane loses weight.

Comment Re:never understood removing features (Score 3, Interesting) 253

Removing features simply because they're not used by everyone every single day never made sense to me. Even if it is something only a very small percentage of users use, so what?

Because a lot of people get confused by too much information and too many options. And contrary to nerds they won't simply dismiss what they don't need they tend to avoid it saying it's too difficult. I'm not surprised if Google has analyzed that they'll lose 0.1% tech savvy users and gain 0.2% computer newbies instead. A case study: My online bank.

They used to have rather information dense pages and complex filters and dialogs with lots of cross links to related functions. I loved it, you had pretty much everything you wanted to see, do or go to at your fingertips. My parents, well they used it because I used it and having free support was more valuable than trying some other bank. They redesigned, far more simple pages. Far more hierarchies and less directly accessible functions. I hated it, at the time I mostly blamed it on designing for cell phones and tablets not big computer monitors.

But then I saw how my parents liked it much, much better than before. They said it was so much simpler and less confusing to use. Even though they never used but the first two options, it was far simpler to choose from three than eight and the rest hidden under "more options". The transcript page used to have lots of filters, now by default it has account and period, with the period being predefined like "last 30 days" or whole months with custom dates hidden another layer down.

And it turns out, that's all they really use. if they ever wonder if they did pay the power bill of $100 in the first two weeks of January they wouldn't filter by recipient and amount and date. They'd just scan the monthly statements manually. I'm thinking this and this applies, sure they could learn how to make the computer do more but is is worth it? Considering how little they seem to remember of the basics, I'm thinking neither the investment nor the upkeep is worth it.

So I can totally understand why, the question is do you have to only cater to my parents. But when push comes to shove, I'll manage to do five clicks instead of two just fine even though I'm slightly annoyed by it. My parents though, for them it makes a real difference. Unless it's really a professional's tool that you work in many hours a day, I'll always survive doing it the slightly harder way like just X'ing out all the tabs or hitting Ctrl-W repeatedly without being a make-or-break deal. It would be nice if we could have a browser by nerds, for nerds though. Maybe it's time for a new Phoenix?

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 241

No. No, I was right the first time. You can't own something that doesn't exist; and patents do server the purpose of forcing dissemination of information in exchange for temporary protection.

If you had said "creation in exchange for a temporary monopoly" I'd at least be willing to discuss it. But the vast, vast majority of patented creations would be picked apart and reverse engineered in no time flat if patents didn't exist. I dare you to show me one patent made in the 21st century that you think contains a trade secret that would take more than 20 years to figure out given that it was actually used in a product, service or production process.

Comment The proof would disprove itself (Score 2) 400

If we can calculate how reality "should" act, we've per definition calculated how to simulate it. So the only thing we could catch is a bad simulation. But that would assume they don't have error margins, if we start looking at something with an electron microscope then it starts simulating that particular part of reality to that detail. Just like a pair of VR glasses doesn't have to simulate more than I can see.

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