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Comment Re:Another patent blocking technology (Score 1) 24

1995 called, they want their description of Amazon.com back.

(You should visit their website one day, they sell pretty much everything these days, and have quite a few interesting products and projects that have little to do with retail, such as AWS. But as a reader of Slashdot.org, I'm sure you've never heard of this whole "cloud computing" thing they're famous for in some circles...)

Comment Re:There will be commercials (probably) (Score 1) 129

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.

Comment Re:I'm missing something crucial (Score 1) 78

For a lot of us, choosing between Google Now (or Hey Google or whatever the kids call it these days) and Cortana is a choice like that between having your left big toe removed, or your right.

To be fair, at least Google (and thus by implication Android) lets you turn it off. I wish Windows 10 AE had a way to replace Cortana with regular old search.

Comment As an example of the difference (Score 1) 50

One thing to consider is the existence of what SF calls "bullet time", or when time appears to slow.

This is what it feels like when, in addition to your heart racing, you literally are recording everything you perceive. We get rid of almost everything we see, hear, feel, touch, and taste, but in bullet time, or emergency time, we turn the recorders on full, so that we can analyze how we escaped the dingoes trying to eat us, or the event that might have killed us.

If we did that all the time, we'd run out of storage. So we toss most of it away.

On a personal level, it is kind of cool. But it's there for a reason, to help you learn to avoid things that might get you killed, or almost did.

Comment They weren't really needed (Score 1) 227

After China took the suggestions of myself and others to investigate converting their most modern coal power plant designs to cogeneration and start using air scrubbers (which use water for the most part), resulting in the same quantity of coal producing twice as much end power and heating, they were able to shelve the bad designs. With the added solar and wind power they have now found is cheaper is coal, they sidelined an additional quantity of coal plants as well.

The game is over. We won.

Adapt.

Comment Endowments (Score 3, Insightful) 219

If the Endowment is large enough they can give every student free tuition. If there is no endowment, everybody pays. In the middle, they need enough people paying full-boat to subsidize the kids who need a full ride. Look at the economics before you assume ill intent. There is no magic money and locking kids into thirty years of debt is no magnanimous gesture.

Comment Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 3, Insightful) 221

The "elite" schools, based on their reputation, generally only attract applicants who believe they can afford to go there. I had exceptional ACT/SAT scores but I was not interested in the financial burden of such schools so I went to a large public research university instead. However people who are living lifestyles that can afford such expenses will consider applying. It didn't matter in my case that there tuition assistance and financial aid; the cost gap at the time was still too enormous between podunk state and Yale to even consider bothering with an application.

Even if the gap has reduced on the tuition level, the cost of living at those schools is still very very high and the students know that.

Comment Re:Just attention seeking, no substance (Score 1) 486

The whole thing smelled of bullshit from day zero. It's much easier for the US to get someone extradited from the UK than it is for them to extradite someone from Sweden, so the whole running-to-the-embassy thing never made sense, except as a possible means to escape being tried for rape. If the US really wanted him, they'd have had the extradition process started with the UK long before Assange went to the Ecuadorian embassy.

Comment Re:And ISPs are jacking up rates (Score 1) 129

The real reason net neutrality is on the ropes is this: the idea was barely discussed by anyone during the election, in comparison to other issues. The companies that stand to profit from net neutrality are electronic media companies, and the companies that stand to profit from its removal are electronic infrastructure companies, and both will continue their fight under the covers. There wasn't much input from the electorate on the topic at all this cycle.

Actually I think it's way more old media vs new media, here in Norway where the main broadband revolution was DSL from telcos and the fiber revolution was lead by a former power company the "electronic infrastructure companies" seem pretty happy just to sell you bits and bytes. My impression is that in the US it's different because so large a part of the American population get their broadband through cable. It seems both bandwidth caps and anti-net neutrality gouging is primarily driven by cable companies wanting to drive customers to their own services instead of using online services and remain the gatekeeper and middle man between the content and the customers.

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