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Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 79

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 3) 97

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) 70

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:If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 207

Assuming that those options aren't problems from the code maintenance or security points of view

All options are problems from a code maintenance and testing point of view. Every feature has an ongoing cost. If the cost exceeds the benefit, which is almost certainly the case if the feature is very little-used and there are other more often-used and roughly equally-convenient/effective ways to accomplish the same thing, then the feature should be removed.

That said, I use close-to-right all the time and hope it doesn't get axed. OTOH, another poster pointed out that it's also possible to multi-select then use Ctrl-W to close the selected tabs, which is almost as convenient when close-to-right is what I want, and also handles other cases where I want to batch close but close-to-right isn't what I want, so I won't be too annoyed if close-to-right is removed.

Comment Re:never understood removing features (Score 3, Interesting) 207

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:Use Mahindra & Mahindra (Score 1) 445

And you will be known locally as a jackass, not someone with an opinion who simply bought another brand. It will be remembered, and in short order you will be severely hamstrung in simply doing business with a lot of people because they will simply avoid you. Things don't work the same way in rural communities as they do in cities where there's always someone at hand you haven't purposely screwed over. And we tend to see Joe as someone caught in the middle of things, not a hostile adversary.

Comment Re:Open Tractor(tm) (Score 1) 445

You see out here in the midwest folks are mighty proud of the color of their tractor.

You must live in a very different part of the MW than I do. Around here, no one give a crap about the color of their tractor, only if it's reliable and you can see many examples of one farmer owning multiple brands of tractors.

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 207

I'm sure the real reasoning behind this is to pad their usage stats. Chrome users spend 25% more time on your website and spend $fake_dollars more!

Padding usage stats in this way would be a bad idea for Google, because it would appear to sites that Chrome users spend more time on their sites... but spend less per unit of time (because no one buys from an idle background tab), making the Chrome user base appear to be less desirable than the user base of other browsers.

Comment Yay! (Score 1) 363

No, I think most people are much smarter than many self-declared intellectuals like to admit. Most readers will instead correctly conclude that todayâ(TM)s intelligencia is full of shit. And I canâ(TM)t even blame them for it.

  Again, yay!, a physicist that isn't a pompous comic fanboi. Seriously, I cruise physics and astro sites regularly and it's almost embarrassing how many comic book concepts are written about as if they were reality on just the barest of mathematical hints.

Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 207

It's fucking stupid. It's rarely needed function that is rarely used. IT'S STILL NEEDED.

I use "close tabs to right" all the time[1], myself, so I hope this doesn't go away. That said, I disagree with your idea that if something is rarely used it should be kept. Your other example (clearing cookies) is a bad one because there is no other way to do that, but in this case tabs can be -- and generally are -- closed one at a time, and in fact Chrome is careful to move the tabs around so that the close button for the next tab is under your cursor when you close one. This means that "close to the right" can also be done by moving your mouse to the "x" on the first tab to remove, then tapping the mouse button rapidly until all of them are gone. Unless you have more than the 20-30 tabs that I typically have open, that's really not so terrible. Plus, as others in this thread have pointed out, you can multi-select tabs then batch close them that way. There are other reasonably-good ways to achieve the goal, so if this is one is rarely used, there's no way to argue that it's actually necessary.

As for why to remove it... features cost. Every feature you keep in a product is a feature that has to be maintained and tested. Development and testing resources are not infinite -- not even at Google -- and the accumulated burden of lots of old and rarely-used features gradually slows progress on new features, security fixes, etc. It makes a great deal of sense to remove features that aren't used much and which have more often-used alternatives.

[1] My normal browsing style is to open every link in a new tab, and to use Ctrl-W to go "back". So my tab bar ends up being a breadcrumb trail of my path through a web site, and when I'm done with something I close the "site" with "close tabs to right". I also keep a couple of pinned tabs (email and calendar, in that order), so when I want to close "everything" I've been doing, I "close tabs to right" on the calendar tab.

Comment Re:The objection ignores Bostrom's basic argument (Score 1) 363

The objection in question ignores Bostrom's basic argument.

Irrelevant. The objection is orthogonal to Bostrom's argument, but could absolutely refute it, if valid (which I don't believe, more below).

Bostrom argues that if simulation is possible, it must eventually be done which means there probably are a large number of simulated universes and only one non-simulated one (I'm simplifying here, but that's the core of it). If a counterargument demonstrates that there is some reason our observed physics is incompatible with any possible simulated physics then Bostrom's argument becomes irrelevant, because we have proof that our universe is not simulated, regardless of whether simulation is possible or whether it has been done. Or, if the weaker counterargument that our observed physics is incompatible with any reasonable simulated physics, then Bostrom's argument becomes weaker, though it's not refuted because one could postulate that the creator of the simulation chose to create an unreasonable simulated physics in order to fool any intelligences that arose within the simulation and looked (note that this latter argument also works against any proofs of the non-existence of any form of god who has some reason to demand faith -- you can always say "Yeah, but god made it that way so that we'd have to take his existence on faith.")

However, I think Hossenfelder's argument is flawed because she's making a crucial and unjustifiable assumption: that any simulation must necessarily simulate every detail of the simulated universe, i.e that the simulation in question must be a finite element model. Not only is there no reason to make this assumption, there's every reason to assume its opposite, because it's clearly more efficient to simulate at a higher level of abstraction. In that view, the weirdness of Quantum Mechanics actually supports the simulation theory, because we can surmise that the simulation does not in fact model elementary particles but only their aggregate behavior and what we're actually seeing when we try to look very closely is a predictable result of this incompletely-detailed simulation.

Note that I'm not saying I think we live in a simulated universe. I think it's probably impossible to know, but to the extent that we think we might be able to search for artifacts of the simulation, QM's very weirdness is probably the best artifact we have to support the notion, not a refutation.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 221

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.

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