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Comment we can't even be bothered to get that right.... (Score 3, Informative) 118

"The passengers will travel beyond the moon and loop back to Earth, spanning roughly 300,000 to 400,000 miles. "

The distance to the moon is 238,900 miles.
I'm going to go way out on a limb here and postulate that a trip AROUND the moon is going to be something more than 477,000 miles.

Comment Re:Yes, Netflix will (Score 1) 122

Netflix is also producing TV-style programming, which is different from Hollywood movies. The economics are different, the production values are different, etc.

TV shows generally have lower production quality, but some Netflix originals I would say are near movie-quality, like House of Cards. It doesn't have the cheap TV feel that some of their series have, it's mostly on par with HBO's better efforts which I think are movie-quality.

I don't see why you couldn't use the series format with careful scheduling to get movie quality for less money; make sure you can get maximum use out of existing sets, locations, costumes -- basically shoot extra footage.

Comment Re:How to they block hotspot? (Score 1) 67

Yes, I took my iPhone 6 Plus (normally on AT&T in the US) to the UK in December. A friend in the UK had mailed me an activated Asda pay-as-you-go SIM so I could have cheap phone service and data while in the UK.

When I first got there, tethering still showed up as an option. I (unfortunately) agreed to a carrier update while I was there and lost tethering -- apparently not a part of my Asda service. It wasn't a problem while I was there, the hotel actually had good and free wifi and I only really needed data on my phone, which worked fine.

It's really shitty that carriers dig this deep and have found (yet another) way to chisel their customers. I tried digging online just now, and I really couldn't find an unlocked hotspot with US LTE bands, I'd be curious to know if carriers treat hotspot devices like tethering.

Comment After my experience Saturday, Fuck AT&T (Score 1) 67

I've been a mostly satisfied AT&T customer for the last 7 years. In their favor, good coverage everywhere I've been, including Stumblefuck, ND, and they unlocked 2 (paid for) phones quickly and easily when I went to the UK so I could use an Asda SIM. Historically trips to the store have been brief and easy and I got what I needed done without grief.

That changed on Saturday. Like most people, we haven't been upgrading handsets and my wife was complaining about problems with her iPhone 5s, so we decided to get her a new phone. She wanted a 7 Plus.

On trip one, we went in and the sales droid pulled out all the stops to get us to buy other shit. $50 iPad mini if we added a line of service. Beats wireless headphones on the table "ready to buy", DirecTV, fucking cell phone insurance plan pre-added to our account in the tablet application. After telling him to fuck off over everything he wanted to do and to not stick us on a 6 gig shared plan when we use 5.95 GB regularly, we finally finished and walked out with the new phone and a case for it (she makes the money, so she gets to buy an overpriced case, but I digress).

Sure enough when we get home -- it's an iPhone 7 -- NOT the plus model. Couldn't tell from the box without the Plus box next to it to compare (or reading the microscoping printing on the bottom label).

Go back to the store WITH the iPhone 7 Plus case we bought and explain it to a different sales droid. Told him the first salesmen brought out the wrong phone, sold us a case that didn't match it without saying anything and who can tell from the sealed iPhone box (iPhone 7 and 7 Plus packaging is IDENTICAL in appearance other than size, and the non-plus box still larger than an actual Plus phone). Told him we had wanted the Plus but been given the smaller one in error. "Why would we pick out a wrong-sized new case? Why would sell us a phone and mismatched case?"

He wanted to charge me a $45 restock fee. Store was crowded and I raised my voice and told him I wasn't paying for his mistake and I would (well, mostly) walk away to T-Mobile with all 3 lines of service. Manager heard my voice, came over and approved the exchange without the $45 fee. Then THIS guy wouldn't let up about the insurance plan -- "Are you a gambler?" Fuck off.

So I get home.....and, the dumbshit assigned MY number to the now-right new iPhone SIM. Third trip back to the store to get a new SIM for my phone and the right number on the new phone.

3 fucking trips due to their incompetence. I told the manager when I was there that he needed to focus his employees on the details of their transactions, not on the relentless upselling.

Comment Re:So leave (Score 4, Insightful) 522

That's really what it comes down to. You have to make a decision on employment not just based on the size of your paycheck. Quality of life, proximity to activities/transportation, cost of housing, general cost of living all play into the equation.

It's as if nobody every taught these kids any sort of financial management or business skills, or even analytical thinking to work out the finances themselves. This is not, as they say, rocket science.

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 5, Insightful) 209

But, it's a direct admission that they were basically gouging for want of competition.

How much are they gouging? What is the payback period on their R&D? What is the investment in the chip fab to make these things, and how far into the payback period are they now?

Will these price drops mean that they have to extend the payback period to recoup the costs of the smaller-feature fab? Will that delay the 7nm mass production they've announced for 2020?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I do know some of the questions to ask. Let's not jump to conclusions without understanding the data.

Comment Re:Kill Code will get you busted in USA (Score 1) 273

This is the real danger of using a kill or wipe code.

Still better than handing over your phone. The first rule of criminal law if that you never, ever talk to police without your lawyer present. Never. No matter how innocent or how innocuous the situation is, if you are being questioned you must have your lawyer. Personally, I have nothing to hide, but I'd still wipe my phone if I were detained by TSA or law enforcement.

Comment Self Destruct PINs already exist (Score 1) 273

For those worried about hackers remotely wiping your phone - such a mechanism already exists. If you mis-enter your pin X times, most phones will automatically lock or wipe as an anti-theft protection. If you're concerted about a hacker entering your wipe code, you should be more concerned about the same hacker entering 5/10/12 incorrect PINs and locking you out or using the iOS or Android Find My Phone functionality to remotely wipe the phone.

Comment Witness Immunization from Procurement of Evidence (Score 1) 273

Total destruction seems excessive. If your phone is (properly) encrypted, a simple deletion of the key is sufficient. I think a WIPE (Witness Immunization from Procurement of Evidence) PIN would be a fabulous addition to both Android and iOS.

If nothing else, the existence of such a PIN would stop law enforcement from requesting/requiring your PIN, as they could receive the wrong one.

Comment Re:Backups? (Score 1) 273

There are a number of automatic backup apps which can run on a schedule. Many applications themselves have options to back up to cloud services. For those paranoid, several android phones have removable uSD cards which can be set to be the default location for application storage. If you're travelling and don't have the necessary network for backups, you can remove the uSD and store it somewhere unlikely to be found or searched - or just drop it in the mail to yourself on the way to the airport.

When interdictions at the airport became news, my first thought was to having a kill PIN. That would be better than a wipe and reset, as the whole process of re-downloading my apps from a fresh install, having to re-set some of my personal ringtones, custom keyboard, and logging back into apps can take close to an hour (Even if most of it is unattended).

What you're looking for is a dd-like mirror of the device which, afaik, does not exist for either platform. It's unlikely for iOS and most Android simply because you're talking about a backup which, for the barest devices, is going to be north of 12GB. Even on good WiFi to a local server that's going to be a long process, likely taking over an hour - easily three or more if you want to do a verification of the transfer (which you'd better do if you're about to wipe your phone). Phones with removable storage are an option, but even then you're talking multiple hours for backup and verification based on even the fastest cards.

Comment Re:They did it to themselves (Score 1) 257

That's more than likely part of the high cost of OEM repairs -- they already outsource that stuff to third parties, so there are additional transaction costs of job routing and the material and overhead costs of parts depots spread all over. Plus most of the labor providers are big companies with big overheads which jacks up costs.

It would probably be good for everybody if OEMs would build out a network that used existing screwdriver shops as official repair locations. They do a lot of the work now, but are kind of cut out of the parts supply. There's one near my house I've used to help source parts for my own repairs and they say that OEM parts are tough to get because the OEMs don't supply repair parts like they used to. They often rely on EBay and stripping broken systems for parts these days.

Comment Re:Yes, Netflix will (Score 1) 122

I think an advantage for Netflix is their ability to produce niche content.

Studios have to aim for a broader appeal for any given film since they can produce and distribute fewer titles which usually have a higher budget and thus greater risk, and to hedge against risk they have gotten in the habit of re-doing what was popular before with the idea that it will be popular again. So they make a picture that's only of average quality to an average audience.

By aiming at niche audiences, Netflix makes content that may have a smaller audience but provides better than average satisfaction to the audience. I think I've heard more people talk about Stranger Things than any of the Oscar nominated films or most of movies released this year period.

I'd also wager that a 10 episode Netflix serial, even at near-movie quality production values, has some economies of scale and has a cost per running hour that is less than a Hollywood film, providing more content at aggregate cost. The difference between a 10 hour series and a 2 hour movie is often more expository scenes that make more efficient use of the cast and crew since you're getting more mileage out of costumes, settings and locations.

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