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Comment Re:Fitbit is next (Score 1) 128

Who on their right mind is going to spend hundreds of dollars for some minor functionality?

Back in the 1980s, I remember thinking "If only there was a way to have my girlfriend (at the time) send me her pulse so I could feel her love on my own wrist in real-time. Of course the technology wasn't there, and wouldn't be for some time, so I had to settle for her bloody heart in a jar and 25 years in a psychiatric hospital.

Comment Re:Pump 'n Dump (Score 1) 197

If anyone invests their money based upon stories like this, they deserve what they get.

Well, there's little evidence Trump is into austerity, he has a better Congressional chance of passing an infrastructure bill than Obama did, and both GOP and Trump like a really large military.

All investments are guesses, and even not investing is typically based on guesses of events or lack of. Therefore, it makes sense to see where the stars are aligned and aim your boat that way.

(I myself am investing in pussy guards.)

Comment Middle hollowed out, just like everywhere (Score 3, Interesting) 156

Technology and globalization have "cheapened the middle" of almost every industry. Get used to it.

The most popular performers will do well, and even get bigger access to global markets, but the middle-ground is being hollowed out because the Internet gives consumers more choice and more access to old-but-good material. And, many amateurs give out works for free either to promote them or because money is not their goal. This gives for-profit performers competition who work for peanuts.

Concert, venue, wedding, and bar performances are probably the best source of music wages, not recordings.

The rich get richer, the rest stagnate. Welcome to the club!

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 70

Yep. I have a friend who worked for a now-defunct ad placement firm. They hired people specifically for the purpose of figuring out ways around ad blockers. Of course that was dumb, because for people who are determined not to be tracked and force-fed ads, that simply makes them more determined to find ways to block things.

Comment Re:There are Ads on YouTube? (Score 1) 70

I recently went to renew my /. subscription because it has been some time since I last had. They are no longer offering subscriptions, not sure if it's temporary or not. One of the nice things with it was the option to turn off ads. I still run uMatrix and uBlock Origin on the site but still wanted to support them.

So it seems like they may be going straight for an ad & tracker supported model.

Comment Re:More like a terrible law (Score 1) 100

But awarding all the profit is insane. If that's the standard you're going to use, then Apple should just hand over all their profit from their iPhones 1 through 4 to Samsung, because they infringed one of Samsung's FRAND patents.

FRAND patents are utility patents, not design patents, and the "entire profits" rule only applies to design patents. Plus, FRAND patents are explicitly limited to a fair and reasonable royalty, or the patent can be effectively invalidated (not really invalid, but they can't enforce it, once found in breach of their FRAND requirements).

Apple escaped punishment for that only because Obama used executive privilege to nullify that ITC decision.

The ITC couldn't levy monetary damages, anyway. The only thing they can do is stop imports. And if they did stop imports under the ITC decision, then Samsung would have been in breach of their FRAND requirements, since by entering the patents into a FRAND agreement, they explicitly said, "we will never try to get an injunction to stop imports or sales, pinkie swears, honest." So, if the ITC decision was upheld, then those patents would have been unenforceable.

Comment Re:Want to save your hearing? (Score 1) 75

Have a look at Etymotic plugs. I've used ER20s (looks like they are called 'Ety Plugs', now) at clubs and events for years. They do what they say - drop the volume without distortion. I can have conversations while wearing them that would have been a muted mess with the more usual foam earplugs. They aren't bad for long stays in server rooms, either.

If you attend loud events with any regularity, and want to _keep_ being able to enjoy those events for years to come, protect your hearing.

Caveat - no association with the company, just a satisfied customer.

I keep a pair of them in a small metal tube on my keychain, just in case a bar is too loud. :D

Comment Re:Want to save your hearing? (Score 1) 75

Also get some ear plugs. A lot of music and dance venues play much louder than 85db for prolonged periods, I presume to get the bass up to the level where you can feel it. With a good pair of ear plugs, you can still feel the bass and hear the music, with much less stress on your hearing. Why would you want to sacrifice future concerts for one concert right now?

"A lot"? Try "all". I'd say, on average, you're hitting 105 dB SPL at a minimum in most venues and closer to 115 to 120 near the speakers.

Another reason to wear ear plugs - your brain does some acoustic processing to deal with high volume levels (there's some multi-band audio compression via threshold shifts... it's really quite fascinating) and that's fatiguing. That's why if you go to a loud concert or club, even if you're not drinking and even if it's relatively early, you're wiped out when it's over, more so than you should be for that time of night. Wear earplugs, and you'll be a lot less tired.

Comment Re:Would it be positive for your customers? (Score 4, Informative) 155

Yes, more sponsored free data transfer and optimization from content providers. It's a grey area now. But "Stream Game of Thrones now without using your data, exclusively on AT&T" is something that carriers and content providers really want to do.

Comment Re:Positive for the ISPs (Score 2) 155

I'd rather have the last mile be a public utility, giving me a wider choice of providers. If the providers don't have to run wire to every customer's house, merely to a routing node, many more will be able to enter the market.

Our current specimens of oligopolies here suck rotting bundles of moldy maggot-filled pig feces on a good day.

Comment Fog (Score 0) 155

Like everything else, Trump has been all over the map on related issues. He's hinted about dealing with problems caused by oligopolies keeping out competition, but also talks a lot of about deregulation in general.

Most Federal regulations were put in place because somebody was abusing the system, not out of the sheer euphoria of socialism. The trick is to get rid of or scale back a given regulation without re-inviting the abuse that triggered it.

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Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie