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Comment Profit! (Score 1) 215

"Gema is now hoping that Google will finally agree to a new bilateral licensing treaty whereby the collecting society would not get an annual lump sum for the contested videos, but a fixed fee each time copyright-protected videos are watched."

1. Get YouTube to give you two cents each time one is watched
2. Go to a third world country/botnet and pay a penny per click to get viewers
3. Profit!

Seriously, pull out of Germany and let the people tell their politicians how they really feel. I imagine they will be welcomed back when a few rules are tweaked.

Comment +1 for SUV bashing (Score 0) 263

"even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you"

Give me a break. You shouldn't be depending on seeing through cars or SUV's period. Keep your distance and keep your opinions about what I want to drive to yourself. My large SUV is much safer than your car. Don't tell me that I'm responsible for making smaller cars unsafe. If we were on a level playing field, I might agree. However, we're not going to get rid of semi trucks, so I want to be driving around in the safest vehicle I can as long as we share roads. will show you that your 4-Door Sedan, Hardtop had 13,100 fatalities last year. Large Utility had just 1,504. Maybe it's because there are so many more 4-Door sedans on the road or maybe it's that the vehicle is safer. All I know is that statistically I'm safer in my vehicle. Don't pull out the old "yeah, but they roll over" canard either. Same link will show you that more passenger vehicles roll over than SUV's in fatal accidents as well.

Now then, as for the technology, I think it makes sense. Admittedly it will be a bit strange having things "just happen" for you, but it was strange to fully engage brakes once ABS became the norm (I'm old enough to remember quickly tapping the breaks under certain circumstances).

Comment Oh come on! (Score 2) 623

"Amazon Drops California Associates to Avoid Sales Tax"

Should read:

Amazon Drops California Associates to Avoid COLLECTING Sales Tax ON BEHALF OF A GREEDY STATE GOVERNMENT.

Option 1: Amazon should spend millions of dollars on programmers, accountants, tax compliance attorneys, and so forth so that they can continue paying commissions to 25,000 affiliates (many of whom do report their income and provide taxes to the state of CA).

Option 2: Find affiliates in states that are friendly and don't employ mob-style tactics. When will these pols get it? There is not an endless supply of OPM (other people's money).

Comment Bad analogies (Score 1) 495

Semi-OT: Doesn't Netflix already limit the number of simultaneous logins and/or do some kind of IP monitoring? I'm a subscriber and I know in the past I've gotten warnings when I was trying to watch something while travelling (and confirming that my kids were watching Jimmy Neutron or whatever at home).

I see some flawed analogies in the responses. Giving your password already violates their terms. When you sign up and pay for the service, you said you weren't going to share your password. So comparing this to borrowing your friend a car or having someone stay in your house is not the same thing. It is unlikely your purchase agreements for those assets included anything about sharing.

I think this is closer to "stealing" phone service. Where you have a line coming into a house (a single private line, not a party line), and then use several splitters and long runs of cat 3 to connect up your neighbors. If you read your terms and agreements that come with your phone service, I think you'll find that you can't do this. Likewise, you can share your cell phone with anyone - that's a different subscription model with different terms.

N.B. Making a law over the matter... well that is ridiculous and is clearly being done to appease the industry.

Comment Celebrating 15 years. (Score 4, Interesting) 336

My first email address was in 1991 (NDSU -, then when I was done with college. I registered my domain in 1996 and have used the same address since then. In fact, this June will celebrate 15 years of marriage to my email address and my wife!

Three digit slashdot ID, four character .com domain, and married for 15 years - major achievements for a geek!

Comment Beat it at what? (Score 1) 789

I have a hammer and a cordless drill. The hammer cost 1/10th of the drill, can be used to pound nails, break sheetrock, tap things into place, pull nails, strike a chisel, and much much more. My drill basically has two uses. So is the hammer a lot better because it is cheaper and can do more? No, because it sucks at drilling holes and screwing fasteners.

Now, I have a desktop, laptop, and tablet. You know what? I like all three. Depending on what I'm doing, I pick the right tool. A desktop with a couple 24" monitors and full size keyboard/mouse is great for editing/managing photo and music libraries, writing code, etc. The laptop is great for banging out some emails while I'm on the couch. The tablet is great when I just want to read, watch a show in bed, or share pictures at a family gathering.

Making these tablet vs laptop comparisons is beyond juvenile. Do we really need this on /.?

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Comment Re:After a lifetime of experiences ... (Score 2) 680

While I can respect your opinion, I do disagree. Many (most?) of the pictures I take are not for my personal consumption, but those of my family and especially my children. Recently I made a montage of photos using animoto for my mom's 60th birthday. I used photos taken by my parents over the years. The process of looking through them, thinking of the memories they provoked, asking questions (after the fact) about some of the events I didn't recognize (or happened before I was alive) was a great experience for me. It also brought mom to tears.

My grandmother recently passed along hundreds of photos (many dating back 70+ years) to her children and grandchildren. These photos are priceless. They spurred some wonderful conversations with my grandmother, mother, and my own children. Photographs are like icebreakers - they naturally get people asking questions.

I sincerely hope that some day my kids will do the same sort of thing for me and that I can give pictures to them. I'd like to think they will get a similar satisfaction reflecting on great past experiences.

I don't have a photographic memory. I can't remember every little place I've been to. But it always seems that viewing a picture unlocks those memories. More to your point, when I watch my daughter dance or my son test for his next belt in Taekwondo, I consciously think about taking a few pictures, maybe a small bit of video, and then get my eye out of the viewfinder to remember the rest. If I'm someplace on my own, there is a certain join in taking some time to get just the right shot *and* get the shot in my memory.

Like so many tools and shiny gadgets in life, a camera can be used in many ways.

Comment Re:Doesn't Create a Need (Score 1) 1713

You're right - it doesn't create a need. I fills a need.

My wife and kids spend 95% of their time on our laptop surfing the web, watching movies, emailing, etc. While our PowerBook is tiny compared to the laptops of the mid-90's, they are still relatively big and get very warm on your lap. Batteries seem to need charging on a regular basis. A PowerBook costs a lot. I can see this being a device that each member of the family could have (and I could afford). While not everything Apple touches turns to gold (Apple TV comes to mind), I believe this will be a winner.

There's going to be some amazing apps for this. I would love one in the kitchen. A laptop takes up counter space. This thing can sit in the cookbook holder as geek cooks have imagined for years. Play some music, pull up your recipe, can be a slideshow picture frame when not in use... You know there will be some great accessories for this. I predict a picture frame dock that hangs on the wall. It can recharge and show photos in style.

With regards to the Kindle... would you really take a grayscale eBook reader with a text browser (yay Lynx!) for $489 or an iPad with HD resolution, Safari, email, iphoto, itunes, 140K apps, etc., etc., for $499? The Kindle is marginally smaller and may have one or two very minor benefits for book readers, but c'mon... really?

If the iPad delivers on performance/battery life, this is a winner.

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