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Comment Re:It'll be out of date (Score 1) 196

I know you're joking about the vacuum tubes, but sadly even modern cars rely heavily on vacuums for normal operation. My last car (a 2004 Toyota Corolla) had one of its hoses develop a vacuum leak and the brakes stopped working. Fortunately the emergency brake was still in working condition. It's sad modern vehicles still depend on such antiquated technology. Maybe electric cars are better in this regard?

Comment emotional impact (Score 3, Interesting) 271

... the bulk of the ad industry is devoted to something called brand ads, the ads you see on television and print magazines that work on your emotions ...

I'll agree that Google's ads don't work on my emotions. Other advertising on the web, the kind that load up giant flash videos that cause my browser to hang for 30 seconds, play unwanted audio, obscure the content I'm trying to read, and otherwise ruin my browsing experience - those types of advertising definitely do hit me at an emotional level, but I'm not sure it's the type of emotion the advertiser wants from me. It's the kind of emotion that makes me run adblock so I don't have to deal with them anymore. I think I prefer Google's far less emotional ads.

Comment vending machine pricing (Score 5, Informative) 105

I'm reminded of a story about a company that made soda vending machines. The company had a new vending machine they were marketing to amusement parks which would raise prices when the temperature got above, say, 80 degrees. A lot of amusement parks liked the idea and started buying the new machines, but the word got out to the public and there was a huge backlash of people complaining about deceptive pricing and basically cheating the customers. In order to save themselves, the vending machine company explained to the public that their machines were really lowering the price of their sodas when the temperature dropped below 80 degrees. Somehow that just sounded better to the general public. This thing with fast and slow lanes sounds a lot like the vending machine company. Allowing fast lanes and allowing slow lanes are the same thing, just worded differently.

Comment Re:The US Navy has lots of windows boxen (Score 1) 147

I remember shortly after the Navy had their problem with the Yorktown, an admiral was quoted as saying, "A lot of people claim Windows NT is unstable, but we've found that not to be the case. Our Windows machines have an average uptime of around 95%" A 95% uptime works out to an hour and 12 minutes of downtime per day. Without realizing it, he made the point of just how bad NT4 really was. Fortunately for Microsoft, Windows stability has improved dramatically since those days.

Comment too many patents (Score 1) 96

It would be nice if there were a way to limit the number of patents a company or individual was allowed to own. If companies couldn't stockpile their patents then they would be forced to limit their patents to the higher quality ones. Of course any such law would have to be written carefully to avoid the obvious loopholes companies would surely exploit.

Comment The plot (Score 5, Funny) 102

A sodium atom and a potassium atom are walking down the street when suddenly the sodium atom stops with a concerned look. "I just lost an electron" he said. "Are you sure?" asked the potassium atom. The sodium atom replied with, "Yeah, I'm positive."

Submission + - Washington Post fires mobile team ( 1

imac.usr writes: The Huffington Post is reporting that The Washington Post has gone through yet another round of layoffs, but this time instead of cutting editorial positions, they're apparently cutting IT positions, specifically in the mobile applications department. According to Washington, DC media blog FishbowlDC, 54 people, including the General Manager of Mobile and Director of Mobile Products were given the axe on Valentine's Day. A particularly damning quote from the FishbowlDC article: '“[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.”'

Given that mobile products seem somewhat more likely to succeed than printed newspapers, this seems a strange decision at best.

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