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Comment Older gear. (Score 1) 175

Older gear (probably not going to get updated, either. Because we have a good viewing and listening experience already.) Discrete components; pre-pro, amps, speakers, etc. The pre-pro could be remoted, perhaps, but it's very early on the curve of network control, and I've found it's not even reliable to tell to turn on and off. Denon bought Marantz, and they have been pretty sad about proper updates to nominally update-capable components.

OTOH, if a proper STT interface ever hits the streets (and no, I don't count the Echo - the number of negative developer and privacy issues there are ridiculous) I might be motivated to undertake such a setup. Mainly change the pre-pro to one that's smart enough to reliably remote and dedicate a computer with lots of storage to the theater as an AV source. But I'm 60, and every year that passes, I'm more satisfied with what I already have, so... perhaps not.

Already pretty much ignoring the 4K thing. Aside from very low media availability at this point in time, 1080p looks great on a big screen (and your average movie director still thinks it's "artsy" to soft focus and/or use a lens with horrific DOF, either/both of which completely waste all that fine resolution goodness anyway.)

Comment Re:The problem is what you consider useful (Score 1) 175

It was -40 degrees here just a few days ago, and it's not very nice now. And it's icy. And windy. Outside = awful.

Also -- you know why it's really nice to talk to an exercise measuring device? Because you can do it while you're exercising.

So how about you take your presumptions and re-evaluate.

Comment lol (Score 2) 175

Found the 1%-er.

No, you most certainly didn't. You found the guy who doesn't spend even a tiny fraction of what others do on children, booze, drugs, bars, travel, going out to eat, long trips, interest, hotels, sports events, video games, software, "apps", new cars, parties, education, or junkfood — and hasn't for quite a few decades now.

Which left me way more than enough to build a very nice theater into my home, the entire interior of which I built and wired by hand, after buying the property. Even with a modest income. Also, I bought the property with the specific intent of putting a theater into it - it was an abandoned church, a classic tabula rasa. Just a huge, empty room. And I had mucho help - my SO is awesome, and very much like-minded.

We each have our priorities. Home entertainment and at-home convenience are some of mine, that's all. In fact, almost every optional expenditure I make is in pursuit of a concrete, lasting improvement to my physical circumstance. If you don't have enough left over to do what you dream of by the time you're my age (I started this particular undertaking when I was 50, I'm 60 now), then you're Doing It Wrong.

Up till now, anyway. I don't know what's going to happen to the younger people going forward. Looking a good deal more bleak than it did for me.

Comment The problem is what you consider useful (Score 3, Interesting) 175

When I can say from my couch "Alexa, make me a steak, medium rare, and bring me a beer, IPA" and a robot hands me a beer in 1 minute and a plate with a hot steak 18 minutes later, I'll give a shit and I think other consumers will, too.

Reasonable enough. Other than the stock capabilities (weather, time, shopping list, timers, alarms, "what's playing at the movies?", "what's the phone number for Tire-Rama?", oodles of music sent to the theater system), the only third-party capabilities we use regularly are:

o Adjust the lighting via TP-Link smart plugs
o Adjust the heating / cooling via Sensi smart thermostat
o Check Fitbit stats / progress

Is it worth $49 or so out the door, plus hardware cost for associated devices to be able to do all this without having to otherwise go and do it? Well, it is to us.

For instance, sitting in the theater, it's either get up, make a 20 foot walk to the light switch, flip the switch, a 20 foot walk back in the dark, and sit down again, or just say "Echo, Turn off the lights." Likewise, when the show is over, it's just "Echo, Turn on the lights."

But when it'll cook a meal, see it delivered to the table, even see that the dishes are washed... yeah, that's going to be a fine day. At consumer prices, I'd hazard a guess that's still five or six years off.

Comment Re:I don't even like Uber but (Score -1) 595

If they're willing to let people work full time then they should be willing to pay full time wages

- what the hell is a 'full time wage'? I can come up with jobs all the time. As Louis Black said: I could hire a twenty year old model looking woman to wash my balls for me all the time. I am walking and she is scrubbing, nothing sexual (supposedly). It could be a 16 hour a day job for her, why not? However I am not able to hire anybody for that job at the price that I am willing to pay for it (let's say I would pay 1 dollar an hour for that service). No 20 y.o. model looking woman would take the job and that's how the market works: both sides need to agree, it takes 2 to tango (and 2 to wash balls, one with balls and one with hands).

If nobody takes that job that's the solution that you are looking for:

If someone's working 40 hours per week then they shouldn't be sleeping in their car out of exhaustion because they're struggling to pay their bills. Nobody who works full time should live in poverty.

- you are saying nobody should be..... OK, that's what you say. However if somebody wants to do the job of washing my balls and they know that the job pays $1 an hour, you would say: it should be illegal for me to offer the job but more importantly for the other person to take the job.

So I can live without that constant ball washing, however for somebody that could be just what they need for X number of reasons, you are not making my life that much worse, you are standing in the way of the people who are interested/willing/need that job from getting it.

Comment Re:Daily dose (Score 1) 69

I hadn't heard this part, so thanks. Hopefully AB will vote this current mess out before 40 years of prosperity is destroyed beyond recall. I remember when half of Calgary shopped in Great Falls (my home town :) because of high domestic prices and lack of options.

Really unfortunate when you have no good choices, but "Hold your nose and try the untried" is usually worse. And this craze for voting in "anyone who is not a white male" is bringing us a lot of Hillary Clintons and damn few Maggie Thatchers.

Best of luck getting it turned around. Canada is America's best friend in the world, and we don't want to lose you.

Comment Of course... (Score 5, Interesting) 78

Of course, if they hadn't been so greedy and stupid as to design a non-user-replaceable battery into the phone, they would have been able to simply send out a relatively low-cost component to the afflicted users, instead of incurring a 5.3 billion dollar loss and severely inconveniencing every one of their note 7 customers (at the very least.)

It was their insistence on screwing the customer with planned obsolescence that bit them. They deserved to be bitten.

As does any company that designs in a non-replaceable, limited-lifetime component — much less one that is non-replaceable, limited-lifetime, and potentially dangerous.

Comment Re:Fairness has a role (Score -1) 279

Government laws cause the drugs to be that expensive in the first place. There shouldn't be such a thing as government ran FDA. A rating agency can exist without a government involvement. But of course I am 100% on board that there shouldn't be any copyright or patent laws in the first place. Let the authors protect their own rights without any artificial government created and protected monopoly.

I say drug companies need to rely on trade secrets if they want that monopoly, not on any dorm of government intervention. As to prices being 'unfair', that is a load of crock in the free market. Unfortunately we don't have a free market especially where it comes to the drugs, we gave government oppression instead.

If I invent a cure for cancer or HIV or anything serious, I would only sell it as a treatment in a protected facility, so that the information in it would stay private for as long as I can keep it. The price would be whatever I say and if a government comes for it I would much rather see it destroyed, wiped out rather than sine collectivist government violate my private property rights.

Comment Free software assistant... already exists (Score 3, Informative) 93

Free software assistant... already exists

http://mycroft.ai

They've got an RPi image you can download, slap on a card, and be up and running with a USB mic and something to handle the audio out.

Seems to me like the FSF should pay more attention to what is already going on.

Comment Re:Daily dose (Score 1) 69

Just spoke to someone on another forum -- Ontario resident who has the misfortune to own a house with electric heat. And in the past year their bills went from high but tolerable, to just under $700/month -- with the heat turned down as far as it can be without all the pipes freezing up, and their kids walking around wrapped in blankets.

The anti-warming types who raise such a fuss every time we have a hot summer are silent when an unusually cold winter kills a lot of people, whether through direct cold or financial hardship.

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