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Comment Re:Other People's Playlists (Score 1) 64

I'm surprised so many people want to listen to playlists that somebody else made.

It's the new radio. Even when I used to make mixtapes and mix CDs in school, I'd eventually get tired of listening to the same things and turn to the radio to get some variety.

I love the idea of a radio station -- a curated playlist that fits within a general theme and evolves over time. That's what I'm very often looking for in music, and it's why I still listen to the radio in my car. I get tired of single albums or trying to manually create large and diverse playlists. It's also why I use still Pandora. I have a few stations which seem to work fairly well, although it does seem to get pretty repetitive, and I'm wary of adding new seed artists due to fears of ruining what I've got currently.

That said, I abhor advertising and don't tolerate it in any quantity. I can subscribe to Pandora but when a radio station starts playing ads I change stations. If all of my usual stations are on commercials, I mute the volume and enjoy the silence for a while. At least mixtapes never had that problem (well, unless you forgot to hit the Stop button while recording! :)

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 64

So, serious question: What do other people hear? Are there lots of ads? Is this a regional thing?

Ad-blockers like Adblock Plus usually block all visual and auditory ads on Pandora's free version. I used to listen to it all the time and see or hear an ad, but after a couple of months I decided to subscribe because I want to support companies which offer a service that isn't subsidized by advertising. I've paid for Pandora for about 3 years now.

My question is what this means for existing customers. I pay $4 per month now, since I was an existing subscriber when they moved to $5. Will we be included in this move to the new system at our current price, or will it increase?

Comment Re:Propose 'A' Technology? (Score 3, Insightful) 199

The path from a neutral Internet to the one Comcast execs dream of at night is a slippery slope. Even embracing partial steps towards that end will lead to yet more, as the specific cases are generalized down to something so vague and weak that any ISP can use it to assign whatever priorities they want to whatever traffic. It will go from "user controlled fast lanes" to "dynamic fast lanes" to "ISP curated fast lanes" to "ISP controlled fast lanes for the sake of general network health".

No one will care that their netflix packets are prioritized lower than their voice packets, since netflix streams and voice needs to be near real-time.

Latency and throughput are very different things. NetFlix does not need to be "real-time" -- it only requires enough throughput to build up a buffer big enough to smoothly play content and handle network variations. Voice calls are very different. They require very low latency and cannot be buffered.

No application bandwidth limiting, just prioritization.

I agree, but we already have that and you even named it. Quality of Service and Class of Service have already largely solved this problem. The only people saying that this kind of prioritization is the same thing as provider or application level throttling (fast and slow lanes), or that QoS will be illegal under Net Neutrality laws are the big telecos and their paid shills.

Once you open the door to "fast lanes" even a little bit, that's it. The level of neutrality will fall over time until it's another fondly distant Internet memory -- kind of like anonymity and the Fourth Amendment.

Comment Re:Mostly... (Score 1) 178

Vinyl, on the other hand is analogue and as such requires a stylus contact to read the grooves which will eventually wear out the media.

Not true, in the latter days of vinyl, they developed a laser stylus now commercially available which doesn't touch the media

I was skeptical, assuming that this would largely negate the claimed advantage of analog vinyl over digital CDs, even with an absurd sampling rate, but following the link farm page to the real article suggests otherwise:

One of its biggest appeals for audiophiles is the fact that its electronics are entirely analogue – the signal is not digitised as part of the signalling and playback process.
[...]
The LT player's five lasers – one on each channel to track the sides of the groove, one on each channel to pick up the sound (just below the tracking beams), and a fifth to track the surface of the record and keep the pickup at a constant height

Sounds fancy. Whether that's worth $20,000, well, YMMV.

Comment disappointing, but not surprising (Score 1) 203

I have had three Google reference phones, and all have performed pretty well. I like having bone-stock vanilla Android A LOT, and it eventually let me to adopting Project Fi (which has been pretty good, altogether!). So, naturally, I'm a bit bummed that the days of reference Andriod phones are coming to an end. I hope that there's still some kind of Google-preferred offering to upgrade to when my Nexus 6 gets tired, with a reasonably stock flavor of ANdriod. Since Google is my cell provider, I'll just go to whatever they are pointing to. All the same, I can see how having to keep competitive in the handset space was probably not something they were prepared to do, so I understand it.

Comment Re:Self-inflicted (Score 3, Insightful) 76

Yes, and those idiot's votes count the same as yours and mind. It is amazing how many people "me too" jump on some bullshit I've already proven to be false a few times before. Hoax is the poisoning of the mind for people too stupid to do their own thinking and prefer their news in a 600x600 image square. Whoever controls these drones, controls the vote, because they are half the population.

Or to paraphrase George Carlin, think about how stupid the average person is, then remember that half the population is dumber than they are.

Comment Re:Just one quick trick ... (Score 5, Insightful) 123

Your UID makes it look like you should remember the old days, but whatever. When I was growing up (80's - 90's) we didn't have cable television; we had an antenna on the roof that picked up the local ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX affiliates, plus the local CBC/CITY/other Canadian stations (grew up in a border town). We got the news from the local nightly news on whichever station, and didn't pay a thing for it, unless you count watching commercials as "paying". These days, we seem to be "paying" more for our news, in terms of ads and having our habits tracked and sold online, but *still* somehow we're getting less *actual* journalism.

Comment Re:High failure rate (Score 1) 209

They are using consumer drives for data center needs, this is the big reason their failure rate is relatively high. Still, with the redundancy, it is cheaper to run this way. Rumor is that Google ran that way with off the shelf computers. Use dirt cheap commodity products that are good quality, have exceptional redundancy, throw them away as they implode.

Comment Re: Worse and worse (Score 5, Interesting) 440

Or, you know, it's to prevent viruses and other such garbage that has plagued windows for years and years, to be able to boot up with windows by masquerading as a driver?

Actually the GP is right, and Microsoft calls it out themselves:

To play back certain types of next-generation premium content, all kernel-mode components in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows must be signed. In addition, all the user-mode and kernel-mode components in the Protected Media Path (PMP) must comply with PMP signing policy.

Besides, the only way to install kernel mode drivers is to be running as administrator. If malicious code is allowed to run on your computer with administrative credentials, you're already screwed in any number of ways. Installation of a kernel driver is just one avenue.

I see nothing wrong with this.

I see everything wrong with this. Microsoft is now dictating what software can be run on my computer. That alone is enough of a reason to vehemently reject this, but think also of the F/OSS software impacted. There are plenty of software tools out there which run a driver as part of their operation and not all of these will want to or be able to get their drivers signed.

I have been trying to decide lately if I'll ever bite the bullet and move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or if I'll start looking migrating to Linux. The decision just got a lot easier.

Comment Re:Funny humanity (Score 1) 105

The whole Dark Matter thing was based on the presumption that there is NO WAY that WE can't see it.

Not at all. The whole dark matter thing was based on the presumption that there is mass that we can't see and this matter that we can't see was called "dark matter".

Others may have read more into it, but the name itself betrays the real, original intent behind describing this matter that we can't see or identify.

Comment Re:Serious question (Score 1) 195

Well, here's the thing. What do you need adblock for? If you're not going to whitelist advertiser domains, they're not showing up in the first place.

Most, but not all advertising is displayed via Javascript. AdBlock is useful for blocking static images and element hiding rules are nice for just removing text ads or other annoying elements of webpages. There is also the case of allowing domains to execute scripts (temporary or trusted) to make pages functional. AdBlock takes care of any ads that would be displayed as a result.

But yes, NoScript easily takes care of 60-70% of it and AdBlock helps clean up the rest. I don't think Ghostery is necessary with them (or even a good idea, given who owns it).

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