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Comment Re:New flash - Bugattis owned by rich not poor (Score 1) 252

Except some poor and middle class kids get into Harvard -- in fact they get their expenses paid. That's not the case for Bugattis.

And it's for a good (or at least shrewd) reason: Letting the intellectual elite into your exclusive school lends the prestige of their academic accomplishments to the financial elite who attend.

Look at our president-elect, who likes to point to his attendance at Penn as proof that he has a very good brain. Well, I'm not one of those people who think he's actually stupid but he got into Penn because he was rich and had family connections in the admissions office. He's not in the same league as the kids who get into Penn on a scholarship.

Comment Re: Blacks are sociopaths (Score 1) 248

I left a job and got another month's paycheck. I e-mailed them letting them know their error. Heard nothing back until 8 months later, I get an angry e-mail accusing me of ignoring repeated efforts to contact me about it, and a vague threat about taking me to court.

These repeated attempts were e-mails sent to my old work e-mail. The one they automatically shut down immediately after I quit. They had my phone number, stable e-mail address, updated address, and my boss was still in contact with me weekly.

Comment Re:The changing "debate" on global warming (Score 1) 248

Unfortunately, the tone of the discussion on so many other topics, including climate change, has changed dramatically in the past 25 years, to the point that we never actually get to discussing the issues.

I think it's a temporary thing. Old media is mortibund obviously, and older generations don't know where else to go. As younger generations go to online sources of news, old media caters to an increasingly senile, angry, out of touch demographic. Younger people are better informed, and hopefully this primary and election has finally convinced them they need to actually fucking vote if they want things like social security or a rational climate policy.

I mean, it's not all roses of course, I think the fake news online thing is going to get worse, we could tip towards facebook mob mentality, and there are plenty of millenials who could be convinced the "educated elites" are evil. But I'm saying things will not stay the same, one way or the other, it is possible that we'll get back to debates based on fact rather than paranoia.

Comment Hulu (Score 1) 137

I often wonder how Hulu's numbers look these days[1]. It was freaking amazing back in 2008, with very short ads and a great library of old and new shows. Then they started pushing their subscription service heavily (which also had ads), their free catalog shrank dramatically, they disallowed free Hulu usage on traditional TV-connected devices, and they maintained their ~8 day delay on new episodes (so Hulu watchers would always be missing something important if they happened to watch a new episode on TV.)

They pretty much sent the keys to the streaming kingdom to Netflix in a velvet-lined box, back when the word "Netflix" to most people simply meant getting DVDs in the mail, apparently because old media were terrified of Hulu becoming too useful or popular of an alternative to cable TV.

I wonder what must go through those execs' heads these days... those people who chose to hobble Hulu, or even worse boycotted it entirely under the assumption that consumers would be willing to deal with a balkanized mismash of multiple content providers, and are now faced with the Netflix juggernaut. They're stuck in a Sibylline books situation, with their salvation becoming more and more costly each day. I wonder if they've reached the point where they will admit to themselves that there was a day when they could have easily put Netflix in its place, struck out a roadmap and revenue sharing model with Hulu and planned sensibly for the future.

Probably not; not yet, anyway. Heck, I doubt if most of them even realize the full extent of the danger. Even many people around here are still prone to saying stuff like "Netflix's library sucks now, so they're going to fade away", not realizing that not only is there no one in any position to offer a better library, but that Netflix has an entrenchment, both psychological and technical, that very few companies could even dream of.

1. Idly. I mean, I don't care enough to actually go Googling for it.

Comment Re:HBO needs to get its head back in the game (Score 1) 137

Once the people currently in charge of content production get too old, leave or lose their current edge in some other way the business will start to come undone a la HBO which certainly has seen much better days.

But what replaces it? That's the $64,000 question. That's been the flaw in all of these "Netflix is doomed because it sucks now / will soon start sucking" arguments. They've got the early brand name recognition (like "iPad" or "Skype" or "Google", it even flirts with genericism) and the legacy device compatibility. It's hard to overstate just how important these two things are. There are plenty of people out there are who watch Netflix on devices that can't be updated to include a competitor. Hell, my parents use a ~2009 bluray player with one of the shittiest and laggy-est Netflix UIs I've ever seen, but they have zero interest in replacing it.

They would have to screw up hard over an extended period of time, or multiple major studios (not just one) would have to band together and gear up for a protracted war in which they heavy market the "hey, do you remember what Netflix used to be like? Well come here and see our *huge* catalog of movies and TV shows that you've actually heard of or remember!" aspect.

And yet even that's an uphill battle... a war that would take five or ten years to win, even with a stronger competitor. Netflix has loyalty perhaps most of all because it panders to laziness, routine and familiarity. I think they have an almost unassailable entrenchment, although it's just barely conceivable that the breakdown of net neutrality (especially in today's political climate) could hurt them enough that a determined studio-backed competitor in collusion with the ISPs could muscle its way in.

Comment Re:If only that were true (Score 3, Insightful) 53

My brain decides to store things I don't care about and refuses to store things I specifically study.

From your perspective that's a bug. From your brain's perspective it's a feature. Your agenda is getting a good mark in your course. Your brain's agenda is to survive, reproduce, and generally have a good time while doing so.

The thing that you think of as "you" is just a tiny film of consciousness on top of an ocean of unconscious activity. You think "you" live in the present, but actually it takes over 300 milliseconds for your consciousness to become aware of anything, and by then, most of the time, your brain has decided what to do about it. "You" mainly come up with rationalizations for decisions your brain has already made. Which is not to say that consciousness isn't important; it isn't quite as sovereign as it believe itself to be.

Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 1) 248

Not according to the summary, but let's go with your interpretation of events. He wanted $200,000 in consulting fees for what? Spending literally one minute filling in a web form changing the admin's email address on an account. Still stupid: he should have demanded $2 million, because that's a never-get-hired-again dick move.

Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 2) 248

Actually it's worse... or rather stupider. He offered to fix it (which really is just involves filling out and submitting a web form) if school settled a lawsuit for $200,000.

Now let's assume this guy is totally in the right as far as the claims in his lawsuit are concerned. That doesn't give him the right to hold his employers' systems hostage until he gets what he wants. Those systems still belong to them.

What was he thinking? Of course the courts are going to order him to hand over the metaphorical keys to the system. And the judge isn't likely to be sympathetic after this. On top fo that any future prospective employer is going to find out about this the instant they google "Triano Williams".

Based on the levels of stupidity and assholery displayed here, I'd be amazed if he weren't in the wrong.

Comment Re:But the Qualcomm product is worth it (Score 1) 57

Let's be clear. Just because they agreed to accept payments by licensing under RAND does not mean they gave up their to determining how much is owed under RAND. And if some parties were to shortchange them, they would be within their rights to refuse licensing. And until those parties sued for breach and won, FTC has no business jumping to the conclusion that market-wide harm was caused. In fact, even if some parties won a claim of breach, FTC still would have shaky standing because IP ownership of patent holders is unquestionable and absolute while SEP participation is voluntary (and may or may not be argued to be revocable with no penalties other than the ones explicitly outlined when entering into the SEP agreement). Certainly the fact that the "harmed" parties already have means of redress makes the bar to prove that market place was harmed much higher.

Comment Re:But the Qualcomm product is worth it (Score 1) 57

They -uh- have?

Not in court. My point remains that the parties which were purportedly damaged have a way to redress their grievances through court without FTC. And only the damaged parties have standing to ask for redress. FTC cannot claim damage to overall marketplace until after a court has ruled that there were some parties damaged through a breach of a contract.

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