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Comment Here's what I did... (Score 1) 155

I actually canceled my Netflix streaming account a couple years ago, and went DVD-only. Then about 6 months ago, I realized that I was spending about $3/movie that way. I switched to VidAngel at that time, and have been thrilled with the service. $1 rentals, streamed, and with a full selection of all the latest studio hits. Only drawback is that the first movie cost $20.
And yeah, this is a slashvertisement; if you access via this link, I get a free movie if you sign up. If you don't want to give me a free movie, use this link instead.

Comment Interesting paradigm (Score 1) 149

This is an interesting situation, from my limited knowledge of it. It's the first time I'm aware of that something with no monetary value was taken from the issuer with no actual deprivation of services (i.e. it's not a limited resource; nobody was deprived of these coins), yet the criminals were able to literally receive millions of dollars selling them. It's as if someone was selling pirated Mp3s, except in this case, the coins aren't purchased in the first place; they're won through playing a game (which doesn't have a cost per match, meaning they're actually free after you purchase the game & xbox live membership or whatever platform this is.)
So, basically, we have a victimless* crime that made real money. Seems quite unusual.

*The victims here are the other players who didn't cheat, and now have an unfair disadvantage.

Comment Fantastic news (Score 1) 28

This is really fantastic news. One of the environmental problems the world is facing relates to all the miles of empty travel back to China, for exporters. More export from the USA to China means planes & ships with cargo going both ways; it costs the shippers next to nothing, and it puts the fuel to better use. The other benefit that stands out to me, is the fact that this could help with the USA's trade deficit. Every dollar of goods Amazon exports is a dollar into our economy that wouldn't be here otherwise. I hope this does well.

Comment What about the 'official' video on YouTube? (Score 1) 39

I was sent this last week. There are even conspiracy theorists who've made videos about things they've seen in this 'live' video feed 'before NASA could cut the feed'.
It has about 3000 people watching it right now.

Comment Re:Did renewables replace any carbon based plants? (Score 1) 340

You clearly have much lower utility rates than we do in the rural Western United States. For me, it was a matter of months. Our electricity when we lived in town was about $100-$150/month. Now that we've built a home in the country, we're completely off-grid (other than that pesky Internet fiber); we have about $3,000 invested into our solar array, battery bank, pure sine inverters, all wiring, and charge controllers. It provides enough electricity that we run a large refrigerator and a chest freezer, and we even use an electric water heater and range. We occasionally supplement with a small $200 gasoline generator when there are multiple cloudy days, but that's getting pretty rare, and probably costs less than $100/year.
My total payoff time for this system was about 24 months; 2 years. And since I have electric cooking and a wood stove for heat, I also save another $25-150/month (monthly average gas bill was about $45), and the cost for the wood stove & accessories was less than the cost of a gas or electric furnace. If we add that into the mix, it brings our payoff down to 18 months.

Comment Re:really like my Brother Printer but they play ga (Score 1) 387

The fact that it will continue to print is a huge improvement over the other brands. In the other brands, if the 'replace now' message pops up, you are unable to print until you replace the part in question. The fact that they remind you is nothing compared with forcing your hand when you still have ink left.

Comment Office Depot is no different (Score 1) 110

I used to work in retail. The sales goals had both positive and negative reinforcement; [meager] commissions for selling extended warranties, and stiff reprimands for not meeting 'accessory sales' goals. One store in the district custom created their own signs for all of their furniture, marking the prices up by $20 or so, and selling everyone extended warranties with every piece sold, without ever asking the customer. I noticed this while visiting the store, and reported it to my manager.
Guess who got in trouble (Hint: it wasn't them.)

Comment Re:No different than recording a call (Score 1) 99

Same where I am, but you can't record someone else's conversation; you have to be a party in the conversation to get the right to record it. As websites are concerned, that's already the case (after all, that's how most websites make their money), but when you use a desktop application, who is the second party? I would think that recording that would be similar to recording a person talking to himself, which is illegal without notification everywhere in the USA.

Comment No different than recording a call (Score 1) 99

This sort of software should be no different from recorded phone calls. As long as the user is notified in a significant, reasonable way, this type of software should be allowed (i.e. just like most large business networks notify when you log in.) If the user is not notified that they are being recorded or monitored, it should be illegal under wiretap laws.

Comment Not gonna happen. (Score 1) 114

Skype won because it had clients for every OS under the Sun, then MS merged it with MSN Messenger, its largest competitor. Sure, it's a little buggy (although substantially less than Hangouts or Facebook Video Chat), but everyone has it.
The encryption issue is a non-starter for two reasons: First, there isn't a viable competitor that does adequately encrypt and open the source code so that you know it really did. Second, 90%+ of the userbase don't care.
Sorry Google, but you're not going to win the war with MS on this front; at least not with this.

Comment Lipstick on a pig (Score 1) 351

I'm sorry, but this is straight-up nonsense. I've worked as many as 3 jobs at a time to make both ends meet in the middle, and no -- it's not a positive thing. At this point, I'm self- employed, and finally able to spend time with my family, which is actually what I want to be doing.
Just because you dress up your poverty as a plus (e.g. "Being unable to afford food has helped me lose 90 lbs!" or "I'm in the best shape of my life, because I walk 10 miles a day. How did I find the motivation to exercise this much? I got my car repo'd!"), does not mean that you should advise others to try it. I'm happy that I can afford food and a car. I'm also happy that I can do that with only 40-ish hours of work each week.

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