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Comment Re: Bloggers (Score 1) 317

What product?

From my perspective they provide a service. A service that basically has been provided for decades in cars painted-up in various livery, with the principal caveat that they undercut the price of existing players in that service.

Now it looks like they've taken their venture capitalists' money to personally profit without delivering something with any chance of profitability, and they did worse, they dragged their employees down through a company-store model to do it. For the short-term the customers benefit, for the medium-term the management who've no-doubt given themselves extra compensation benefit, but the actual owners and the employees get screwed.

Comment Re:and so the cycle continues. (Score 1) 89

That's never going to happen. If you look at bans, you simply end up with black markets that experience varying degrees of violence. By contrast, taxing a product is a way to take an inexpensive product and compel a change in its use. You take that inexpensive product and turn it into an expensive one and generally people will reduce their use of that product even if only to keep the outlay the same.

The three most obvious cases are alcohol with the history of Prohibition, the modern fight against drugs that are defined as controlled substances, and the history of tobacco and cigarettes in particular. The first two were/are abject failures. To stop the violence alcohol had to be re-legalized, and many states are pushing against the illegality of many drugs. Cigarettes by contrast are merely expensive, expensive enough that many people have stopped smoking them even though they remain legal to those old enough.

Comment Re:pointless (Score 2) 176

The theatrical release, or the Renegade Edition?

If the latter, let me know when and where. I'll bring the laserdisc player and my matted widescreen version meant to show it widescreen on a 4:3 TV. We'll show it via composite video on a native-widescreen and let him or her choose the aspect ratio on the display, but none of them will look right. Zoom will be blocky, stretch will be skewed wide, and 4:3 will be tiny and show overscan and additional black bars on the sides in addition to the top and bottom..

Comment Re:pointless (Score 2) 176

Friends of mine had a very, very early projector TV that had a large box about the size of a dishwasher housing a three-element projector that sat on the floor, with steel square-tubes that led to the wall, where an upright set of steel square-tubes had a curved parabolic screen mounted to them, that at the dead-center was exactly ninety degrees perpendicular to the projector. Even back then, the curve screen was not desirable, it was necessary in order to get the image to look right on a screen the better part of a hundred inches across the diagonal. The three projector elements were not perfectly in-parallax to each other when shining on a flat surface, but the curve of the screen allowed the image to be produced without significant parallax error on the colors.

I admit I was hooked on projectors from that point, but by the time I was able to get a projector for TV, office projectors that didn't need curved screens were readily available. I still have my first one actually, only 800x600 and a dim 300 lumens, but it has optical parallax correction and gets its image through a single LCD, so there are not problems with colors being out of alignment, and with the movable mirror for parallax and a manual zoom lens there's no problem with getting the image right within a certain bounds.

I just don't see any benefit in curved screens now, the content isn't filmed with them in mind, the content generally isn't even theatrically conceived to need a huge screen let alone a curved one, and the screens aren't so big relative to the rooms to where the curve offers a greater screen size than the room naturally could accommodate. So I agree, gimmick.

Comment Re:Not that expensive (Score 1) 246

Yeah but it would be way cheeper to pirate a copy uploaded by someone who rented it and cracked the DRM.

Sure. On the other hand I have a fairly large number of friends that like to see new movies in groups, and often go to the theater together. I just don't care to go to the theater much anymore but I do occasionally host movie nights with the projector and surround sound system anyway, so if this service allows us to pause or to rewind or to otherwise replay then it could be very advantageous. We could do our own movie dinner theatre for a fraction of the cost of going out to the movies, could pause the movie if someone needs more food or to use the bathroom or something, and can do this with high quality while the movie is still essentially new. Could even take this a step further, and do a marathon of the previous films in the series culminating in the new release at the end.

For this to work it has to be priced right and the movie has to come out soon enough. $50 might be too high, and seventeen days might be too long, we'll just have to see though.

Comment Re:Supply and demand? (Score 2) 161

Your last point weighs heavy. If the manfuacturers try to follow a true market-will-bear price point for any given moment then they'll find that other players like Embrear might seek to develop competing widebody aircraft, or companies like BAe might fork from Airbus to resume designing and building widebodies independent of Airbus, or even various Russian or Post-Soviet Commonwealth aircraft manufacturers might seek to increase marketshare.

With all of these factors, the market-will-bear price point is probably right where it should be.

Comment Re:My job... (Score 1) 361

Your mentioning China reminded me about their manufacturing and how it relates to their pollution problems.

Manufacturing, especially rote, repeat-times-millions large batch manufacturing is always a perfect role to use robots instead of humans. The first reason China became attractive for manufacturing is the labor costs for unskilled or only moderately skilled workers on assembly lines versus just about everywhere in the West. Second reason, a general lack of rules governing emissions, pollution, and contamination compared to the West. Third reason, very little in the way of overhead due to workplace safety or general safety process rules.

Lately though, China has become painfully aware of both the pollution problems and of the safety problems (remembering that huge port explosion a couple years back as a case in point) and if China works to make inroads for those, and if manufacturers continue to look for ways to reduce the number of workers for a given product, eventually there could come a tipping point where those manufacturers leave China. Where they go will be tough to predict; they might find some second-world or third-world country that lacks environmental or worker protections, or they might look at the costs of doing business in those kinds of places and the costs to ship and actually bring some production, albeit heavily automated, back to their own domestic shores. After all, if it costs $10 to produce a thing in China and $1 to ship it, and if it costs $11 to produce that same thing locally, then there's no reason to bother producing in China anymore.

We'll just have to see.

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