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Comment Re: Nobody (Score 1) 236

The stats re Edge's uptake are telling. Nobody likes it. MS knows this so they start a PR effort to make people think Edge is remarkable. This is a marketing piece, nothing more. And face it, MS's credibility is weak. They have repeatedly lied to and deceived their customers. I'm astonished that more people haven't abandoned MS's crappy, over-priced products.

Comment Re: Terms of Service (Score 1) 112

Since I can't add any mod points to support this comment, I need to add an emphatic "HELL YES" to it.

ANY time there is a policy that might affect an individual's privacy due to a corporation potentially dispensing that individual's personal data, the default should be to OPT IN to allow the corp to sell the data. Not opting in means "don't sell my freakin' data."

Comment Some Good, Some Useless (Score 1) 352

I had family who were farmers and I still have friends who are farming. I had to laugh when I asked my uncle about DST. He said it didn't matter. The cows needed attention the same time every day of the year. He never reset his watch. He always knew when to be to an appointment regardless. I was always impressed by how in tune with nature's rhythms he was.

He was a dairy farmer, but I can't imagine it would be much different for a farmer who does other types of livestock or only does cash crops. If it does, then that farmer has a different approach to farming than what I'm familiar with. I know more and more farmers are getting into different areas which connect them more closely with the rhythms of the city (so to speak), but I guess you need to consider that before you get into it.

There is a benefit to DST (IMHO) for people living around the 40 to 50 latitudes. (That might be an even broader range than I estimated.) It's a matter of visibility of school children. I know from personal experience since I'm out driving around during that time in the morning. I drive past spots where kids are gathering to get picked up by a school bus. Almost all the kids are wearing dark clothing and it can be hard to see them sometimes. So the earlier the sun appears, the more visible they are. So maybe DST is more useful as a regional thing. Although that would create other problems I'm sure.

One thing I do know. Nobody complains in the fall when they get an extra hour of sleep. The only time I hear complaints is in the spring.

Comment Hazard (Score 1) 469

I live and have lived in a neighborhood that people use as a shortcut around a busy, traffic-light controlled intersection. They are driving through a residential area with a posted speed limit of 25mph. The people trying to bypass the intersection will drive as fast as 50mph (more typically at 40mph). Again, the posted speed limit is 25mph and it's a RESIDENTIAL AREA.

The neighborhoods have no sidewalks so people walk in the street near the edge. There are children riding bicycles in the street and people walking their dogs or just out walking.

The point is, if you're going to bypass a slowdown or a backup and you choose to exit and go through a residential area, please respect the speed limit. Recognize you're in a residential area and be respectful and courteous and mindful for the safety of the people who live there.

I suspect the hazard of people driving at highway speeds through residential areas is one of the concerns of city planners.

Comment Re:Because FUCK YOU, that's why (Score 4, Insightful) 119

I think you missed what the AC's point. The fact of the matter is there is NO competition in most markets. Consequently, competitive market forces do not work. IOW, if someone doesn't like "their conditions," they probably don't have any options which would enable them to say "thanks, but no thanks" to their provider.

And the idea that another will appear to "fill in the gap" is much easier said than done. With the current investment environment, startups are having a tougher time getting cash. And that doesn't consider the issue of how many people are interested in or willing to startup an ISP business. I suspect that's a pretty small segment of the population. So the chance of that occurring seems quite remote.

The "free market" is not as "free" as some people think.

Comment "Quality" of Advertising has deteriorated (Score 1) 168

I'm not sure one can even use the word "quality" with re to advertising. I guess what I'm trying to say is "the efficacy of advertising has deteriorated."

My impression of what has happened in the advertising industry is that it's reminiscent of the early WWW days when the "blink" tag was still available. Can anyone recall opening a web page and seeing 20 or 30 words blinking on the page? This is what today's advertising has become.

I think most ads today are very guilty of the "blink tag" mentality. I've been seeing more and more ads on TV where they show a different image every half second or every second. Most of the images probably have NO meaningful content with re to the intended product/service message. The ad is simply meant to pummel your visual cortex. It's like getting beat up by the school bully. You'll remember that moment for quite a while.

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as I see a lot of image changes, I change channels until the ad is over. I already mute the TV whenever an ad comes on so changing up or down one channel is no big deal. And I've gotten fairly good at timing it to return when the ad is over.

The other thing they're doing is "flashing" or "strobing" the screen. They're inserting a bright white flash when switching between the segments that make up the ad. And I mean these flashes are incredibly bright.

I was drawn into our sun room one night because I saw flashing in there. When I entered the sun room, I became aware of our neighbors to the north and slightly west. They live on the other side of our block. They're backyard is against the backyard of a neighbor who lives two houses north from us. Their TV screen is positioned so that it is visible through one of their windows. Now this is easily more than 200 feet away. The flashing I was seeing was from their TV while a commercial was on. It literally lit up the entire inside of our sun room with each burst of light.

I think the current generation of people who do all the special effects used in ads are suffering from the not unusual behavior of "gee, this effect is cool... I'm going to use it every chance I get."

This is one of the reasons I've been watching more PBS lately. I abhor commercial TV. It's like sticking one's head into a sewer hoping to retrieve a lost item.

If the advertising business is REALLY sincere about making quality ads, then go back to your lessons from advertising and marketing 101. The single most important feature in ANY advertising is "message" (aka, content). If you have a product/service you're trying to promote, then develop a message that speaks _clearly_ to the target audience. (eg, Our product is better because...) Oh yeah, and one more very important feature; ie, truth. If you have to manipulate or deceive people into becoming your customers, you don't have a product/service to sell. You belong in a midway at a county fair.

Comment Re:Once the rockets go up, who cares where they co (Score 1) 58

That's not my department, says Werner Von Braun!

Wow! An homage to Tom Lehrer's album "That Was the Year That Was." One of my all-time favorite albums even to today. Intelligent, accurate, and entertaining. Some of the most artfully done political and social satire EVER.

Thank you for making my day.

If only he were around now to do something about Trump.

Comment No. Not at all. (Score 2) 244

My experience is that the advertising industry has inserted itself into the relationship between the customer and the supplier. Coming from a rural community, this was what I saw. My parents and grandparents were farmers. They didn't buy anything until they *needed* it. I can't emphasize the word *needed* enough. We were not flush with cash so many times we just made do with what we had.

On the rare occasion one of us would actually intend to purchase something, we would go to the local feed store or grocery store and ask questions of the owners or the other customers. Back in those days, that's how it worked. There was such a thing as a community. People who lived and worked close together. They also had the tendency to look out for one another and help one another. So that's where you got your product info. Not from some "jacked up" "insanely enthusiastic" huckster. These neighbors and store owners were the early version of Consumers' Reports." If a product was good, you found out about it. And once you found out about it you... and this is KEY... looked for it because *you were interested* in it. You didn't buy it because some person on amphetamines was pitching it.

Okay, sorry for the rant, but the point is there has to be a desire for a product before the chance of a purchase exists. Just because a manufacturer decides to flood the freakin" society in every conceivable form and fashion with their exaggerated claims and "in your face" effects does not mean their product will sell any more.

So here's my advice to manufacturers. Make a good product and sell it at a reasonable price. You'll probably find that people will buy it and like it and you'll develop a reputation for having a good product at a reasonable price. Then tell the advertising hucksters to go pack sand. If you have a good marketing department you won't need much advertising. And if your product/service is good, you won't need to lie your ass off to sell it.

So AFAIC, you advertising people and just STFU. If and when I want your product and if I find out it's worthwhile, I'll come looking for it.

Comment Evidence (Score 2) 501

What is the basis for this claim; ie, the PC is dying? I get the impression someone is pushing an agenda.

It may be that people who were using their PC primarily for gaming are beginning to opt for consoles more (if I understand the term "console" correctly), but there are a lot of people who don't play video/online games.

And if the major software manufacturers decide to move to consoles, I think that will encourage more people to use FOSS.

I have a hard time imagining SAP or Oracle releasing their products on consoles. And wouldn't they end up all wanting their own console? Imagine having a console for each business application.

Comment Re:A note about piracy (Score 1) 87

Of course the best outcome is everyone goes indie and the RIAA dies quickly, but that's just a dream.

I hope that actually happens. However, my cynical side sees the RIAA having their lobbyists influence congress to outlaw indie music because, you know, "free market," capitalism, otherwise total economic collapse.

Comment Re:Dear Matthew (Score 3, Informative) 531

Yah. An AC. Go figure.

I'm sorry you miss the obvious problem that employees are forced to take cuts in salary and benefits while CEOs continue to get obscenely huge salaries, benefits, and separation packages which contribute directly to the cost of a product or service. And the only ones making decisions about a CEO's salary are other CEOs that sit on the company's board.

Note that the CEOs are not the free market. Neither the free market or the investors have any influence re CEO salaries and benefits. And also note that even when shareholders vote to reduce or limit a CEO's salary and benefits, the board (again, typically made up of other CEOs) can choose (and typically does) to ignore the shareholders' request. So no free market controls on CEO salaries and benefits, but there are on the employees'.

Yup. That seems fair.

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