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Comment Offshore Management (Score 1) 338

I await when CEO jobs can also be outsourced 'elsewhere' since I'm sure they can be paid a lot less for their leadership skills than they can in the U.S. Funny, outsourcing is only for the lower ranks but not in higher management. Are you saying that someone from these other countries can't do as good a job as a U.S. corporate management team?

This happened in the 1980s when Japanese automakers began opening factories in the American midwest. In the 1990s Japanese electronics firms hired a lot of Americans to develop chips and software. Most of these ventures turned out very well for both the Japanese owners/managers and the American workers. China's population and economy are several times the size of Japan's, so maybe in a decade or two Chinese firms will be the largest source of new employment in the US.

Comment Could things get better? (Score 1) 625

Isn't a big motivator for automation the fact that businesses need to cut costs right now, so if the economy was better employers would be in less of a hurry to automate even if the technology was available? Isn't a big cause of the US economy being bad the fact that it's much cheaper and easier to do business in China, a situation that's gradually changing? As Japan became rich, it invested much and hired many in the US. Will China do the same? Aren't there only so many US jobs that can be cut until companies no longer have customers?

Comment Big-Screen Video Gaming (Score 1) 924

A Canadian company Time Play has the audience use their smartphones to play word games with each other on the big screen. Years ago a company in Spain set up a LAN party in the movie theater but they're out of business now. Any news of something like this happening in the States, aside from one-time theater rentals for console gaming?

Comment Lots of goodies! (Score 2) 102

I'd like to see 3D printers all over the place: homes and offices for starters. Show some killer apps for them so they fly off the shelves. Convince all the convenience stores to replace their cobweb-gathering photo equipment with some sexy new 3D printers that are bigger and better than what people can get at home so customers can order top-quality printed objects in store.

The ever-improving capabilities of remote-controlled helicopters and planes are always interesting. Is a programmable, unmanned submarine now possible?

OLED TVs and monitors should sell based on speed and contrast. If Peter Jackson and James Cameron get their way and make high frame rate movies the norm, TVs will sell more and more based on their ability to show native HFR material well.

Comment More retailers need this. (Score 1) 85

When I worked at Walgreens from 2007-2010, the amount of printing the photo department did dropped sharply because the economy was worsening and because people were moving most of their photo viewing onto smartphones. Nowadays, 3D printing would make much better use of the photo department space than 2D printing and it would substitute many of the cheap toys and tools on the middle aisle.

What's especially intriguing is that 3D printing could substitute all forms of 2D printing. Instead of selling paper and inkjet cartridge refills, the store could sell powdered plastic for home 3D printers. Instead of printing pictures in store, the store could print objects that are bigger, better, and made from more materials than home 3D printers can use. In addition to sending out orders for custom mugs and T-shirts, the store could send out orders for the highest quality 3D printed items possible.

One problem is that there isn't really a consumer-level killer app for 3D printing yet. It needs somebody like Steve Jobs to make 3D printing into something nobody can do without.

Comment Re:Return of the SNES (Score 1) 281

None of the games I mentioned above used extra processors. Neither did any of Squaresoft's games but Super Mario RPG. Neither did any of SNES's fighting games except for Street Fighter Alpha 2 which actually ran slower than the fighting games that didn't use co-processors. Neither did the Donkey Kong Country trilogy. The SNES's most enduring games didn't use extra hardware, just great programming and imaginations. This is why I'm confident that developers can do great things with the Wii U. Unlike the PS3, the Wii U doesn't seem to have a complicated architecture, just unusual tradeoffs.

Comment Return of the SNES (Score 4, Interesting) 281

It sounds as if Nintendo's priorities when designing the Wii U's chipset in contrast to the Xbox 360 were similar to what they were when designing the SNES in contrast to the Sega Genesis: more RAM, more powerful GPU, slower CPU. Some SNES launch games either suffered slowdown and flicker (Gradius 3) or lacked a two-player modes and had fewer enemies onscreen (Final Fight) compared to similar Genesis or arcade games (Thunder Force 3 and Final Fight arcade). Most post-launch SNES games fared much better in these areas: Axelay, Space Megaforce, Turtles in Time, Final Fight 2, Smash TV. So far the Wii U is repeating the SNES's launch pains. Let's hope it repeats the payoff years!

Comment Latest of Many (Score 1) 961

This wouldn't be the first time the mainstream media has ignored a big protest march. They also ignored the FTAA protests in Miami in 2003. According to my friends who went, it stayed peaceful but the protests apparently didn't have much effect on the negotiations since they were a long way from the protest area set up by the police.

Comment Why not set top boxes? (Score 1) 128

Running a wide variety of apps on a TV has tremendous potential, but just as with PCs, game consoles and smartphones, the tech is changing so fast that the user will need to overhaul it every few years, so this tech should be implemented as set top boxes. Nobody wants to throw out their whole TV just because one small part of it is obsolete.

Comment Don't build fast changing tech into the TV (Score 2, Interesting) 403

A lot of commentators say that this tech needs to be built into the TV, but I disagree. Chipsets, storage and networking hardware are less expensive than display tech, but they also change and improve much more rapidly. People don't want to have to replace their entire TV just because some new networking standard came on the market, or because a new app requires more storage or a more powerful chipset than the TV has built in. In fact, I think the even digital tuners built into most HDTVs are obsolete because they only decode MPEG2, not H.264. We'll never see higher picture quality in traditional broadcasts or cablecasts no matter how cheap H.264 decoding hardware gets because that part of the TV is set in stone. It's most economical and convenient for the customer to only replace their set top box.

So another reason why Apple's ahead of Google is that they're not bothering with TV integration for now. It's bad news for TV makers who had hoped to get customers to replace their entire TVs because one part had become obsolete, but that's such a bad value for customers that it wouldn't work even in a good economy.


Prince Says Internet Is Over 450

the_arrow writes "According to the artist currently known as Prince, 'The internet's completely over.' At least that what he says in an interview with the British newspaper Mirror. Quoting Prince: 'The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you.'"

Comment Lossy compression for display cabling? (Score 1) 345

Recently, when I went electronics shopping, I noticed that all the TVs on display were hooked up by coax, and that HDMI cables are annoyingly expensive. Could lossy compression be a way to deliver higher quality video over lower cost cables? After all, compression processors obey Moore's Law, cables don't. If video cabling used, say, H.264, or maybe JPEG2000 to preserve a higher quality colorspace, we could perhaps get away with using cheap USB cables for video connections. Viable?

Comment Out with remakes, in with reruns! (Score 1) 404

What would be so much simpler than trying to de-age actors would be Hollywood rurunning all their classic movies in theaters using the new DLP projectors in theaters to keep the distribution cost down. The long tail works not just for new indies, it can also work for old classics. A steady stream of reruns in theaters would make everybody from movie fans to studio execs question the need for remakes, and then Hollywood could spend more of its current money and talent on more original movies.

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