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Comment Re:RIP (Score 3, Informative) 30

Errr... the build quality for Vizio TVs is dreadful. I had one fail twice in the warranty period and then of course immediately after the warranty expired.

Opening the thing up the mainboard of the device was fastened to the backlight panel chassis with packing tape. I'd never seen such shoddy construction, not to mention the very poor quality of the boards themselves.

In general I think the idea of "smart tvs" is bad for the consumer economically. On top of that selling our viewing habits a profit center for Vizio on their already crappy throw-away TVs. And to add insult to injury, the UI for most smart TVS is just terrible. I replaced the Vizio with a Samsung, not because I wanted another smart tv, but because it was cheap. Not only was the search function hopelessly broken, the damn thing interrupted stuff I was watching on Netflix or Amazon with service change bulletins for Samsung services I neither subscribed to nor used. How could any UI designers be so damned stupid.

But you almost can't get a smallish HD TV that's not "smart". I ended up with a Hitachi "Roku TV" which is just a plain old TV with a Roku stick stuck in one the HDMIs. I'm much happier with Roku's UI and service, but if I wanted to I could just pop the Roku stick out and have a plain old TV.

Comment Already there (Score 1) 129

I doubt that Apple wants to become the world's biggest battery company.

Why do you not think they already are? With over a billion iPhones sold, hundreds of millions of iPads, hundreds of millions of laptops... few companies on earth can surpass Apple on battery manufacturing and research and most importantly charging and management firmware. Not even Tesla.

Honestly what company on earth makes greater use of advanced batteries than Apple today?

This will happen someday, but maybe not as soon as people think.

Interesting to see how people continuously underestimate Apple despite ample proof to the contrary.

Comment Re:"most secure" (Score 3, Insightful) 76

Most secure if you also ignore Chen's frequent attacks on Apple for not just handing data over to the US government... which, when you think about it, rather suggests that Blackberry's products are not really all that secure at all.

I'd get worked up, but the reality is that no one really gives a flying fuck anymore about Blackberry.

Comment Re:They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 1) 301

I still dual boot -- but I almost never use Windows, which is kind of the point. I don't use it enough to justify paying for a virtualization compatible license, and it's just a static waste of resources to boot in Windows to run Linux under a VM.

I suppose one solution for those instances where you have to boot Windows yet also access stuff in your Linux partition is to use raw partition access in a virtual machine and serve the data over a virtual network server. I know it's possible but it's been so many years since I've had to do it I couldn't comment on how other than to say read the virtualization platform documentation.

Comment Re:You made the bed. Now sleep in it. (Score 3, Informative) 242

The problem is that areas had record cold this past winter, and "deniers" get slammed for correlating a weather event to global climate change

Record cold can be evidence for global warming. The key is to understand what "warming" actually is: adding energy to the system. Consider a glass of water. What happens when you add energy to it by shaking it? The answer is, it sloshes around -- the maximum height of the water surface gets higher, and the minimum height gets lower. Or consider the refrigeration thermodynamic cycle: one part of the system gets colder even though the total energy of the system is increasing.

That's not to say that record cold is always evidence of global warming, or indeed that it could never be evidence of an oncoming ice age. I'm just pointing out that the issue is more complicated than "record cold = cooling" or "record heat = heating" considered in isolation. We only know that record heat actually is evidence for heating because it's been observed as part of a larger pattern and was predicted by climate models and such (i.e., all the actual science that climatologists do that a Fox News sound bite is inadequate to explain).

Comment Exactly (Score 1) 158

I subscribed to HBOGo and Starz for movies. But after just a few months of watching, I deleted everything they had to offer and the newer supply was too slow coming in to make it worth keeping up the subscription... I may return in a year or so...

Meanwhile I keep my Netflix subscription active, always find something interesting, and have just watched Stranger Things which is the best television series I have seen in a long, long time. Just that alone made the subscription for the year worth it for me.

Comment Re:Even if it is money, I get it.... (Score 1) 136

I believe the correct answer is not only do you not change the money, you are obliged to contact the police and report the person.

Yes and no respectively. But if the cops ask you, you have to answer honestly or you're an accessory... unless they're asking about your spouse, then you don't have to answer. Whee!

Comment Re:Pegg's Star Trek is an abortion (Score 1) 103

Science fiction is a reflection of today's society.

So why is there so little gay crew?

ST:TOS made TV history in the 1960's with the first interracial kiss when the civil rights movement was ongoing. I'm sure critics called that pandering as well.

I'm sure they did. But the difference is that Trek isn't breaking any ground here whatsoever, and they're going against the wishes of both the original, revered creator (who envisioned the character as straight) and the actor who made the role famous. Put it all together, and it spells fail.

I am not offended by gay characters. I am offended by this senseless pandering. Not because it's gay, but because it's senseless.

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 103

Obviously 99% of the crews of Star Trek ships could've been automated away, but who wants to watch a TV series about machines?

It's not that obvious, if you take the Trek universe as a given. There's a bunch of times when the people kept working when the machines didn't, so they clearly were not redundant.

Comment Re:Who is Kurzweil? Why should I care? (Score 1) 202

I think life is probably fairly common. Intelligent life very likely much less so. Even on Earth, intelligence is a solution to the problem of survival used by only a small fraction of organisms, and even among the organisms that use intelligence as a solution, that intelligence doesn't have to be at the level exhibited by a rather small number of tool-using animals.

But it's going to be a long time before we figure out whether intelligence is rare or not. I don't think SETI is the answer, since incidental transmissions (like TV and radio) only propagate out a few light years before they become indistinguishable from ordinary background radio sources. No, I actually think we'll ultimately identify other civilizations through advancements in optical and radio telescopes which will betray tell-tale signatures like pollution in the atmospheres of Earth-like exoplanets. That's still many years away, but eventually we're going to build large scale space-based interferometer array that will be sensitive enough to image continents and oceans on exoplanets.

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