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Comment Re:Over the MPAA's dead body (Score 1) 83

It wasn't the people that killed it, it was the studios. They were afraid Divx would cut into their DVD sales. From the article:

Many people in various technology and entertainment communities were afraid that there would be DIVX exclusive releases, and that the then-fledgling DVD format would suffer as a result. DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount Pictures, for instance, initially released their films exclusively on the DIVX format.[5] DIVX featured stronger encryption technology than DVD (Triple DES), which many studios stated was a contributing factor in the decision to support DIVX first.[6]

Today the studios are scrambling for cash and are much more likely to embrace streaming/encrypted media. They trust Netflix, and need a new way of selling us the same media. Remember that DVDs and blurays were 'secure' - ,a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Access_Content_System">supposedly blurays can revoke media keys. It's not a big stretch to go from having the encrypted media on a bluray to downloading the encrypted data. As long as the key escrow is secure (this is what Netflix brings to the party), having you pay for distributing their content makes sense.

Comment Re:warranty length (Score 5, Informative) 189

I just checked too, and I thought actually putting some numbers down would be informative, rather than just making statements without any backing data. What computer are you talking about that costs $649 baseline (I didn't see anything like that on a quick look on the Apple store).

Germany, Baseline Silver MacBook (Apple.com/de/): €1449
United States, Baseline Silver MacBook (Apple.com): $1299
UK, Baseline Silver Macbook (Apple.com/uk/): £1049 (a lot more flux than normal in this price, due to Brexit and unusually low USD.GBP exchange rates)

Cost of AppleCare = $129 for 3 years. Cost per year then is $43, so two years of warranty would be an added $86.

DE €1449 -> $1600. Minus 19% VAT = $1,344. Plus two years of AppleCare ($86) = $1430
UK £1049 -> $1395. Minus 20% VAT = $1162. Plus two years of AppleCare ($86) = $1248

US $1299. Plus full 3 years of AppleCare ($129) = $1428. Two dollars difference from what what I estimated as the DE price breakdown.

So the German price in Euros seems pretty darn close to me! Did I miss anything?

Submission + - A Glimpse Through a Cosmic Keyhole (quantamagazine.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, I came across a preprint of a striking astronomy paper that none of my physicist friends seemed to be talking or tweeting about. The paper’s co-authors, Russ Taylor and Preshanth Jagannathan of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, had spent 300 hours observing a small patch of sky using India’s Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. The galaxies in this particular patch had been imaged before with optical telescopes, but the long-exposure radio image caught the galaxies in a surprising act.

The image revealed 65 “active” galaxies, meaning that they have jets of material streaming out in two directions, probably powered by the supermassive black holes spinning at the galaxies’ centers. (The jets emit radio light but typically aren’t visible at optical frequencies, which is why they hadn’t been seen before.) Remarkably, the jets of about a dozen of the galaxies, concentrated in a subregion of the field of view, can all be seen pointing in the same direction. “You can visually see it,” said Richard Battye, an astronomer and cosmologist at the University of Manchester who was not involved in the work. The alignment “is definitely there.”

Comment Re:I'm sure Drump is all torn up over it (Score 3, Insightful) 403

Scott Adams has an interesting take on things.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/145309172876/the-risks-of-a-trump-presidency

My only question is---if Trump is so racist, sexist, and prone to violent reactions--why hasn't that popped up in his past? Discrimination lawsuits? Sexual harassment cases? Workplace violence or intimidation? Anything like that? I mean everything that comes out about him basically makes him seem like a mild-mannered Steve Jobs or Zuckerberg... As far a celebrity children, his don't seem particularly bad nor attention-seeking (which IMHO speaks well for him).

Comment Re:Pollution (Score 1) 220

No, actually you missed the point. Here's what I wrote (emphasis added):

As we've seen over the last year, there's no such thing as clean diesel, and diesel trucks are notoriously dirty (not to mention clogging up highways, causing accidents, etc.)

My reference to diesel was to talk about Europe's much greater reliance on diesel TRUCKING for moving freight.

Comment Re:Pollution (Score 1) 220

I think you're right. This is one of the areas where the US is greener than Europe.

A much greater percentage of freight in America is carried by train than that carried by train in Europe. European trains are largely passenger, while US trains are largely freight (I've read that less than 10% of European freight is carried by train, versus 40%+ for the US). As we've seen over the last year, there's no such thing as clean diesel, and diesel trucks are notoriously dirty (not to mention clogging up highways, causing accidents, etc.)

See, e.g.: http://business.time.com/2012/07/09/us-freight-railroads/

Comment Re: Dear Everyone Else: (Score 1) 135

I've read a few of your posts just now and the bitterness and despair really makes me cringe--Sounds like you've been burned by some bad companies. I personally can't relate (my work experiences are very different), and I don't work in tech. Care to share any details about the types of job you've experienced? Tech, IT, etc?

Comment Re:robots will just push the manufacturing back to (Score 1) 415

What made it run out so poorly for the South was being attacked by a different country. Don't you know about the War of Northern Aggression?

In all seriousness, slavery had to end and, IMHO it would have ended, if perhaps on a slightly longer timeframe, anyway--soon Slavery had ended pretty much everywhere else, and economic and political pressures would have forced it to end in the south. Maybe things would have been nicer for the South and the North if they had peacefully split. Maybe not. Hard to say.

It's a truism that statists and those whose well-being is embedded in the apparatus of the state will always favor expansive government power. It's why the elites always favor greater centralized authority and are anti Scottish independence, Catalonian independence, Brexit, etc. What skin does Obama have in the Brexit game?

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley

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