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Comment Re:AI killing industry (Score 3, Insightful) 120

People don't realize the amount of effort people are willing to put into CGI. Same thing will happen with voices. Photorealistic actors are already here, we see them all the time but don't realize it. Just about every action movie made in the 2000's has heavy doses of CGI, often times in surprising scenes where one wouldn't expect to see it.

Hollywood bean counters will love it because it means higher profits. Cable networks will love it because they can crank out cheap product. Producers and directors will love it because they can program actors like the program CGI. Actors will love it because they can get back on the stage and forget about that movie stuff. Viewers will love it because we really just want to look at pretty pictures and are happy to suspend our beliefs if the face is pretty enough.

Comment TMO and Xfinity WiFi (Score 2) 205

T-Mobile is pretty good in my area, they really got good after the AT&T deal fell through and they picked up extra spectrum. But I also take advantage of the Xfinity wifi hotspots I get through Comcast, which are great when they work and save a lot of data on the LTE side. And they were the first US company to do wifi calling and are pretty good at it. I have an iPad and iPhone 7 that both have the latest LTE radios to get the 700 MHz band. Pricing isn't too bad either, I get a discount through work on an unlimited talk/text plan with 6 GB/month of data on each device, with rollover that lasts for (I think) a year.

Comment Re:Actually, we can still have full employment (Score 1) 147

1) will work until someone who actually enjoys working, or desires money/compensation more than leisure time comes along and skews the numbers in their favor. There are enough of these people out there that companies can compete for them. They end up setting the standard and the rest of us are dragged along.

2) I think this is exactly what is happening. Look at people who blog, produce YouTube video, sell "adventure" travel packages and other entertainment. But they haven't hit mainstream yet. Everyone who posts on Facebook could easily run their own blog site, but the thinking is that it is too hard, mostly because they are going to be compared to Hollywood and established media. And they have to get over the idea that in order to be successful they have to be Leonardo DiCaprio or something. Instead of Hollywood producing 100 or so movies a year that appeal to billions of people, there might be a billion or so movies that appeal to a few million, but still make money (just not Hollywood money). Instead of everyone going to Disney for a week in the summer they're visiting the local adventure park, going on a fly fishing expedition or taking creative cooking classes. And we'll still have big companies producing big media, but they will delve further into virtual production to the point where everything will be animation, and actors and musicians will go back to the stage.

3) Even with the welfare system in the US, they still need to redefine poverty every once in a while because technology costs drive down to the point where everything is affordable. Many people wouldn't know that there were once apartments in the US that didn't have kitchens and used shared bathrooms. Forget about not having a TV or microwave, that's assumed in the US, even for the most poor of the population. Not saying that welfare is a wonderful experience, but let's not presume that being poor today is the same as being poor in 1955.

The real outcome of all these changes isn't that big companies are going to get bigger (they are), but that small players can survive and thrive. There will be companies building businesses on custom 3D printing, just as there will be companies using 3D printers to eliminate warehouses full of spare parts. My guess is that there will be far more new 3D printing companies than there will be virtual warehouses full of mass produced items.

Comment Re:Amazon envisions... (Score 2) 147

Early in my career I had a shared administrative assistant. If I wanted, I could have just dictated memos and email to her, she would have printed out any response and walked them over to my desk. But because I was comfortable with a computer and can type at least as quickly as I can talk, there was little need for her. Soon after the company was reorganized and she was gone. (The boss still had one, but then later on both he and his assistant were gone too)

One thing I really miss about her was the ability to screen phone calls. If Siri and all the other so-called "AI" programs running on my phone could do that, I'd start to believe in the tech.

Comment Re:Nice trollmod, troll (Score 1) 52

Actually no. I went out and engaged in another activity other than sitting in front of my PC all day.

Since you know everything, go ahead and call over to KDEN and let them know that you'll be flying for a few hours near the Mt Elbert shuttle lot. But make sure they know that you're flying as a hobbyist so that it's all OK.

The rules changed last August for everyone, not just commercial guys.

Comment Airspace. (Score 3, Insightful) 52

Last week I passed my "part 107" certification for commercial sUAS pilot. The main driver for me doing this is because I might someday want to fly in airspace that is off limits to a hobbyist pilot. As a hobbyist, you're required to get permission (good luck with that) to fly within 5 miles of any airport (including heliports and grass strips), and forbidden from flying in controlled airspace. With certification you can fly just about anywhere in class G airspace and there's a process (that will soon get much simpler) to get permission to fly in class B, C, D and E airspace. Now if airmen spot an sUAS under them when flying near an airport that might or might not be a problem. As a practical matter, it isn't a good idea to fly just for the heck of it, but there is certainly permitted activity. And almost all activity is well below the hard 400' AGL limit imposed by the FAA anyway, at least for what most of us want to do with drones.

That said, the industry should be doing more to educate pilots, especially now that the FAA has set up rules and fines. Just having an EULA-like "I agree to be a good boy" checkbox isn't enough. And I'm not necessarily in favor of drones being sold in big box retailers either. You won't buy a Cessna like you would an Chevy and you shouldn't buy a drone the same way you'd buy an Xbox. Manufacturers need to be held a little more responsible for their products. These things can potentially do a lot of damage (imagine a 15 lb drone crashing through a roof and then the damaged battery shorting out and catching fire). Most of the people I know think that because they're somewhat easy to fly that means they're not dangerous. When they work, they work great. But there's not too many recoverable failure modes and when something goes wrong, they drop out of the sky like an expensive rock.

Comment Re:Symptoms right, cause seems backwards (Score 4, Informative) 95

This is the problem with big corporations. Small firms and startups can offer a relatively large percentage of the payoff if successful. Google, while able to provide stock options out the wazoo, still can't offer the kind of equity in the company Sergey and Larry have. After all, even acquiring enough stock to offer a 1% payout on success would be next to impossible without either driving up the share price or diluting the pool with new shares to drive the price down. But if you're working for a startup with potential, hey here's 10% of nothing. If it works out, whoopee. If not, well you still have all that "FU money" from your previous employer.

I'm sure the same thing happened at Microsoft when they went public. I heard that people wore buttons that had the letters "FUIFV," which stood for "f*** you, I'm fully vested." I'm sure more than a few people decided to cut and run knowing their retirement, kids' education and possibly home were paid for. Just the right conditions for going out and starting your own company.

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