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Comment Sideways repatriation (Score 1) 180

I think the point is that Apple has effectively repatriated their earnings into the next best thing to US dollars, and done it without paying taxes.

It was one thing when they hoarded cash overseas without repatriating it, at least in some ways they were exposed to some kind of foreign currency risk. But since they've bought Treasuries with it I think to a lot of people it feels like they're beating the system even further.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 1) 108

I don't think multi-phone pairing with most Bluetooth receivers would be that hard. Nearly all the reasonably modern ones have track skip control and pause/resume functionality. Cars in particular seem to know when a call is coming in since the in-dash display usually shows incoming call status. It doesn't seem unreasonable that the car would just send a PAUSE to the sources playing music if the call came in on another device.

And up to this point, nobody STILL has explained tome whether multi-device pairing/audio mixing is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol, the hardware/radios or something possible but unimplemented.

Comment Re:Pratchett and Baxter already predicted this (Score 1) 255

I really doubt that in most cases that's a specific concern for women and I would be really surprised if even gynecologists mention this to the typical patient having a couple of kids unless they have some reason to believe it's a risk. Maybe they might check and mention it for a woman having her 4th or 5th child.

I'd be more inclined to believe that women are concerned first of all about cosmetics and then sexual partner perception second, especially if the mother in question is on the young side of childbearing age.

My experience has been that women are really sensitive about "losing their looks" (bordering on narcissism) and other physical changes due to childbirth. While they may not really care whether they are "tight enough" specifically, I would not be at all surprised if it didn't cross their minds. It's one thing to not lose all the baby weight, quite another to not lose the baby weight and be a less sexually fulfilling partner.

Comment Re:Pratchett and Baxter already predicted this (Score 1) 255

I'm curious about the vagina stretching.

Is this a self-derived concept, they just assume that having a natural birth will permanently stretch their vagina?

Or is this a learned concept, literally "an old wives tale", with a natural birth mother complaining after having a baby that she noticed her vagina stretched after birth, affecting sex, and future mothers choosing cesarean birth to avoid it?

My personal experience is that it was generally more age dependent that childbirth dependent but not completely consistent even then, with tightness varying without childbirth changes, including women had given birth tighter than women who hadn't of the same age.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 1) 108

How is the headset/speaker supposed to know which audio stream should be played. Assume you have two phones connected to your car via BT, listening to music from phone #1 and phone #2 gets called. Is the car receiver supposed to figure out which audio to mute and which to play, or just play both streams over each other and let the driver/user pause one?

Mostly that's a logic problem. Usually calls are prioritized over music in bluetooth, so if you were playing music on device 1 and a call came in on device 2, why wouldn't it make sense to pause playing on device 1 and play audio on device 2? That would be the "logical" choice for a relatively dumb playback device, but on a platform like a PC or something with a control plane for configuration choices it could be something that was configurable.

Mute playback on all devices, reduce volume to x% and continue playback, bridge audio to call and set playback to x%.

You could have choices for incoming calls similar to the call waiting prompts now on phones -- ignore incoming, accept and hold current call, or merge calls.

And the last obvious (to me anyway) option would be volume mixing choices for simultaneous audio streams to set levels for each audio device. I may want audio from the PC at 25% but my phone at 100%, for example.

Obviously simultaneous pairing presents some choices and not every device would or even needs to have options for every possible combination, but mostly I think there's default behaviors that would make sense most of the time for simple devices. But IMHO there's no reason not to have more configuration options if the device itself has some kind of control interface anyway.

Comment Re:Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 2) 108

I guess I'm asking "why not?"

If two devices can share information about frequency changes, key rotation or whatever, why can't three or more? The assumption is that you go through manual pairing/peering verification on the devices themselves, so there seems to be no reason that the protocols couldn't replicate this data among more than two devices.

Comment Will we get simultaneous pairing? (Score 2) 108

I mean where I can pair a set of headphones to, say, a phone and a computer at the same time and get audio from both at the same time? Or send the audio from one device to multiple devices at the same time? Two headsets paired to one phone at once?

Is this a hardware restriction of the radios, a limitation of the BT protocol or just the retarded nature of the implementation?

Comment Re:The year after. (Score 1) 170

For example, I've been involved with sales to the IT groups at certain banks, and they have strict checklists where anything connected to or running on their systems must meet 100% of the hundreds of conditions or it's game over. Nothing with any sort of telemetry built in would be getting anywhere near those systems.

I'd guess they'd get told telemetry was optional but would be necessary for certain support functions or turn some automated functions (like software updates) into manual, downtime-required functions.

I've worked with a couple of banks before and it was always amazing how their procedures would turn a 30 minute maintenance task into 6 hours of downtime. We actually negotiated our way out of a project with a bank because they were so hard to work with and I think we even modified our estimating process for anything involving a bank to have double hour estimates for everything with special riders allowing us to quit if they proved too difficult. We just couldn't make money and work within their policies.

Comment Re:The year after. (Score 1) 170

I think that's fantasy. Lots of high-end enterprise kit has phone-home so deeply embedded into it you basically couldn't use the product without it. Compellent actually has a feature called "Phone Home" that sends telemetry to support and support can remotely console into the system.

Everyone and their dog is scrutinizing Win10 telemetry and MS knows it. Any half-solid evidence they're grabbing proprietary data would be an instant multi-billion dollar class action suit.

Comment Re:Is malware like this proof of economic stagnati (Score 2) 202

I get that we'd always have people at the margin who have above average intelligence but otherwise to fit into a worker mold and wind up as criminals of varying levels of success. Usually, though, they seem to suffer from various other pathologies -- substance abuse, psychological defects, the kind of panoply of sociological misintegration that limits not only their legitimate success but their ability to make even life below the line very successful.

Maybe there's just a correlation between high levels of computer skills and these same sociological maladjustments, and the medium provides an outlet previously unavailable which offers reduced risk and greater rates of success.

Comment Is malware like this proof of economic stagnation? (Score 5, Insightful) 202

First of all, Jesus H. Chist, I'm continually amazed at the lengths people will go and the sheer brainpower employed in malware and hacking generally. I've gotten to the point where I go to hang a towel over the mirror in the bathroom because I'm worried someone has hacked the mirror and then figure, fuck it, they probably also hacked the towel.

Secondly, is this level of malware sophistication evidence that there's economic stagnation?

I'm assuming this is software designed to create botnets or measly bank account info or whatnot and the author(s) make some money but not griping about the lack of space for their megayacht next season at Monaco kinds of money.

Is the fact that people do this kind of really clever shit for more or less ordinary income, is it proof that the economy is in some way broken? I would think that people this smart, in a functional economy, would be in real demand to do productive economy kinds of things.

Comment Re:How can you even argue with Netflix? (Score 1) 160

I don't think quality referred to *image* quality, but to the quality of the content. People are as prone to watch C-list, shot-on-DSLR crap as they are to watch the latest critic-lauded-based-on-a-Mann-Booker-winning-novel film.

Not a single person can't tell me after spending almost the comparable amount of swiping time 'looking' for a show that it takes to actually watch one, you just finally pick something and watch it.

This is totally spot-on. I can't tell you the number of times I've (finally) had about 2.5 hours of down time and felt like a little video distraction would be a good idea and then spent 20-odd minutes looking for a movie, finally settled on one that didn't look too awful, lost interest after 20 minutes, another 10 minutes finding a second choice, only then to be disappointed with what I was watching, not being able to finish it, or whatever.

Honestly, I would likely cancel my Netflix subscription if it didn't keep some $100 cable package at bay for the rest of my family (mostly my son).

My gut instinct is that the actual best (from a quality and avoiding decision paralysis) and cheapest way to watch video entertainment is a mix of rented content and used discs from Amazon. You still have decisions to make, but they're easier to make because you have more good choices and have to make fewer forced choices. And at least for me from a time perspective, I'm guessing over a six month period I'd spend less money on used discs and a handful of rentals than Netflix.

And even if I spent slightly more, I'd get more quality entertainment time out of it and waste less time.

Comment Broader problem with dishonesty (Score 3, Insightful) 113

IMHO, the problem isn't just fake news but a broader, and longer term problem of general dishonesty in society that's been going on for decades.

* Government dishonesty since at least Viet Nam and/or Nixon. Two examples where the government actively lied and/or stretched the truth, and there are many others. This has long been internalized by many people about the honesty of government.

* General misleading nature of advertisements. We're constantly bombarded with misleading messages about every day items and we've all had experience where the product doesn't align with its promises.

* Corporate dishonesty -- outright lying. Karen Silkwood, Thalidomide, Corvair, Pinto, corporations relentlessly covering up and lying about bad products, corporate misdeeds and so forth. And these are all very old examples just to demonstrate how it has been going on for decades.

* Employer dishonesty -- The relentless messaging from management about business goals and plans for employees. How often is it true or does it end up improving employee work lives? Almost never. Most people impulsively parse and disbelieve what management tells them because it's so often the opposite of what they're told.

* The near-legal practical status of scams and cons -- We're constantly assaulted by outright dishonest people. Spam email, "card services", "free cruises". Yes, it's illegal and few people believe it at face value but there's so little effort to stop it that it seems to be legitimized as a means of doing business.

* Ideological dishonesty -- across the political spectrum all ideological advocates both embrace untruths necessary to advance their cause and discount their critics when it seems patently obvious they're not being honest.

It's not just fake news -- belief in fake news is just a symptom of the relentless, never ending crisis of honesty in our culture. Lying and misleading is so ingrained in our culture that doubting is our first impulse. So why not buy into fake news and conspiracy? Lies and conspiracies have quite often been shown to be true, why should I have any faith that person/institution X is telling the truth and not lying to me and that the conspiracy is false?

Until the Internet, the news media was actually one of the last institutions to *mostly* tell the truth -- libel laws, the business nature of actually printing news, journalism as an actual profession with a sense of ethics and some mission to tell the truth -- mostly worked against fake news, which was (in the US anyway) generally marginalized into corners of celebrity gossip or supermarket tabloids. It just wasn't practical to create fake news when you needed a press run of a million copies on a regular basis and a distribution network.

Comment Re:Voice commands (Score 1) 101

My 12 year old loves it and if given the opportunity with mine or my wife's phone, he will use it relentlessly.

I never use it except in the car to make it dial telephone numbers. When I've tried using it even for basic tasks, it gives me not-quite-useful information or just returns some web search.

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