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Comment Converse (Score 1) 336

Actually I've had a problem recently in that I wanted to get some good Converse knockoffs and Amazon was facing limited supply because of attempts on the part of Converse to crack down on this helpful customer-friendly business practice.

[Birkenstock] added that it will also ban any sales of its products by third-party sellers on Amazon

How can they even do that? Amazon isn't their site, and they aren't even going to be an Amazon seller any more. I suppose what they mean is that they won't sell to resellers who sell on Amazon, perhaps? Good luck with that whackamole game.

I guess we'll all turn to Birkenstock knockoffs! :D

Comment Does not surprise me (Score 1) 55

I used to be an ardent user of Hangouts for VOIP and video calls home. Depending on quality of the hotel wifi, it was spotty, but usually worked OK. One trip it was on the fritz, so I tried Facebook instead. The voice and video quality was noticeably better. I switched back and forth between thema few times after, and every time, Facebook had far better quality on average. I no longer use Hangouts at all. I am not sure if the difference is in the protocol stack or in the compression algorithm, but at the end of the day, as a user I don't really care - what I care about is seeing my family clearly and having them hear me clearly, and Facebook Messenger is pretty much the best alternative to Skype in this regard. The difference of course is nearly everyone in the world already has Messenger installed, whereas Skype is an extra thing to ask people to load.

Comment Re:Thanks to (Score 1) 327

It's an interesting poll, but the ability to comment anonymously and the moderation system are part of what make Slashdot Slashdot. I don't see most of the trolls because I read at +5 and only dig into something when I am interested in a particular line of discussion. I used to read at +4 back when I had more time. :) I also give a +1 bonus to anything that is modded insightful and that usually gives me a great stream of great comments.

Comment Re:So are Whirlpool, Samsung, Kenmore, et al (Score 4, Informative) 637

You don't need 20 years. You only need 3 - 5.

The energy use difference between an old washer and a modern energy star washer is so great that it would pay for the washer after only a few years of use assuming you pay the national average of 10 cents / kwh. Meanwhile, the energy star front loader I bought in 2005 still works fine over decade later, so I have made 2x my investment. But no, feel free to keep using your old inefficient model as long as you want.. I bet you also have a 1970's "beer fridge" in your garage that costs you a couple of dozen cases of beer a year in energy.

Comment Re:License to work (Score 4, Insightful) 637

What I suspect is REALLY going on here is that John Deere and other manufacturers have adopted a model of selling their equipment to farmers either at a loss or at cost, with the understanding that they'll make their profit in implicit servicing contracts. And the farmers, now that they have the equipment in hand on the cheap, have decided to "alter the deal" (to quote the great Darth Vader) to save a buck.

If I buy somebody's loss leader and then don't want to participate in the business model they were expecting, that doesn't mean I've "altered the deal" unless there was an actual deal.

And if somebody's trying to save a buck that doesn't make him bad. In fact if he's the guy supplying our food or something else we need that makes him good.

Comment Re:Potential for abuse (Score 1) 105

Are we a society rules by law?

Law governs legal penalties; personal opinion and choice governs everything else we do. It's the law, because we are a free society.

The law should take the position that it is better for ten guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to be punished. But in our personal dealings we can do whatever the heck we want because we are free people. There are plenty of things that should not be illegal that should still face social consequences. And while under the law the burden of proof should be "beyond a reasonable doubt," I don't have to wait for that standard before deciding I don't want to be around someone or don't want my children to be around them.

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