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Comment Re:What about Amazon Prime? (Score 1) 70

We use the Amazon apps on our Tivo and PS4 and their interfaces are HORRIBLE. I won't even watch Amazon Prime video anymore. I want to tell it "never, ever show me non-free content" but it "forgets" that constantly. There are no good discovery tools, basically just search. It's pathetic. They have a long way to go in order to be competitive. I think their chief concern is to get you to purchase something. Prime Video is an afterthought. I wouldn't even pay $3/mo for their service.

Amazon also offered free photo storage, and it's even worse. The app (at least on the Mac) appears to have been written by a high school student. It's amazingly bad, so I gave up there as well. You get what you pay for sometimes, and with Prime that's "free" shipping only.

Submission + - New Technique Turns Random Objects Into FM Radio Stations

An anonymous reader writes: A new technology is enabling everyday objects, such as posters and clothing, to be transformed into FM radio stations, according to research from the University of Washington. The team has introduced a technique called ‘backscattering’ which uses ambient low-power radio signals to broadcast messages from random objects to smartphones in the local vicinity.The researchers hope that the development could help support various smart city applications, and picture a future where anything from a poster at a bus stop to a road sign can transmit audio updates and information to passers-by. During testing, the researchers were able to use the backscattering technique to create a ‘singing poster’ which could send out the music of an advertised band to smartphone users at a distance of up to 4 metersand to cars in an 18-meter radius.

Comment Re:Vizio (Score 1) 44

I recently bought a Samsung. I would have gone the cheaper Vizio route but this issue held me off. Samsung isn't necessarily better but at least they tell you ahead of time in the terms and you can simply not connect it to the internet if you so wish. Vizio was deceptive and unrepentant about it. That lost them a sale from me.

And indeed, that's what I purchased. I didn't realize until later that viewing most Samsung's off-axis results in a terrible picture. I'm not happy about that, but it's too late now. And their upscaling of non-1080p content is significantly worse than my 10 year old Sony, which is frustrating. But it's not a Vizio, so that's a plus.

I haven't set up any of their "smart" stuff since it's mostly useless as far as I can tell. I have enough devices that can play Netflix and Amazon video connected already, I really don't need one more. So far I have an old Bluray player, PS3, PS4, Tivo and AppleTV. All of which can play video from those sources and others.

OLED screens are down a lot and I'd likely get one of those now if I were in the market.

Comment Vizio (Score 1) 44

I was in the market for a TV last year and this sort of stuff is why I ruled out Vizio immediately. Everyone wants to compete on price so they have to make it up somewhere else. Pretty sure we'll soon be paying a subscription for the content AND the TV you watch it on. Well, some people will, not me. I'm watching less and less on TV each year.

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 1) 477

As, usual we have the over-reaction of the day. For some reason you sound like someone we would have shown the door to.

No, it's not FRAUD. We gave back each and every ejected member every cent they paid when signing up. NOTHING. It was a private, free message board. In order to be fraud, you have to cheat someone out of something. We did not do that. In fact, the guests there that had to be ejected were guilty of FRAUD because they lied about following the rules, terms and conditions, and did not - thus cheating the membership out of a quiet, stable helpful professional atmosphere they came to enjoy.

You see, your response and all the other thin-skinned responses like it were met with one simple statement. "This is a PRIVATE web site. You are a guest here, this is our house. We are not a country, you do NOT have legally-guaranteed free speech here.", The 8000 or so happy members that we had accepted this as their terms and conditions. The 4 we had to boot did not.

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 4, Interesting) 477

It was far from typical. On the board we had about 8,000 users, and of them, only about 4 had to be dealt with this way. We ran a forum for professionals and good behavior was the norm, but we did get an occasional idiot from time to time. Otherwise the membership very much appreciated the professional atmosphere and the lack of trolls and morons.

Comment Re:Ignore them (Score 5, Interesting) 477

VBulletin, very popular forum software, has a feature called "Global ignore" that does what you describe. I used to run a large well-moderated professional discussion forum and if we got a jerk in the rolls we would first warn him, then either put him on global ignore or "miserable users", which is hilarious. It would take people sometimes months to realize they were being muted, sometimes they never did figure it out.

Miserable users was pretty funny, if you decided the person had to go but was big enough of an asshole you wanted to still have some fun, you would turn this on. It would:

1. Slow response (time delay) on every page (20 to 60 seconds default).
2. A chance they will get the "server busy" message (50% by default).
3. A chance that no search facilities will be available (75% by default).
4. A chance they will get redirected to another preset page (25% & homepage by default).
5. A chance they will simply get a blank page (25% by default).
6. Post flood limit increased by a defined factor (10 times by default).
7. If they get past all this okay, then they will be served up their proper page.

After that you just waited for them to get frustrated and leave of their own accord. Passive-Aggressive Nirvana!

Comment Re:SEO (Score 1) 73

They thought of that - the "legal" links are legit, they are usually buy the DVD from Amazon or stream it from NetFlix, or the app stores, etc.

The sneaky shitty part was they are in a tiny box at the bottom of the page, and the rest looks like the regular torrent search landing page, perhaps so that people won't notice the tiny box of legit links.

Comment Re:SEO (Score 1) 73

Keyword spamming would be closer to what they are doing, tricking people searching for [movie] + torrent into finding a result.

I remember seeing a sort of similar page when some pirate search engine got it's page impounded by the DHS/MAFIAA, so they set up a honeypot replacement site that showed your results then had links to legal sources of the movie, and if you STILL clicked on the "torrent" link, it went to a "You've Been Naughty, You're Busted" page.

Comment Re:The new "I got nothin'" (Score 1) 68

So, you failed as a business at what you specialized at, and now you're going to "pivot" to a field that's already over-crowded with others who've failed and are making the same pivot.

No, no. They have no idea what to do because people don't want super-expensive lock in to overly complex products, so they are throwing out the latest buzz-phrases in order to seem relevant to investors. What are they going to make an IoT smoke detector that costs $500 and requires an annual service contract?

Comment Re:Carly Fiorina bashing (Score 1) 68

I haven't looked at the Yealink IP phone, but I do see advertisements for them from my telecom vendors. We settled on Polycom phones a while back. We upgraded to SoundPoint IP 650s and have been very happy. They are sufficiently open, although their config stuff is a bit obtuse. But at least it's all open enough to do what I want relatively easily. They just work and sound great. We looked at Avaya a while back, and everyone with prior experience we talked to said "run away!"

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