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Comment Re:Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proo (Score 1) 249

And yet, there are patents methods for swinging on a swing (thousands of years of prior art), and stuff like toolbars. Obviousness to those skilled in the art hasn't been a test for patents for at least a couple of decades. Many trivial patents are now being issued - including stuff that has been "public knowledge" already.

Comment Re:Do not want (Score 1) 80

I had lots of movies and I sought out letterboxed editions. They were hard to find but did exist. I still have a good number of them, and still have two S-VHS VCRs I have in my AV rack but haven't connected or powered on in quite a few years. Also, I seem to remember there was a huge company which littered the landscape that was full of VHS tapes to rent. Perhaps you've heard of "Blockbuster?"

The reason VHS went away was the same as cassettes, and 8-tracks before them; relatively poor quality and sequential access vs. random access, and then you consider that magnetic tapes degrade with every pass over the heads, and if there is anything wrong with EITHER the cassette OR the player, or if the humidity is just a hair too high, the tape will get "eaten" by the player. Then, there are tracking issues; the last-generation VHS players autotracked well, but previous generation VHS players were mostly equipped with manual tracking adjustment. Finally, VHS can only record or play at a given time, while DVRs can record multiple shows while playing one (or more if you stream to another device!) back. You can make a VCR eat or jam a tape quite easily; fast forward just a little, stop. Fast forward a little, stop, Rewind a little, stop. Repeat the cycle until the tape is uneven on the spool. Now play it - if it's just a little too humid, or if the VCR's tape path isn't pristine, the tape will either jam or get eaten. To correct this, when you notice the spools are not level, is to fully fast-forward the tape to the end, and fully rewind it.

It was an awful medium and very unreliable compared to both optical disks and solid state storage.

When DVD came out, VHS and VCR sales slowed down. When DVD recorders and DVD camcorders came out, VCR sales slowed even more. When DVRs went mainstream, and camcorders went solid-state storage, and streaming (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) picked up steam, the few remaining VCR sales dried up instantly and movie rental chains vanished.

At all. In fact, many people used to complain about letterbox DVDs, because "it doesn't fill my screen" so the actual buyer preferences are quite the opposite of what you're saying. In fact one time while browsing for DVDs at I talked to one such idiot at Wal*Mart because she was complaining about letterboxed movies. I mentioned to her "You do realize that pan & scan hides about half the scene from your view, right?" She didn't want to hear it. She was convinced pan & scan is the superior experience and showed you more of the scene. (Yes, she is an idiot)

There's a million reasons vhs died, but it wasn't the reason you cited.

Comment Re:Only $73,500? (Score 1) 227

> They don't do "punitive damages" in the UK. A court will only order compensation for actual damages suffered, which must be properly justified, not just a big made-up number. Of course, $10M might be a reasonable claim in some situations, if you were a high-earner and your career really had been destroyed.

In this case a couple million would be the MINIMUM appropriate compensation because dismissal of wrongful charges that were pressed due to gross negligence does not remove the mindshare and all the incorrect news articles which will come up during employment vetting processes; he may encounter problems seeking employment in the future and not even get called for interviews when he submits his CV. At minimum 2-3mil would be just compensation so that he does not suffer poverty resulting from government malfeasance.

Comment Re:Do they need driving tests? (Score 1) 202

> A person cannot drive on the road without a driving test, so why should a car?

They're doing the driving tests now. The next step (allowing the drivers who passed to drive without a veteran driver present) is what this is about. Currently autonomous vehicles are essentially on their learner's permits. Once they pass the driving test and get their license, why not let them drive without the veteran driver's presence?

You started on a good analogy and then veered off the road with it. ;)

Comment Re:Its too early IMO (Score 1) 202

Truck drivers will still be needed for the last mile delivery. I don't think shippers will come up with a robot nimble and clever enough to deliver appliances and fitness equipment into homes (and unpack and install them when contracted to).

However this reminds me of our heading toward a 60% unemployment rate due to automation (store checkouts, stock clerks, fast food jobs, etc. are gradually going away. This is evident in many NYC pharmacy/convenience stores, for example) - what are we going to do about this? If we were smart we would be expanding socialism in a huge way, not dismantling the feeble socialist safety nets we now have in place as the GOP is hell-bent on doing (nice Christian family values they have there, with their shitting on the poor, disabled, and sick!).

Anyway... back to the topic: I don't see the need for last-mile delivery jobs going away any time soon because of the complexity of on-premises delivery. Eventually, though, robotics and AI will advance to the point where even those problems are figured out, and once those problems are figured out (how to get a robot to navigate bulky packages through odd stairwells and hallways, etc.) they will likely do a better job than humans. Honestly though... I'd kind of prefer it in some ways, because artificial delays like "we do that route only one day a week" and the first available delivery date is three weeks out, when the package has been within a few miles of you for a week already will go away. They'll just send out a robot with your package as soon as they arrive at the warehouse. (Today, freight shipping still sucks warm sweaty donkey balls; ecommerce hasn't revolutionized freight delivery times like it has small package delivery)


New Zealand Will Give You a Free Trip If You Agree To a Job Interview ( 195

An anonymous reader shares an Esquire article: If New Zealand is on your bucket list, it's time to fill out a job application. You see, the tech industry in Wellington, New Zealand is trying to recruit experts from around the world to their community, so they're offering a free trip if you can prove you want the job and deserve an interview. They're calling it a "global talent attraction program" and 100 potential recruits will be invited on the free (yes, free) week-long trip. But, of course, the catch is you have to prove why you could serve as a software developer, creative director, product manager, analyst or digital strategist to get a free ticket. Once you do, your itinerary will be filled with interviews and meetings with others in the New Zealand tech community members, as well as excursions around Wellington.

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