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Comment Older gear. (Score 1) 183

Older gear (probably not going to get updated, either. Because we have a good viewing and listening experience already.) Discrete components; pre-pro, amps, speakers, etc. The pre-pro could be remoted, perhaps, but it's very early on the curve of network control, and I've found it's not even reliable to tell to turn on and off. Denon bought Marantz, and they have been pretty sad about proper updates to nominally update-capable components.

OTOH, if a proper STT interface ever hits the streets (and no, I don't count the Echo - the number of negative developer and privacy issues there are ridiculous) I might be motivated to undertake such a setup. Mainly change the pre-pro to one that's smart enough to reliably remote and dedicate a computer with lots of storage to the theater as an AV source. But I'm 60, and every year that passes, I'm more satisfied with what I already have, so... perhaps not.

Already pretty much ignoring the 4K thing. Aside from very low media availability at this point in time, 1080p looks great on a big screen (and your average movie director still thinks it's "artsy" to soft focus and/or use a lens with horrific DOF, either/both of which completely waste all that fine resolution goodness anyway.)

Comment Re:The problem is what you consider useful (Score 1) 183

It was -40 degrees here just a few days ago, and it's not very nice now. And it's icy. And windy. Outside = awful.

Also -- you know why it's really nice to talk to an exercise measuring device? Because you can do it while you're exercising.

So how about you take your presumptions and re-evaluate.

Comment lol (Score 2) 183

Found the 1%-er.

No, you most certainly didn't. You found the guy who doesn't spend even a tiny fraction of what others do on children, booze, drugs, bars, travel, going out to eat, long trips, interest, hotels, sports events, video games, software, "apps", new cars, parties, education, or junkfood — and hasn't for quite a few decades now.

Which left me way more than enough to build a very nice theater into my home, the entire interior of which I built and wired by hand, after buying the property. Even with a modest income. Also, I bought the property with the specific intent of putting a theater into it - it was an abandoned church, a classic tabula rasa. Just a huge, empty room. And I had mucho help - my SO is awesome, and very much like-minded.

We each have our priorities. Home entertainment and at-home convenience are some of mine, that's all. In fact, almost every optional expenditure I make is in pursuit of a concrete, lasting improvement to my physical circumstance. If you don't have enough left over to do what you dream of by the time you're my age (I started this particular undertaking when I was 50, I'm 60 now), then you're Doing It Wrong.

Up till now, anyway. I don't know what's going to happen to the younger people going forward. Looking a good deal more bleak than it did for me.

Comment The problem is what you consider useful (Score 3, Interesting) 183

When I can say from my couch "Alexa, make me a steak, medium rare, and bring me a beer, IPA" and a robot hands me a beer in 1 minute and a plate with a hot steak 18 minutes later, I'll give a shit and I think other consumers will, too.

Reasonable enough. Other than the stock capabilities (weather, time, shopping list, timers, alarms, "what's playing at the movies?", "what's the phone number for Tire-Rama?", oodles of music sent to the theater system), the only third-party capabilities we use regularly are:

o Adjust the lighting via TP-Link smart plugs
o Adjust the heating / cooling via Sensi smart thermostat
o Check Fitbit stats / progress

Is it worth $49 or so out the door, plus hardware cost for associated devices to be able to do all this without having to otherwise go and do it? Well, it is to us.

For instance, sitting in the theater, it's either get up, make a 20 foot walk to the light switch, flip the switch, a 20 foot walk back in the dark, and sit down again, or just say "Echo, Turn off the lights." Likewise, when the show is over, it's just "Echo, Turn on the lights."

But when it'll cook a meal, see it delivered to the table, even see that the dishes are washed... yeah, that's going to be a fine day. At consumer prices, I'd hazard a guess that's still five or six years off.

Comment Re: Good bye to Solaris (Score 1) 160

I've never seen problems booting due to systemd

Systemd is pants-on-head retarded when dealing with Network Manager and waking from sleep. It /never/ reactivates the network.

It is also pants-on-head retarded when a sound service won't start and it will just fucking /wait/ there while it won't start, instead of just failing it and moving on.

These are issues I've personally had to deal with. With Ubuntu LTS, no less.

And the whole point of systemd, so I've been told, is to make it /easier/ for workstation users. I don't see any more ease over sysvinit. Systemd is a solution looking for a problem, as far as I can tell. Unfortunately everyone is under the spell of Red Hat and Poettering these days.

This off-topic post was brought to you by the letters F, U, B, A, and R.

--
BMO

Comment Re:I wonder if the realize... (Score 1) 64

Politicians in the West are also typically as dumb and just as threatened by technology.

By and large, politicians still don't like the Internet, regardless of location and political ideology. They think it takes power away from them. It's a generational issue - most politicians, when they reach national power, are my age, at least, and probably never actually touched a general-purpose computer themselves.

The quicker my generation dies, the better.

I'm OK with that.

--
BMO

Comment Of course... (Score 5, Interesting) 78

Of course, if they hadn't been so greedy and stupid as to design a non-user-replaceable battery into the phone, they would have been able to simply send out a relatively low-cost component to the afflicted users, instead of incurring a 5.3 billion dollar loss and severely inconveniencing every one of their note 7 customers (at the very least.)

It was their insistence on screwing the customer with planned obsolescence that bit them. They deserved to be bitten.

As does any company that designs in a non-replaceable, limited-lifetime component — much less one that is non-replaceable, limited-lifetime, and potentially dangerous.

Comment Re:Yes, custom ROMs are still necessary (Score 2) 212

even Google itself washes their hands of any phone that is older than about 2 years.

Three years. Google devices get system upgrades for two years, and security updates for three years. That's still well short of five years, as you say. On the other hand, while Apple has a history of supporting devices for that long, they've made no commitment to any specific support timeline.

Comment Re:As someone with a masters in this -exact field- (Score 2) 279

you are a true master, you should be able to explain concepts in a way that even a child can understand. Richard Feynman was famous for this. So was Albert Einstein. Of course you can go too far, and simplify too much, so the children only think they understand.

Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein both did exactly this. You really can't understand quantum mechanics or general relativity without math. You can think you do, and both of them were great at providing simple explanations that gave the illusion of understanding... but it was only an illusion, which of course they knew perfectly well.

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