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Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 1) 200

My municipal water system is cheaper and far more reliable than my internet service.

I think there is a significant difference in the infrastructure between the two. You can't tell the difference between water molecules that come out your tap, but you desperately need the packet addressed to you to be the one coming out your internet tap, for one thing.

If the municipality owned and maintained the conduit as the grandparent poster suggested, what's the significant difference between owning and managing empty pipes compared to owning and managing water filled pipes?

In the past 10 years, I can't remember a single unscheduled outage of water service,

Happens in my town on a semi-regular basis. Some nudge ran into a fire hydrant and cracked a pipe last week, taking out an entire block of water users, for example. Collapsed pipes that weren't maintained properly (because it was a government function to maintain them and they spent the money on less important, more visible things) several times last summer.

I don't doubt it happens but does it happen as often as the regular internet outages I see from Comcast?

If that's the kind of service I can expect from government owned conduit, I say bring it on.

You will happily force others to pay for your happiness, it seems. The ends do not always justify the means.

Well no, I expect that the customers of the service (i.e. me) will pay for it through access fees charged to the ISP's.

Comment Re:Hey, cable companies: (Score 4, Insightful) 200

Just what we need.... an expansion of government powers and responsibilities. Did you learn nothing from the last election?

My municipal water system is cheaper and far more reliable than my internet service. In the past 10 years, I can't remember a single unscheduled outage of water service, and scheduled outages for water infrastructure improvements are rare and are announced months in advance (often with public hearings years in advance) and generally only lasted a couple hours.

If that's the kind of service I can expect from government owned conduit, I say bring it on.

Comment Re:It IS hipsterism (if that's a word) (Score 1) 564

The $139 price doesn't include jewel cases... and is before you go through all the steps. After you click through all the steps... it appears the minimum price is $159.10 with bulk packaging. Including the cheapest jewel case option (thin ones) brings you up to $240.10 for 100. And for full-on high-res printing on the disc with a shrinkwrapped digipack case you're looking at $526.10 for 100.

The pricing I quoted included jewel cases, the only thing I didn't include was shipping, for $37...
DISC PRINT CD w/ Color Printing
CASEJewel Case with CLEAR Tray

PRICE $139.00

You can save $7 by going with 10 day turnaround time.

Comment Everyone's doing it (Score 3, Insightful) 125

I suspect this will play out like the doping scandals in sports -- everyone is doing it because if you're not, then you're at a competitive disadvantage.

I'm sure this is why none of the other manufacturers called our VW for this practice before the EPA found out... they didn't want to raise attention to it. I'm sure they all knew about.... if one manufacturer released an engine that met impossible-to-meet standards, you can bet that they all dissected the engine to see how they did it.

Comment Re:It IS hipsterism (if that's a word) (Score 1) 564

BFD. Try to RTFA. It's kind of hard to sell phone recorded audio to fans.

I read TFA, but I didn't see anything there about selling phone recorded audio to fans. Just some handwaving about "listening to vinyl or cassettes pulls us out of the digital ocean for 45 minutes or so and forces us to focus on one thing", and I can't figure out how that's different than just playing an album at a time digitally.

The grandparent poster complained that a computer is too expensive to use to record audio, so the parent suggested using a phone, assuming that most people these days have phones. You can even get high quality USB mics that work with many phones.

Then the artist can sell audio by email, or on cheap $2 flash drives, or whatever.

Comment Re:It IS hipsterism (if that's a word) (Score 4, Informative) 564

Sorry, it's not a complete explanation.

I'm an indy musician.

I don't have a lot of cash, and I don't have a lot of sales.

Unit for unit, on small runs, cassette tape is WAY cheaper than any other medium.

Cassette audio fidelity (or lack thereof) is a fine match for my typical output.

And for people who want digital fidelity, I include a slip of paper with a download code.

But yes, from a marketing and artistic standpoint, having a physical product on offer for those who want it is important, and no, streaming and digital downloads alone don't satisfy that need.

Yes, I was around for cassettes the first time. I was around before CDs. I know all the arguments, and have lived through them. Your casual dismissal is just incorrect.

You can get 100 CD's (printed disks in jewel case) for $139 does anyone do small cassette runs for less than $1.39/piece?

Blank CD-R's are 10 - 20 cents a piece in bulk if you have a very small run and want to record your own.

And more importantly, how do you find fans that still own cassette players? I don't even own a CD player anymore, all my disks get copied digitally, then they get packed away in a big CD wallet, never to be seen again. The last time I bought music from a small indie band, they emailed me a link where I could download it.

Comment Re:Why "I" shouldn't trust Geek Squad? (Score 4, Insightful) 389

You trust strangers every time you hand someone your credit card or read the # over the phone. You trust your bank with the history of all your credit purchases. You trust other strangers when you hand over your car keys to the garage or a valet. You trust them when you give them your house keys so they can inspect something while you're at work. You trust, not just one doctor or one nurse, but an entire health care organization with your medical history and details when you go into a hospital to get a checkup or sick care.

  People have to live their lives.

But my doctor isn't paid $500 by the FBI if he "finds" a balloon full of cocaine up my ass.

Comment Re:Fitbit must die (Score 1) 101

Got my Dad a fitbit to try to push him into doing some exercises and such. Still sitting in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I threw it there, not him, because the fitbit app wanted access to contact list, call history, etc., etc. Can't use it without the app so I guess we can't use it at all.

Can't you just deny those permissions? (at least on Android)

Comment Re:so what? (Score 1) 101

why do millenials need an app to measure fitness? just lift a weight and run some, maybe play a sport

When I look around the office at who's wearing a fitbit, it's not the millennials, they either have an iWatch or no watch at all. It's more the middle aged crowd that wear fitness trackers.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 180

It boggles my mind why people are more prepared to keep paying for bandwidth and the associated problems such as connection dependencies, interstitial ads and increased battery usage, rather than just using local memory to store music.

In my case it's a combination of that local memory being expensive (my phone has non-expandable storage, I have over 70GB of music files on my home file server), and because it's more convenient to stream music than to buy it and copy it to the devices where I want to hear it (home streaming media center, work computer, phone, etc). Even with thousands of songs on my home media center, I still almost always listening to a streaming provider, it's only in rare cases that I have a purchased song of my own that I want to listen to and I can't find it on streaming.

Since I do nearly all of my listening on Wifi, the bandwidth expense is negligible.

I pay for my streaming music service, so I never hear any ads.

Comment Re:Well that's a hell of a security hole. (Score 1) 254

consumables, which aren't really...

I believe the existence of and apparent broad expansion of Amazon's Dot device says otherwise. It's core purpose is reorder a specific consumable item with one touch.

I think you mean the Amazon Dash Button . The Amazon Dot is a less capable Amazon Echo device.

Comment Re:Dolls houses (Score 1) 63

So what is Alexa good at except ordering unwanted doll's houses?

Except Alexa wont accidentally order an unwanted dollhouse, if you ask it to order a dollhouse, it will rattle off a list of matches and ask you which one you want.

I can believe it's so easy to order that a child can do it, but that's kind of the point of Alexa/Echo -- make it easy to order. You can add a shopping PIN if you don't want your 4 year old to order a dollhouse.

Comment Re:What happened to consumer choice? (Score 2) 63

Am I crazy to suggest that consumers ought to have access to any "digital assistant" they choose through any device, like they do on the web?

I think these phones are glad-hand MBA wet dreams more than they are computing machinery.

I'd like to have the choice to disable "smart features" on my TV and just let it be a TV. If I want to add smart features, I'll buy an external device and if it dies or gets bricked by Malware, I can still watch TV. If my external smart device stops getting updates and becomes a magnet for malware, I can replace it. Instead of manufacturers doing half-hearted attempts at integrating smart features, companies that specialize in those devices can make them and compete with each other with devices at various price points, so instead of LG using the cheapest possible device to save $10 on the price of the TV giving a laggy UI with few features, I can pay $100 for a faster Roku (or Google TV or Apple TV or whatever) with a more responsive UI.

I guess what I really want is an industry standard API to TV's that provides access to the tuner, remote control, etc, then I can buy a smart device from a number of manufacturers. Sort of like a Roku stick, but with tighter integration with the TV through an API so I don't need a second remote control to run it, and so the device can control TV features like changing channels, turning off the TV, etc.

I don't even care if it works with a cable-card since I've given up cable long ago -- cable companies "won" that battle, but I think they are losing the war.

Comment Re:Well that's a hell of a security hole. (Score 1) 254

Wait a minute. All you have to do is say "Order me a dollhouse" and Amazon ships a dollhouse to you? You don't have to specify which dollhouse you want? This seems like more fake news.

I tried it and my Echo started rattling off a list of dollhouses it found. Sounds like fake news unless maybe the family had already ordered a dollhouse and the echo bought the same one?

In any case, I have a voice-shopping PIN code set on my device so it wouldn't accidentally place an order like this.

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