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Comment Seems simple to me (Score 1) 216

We don't need a right to repair law. All we need is a law that says if a manufacturer adds something to a product to make it harder for the end-user to fix, then they must fix the product for free forever.

The rationale being that if the end-user is not free to fix the product, then the end-user is not the owner. The end-user has merely rented the product. The manufacturer is still the owner, and thus is responsible for the cost of repairs.

Comment Re:Ever notice how Hollywood (Score 1) 41

I posted a brief analysis in a previous article (using the RIAA and MPAA's own numbers) showing how Hollywood tries to hamstring industries with a much larger economic contribution than theirs. And provided accounting evidence (using Sony's own annual reports) how their music division almost single-handedly killed their audio electronics division by forcing them to use DRM.

I'm sure someone could do the same for global sales.

Comment Re:I think the difference is (Score 1) 888

I would reckon your odds of surviving being run over by a truck are much lower than surviving being shot.

After 2016, I would've thought it would've been obvious to everyone that guns weren't the problem. If you take away guns, the crazies will just resort to other methods to kill people (like trucks - the fantasy that they'd use knives is only true for crimes of passion, but not for deliberate killings like this one). Heck, the driver of the truck in Nice had a gun, and opted to use the truck instead. Likewise, in the Brussels attack, the terrorists realized they'd probably be shot and killed quickly by armed security had they charged in guns blazing, so they resorted to using bombs which would inflict casualties before security could respond.

This is like those checklists criticizing anti-spam solutions. Outlawing the tools doesn't work. You have to recognize and admit that violence is a social problem and concentrate on solutions which address why people might resort to violence.

Comment Re:You don't own common sense (Score 2) 888

There's a (IMHO) simple reason for the divide on gun control in the U.S. The issue mostly breaks down into urban (pro gun-control) vs rural (anti gun-control). And if you analyze it that way, I think the reason is obvious: Urban areas have faster police response times. If you live in a city, it makes sense to just call someone else with a gun (the police) and wait for them to arrive if a crime is in progress.

But in rural areas, waiting for police can often get you killed. So people there prefer to have their own gun for protection. The stats seem to bear them out too - violent crime rates are lower in rural areas despite the rate of gun ownership being 2x higher in rural areas.

Which brings us to what I think is the real problem with the gun control debate - too much emphasis on a uniform national law. When you have a strong geographically correlated trend like this, the solution is simple - allow different regions to enact different laws. The rural areas can have lax gun laws, the urban areas can have strict gun laws, and everyone is happy (well, happier than they are now). But no, we've got pro-gun people wanting easy access to guns for the entire country because anything less would diminish the 2nd Amenedment, and anti-gun people wanting to ban guns in the entire country because you can transport guns from rural areas to urban. Both arguments have merit, but I think we need to ask ourselves if our attempt to create one national law on this issue isn't doing more harm than geographically different laws would even with all the flaws.

Comment Re:What sites use Cloudflare? (Score 1) 76

Others have already posted a link to the full list (22 MB text file - whee). Someone else has set up a website to let you search that list from your browser (only one site at a time) which may be a bit more manageable if you don't visit many sites which require logins.

http://www.doesitusecloudflare.com/

Comment The curve isn't for you (Score 5, Interesting) 168

It's for manufacturing tolerances and component rigidity. A curved surface is more rigid, especially if it has a double-curve. Back when HDTVs had CCFL backlights and were 2-3 inches thick, the extra thickness helped to stiffen them. Just like an I-beam. The sole purpose of the middle section of an I-beam is to separate the two ends by as much distance as possible. The more you can separate them, the more the beam can resist bending moments and the more rigid it is.

But as we moved to LED backlights and HDTVs became thinner, the separation between the front and back halves became smaller and they started to lose this rigidity. When you take something very big and flat and make it thin, it loses its rigidity. It wants to flop over - just like a sheet of paper. Manufacturers wanted to make the TVs thinner, but didn't want the top half flopping over. One answer is to add thick metal stiffeners, but that adds weight. Another answer is add a slight curve. When you do that, part of the bending moment trying to flop the top over gets converted into compressive stresses in the curved parts, and the panel is easily able to resist flopping over.

Comment Re:Why stop at $50? (Score 2) 238

If you have a large family, it makes sense. For most people, this is gonna be a miss for them.

There's no rule saying you have to be related to watch the movie together. It makes sense for most people if 4+ of them (at $13/ea ticket prices) are willing to get together and watch as a group. I have a 5.1 home theater system with a projector that throws a 12' x 7' image, and that's exactly what my friends and I occasionally do.

The fly in the ointment isn't the price. It's the entire concept of watching movies at home. When movies only came out in theaters, you had to watch it while it was still in theaters. Home video, subscription cable, and and now streaming has changed that - you can now watch a movie which hasn't been in theaters for months or years any time you want. My queue over all streaming services is about 100 movies long (never mind the episodic TV shows). I'm more than content to watch other stuff while I wait for hit movies to show up on the streaming subscription services. The only exception I can think of is the reason my sister gave for taking her son to watch The Force Awakens on opening night - so he wouldn't be left out of conversations when the other kids in school talked about it.

Comment Re:O RLY? (Score 4, Insightful) 63

The key point is that they are successful because their services help people make (or save) staggering amounts of money - more than Google makes. That is how the economy becomes more efficient and standard of living improves. Someone comes up with an idea which helps people make more money (increase productivity) or save on costs, and sells it for a cut of the productivity increase or cost savings.

If you break this positive feedback cycle, you tank the economy. Which is Google's point - lack of fair use would prevent them from offering these services to Australia. And the only reason Australia is able to partake in the improved standard of living resulting from services like Google is because they're able to place the servers in other countries.

Comment I'm not sure battery size is really the problem (Score 2) 89

I called Google support when my Nexus 5's battery (2300 mAh) began failing (it would discharge normally for about 12 hours to 40%-50% charge, then would die in the next 20 minutes). As part of the diagnostic process, they asked me to put it into safe mode and do a battery run-down test. I didn't even know such a thing existed in Android. It disables all added-on apps. Only the phone functions and apps which shipped with the phone (mostly Google apps) will work - a nifty way for them to determine that a rogue app is not the culprit.

The damn thing lasted nearly 60 hours on a charge in safe mode, despite the defective battery. So it would appear modern smartphones (well, modern as of 3 years ago) are more than capable of lasting a weekend on a single charge. They die early because of all those damn apps which insist on waking up every 5 minutes so they can report your position, calls, texts, sites visited, photos taken, etc. back to their mother ship. Makes me wish there was a feature where you could "jail" certain apps to prevent them from running entirely, unless you specifically launch it.

Comment Re:That's what you get for wording the DMCA that w (Score 1) 81

That's probably why Google is publicizing this. To point out that the DMCA badly needs a disincentive for filing false takedown claims. If only 0.05% of claims are even factually correct (not even considering if they're legally valid), that's a huge problem with the law.

Comment Belongs to the suspect (Score 1) 115

The Echo belongs to the suspect. (Alternate link if you don't trust that site.

You're probably thinking of the San Bernardio iPhone case. Most people think the phone belonged to the shooter. It didn't. It belonged to the San Bernardino County government. They assigned it to the shooter for work use. Apple refused to help the legal owner of the phone unlock it.

Comment Re:We need more unlicensed spectrum (Score 2) 64

The 60 GHz band (57-64 GHz) is open for unlicensed operation. It coincides with the resonance of oxygen gas, which rapidly attenuates any signal so the maximum usable range is about 1 km. That makes it ideal for things like home WiFi use (you can broadcast at higher power without interfering with your neighbors' WiFi at the same frequency), while strongly discouraging companies trying to use it for long-range commercial service like T-Mobile is planning in TFA.

Comment Re:bad study (Score 1) 249

It's conceivable that a parasite that has evolved to control host behavior could have adverse psychological effects on human hosts, thus the research into it.

My theory is that it modifies the behavior of human hosts, causing them to dismiss the idea that parasites from cats could modify the behavior of humans.

Comment Re:scare mongering getting old (Score 1) 77

The problem with freezing your credit is that as of a couple years ago the credit agencies used that lame personal background service to confirm your identity. You know, the one where your bank asks you what high school you went to, which bank you took out a car loan with, what city you were born in, etc. and gives you multiple choice answers. The identity thief usually has the answers to all these questions, or can make a good guess which of the multiple choice answers is correct - they stole your identity after all.

Yes the credit freeze is supposed to be protected by a PIN or password. The thief just calls the credit agency posing as you, and says that they forgot the PIN or password. Then the credit agency asks those lame questions, the thief gets three right, and they lift the credit freeze. (If they're real jerks, they'll change the PIN or password so you can't freeze it again.

Some banks have dumped these canned questions, and are now allowing you yourself to make up questions and answers they'll ask if you say you forgot your PIN or password. I don't know if the credit agencies have switched to this type of question system in the last couple years.

Comment Re:All you need to know if you own a cat (Score 4, Funny) 249

Difference between cats and dogs:

You feed a dog, house it, pet it, shower it with love, and take care of its every want and need. The dog looks at you and thinks, "Wow, he must be a god."

You feed a cat, house it, pet it, shower it with love, and take care of its every want and need. The cat looks at you and thinks, "Wow, I must be a god."

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