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Comment Re:Saving Money (Score 1) 201

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 Citation? You read the FBI reports, didn't you? (Score 1) 459

Hillary is a criminal

[citation needed] And no, Fox News does not count. Deliver evidence of a successful prosecution or STFU.

You can review everything released by the FBI yourself. They didn't prosecute her because she was incompetent, and for her*, they decided incompetence mitigates reckless behavior when it comes to criminal prosecution. Clinton is damned by every line of everything released by the FBI except for this part :"Oh, we decided not to recommend prosecuting her."
You people cling to that line like it's solid gold when every other sentence incriminates her. And why did she have that server to begin with? To evade the requirements of federal records retention laws. Why would she want to do that? I have my guesses.

Anyway, back to the last remaining defense of HRC. What a ringing endorsement:
Hillary Clinton: certifiably incompetent to protect national secrets.

or maybe:

Hillary Clinton: She's so stupid, we can't hold it against her.
The FBI could only recommend prosecution to a corrupt DoJ- you know, the one with the Attorney general who met with Hillary's husband the week before the announcement.
*"To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now."

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 aids...so 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" interface...um...so 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!?!...no 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.

Comment Re:Won't work in America (Score 1) 630

"That does mean food and housing"

And what they need does include entertainment, social connection and interaction, and VARIETY of foods. This may not be required to produce the physical meat of the body but it is a requirement for proper mental function.

And thus 'need' becomes the only, and most important, 'virtue.' That's the underlying problem with (honest (snicker)) communism and socialism- there's always justification for a greater 'need.' However, the mental and verbal gymnastics that justify that greater need cannot produce anything to meet that 'need.'
I agree that there should be a baseline existence that we don't let fellow citizens fall beneath, but where we draw that line is the difference between creating an idle, trouble prone permanent dependent underclass that bankrupts the country, and a bare-bones safety net that makes sure people are fed enough to be able to figure out a way to serve their fellow man.

Comment Viking was an annoying mission. (Score 1) 84

The Viking missions were really annoying:

Step 1: Devise clever experiments to detect the presence of life.
Step 2: Ship experiments to Mars at cost of $1bn (1970's dollars - that's between $5bn and $15bn 2016 dollars).
Step 3: Experiment says "WOW! We have detected life on Mars!"
Step 4: Decide that the experiment was not sufficiently good to produce a meaningful result.
Step 5: Ignore (or at least, endlessly debate) the results.

Argh! They really *REALLY* should have thought through the experiment a bit more carefully before they did that!

Comment Bare bones OS (Score 1) 134

The Pi is really nice for "soft" realtime projects - but running a full OS like Linux means that you can't ever get really solid realtime performance.

The hardware is now down cheap enough to replace Arduino's in the role of "bare to the metal" devices - and it sure would be nice not to have to have two families of boards in my hardware supplies box.

So how about a bare-to-the-metal OS - with nothing beyond the ability to download an executable and boot/run it and all of the hardware exposed...or perhaps some means to lock away one CPU core to run a hard-realtime task while Linux runs on the other(s)?

Comment Re: How many people really support her? (Score 1) 528

The "theoretical" aspect you deride was terribly important to potential Democratic party competitors when they were deciding whether or not to run.
Sure, Hillary beat an angry old communist in a two person primary. Woo hoo. Why was it only a two person primary? Because everyone else saw the writing on the wall.

Comment How many people really support her? (Score 4, Insightful) 528

Democrats... what the hell were you thinking when you supported Hillary?

The super delegate system, plus some rigging at the DNC, ensured there was never really a choice. Potential qualified competitors realized that Hillary had all the super delegates bought and paid for, so they didn't even bother. Bernie was dug up as an 'opponent', a sham primary was had- it got a little out of control- and in the end, the pre-determined outcome was obtained.
I think few people really support Hillary. They're just being obedient to the party.

Comment Re:UBI (Score 2) 367

Automating every last job is the correct path to a future where nobody has to work and we can just exist as humans, bettering ourselves.

Ideal society if you ask me. Working for masters is overrated.

I think we can look to children of the rich (and how they busy themselves when they don't have to look after their needs) to figure out where this road goes.

Comment Re:As a former journalist, this isn't a big deal (Score 1) 134

I can't help but notice

Of course you can help it. You are actively looking for things, regardless of how small, allowing you to redirect blame to people you dislike. You are a partisan twit and part of the problem slowly but surely destroying our country from within. I do not care what "side" you are on (Democrat or Republican) but you are the real enemy.

You sound like a partisan democrat that doesn't have an actual response to the charge levied.

Comment Re:As a former journalist, this isn't a big deal (Score 2) 134

"I feel like Iraq was stolen from us," said Mr Jabouri. "Bush and Blair are liars. They destroyed Iraq and took us back to zero, and took us back to the Middle Ages or earlier. If I was a criminal, I would kill them with my bare hands."

I can't help but notice that his statement comes a few years after Obama abandoned Iraq and consequently allowed ISIS to take over a third of the country.

Comment RealSense == 3D camera. (Score 2) 55

At first sight, it looks like this is a horribly overpriced tiny-Linux gizmo - but what I think people here are missing is the important fact that it includes an integrated RealSense 3D camera...over 300 bucks for a $10 computer is a lot - but the RealSense 3D camera was selling for over $100 a few months ago - and that was a gigantic thing compared to this.

So, while I think they should be selling this for $50 to get more people interested in using it - I don't think it's surprising that they're asking so much as a "dev kit". The original RealSense dev kit (just the camera) was (IIRC) $200 - but included support from Intel engineers for serious developers.

Comment Re: Remember the Paris Hilton Sidekick... (Score 2) 82

Well, blame the Constitution, which was devised for a tiny nation of fewer than four million... That's including the 18% that were slaves. We're over 80x larger than we were in the 1790 census, but the House is only seven times as big. It's considerably less representative than the framers envisioned.

If the House had grown proportionally there'd be almost five thousand reps and more of them would answer their own correspondence. It'd be harder to gerrymander a decisive party advantage without winning the popular vote too. With modern IT it'd be perfectly manageable. You'd have to build a new Capitol though.

Such a large body has it's own problems. The Federalist papers, #58, discusses the topic, and the founding fathers actually did consider population growth and it's impact on representation. Summary here.

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