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Comment Re:So do the employees get to write that off? (Score 2) 293

I'm sure Alphabet wrote it off on their taxes. So your present was a donation to charity and a tax break for your parent company.

Well, it's a writeoff either way. Spending money on employees or donating cash to charity, either way it reduces a company's net profit and reduces tax liability.

Comment Re: Depends on price (Score 1) 333

I'm sure there are always going to be people who can rip someone off so they will, but I suspect that won't change much either way. I also suspect you're right about these people not caring that much about the quality anyway.

However, for those who pirate because they want to watch a movie and simply haven't been given an attractive legal option for doing so, this new idea sounds like it could be worthwhile.

Comment Re:Depends on price (Score 1) 333

I sympathise with your problems with sound quality. My hearing is still, thankfully, pretty good, but it drives me crazy that particularly the big movie studios keep releasing movies on disc that have an audio mix designed for a full theatre. Play that same mix through a private system that isn't a full home cinema with 7.1 surround sound speakers and all that jazz, and often you'll get a movie where the action scenes are deafening yet the dialog is barely audible. It's an amazingly obvious problem once you've become aware of it, and some discs do provide alternatives that are more suitable for a typical twin-speaker or 2.1 home setup, but far from all of them.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 257

Every GOP dominated state has severely failing economies. See Kansas as a perfect example.

Define "failing". Red states, by and large, have lower economic growth because they are more rural, and urban centers generate more economic activity. That's a generality, though. If you look at a list of states by GDP per capita, some red states rank very highly. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Li....

If you're talking about fiscal responsibility, it's pretty much exactly the opposite of what you say. The states that are on the edge of bankruptcy are nearly all blue states, while those with the healthiest governments are red states. https://www.mercatus.org/state...

Kansas, BTW, is firmly middle of the pack on both measures. Kansas is #25 of 50 in terms of GDP per capita, and according to the Mercatus rankings, they're #27. So Kansas isn't a perfect example.

Comment Re:More likely medical practice, not evolution (Score 1) 273

What I considered really interesting was the question: if cesarean became the normal method of delivery for an extended period of time (many generations) could humans end up at a point where natural birth was not possible?

I think it's likely that before too many more generations the normal process will be to grow babies in artificial wombs, and that could eventually make it so that a significant percentage of women become unable to bear children the old-fashioned way. Although we'd lose the evolutionary pressure for wide hips for birthing, it doesn't seem like there are any evolutionary pressures against wide hips, so I don't see why they'd disappear.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 73

Anyone who defends this convenience-over-privacy should download and print Jihadi-type information, nuke plans, bio-weapons info, etc. through this service and see how long it is before there is a knock on their door.

Sure. Got a link? I have absolutely zero concern about any sort of problem like that.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 73

I can't believe people willingly send their documents to Google where they will be processed by their systems and stored for however long.

I love it. It's super convenient to be able to print to my printer from any device, anywhere. Even when I'm printing from a computer rather than my phone or tablet, I frequently find that the native print drivers are unreliable and buggy over the network, and especially over Wifi. Not so much that I can't get it to connect and print with a little fiddling but Google Cloud Print just works, every time. As for Google "processing" the documents, (a) I'm fairly certain they don't data mine Cloud Print data and (b) I don't care. Most of what I print I either created in Google Docs or received in Gmail anyway. And even where that's not the case, the only thing Google would do with anything learned from my print jobs is to make better choices about what ads I might find interesting.

However... my printer is an Epson, and it was bootlooping a couple of days ago (I turned it off). I assumed the printer itself was having some problem and was planning to investigate when I have time this weekend. Sounds like I just need to wait for Google to sort this problem out and I'll be good.

Note that I work for Google, though not on Cloud Print. I'm just a (usually) happy user of Cloud Print.

Comment Re:Almost never go... (Score 1) 333

I almost never go to the cinema. It's useful when you're a kid wanting to date as neutral ground (although from what I understand kids don't date anymore- just hook up).

I'd much rather watch in the Living room than the cinema. No overly loud sound. No uncomfortable squished together seats. No popcorn stuck to the floor. The cinema isn't exactly a positive experience.

We must have much better theaters where I live than you do. Here it's all big, comfy stadium seating and they do a great job of keeping the floors clean. We tend to go to early shows (4-5PM usually), so we often have the theater to ourselves. At most there are few dozen others. And even when we do go to a later show where the house is closer to full, I can't remember the last time noise was a problem.

Anyway, my answer to the question is: Absolutely not. My wife and go see a movie pretty much every week. We have a weekly date night and we like movies. There's absolutely no way we'd want to watch those movies at home, because the primary motivation for the date is to go out, to get away from the house, the kids, etc. If the theater were an unpleasant place, we just wouldn't watch movies at all because we'd find something else to do on date night and we don't have a lot of spare time for movie-watching the rest of the week.

That's just me, of course, but judging by the people I see at the theater, I'm far from alone in that. Lots of people like going to the theater. There's a lot more to it than just watching the movie.

Comment Re:Depends on price (Score 1) 333

I just realized they they are trying to make up revenue from the loss of at least 3 movie tickets (i.e. 2 adults and a child).

My wife and I often enjoy different types of movie, so when we do go to a cinema, it is often with friends who enjoy the same types of movie that each of us does. But mostly we don't go to the cinema at all, because the experience at many of them is so much worse than home viewing (and don't even start on any showing involving kids). That revenue for "at least 3 movie tickets" was never there.

I could imagine that early access at a reasonable price might cut piracy significantly for big name movies, and I could see myself watching several movies a year that way if the deal was sensible. However, the equivalent of $50 for a one-time home viewing is off-the-charts crazy for me. I've always somehow managed to contain my excitement and wait a year or so to watch blockbusters on disc or streaming service or TV before. I'm pretty sure I can do the same in the future if any new early access offer comes with the traditional screwing-you-out-of-your-money feeling of going to a cinema.

Comment Re:Lots of companies want Win10 (Score 1) 171

That may be true, but we have not yet discovered how to make a system that is truly, 100%, absolutely guaranteed secure. That means real world security is all about risk management: what risks can we identify, and what can we do to mitigate them?

Unless you are capable of building literally everything you need, from the most basic hardware components or the first line of code on up, at some point you will come to a decision between trusting some partner organisation and its staff to do what they say and looking elsewhere. And if you really need something big and you can't build it yourself, there are probably only so many potential partners to work with before you run out of options.

So, maybe no amount of assurances from Microsoft would reassure you, but if you're in charge of a hypothetical multi-year, multi-billion dollar R&D programme and you need a desktop OS to run your software on, who would you allow to reassure you? Apple? The Debian security team? A few hundred specialist developers you just hired to build you something from scratch on top of FreeBSD?

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