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Comment Re:it's amazing what you can accomplish (Score 1) 48

Engineers are good at making useful things out of worthless land and discarded raw materials. Edison looked at a small village in the California desert and thought it would be a great place to produce his new moving pictures. I'm sure plenty of people thought he was nuts, but look how that turned out.

Comment Re:So will they be passing that savings onto us? (Score 4, Insightful) 474

You can't say that for certain. Running machines requires skilled labor to maintain and program them. Pulling trays out of an oven all day doesn't. Programming and maintenance skills have a higher value, not to mention that the employee generates more revenue per hour than the manual laborer.

Comment Star Trek got it right (Score 1) 170

Watch the old ST:TNG episodes. See how the LCARS tablets are used. Even as a simple prop it's pretty revealing. They replace paper. PCs replaced typewriters, but not notebooks and printouts. Tablets take care of that. Many of the comments here elude to that fact without actually stating it. The use cases are for viewing photos, reading documents, etc. In a pinch you can create media with them, but just as writing with a typewriter was faster and more efficient than hand writing, using a tablet for composition isn't as good as using a PC running a basic word processing program. Notepad apps are still evolving but I find having a synchronized notebook to be very handy and the use case is very much like the old paper day planners and spiral notebooks, but much easier to edit and organize later on the PC. I can't tell you when I last used a printer, other than to get large photos printed out at Costco.

Not to mention the low end 7" tablets aren't very good at those functions because the screen isn't large enough, and usually the display doesn't have the necessary color correction or resolution to be effective (including the iPad mini). Earlier this year I picked up a 9.7" iPad pro. The display is fantastic. It makes reading a pleasure. The keyboard is a disappointment, the pencil is just OK, but the display's color gamut and the light temperature sensor are worth it -although most buyers aren't going to notice it until they get it home and use it for a few days, so that's a very hard sell with Apple's markup.

Comment I already pay (Score 1) 72

I'm a "producer" of the No Agenda Show. Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak often talk about the corrupting influence advertising has on modern media and so therefore can't really run ads and have any integrity. It's not always a great show, but it is good enough most of the time to get me through my long commute. They also actively engage listeners and have created a community around the show. They use custom artwork, contributed by listeners for every show. A lot of it is quite good, very professional looking artwork. They encourage you to share the program, and seed Bit torrent with it. The server space is contributed, as is maintenance/moderation of the IRC chat room and live stream. If you donate enough you get recognition during the episode if you like, and there are various rewards that you receive in return for supporting the show. And they occasionally have meet-ups (put together by listeners, not by Curry or Dvorak) where fellow "producers" get together. Other podcasts do some of the same things but for the most part they seem to just recreate the same old talk radio format, just with a cheaper distribution channel. And of course they are beholden to the sponsors, who can destroy a podcast with one phone call.

The traditional way of producing audio and video, along with expecting to pay for it through ad revenue, is dead except for sports and big blockbuster films. The expense of paying for board operators and production people backing up talent (and in the case of NPR and other traditional media outlets producers, editors and copywriters), isn't going to be sustainable when your download rates are measured in the hundreds of thousands and ad responses are under single digit percentages. Direct payment and community building around your production are what will drive media in the future. Sure, Curry's skill as a DJ and audio engineer comes in handy when producing since he can act as a board op and talent, but as audio production tools improve opportunities for novice podcasters will follow. What's really going to be difficult is video podcasting because we're still not able to produce a convincing virtual set, but with all that retail space opening up in the post-amazon retail world, maybe someone will figure that out too.

Comment Re:Heck of a job, Brownie. (Score 1) 266

Well sure. Someone releases a report showing that the agency lets 95% of the bad stuff through. "OK" says management, "You want effective screening? You got it!" Word goes down from the boss to scrutinize everything that comes down the conveyor belt with a fine tooth comb. Wait times skyrocket.

Meanwhile, the next head of DHS is having lunch with a lobbyist who's representing a company with yet another high tech sensor system that will cost millions but still not work, or cause skin rashes in 50% of the people tested, but is guaranteed to keep the lines moving.


Comment Missed this, now restoring (Score 1) 35

The problem with working nights is you get out of sync with the rest of the world. I updated the phone on Tuesday, no problems, so I figured I'd just do the update on the iPad and move on. Now I get to restore my shiny new iPad Pro to factory defaults. Looks like one issue with restoring is that the iPad isn't waiting for the 1.94GB download to complete, so it restarts, causing iTunes to stop downloading until you go through the whole EULA again. Fingers crossed it will complete the load before bedtime.

I'd love to see the RCA on this one, especially since it only affects the 9.7" iPad pro.

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