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Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 36

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 2) 50

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) 64

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:With cellular plans starting... (Score 1) 114

With american cellular plans starting to offer reasonable amounts of "unlimited*" data, it's getting easier to actually cut the cord.

Well, that's just fine when you're out and about or traveling and want to watch stuff....

But when I'm at home, I want full quality and no limits....

I didn't buy 55" OLED 4K tv's to just watch them at low rez, and have to worry about data caps/slowdowns hitting...

I suppose if you watch your media on nothing ever bigger than a 8" screen, then this would work, but for many that made a reasonable living and have nice TVs at home, you need a larger, more dependable pipe...

Comment Re:Forest Priest (Score 1) 114

I pay $70/month for 100 Mb/sec from Comcast.

I was about to suggest folks look into seeing if they offer business internet in their area.

I've had a Cox cable account for a LONG time at $69/mo. No caps, I can run servers (no blocked ports)...etc.

Granted, my plan is so old, it isn't offered anymore to the public, but I"ve checked and the ones offered currently are still comparable in price and possibly more in speed.

It's not like you have to show a lot of proof you are a "business"....

I happen to need mine as that I work from home. When I cut the cord, I didn't calculate it into the mix. But prior to this, I had UVerse U200..was about $115 or so here a month.

I ditched that, put up an OTA antenna hooked to a tivo and tivo minis to each room for DVR and watching my local HD channels, and paired with with amazon FireTv units on each tv that stream Playstation VUE for $35/mo, which also has DVR capabilities and provides all my "cable channels".

I only lost 2 channels I used to kinda watch, Velocity and AXS....but I'm doing fine without those.

So, cutting the cord, I went from $115/mo to $35/mo.

But do look around and look into business connections and you should be able to find internet for a reasonable un-bundled rate.

Comment Re: Tractor Breakers, not Fixers. (BEER) (Score 1) 440

I admit it's been a while since I was in the US (since the TSA idiocy started to spread like cancer, to be exact), but I sure hope you don't consider Bud or Miller "beer".

The part of me that's Bavarian would like a word with you if you do!

OH goodness no.

Sure they still sell a LOT of the Bud type beer, but there are TONS of independent, smaller and craft brewers around the US.


Abita Beer

NOLA Brewery

Second Line Brewing

Lazy Magnolia

Shiner Beer

And here's a wiki media of the rest of the LA breweries here down south....


The Shiner one is in TX..but those listed are just a very FEW of the many in my immediate area...and each area on the US has their own good breweries. Some have product that is only available locally, but others are nationwide.

It's been a couple of decades since you had to drink crappy beer in the US.

Comment Re:never understood removing features (Score 3, Interesting) 195

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) 204

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) 347

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.

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 1) 289

I didn't know "bad faith" was something you could sue for damages over. You sound as if a company ever makes a business decision you don't like, they may very well be in legal jeopardy.

I can't speak for US law, but at least here in Norway if the work content or location fundamentally changes it will be seen by the law as a termination and that you're being offered a new position, even if the title and salary is the same. Otherwise it would be too easy to force people to resign by bouncing them around the country like the ball in a pin ball machine and reassigning them to scrub the toilets.

So if you refuse the offer it wouldn't be you quitting, you would be laid off with all the rights that gives you like if you have the right to severance pay. I got a similar offer when we were bought out by another company, the employment contract changed sufficiently that I could refuse to go and then they'd have to lay me off by the terms of the old contract instead. It only applies to major changes though, not minor changes in work or relocating to a new office in the same city.

Comment Re:Almost meaningless (Score 1) 270

That's NASA's biggest problem these last few decades - no way to stick to anything beyond the term(s) of the current President, so nothing can really be done that takes longer than about five years.... Which is another way of saying "nothing can really be done."

Five years? They should just switch to Agile, then they'd have something that's Done every two weeks. I know an "expert", I'd be happy to forward contact details to any NASA headhunters. Or the ones with poison blow darts, either way works for me.

Comment Re:Easy, the programmer of course. (Score 0) 173

Because most AI and some robots rely on techniques that create emergent behaviour (i.e. not directly programmed therefore unverifiable) such as neural nets and swarm theory.

So? I don't think any code I've created has been formally proven to be correct and even if it were the customer would probably find that the problem formulation was wrong in the first place. We use a ton of high level languages, code-generating tools and whatnot, almost nobody writes assembler directly today. Everything else has a level of indirection. In this context AI is just an advanced code generator that ended up creating something buggy. No magic there.

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 1) 289

I'm not arguing VM vs IM. IM is better for almost everything.

Per my earlier post, I turn IM fucking is a constant intrusion on my concentration...pops up, blinking on tray...ugh.

And..people seem to bug you on it for more innocuous reasons "Hey, what's up?" I'm as sociable a person as can be when not working, but when I'm trying to concentrate, leave me the fuck alone unless there's a fire somewhere.

I turn it off, and only turn it on when I need to hit a meeting where there is screen sharing, or an emergency after someone emails or calls me.

I prefer asynchronous, it doesn't pop up and bug me...and it provides a better CYA paper trail of a conversation, IMHO.

Comment Re:Worked@IBM in 1980's, left, because sucked. (Score 5, Interesting) 289

I know...the ability to "interrupt" is a horrible one.

I've been working from home for a few years now, and I even turn off the damned IM products they have tried thrusting upon us...latest one, Lync.

I can't get a damned thing done without someone trying to annoy me on lync, and it usually is NOT something that is a priority item.

I will fire it up and join a meeting when needed, or desktop sharing is absolutely required, but for 99% of my time, I do not need it and it is detrimental to my work and concentration.

Fortunately, I've been around long enough where no one really presses me on it like they do others...but I find email to be best way to work, it is asynchronous, and AND...I think it leaves a much better paper trail for CYA when needed at future times.

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