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Comment Let's see if I have this right (Score 1) 61

Let's see, Obamacare is a plague on the nation that must be killed right now. The GOP could do so much better. So they propose Obamacare-lite and can't manage to pass it even while controlling the House, the Senate, and the Oval Office. Let me guess, somewhere in Arkansas the county dog catcher is a Democrat and that gummed up everything.

Slow clap.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 178

It's a great idea, but why isn't anyone doing it? I would argue that such a superior printer wouldn't be price competitive with Lexmark/HP/et al because of the way those vendors have skewed the market.

They've all but gutted their printers to what amounts to glorified paper feeders. Rasterization moved to the driver, greatly reducing the amount of compute needed inside the printer. Networking has been modularized to a $5 ethernet SoC. A lot of the other parts that used to be in the printer are tacked onto consumables.

The bottom line is that the printer itself is only about 1/3 of what constitutes a "printer" and the rest is software and "cartridges". This lets them set the price of the "printer" at about cost and then make up profit on the cartridges.

Your idea does the sensible thing and makes the printer more of a printer, but with more parts and complexity it can't compete on purchase price even if cost of ownership is less.

Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 74

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 74

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 199

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 366

It's the "list of critics" that I kind of have problems with. You see a RT score, but which set of critics does it account for?

When I've looked at the site (which I only have a few times), the "critics" are a laundry list of names and often web-based publications I've never heard of. I don't doubt that many may have interesting critical viewpoints, but I'd kind of like some sort of filtering mechanism to tell me who's a valid critic and who's just a crank like me with opinions.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 1) 364

Actually, they do. They predicted warming and the Earth is warming. They were even reasonably close in the degree of warming predicted. If the counter "theory" that they just got lucky over and over again held any water, the Caymans would be full of retired climate scientists and Vegas would be bankrupt by now.

Do you also claim that the theory of gravity is a hoax because when you drop a rubber ball, it bounces up after it falls?

Perhaps powered flight is a hoax because those airplanes inevitably end up back on the ground?

Comment Twitter and profit... (Score 1) 84

Started typing "Twitter..." in the subject line and "Twitter and profit" auto-completed from a previous post.

Twitter should consider themselves as a not-for-profit service, retain its independence and so on. (May be the business model of Craigslist.) For that to happen, the current management and the VCs need to be nuked from the orbit.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 237

OK, but with the gaming examples you're talking about (a) a DRM system that was obviously broken and (b) DRM applied to something where you bought a permanent copy. I have much less sympathy for the content provider in those situations, and if they wind up having to refund a lot of people's money because they shipped a broken product then I still won't have much sympathy for them.

The opposite side is when you have DRM protecting a service like PPV or Netflix where you know you're not buying a permanent copy, and most people will just fire up the player and enjoy the show without ever knowing the DRM is even there. In that case, the DRM is transparent to legitimate viewers, but some form of protection is reasonable to prevent casual infringement.

As I've said throughout, there has to be a balance. DRM that breaks stuff is bad, and people who supply broken products should make good on the damage to their customers. But DRM also makes it practical to follow new and useful business models that can benefit everyone involved.

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