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Comment I guess if your definition of success (Score 2) 168

is screwing your customers, then ok. Personally I prefer companies that make lots of great products and sell them for barely any profit so I get to have great stuff for less. A company with huge profit margins is a company that is charging more than they have to.

If you are an investor, liking a company to make a high profit margin makes sense, though I still have to question it in the case of Apple since they hoard the cash rather than pay it out as a dividend. However if as a consumer you applaud high profit margin you are silly.

Comment Apple told is they do! (Score 2) 334

Seriously, that seems to be the extent of the logic some of the manufacturers use. Apple has/had an obsession with thin, Apple did well, therefore we need to have an obsession with thin.

Personally, I say fuck that. Phones have gotten anywhere from thin enough to too thin. I had a Note 3 for a few years, which I was completely fine with in terms of thickness. However I recently got an LG G5 which is just slightly thicker, and I actually like it better. The slight extra thickness, combined with rounded edged, makes it really comfortable to hold. Of all the smartphones I've had it fits in my hand the very best. I think they've got it pretty close to perfect in therms of thickness.

Oh and it manages to have a removable battery, headphone jack, and SD card so that's nice as well.

I get annoyed with the worship of the cult of thin. I understand the interest back in the day, I had an early Windows CE smartphone which was a massive brick and ya, I wanted something smaller. However we have gotten to the point where they are plenty thin enough and going thinner is less ergonomic, not more.

Comment The problem is (Score 1) 113

None of that makes alternate media any better. There's nothing wrong with pointing out the problems media has. Indeed it is healthy and necessary as the only way we can hope to improve it is to point out the problems and demand that they be improved upon.

The issue is that is not what many of the people who call themselves skeptical of the media are doing. Rather they seem to be taking the view that MSM is bad so that means whatever alternate media site they read is good and accurate all the time. They'll be critical of CNN or the New York Times often to an unreasonable degree, but then accept without question or analysis things from Brietbart or Infowars.

That is completely silly, of course. The idea that because a site is not "mainstream" they must do a good job reporting is bunk. Being "alternate" is no guarantee of any sort of journalistic standards, or any process to try and combat bias. On the contrary, many explicitly have a viewpoint they are pushing, to try and capture a certain part of the market.

That really is why most people like them, and dislike more mainstream sites. It isn't that they are actually critically evaluating the news's failures, rather it is they disagree with what they are saying. So they find another site that says things they agree with, and they decide that means they must be telling the truth. They aren't actually doing any critical analysis, just trying to find places that say things they agree with.

It is like a person who is skeptical of a diagnosis from a doctor, but will unquestioningly accept the diagnosis of a homeopath.

Comment All the new high end ARM CPUs do (Score 1) 76

My phone (LG G5) supports it because it has a Snapdragon 820. That's great and all, but there aren't a lot of devices out there that are so new. So no real point in Netflix supporting it. They'd need to wait a few years for enough people to replace their hardware with new units.

Comment Also nothing supports it (Score 4, Interesting) 76

I mean the newest devices support it in hardware, but it has to be a very new chip to have H.265 support. The vast majority of devices in use don't. For computers you could do it in software but that isn't ideal, since H.265 decoding is rather heavy so you'd hit the CPU pretty hard, whereas hardware accelerated H.264 would hit it almost not at all. For mobile/embedded devices though it just won't work. Too CPU intensive to do in software, so people need a new device.

Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 243

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment Look up laws on booby traps (Score 5, Insightful) 243

I doubt they'd have a hard time stretching it to over something like this. If you have a device who's only purpose is to destroy something and it goes and destroys something, well you are pretty likely to get in trouble for it.

Remember courts aren't operated by overly literal geeks who think if they can find some explanation, no matter how outlandish or unlikely, it'll be accepted. The law bases a lot around what is reasonable, and around intent. So your attempt at being cute won't work, and you'll be off to jail.

It also may very well be illegal just to have, or be made illegal if not. There are devices that are outlawed purely because they have no legit use. Many states ban burglary tools, which can include things like the cracked ceramic piece of a spark plug (the aluminum oxide ceramic breaks tempered glass easily). If they catch you and can prove intent, then you are in trouble just for having them with the intent to use them illegally.

Oh and don't think they have to read your mind or get a confession to prove intent. They usually just have to show that the circumstances surrounding the situation are enough to lead a reasonable person to believe that you were going to commit a crime.

And a post like this, would count for sure.

Comment These idiots are going to get sued (Score 4, Informative) 243

The problem with a device like this is it is hard to find a substantial legitimate use for it. Given that, they are likely to be targeted for a lawsuit and they are likely to lose that suit.

While it is perfectly ok to sell a device that gets used to commit crimes, you generally have to have a legit reason to be selling it and it can't be something that is totally made up that nobody actually believes. So for example while a crowbar can certainly be used to break in to a house to or attack someone, they are also widely used used to get nails out of things and pry stuck objects apart. As an opposed example a number of companies that sell devices to help you cheat on urine tests have gotten in trouble since their devices had no use other than said cheating.

It is very, very hard to think of a legit use for this and I can't imagine they'll get many legit sales. So it'll probably get them in legal trouble.

Comment Even ones that are tested can have problems (Score 1) 120

I bought an Anker USB C-C cable. I got an LG phone with C, and Qualcomm quick charging on it so I needed some new adapters to be able to charge it at full speed. Gout a couple of adapters, and couple of A-C cables and then said "why not?" and got a C-C cable too. No use for it yet, but I figured I'd get it since I'm sure my next laptop will have C on it.

A few weeks later, Anker sent me a recall notice. Apparently there was a problem in the cables that could cause issues with high power use cases so they gave me my money back and promised a replacement when available.

The issue was actually apparently in the ICs on the cable. Yes that's right, the cables have to have controllers on them too since they have to communicate what kind of power they can handle.

It is likely to be a problem for some time. The good news is A-C cables aren't such an issue since A supports much lower voltages and currents (can only go up to 12v and and like 2.5a) so they don't have to be as insulated and don't need as much protection (apparently a resistor on them does the trick) but still. The C-C stuff though, it will be an issue.

Comment If you do business in the US, the IRS gets to peek (Score 1) 203

You find it is true of most nations, actually. If you are playing with finances in their borders, their tax agencies get to have a look at what is going on. Doesn't matter if you are a citizen or not. There can be tax implications even if you are't a citizen but regardless they want to see what is going on.

I mean look at the FIFA guys who got brought down by the US: It happened because they were doing shit with US currency and US banking. That is why the US took an interest and has legal standing.

Comment Re:Fair, but they have to decide what instead (Score 1) 302

You might want to try and spend a little more time considering your responses and a little less time getting all worked up, it'll help you make points more cognizant and likely to persuade.

First off I didn't post AC so... not sure what you are going for there.

That aside, when you start talking about nuclear power as "Kablooey power" you are more or less saying "ignore my opinion, I have a childlike view on this." Making up silly names does nothing to make your point, it doesn't convince me you have a valid view, it says to me your view is based on fear and a lack of understanding, not on a carefully considered weighing of the evidence.

So given that, I'm not going to waste more time trying to convince you since it won't work, logical appeals to people with an emotional position don't succeed. I'm just going to suggest that you might want to chill out, spend some time reading what you are responding to, and argue based on logic, not on emotion. You'll win more converts that way.

Comment They can't get private insurance (Score 1) 302

The potential costs are too high, private insurers aren't willing to underwrite it. Same kind of shit with flood insurance. In the case of nuclear it is really, really hard to price that shit as well. I mean problems with it happen very rarely, but when they do the potential costs can be huge and the costs can be difficult to estimate because you deal not with just actual costs, but with political/PR issues as well. Things like big exclusion areas are not the kind of thing that is necessarily mandatory as a public health measure, but can be necessary because people are really, really scared of radiation.

There are some things the private industry just won't do, or at least won't do well, for better or worse. Well, that's part of the reason we have a government: to deal with those cases.

For nuclear power what should happen, and indeed may happen in some places I don't know, is that they should pay in to a government sort of fund/insurance. That doesn't mean they will (or indeed could) pay up front any and all amount that could be needed to cover any disaster, but that they've helped defray costs in the event the government does need to provide disaster assistance.

Comment Fair, but they have to decide what instead (Score 1) 302

Because you don't get something for nothing. People can decide they are willing to use less power, decrease power usage enough and you can get away with less plants. However that does mean compromising modern lifestyle, as increases in efficiency only go so far (and many people have already done what they can to increase the efficiency of their use). They can use fossil fuel power instead, though that requires buying the fuel on a continual basis (Japan has no reserves to speak of) and dealing with the pollution it produces, particularly when you are talking a smaller nation like Japan with less places to put power generation far away from people. Renewables are an option, but only to an extent. Again there's the space issue but also none of them so far are reliable for generation at all times. You can use them to deal with peak loads of various kinds, but they don't work well for continuous generation and thus don't tend to be a solution all on their own.

There are lots of feasible options, but they all have tradeoffs and that is the problem. People who dislike nuclear power are made about its tradeoffs (the danger in the event of a catastrophic failure and the high cleanup cost mostly) but often don't have an alternative solution. I see a lot of "we don't want that" or "we should do something else" but little of what that should be. It isn't magic, there isn't some great solution that we could all have if we just wanted to. We have to deal with the tradeoffs.

Personally, I imagine that while there will be complaining, in the long run Japan will continue to use nuclear for a lot of its power needs as they are not going to be willing to make big, permanent, reductions in power use and none of the other options have tradeoffs they are going to want to take.

Comment Ummm... no (Score 1) 1429

About 39 million people live in California that is total people, including kids, immigrants, people not registered to vote, etc. Even if you assume that all those people could vote, and that they all voted the same way... well it still isn't enough to elect a president. In this election which had a pretty mediocre turnout, each major party candidate got more than 60 million votes (by way of comparison President Obama got almost 70 million in 2008).

But like I said, not all can or do vote. Of those 39 million people, only somewhere in the realm of 12-16 million actually do vote, numbers vary by year but are in line with the overall trend in the US of pretty low voter participation. So when you look at it California accounts for about 12% of the population in the US and what do you know, about the same percentage of the popular vote, which would seem to be the literal definition of fairness in terms of "one person, one vote".

However, even that large voting block doesn't matter since it turns out California is not unified, no state is. Maybe you get the mistaken impression it is because of the EC results, but that is only because of the "winner take all" nature of elector allocation. California likes democrats as a whole, but not universally. This year 7.2 million people there voted Clinton, 3.8 million voted Trump.

So no, it wouldn't decide an election in a popular vote, not even close.

Comment Not quite (Score 1) 1429

Not disagreeing that he's being a tool (sadly he's been a tool for awhile now) but you are wrong about the electoral college. The electors are free to vote for whomever they want. Even if the state has a faithless elector law, they are still free to vote the way they like, the state can just punish them afterwards (though the legality of them doing so is unclear).

The EC was designed this way. States choose electors to send, via whatever means they like, but those electors are then the ones that have the votes. If they decide to vote some other way, they can do that, it is legal and done by design. Like say back in the day, when this all took a long time, the electors show up and the candidate they pledged to vote for is dead. They don't have to just cast their vote for a dead guy, who then can't take the oath of office, they can evaluate what is going on and vote for someone else. But that also means they could just get together and all decide to elect someone because they are all friends. There is no check on that.

Seriously, have a look in to it.

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