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Comment Re:Not what customers want (Score 1) 80

>"Hulu wasn't bad when it was possible to adblock that for 3 minutes of silence and didn't charge. Or you can pitch 'em $10/mo and get it commercial free. Their current model's the worst of both worlds."

Yep, and that is one of the most major problems with "streaming", it gives the content provider 100% control over the delivery. At least with cable and DVR, it doesn't matter what they throw into the program, you can at least fast forward through it. Providers are VERY VERY tempted to use their power to control us. Look at what happened with DVD/BluRay! It was bad enough when they added unskippable anti-pirate warnings (yeah, I bought this disc and now you are going to PUNISH me for it!) But then they started adding unskippable previews, commercials, and PSA's!

Comment FAIL (Score 1) 351

OMG, they are just determined to destroy as many engines as possible, aren't they? Ethanol has been such an utter failure it is unreal. And yes, I had a motorcycle engine pretty much destroyed due to ethanol. And my current one has constant issues with the gas cap corroding due to ethanol. It attracts water, it gives LOWER miles per gallon, it costs more, it eats up the fuel system in many vehicles, it currently pushes up food prices, actually doesn't reduce dependence on fossil fuels (fertilizer and processing), and on top of it all, it doesn't reduce emissions AT ALL. It has to be one of the worst blunders ever.


Take the wasted resources from ethanol and please invest that money in battery technology so we can get closer to viable electric vehicles.

Comment Not what customers want (Score 2) 80

>" Like its over-the-top rivals, DirecTV Now will let customers stream live programming on smartphones, tablets, and PCs -- no cable box necessary"

Are they kidding?

Sorry, but we don't want forced streaming of channels which include commercials and other crap with no DVR and no time shifting. If streaming, we want to stream SHOWS and ONLY shows.

Haven't they learned anything from the relative failure of things like HULU?

Comment Forget total ensurance of privacy, it's dead (Score 1) 286

I think with modern technology the promise of an anonymous ballot being guaranteed is flat out dead. Unless you go through a metal detector like at the airport to screen out all electronics someone will easily bring a phone into the ballot box and with consumer go pros being able to be hidden in a shirt if someone is motivated they'll be able to attain proof that you voted as directed.

Also voter intimidation in this fashion is extremely risky and unsuccessful. It only takes one person giving an anonymous tip that they are being *offered* incentives to sell their vote and you're screwed. In order to sway an election you would inevitably solicit someone who will rat you out. If you are being blackmailed, then you'll be sufficiently motivated to conceal your tracks and with modern technology almost certainly find a way to succeed.

Technology for electronic voting confirmation is trivial but we exclude it because we inaccurately are defending an attribute that is dead and gone due to technological change. I can already track my mail-in ballot. What they should do is offer an independent random tracker to every ballot, then when the election is over you could confirm your ballot was counted properly. And many people could anonymously publish their vote and vote hash to news organizations for exit polling. And if you request enough random samples they should converge on the same result as the total. If Reuters samples 50k volunteers and the outcome of those samples is off from the official tally then you can investigate further. You would have to maintain two separate databases to both respond "correctly" to spot checks but also tally differently. And hashing the total vote database vs. the spot checks would guarantee the data had been tampered.

Comment Re: The science is settled... (Score 5, Insightful) 667

Yes, but where will climate change cause flooding, where will it cause draught, how much water can utilities, dams and shippers expect, how tall does this seawall need to be, and where will the best places be to build are all very important questions. Regardless of global warming being caused by man or not, better predictive models help humans plan.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 126

> I'll wake you up for the next round of marketing 3D in 4K.

At least 3D is *meaningful*. One can argue how useful it is or how much it is abused with "fake" or invented 3D instead of being shot natively. But most people can easily tell the difference 2D and 3D , and 3D can very much add to an experience (when done right). But yeah, I am sure it will be resurrected again when they run out of 4K hype.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 2) 126

There is a hugely diminishing return. I guarantee if you double-blind test 1000 random people and place them 10 feet from two identical 70" 4K TV's both playing the same identical video, one playing it from 1080P video upscaled to 4K and the other playing the 4K native, almost nobody would be able to notice any difference, resulting in about a 50/50 chance. And remember, we are not talking about text and stills on monitors... we are talking about Netflix video.

Sure, there are some small cases where it will be useful, but generally it is just a marketing gimmick. If they focused on things that actually matter, like HDR or color space, it would be different.

Comment Re:I remember this argument being made... (Score 1) 126

>...during the switch to 480i...decades ago!!!!

You mean from crappy analog like VHS to digital DVD? That was 480i to 480i, so that is not a valid comparison.

If you mean from 480 to 720/1080 that was a HUGE difference and one that probably 50% of the public could see immediately.

I *guarantee* if I double-blind test 1000 random people and place them 10 feet from two identical 70" 4K TV's both playing the same identical video, one playing it from 1080P video upscaled to 4K and the other playing the 4K native, almost nobody would be able to notice any difference, resulting in about a 50/50 chance.

Comment LED vs LCD (Score 1) 67

I have yet to use an LED display of any type. Have they improved over the last few years? Last I checked, the colors always looked way off when compared to an LCD and they seemed a bit more "pixely". Also, LED displays always seemed "brighter", but only until you go outside and then LCD seems much better.

I am guessing LED is the future and will eventually replace LCD TV's and monitors as well as phones, it is just that the displays are starting small so phones get to be first.

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