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Comment Re:Issues (Score 1) 158

First, the amount of time spent watching stuff is a poor metric by itself. What you really want to know is the amount of enjoyment people get out of the service. Admittedly that is very hard to measure accurately, which is why they want to use "hours spent watching" as a more easily determinable value.

One of the things that I think is important to keep in mind is, a lot of people just turn on the TV when they get home. They just turn on *something*. They might take a nap or leave the room. They might be reading things online. They still just have *something* playing on the TV.

So it's not just a question of whether or not they're enjoying the TV show they're watching, but also a question of whether they're really watching the TV show that they're streaming.

Comment Re:too much segmentation (Score 1) 158

In a monopsony, there are many suppliers, but one customer who will buy it

Do you mean "many suppliers, but one distributor"? Because that would be more accurate. The issue that I'm talking about (and also Apple iTunes) is not that there's a single "customer". there are millions of customers. But one business that has taken over resale and distribution.

Movie and TV studios took note, and vowed they would never be controlled like that so they are ensuring that no one service will become dominant and be forced to acquiesce to whatever terms they provide.

I agree that part of the reason for the things I describe is that video content owners have been trying to avoid the situation the record industry created with Apple iTunes and Spotify. Spotify has done the same thing, to a degree, in that you can stream almost any music you want for a single subscription fee. As a result, the role of music in our society has drastically changed. Recorded music is almost a commodity. People don't associate the same value to the product that they used to. Record companies make a tiny amount of money from each song on Spotify, and they're trying to make it up in bulk. Studios don't want the same thing to happen with movies and TV.

Streaming is reshaping the way we view movies and TV anyway.

Comment Re:too much segmentation (Score 2) 158

The fragmentation is intentional, on the part of the content owners. Believe me, everyone knows that a lot of people want a single streaming service with all content. It's just not what copyright owners and ISPs want.

Let's say Netflix suddenly had the rights to stream all movies, TV shows, and live events, and became the service that pretty much everyone used. Even if they raised prices quite a lot, people would still sign up for it. However, a company like Comcast would then be relegated to being a "dumb pipe". People would still pay them for Internet access, but they'd lose most of their revenue for cable TV or streaming services of their own. It's actually in Comcast's interest to keep streaming services insufficient to replace cable, so that people will continue paying for cable.

A company like HBO wouldn't like it, either. They could continue to make money by licensing their original shows, but that's not the only way that they make money. Even for their streaming services, they make money by bundling a bunch of content and charging more per month than you would probably pay for their original shows. However, a decent chunk of income comes from deals with cable providers, which would dry up quickly once everyone had moved to Netflix.

Even the networks and production companies that produce shows probably wouldn't like it, for the most part. Right now, they can license the same show or movie to Amazon, HBO, iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and any other services they like. You're forced to pay for a bunch of different services, and they get a small cut of each of those services' incomes. If the number of services were cut, they might also make less money from that one service than the aggregate of all of the other many services you're paying for. After all, you may be subscribing to some of those services for only one or two shows (because a fair amount of the content on each is available on the others), but the extra money still gets split among content owners.

And all of that still hasn't touched on the fear of one company controlling the whole market of video distributions. If Netflix were to get access to all content before the other streaming services, then they could become a de facto monopoly, and control distribution for all the different content owners. Even if all of the streaming services suddenly had access to all content, they would lose most of their marketing leverage. They would only be able to compete on things like the quality of their apps, the quality and bandwidth usage of their streams, or price. You and I might think that sounds great, but it's not really what the industry wants.

Comment Re:Ubuntu makes to much decisions for me... (Score 1) 137

What does this have to do with Ubuntu? AMD ended their support.

In fairness, I don't read him as saying that it's Ubuntu's fault. He's saying that the drivers for his graphics card became insufficient. Even if it's AMD's fault, it's still a problem that may impact some users.

Comment Re:Think of the target audience (Score 1) 137

If you are on Slashdot and haven't switched to Linux by now, then it seems extremely unlikely that you ever will.

Not necessarily. For some of us, we use Linux in some contexts and would prefer to use it, but there's at least one thing keeping us stuck on another platform. I'll stop using Windows as soon as I'm able, but it just hasn't hit that point yet.

Comment Re:Hell no (Score 1) 377

Programming isn't terribly complex.

Awesome that you think so! Now, program some realtime flight surface control software for a fly-by-wire jet and sleep well knowing that your program will never, ever, kill anyone... (Or, substitute any other safety critical software you can think of - and theres a lot!)

"Programming" (by which I really mean software engineering) is one of the most complex activities in existence...

Comment What would you make? (Score 2) 273

I think the single biggest problem with 3D printing is that most people don't have any idea what they would use it for. It's a neat concept, and it does seem useful that you could create a custom-made little plastic doodad of any specifications you want. The idea of being able to share designs seems to also have potential. Still, if someone gave me a 3D printer for free, I can't think of what I would use it for.

Maybe I just don't have enough imagination, but I think most of the population probably has even less than I do. There are only so many little plastic pieces of junk I need in my life. I think I'd get more use out of an automated loom that could make clothes, or an automated printer/binder that could make books. Or a system that made custom Ikea pieces for assembling custom furniture. I suppose you could make plastic furniture with a big enough 3D printer, but I don't want plastic furniture-- or a big enough 3D printer for that.

I've read through articles online about all the useful things you could make with your 3D printer. It's always stuff like book ends or door stops. Basically stuff that I don't really need, but if I did, the same purpose could be served by a small rock.

Comment Re:Labor Participation Rate, the Unmentionable... (Score 1) 533

"What about all of those people who have been out of work for over a year, and stopped looking?"

A bunch of them are retired, or decided to be homemakers?

Also, there's a limit to how much you can say "the job market is bad" because some people have stopped looking for work. Even just talking about those who stopped looking for work because the economy is bad, the job market could improve, and if they're still not looking for work, they're still not going to find a job.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1054

Call it what you want. It's still filtering out a lot of messages so that you'll never see them.

The only real difference that I see is that the filtering is done by users of the site, rather than by an administrator. And as I said, the administrators still intervene at times. I also think that Twitter might be too unruly a setup for a moderation scheme. It's not really a discussion forum.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 1) 1054

I tend to agree. In fairness, though, I think part of the reason it works it that moderation effectively removes a lot of the worst of what people say. It's still basically censorship. The administrators will also step in sometimes when someone who is being abusing of the system.

It's not as though Slashdot is absolutely uncensored. If it were, I'm not sure I would like this site.

Comment Re: Finally, the gloves will come off! (Score 3, Interesting) 1054

And just as much as the freedom of speech protects your ability to say something, it equally protects my right to refuse to provide you with a platform for saying it. The owners of Slashdot have every right to delete this comment that I'm writing right now. They have every right to lock my account and even block my IP address.

The great irony here is that Trump is busy empowering people who oppose net neutrality while his followers complain about a private company controlling the content of their own website. Forget about Twitter, ending net neutrality would allow ISPs to exercise much more strict control over your access to the whole Internet, potentially blocking or slowing traffic that they don't feel is advantageous to their business. If Verizon decides they're anti-Trump, they could just block access to his websites because "Fuck you, it's our network and we'll do what we want." The principle that the Internet is communication infrastructure and should treat traffic without bias-- that's the concept Trump is looking to tear down.

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