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Comment No mention of the ISP "Netflix box" (Score 1) 181

I very vaguely remembered something about this so I had to look it up. This t-mobile thing could have something to do with the Netflix Open Connect as documented on the Netflix site:

The Netflix Open Connect Initiative provides our millions of members the highest-quality viewing experience possible through efforts with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to most efficiently deliver content. We partner with hundreds of ISPs to localize substantial amounts of traffic with Open Connect Appliance deployments and have an open peering policy at our interconnection locations.

Also I found this old gizmodo article.

It wouldn't surprise me if T-Mobile and netflix simply negotiated a deal to provide one of these appliances. And/or the special t-mobile edition of said appliance uses some kind of proprietary compression algorithm optimized for mobile bandwidth.

Obviously I'm only speculating but it would explain why this can't simply be applied to any/all video sites: the Netflix content is coming directly from a t-mobile data center as opposed to an unknown caching location or across the internet. Not sure why t-mobile can't simply say as much. Maybe they think it would make the net neutrality debate/complaints that much worse or maybe there's some kind of exclusivity deal and they can't discuss it?

Comment Re:Let me get this right. (Score 1) 151

I don't think keeping a PC constantly up to date is really necessary to enjoy a majority of games. Sure some people spend hundreds of dollars on multiple video cards, high end processors and fancy monitors from Korea but it's not necessary. Mostly because so many PC games are optimized for console hardware released 10 years ago. If your monitor only goes to 1080p you can usually max out the specs anyway. You can run a 4 year old video card and still enjoy most PC games. Because as I said unless you want some 4k magic, 1080p is pretty easy (haven't tried FO4, probably just as true).

I was kind of excited by the possibility of PS2 backwards compatibility for a second though but now not so much (maybe that will change again in December). I haven't modded with my PS2-with-HDD yet (or my original xbox) but I will eventually. Although at this point extremely small form factor PCs are powerful and cheap enough it may not even be necessary as said PC will emulated all the old consoles anyway. I would probably keep a old wii for wii/gamecube stuff and emulate everything pre-360 on a dedicated PC (or my gaming PC via the steam link).

Oh, and I store my HDDs is piles. Lots and lots of piles. Also, an unnecessary 32 gigs of RAM is really cheap.

Comment Not necessarily new... (Score 1) 224

This device looks vastly superior but this sort of Windows/Intel form factor has been around for a while. I bought a WinTel device last april for around $100 - about the same shape as an Apple TV. The device from this story is vastly superior as it has a legit x64 CPU that supports 64-bit OS (the WinTel seems locked to 32-bit OS via the UEFI). It looks like the next iteration up of the Atom SoC. Also, the WinTel has an invalid Windows 8 key burned into the firmware. And I can't seem to install 32-bit Windows 7 on it (yes, I've tried every method on the web). Really wish I had waited for this device instead of getting the stupid WinTel.

Comment Re:NES vs. DOS (Score 1) 52

It's funny you mention Civilization and SNES in the same sentence. I rented that game for SNES and then rented two more weekends in a row. I was quite obsessed with it and had never even heard of it before. After returning to it to the store the last time I bought Civilization 2 (a new release at the time) for Windows which started a whole new obsession. You might even say Civilization for SNES was my "gateway drug" converting me from a console gamer to a PC gamer. I don't think Command and Conquer, Warcraft 1&2, Star Control 2, Ultima 6-8, Wing Commander, and/or X-wing and Tie Fighter came out for SNES, you may be thinking of Sega CD, Turbo (PC Engine to some) Graphix CD (Turbo Duo, whatever) and/or 3DO.

Doom, Out of this World and Flashback did come out for SNES (and I thought they were quite fantastic). Although Doom without multi-player is kind of pointless.

Comment Re:Film! (Score 1) 169

If you're going to put an Raspberry Pi in there, you might as well put a small cheap LCD on it just in case they don't have HDMI.. There are some pretty cheap options, and they they'll hopefully only have to apply power (include the AC adapter).

This may be a problem, UNIX Time has some known issues with variable size. You must either use a 32-bit version capable of handling Dates higher than 2038, or you must use a 64 bit version that's able to do it right.

Well the whole OS refuse to boot because it can't go past 2038? If it's just playing a video who cares if it's showing the wrong time? I mean I assume a coin battery or whatever would be keeping the system time alive (I haven't purchased a Pi yet) would be dead by then (and you would probably remove it for storage for 100 years anyway) so when the device booted it would presumably show the default epoch time (which for Unix at least I think is January 1st 1970). If you're just watching a video I can't think of a reason why you would need or care if the system time was correct. Or maybe I missed your point entirely.

Comment Re:It's wrong already! (Score 2) 267

The Force is an energy field in all living things. It separates us, penetrates us and binds us together. If energy can neither be created or destroyed but merely transferred, why would one think it can be "awakened" or gone to sleep?? C'mon JJ, don't let us down!

Well if I can put on my "nerd glasses" for a second I think I have a theory on that. I mean assuming that Clone Wars cartoon show is still "canon" and hasn't been relegated to the "legends" category (like the expanded universe books/etc. And yes, I watched the whole clone wars series. Nerd.). Clone Wars (the one with 22 minute episodes, got canceled with some open story arcs) had some episodes about the dark side taking over, but out of the this imbalance in the yin/yang relationship resulting in a new generation of force wielders would come about (foreshadowing Luke in other words). There were some really strange episodes in that series. Hard to believe it was for kids.

Anyway I think it ties in with that sort of thing. After all, as the story goes the Jedi were effectively extinct by episode 4. The one admiral (whatever) on the death star called it a some old religion and Luke/Han had never even heard of it. So in the sense that the "chosen one" of Luke Skywalker will be rebooting the entire concept of the Jedi order from scratch and it will go from Vader and the emperor being the primary people left doing anything force-related to Luke's new concepts/re-founding of the light side...I'd say it's actually an intriguing/accurate title. Seems like it's a better title than "the light awakens". That doesn't any more sense than "the force awakens"


Of course, if you want to read too much into it you could say this move is really passing the baton on to a new cast of characters. I mean how much running around/falling/jumping/whatever that original cast do, anyway? I would have expected them to be in this movie about as much as Obi Wan was in episode 4. If you look at it that way it could mean it's "30 years later" (as in, decades after Return of the Jedi) and a generation of new light-side Jedi are taking over. So the force is "awake" in that sense. Lots of new Jedi, lots of new people using the force. I haven't read anything about the new movie, I have no idea if this is remotely accurate.

Comment Re:Theory is flawed (Score 1) 485

I'm getting tired of people using Democracy and Republic interchangeably. And I hope hope you'll believe me davydagger when i say I'm genuinely not trying to troll you so forgive me if I'm inferring more from your post than I should be.

The two terms don't mean the same thing. The US was not created to be a Democracy (and Rome was never a Democracy). Democracies have tendency to degrade into tyrannies is the main reason. As soon as a populace realizes they can vote themselves lots of free money along with that famous "51% can be pee on the cornflakes of 49% of the population" line it's just a slow downward spiral (I believe this is not irreversible though. Nothing is set in stone or inevitable). I don't know who said that originally. Republics are a different thing. They're supposed to have safeguards to prevent or at least slow the slide into tyranny.

I happen to live in California where the flag specifically states Republic in no uncertain terms (by which I mean the flag has the words "CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC in big bold letters). As in elect representatives and they do the government running part full time. In a democracy 100% of population would vote on 100% of the matters affecting the population. How long would that last?

Here's the part of the US constitution, if you're wondering. The entirety of Article 4 is actually really short. The Constitution is an amazingly brilliant document.

Article 4, Section 4

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

You'll note it doesn't what kind of republic the states must be. Louisanna for instance is based on the "Napoleonic Code" while the rest are based on british common law.

Also, the house was supposed to be "for the people" as in something happens (like a terrorist attack) and your average citizen talks to their representative which causes the house to pass a bill "in the heat of the moment". The Senators on the other hand, not nearly as much worried about an upcoming election, can take a slower approach. The idea being the bill either won't get through the senate or at least a more moderate version will eventually emerge. I don't know if that's really the way it's working for us right now. Would the Patriot Act be more radical if not for that house/senate balance? No idea. Point is, that was the idea.

Comment Theory is flawed (Score 5, Insightful) 485

I disagree with the thesis that silicon valley is in some way "swinging" toward the Republican party. It's more like the writing was on the wall which way the wind was blowing this midterm and the only way to have any influence or say on policy in Washington is via contributions. As in contributed == friend, didn't contribute == not friend. That's all it is. In 8 years (or whatever) when it's swinging the other direction again money will be flowing back the other direction. It's nothing more or less than that. Be on the good side of the people in power. It's the only way to get anything done. A lot of businesses actually contribute to both parties every election cycle, even if one is more heavily contributed to than the other. Just want to be on the good side for the next wind change.

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