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Comment Re:People should learn english (Score 1) 49

If one knows their native language plus English, they'll have the vast majority of the world's knowledge at their fingertips.

And tools. For every mainstream app there's ten obscure apps that haven't been translated to your language. And other people interested in the same things you are. The Internet has made a vast difference here, dubs / subtitles / translations worked pretty well for broadcast and print media and international calls was rare. And I don't mean just chit-chats, go on eBay and the whole world is your marketplace as long as you pay shipping. There are so many other benefits to language convergence that you won't get through more translations.

There's really no credible competitor to English because there's no other big pairings. If you know two major languages it's likely Chinese/English, Spanish/English, French/English, Portuguese/English, Japanese/English, Arabic/English, Russian/English, German/English, Hindi/English etc. you just don't find many Chinese/Spanish or Hindi/Portuguese speakers. If you look at the EU it's quite clear that 94% now learn English and fewer people learn French and German, I don't have the numbers for Spanish or Portuguese but I'm guessing the trend is the same.

Sure it's always possible that English is locally going a little backwards like that Spanish is creeping up into the US but for the world as a whole there's no debate. Particularly since China as the only potential challenger has put huge effort into English proficiency, giving everybody else much less reason to learn Chinese instead. I know linguists hate it but I think that's misunderstood, if all you needed to know was your native language and English most can be bi-lingual. If you should learn your Amazon tribe's language, Portuguese, Spanish and English then it's for the few.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 306

In my parents' case, they had high, solidly middle class or even upper middle class incomes but got into credit card and tax trouble related to doing outside contracting. This all happened right around the same time that I went to college, so it was very bad timing. The IRS fines really add up quickly, and credit card trouble is bad news, and was even worse in the late 80s with high interest rates.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 306

When you say "financial aid", I suspect you are not including loans. I think that is why it seems like we are talking past one another. I don't doubt that you make too much to qualify for certain need-based grants and scholarships. You almost certainly qualify for public loans and tax credits.

Comment Re:Same could be said for color TV (Score 3, Interesting) 389

The problem with 3D is the glasses - without the glasses, 3D would be a nice enhancement, much like color.

Well maybe... but if I'm watching a GoT episode do I really want to feel like I'm flipping from being 1m away from a combat scene to suddenly being 50 meters up in the air overlooking the battlefield and back down to 1m again in a matter of seconds? Just saying that maybe we want some kind of grounding that we're really watching a screen and not teleporting around.

Comment Re:most of those reasons have in common (Score 5, Interesting) 252

It's not so black and white. I'm an unabashed pirate, and cost is only one factor. When I was young, "free" was the main reason and I would jump through hoops if necessary. The primary reason for my piracy now is DRM and the lack of a centralized repository. Sorry, I'm not going to browse iTunes, Amazon, my cable box, Roku, Hulu, etc until I find the movie or TV show that I'm looking for when 99% of the time it is on usenet, ready to stream to any device that I own. If you want me as a customer, you need to be - at the minimum - as convenient as the free option. Easy search and no DRM are my prerequisites. Music is better - most of the big guys have abandoned DRM, and services like Spotify have made free and legit even more convenient than pirated.

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 2) 145

Yeah we've seen the "no commercials" promise before when cable TV was becoming a thing and it was bullshit then too. They'll only stay away from commercials long enough to get a subscriber base. Commercials are where most of the money is and it will be hard for them to ignore that fact. I have a hard time imagining Netflix being immune to the siren's call of that much cash forever.

Is it really? Take the Superbowl which is one of the few items where we have pretty much all the numbers. In 2014 there was 49 minutes 15 seconds of commercials, $4.5 million average per 30 second slot and 111.4 million viewers. That works out to a little less than $4 per viewer. So if you offered $5 to watch it ad-free you'd be beating the advertisers. That's not bad for about four hours of entertainment with both a football game and the half time show and it's supposed to be super-expensive compared to normal ads. Granted one display != one viewer so they'd have to charge more than $5 but still I bet there's a lot of people who'd like to out-bid the advertisers.

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