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Comment Re:And us too - soon (Score 1) 394

We have freedom though.

"Freedom" is a loose concept that's made up of a collection of personal and collective rights. Among many, included are the right to privacy, the right to anonymous speech, and the protection against the unwarranted search of your effects. These are protected by law and legal precedent in the US because they are all critical to creating and maintaining a free society.

Mass government surveillance is a crack in the larger edifice of freedom and the chilling effects it causes will tend to make those cracks spread and get larger. And to make it all worse, the return on investment -- freedoms for promised security -- is a joke.

As others point out, we are orders of magnitude more likely to die in a car crash than an act of terror and yet people complain every day about seat belt laws. A rational re-evaluation of priorities is desperately needed today.

Comment Re:eating less (Score 1) 254

Well said. The only thing I would add is research shows that willpower is a limited resource and is depleted and replenished over time. A successful diet requires managing that resource and not starving yourself of willpower because that's when you fall off the wagon and the diet breaks or fails completely.

Finding ways to make yourself feel good about the diet and the progress you're making, along with normal day to day happiness is crucial for a successful diet. This is 10 times more important for people who use food as a form of comfort, which is a fair number of overweight folks.

Comment Re:Tizen proprietary? (Score 1) 122

Speaking of which, even Android is TiVo-ized, since you can't install your modified version of Android on your phone w/o breaking things

Just "breaking things" isn't what makes something Tivoized. It's when the system is designed to prevent executing custom or modified code through the use of something like digital signatures. A locked phone which normally runs a modified version of GNU/Linux and also refuses to execute code that isn't signed by the carrier would be an example of Tivoized hardware, but the Android software itself isn't Tivoized at all.

Comment Re:surprised (Score 2) 333

Well, I strongly prefer an UI like in Windows 7 and want to be in full control of updates.

I completely agree with you, but full control over updates is no longer a selling point of Windows 7. Microsoft has moved to a single monthly rollup package for Windows 7 which always includes all previous updates and is only all-or-nothing. So, for example, the November 2016 update that comes out next week will include all updates from the August 2016, September 2016, and October 2016 update packages.

It's a step backwards in every possible way and exists solely to make it easy for Microsoft to shove whatever updates they want down their users' throats. The Windows 10 GWX fiasco has taught them a valuable lesson about the dangers of consumer choice and giving users control over their computers.

Comment Re:Not really new, folks... (Score 1) 89

Nice. I spent many hours messing around with POV-Ray on my old 400 Mhz Pentium II (and many more hours waiting for scenes to render...). Sadly I lost everything from that period when the drive crashed.

It's fun to look at mid-90's computer generated images and see how much has changed. I went through a folder of old Digital Blaspheme wallpapers (remember those?) a while back and they just look so quaint now.

Comment Re:Google Page? (Score 3, Insightful) 197

Where's the Google page for this? I don't see it in the store or at /pixel.

It's at the adorable madeby.google subdomain. Because of course that makes sense.

I'd also like to know why it's so difficult for Slashdot editors to include a link to the Google page. Shitty link farms like BGR obviously don't link back to Google but it would be nice if Slashdot would hold itself to a higher standard.

Comment Re:No return trips? (Score 1) 497

Ever heard of Apollo 11? Yeah, that was pretty much a suicide mission. Nixon had several speeches prepared to deliver to the nation covering the myriad of possibilities for failure.

Apollo 11 was not a suicide mission. It was dangerous as all space missions are, and the astronauts were heroic, but Nixon's speeches were simply a matter of planning for contingencies so that in the event that something went wrong they wouldn't be caught unprepared.

A mission where success is physically possible, and especially when estimates for a safe return exceed 50%, is not a suicide mission. Sending people to Mars without sufficient resources for them to return or subsist on the planet indefinitely -- that's a suicide mission. Give them enough fuel and the mechanisms required to return to orbit and make the trip back to Earth? That's a dangerous, but still ultimately survivable mission.

Comment Re:With his own money? (Score 1) 497

sending people to a dead rock to try to see if they can survive is fine for a Bear Gryllis episode

Yeah, as much as I'd like to see Bear figure out how to drink his pee in a space suit, before filming could commence they'd have to send a crew over to build a Marriott on Mars. Probably isn't worth the hassle.

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.

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