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Comment Re:Time to stop super thin phones and fixed batter (Score 3, Informative) 46

There's nothing about having a user replaceable battery that makes it impossible to have a water tight seal. Every digital watch I've had for the past 30 years has been waterproof and has had a user replaceable battery. My GPS unit takes regular AA batteries and is also very waterproof.

Comment Re:Technology (Score 1) 212

It's not really that simple. I tried setting up a VPN using a basic Amazon EC2 machine. When I first tried it, I was able to watch US Netflix. The second time I attemped to use this method it ended up blocking me. My AWS machine did switch IPs in the interim, as I had stopped it and restarted it, so it may have just picked up an IP that was already banned, but I think they are doing a lot more than just checking how many people are using a particular IP address otherwise they may end up doing things like blocking university campuses and hotels.

Comment Re:Can I still buy a Note7? (Score 1) 123

I have a smart phone and it has nothing to do with owning a telephone. Personally, I rarely actually use the phone features. Even text is pretty minimal. What I do use it for however is a pocket computer. It's great being able to look up things such as bus times. My city has real time location data on all the buses. So I never have to stand out in the cold if it's late, or miss one if it's going to be a few minutes early. Looking up maps can also be quite useful. I always have a camera on me, in case I find something that I want to take a picture of. Great for taking short notes so I remember things for later. Also useful for passing the time when you end up having to wait for something. Listen to music or podcasts, watch movies, play games. Before I had a phone I almost always carried around some kind of music player. Now that my phone has replaced it, and provided so much more functionality, along the lines of probably what 5 devices would have done 20 years ago, It's almost a wonder how I got along without having one before. I really don't care about being constantly connected to people and social media, but it comes in so useful to have a pocket computer on my almost all the time.

Comment Re:This is a bad idea. (Score 1) 68

They have basically already implemented this in Canada. When you ship something in Canada, Amazon offers you the option of delivering the item to the post office. The post office uses various convenience stores and pharmacies as package pickup places. So, most of the time, the package is held at a convenience store about 3 km or less from your house. You go pick it up when it's convenient for you instead of having the package dropped at your doorstep.

It's a little easier here because the stores are already set up to handle packages, but I'm sure existing convenience stores in the US would be able to find the space for packages in their store if it meant extra foot traffic going through with potential sales to those customers.

Comment Re:Moral hazzard (Score 2) 104

Very much this. You can get a very bright and functional light for very cheap these days. Everybody who is riding in the night or even during other times of reduced visibility should have a light. Personally, I leave mine on all the time, like daytime running lights on a car. Increased visibility is great for improving safety.

Comment Software patents could be workable. (Score 1, Interesting) 294

Personally, I'm OK with software being patentable provided a couple of changes to the way they are currently awarded. First, a software patent must be truly novel to be patented. Taking something we already did without computers, and making a program that automates it should not be grounds for copyright. Also, taking something that programmers have been doing for decades and all of a sudden deciding to patent it shouldn't be awarded a patent. Perhaps the patent office should hire some actual people versed in software and computer systems development to help determine of some new patent application is actually something we haven't all been doing for the last 20 years.

Secondly, a fully working codebase should be submitted with the patent application such that, when the patent is expired, we actually have a record as to how the patented software was actually implemented. You shouldn't just be able to describe what the software does to be awarded a patent. A fully working code base must be presented so that the patent office can determine that you've actually done something novel and that you've actually made software that does what you say it does.

Thirdly, software patents should be shortened to make up for the fact that software evolves at such a fast pace. 5 years should probably do it.

Personally, I think all patents should be shortened. The world moves at a much faster pace than it did 100 years ago. It's completely possible to come up with a new invention and have worldwide adoption within 2 years, and the product even often becomes obsolete within 5 years. Maybe something like apply for patent, you have 5 years to bring it to market. If you don't have a significant marketable product, then patent expires. If you have a product, you get another 5 years to sell it. Maximum patent length is 10 years.

Comment How are the customers being billed (Score 1) 314

When I switch from POTS service to a VOIP service, My bill when from $50 a month down to $25 a month. And the VOIP service included things like unlimited long distance, voicemail, and a few other features that weren't included in my POTS service, because they would have made the bill even more expensive. Are Verizon dropping the rates for any customer affected by changing over to a VOIP system? Because if they are continuing to charge people as if they are using a POTS system, then the customers are truly being fleeced.

A lot of people stay with POTS because they assume that land lines are more reliable and better quality. If they are no longer getting an actual copper connection, they shouldn't be paying the same amount, because then they could go with any other VOIP provider and save a lot of money.

Comment Re:Price... (Score 4, Insightful) 197

I don't know who's paying $600+ for their phones, but it seems that there's a lot of people doing it. Because manufacturers keep producing phones at this price. The most I've ever spent on a phone was $300, and my last one was $200. For $200 I think I'm getting a pretty good experience from my phone. Certainly things couldn't really be 3 times better with a $600 phone. I only see myself spending less and less in the future as low end phones become more powerful. I paid $600 for my last desktop computer, and it sure does a lot more than my phone. No only that, but it's easily repairable, so I'll probably have the majority of the components for a decade. I'm currently replacing cell phones about every 2 years. At that rate, who can afford $600 phones. Even if it lasts 3 years it still isn't worth it to me.

Comment Re:why just why (Score 2) 127

Seems to me you would just be better off running Linux in a virtual machine. I've tried this Linux on Windows stuff, and there was quite a bit of basic stuff that didn't work. It's definitely not production ready yet. Even if it was production ready, what would this provide that running a virtual machine would not provide?

Comment Re:So where will existing content come from? (Score 1) 187

What they really need is the equivalent of buying a DVD for digital content. You can currently buy the DVD, and that gives you the right to rent it out, simply because you own it. The movie studios have no control whether or not you rent something else that you paid your own money for. There definitely needs to be a way for Netflix to purchase a license for any movie that exists and just stream it as much as they want, provided they only use a license for a single stream at a time. Owning a DVD should probably allow you to store it on a hard disk and rent it out digitally, but the current laws don't allow that I'm pretty sure. But this really does need to be the case. Otherwise, the movie studios will always have a stranglehold on the people distributing and you won't ever get a streaming service that has absolutely every movie available.

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