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Comment Re:Now lets see. (Score 1) 1494

For the first time I can remember, we've elected a President with no political experience, but a lot of business experience. Ross Perot got somewhat close in 1992 I suppose. It could spell doom, or, we might discover that most politicians are as full of shit as we always joked or suspected that they were, and things actually get better with a non-politician in charge.

There actually is a very recent example of an incredibly wealthy businessman involved in media and other businesses, questionable morals, and no prior political experience was elected to the most powerful position in government: Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi .... It did not end well. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...

We'll see.

Yes, we shall see.

Comment Re:Devil's advocacy (Score 1) 132

I tend toward PC in principle, but sometimes I argue the other side to help keep both sides honest and help bring out both sides' strongest arguments.


First, these non-gaming applications can be done with a cheap eight-year-old PC with a Core 2 Duo and Intel integrated graphics. I'm told just dropping a video card into a PC with a CPU that old isn't enough to run AAA games from the present generation (2014 and later), which would quickly become CPU-bound. Second, these can be done with a laptop, and I've seen no evidence that people routinely upgrade a laptop with a separately purchased MXM video card. Third, a console can be used while someone else is using the family PC.

Coincidentally, I recently upgraded my PC from a 7-8 year old Core 2 Duo, and even before that upgrade I was still playing AAA games, like Dying Light, just not at the highest settings. If you think about the age of the hardware in the current generation of consoles it's roughly equivalent to an 6-8 year old PC, although they are optimized and coded better for gaming than PCs, but AAA games with cross-platform support to PC still work quite well on older machines. As I said before the tech upgrade cycle for PCs has slowed considerably. I thought my old PC was around $800 when I bought it and the only non-original part was some really cheap RAM I added once, and I used it for more than just gaming.

The main reason I upgraded my PC was not because I felt lacking for games, but because I was running into compatibility issues with Win7. That may reinforce some people's belief that PC are inherently buggy and consoles are not, but mind you most people have a PC around for other uses anyway, and these can happen to any older PC regardless of its gaming use. For example my wife's parent's upgraded their laptop twice in the period of time I had my old PC, they are not gamers [or very tech savy] but they still spent more money than me on their PCs, irrespective of gaming usage.

Third, a console can be used while someone else is using the family PC.

Of course, but the original assertion was only that a console (singular) is much cheaper than a gaming PC (singular). If a family desires two devices over one despite the PC's versatility to do both, that's their issue not the PC.

First, though Steam has sales. PlayStation Store also has sales. Second, console games have historically been more likely than PC games to support same-screen multiplayer with two to four gamepads, and if you have more than one gamer in the house, one copy of a $60 game that supports multiple gamepads is cheaper than three copies of a $30 game that requires a separate copy per player. Third, if everybody were to wait for the sale instead of buying in release month at full price, publishers would have no money to continue to fund development of high-production-value games.

Sure, one $60 game and sitting on the couch together is cheaper than two or three PC games. but similar to my last response I think that's changing the parameters of the original assertion that consoles are always cheaper than gaming PCs. I will give this, consoles can be cheaper depending on the specific use.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold cost $60 per year. But in addition to online matchmaking, this includes rental of a rotating selection of games (PlayStation Plus Free Games and Games with Gold respectively). What's the analogous way to try PC games?

Consoles make you pay that yearly subscription if you want to get full use out of your games and PCs do not. If you want to compare apples to apples then you have add those costs in. If you own a console with a $60/year subscription for 6 years you'd have an extra $360 to off-set the additional PC sticker price, subsequent PC upgrades (if needed), or pocket it.

If you want to rent games on PC you can sign up with Gamefly, but it would cost more. Steam allows users to trial games and gives full refunds within a certain time, which is a good substitute for "renting."

Or you could go for a pre-owned PlayStation 4 console with a 500 GB HDD, which costs $280 (source). Which accessories were you including in the price?

Fair enough. I was looking at a new PS4 Pro w/ one controller ($400 at most retailers) then add extra controllers at ~$50 each. The specs of even a cheap gaming PC will likely have tech capabilities more in line with the $400+ PS4 Pro if we want to compare apples to apples. If you want to go used or older generations then the costs for consoles go down. If one doesn't mind that sacrifice consoles can be cheaper, although I suspect they would be upgrading to the next gen console sooner, and they still pay the same yearly online subscription discussed above.

Submission + - The backlash against self-driving cars officially begins (cnn.com)

Paul Fernhout writes: "An organization that advocates for professional drivers has urged New York to ban self-driving cars from the state's roads for 50 years. The Upstate Transportation Association fears that self-driving cars will eliminate thousands of jobs and damage the local economy."

Comment Re:Amazing (Score 1) 132

The main reason to own a console is that it's much cheaper than a gaming PC. Many families can't justify the cost of more than one gaming PC, and besides,

I don't believe the claim that game consoles are cheaper than gaming PCs for a few reasons:

1) Most families still need or want a computer at home for reasons besides gaming (e.g. internet, word processing, tracking finances, online banking, digital storage, remote connections to workplaces). This is particularly true for families with children because many school homework assignments today require or are greatly assisted by online research. So, if a family will have a home computer anyway, but buys a separate console for gaming at nearly the same price as the PC, where's the savings?

2) The price of games should be factored into the cost of a game system and games are cheaper on PC through digital distributors like Steam, Origin, etc., which over time off-sets the initial cost of the PC.

3) If you want to play games online (which many people do) you have to add the life-time cost of an online subscription to a console.

4) You don't need an expensive PC to play games. A $500 PC (which is comparable to a new PS4+accessories) will play ~98% of the PC games. If you have to buy a new monitor a PC is a little more expensive, but it is a more versatile device (see point 1). PC tech upgrades cycles are much slower than they were years ago it shouldn't become obsolete right away either.

Yes, the initial sticker price of a console is very likely cheaper than a PC, but if you add up life-cycle costs and versatility it's much harder to justify a console over a PC based on price. Consoles used to have a cost advantage in that they double as DVD/Blueray players, but that is less of factor as more people view movies/shows in digital streaming formats.

...life's too short to deal with driver incompatibility.

10+ years ago this would be a valid argument, but it's not the norm anymore. As long as you are tech savy enough to connect your computer to online, from there most peripherals and programs search and install their own drivers in seconds.

Submission + - NASA Mission Asteroid for Metals Worth Ten Thousand Quadrillion Dollars

randomErr writes: NASA wants to uncover the mystery behind the asteroid “16 Psyche.” that may contain a priceless treasure trove of minerals. “We’ve been to all the different planets, we’ve been to other asteroids. But we’ve never visited a body that has been made of entirely metal,” said Carol Polanskey, project scientist for the Psyche mission. Now NASA, led by researchers at Arizona State University, plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to orbit 16 Psyche – an asteroid roughly the size of Massachusetts, made of iron and other precious metals. The mission’s leader estimates that the iron alone on today’s market would be worth $10,000 quadrillion.

Comment Re:So what. (Score 3, Insightful) 309

This seems to run against the common talking point that people won't pay for content if they can't find it for free. If people really are buying the physical discs and revenues are going up when they can't find it online for free. (or nearly free, comparatively)

To figure out if DVDs or streaming is better you really have to evaluate the full media life-cycle, which is much longer than the 3 months cited in the summary. It makes sense there would be an initial jump in physical sales when media is released or goes off streaming, probably to more "hardcore" or dedicated fans, but those sales will eventually taper off leaving companies with physical inventory that is harder and harder to sell. On the other hand, streaming doesn't have the physical inventory costs and it may generate more "casual" viewing over the long-term, but for less profit on each view. So, I think a 3-month study would be heavily biased to the DVD format.

If you read the full article it does say this:

"...The research above has its limitations. It only focused on DVD sales and not on other physical and digital revenue sources, for example. That said, the present data clearly suggests that content owners might be wise to keep titles off Netflix for a while, especially the blockbusters. Similarly, it affirms that there’s little harm in putting their older back catalogs on the streaming service."

So, media makers who want to maximize profits should do a little of both and carefully time when to switch formats.

Comment Re:Inflammatory Headline (Score 1) 502

How can Microsoft claim that "Windows 7 doesn't meet the demands for modern Technology"? Technology hasn't changed enough since the release of Windows 7! .... Microsoft, I propose a new headline: "Windows 10 doesn't meet the demands for customer usability".

This. Microsoft definitely has this demand concept backwards.

Comment Re:The damages weren't enough (Score 1) 84

It was a 'design patent'. Not something about technology or production, but rather about looks....the entire concept is total B.S. Gee, bevels in glass so it doesn't have the sharp edges. Corners on rectangles to they don't poke you when in your pocket. Total obvious garbage.

The 1990's Nokia cell phones had beveled edges, should no one have ever been allowed to have a beveled edge on a phone afterward? Phones have certain functionality constraints that limit design possibilities which I think should be considered. I appreciate the patent and copyright systems to protect inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs, but we all know they are imperfect systems. IMHO, this Apple vs Samsung case has been counter to the spirit of the system and this saga should have ended long ago [I understand my opinion is worth nothing to most people].

Comment Re:Triphenyl phosphate (Score 2) 71

Well, batteries can be recycled pretty easily so the toxic elements should only enter the environment if they leak out when activated.

You're a little off the mark here... The most significant environmental contamination is far far more likely going to occur where the batteries are manufactured from handling [or mishandling] of bulked raw materials and wastes. The overlook is understandable though, because electronics manufacturing and recycling operations typically occur in poorer Asian countries and people in the western world rarely take note environmental damage unless it happens in their backyard. (That's not meant as an insult, just a statement about people in general)

In addition, it can be very hard to determine environmental risk until a chemical is used and monitored in the environment for a period of time. You cannot wait until all questions of potential risk are answered before allowing technology progress. Proceed with caution is usually the best approach for everyone.

Personally, I prefer a bit of leaked flame retardant over a plane crash. Plane crashes kind of suck for the environment, too.

I agree with this sentiment in there are plenty of potential applications for a safer Lion battery that could save lives. For example, many industries have with potentially flammable environments require "Intrinsically Safe" equipment http://www.indsci.com/services... (e.g. oil refineries, chemical plants, natural gas utilities, etc.) or sensitive locations that can't risk even small fires or explosions (e.g. planes, data centers, electric grid, historical buildings, etc.).

Submission + - Driverless electric shuttle being tested in downtown Vegas (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: There's a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street.

The oval-shaped shuttle began running Tuesday as part of a 10-day pilot program, carrying up to 12 passengers for free along a short stretch of the Fremont Street East entertainment district.

The vehicle has a human attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. Passengers push a button at a marked stop to board it.

The shuttle uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology, and doesn't require lane lines to make its way.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 129

Most new games are released to the various consoles. Seems like you can't hardly buy any of the better games for PC anymore.

There are major studios producing games solely or primarily or have PC exclusives, even more so as Sony and MS push the lifespans of their aging consoles, while PC hardware continues to improve. The improvement in PC hardware over consoles is important for many gamers. Even for games on both consoles and PC, if the developer puts marginal effort into their PC version it will typically have advantages for gamers like better graphics, better interface, more customization options, and/or competitive play options. The PC hardware improvement is also important to many developers, particularly those who design their own game engines (e.g. Id Software and Epic Games), because a large part of their business is licensing their engine to other game makers for years to come. The game doubles as a playable marketing tool/demo to other game designers, therefore having it on the latest technology available (i.e. PC) has value to them.

Comment Re:I call BS (Score 1) 198

Lithium ion car battery life is more like 8-12+ years, not 3-5 years so you need to change your calculations there. If you have a Nissan Leaf their battery warranty is 8 years, so a replacement within that period costs the owner nothing. You also did not factor in that typical maintenance costs for EVs are much less than ICE cars. Many items that wear out are not even present in EVs... transmissions, fuel pump, engine air intake, starter, engine alternator, drive belts, exhaust system (no yearly emissions test either), and EV engine oil is self-contained and doesn't need replacing for ~10 years. There's not much maintenance besides tires, topping off windshield washer fluid, and replacing brakes pads, although the regenerative braking systems extend brake pad life by years. Over the life of the car all those little maintenance items in addition to fuel savings add up.

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