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Comment Too many choices are a barrier to adoption (Score 5, Insightful) 353

About a year ago, they changed their offering and split it into so many different plans no one knows exactly what you get.

MSFT needs to immediately limit themselves to four plans:

1. Student

2. Entry-level

3. Power

4. Everything

And they need to make it very clear what these mean, in a single page document which is the same regardless of where you find it on Microsoft's site.

Comment Re: Great way to take the family on Summer vacatio (Score 1) 250

I just prefer to work for a company that offers unlimited vacation and allows me to take extended time off, more than once a year.

We usually do 3 weeks in July and I take off another 4-5 weeks of time off throughout the rest of the year.

Modern, forward-thinking companies have been moving this way as of late in order to attract and retain top talent. I'm kinda surprised it's not talked about more here on ./ considering the audience.

Comment Re:Always blaming the wrong guy (Score 2) 166

Pretty soon all those scrubs who ditched cable will discover they are having pay twice as much to get the same content they were getting from cable.

Sorry, but as someone who dropped CATV/SATV in 2008 due to the cost increases and has never looked back, I don't pay double for content; I simply don't consume anything that's non-free outside of what I choose (Netflix).

I mean, when you cut the cord you expect there will be content losses. I don't know of anyone who opts out of TV subscriptions that expects to somehow save money while keeping the same amount of content.

Comment Re:Imaginary benefits of social media advertising (Score 1) 36

I work in the marketing analytics and attribution space and can confidently speak to this topic. While Social isn't the BEST performer, it doesn't carry with it the dire statement of a "complete lack of results" as you state.

With dependencies on vertical and how the advertising is used in known conjunction with other channels, Social definitely does have an assister effect on those other channels. The problem you may be encountering is relying solely on outdated analysis methods which do not appropriately track credit for known users across the entirety of their path to purchase or you're simply just looking at in effective ad buying behavior resulting in poor ROAS.

Done right, Social is definitely valuable for relatively low cost when compared to the much larger channels (based on investment) and can absolutely jack up your return on those other channels as an assister but definitely is not going to be a 1:1 return as the only advertising channel you should leverage if you are hoping for conversion.

Comment Re:Another spam ad (Score 1, Informative) 84

I am not a shill and I have a Tap because a friend of my had an Echo and I loved it, mostly b/c I use Prime Music a ton and my young kids can easily interact w/the device to play what they want. Several of my friends have purchased the devices after using mine.

I mean, popular? No, not nearly as much as Amazon may like you to believe; however, they are pretty great devices for what they are and I think the recognition software is world's better than Siri (which, IMO, is completely and utterly useless and I never use on my Mac or phone).

By all means, be skeptical, however it doesn't mean they're not being used by people and they're not any good.

Comment Moving to another star? (Score 2) 522

In the span of 1000 years, I can certainly see humans being able to travel and inhabit other nearby planets but do we really think we'll be at a point where we can move large groups of humans >25 trillion miles away? Or does he see this more as we'll be putting civilization into space for centuries-long travel toward those other systems?

Comment Barely ahead (Score 1) 93

Saying that the Chinese are ahead of SpaceX in heavy lifters depends on how you measure "ahead". Although it has never flown in this configuration, the Falcon 9 Full Thrust in expendable configuration (no landing legs or grid fins, and no propellant reserved for landing) is a heavy-class lifter. It's only 22.8T to LEO vs. the Long March 5's 25T, and the difference in GTO capacity is much more pronounced (8.3T for F9E, 14T for LM5, probably because of the LM5's LH2/LOX upper stage), but SpaceX does already have a heavy lifter if they want it to be that. Falcon Heavy, in expendable configuration, is vastly more powerful still; a super-heavy class rocket with a LEO payload limit of 54.4T and GTO limit of 22.2T.

So, *at this point*, the Chinese have demonstrated a more powerful rocket than SpaceX has, yes. However, SpaceX demonstrated a heavy-class rocket before the Chinese did, and has a super-heavy design nearly ready to fly. To the extent they are ahead at all, it is fleeting.

Comment You got Russia and the US backwards. (Score 4, Interesting) 112

Um... where the hell did you get the idea that the Russians use gas generators (inefficient) and the US uses staged combustion? That is almost perfectly backward.

Staged combustion was invented by a Russian, Aleksei Mihailovich Isaev.
The first staged combustion rocket engine built was the Soviet S1.5400, first flown in 1960.
The (ill-fated) Soviet N1 moon rocket used staged-combustion NK-15 and NK-33 rocket engines (the American Saturn V moon rocket used gas generator rocket engines).
The first western (German, not US) staged combustion engine was in 1963, and it was a laboratory test only.
The Russian Proton rocket family was using the staged combustion RD-253 rocket engine in 1965.
The US buys staged combustion RD-180 engines from Russia for United Launch Alliance's workhorse Atlas rocket family.

As far as I can tell, the first US-built staged combustion rocket to fly was the RS-25, better known as the SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine), which first flew in 1981. It was a fuel-rich staged combustion cycle, made possible by the use of non-coking H2 fuel. However, by that point the Russians had been using oxidizer-rich staged combustion (which requires advanced metallurgy that the US could not duplicate for over two decades.

Now, both SpaceX and Blue Origin are US companies working on staged combustion rockets, but those are recent projects. In SpaceX's case, it is a full-flow staged combustion rocket, which is extremely tricky; no FFSC rocket has ever flown, although the Russians built and test-fired the RD-270 in the late 60s. SpaceX's Raptor has successfully fired on a test stand, the first FFSC rocket engine to do so since 1970 and the only US-built one to do so ever. The US (through private contractors Rocketdyne and Aerojet) experimented with FFSC in the "Integrated Powerhead Demonstrator", which wasn't even a full rocket motor; the front-end ("Powerhead") component was tested at full capacity in 2006, but then canceled; no full rocket engine was ever built using that design.

So yeah, the US historically didn't have shit on the Russians when it came to advanced rocket combustion cycles. That may be changing now, but it's driven primarily by private industry.

Comment Re:The good folks at the Verge... (Score 1) 675

Needing to buy *another* external reader or an adapter (just to support USB-C, because all your existing card readers are USB-A) is insulting, though.

And, as another commenter pointed out, lots of DSLRs are now using SD instead. Nikon's highest-end DSLRs still use CF, but their entry-level and "enthusiast" models use SD. Sony uses SD (and their joke "Memory Stick (TM)" thing) on their highest-end ones. Canon's top-end EOS takes both CF and SD. So yeah, if you have a lot of existing CF and are still using it, then you'll be stuck with needing an adapter... but if you bought your camera any time in the last few years, odds are pretty good it supports SD, and newer storage cards are faster and higher-capacity, so there's a pretty good chance that you've replaced your media in the last couple years too.

Comment Re:Dear Apple.... (Score 1) 675

Also... the "card sticking out" thing is a really weird point of complaint. I mean, even my smallest USB flashdrive sticks out a few millimeters (it has to, or I wouldn't be able to remove it). Most stick out 3-5 cm (1-2 inches) when plugged in. Nobody seems to mind. You don't leave the SD card in the computer *permanently*, any more than you leave an external hard disk plugged in permanently.

Which, of course, comes to the even stupider part of that argument... it's not OK to have a SD card sticking out of a slot a cm or so (at most), but it's OK to have an external card reader sticking out of a USB port? Possibly by way of a USB-C to USB-A adapter, because nobody has USB-C card readers yet? That's going to stick out a hell of a lot further than any SD card ever would, and be a lot of hassle to make sure you don't lose or break.

Not to mention that it just looks... tacky. Not that this has ever stopped me personally, but it's a weird thing for an Apple spokesperson to advocate for!

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