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Comment Re:VCR didn't compete against DVD (Score 1) 131

In my experience, DVRs produce DRM'ed recordings, so they are less convenient to archive and may have problems playing on another DVR (in case the original one fails). On the other hand, VHS tapes can be played on any other VHS VCR.

That being said, I now usually record TV shows straight from the IPTV provider (it helps that I actually am an admin for a couple of them, but I would be able to record from my ISP if I wasn't), so I mainly use my VCR to record some shows that I really want to keep (I record from DVB-C or analog cable and the tape is a backup in case the recording from IPTV fails).

Also, some times it is more convenient to just put in a tape to watch something than to boot up the PC that is connected to the TV.

8 years ago I bought my last brand new VCR and it failed shortly after the warranty expired (part of the tape transport broke). After that, I only bought used ones, my current main VCR is a professional grade SVHS (manual tracking, manual audio levels).

Comment Re:John Deere is evil. (Score 1) 639

But doesn't that concern just the land?

Well, at least this is how it works in my country. As long as I do not modify the house enough so the blueprints are no longer accurate, I can do whatever and repairs are not modification. No government agency is going to check whether I fixed, say, a broken window by replacing the glass with a new glass or just patching the hole over with duct tape. Or I can fix a leaky roof with some silicone (and if the roof starts leaking again I can either fix it properly or not).

I also can do the repairs myself or hire someone to do them for me.

Comment Re:Enron down under (Score 2) 269

Or, if you only want to use renewables and only have a small geographic area, you could way overbuild the power plants so that at the worst times you have enough power, while normally selling the excess power very cheaply to aluminium smelters or bitcoin miners on the condition that it will be intermittent to them.

Comment Re:How many accidents has it avoided? (Score 1) 330

Actually, I usually assume all other cars on the road are driven by drunk/inattentive/sleeping drivers, have broken brakes and will continue traveling in the direction they are going at the speed they are going no matter what.

If I see a car come up from a side road I assume it will go into the intersection even if I have the right of way, so I slow down a bit and prepare to quickly brake if it actually happens.

I do this because even if at some times the other driver would be at fault for the accident, getting my car straightened out, patched up and repainted is not a fun experience.

Comment Re:Its not Hands Free though... (Score 1) 330

It's the same problem as the TSA - everyone agrees their priority is supposed to be bombs and guns, but because 99.99% of their day job is confiscating shampoo bottles and matchbooks they eventually become blind to everything else.

Which is why there should be tests every few days (someone working for the TSA or another agency tries to smuggle in a simulation gun or a bomb, if they succeed, they get a large reward (so, more incentive to be creative about hiding it), while the guard who let them pass gets in trouble). Then the guards would not be as surprised when they find a real gun on someone.

Comment Re:Google Tax (Score 1) 39

If iOS was more popular it would get in trouble for this.

From TFA, the complaint seems to be

the company favors its own comparison-shopping service in its search results and that it prevented customers of one of its popular online advertising services from placing ads with rivals and restricted how rival ads were displayed.

The second part ("if you advertise with us, do not advertise with anyone else") could be a problem for Google.

Comment Re:Google is not a Monopolist (Score 1) 39

So, I need to contact you and meet in person (or at least call you) before I can go to your website?

Internet existed before Google, also people used telephone books and read classified ads more often. Now, if they want to buy your product, they will enter it in Google and buy from whatever website Google can find. If your website is not there (but your competitor's is) then you have a problem.

If I need to have the exhaust system in my car repaired, I will enter "car exhaust repair in $my_city" into Google and look trough the results (or I may ask one of my friends if he knows anyone good). I will not go to every car mechanic that has an ad near his place of business and ask whether he would be willing to repair my car.

Comment Re:How many accidents has it avoided? (Score 1) 330

It should check if the driver is actually paying attention.

For example: at random intervals the car starts to drift very slightly to one side, the driver then has to steer it to keep it away from the lane marking and do so for a couple of minutes. If the car goes over the lane marking, it means the driver is not paying attention, so the autopilot should safely pull the car over and stop.

Comment Re:Google is not a Monopolist (Score 1) 39

so, it's myfuckingwebsite.org? Or is it myfuckingwebsite.net? Maybe myfuckingwebsite.eu? No, I think it was thefuckingwebsite.com. Nah, probably anonymouscowardsfuckingwebsite.com. Still no. If only there was a way to find the website by entering "Anonymous Coward's fucking website" or even entering what the site is about and finding the address. You know, something like a telephone book.

Comment Re:Google Tax (Score 1) 39

Your monopoly example is completely irrelevant.

Really? If Altavista decided to remove your website from its search results and if Google chose to do the same, which would cause you more damage? Would people decide that Google is a crap search engine and start using another if it does not show your website? Or would they just continue using Google and not visiting your site?

Comment Re:So just rename it then? (Score 1) 330

What reaction time would you expect from a guard after seeing something out of the ordinary (after looking for it for half a day)? Would a few seconds be reasonable ("I think something moved way out there, hmm, it may be the enemy, OK, now I see multiple enemy soldiers approaching with their weapons drawn, EVERYONE! WAKE UP! WE GOT COMPANY!")?

What reaction time do you expect from a car driver?

It's not that "people aren't wired that way."

Yes, it is. This is why such tasks (because of the required re-wiring) are so difficult, just like calculating large numbers. On the other hand, picking out faces from visual noise or seeing patterns in randomness ("hey, this cloud is shaped like a cat") is extremely easy for humans.

Comment Re:So just rename it then? (Score 2) 330

Humans can do some activity for long periods of time, but the activity has to involve doing something.

When I drive my mechanical car, I have to constantly adjust the steering wheel to keep the car on the road (the road isn't completely straight after all) and gas to keep the speed as needed (the road goes up and down which makes the car slow down or speed up). This creates "something to do" for me, so I can stare at the road for hours.

I also know that if I stop looking at the road, I will quickly end up in a ditch or similar.

Now, let's say the car controls bot speed and direction for me. Now I have to stare at the road, but have nothing to do. This is bad. Having nothing to do makes me bored, I may even fall asleep or find something else to do. After all, the car is driving itself and if I stop looking at the road for a minute I will not end up in a ditch. 99.99% of the time that is.

There are websites that test your reaction. You usually have to wait a few seconds for some part of the screen to change color and click a button as quickly as you can. Normal reaction time is about 210ms. Now, get a test that instead of making you wait for a few seconds, makes you wait 10 or 30 minutes (or an hour) for the color change. What will be your reaction time then?

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