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Comment Re:I use them quite a lot (Score 1) 204

I think there's a lot of truth here. We see it in so many other stupid UI fads too, especially the whole flat-UI trend that's been going on for 4-5 years now I think. These designers are all part of a big cargo cult, not experts putting real thought and feedback data into their design decisions.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 64

Then you're only looking at mainstream, mass market, fixed content. A great deal of content created commercially isn't actually in that category.

Also, it makes a big difference what the "digital format" is. Sure, if you're providing fixed content that someone can play at home, then if nothing else you're vulnerable to the analog hole if you're willing to accept the drop in quality, and for the next Avengers movie or Taylor Swift album or whatever, someone among the millions of interested people is going to bother doing that. But there are online DRM schemes that are pretty effective at preventing casual copying at full quality these days, which is probably one of the reasons content creators are so keen to move in that direction for distribution.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 2, Insightful) 64

Most DRM isn't expected to prevent 100% of copies indefinitely. Usually it's intended to deter and/or delay casual copying, and in that, it is often quite successful these days. This is something that almost invariably gets overlooked in the "DRM never works" posts that will no doubt be filling this Slashdot discussion within minutes.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 3, Insightful) 64

Smart people don't care what it stands for. This issue always going to be about balancing the rights of content providers and the rights of content consumers, or about balancing the restrictions on the same parties, depending on how you choose to look at it. What matters is finding a reasonable balance, whatever you call any technology or laws or whatever that are used to promote it.

Comment Re:DRM (Score 4, Insightful) 64

As with almost all technology, it depends on context.

DRM can be abused to lock up content far in excess of normal copyright protections.

DRM also makes new and useful business models practical, giving us modern replacements for old school rental stores from the likes of Netflix and Spotify, which obvious work out for a lot of people.

Comment Re:Tractor Breakers, not Fixers. (Score 1) 445

When you say "void the warranty", that implies that the mfgr is able to refuse ALL warranty claims, and that the product is no longer covered by any warranty. This is flatly illegal.

What mfgrs *can* do is refuse to honor the warranty for specific claims when they can prove that the customer caused the problem in the first place, such as with a shoddy repair or faulty part.

So if you change your own oil and strip out the drain bolt and the oil all leaks out and your engine seizes, the mfgr does not have to repair your engine. But if you change your own wiper blades with Anco blades from Walmart, they are not allowed to refuse to fix your car when the engine fails, because the wiper blades have nothing to do with the engine. If you change your own oil and the brakes fail, again they cannot refuse to fix it. If you change your own brake pads and the brakes fail, they still cannot refuse to fix it unless they can reasonably prove that you did something wrong or used a bad part. General maintenance/consumable things like oil/filters, brake pads have lots of aftermarket support so it's not easy to prove that the Fram/Purolator/Bosch filter caused your engine problem.

Comment Re:Use Mahindra & Mahindra (Score 1) 445

but it all catches up with everyone eventually.

Not necessarily. This board is likely full of people who are fairly well-off, have valuable tech skills that are highly transferable, and have the ability to leave a sinking ship for other nations if need be. Rural farmers don't have that so much, and can't just pack up and skip the country if things go south in a bad way. The rural voters have really screwed themselves.

Comment Re:Tractor Breakers, not Fixers. (Score 1) 445

Yes, but that's not at all what you said before. You claimed that modifying the tractor would "void the warranty". That is a complete lie. The mfgr cannot "void the warranty", they can only refuse to honor a warranty if the problem is shown to be caused by damage caused by the end-user, as the law clearly states.

Comment Re:John Deere is a problem (Score 1) 445

The same reason the US and EU governments both investigate large mergers and block them if they think it's too anti-competitive. Try getting Boeing to buy out Airbus and see if the EU doesn't step in and block it. And authority? Why would you think a large government wouldn't have the authority to block a large corporate merger? They do it all the time.

Comment Re:In some areas (Score 1) 122

Yup, they've got my town's balls in a vice. Sure, there's NTC (exclusive to some apartments, those poor schmucks) and Verizon (if 7Mb/768k is your idea of high speed internet), but otherwise it's Comcast or nothing. So it's $90 for 75Mb service, and $89 for 75Mb service plus basic cable. Add $10 to kick in ESPN and the other mid-tier channels that DTV charges $35 for and Sling charges $20. When they own the last mile, you're going to pay.

Comment Re:I use them quite a lot (Score 2) 204

I'm not sure why Google would want to get rid of them

Because everyone is all about "minimalism!!!" these days, and Chrome is the poster child of this. I'm actually surprised these features have lasted this long, or even got in there in the first place.

Go back 15 years and look at the UIs we used to have: we have far more features than today. Now everything needs to be designed to run on a small tablet screen and operated with your thumbs.

Comment Re: Liability (Score 2) 445

Actually, most people fall into the moderate spectrum. It's just the fringe loonies that are VERY vocal about their position. And with the internet, you get to hear from them a lot more than you used to.

I'm sorry, that's just not what I'm seeing, at least on the conservative side. I don't see it on the liberal side; those people seem reasonable to me, but then again I don't hang out with college-aged people, and everything I'm reading about that crowd is pretty scary. On the conservative side, I'm seeing friends and family members I've known a long time buy into the stupidest crap straight out of right-wing news. This wasn't a thing 5+ and certainly 10+ years ago; it's all new thanks to the alt-right Facebook groups and news sites. Middle-aged people who normally are against the war on drugs and are pot smokers are big fans of Trump and Sessions; it's an utterly amazing display of cognitive dissonance. When pressed, they really think that Sessions will "come around" on the drugs issue even though all evidence is that he's a hard-line "tough on crime" and anti-drug (esp. anti-pot) ideologue. People who are highly religious are all for new right-wing/Trumpist policies like repealing Obamacare and shrinking Medicaid which people in their own families rely on to have healthcare. In fact, it's utterly amazing how the Christian conservatives/evangelicals have rallied behind Trump, someone who is obviously only religious about being greedy. AFAICT, a lot of this comes from a reaction against society's growing acceptance of homosexuality, and also against immigration. For some, it seems that nothing is more important than "getting rid of the Mexicans", and they're happy to sacrifice all their civil liberties and freedoms for this cause.

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