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Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 112

I don't get it. Given the choice between paying $30 now, or $1-3 in a few months once it's out on rental / streaming services, you'd pick the former? I can't think of a single film in the last decade that I've wanted to see so much that I'd pay an order of magnitude more to see it now. Plus there's a reasonable sized backlog of things that I want to watch, so even if I watch them in release order they're all available to rent cheaply by the time I get around to them.

Comment Re:Open Source is Evil (Score 1) 112

We are trying to do to movies what we did to software with open source. Reduce its value so much that the people working in the industry struggle to survive

Huh? That's not what open source did at all. It shifted the value from copying software to creating software. People are still paid to write open source software, it's just that now most of them are paid by companies who want the features added (or the bugs fixed) directly, rather than by some middlemen that want to charge per copy.

Comment Re: Why Not On Release Day And For A Regular Price (Score 1) 112

Eventually the movie industry will learn that the damage that it's doing to itself trying to prevent piracy is significantly greater than the damage that piracy is doing to it. It took Apple taking control over a very lucrative slice of the distribution market before the music industry learned that DRM does little to prevent piracy, but does a lot to create distribution monopolies outside of their control. I wonder how long it will be for someone like Amazon or Netflix to grab a sufficiently large slice of the distribution market that they realise that allowing DRM-free downloads from multiple other sources is the only way to regain their bargaining power.

Comment Re:sell movie theatre stock now (Score 1) 112

Except it's not competing with going to the cinema, it's competing with watching the same film a couple of months at home later for a tenth of that price. The problem for the movie industry is that they're entirely focussed around first-week profits (to the extent that they set up contracts with cinemas such that they get almost all of the takings from the first week and close to none after a couple of weeks). This means that they have to spend a huge amount of money on advertising to try to get everyone to watch the film at the same time and don't get to take advantage of slower word-of-mouth (or online) recommendations. The advent of decent-quality home cinema systems means that a lot more people are watching films a few months after they came out in the cinemas, which causes problems for the studios' business model.

Comment Re:Misleading and false (Score 1) 118

Exactly. It's interesting research, but it hits diminishing returns very quickly. Cheap solar panels have gone from 8% to 16% efficiency in a few years. That's a huge win, because you get double the power output for the same investment. Getting up to 32% for the same cost will be a similar win, but that's a long way away.

Comment Re: please use a password manager.... (Score 1) 111

Doesn't even require Safari - there's a password assistant built into the OS, even though it's not exposed as an application.

For those wanting more than a vague hint: it's in the Keychain Access app. The New Password Item menu item brings up a dialog box that lets you generate a password matching various criteria.

Comment Re:I've noticed that, but something else interesti (Score 1) 156

I found GPS directions were a good way of getting to know my way around when I moved here, but I looked at the planned route before I set off (walking or cycling) and was then able to look more at my surroundings. The phone in my pocket would tell me which turning to take, and so I'd get to know the routes very quickly and not need to look at the map. After a week, I wasn't bothering to set the directions. Having the GPS also gave me more confidence to explore - I could wander around in a random direction and know that I'd never actually get lost. Just like any other tool, the benefits of a satnav depend entirely on how you use it.

Comment Re:Maps technology is lost... (Score 2) 156

We bought a new house last year and it was a few months before it was on most maps[1]. The number of delivery drivers that got lost was incredible. We gave them clear directions from the nearest main road, but most of them couldn't manage to follow them. Our road is just past a large office block and so all they needed to do was get to that office building (been there for decades, on all of the maps) and then follow the road around. We also told them which turning to take off the road that led to that one. It appears that most of them could not read street signs and didn't know whether they were heading towards or away from the city centre.

[1] OpenStreetMap had it before we looked at it, Google still doesn't. I still find the comment that OSM is a parody from the Google Maps lead amusing - apparently looking pretty is far more important than having accurate data.

Comment Re:What I thought (Score 2) 244

A lithium-ion battery is basically a bomb with a small circuit saying 'don't explode, don't explode, don't explode'. They're banned from aircraft holds because the don't-explode circuits turn out not to be as reliable as previously thought. It amazes me that I'm allowed to carry a few of them onto a plane, but not a small bottle of water (though I can buy one at an overprices shop, or I can buy something a lot more flammable in Duty Free).

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